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Tilting at Windmills

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January 31, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

ACADEMY AWARD ROUNDUP....So the Best Picture nominees are Brokeback Mountain, Crash, Munich, Good Night and Good Luck, and Capote. For the first time in years I've already seen all but one of them (Capote), which means I'm pretty much caught up. Capote aside for the time being, I'd cast my vote for Crash.

Kevin Drum 2:37 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (158)

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oh, no! rdw hated every one of these films! without actually having seen any of them!

Posted by: shortstop on January 31, 2006 at 2:38 PM | PERMALINK

Hollywood's FU to Bush, Michael Medved, Rush, et. al: Brokeback Mountain in a landslide.

Posted by: Flamethrower on January 31, 2006 at 2:42 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, Crash seems like a dark-horse favorite. Seldom do movies get remembered so far back.

Posted by: theorajones on January 31, 2006 at 2:43 PM | PERMALINK

Haven't seen any of them, don't plan to see any of them. I am, however, planning to see Memoirs of a Geisha while I'm in Bangkok. :)

Posted by: MJ Memphis on January 31, 2006 at 2:44 PM | PERMALINK

Crash??? Blarg. Could any movie contrive harder to pull your heart strings? Sure it brought some interesting angles to the race debate, but in such an incredibly contrived fashion. Munich was *clearly* the best all-around movie of the bunch, with Capote and GN&GL as solid films in their own right. Still haven't seen Brokeback.

Posted by: LHB on January 31, 2006 at 2:44 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, "Crash" seems like a dark-horse favorite. Seldom do movies get remembered so far back.

It happens every once in a while, but they need to become bonafind cultural phenoms to pull it off. The Silence of the Lambs is the last one I can think of that managed it -- that came out around Valentine's Day. (As did the Bela Lugosi version of Dracula, which was billed as "The Strangest Love Story Ever Told!")

Posted by: Mnemosyne on January 31, 2006 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK

D'oh! "Bonafide." Spellcheck, spellcheck, spellcheck ...

Posted by: Mnemosyne on January 31, 2006 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK

Complaining about the contrivance of Crash is like complaining about the contrivance of a Rube Goldberg machine. Sure, the chicken might not really lay a egg when the balloon pops, but that's hardly the point. It's a celebration of contrivance. The fun lies in the crazy ways it's all tied together...thekeez

Posted by: Jeff Keezel on January 31, 2006 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK

huh, no Syriana. Shame.

Posted by: Ty Lookwell on January 31, 2006 at 2:51 PM | PERMALINK

See Capote. If I've ever seen In Cold Blood then I've completely forgotten it, but, having recently read that book, Capote is like In Cold Blood with bonus scenes left out of the original (I presume here that Capote the author was not a character in the first movie as he is not present in his book). The irony is that Capote, the movie, does to Capote what Capote did to Perry Smith to get a book out of him.

A bit tortured, I know, but it will make sense when you see the movie.

Posted by: bryrock on January 31, 2006 at 2:53 PM | PERMALINK

Crash. Crash!? CRASH!!!!???? What a crappy movie!!!! Kevin, I trust your judgement on most things, but this throws all of that into doubt. Crash is a clunky, vulgur, sorry excuse for drama. As a discourse on race, it pretends make all sorts of profound comments but in fact says nothing at all. I think the fundamental message of this movie is: "Isn't it crazy how shit happens?"

The plot has all the absurd coincidences of a Victorian novel with none of the wit.

Posted by: Matt D on January 31, 2006 at 2:53 PM | PERMALINK

While admitting that Crash is the perfect film for liberal white guilt - and I do mean guilt for everything - and that alone could guarantee an award, let's be clear: it's a middling, annoying film, where no one is particularly doing their best work, especially Ryan Phillippe(!). As a we-boy, I am, of course, rooting for Brokeback, though Good Night and Good luck was extremely impressive. Capote is a slow, draggy downer, and I've been astonished that Hoffman's fair, but awfully remote, imitation of Truman is getting all the awards. Yes, Capote was a larger than life character and writing In Cold Blood was transformational. But then, we don't actually see that. We get a few well timed bon mots and a lot of scenes of typing. A LOT of typing. and a lot of desolate shots of Kansas flatlands. Then again, in this muddled year, I didn't see all that much that was really that great. Shame that King Kong couldn't make it in, though.

Posted by: weboy on January 31, 2006 at 2:56 PM | PERMALINK

Crash was refreshingly smart, but Best Picture? That's a stretch. Tell us why you think so, please.

The big news, if you ask Hollywood pundits, is that "Walk the Line" wasn't even nominated for Best Picture, despite being a popular movie about an American legend, whose story was well told, with great performances. In other words, it was the obvious choice, if Hollywood wanted to reach out to the public. The Academy voters didn't.

That tells me that Flamethrower has a point. Hollywood is not happy with America, and maybe a little bitter: Why don't Americans love movies anymore?

Posted by: Kit Stolz on January 31, 2006 at 2:56 PM | PERMALINK

Personal taste and nitpicking cavils aside, this is a very respectable list of nominees, with the emphasis clearly on quality, intelligent and inspired storytelling, and recognition that substance trumps packaging or budget. Even Spielberg's place on the list is secured by his least "Spielbergian" venture in recent memory. The best picture lineup is like a pie in the face to right-wing and fundamentalist assholes - 2 movies with primary gay characters, one featuring a liberal icon of the McCarthy era, one meditation on race and class in contemporary urban America and a movie that - in the course of depicting dogged Israeli heroism in response to an inhuman tragedy inflicted by terrorists - suggests that there are some underlying and inescapable human dynamics at play that we share even with our worst enemies (which of course is easily capsulized as "self-hatred" by the nutjobs who abhor "nuance".) A very decent and smart showing by the easily-lampooned denizens of the glitz-factory - perhaps even a tad courageous, as these sorts of things are measured.

Posted by: brucds on January 31, 2006 at 3:00 PM | PERMALINK

I thought it was interesting how Disney's first foray into digital animation (Chicken Little) was shut out in the animation category in favor of hand-drawn (Howl's Moving Castle) and claymation (Corpse Bride; Wallace and Gromit) films.
You can understand now why they were so desperate to dump Eisner and patch things up with Pixar.

Posted by: Mike Thomas on January 31, 2006 at 3:03 PM | PERMALINK

Brokeback mountain, with Heith Ledger as best actor and Ang Lee as best director, with Capote and Walk the Line for the rest of the main honors.

Lots of serious acceptance speeches.

At least, that's my two cents.

Posted by: Diana on January 31, 2006 at 3:05 PM | PERMALINK

I loved Howl's Moving Castle.

The academy may have left Syriana off the list because GN&GL was on it; no reason to give Clooney two slots. It might have been an either-or thing. But what do I know? I saw and liked Syriana but haven't seen any of the "top 5".

Posted by: editer on January 31, 2006 at 3:07 PM | PERMALINK

Crash came out of nowhere because it's an ensemble movie... the new genre for out of work actors.

Plain and simple.

Hollywood is on the ropes. Somebody here last week was saying how the industry is motivated only by money... bull fucking shit.

Hollywood is ideologically motivated and THAT is why they are going broke.

Transamerica - Capote - Brokeback Mountain - Munich.

These are not Middle America themes. These are AGENDAS. And the box office shows it.

Does anybody think that if enough Cambodians had emigrated to Hollywood we would be saturated in movies about that holocaust? How about Tutus?

And Transamerica makes a select few people feel all warm and fuzzy, but not accepted.

As to my original point. Actors voted Crash and the other ensemble movies because they are all out of work. Did anyone notice how many speeches mentioned that?

We will see less movies with one highly paid actor, and forced chemistry between studio favorites, and more indie type films.

In any case, the glory days are over.

Posted by: Tj on January 31, 2006 at 3:10 PM | PERMALINK

Out of the list, I've only seen Crash.

I liked it! Go Crash!

Posted by: Frank J. on January 31, 2006 at 3:12 PM | PERMALINK

But what about the children?! They need to be protected from the gay agenda in these liberal movies that we'll never watch and don't even show in our corner of Utah!!

Posted by: Maude Flanders on January 31, 2006 at 3:15 PM | PERMALINK

crash? that was sensationalistic, pulling heart-strings garbage- come on kevin, you have more taste than that!

Posted by: J.S. on January 31, 2006 at 3:16 PM | PERMALINK

er... most "indie type" films are Hollywood films. Hollywood is doing just fine, only the revenue stream is shifting. Theater chains, however, are in trouble, and increasingly so - esp when the day and date window collapses, allowing simultaneous DVD and movie releases.

I was surprised with how many truly excellent movies were released in 2005, whereas it was a nightmare of a year in so many other respects.

Posted by: Ty Lookwell on January 31, 2006 at 3:17 PM | PERMALINK

Walk The Line was a very good picture with excellent performances, but in comparison to the films nominated I'd have to say that it was conventional to the point of being pedestrian. (Nothing wrong with pedestrians.) Most popular isn't "best". I think I'd actually nominate King Kong over Walk The Line, just because as a directorial achievement, and even for all of it's obvious faults like way-too-long and creature-soup, it was more impressive in the rendering of the Kong character than anything in Walk The Line.

The thing I like about the movies nominated is that none of them conform to my idea of a Hollywood pitch session with the studio execs going "Great! Love it!" I'm one of the world's biggest Johnny Cash fans - have been since I first heard him sing "Walk The Line" nearly fifty years ago as a little kid - and I loved the movie, but it was a pretty conventional, well-done biopic. I like to see the "Best Picture" nominations stretch beyond that.

