Tag Archive: James Cameron


Post-Oscars Wrap-up

First and foremost, congrats to all the winners!

Yesterday I wrote that it was unlikely for any film but Avatar to win Best Picture. I’m so glad I was wrong! It was heartening to see that the Academy’s voters considered commercial success (which Avatar continues to enjoy in abundance) separately from what makes a great, award-worthy film.

The Hurt Locker Cleans Up

Who would have thunk it? Avatar and The Hurt Locker both went into the show with nine nominations, and The Hurt Locker walked away with six Oscars, while the highest-grossing movie in history, Avatar, only received three.  Everyone was blown away as the excellent but “small” film The Hurt Locker ended up top dog. Kathryn Bigelow received the best director Oscar, Mark Boal got the award for original screenplay, and the film snagged film editing, sound editing, and sound mixing.

No one turned a camera on the former King of the World (James Cameron) so we could see his reaction as his ex-wife and talented better half gave an acceptance speech that focused on supporting our troops and others in uniform rather than on herself.  *big smile*

Disappointments

Well, Sandra Bullock did end up with the best actress award. As I mentioned, I’m a big fan of hers and love watching her silly movies. But I completely disagree that her performance was better than those of her fellow nominees. She probably said it best in her speech when she joked, “… did I just wear you down?” That must have been it.  But congratulations anyway, Sandy, and enjoy the ride.

Even more maddening was that chunk-o-rama Up winning best animated feature. Besides the way the characters are drawn, none of them is truly likeable. It’s a mystery to me why this film was so praised, and all I can think of is that it had the best PR somehow.  No idea.  I’m stumped here.

My biggest disappointment by far, though, is that District 9, one of my favorite movies of the year, won nothing at all. Hey, at least this off-the-beaten-path film was recognized by several nominations … and I have a DVD copy I can watch anytime!

On with the Show

To my surprise and chagrin, the hosting team of Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin was not as funny as I’d hoped.  There were moments when they made me laugh out loud, but fewer than I’d anticipated. 

The other weird turn on the show was Tom Hanks coming out at the end to announce, rather abruptly and without further fanfare, that the best picture winner was The Hurt Locker.  The show was a bit over on time, as it typically is, but it just seemed strangely hurried to me.

What was marvelous was Neil Patrick Harris’s opening number!  Now, that’s entertianment! And, as a friend wrote to me, who knew he could sing and dance like that?  Otherwise, pretty boring and uneventful ceremony.  Come on, people … at least make it fun to watch.

Over and out!

Z

I hereby declare that I am able to admit when I was mistaken and just being stubborn.

Having developed a healthy distaste for mega-hyped movies, I waited this long before seeing Avatar … and I only broke down and went to the theater because I plan to see all the Oscar-nominated Best-Picture candidates (six down, four to go).

Well, if you are like me and have not yet seen it (and you don’t have a general aversion to exciting, partially-CGI blockbusters), I’m here to say, “Go now; you’re in for a treat.”

There have been a gazillion reviews, so I won’t belabor the point – just a few comments.

To me, it’s basically a twenty-first century version of Dances with Wolves, with a touch of The Matrix, The Mission, and Lord of the Rings.  Though the story is nothing new, the packaging is gorgeous.

For an action sci-fi flick, the characters are fairly well developed.  The notable exception is Colonel Miles Quaritch (Stephen Lang), who is a pretty one-dimensional ass throughout.  Presumably, in a good-vs.-evil story, you must have someone to despise unequivocally.

Naturally, the acting talent in this movie helps its success tremendously.  All the principal actors are excellent in their roles.  Special recognition should go to Giovanni Ribisi, who makes an unlikeable character complex – even though the lines weren’t written for his character (Parker Selfridge) to eventually show that there’s a human being hidden somewhere inside his corporate soul, the masterful actor manages to convey it through his eyes and expressions.

After hearing several stories about people getting physically dizzy after 162 minutes of 3D thrill-riding through the primordial forests of Pandora, it’s something I was wary about.  However, I personally found the pacing and the juxtaposition of the human and Na’vi worlds in fine balance.

My only real gripe?  The cheese factor of calling the ore the humans are mining unobtanium.  Really, people?  Really?

It almost hurts me to say it, but James Cameron has redeemed himself in my eyes (Ouch!), and Avatar gets a big two thumbs-up.

Mood:  humbled and euphoric

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