I never watch award shows. This year however, I was excited to see Eddie Murphy. When he bowed out, I decided not to watch, but Billy Crystal stepping in? That made total sense to me. Some people were really upset by how he did. For people to complain about Billy Crystal hosting is hilarious.
"He's so old! Why can't they get someone younger?"
Whose better as a last minute stand in for a stuffy event such as the Oscars? The entire night is for an older crowd. At first they had Eddie Murphy, who backed out because his friend Brett Ratner took a bunch of heat for saying “rehearsal is for fags.” Now, if you are in the academy, and you took a chance on Eddie, who bails two months prior because of a friends gay slurs, are you really going to try again to look outside of safe?
“Wow, I can't believe he said that and Eddie backed out. Who should we get now?”
“Someone we can trust to not do anything insane. Andy Dick?”
Billy Crystal fits perfectly for the night that they want! Show tunes, dance numbers, inoffensive. Who would be a better host for a show where the audience really doesn't want to be pushed, or believe that there is anything funny about the absolute seriousness of movie making? Soulja Boy?
"And the nominees for Best Actor are...Swag, for his role in Swag. Swag, for being swagful. Big swaggy for his swag hair. Brad Pitt for turning down money in Moneyball. Swag."
The Oscars really are not an awards show for movies. All movies? Absolutely not. If you want your movie to be nominated by the Academy, you better hope that no one calls it a comedy, action, or horror movie. A comedy movie will not win if it doesn't have some absolutely devastating scene in it. I think that's what 'Shawn of the Dead' was going for at the time.
"A zombie movie has never been nominated for an Oscar."
"We'll change that! How about, the entire movie is a really fun time. It's funny, entertaining, tons of jokes. Then, the last ten minutes, I'll burst into tears and become super serious because I have to kill my zombie mother?"
"Woa, that's deep. Won't that take away from the comedy aspect of the movie though?"
"Screw the comedy aspect! OSCAR!"
There are some pretty concrete formulas for a movie to be nominated for Best Picture. If your movie is less than two and a half hours? Don't even think about it! Throw it right into the trash and try again. I think this is why Judd Apatow makes comedy movies that are longer than Amistad. Does 40 year old Virgin really have an over two hour story to tell?
"Hey, I'm a virgin who happens to be forty years old."
"Okay. We can straighten that out in an hour and a half."
"No. Maybe you didn't hear me. Forty years old. Virgin. At least two hours."
"Yes, yes. You are correct."
If your movie is not a biography on someone's life, you will also have a extremely tough time getting nominated. Movies about someone's life are Oscar gold!
"What is your movie about?"
"It's the real life story of a grocery store manager. This guy...wow. He came up with the idea for the Aisle signs! You know the signs in the aisle that say "Aisle one: Canned products" and so on? He changed the grocery store game! Before that, people just stumbled around for hours looking for beans."
"Hmm, interesting. Does he have a personal life that is crumbling?"
"Of course! See, his kids hate him because he spends more time in the grocery store than he does at home. Work crosses over to home. He places signs up in his house, "Hallway one: Bathroom, linen closet, bedroom". He loses his mind!"
"I smell a best picture nom!"
A movie that has a lot of shots of distant looks in the eyes of the actors will be nominated as well. If your movie trailer shows shots of each person in the movie staring off into what I can only assume is their own personal hell, and also has a title that makes tear up, you can start dusting off the space on your shelf for the Oscar.
"This summer, a sad man (show man in a chair looking into the distance), a woman with cancer (women in hospital bed looking in the distance), a lost child (show kid standing in a field playing with a dandelion, with a distant look in his eyes), and a dog who thinks it's a cat (show a dog trying to use a litter box, can't figure it out, then looks straight ahead, with a distant look in his eyes).
"I can't believe that my wife has cancer, my child doesn't know himself, and this dog thinks it's a cat. My eyes tell you that I feel empty and alone."
This summer, "Things Aren't Always As They Dog Cancer. Only in theatres."
Apparently, good acting only ever means 'serious acting'.
"Okay, your wife was caught cheating on you in your car that also just flew off a cliff, and the trunk happened to be full of all your belongings. And...action!"
“That seems like a weird turn of events...”
People can be great actors in movies that are not serious. For instance, reaching back in time as it just came to me, Leslie Nielsen was a good actor in the Naked Gun movies. He's great! He wasn't even a comedy actor. He was a serious actor who acting in some comedies. Would he ever get nominated for those? Nope. Couldn't he have even been nominated for being in movies that were a complete side step for him?
"You know, this serious actor seriously got me to believe that he was a comedy actor. Nominated!"
Maybe he could have been nominated if he had actually felt the pain that was inflicted on him in the movie.
"Okay, when this blowfish bites your hand because you reached into it's tank to retrieve a pen, scream in absolute agony. I'm feeling an Academy award scene."
I was shocked when The Dark Knight was not nominated for Best Picture in 2008. I never paid too much attention to the Oscars, but after that, never. There was really ten movies in 2008 that were better than The Dark night? Really?! No way. That movie was fantastic. It also followed some of the Oscar formulas. Over two hours? Check. A story of a personal journey? Check. A bio pic? No! No check. That's where it fell off. If a man really becomes Batman before this summer, maybe the next one will have a chance.
Also, are all of the awards necessary? Best sound editing? Best sound mixing? Best film editing? Best Kraft Service table attendant? These are all people that in the drop of a hat actors would scream at for little to nothing. They should have some other awards for these people.
"And now, the nominees for Best defusing sentence when an actress throws a tantrum about the sound mixing...Billy Halfpenny, for the sentence "Please stop screaming at me! I'm doing what I can!" Thomas Evans, for the sentence "Look, you're gorgeous and talented, okay? I just mix sound!" And last but not least, Douglas Trevino for the sentence, "Here's some Jimmy Choo shoes! Don't have me fired!"
The Oscars are sort of ridiculous anyway as apparently, movie companies will send gift baskets, watches and the like to the academy for votes. For votes! That can happen?
"Please like my movie! Here are some oranges from Marrakech."
You can't even bribe a cop out of a fifty dollar ticket, but you can bribe a prestigious academy with watches that they probably just add to their morning shakes?
"Hmm, another Rolex. I've got tons of these, and can afford one whenever I would like. Let's see how it tastes in this protein shake...hmm, timely. Oh, man. I am a pun master. I will tell my maid the funny I have created, and if she doesn't like it, fire her in front of my children.”