Posted by: brucds on January 31, 2006 at 3:17 PM | PERMALINK

I liked "Munich" - not nearly as fantastic as "Schindler's List" as Spielberg fare goes, but very good and thought-provoking. But that's the only one of the 5 I saw, anyway. "Brokeback Mountain" still didn't open in Brazil, and I don't know about the rest. Waiting for them!

Posted by: Brazil Connection on January 31, 2006 at 3:19 PM | PERMALINK

I'm waiting for the upcoming release of "Return of the Sock Puppets"- looks like we've already had a preview. I eagerly anticipate hearing what the opinion is in Telluride.

Posted by: MJ Memphis on January 31, 2006 at 3:19 PM | PERMALINK

TJ/Ashley/Arsenia/Karen/wenn/etc.:

I'll give you a thousand dollars if you can make one damn post without complaining about world-controlling Jews.

My God but you're boring.

(But it is fun to watch Brokeback Mountain eat you for lunch as you repeat the discredited talking point about Hollywood losing money.)

Interesting comment on the animation front, Mike Thomas.

Posted by: shortstop on January 31, 2006 at 3:19 PM | PERMALINK

The triteness of Crash boggles the mind.

It's criminal that Syriana didn't get a nod.

Posted by: NL on January 31, 2006 at 3:19 PM | PERMALINK

High-fiving MJ Memphis...

Posted by: shortstop on January 31, 2006 at 3:20 PM | PERMALINK

I've seen all of these but Capote. They were all good, but Brokeback is easily the best of the four. It's a technical masterpiece, a work of art, and a story of devastating emotion, with amazing performances to boot. Goodnight and Munich were sobering, and Crash was courageous and wonderfully written. But Brokeback is absolutely the best all-around film of the four.

Posted by: Andrew Wyatt on January 31, 2006 at 3:21 PM | PERMALINK

My favorite movie of the year was Cinderella Man. Seems i am alone. Of he movies nominated I guess Brokeback Mountain will win. Why Crash?

Posted by: Ron Byers on January 31, 2006 at 3:23 PM | PERMALINK

Looks like we are on the same wavelength, shortstop.

BTW, did you ever make it to Archibald's?

Posted by: MJ Memphis on January 31, 2006 at 3:24 PM | PERMALINK

TJ - "How about the Tutus?"

Cambodians ? Tutus ? Who cares ? Your point is well taken. It's all about the Jujus and their Holocaust-movie factory. That crowd is so self-absorbed they even named the candy after themselves. What happened to the glory days when gentiles were in charge of entertainment.

Posted by: brucds on January 31, 2006 at 3:26 PM | PERMALINK

No Hostel? Shame...

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on January 31, 2006 at 3:27 PM | PERMALINK

I heard a comment back in January on NPR or perhaps KLOS where a reviewer described Crash as a movie hailed by people who like to say, "some of my best friends are black." I think that pretty well summed it up for me.

The major campaign for Cinderella Man that's been waged over the past couple of months has netted a best supporting actor nod for Paul Giamatti and a couple of technical nods (Best Film Editing and Best Makeup) and not much else. They probably could have pulled a couple more had the film been released six months later.

Posted by: Don Hosek on January 31, 2006 at 3:27 PM | PERMALINK

The big news, if you ask Hollywood pundits, is that "Walk the Line" wasn't even nominated for Best Picture, despite being a popular movie about an American legend, whose story was well told, with great performances.

I enjoyed "Walk the Line," but I credit Joaquin Phoenix and him alone for that. As I see it, it got at least one nomination too many - and yes, Reese Witherspoon, I am looking at you.

But what do I know? I thought that if anyone deserved a nomination for A History of Violence, it was Maria Bello. And who got it? The ham sandwich that is William Hurt.

Posted by: Drew on January 31, 2006 at 3:27 PM | PERMALINK

Of the bunch, Munich is clearly the best. But for the year, A History of Violence and The Constant Gardener were superior to all 5.

Posted by: johnr on January 31, 2006 at 3:28 PM | PERMALINK

Didn't care for Crash. As with The Constant Gardener, everyone's motives seemed to be to get themselves fired, killed, assaulted or otherwise molested.

Posted by: Dan on January 31, 2006 at 3:29 PM | PERMALINK

Capote and Brokeback - same movie theme...cancel each other out....Crash is a chickflick dressed up......Munich is a rehash.....Goodnight and Goodluck is the winner....Hollywood's FU to Bush and his war on Civil Liberties

Posted by: murmeister on January 31, 2006 at 3:29 PM | PERMALINK

Ooh, just noticed Corpse Bride made the list for Best Animated Film. No disrespect for the other two (since I didn't see them), but I hope it wins.

Posted by: MJ Memphis on January 31, 2006 at 3:29 PM | PERMALINK

Hollywood is ideologically motivated and THAT is why they are going broke.

Transamerica - Capote - Brokeback Mountain - Munich.

These are not Middle America themes. These are AGENDAS. And the box office shows it.

Box office gross to date of Brokeback Mountain:

$51,644,000
http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?page=daily&id=brokebackmountain.htm

yeah, they're really hurting. Try actually checking the facts before launching into one of your morality tyrades--that way, people won't think you're such a moronic tool.

Posted by: haha on January 31, 2006 at 3:32 PM | PERMALINK

Capote and Brokeback - same movie theme...

uh, just because both movies have gay characters doesn't mean they have the same theme at all.

maybe you should, y'know, actually watch both movies first.

Posted by: haha on January 31, 2006 at 3:34 PM | PERMALINK

The Academy Awards have become boringly predictible in the past 20 years. This year seems no different to me.

Brokeback will likely win best picture despite the fact that the same production with two heterosexual characters would likely garner zero oscar nominations.

Still laughing over Gladiator, A Beautiful Mind, Titanic, and Million Dollar Baby winners over the past few years.

Personal picks go to Syriana (myseriously absent from the Best Picture due to Speilberg's public weeping displays?) and second best would be Crash.

Best wishes to everyone with their oscar pools. Should be a doosey.

Posted by: Freddo on January 31, 2006 at 3:35 PM | PERMALINK

Crash was utter and complete crap. What an awful, awful movie. I'm so dismayed that Kevin actually liked it, let alone thinks it should win Best Picture.

For my money, A History of Violence and Capote were the two best movies of the year.

Posted by: Matt D on January 31, 2006 at 3:37 PM | PERMALINK

uh....the theme is different than the story

Posted by: murmeister on January 31, 2006 at 3:37 PM | PERMALINK

Murmeister. You baffle me with your logic.

"Crash is a chickflick dressed up" - I'm still blown away trying to grasp your sheer brilliance with this analogy.

Posted by: Freddo on January 31, 2006 at 3:38 PM | PERMALINK

My prediction: Brokeback Mountain will win. Not because of politics, but because it's a good old-fashioned tragic weepy love story, and the Academy LOVES those. The only twist is that the star-crossed lovers are both men.

Exhibit A: the crappy Titanic won a totally undeserved Best Picture award. (Best Special Effects, sure. Best Picture?) So Brokeback pretty much has it locked up unless Academy voters get squeamish about the gay thing.

I loved Good Night, and Good Luck. Loved it. George Clooney is a surprisingly good director for an actor -- he has a very distinct visual style, whereas most actors-turned-directors concentrate on performances. Confessions of a Dangerous Mind was really good, too.

Posted by: Mnemosyne on January 31, 2006 at 3:39 PM | PERMALINK

Freddo,
What's wrong with Gladiator?

Posted by: MJ Memphis on January 31, 2006 at 3:40 PM | PERMALINK

Brokeback will likely win best picture despite the fact that the same production with two heterosexual characters would likely garner zero oscar nominations.

Yes. I mean, what are the chances that the Academy would recognize a love story between two married heterosexual characters, kept apart by society and their own demons.

Except WALK THE FUCKING LINE, dipshit, which is about exactly that.

God, the gay-hating assholes really cannot think rationally these days, can they?

Posted by: Drew on January 31, 2006 at 3:40 PM | PERMALINK

Actually, Tj and rdw generally amuse me with their fixation that all movies should have "middle america themes." Middle America has a middle america theme. Should we all eat vanilla ice cream, too, rather than market deviant flavors like Orange Sherbet?

This year I got out very little and thus hardly saw any movies in the theater and have no preferences. I didn't see a single one of the nominated films.

Posted by: Constantine on January 31, 2006 at 3:41 PM | PERMALINK

Actually, Tj and rdw generally amuse me with their fixation that all movies should have "middle america themes." Middle America has a middle america theme. Should we all eat vanilla ice cream, too, rather than market deviant flavors like Orange Sherbet?

This year I got out very little and thus hardly saw any movies in the theater and have no preferences. I didn't see a single one of the nominated films.

Posted by: Constantine on January 31, 2006 at 3:42 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks Freddo

Posted by: murmeister on January 31, 2006 at 3:43 PM | PERMALINK

uh....the theme is different than the story

So the theme of Capote is that it's a tragic story about two people who can never be together because of society's overly-strict mores?

Weird. I saw it as a film about selling one's soul for success.

Please explain the thematic similarities between Brokeback and Capote as you saw them.

"They're about gay guys" is not a thematic element.

Posted by: Mnemosyne on January 31, 2006 at 3:46 PM | PERMALINK

The major campaign for Cinderella Man that's been waged over the past couple of months has netted a best supporting actor nod for Paul Giamatti and a couple of technical nods (Best Film Editing and Best Makeup) and not much else. They probably could have pulled a couple more had the film been released six months later.

I tend to agree with this. Still, I am glad that Giamatti got a nod for his work in that movie. The scene where the Russell Crowe character comes in begging for money for his family had some awesome work in it by Giamatti.

Ooh, just noticed Corpse Bride made the list for Best Animated Film. No disrespect for the other two (since I didn't see them), but I hope it wins.

