Tagged: Academy Awards

Links to columns on the Oscars, fast food joints, etc.


I don’t feel like writing much here today. Instead, here are links to some columns of mine that ran this week:

First, my News Watch column on fast food joints, which recounted a notorious trip to a Carl’s Jr. in Los Angeles years ago that went so badly that it was comical. 

(Pictured above: a typical Carl’s Jr. ad.)

Second, my cinema column The Last Word on the Oscars, recounting an Oscar telecast that went about as well as our trip to Carl’s Jr. did. The end of the show was such a train wreck that it was comical.

Finally, my legislature column John Cairns’ Leg Watch, in which I focus on the first day of the legislature’s return earlier this week. Not quite as comical.

Maybe tomorrow I will get around to talking about the WikiLeaks’ CIA leak and other major news of the week, but not right now.

The accountants take the blame for the biggest gaffe in Oscars history!!

Well, the finger pointing has been on full-blast over the epic screwup last night at the Academy Awards seen by millions of people, in which Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway announced La La Land as Best Picture, when it was Moonlight that was the actual winner. It turned out they got the wrong envelope: instead, they opened a duplicate one pulled out of the wrong pile that announced Emma Stone, La La Land, as the Best Actress winner instead. 

Frankly, when I witnessed all this confusion on the Oscar stage erupting on TV, I thought this had to be some stunt, some joke — that maybe they were making fun of Steve Harvey’s infamous announcement of the wrong winner at the Miss Universe pageant last year. Then, when I realized this was no prank, and that they really had screwed it up, I was going “holy crap, it’s happened again!!” This was Steve Harvey, all over again! 

The accounting firm of PricewaterhouseCoopers, responsible for overseeing the results, has admitted responsibility for the messup, saying what happened was their fault. They have apologized, and they should apologize because this messup ruined what seemed like a good show, with Jimmy Kimmel particularly on fire all night. His fine hosting effort went head-first into the trashcan.

As for all the heat Warren Beatty has taken for that botched Best Picture announcement, I think the real reason he is taking heat is because he’s Warren Beatty and not for anything he particularly did wrong. I mean, he was doing his job! When Beatty opened the envelope he looked at the card and had a totally confused look on his face. Then, after he showed the card to Faye Dunaway, it was actually Dunaway who announced the winner. 

Honestly, folks, the blame here is all on the people who gave these two the wrong card! So this has nothing to do with Beatty. Give him a break!

This goes down as one of the most infamous moments in live-TV history, down there with Steve Harvey botching Miss Universe, Janet Jackson exposing herself at halftime in the Super Bowl, and the streaker who ran on stage during the Oscars years ago. Remember that? Some naked guy was actually shown on TV running onstage while David Niven was introducing Elizabeth Taylor back in 1974.

Here is a look at some of the crazy moments of the Academy Awards telecast over the years. Obviously, this sort of nonsense is nothing new for the Oscars, but Richard Roeper does declare it a new low for the Academy.

Oh, and as an aside, this was not the only gaffe during the Oscar show. The In Memoriam segment, which has become infamous over the years for its gaffes, did it again when they paid tribute to late costume designer Janet Patterson, but put up the wrong picture.

Well, at least the show wasn’t boring, for a change. Better luck next year, folks.

Update (Wednesday): it’s official, the two accountants responsible for this screwup have been permanently booted from the Oscars. 

What are you most excited about today? Daytona 500, or the Oscars?


As usual, the great American tradition of Oscar Night is colliding the same day as another great American event: NASCAR. Boogity Boogity Boogity

It seems like this happens every year, except this time the Oscars are up against the Great American Race, the Daytona 500! I guess the good news is this year they won’t be going head-to-head: the 500 is in the afternoon while the Academy Awards goes later in the evening. The only way there will be a conflict is if there is a rain delay or a lot of crashes and car-pileups. Right now, though, there is rain in the forecast — in LA.

Here’s something that just occurred to me: does anyone think the Daytona 500 might have influenced the slogan of Donald Trump’s campaign for President?

The Great American Race?” “Make America Great Again?” (Another thing to think about: Trump’s second home is in Florida.)

Of course, these two events are going to have completely different sets of audiences. The Daytona crowd is about God, country, and country music: rabid Republican, rapidly populist, and therefore, rabid Trump. 

The Oscar crowd, though, is totally socially and culturally liberal and international in its outlook. And it couldn’t be less populistic, because it’s rich celebrities and industry people there. They’re also probably pro-Globalization there, too, because Hollywood does its business all over the world. In short, they’re Democrats

This piece in Fox News sums up the cultural divide for these two events. To me it really is a stark elitist-vs.-populist divide, and has been for years. And it kind of makes no sense, either, because lots of NASCAR fans love going to movies, too. But this isn’t about the movies; it’s about the Oscars. There is this general knee-jerk reaction to this awards show in particular, because most of these nominees are just too darned pretentious for the general population.

