Monday, January 18, 2010

Golden Shower


Seven random thoughts on last night's Golden Globe awards:

1. Okay, so Avatar's going to win the Oscar for Best Picture and there will be an indignant outcry from the kind of people who love to see whatever's playing at the Angelika then go up the street to their favorite independent coffee shop and discuss the nuances of it until they've run out of triple-word-score terms to describe the entire erfahrung. I get that Avatar is a really easy movie to beat up on and that, yes, it's relatively thin on story and big on bombast -- but while a lot of people derisively compare it to, say, Dances with Wolves, let's not forget that Dances with Wolves won Best Picture in 1991. Avatar is a monumental leap forward in filmmaking -- seriously, a game-changer -- and although I'm shocked at how it's been twelve years since Cameron made that obnoxious "I'm the King of the World" speech and it still doesn't feel like he's been out of the public eye long enough for me to want to see him win something again, I just can't deny the level of craft that went into making this movie. There were films with far better stories nominated for a Golden Globe this year (The Hurt Locker is the best movie I've seen in a very long time) but Avatar was admittedly an event that might deserve to be honored for posterity, whether we want to admit it or not. Then again, I don't doubt that the gap between begrudging respect and outright loathe for Cameron and what he's done here may be shorter than the space between now and Oscar day for me.

2. On a side note, just looking at Cameron, you know that Kathryn Bigelow ripped his goofy ass to shreds in bed. Jesus, that's woman's sexy as hell.

3. Mo'nique will win the Oscar for Best Actress solely for her acceptance speech at the Golden Globes. "First let me say... thank you, gaaawd," should be the new "You like me, you really like me." If I have even an ounce of politically correct liberal cred to begin with, I'll lose it by saying that her little performance last night made me groan out loud. Give me a dozen speeches by Downey over that sort of silly, overly emotive melodrama any day. In a related item and to borrow a line from Andy Borowitz, from now on I wish to be referred to as "Chez, based on the Novel PUSH by Sapphire."

4. I was so hoping that Christoph Waltz's speech would be in character -- that he'd talk for fifteen minutes in a way that was equal parts charming and menacing, make you totally uncomfortable for reasons you couldn't quite explain, then suddenly leap into the audience like an animal and strangle Harvey Weinstein. Speaking of which, I kept imagining that out in the parking lot, Eli Roth had Mel Gibson on his knees and the following conversation was taking place: "How'd you get that award -- killing Jews?" "The Passion of the Christ." WHAM!!!

5. Elvis Dingeldein from Cesca's blog gets the tweet-of-the-night award for this: "Rubble-covered Haitians heartened to know James Cameron has Best Job In World, can't wait to see AVATAR once Haiti's one theater is rebuilt."

6. Scorsese was wrong. Film is an evil medium and all movies should be banned before Valentine's Day can be released into theaters.

7. Jason Reitman was right. Your wife really does inspire you to write. Trust me on that.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your insights because there was no way in hell that I was going to put that crap on to watch myself. Forgive me as I slither back into my own universe where film makers such as James Cameron don't exist...

oskar said...

"...let's not forget that Dances with Wolves won Best Picture in 1991."

No fucking way that movie deserved to have won over "Goodfellas"; Just as "Titanic" was the least deserving film of the five nominated in 1997.

Chez said...

Not saying Dances deserved to win -- only that there's precedent.

Anonymous said...

Avatar should win Best Picture.

It takes multiple tried and true formulas and merges them with a very American-esque story most identify with or at least appreciate, takes that and combines it with a "love for Nature/Earth" theme, and then blasts any other complaints out the window with jaw-dropping special effects (those that saw the movie at an IMAX theater are still picking pieces of their brain off the wall).

Just because it isn't an independent film or you've seen the story before doesn't mean it isn't an outstanding piece of work worthy of praise.

Chez said...

I agree that it deals in archetypes, which is really the only thing a movie of that scope can do. Votar made a great point here a couple of weeks ago that it basically blows up its cliches until they're such huge proportions that arguing about them seems silly. It's knows it's over-the-top (yes, people, right down to the "Unobtanium") and because of that it kind of, to use a term from the original Speed, "shoots the hostage" to take its own flimsiness out of the equation.

oskar said...

Pardon the tone of previous comment... Always had a major hate for that hack Costner. I really was hoping Alan Rickman would "cut his heart out with a spoon" in that 1992 version of Robin Hood.

& yeah, "Valentine's Day"...proof that the terrorists have won!!

(I won't have an opinion on "Avatar" until after I see it next Saturday).

Darek said...

Chez, based on the novel Dead Star Twilight by Chez Pazienza

Alanna said...

Forget Ebersol...Here's your Harry and the Hendersons Bigfoot.

Oh M'onique!?

http://www.wwtdd.com/2010/01/i-dont-feel-so-good-3/

Jason said...

Hey Chez!

Considering how much you hate rapists, I figured I'd see several articles decrying the Golden Globes and the presence of one Mike Tyson at the event.

But then again, I realized, the national media isn't doing a bunch of stories right now, about Mike Tyson the rapist, so I suppose the lack of articles on your behalf denouncing his presence at the Golden Globes, you know, as a rapist, isn't a surprise.

With all the Roman Polanski articles you penned, I figured there was going to be some kind of outrage on your behalf with Tyson being on the award show. But then again, it is hard to be a quality journalist when you aren't pulling from the bandwagon, now is it?

http://tigerbeatdown.com/?p=726

Chez said...

Oh, look. Jason's still reading. And still harping on something that pissed him off months ago. They need to change your OCD meds there, genius.

CNNfan said...

Academy Award for Best Female Avatar

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S2RcNxk6Nug

Norm said...

Well, now, granted -- "Avatar" is a giant leap forward in filmmaking, and for that it should win Best Special Effects or whatever. In that regard, it's truly deserving.

I think you miss the point, though, Chez, in how critics (including armchair critics like me) derisively compare "Avatar" to "Dances with Wolves." The comparison is in the fact that "Avatar" is virtually a carbon copy of "Dances." It's "Dances with Wolves in Space." I mean, no kidding. I wouldn't be surprised if Kevin Costner filed a lawsuit.

Yes, "Dances" won Best Picture. Maybe it was deserving, maybe not. But copycatting an Oscar-winning film doesn't make you deserving of an Oscar.

Jeremy said...

Haven't seen Avatar yet. I wear real glasses and those 3D dealios hurt my face and give me a MONSTER of a headache.

That said, its hard for me to imagine how a bunch of flashing lights beat out an amazing story like the Hurt Locker. That movie was gut-wrenching. (Actually, nah, it doesn't amaze me at all...)