Sorry, dude, I'm rooting for Wallace & Gromit.

Posted by: tam1MI on January 31, 2006 at 3:48 PM | PERMALINK

MJ: What's wrong with Gladiator?

Besides having Russell Crowe in it, you mean?

Haven't been to Archibald's yet...haven't been down there yet. Soon, I hope.

murmeister: Would you mind explaining how having a gay character is a "theme"? Do Westerns and National Velvet share a theme? What about Blacula and Spike Lee joints? The Taming of the Shrew and The Sopranos?

Posted by: shortstop on January 31, 2006 at 3:53 PM | PERMALINK

"God, the gay-hating assholes really cannot think rationally these days, can they?"

Just because gays make people's stomach churn doesn't mean they hate gays. It's think it's more of a biological or natural reaction. Kinda like smelling something rotten tend to make you wanna hurl.

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on January 31, 2006 at 3:57 PM | PERMALINK

I've got no beef with Gladiator. I thought it was a fine film.

The problem with it winning best picture is that it essentially is the same film as Braveheart.

The academy has established a trend in recent years to award the best picture to films based more on the idea of promoting and appeasing to the viewers of its award show rather than to award the uniquely fine film of that particular year.

Nearly every year, I feel this way.

In 2000, I thought that Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (which would have spared us from this years Ang Lee best picture nomination) and Traffic were better films than Gladiator. However, neither of these films had the mass-market appeal the Gladiator had. Hence, the Braveheart Pt. 2 victory.

Posted by: Freddo on January 31, 2006 at 4:00 PM | PERMALINK

shortstop- I guess I'm just a sucker for a reasonably well-done historical drama. Gladiator wasn't literal history, but was still reasonably faithful to the historical details. Although the Commodus in Gladiator was nowhere near crazy enough.

Posted by: MJ Memphis on January 31, 2006 at 4:01 PM | PERMALINK

I've got to agree with you about Gladiator, Freddo. It's not that there was anything "wrong" with the film. It's that there was nothing special about it. Sure, it was enjoyable, the acting was decent, and the story was reasonably good. Giving it best picture is like handing out an attendance award-- rewarding someone for what he was supposed to do, anyway.

Posted by: Constantine on January 31, 2006 at 4:04 PM | PERMALINK

Just because gays make people's stomach churn doesn't mean they hate gays.

Yeah, actually, it does. And the comparisons of "Capote" to "Brokeback Mountain" suggests that it also means they're stupid.

Posted by: Drew on January 31, 2006 at 4:06 PM | PERMALINK

Freddo- same as Braveheart? No way. Now, Braveheart and The Patriot were basically the same movie- Mel has his schtick that he sticks to for his action flicks. But Braveheart and Gladiator... nowhere near, except that they both had pretty nice fight scenes.

Now, I did get rather irritated that Braveheart overshadowed Rob Roy, which IMO was a much better film. But I guess there were enough people who figured that since both of them featured men wearing skirts, they were basically the same movie.

Posted by: MJ Memphis on January 31, 2006 at 4:06 PM | PERMALINK

I guess Eve was a trasnsvestite,I personally would have developed a relationship with a sheep.
damn the sheep hearders n-eway

Posted by: icky on January 31, 2006 at 4:06 PM | PERMALINK

I am a heterosexual male.

I cannot imagine spending two hours empathizing with a couple of cowboys who experimented with their lusts and spent a lifetime regreting it - not to mention ruining the lives of everyone who loves them.

Wow... what an idea! What entertainment!!

I have NO interest in watching two men butt fuck each other...

but then I"m a hateful person - so I should let my kids watch

Posted by: Tj on January 31, 2006 at 4:08 PM | PERMALINK

shortstop, flamethrower,

Hate to inform you but I don't spend much time worrying about Hollywood although I do enjoy the roasting Speilberg is getting for Munich. I haven't seen it and won't but it's clearly typical Speilberg. He's a master technician but very weak on story telling. War of the Worlds had terrific special effects but the screenplay wasn't B movie quality.

Do you really think there are any surprises in these nominations? If you didn't know what happened in 2005 and just saw these nominations wouldn't you guess revenues were down at least 7%? The awards selections always favor political correctness over film-making.

Liberals don't appreciate conservative sentiment regarding Hollywood. It's similar to our sentiment regarding moveon.org. Are there two more politically inept groups than the Hollywood clowns and Moveon.org? We've got filthy rich people under the impression Americans really care what they think. These are people who by definition live and create in fantasy worlds. Do you listen to them? Speilberg is a billinaire. Clooney is only worth $200M. These are average Americans? You think so?

May God bless them. They are entitled to every dime they make and spend it any way they like. Looking at the make-up of Congress, the WH and the Courts you should hope they would stick to film. Last I checked Moveon.org was 0 -13 in elections where they backed a candidate. I know conservartives who send money to moveon.org.

Besides there's bigger news today. As we speak Sam Alito is being sworn in by John Roberts.

Posted by: rdw on January 31, 2006 at 4:08 PM | PERMALINK

OH! I forgot see you in hell hollywood

Posted by: icky on January 31, 2006 at 4:09 PM | PERMALINK

Drew, I'm sorry that you took my comments regarding the film to be anti-gay.

I'm also sorry that one sentence on a blog-board posting would allow you to draw such an assessment of my character.

Yes, there are some sad folks on this thread who have made some pathetic comments, I'm sorry that my remark is the one that set you off.

I do think that Brokeback is a decent movie and I enjoyed it. I just don't think it's Best Picture material.

Posted by: Freddo on January 31, 2006 at 4:10 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: Hate to inform you but I don't spend much time worrying about Hollywood...

LOL...you've spent hours upon hours worrying about it here. Someone less charitable than I might even call it obsessing.

Tj: Thanks for letting us know you're a hetero male. I'm one, too. No, wait, I'm a 58-year-old grandma. No, wait, I'm a Western ditz who hates causiness. No, wait, I'm a married mother of six. I'm my sister! I'm my daughter! I'm my sister! I'm my daughter!

Posted by: shortstop on January 31, 2006 at 4:13 PM | PERMALINK

Seriously Kevin, I read this blog every day because it is sane and even-handed. But I don't know what to think since you think Crash should win. There aren't too many movies that I turn off half way through, but Crash was one of them. What a bad, bad movie (and I mean bad meaning bad, not bad meaning good). Wow! Everyone is racist and they learn things and stuff happens. The dialogue was terrible, the characters were poorly drawn, and I couldn't have given a shit about any of them. Terrible movie, just terrible. Munich was by far the best movie of the year. (although I haven't seen Good Night and Good Luck yet)

Posted by: Paul on January 31, 2006 at 4:13 PM | PERMALINK

hey TJ please don't confuse cowboys and sheepherders

Posted by: icky on January 31, 2006 at 4:14 PM | PERMALINK

Calling all homosexual activists.

Heterosexual men will comport themselves as gentlemen when dealing with the subject at work or in polite company.

In private, however, most men cringe at the very idea of sex between men. I dont want to watch sex between women either.

It's the ick factor. And you won't rid the planet of it by calling heterosexuals ignorant, haters or ignorant haters.

WE DONT: like it - that's why we don't do it.

Why would I watch it or let my kids NEAR it???

I don't think gays are bad people. I actually have gay friends. And my wife and I traveled to Bali with a gay couple.

The only reason it worked is because each couple kept their respective appetites in the privacy of thier own bedrooms. I can be with gays so long as they aren't pawing each other in public.

In Indonesia it might have been lethal.

It has everything to do with comportment and nothing to do with ignorance or hatred.

I'm STRAIGHT... I don't liek gay sex

Posted by: Tj on January 31, 2006 at 4:15 PM | PERMALINK

And, really, what woman would be able to resist Tj if he didn't keep his "appetites" in check? RrrrrrrRRRRrrrrr, girls!

Posted by: shortstop on January 31, 2006 at 4:17 PM | PERMALINK

I don't like shooting people in the face. I wouldn't let my (hypothetical) children near someone who was shooting someone else in the face. I consider face-shooting as a whole detrimental to society. And yet I enjoyed Capote a great deal. Amazing, isn't it, how a movie can feature characters doing something, even the major characters, without demanding that you agree with their decision to do that thing?

Posted by: Viserys on January 31, 2006 at 4:19 PM | PERMALINK

MJ Memphis - see Constatine's post regarding Gladiator. That is spot-on with the way I feel about that flick.

The thing about those two Rusty Crowe movies that won (A Beautiful Mind and Gladiator) is that they were nowhere near as good as The Insider. The Insider lost in a solid year of nominations to American Beauty - which was one of the better best picture winners of recent year, imo.

Titanic over LA Confidential is still my favorite example of the Academy getting caught in the hype.

Posted by: Freddo on January 31, 2006 at 4:20 PM | PERMALINK

"I cannot imagine spending two hours empathizing with a couple of cowboys who experimented with their lusts and spent a lifetime regreting it - not to mention ruining the lives of everyone who loves them."

How about a movie about a drug addict who started a love affair (while married) with an also already-married woman while on tour?

Posted by: MJ Memphis on January 31, 2006 at 4:20 PM | PERMALINK

I do think that Brokeback is a decent movie and I enjoyed it. I just don't think it's Best Picture material.

I've seen Hollywood give out Oscars to people that didn't deserve it for the specific picture they were being awarded to, but more as a consolation prize for being passed over for an Oscar for the time they deserved it but couldn't get one for various political reasons. Denzel Washington's Oscar for "Training Day" was more an apology for not giving him an Oscar for his much better performances in "The Hurricane" and "Malcom X." So maybe Brokeback could be awarded to Ang Lee as if to say, "sorry we passed you over in previous years."