Anyway, I must be one of the few people interested in both these things. I will admit this: of these events today, I am far more excited about NASCAR being back. I gotta admit it, it’s more my scene than the Oscars with all their fashions and political speeches. Seriously, can’t we give the politics a rest, for a change? You can be darned sure there won’t be political speeches at Daytona, these folks will be too busy racing.

Also, at least with the Daytona 500 it’s guaranteed to be exciting and entertaining — something the Oscars usually are not. Oh, well, maybe with Jimmy Kimmel hosting it will be a livelier show. 

Update: Actually, based on the Twitter reaction from Saskatchewan, most people from around here were interested in the freaking Scotties Tournament of Hearts curling! To heck with that!!

It is Oscar night tonight in rain drenched Southern California!

It promises to be a far more exciting Academy Awards than usual tonight, with tossup races for the Oscars and a lot of unpredictability. Much of the speculation is that the leading Best Picture contenders are American Hustle, Gravity and 12 Years a Slave.

Also nominated is The Wolf of Wall Street but that movie seems to have fallen out of contention for anything important. Personally, I think that movie was far too raunchy and too outrageous for the Academy voters, and in fact for most of these uptight Americans, too. It was an orgy of excess in every way. Much as I’d like to see Martin Scorsese win again, somehow I don’t see it happening unfortunately.

Awards prognostications/coverage can be found from all the usual suspects like Awards Daily and The Envelope. Also, check out the red carpet stream over at On The Red Carpet, and at KTLA.com, although it could be a challenge today because of the torrential downpours LA has been experiencing. It could throw the whole Red Carpet plans into chaos. The good news is the forecast calls for the worst of it to clear the area just in time for tonight’s show.

Also, apparently everyone’s favorite mayor Rob Ford will be in attendance at the Oscars, presumably to hobnob with big shot Hollywood producers and attract some more of that “runaway production” to Toronto to help the local economy. At least, that is what he ought to be doing.

This telecast tonight might be worth tuning into just for that — maybe host Ellen DeGeneres will crack some Ford jokes and we’ll see the TV cameras zoom in on him squirming in the audience. Hopefully, the mayor will stay out of trouble, for once.

UPDATE: Ahem, check that: according to CTV, mayor Ford apparently isn’t attending the Oscar show itself, but may attend a few parties and be a guest on Jimmy Kimmel’s show.

THIS YEAR’S OSCAR NOMINATIONS ARE NOW OUT

Indeed, the Academy  Awards nominations have been announced today and I cannot say I am surprised one bit by the nominations.

Seems like all the usual suspects are there —American Hustle, The Wolf of Wall Street, 12 Years a Slave, Her, Gravity etc. — but some are saying Tom Hanks, who starred in Captain Phillips, got the shaft. Well, you cannot please them all.

MY RANT ON HOW TO FIX THE OSCAR TELECAST IS NOW UP

IN MY OPINION, THE SETH MACFARLANE OSCAR SHOW WAS THE USUAL MESS

I’m planning to do a big writeup in my cinema column about the Oscar show from last night. While it had it’s interesting moments — the Michelle Obama presentation of Best Picture direct from the White House being one of them, the James Bond tribute being another — I think the whole show was pretty much a mess. Not any worse a mess than previous years were, but a mess nevertheless.

On the one hand, there were some good moments and even some funny ones, but just as often this show really embarrassed itself, like when Seth MacFarlane made that joke about an actor getting into Lincoln’s head. Yes, Seth, 150 years is too soon to joke about that . A thousand years is too soon as well. Way to throw away the class, dude. 

On the other hand, the producers would counterbalance all this downmarket nonsense with all these highbrow musical numbers, with all this stupid singing and dancing that most people at home don’t want to see (particularly the guys)!

The joke circulating around Twitter last night was that everyone tuned in for the Oscars, only to see the Tony Awards break out.

That Chicago musical number was my big moment to tune right out despite the fact Catherine Zeta-Jones is still a babe. Plus, I almost died when I saw Barbra Streisand go out there to sing during the In Memoriam segment, which, incidentally, the Academy managed to screw up yet again with their omissions (ie. Andy Griffith).

It seemed this show had no clue what audience it was trying to appeal to — a high-brow crowd, or a young and hip audience. But they appeased no one. Streisand and Chicago drove away the young and hip while MacFarlane and his idiot bear creation Ted drove out the highbrow people. So at the end of the day we a got a show that was a mess. Again. Period.

