Monday, March 06, 2006

Stew Blew

Well, it's official: the Oscars spectacle was a bonafide dud. A snoozefest, moving along at a constipated pace, lacking energy and any shock-value whatsoever to at least add some spice to what has become a predictable mess. Jon Stewart was so overly rehearsed and controlled that it sucked any remaining excitement out of this very live/untaped event. (You know it's bad when you're yearning for the horrendous dance numbers of yore).

Where were the daring pot-shots, the cover-your-mouth reactions to laser-like insults, the hip, college-crowd references one would expect from this seemingly popular Big Apple cut-up? His performance made Letterman's debacle look like a quintessential Lenny Bruce routine.

This occasion was a perfect opportunity for Stewart to give the world a taste of that edgy, in-the-know snarky humor he's carefully assembled for college circuit consumption. If that mailed-in, pap crap is what the youth are craving, we're all doomed.

P.S. Fours days ago, I wrote this to Kevin Drum:


You wrote, "Matt seems to think that Crash was designed to show Los Angeles as a uniquely steaming hellbroth of racism and intolerance, whereas I saw Los Angeles as just a convenient backdrop. The movie could just as easily have been set in Detroit or New York or any other big American city. It wasn't really meant as a specific message about LA."

Perhaps, but the fact is the movie WASN'T ("set in Detroit or New York"). The Academy voters seemingly need to see LA -- the familiar sights, weather, people, etc. -- to better feel the conveyed emotions and messages in the movie. In fact, "Magnolia," "Short Cuts," and "Grand Canyon" -- like "Crash" -- were all overblown, excessively praised flicks that wore their sentiments on their sleeves and if shot in any other city would not have received nearly the acclaim.

Imagine NYC-shot "Annie Hall" today, thirty years after its release, do you honestly think it would have a prayer of receiving so many Oscar nominations, much less winning in so many?

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