Posted by: Constantine on January 31, 2006 at 4:20 PM | PERMALINK

Freddo- Fair enough.

Posted by: MJ Memphis on January 31, 2006 at 4:23 PM | PERMALINK

"Previous year," anyway. I don't think anybody was too broken up over the Hulk snubbing.

Posted by: Viserys on January 31, 2006 at 4:24 PM | PERMALINK

Crash and Good Night and Good Luck were both excellent choices for the best picture category, though I'm somewhat surprised at the nomination of the former given its release date.

On a different note, it saddens me that some persons have such a deep-set agenda against "Hollywood" or "liberal actors" that they can no longer enjoy simply going to the movies. Seriously, that's extremely sad.

Posted by: Jeremy on January 31, 2006 at 4:29 PM | PERMALINK

Constantine - great call. I tend to agree with that big time, however, what throws me on this is Clint winning last year.

I thought Million Dollar Baby was nowhere near the production or presentation of The Aviator and Clint had already won for Unforgiven. Plus, Scorcesse was DUE. So in that case, the sympathy factor was thrown out the door.

Posted by: Freddo on January 31, 2006 at 4:35 PM | PERMALINK
The academy has established a trend in recent years to award the best picture to films based more on the idea of promoting and appeasing to the viewers of its award show rather than to award the uniquely fine film of that particular year.

Nearly every year, I feel this way.

In 2000, I thought that Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (which would have spared us from this years Ang Lee best picture nomination) and Traffic were better films than Gladiator. However, neither of these films had the mass-market appeal the Gladiator had. Hence, the Braveheart Pt. 2 victory.

The other possibility is that people who are attracted by Hollywood enough to seek a career there have not all that dissimilar tastes to movie fans in general, and therefore "mass market appeal" and "appeal to the members of the Academy" are more often aligned that appeal to you is aligned with appeal to members of the Academy.

And maybe, ultimately, degustibus really non est disputandum. Certainly, ascribing ulterior motives to people because they vote something for "Best X" sumply because you don't happen to agree that that things is artistically "Best" is kind of pointless. It sort of presumes that your tastes are objectively correct, and therefore any divergence in the awards from your preference is an anomaly that must somehow be explained by some hidden motive.

Posted by: cmdicely on January 31, 2006 at 4:38 PM | PERMALINK

Crash was uneven, I thought. I liked Terrence Howard's character, but most of the others were underwritten. And the movie as a whole had that weird LA need to shove a Moment of Great Significance down your throat every second. It wasn't as bad as Magnolia, which is one of my all-time most hated movies. But same basic problems.

TJ: No straight guy I've ever known ever had to go on a website and proclaim it over and over to complete strangers. Just sayin'.

Posted by: Scarpy on January 31, 2006 at 4:42 PM | PERMALINK

Jeremy - agreed.

Lots of folks in this world proscribe to the heard mentality. They generally can't think for themselves and allow group think to dictate their feelings.

Unfortunately (or fortunately, for sake of balance), folks from all political ideologies are victims of this. Our present day media culture is a prime example as the result of this.

Instead of people agreeing that the presentation of media (or films for that matter) is piss poor, they tend to take an ideology as defined by a heard and prescribe to it. They argue that the media is biased towards one ideology (generally, one that their group opposes).

Why? Because it's easy.

And the result of it - we all get a shittier medium in the end.

Hopefully that won't be the case with movies... though, something tells me we're already headed down that path.

Posted by: Freddo on January 31, 2006 at 4:45 PM | PERMALINK

Two themes seem to have emerged: one about the unfair nature of the Oscars and the odd choices that drive them; and another about gay people that's really not worth getting into.

Freddo, the Academy does not love Scorsese and Scorsese does not love Hollywood. The Aviator was good, but not great, and was not the kind of celebration of Hollywood that Hollywood likes (e.g. the way Hughes and Hepburn walk away from the "scene" at the Coconut Grove, among others). Scorsese will probably win when he can temper the violence but tell an exceptional New York story, rather than baiting them with cheap Oscar catnip.

All of that said, I didn't think Million Dollar Baby deserved one either, and the fawning over Clint was a bit much.

Also, on your "a movie with a formula like Brokeback with heterosexual stars wouldn't get nominated for anything" - I believe that film is The Bridges of Madison County, which, like many things Clint, they nominated, including Meryl Streep.

Posted by: weboy on January 31, 2006 at 4:47 PM | PERMALINK

I second or third or fourth or however many the calls of 'Crash?!' Sure the movie was about race in America, but could you imagine a triter movie about, wait, race in America. I mean, race in America, it is a very timely and important topic, but well, race in America is an issue that demands a bit more subtlety, don't you think? The best scene in the whole movie is the one with the Iranian immigrants shocked that Persians would be thought to be Arabs.
The tragedy of the nominations is how little the Academy in its wisdom attended to A History of Violence. That was a tight, complex, psychologically subtle movie, very tightly directed by (my fave) David Cronenberg and with really fine performances by Maria Bello and Viggo Mortensen, neither of whom was recognized. I guess their agents to grease the right palms.
I would be happy if Brokeback Mountain won...I haven't been so devastated by a film (a love story no less) in a long time.

Posted by: LisainVan on January 31, 2006 at 4:52 PM | PERMALINK

Constantine,

I have zero problem with hollywood many any film they want to make. It's a free country. They can make whatever film they want. I can watch whatever film I want. This is free market capitalism at it's best.

My only criticisms have been in terms of influence. People who think hollywood is influential politically are fools. By that I mean outide CA and NY.

Munich is a classic example. I've seen the scene with Golda Mier explaining to a Mossad agent. "Israel is about to compromise our valus". (I'm paraphrasing) Does anyone really think that happened? Golda having any hesitation about killing those butchers? Are you kidding me? There was no compromise. It was her duty to hunt them down and kill them.
This was a no brainer.

I'd bet 5x's as many people saw that scene on cable, or heard it on talk radio, or read the transcript on a blog, and heard the discussion explaining how absurd it was to suggest Golda would say anthing remotely like what Speilberg had her say. The entire concept is comically silly.

No doubt liberals watching the movie will be moved. But isn't Steven speaking to the choir? A far larger number have seen the Fox analysis and stayed away. If anything Steven has had a negative influence reinforcing Hollywoods grossly anti-Israel image.

BTW: These 5 films nominated for best picture represent the lowest total viewership of nominated films of ALL time. That doesn't mean they're not well done. It means no one is watching them. By definition, they're not influential. Munich is also Speilberg worst
effort in terms of box office and he's had a few bombs.


Posted by: rdw on January 31, 2006 at 4:52 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely. Wow. Good stuff there, I mean that sincerely.

I've (tried) to challenge myself with that notion when it comes to this particular awards. Am I dissapointed simply because my favorite movie didn't win? Sure.

However, that doesn't neccesarily mean that I disagreed with the eventual winner. There have been a few years where the winners have surprised me despite not being my favorite film of the bunch.

However, I have come to a point where I feel I can objectively look at the nominations and get a feel for what the academy is going to pick for this lone category over the last 10 years.

More than 50% of the time, I guess correctly. Is it luck? Maybe it is. And I suppose that's why I get into oscar pools with my pals and end up losing because of all of the other awards that I can't seem to "predict" :)

Posted by: Freddo on January 31, 2006 at 4:56 PM | PERMALINK

rdw - enjoyed the post. Would love to hear more about the anti-Isreal image that hollywood has conveyed. Could you provide more specifics?

Posted by: Freddo on January 31, 2006 at 5:02 PM | PERMALINK

These 5 films nominated for best picture represent the lowest total viewership of nominated films of ALL time... By definition, they're not influential.

Wow. Completely wrong. In music, an influential band is one that other bands count among their influences. There's a saying about The Velvet Underground that they didn't sell a whole lot of records, but everyone who bought one went out and started their own band. That is being influential and important. Compare with The Backstreet Boys, who sold many times more albums. How influential are they?

Look, I am one who's never into the "message movie" genre, though most people aren't nearly as interested in subtlety and good storytelling as I am (cf, the popularity of Jerry Buckheimer films). However, you, specifically, have a rather naive view of what is "good" or not-- you argue, consistently, that the only good/worthwhile/important movies are the ones marketed to a mass audience. I don't know about you, but a movie theater full of Pearl Harbors and Armageddons is not my view about what is good and important at the movies.

Oh? What's the lowest-grossing academy-award winning film of the modern day? Annie Hall. Anyone want to argue that, "by definition, it's not influential" ?

Posted by: Constantine on January 31, 2006 at 5:03 PM | PERMALINK

I'm bewildered. Does Israel control everything in Hollywood, or does Hollywood hate Israel? Our insane trolletariat seems to be in disagreement on this one.

Somebody figure it out and tell me quick, because it's critical that I be able to embrace one of these paranoid conspiracy theories pronto.

Posted by: shortstop on January 31, 2006 at 5:05 PM | PERMALINK


What cmdicely said is exactly right. At a certain point, it comes down to subjective taste. The way a story is told affects us in different ways. My 2 cents regarding Munich is it falls short, because it has an Apocalypse Now-esque quality without the exclamation point AN provides. The first half was great, but then it wanders about trying to provide the viewer with some sense of morality.

Posted by: Andy on January 31, 2006 at 5:08 PM | PERMALINK

I was surprised & disappointed to see that Grizzly Man wasn't nominated. Herzog's explorations of civilization - what is, where it is, and how it affects us personally & collectively - are always thought-provoking. I know, I know... Treadwell was outrageously annoying & a complete basket case. But there was also something distinctly American about what he was doing - he was a flake, missionary, renegade, idealist, & misfit, and he probably did more harm than good in the name of his stated cause. An altogether different errand into the wilderness, I guess.