What the Academy really ought to do is chuck what they are doing with the awards show and make the whole Oscar weekend more of a big celebration of the movies. I think the folks at the Academy need to hire the people in charge of the Super Bowl.

Seriously, the Super Bowl is something everyone looks forward to every year: the ad agencies go all-out with their best commercials of the year, the musical numbers are top flight and usually not a source of derision (save for Janet Jackson’s infamous wardrobe malfunction). Plus, they honor their own with the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award presentations, the introduction of the Hall of Fame inductees and the Vince Lombardi Trophy presentation itself.

Lately, even the action on the field has been half decent. But the key is, the Super Bowl is packaged as a big celebration, a big party wrapped around a football game.

That’s what the Oscars ought to be: the Super Bowl of movies, a celebration. But we aren’t getting that sense of fun. Instead, we get an over-long, uneven production every year that is never any fun for anyone to participate in or tune in — especially these hosts. Plus, you have these actresses who are continually being judged on their fashions on the red carpet. The whole night is a pressure-cooker — basically, a night of misery.  It shouldn’t be that way.

Anyway, I just stole the thunder right out of what I was going to say in my movie column, but I just had to rant and rave about what the Oscars ought to be about in the future, because what it is now just isn’t working for me. And keep in mind, I’m about as big a movie fan as I am a football fan. 

As for the awards themselves, I was very happy to see Argo win Best Picture and even happier that Quentin Tarantino won for Original Screenplay for Django Unchained. He called this year the Year of the Writer. Right you are, Tarantino.

For the full list of winners, you can find that here.  

I FIND MYSELF MORE INTERESTED IN NASCAR THAN THE OSCARS THIS YEAR

Usually I am all hyped about the Academy Awards but for some reason I was still more interested in the Daytona 500 even though there was that awful wreck the other day that sent many fans to the hospital.

Amazingly, no one has died. Even more amazingly, they pushed ahead with today’s race in spite of the tragedy. I think maybe what happened the other day was kind of on the minds of the drivers, because there wasn’t a lot of wild and crazy passing in the race.

Anyway it was Jimmie Johnson who won — again. So much for all the hype about Danica Patrick.

As for tonight’s Oscars, I’ll watch the usual parts of the show like their annual list of deceased people, just to see who got omitted again so that everyone gets all upset. But I don’t know if I am going to watch the whole thing. I might cut out during the boring parts and watch Family Guy instead.

I notice the host tonight is the usually funny Seth MacFarlane, a choice that I believe is sure to go down like a lead balloon with these uptights in the audience. I read this Oscar show may be a little less reverential than it usually is — less of this glitz and glamour and more humor.  The Oscar show usually lays it on thick with putting Hollywood on a pedestal and all that nonsense.

That’s what the audience in the hall expects — this audience filled with stars and industry big shots. They usually are demanding a show that is reverential of Hollywood. Unfortunately, it makes it hard for a funny host to be able to be irreverent, or for that matter, funny, at all.

This audience is, without question, the toughest crowd in comedy. They just don’t have a sense of humor. I’ve seen one funny comedian after another go down in flames at the Oscars over the years. So good luck to Seth MacFarlane tonight. He needs it, more than you know.

Also, they are planning a tribute to 50 years of James Bond 007 movies tonight, and the rumor is they are going to bring back all the guys who played James Bond for the show tonight. We’ll see if it happens.

Basically, that’s about all I care about tonight — I’m not that interested in the Oscar race like in past years. For more about tonight’s show, here’s a story here. Also, the red carpet live streams are on at KTLA and OntheRedCarpet.com. 

BIG DAY OF OSCAR NOMINATIONS/SNUBS

The 2012 Academy Award nominations came out today andLincoln Lincoln came out ahead of everyone else with 12 nominations including Best Picture. That was closely followed by Life of Pi with 11 nods.

It appears the film that got the biggest shaft was Zero Dark Thirty, the much ballyhooed movie about the capture of Osama bin Laden, directed by Kathryn Bigelow. But Bigelow didn’t even get nominated for Best Director, and the movie only got five nominations.

That’s upset some people, and the conspiracy theories are out there now about whether the backlash from those US senators who griped about the movie’s accuracy may have played a role in the snub. Personally, if this movie really did take a lot of liberties with accuracy as some people say it did, then maybe it didn’t deserve a lot of nominations to begin with. Oh well, you can’t win them all.

Another one getting the shaft was Ben Affleck, who also got no nomination in the director’s category for Argo. That’s too bad. I liked that movie, but then again it had its own phony moments, too.  

Anyway, the full rundown of what happened today can be found here.  

As for the People’s Choice Awards from the other night, I really have nothing to say about that, but you can find the story of what happened here.