Posted by: chaunceyatrest on January 31, 2006 at 5:09 PM | PERMALINK

Constantine, thanks for the Annie Hall info.

I will add that to my useless knowledge arsenal for the next time I'm having a brew with friends talking over the awards.

Now that I think about it... did Annie Hall out-gross Chariots of Fire at the box office?

Posted by: Freddo on January 31, 2006 at 5:12 PM | PERMALINK

... but I'm talking about Best Documentary, not Best Picture.

Posted by: chaunceyatrest on January 31, 2006 at 5:18 PM | PERMALINK

I've seen the scene with Golda Mier explaining to a Mossad agent. "Israel is about to compromise our valus". (I'm paraphrasing) Does anyone really think that happened? Golda having any hesitation about killing those butchers? Are you kidding me? There was no compromise. It was her duty to hunt them down and kill them.
This was a no brainer.

I'd say that Spielberg had a lot more reliable info on that issue than you or any of your fellow warped, Foxnews-watching tools. Talk about no-brainers.

Posted by: haha on January 31, 2006 at 5:20 PM | PERMALINK

shortstop-
it's not really a contradiction. See, the "Hollywood hates Israel" is really just a front.

Now, you just need to find your proper persona. I would recommend a 47-year old heterosexual left-handed Albanian mother of 12 in Sioux City who is moderate and reasonable on all matters except for an unreasoning hatred of gays. It's a niche that is just crying out to be filled.

On that note, I must be off to pack. =D There is much authentic Thai food just waiting to be enjoyed.

Posted by: MJ Memphis on January 31, 2006 at 5:21 PM | PERMALINK

Wow. Completely wrong. In music, an influential band is one that other bands count among their influences.

I was specific in saying politically influential. These films may or may not be artistically influential. I have no idea. By definition message movies aim to be politically, or at least culturally, influential. If no one sees it then it can't be very influential.

In the case of Munich I repeat my 'opinion' many more people are aware of the gross distortions in the movie than have seen the movie or will see the movie.

Posted by: rdw on January 31, 2006 at 5:26 PM | PERMALINK

In private, however, most men cringe at the very idea of sex between men. I dont want to watch sex between women either.

It's the ick factor. And you won't rid the planet of it by calling heterosexuals ignorant, haters or ignorant haters.

WE DONT: like it - that's why we don't do it.

The entire internet and adult film industry prove you very wrong. Especially regarding lesbian sex. Many, many hetero men like to watch it, a lot.

I've already provided more evidence to support my side than all of your ignorant, juvenile, homophobic ramblings combined.

oh, and $50 million and counting for Brokeback Mountain. God, how that must eat you up inside--either there are far more homosexuals out there, or far more people who don't find it "icky"--either way, you lose. Suck on it.

Posted by: haha on January 31, 2006 at 5:30 PM | PERMALINK

Have fun, MJ! We expect a full report upon your return.

Posted by: shortstop on January 31, 2006 at 5:31 PM | PERMALINK

Pretty funny, haha.

Posted by: shortstop on January 31, 2006 at 5:33 PM | PERMALINK

Brokeback was flawed, but certainly the best film out of the nominees. Great acting and directing, but will likely be remembered more for its social impact than its cinematic merits. Crash was so pathetically heavy-handed, I fear for Kevin's aesthetic taste. Walk the Line, aka Ray 2. 'Nuff said. Capote is an actor's piece, but that's all. If all a great movie needed was a great performance (which Hoffman certainly gives), then Capote would be a shoe-in, but as a film is sorely lacks dramatic momentum, especially in the second half. I would say History of Violence was the most masterful film of the bunch, but a little juvenile in its premise: ooh, we're so clever, look at all the dumb Americans cooing at our film for all the wrong reasons. If I wanted to be treated to an inside joke, 10 bucks is too much pay. That aside, it's filled with great acting (I was personally stunned by Viggo), and the notion of a middle American everyman trying to escape the life that so many middle Americans glorify is interesting. Now for Munich: the first hour is among the greatest spy thriller moviemaking of all time. It evokes the great movies of the 1970s, and if the rest of the movie was as good, it'd be the year's best film by a landslide. But the rest of the film is crap. Total crap. I've never seen a film drop off so quick at the mid-point. Spielberg replaces a story about people with a cliche, simplistic moral thesis that wanders everywhere: is Bana ambivalent because he's 1) upset by collateral damage, 2) upset by killing people, even if they're guilty, 3) upset by the possibility that they're really innocent and he's being played by the Israeli gov't, or 4) upset by increasing paranoia (that is a very tired theme of spy movies)? I don't mind a movie being about more than one thing, but by 30 minutes into it, you need establish what those questions are. Don't throw them into the story in the second half and expect me to give a damn. Conclusion: in a year of very bold but flawed films, Brokeback is my choice. Personally, I'm waiting for Scorsese to return to form.

Posted by: Jesse on January 31, 2006 at 5:35 PM | PERMALINK

I find the thought of Tj having sex with anyone to be more vomit-inducing than anything. Such a miserable human being shouldn't be allowed to reproduce or influence young minds.

Posted by: haha on January 31, 2006 at 5:36 PM | PERMALINK

I cannot imagine spending two hours empathizing with a couple of cowboys who experimented with their lusts and spent a lifetime regreting it - not to mention ruining the lives of everyone who loves them.

I can't imagine you enjoying Wuthering Heights much, either, since that's the exact same story. Or, really, any romantic story, from Romeo and Juliet to, well, Brokeback Mountain. You seem like an Armageddon guy to me.

If you don't like romantic dramas, fine. Don't watch them. But don't try to claim the only reason you don't like them is because of "teh gay."

And, um, you seem to have spent way more time thinking about homosexual sex than any straight guy I know. Most straight guys say, "Eh, not my bag," and go back to thinking about Pam Anderson. They don't go into long discourses about exactly what icky acts make them so very tingly.

Is there something you'd like to share with us?

Posted by: Mnemosyne on January 31, 2006 at 5:38 PM | PERMALINK

"when gentiles run the industry"
Oh, please do bring back Birth of a Nation.

"crash as a chick flick"

Maybe that why I was having trouble with my mascara - Excellent "Flick" by the way IMHO.

If Amy Adams does not win Best Supporting Actress for her role in "JuneBug", then they should discontinue the award.

Hollywood is similar to referees in sports - they do "make up calls" - When Liz Taylor was passed over, they made it up to her for "Butterfield Eight". "Suddenly Last Summer" and "Raintree County" were far better roles and acting for the Wondrous Liz.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on January 31, 2006 at 5:40 PM | PERMALINK

Why all the vitriole because heterosexual men don't want to watch homosexual movies?

This is not the way to garner a majority in politics.

The yuk factor is REAL. And for some to say straight men like to watch lesbians is disgusting.

Don't any of you have any morality at all?

And anyone who questions this lascivious, free for all mentality is twisted?

in what universe?

U guys give liberal a bad name.

Why all the fuss about the yuk factor. It's real. I wouldn't ask my boyfriend to go see brokeback... why would I?

And 54 million is not a blockbuster. I am somewhat close to the industry and can state emphatically that Hollywood is going broke. The industry is relocating to British Columbia and Santa Fe and Eastern Europe.

The quality of films declines because of the agenda driven productions. If Hollywood wants to niche market low budget agenda films, that's one thing.

The only ignorance I see on this thread is those who think there is something wrong with those who think Capote was creepy, transamerica was creepy, and brokeback mountain was incredulous - and creepy for people who do not practice homosexual sex.

I don't find it interesting to watch or understand.

Posted by: Ashley on January 31, 2006 at 5:44 PM | PERMALINK

I was specific in saying politically influential.

Can you name any movie that was ever politically influential? As I said, I generally regard the concept of a "message movie" to be a misfire (eg, John Q, The Insider, Team America, Pleasantville, etc.), but people do seem to like them.

Fox News could be called "politically influential," but it has a viewership that is a fraction of the network news' viewership. The New Republic is influential, and so is The Weekly Standard, and yet they have tiny circulation numbers. Munich wasn't mean to influence the political world as much as write a film that people would think was "important" because it touched on "important themes." Ang Lee wanted to make a good movie based on what was supposed to be a good book. In all likelihood, the success of brokeback mountain will cause hollywood to shift to more films geared towards audiences of straight women and gay men. In that sense, I would guess that Brokeback is probably going to be the most significantly culturally influential. I mean, you're constantly talking about it, aren't you?

Your problem is that your taste is rather low-brow, and you insist that everyone acknowledge the superiority of your low-brow tastes. In your world, USA Today would win Pulitzer Prizes for its articles every year because, hey, it's the newspaper that has the largest circulation in the country!

Posted by: Constantine on January 31, 2006 at 5:52 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, you're thumbs-up for Crash to win best picture has really shaken me. I think that basically undermines your judgment on a whole host of topics.

Posted by: Matt D on January 31, 2006 at 6:02 PM | PERMALINK

Why all the vitriole because heterosexual men don't want to watch homosexual movies?

If the only thing you thought while watching Capote was, "Ohmigod, that man is SO GAY!" then you've got bigger problems than we can help you with.

Please continue to watch ridiculous dreck like "National Treasure" or "Wild Wild West" instead. We'll all be happier for it.

Posted by: Mnemosyne on January 31, 2006 at 6:02 PM | PERMALINK

When "Brokeback Mountain" came out, my reaction was, "Hm. Not my thing," and then I went and saw "Walk the Line" one of the few times I made it to the movies. So, the fact that other non-viewers of "Brokeback" have a much more hysterical reaction to not seeing the film is rather hard for me to relate to.

Posted by: Constantine on January 31, 2006 at 6:06 PM | PERMALINK

rdw, thanks for your vast support of my films.

And remember to go see the Yuk-Ick (Or the Ick-Yuk) (Or the IckieYuckieSuckieFuckie) Film Festival in Telluride sponsored by TJ and Ashley.

Posted by: Ron Jeremy on January 31, 2006 at 6:08 PM | PERMALINK

I think weboy is right, the heterosexual version of Brokeback Mountain is indeed The Bridges of Madison County.

I found both very boring. Sorry, I just don't like romance movies regardless of the sexual orientation of the couples.

On the other hand I really liked Good Night and Good Luck and I'm hoping that it wins.

Posted by: Dr. Morpheus on January 31, 2006 at 6:11 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, you're thumbs-up for Crash to win best picture has really shaken me. I think that basically undermines your judgment on a whole host of topics.

Yup. Happened to me with Dan Drezner earlier, something like U2 showing up on a greatest band list or something. Ouch!

Posted by: SAO on January 31, 2006 at 6:12 PM | PERMALINK

I don't find it interesting to watch.

What a coincidence. We feel the same way about your sock puppet show.

Posted by: shortstop on January 31, 2006 at 6:31 PM | PERMALINK

I like to watch.

Posted by: Chancey Gardener on January 31, 2006 at 6:41 PM | PERMALINK

No - the only thing I think when I see Truman Capote - is ohmygod what a freakshow.

He has an almost alien quality. I have the same problem with Marilyn Manson, and that awful British rocker who's family has a reality show.

These are just creeps. I don't care where they stuff it... I don't want to be in the neighborhood.

Posted by: Ashley on January 31, 2006 at 6:42 PM | PERMALINK

short stop -

not exactly goin for the groin are ya

gay repartee -- luv it

Posted by: Ashley on January 31, 2006 at 6:43 PM | PERMALINK

not exactly goin for the groin are ya

I suspect my access to groins is both more frequent and infinitely more productive of joy than yours, Tj, which is part of the problem.

But enough about fantastic liberal sex. Let's talk about MOVIES!

Posted by: shortstop on January 31, 2006 at 6:48 PM | PERMALINK

TJ and Ashley,

Hi, Ron Jeremy again - Hey, could you guys contact my agent - We'd fly you into the Valley and do some great shots - Don't sign with Hustler, you know they do the "First Timers" series - Ashley, I'd love to work with you - Maybe I could bring the crew to Telluride and we could shoot some real "Holesome" movies for the Heartland.
Yes, you TJ and Ashley - A Twoo American Love Story.

Thanks, Ron

Posted by: Ron Jeremy on January 31, 2006 at 7:06 PM | PERMALINK

Freddo,

Excellent comment regarding Crowe's movie wins (Gladiator and A Beautiful Mind) versus his movie losses (LA Confidential and The Insider). He was amazing in "LA Confidential" which should have won Best Picture that year and he should have won his Oscar for "The Insider." Agree completely that Gladiator was overrated (not bad, just not what I thought should have won Best Picture) as well as "A Beautiful Mind." Curious where you'd put "Cinderella Man" in that mix?

The fact "Crash" generates so much hostility in this comment thread tells you everything you need to know about race in this country. It's probably a borderline Best Picture nominee, but I think it deserves to be in the conversation. Are you telling me it's worse than "Titanic"--a movie that contains a 35 minute scene of the lead characters chasing each other on a sinking ocean liner?

I think the awards are a foregone conclusion: "Brokeback Mountain" for Best Picture, Hoffman for Actor, Huffman for Actress, Lee for Director. I can't ever remember all four of those being a lock.

Posted by: Double B on January 31, 2006 at 7:20 PM | PERMALINK

These are just creeps. I don't care where they stuff it... I don't want to be in the neighborhood.

And yet that's not what you said in your original comment. You specifically complained because Capote and Brokeback Mountain are gay films that no heterosexual man should see.

Make up your mind, my dear little sockpuppet.

Posted by: Mnemosyne on January 31, 2006 at 7:34 PM | PERMALINK

And Amy Adams for Best Supporting Actress in June Bug.

Yeah, a lot of hostility towards "Crash" - Can't say that it should win best film, but I really do not understand how this tweaked so much hatred. Touched a few sore spots out there? Hmmm?
Sort of, "Oh, I really wouldn't and don't feel that way, Why, some of my best friends are......?"

Posted by: thethirdPaul on January 31, 2006 at 7:35 PM | PERMALINK

Well, I've only seen Brokeback Mountain and Good Night and Good Luck; both were first-rate films.

But, frankly, the best film I saw all year was The Proposition, an Australian western. It opens in May in New York and will hopefully get a wider release in the US.

Posted by: Robert Merkel on January 31, 2006 at 7:51 PM | PERMALINK

Brokeback Mountain in a landslide.

Posted by: Mark A. York on January 31, 2006 at 7:55 PM | PERMALINK

Why am I a sock puppet. And I said no such thing about those movies.

Argue the substance and stop the limp wristed name calling.

Posted by: Ashley on January 31, 2006 at 7:57 PM | PERMALINK

Ashley/Wenn/TJ/Gallegos,

Oh, like your Isreali and Jewish bashing on the thread up top? You are a very sick puppy - Please go to your local PAWS office in Telluride for shots.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on January 31, 2006 at 8:03 PM | PERMALINK

Grizzly Man

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on January 31, 2006 at 8:10 PM | PERMALINK

Why am I a sock puppet. And I said no such thing about those movies.

Psst. Ashley. You may want to scroll back to your very first post on this thread. You know, the one that has this first line:

"Why all the vitriole because heterosexual men don't want to watch homosexual movies?"

Here's the link for you back to your own words:

http://tinyurl.com/7w2pp

Lack of short-term memory is one of the key identifiers of sock puppetry.

Posted by: Mnemosyne on January 31, 2006 at 8:11 PM | PERMALINK

Crash?

i'm a little late to this comments party, but jesus effing christ, what a piece of garbage. what unbelieveably overwrought dreck masquerading as 'important.'

and did some dumb bastard above actually suggest hostility to it is based on some kind of fear that it's showing our true selves? what, are you a flack for paul haggis? give me a fucking break. the movie was a piece of shit, who cares what it's 'about'? i'll tell you what Crash was about: it was about two hours too long.

i mean PUH-LEASE! a guy is a raging racist cop who also-- hold on to your hats! massive spoiler coming up!-- who also sometimes DOES HIS JOB helping out accident victims! oh my god! what incredible depth! what feeling! what drama! holy shit, give that man an oscar!

Brokeback was all right, but didn't have anything to say for the second half. oh well. and that 'anyway, he died' moment was a joke. if the filmmakers cared so little about him, maybe that's why he only got a supporting actor nod. or was that because he was the bottom?

The New World. did anyone see it? really good. better than most anything else, but too bad it was told in an unusual manner. can't have that. no noms but cinematography (well deserved).

in the end, does it really matter?

remember, folks: mel gibson and kevin costner each possess best director oscars; kubrick and scorcese don't. ouch.

Posted by: rqz on January 31, 2006 at 8:29 PM | PERMALINK

I haven't seen hardly any movies this year, and none nominated for Best Picture. The movies that tend to win Best Picture usually are wildly overrated, if they don't out and out suck, which is one reason I see fewer of these movies each year.

The more a movie has to do with events that ostensibly could happen on the earth we live on, as opposed to events involving orcs and wizards, or something along those lines, the more likely it is the movie will suck, because the vast majority of writers and directors have no feel for conveying how people actually behave.

Take, for instance, one widely acclaimed, supposedly "gritty", if not Oscar-winning movie from the recent past, "Traffic", which is simply too stupid for words, from the idiotic assasination-of-the-witness subplot, to the Michael Douglas and his daughter subplot, and on, and on, and on. Geez, what a groaner.

After seeing an acclaimed movie like this, my motivation to see an acclaimed treatment of race relations by Hollywood shrinks to near zero. When I heard that the idiots who made "Traffic" were also the makers of "Syriana", a movie about the politics of oil, I instantly knew that the likelihood of it being exceedingly dumb were greater than 95%. It's like being a former consumer of Fords or Chevys; you get to a certain point, and you wouldn't even think of entering their showrooms. "The Bridges of Madison County" was complete crap; why would I want to see the homosexual version?

The last pretty good Hollywood movie I saw was "Ray". It botched the story somewhat, as any two hour biopic of a complex character will do, but it was well worth the price of admission for the soundtrack alone.

Posted by: Will Allen on January 31, 2006 at 9:05 PM | PERMALINK

Hear, hear, rqz; the fact that "Goodfellas", which depicted the motivations behind criminal behavior perhaps better, and more unsentimentally, than any movie ever made, and "Dr. Strangelove", perhaps the funniest, most terrifying, black comedy ever made, did not win best director awards, while "Dances with Wolves", or "Braveheart", or "Titanic" did, says all that needs to be said about the value of the Academy Awards.

Posted by: Will Allen on January 31, 2006 at 9:13 PM | PERMALINK

rqz,

Thanks for the complement - Paul Haggis has done fine work, not only in writing, directing, but in his work off camera.

As a non-supporter of the war and the Chimp who is speaking presently, I look forward to Haggis's new project, the raising of the flag at Iwo Jima.

As a, Dumb Bastard, (Actually drinking an Arrogant Bastard ale from Stone Brewing in San Diego at the moment), best to you.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on January 31, 2006 at 9:14 PM | PERMALINK

the third paw...

what are you talking about?

It's a discussion board. The subject of ethnocentric bias in politicking has become a hot topic.

I think Jews are over represented in decisionmaking on all things Islamic....

We are cautioned to factor in the ethnic or racial bias in things said by Muslims... East Indians, blacks,.. Latinos...

they all do it... or at least they are all accused of it... when opinions of any of the aforementioned are printed or spoken... they are done so with the obvious disclaimer for the ethnic bias the DE FACTO ethnic bias of the speaker.

why not Jews?

Posted by: Ashley on January 31, 2006 at 9:42 PM | PERMALINK

Gosh... if you are tracking my every word.... that is EXCELLENT....

I have EXCELLENT observations.... dangerou observations, no?

Posted by: Ashley on January 31, 2006 at 9:44 PM | PERMALINK

Munich wasn't mean to influence the political world as much as write a film that people would think was "important" because it touched on "important themes."

It was definitely calibrated to touch a theme which in this case was to look at the root causes of terrorism and to convince viewers of the importance of dialogue versus action. speilberg has been quite explicit. He thinks we need to talk to these people until we're 'blue to the gills'. The goal is to effect the political world by eroding popular support for military action and support un-ending diplomacy.

In this case it was a clumsy effort in terms of the propaganda aspect. The film is not controversal because of it's perspective but because of it's lack of perspective.

Fox News could be called "politically influential," but it has a viewership that is a fraction of the network news' viewership

This is true but perspective is important. 1st off it's a cable channel and it kills CNN in all time periods. To the extent someone is watching national news at a time other than 6:00Pm they are watching cable and very likely Fox. If they are watching at 6:00 PM 90% are watching a network but not as many are doing so as compared to last year, 3, 5, 10 or 15 years ago. The number drops every year. More powerful than the networks is talk radio and the internet is growing rapidly. It was the internet that fired Dan Rather and it's the internet forcing ABC to be much more careful.

Once Dan's cartoonish fraud was discovered the combination of 24/7 Fox, Talk Radio and blogs greatly outweighed the powerful networks. This would not have happened 5 years ago. Fox is not alone.

Posted by: rdw on January 31, 2006 at 9:57 PM | PERMALINK

Add me to the chorus:

CRASH is the worst piece of contrived krapp I've seen in years. Sure, random scenes are well-executed. But overall it reminded me of nothing more than that Saturday Night Live satire of the "REAL WORLD". Remember? Where they have one person of each race who hates the other person of the other race who... you get the point.

Anyway, I remember Dana Carvey's line when he's screaming at Mike Meyer's Eskimo:

"Shut up you whale-eating motherfucker!!!"

That's all I could think of during the film.

Posted by: Amur on January 31, 2006 at 11:06 PM | PERMALINK

This is true but perspective is important.

Which was my entire point, one which you're sorely missing. rdw, you're a conservative who fulfill's every stereotype of a "liberal elitist." You have no concept of the idea that there are millions of people in the country who don't watch Jerry Bruckheimer movies, can't stand listening to Celine Dion sing "My Heart Will Go On" for the umpteenth time, and while they did take their children to go see Shrek 2, they prefer going out to see a movie like Crash or Capote. Your perspective needs to go far beyond the 13-22 demograhpic that many big-budget film marketers are focused on and you need to start thinking about what adults talk about with each other. Yes, they might have taken their children to see Chronicles of Narnia, King Kong, and Cheaper By the Dozen 2, but at Christmas, they were talking with their adult siblings about the one night they went out with their spouses and saw Syriana or Munich.

Can you please try to "get some perspective" and figure out that "junk culture" may be "popular" but isn't particularly influential when it comes to functional adults? That's why the movies that were nominated for academy awards got nominated-- because they were the movies that adults found interesting.

Actually, movies are the last repository of "culture" that's easily accessible to the masses. After all, unlike plays, the symphony, and the opera, a good, "mature" movie costs $10, just like every other movie. Gone are the days when a middle class family can go out to the opera semi-regularly, but they can still see movies-- and they do.

Posted by: Constantine on January 31, 2006 at 11:28 PM | PERMALINK

Crash!!??? WTF??!!

Talk about under the radar. I tend to like small films, indie flicks, etc., and I follow film pretty closely, and I have to confess I quite literally have no recollection whatsoever of even hearing about it when it was in the theaters.

Posted by: 99 on February 1, 2006 at 12:04 AM | PERMALINK

99,

Well, from the comments of several here tonight, you really did not miss much. In fact over at the Internet Movie Data Base site, over 35,201 have voted and they only gave it a rating of 8.4 out of a possible 10 points. This places it #71 from all of the movies rated over the past many years. But, hey, several of our commentators did not like the film, so it must be a dog. What could the people at the Toronto Festival and the 30 some thousand who voted at IMDb possibly know?

Posted by: dumb bastard on February 1, 2006 at 12:23 AM | PERMALINK

Crash: What a shocker. Was that really this year? It seems like ages ago. I even rented it, so it was out of theatres even then. Funny, posters upthread should mention that it is a chickflick -- I thought so too when I saw it. Which works out okay, because I am a chick. No social mores were at risk. Whew!

Brokeback -- this really deserves to be nominated as Best Picture. There were so many different things going on in one simple story. There was the forbidden love angle, there was the deceit in which the lovers carried on that poisoned their 'normal' lives, there was desperation to hang on to the people who mattered, but the willingness to put it all at risk over impulses. And in the end none of it/all of it mattered because when you are dead you are dead. Life is too short to live a lie.

Be who you are.

Say what you think (try to use some tact).

Act on your principles.


Wow. Never intended to turn this into a soapbox! (But then again....it is a blog. :)

Posted by: jcricket on February 1, 2006 at 12:32 AM | PERMALINK

I have EXCELLENT observations.... dangerou observations, no?

Er ... no.

You've got some pretty good delusions of grandeur going, though. Medication can help with those.

Posted by: Mnemosyne on February 1, 2006 at 2:01 AM | PERMALINK

just for a laugh, i went to IMDB to see what people rated an actual great movie, for some contrast re the above claim that because Crash was rated as the #71 movie of all time (pause while i laugh so hard i fall off my chair) is must actually BE a great movie.

wait. oh god. the laughter. okay.

because, yeah, a website where people vote. heh. truly, THIS determines artistic merit and lasting greatness.

so i picked a movie blatantly, dare i say preposterously better in every imaginable way to Crash at random, typed it in, and here's what i learned:

Dog Day Afternoon, a brilliant bank-robbing action flick from '75 with an amazing performance by Al Pacino along with John Cazale, a true great, is rated-- wait for it-- #180!

and so what have we learned? we've learned that people who vote for movies on websites have very short memories and bad yet oh so predictable taste.

but i guess mr. dumb bastard would argue that britney spears is one of our country's greatest recording stars. why, just look at the number of people who bought her albums...

Posted by: rqz on February 1, 2006 at 2:57 AM | PERMALINK

I'm pleased that Brokeback Mountain has received some recognition by the Academy. The 8 nominations are a terrific tribute to the translation of Annie Proulx's succinct short story. Since the film's mid-December limited release, as a growing number Americans have watched Ennis Del Mar's world shrink from the Wyoming Mountains to a decrepit trailer, public perception of the story has evolved from rude jokes about gay cowboys to the realization that Brokeback Mountain is a powerful drama about love lost and loneliness. Everyone understands loneliness.

I was deeply moved by Brokeback Mountain. I can't say that about many other movies. I hope the Academy is as generous to the cast and crew whose efforts went into creating this subtle masterpiece as the cast and crew were to those of us sitting in the audience.

Posted by: Jack Nasty on February 1, 2006 at 4:07 AM | PERMALINK

but at Christmas, they were talking with their adult siblings about the one night they went out with their spouses and saw Syriana or Munich.

Not so many actually. 5x's as many people listen to Rush Limbaugh than saw either Syriana or Munich. More people heard Michael Medved, only one critic of Munich, rip the plot apart as total nonsense, than actualy saw the movie. Speilberg wants to humanize terrorists. The wider message delivered was terrorist kill innocent babies and are pure evil. Areil Sharon is just one powerful counter to Speilbergs nonsense.

It's terrific you got to see two movies you enjoyed. But it's even better we get to see the stark contrast between a Hollywood moonbat and a pragmatist in the person of Ariel Sharon.

I have no doubt Speilberg kept you raptured and were deeply moved. You found it to be very powerful. I'd also bet you came out of the movie with the exact same opinion you had before you went in. Talk to any liberal abour terrorism and the words 'root causes' are used in the 1st sentence.

Ergo, with you, the film had zero influence.

That's why the movies that were nominated for academy awards got nominated-- because they were the movies that adults found interesting.

Apparently far less interesting than in any of the previous 30 years. The academy awards long ago became the bastion of Political Correctness at a level only Hollywood can acheive. Even with America's love of film the ratings drop consistently and this years show will set a new record low. It's an audience that won't be coming back. This is just a repeat of the trends we see with other MSM outlets. None of these films were selected based on the quality of the film-making. All are PC nominations. You will get a PC audience.

In fact I predict this years selections are so PC you'll see an accelerated drop off this year. Billy Crystal could not save this program.

Posted by: rdw on February 1, 2006 at 8:14 AM | PERMALINK

Paul Haggis wrote "Crash" from the perspective of a person who had grown up in London, Ontario - said that he was able to view race relations differently from those who grown up in LA.

Dog Day Afternoon is an excellent movie - A close friend of mine, an ex-NYPD cop, loved to tell me of the day he had been on crowd control outside that bank during the real mis-heist. As to being #180, well, sir, life often "ain't" fair. Even "Misty Beethoven" is not rated highly enough.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on February 1, 2006 at 9:24 AM | PERMALINK

CRASH? Didn't see it. Hated it.
MUNICH? Didn't see it. It was OK.
CAPOTE? Saw it. It was pretty good.
BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN? Saw it. Didn't love it. Let it win anyway just to give Michael Medved neuralgia.
GOODNIGHT AND GOOD LUCK? Best of this bunch, but who cares about the Oscars?

A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE? Better than any of these. Got hosed.

Posted by: forked tongue on February 1, 2006 at 9:54 AM | PERMALINK

Actually, one movie I did see was "A History of Violence", when I was out of town and had an afternoon to kill before heading to the airport. It had some interesting takes on the subject matter of the title, and on the harm done by dishonesty within a relationship, but was nearly ruined by the denouement and William Hurt's ridiculous performance. Hurt, naturally, received an Academy Award nomination for it.

Posted by: Will Allen on February 1, 2006 at 10:12 AM | PERMALINK

"History of Violence" - Another film by a Canadian - How dare they!!

Posted by: thethirdPaul on February 1, 2006 at 10:19 AM | PERMALINK

None of these films were selected based on the quality of the film-making.

rdw, I'm sorry, but you wouldn't know quality filmmaking if it bit you in the ass. You know shit about the aesthetics of film, or of any art form. You probably think that Thomas Kincaide is a better artist than Vincent Van Gogh because he's more popular during his own lifetime.

You are one of the people that Roy Edroso was referring to when he said, "They have no idea what art is. The closest thing to it in their universe is propaganda, so they assume art is just a species of that."

http://tinyurl.com/c3ewu

Posted by: Mnemosyne on February 1, 2006 at 11:23 AM | PERMALINK

Where's the nomination for the Aristocrats?
Now, there was a movie...

Posted by: roger on February 1, 2006 at 12:54 PM | PERMALINK

my 2cents

Crash: sometimes i think that people who see movies don't actually pay attention when they're watching the movie. it was Supposed to be contrived, it was Supposed to be a small world comes back and bites you in the ass kind of movie. and if all you got was everyone's a racist or everyone hates everyone, but the cop does his job anyway, they you missed about half the dialog. that said, i don't think it's the Best Movie of this year. (which for me means thought provoking and entertaining)

Brokeback Mtn i liked as a love story and tragedy, and the cinematography. and who the hell knew Heath Ledger could act?

Munich, i agree the ppl who said it dropped off in the second half, or maybe the last third. but i liked it the best of the three nominated movies i saw.

as far as History of Violence all i have to say is huh? it was ok, but not great. Viggo was good, Hurt was a cartoon. my big problem with the movie is that people don't act like that. which is to say, Viggo's character's family upon learning about the deception and who he might have been didn't act like any realy life family that i've ever encountered. the whole thing rang false to me. and that last scene at the dinner table, c'mon plz, it was overwrought, melodramatic and could you hit me a little harder with a reference to the "i know you love me cuz i see it your eyes" from earlier. i couldn't wait for that movie to end and i was very annoyed that i'd driven 75 miles to see it (as i had to do for all these movies)

didn't want to see Capote, didn't get to see GN&GL.

i wish Syriana was in the mix.

Posted by: e1 on February 1, 2006 at 1:15 PM | PERMALINK

You know shit about the aesthetics of film, or of any art form

I never tire of listening to liberal elitists. You are God's gift to the GOP.

I don't dispute a word you say. Nor do I much care. This is the best year for Academy Awards ever. If anyone needs to understand why addendance dropped by 10% in 2005 merely needs to look at this list. Boring!!!!

We can at least agree the ratings for the show are going to tank. I like Jon Steward but you know this poor bastard will be blamed. Who is going to watch an award show for movies no one saw? If Jon can keep the ratings from falling 10% he'll deserve an academy award.

I think instead of the awards I'll watch an old Reagan film. Now if you want to talk about art let's talk abour Bedtime for Bonzo!!

Posted by: rdw on February 1, 2006 at 2:15 PM | PERMALINK

At long last, we finally know what happened to Bonzo - Some thought he had hidden in a White House closet and reappeared in 01 as Twiggie. However, we now know he retired to Drexel Hill, PA.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on February 1, 2006 at 2:44 PM | PERMALINK

How's the "I don't spend much time worrying about Hollywood" going, rdw?

Posted by: shortstop on February 1, 2006 at 3:43 PM | PERMALINK

For the first time in years, I haven't seen any of the nominees and have no intention of seeing any of them.

Booorrrring.

Posted by: DBL on February 1, 2006 at 3:59 PM | PERMALINK

I don't dispute a word you say. Nor do I much care.

Funny, you sure used a lot of posts to tell us how much you don't care. People who don't care about things don't spend a lot of time running around telling people how much they don't care about them. The people who really don't care about movies didn't bother to post. They just skipped over it.

Why is it so important to you to pretend you don't care, rdw?

Posted by: Mnemosyne on February 1, 2006 at 4:14 PM | PERMALINK

Why is it so important to you to pretend you don't care, rdw?

I don't care about your opinion of my taste in 'art'. I've over 12. I'm just enjoying this whole slide of the MSM thing and I like sharing it. I get a kick out of hearing people like George Clooney explain how he wants the term 'liberal' to represent something positive again. I get a kick out of him explaining the importance of his 'art' in expanding our 'collective awareness' of the goodness of liberals. But my biggest kick is when these pompus fools see their box office and learn they reached about 10% of the choir. I wish George no ill will. I know he means well and I'm glad he's got the love and support of his Hollywood buds. He'll just hop on his private jet back to his private villa in Lake Como and I'm sure have a couple dozen of his best pals fly over on their private jets and they'll brainstorm on energy conservation.

Why? Because that's what liberals do. They'll going to save the rest of us whether we want them to or not.

How's the "I don't spend much time worrying about Hollywood" going, rdw?

huh?

Posted by: rdw on February 1, 2006 at 5:10 PM | PERMALINK

I don't care about your opinion of my taste in 'art'. I've over 12. I'm just enjoying this whole slide of the MSM thing and I like sharing it.

So, to you, theatrically-shown films are the entire "MSM"? Because, I hate to tell ya, that's pretty much the only thing that's "sliding" right now, and it has a lot more to do with the business of distributing and exhibiting films than it does with the "MSM."

But, of course, you don't care about what's actually happening in the film business and how it's changing, and why. You've probably never heard of the Divorcement Decree, and how court rulings in the 1980s and 1990s partially rolled it back, and how that changed how movie theater chains are run. You don't care about the exhibition contracts that give movie studios incentives to keep films in theaters for shorter and shorter amounts of time, killing profits for the theater chains. You don't care about the shorter window between exhibition and home video release.

You just want to look at one tiny piece of a business you don't understand at all and say, "See! That molecule proves that I'm RIGHT! RIGHT, I SAY!"

Posted by: Mnemosyne on February 1, 2006 at 5:34 PM | PERMALINK

"private villa in Lake Como"

Oh, that's the one the speed boats keep dodging and where one must wear scuba gear in order to enter.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on February 1, 2006 at 7:37 PM | PERMALINK

Because, I hate to tell ya, that's pretty much the only thing that's "sliding" right now

Hollywood is MSM. And it's absolutely been sliding in terms of influence. Clooney admitted to telling Kerry he would not travel with him as requested because he was certain he'd hurt the ticket.

This is classic Kerry and I almost feel sorry for him. Clooney is in fact a smart and serious guy. Conservatives disagree with Clooney but they don't take him for an idiot. So who does Kerry get? Ben affleck. Ben is an airhead. Kerry would have been much better off with George.

I love the fact hollywood has so much influence with your party. We can at least agree these people are outside the mainstream. They're not normal peole with normal lives. George and Ben are very, very wealthy people. They don't do grocery shopping. They have nannies and maids and gardners and 8 car garages and estates in Europe. They have groupies and body guards. They don't do 9 to 5 and have never done 9 to 5. They by definition live in a bubble.

In a way GWB was set up perfectly. Bill Clinton was never slicker than when he was doing fund raising in hollywood. He's had people like Warren beatty and Steven Speilberg creaming in their pants talking about politics thinking slick Willie was actually taking them seriously. Warren, Steven, Barbara, etc. were serious players. They had access. Well as long as the checkbook was open they did.

The fact is their glamor doesn't extend past CA and NY and their political instincts suck. Clooney is at least smart enough to know few people really give a crap about what he thinks. Karl Rove is thrilled everytime Streisand writes a letter or Michael Moore opens his mouth. It's perfect that they're so angry. Emotion is not intelligence. MM tours Europe telling all, "Americans are the dumbest people on the planet". If you want to know how moronic that was ask Tom Daschle. Tommy went to MM's DC premiere. Apparently the posters of Tommy posing with Michael, the America hater, didn't go over very well with the people of SD.

Hollywood is an albatross. The model is Bill Clinton. Go in quietly for 'consultations' and pick up a few $5M checks. Speilberg has more money than God. They love the attention. The money is nothing. Any Democrat who looks at Hollywood as anything other than an ATM machine is a fool.

BTW: As far as other other issues I do not follow it that closely. However it seems flicks like Star Wars, Harry Potter, Narnia, etc. don't fit your profile. They're doing just fine and had long runs. The same it true for movies like King Kong, Polar express, Cinderella man and Walk the line. People still go to see good movie. They don't go to see George Clooney's opinion on life.

Posted by: rdw on February 1, 2006 at 8:13 PM | PERMALINK

RDW - I'm still waiting for your explination of why Hollywood hates Israel.

After sifting through your record number of posts on here I find you most amusing. You show disdain for the liberal ideology, swear it off like it doesn't matter much to you, but you spend all of your time talking about it.

You are a silly individual. Good luck with your next round of contributions to this life.

Posted by: Freddo on February 2, 2006 at 11:17 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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