Monday, February 26, 2007

"Hi, I'm the Oscars. Have you seen my entertainment value? I seem to have lost it."

Though I was pleasantly surprised to see all those awards for The Departed right at the end, I have to say that this evening's Oscars left me really disappointed. I know every year people say the show sucked but I'm typically not one of those people. I dug Chris Rock at the Oscars. I loved Jon Stewart. Ellen Degeneres left me feeling a little flat. I enjoyed her gag with Marty, trying to pass him a screenplay, but her schitck seemed a little one note ("Golly gee, how'd they let me in here?" Ya got me sister...).

The rest of the material wasn't much better, though kudos to a killer song from Will Ferrell, Jack Black, and John C. Reilly (written by Marc Shaiman, Adam McKay, and Judd Apatow) sending up the lack of Oscar love for comedians (though Little Miss Sunshine would later shock me by capturing a Best Original Screenplay statue). I also loved Tom Hanks' line as he was corralled by backstage host Chris Connelly; his "That's right Chris -- LOTS more fun!" was so hilariously over the top and snarky I couldn't tell if they'd rehearsed it that way or he was just genuinely annoyed that he had to talk to that guy. That was the only moment I rewound to watch twice.

Michael Mann's well-edited piece on "America in the Movies" was fairly authoritative given its time limitations, and put together with a lot more wit and intelligence and a lot less pretentiousness as these sorts of things typically are. For evidence of that, see the other montages on the same show; the one about writers didn't even seem to feature that many movies. They must have shown Shakespeare in Love and Barton Fink fifteen times in that thing. Where was the love for Sullivan's Travels? The Player? The Front? Sideways? The Third Man?

Otherwise: feh. Last year the Academy Awards had interpretive dance (including one for Crash that infamously included faux groping); this year, they had a bunch of acrobats twirl around behind a big white screen and come together to form, whatever, a shoe or a gun. Uh, why? Then they wonder why the show runs long...

In happier, more name-dropping-related news (I know, I'm a tool), here's me at the Spirit Awards chilling with Elliott Gould. He claimed to be a fan, that he had just seen me on IFC shortly before arriving at the awards. I am firmly convinced the man is lying. But the man is from California Split so any compliment from him, even a fallacious one, is a good one. I would have even settled for my favorite line from CS: ""What do I have to say? The man is bad. He's a complete asshole. We all know that, right?"


Blogger P.L. Kerpius said...

I thought Ellen was fantastic. She's always in good spirits, she has a good attitude. The part where she had Spielberg taking a pic of her and Eastwood was hilarious, and Eastwood was a total good sport about it. I loved how chatty she was with the audience. I had a blast.

1:28 PM  
Blogger Matt Singer said...

Eastwood was better than she was -- yapping about the headset she gave him that she knew nothing about, she almost through him.

I just throught she didn't really add much and so much of the supplementary stuff like the crazy shadow puppets were so lame. It felt a little golly gee whiz to me. But you're not the only one who liked her, I'm hearing some who really dug her. I thought in general it came off a bit amateurish.

2:14 PM  
Blogger P.L. Kerpius said...

But Ellen is a far cry from "amateurish." She's been doing comedy for a lot of years, and they don't hand you the honor of hosting the year's biggest show without credentials behind you.

She was actually my favorite part of the show. Her brand of humor is always a little "golly gee whiz," (have you seen her AmEx ads?) she's a big kid, it's what makes her so cute. I thought she was down to earth and appealing to everyone. She's well-respected in the business and it showed.

The Clint Eastwood/Spielberg bit killed me. The script she handed over to Scorsese killed me! She's a good light hearted jokester. And I LOVED the threesome presenters of Spielberg, Coppola, and Lucas--and after Scorsese won there was a shot as the four walked backstage---this is like the history of recent U.S. cinema in one shot! Incredible.

On another note, Tom Hanks' remark to the backstage announcer, "Big fun!" was bloody awesome. I was so shocked to read your headline, "...have you seen my entertainment value? because last night was the most fun I've had with the Oscars in awhile. (am a big fan of J. Stewart and Chris Rock all the same).

3:27 PM  
Blogger Matt Singer said...

Bah! Bah I say! Bah!

Though we are in sync on Mr. Tom Hanks, I'm still down on Ellen and the show in general. I'm not saying she's an amateur -- she is a professional, obviously. But her whole act was sort of that whole "I'm not really supposed to be here, I'm just kinda hanging out with my peeps, hey let me go vacuum in the front row for some reason!" And I thought it was a little one-note and repetetive. Again, act like you been there. Letterman did the same sort of routine, the "How the hell did I get this gig?" thing, and did it even worse. Ellen pulled it off a little better, but I'm still not crazy about it.

I've decided that Tom Hanks should host the Oscars. Why the hell doesn't he? Can anyone give me one good reason? He'd be perfect. Everyone loves Tom Hanks and he can be serious when it's required and, of course he's a fabulous comedian who doesn't exercise his chops much nowadays except the occasional gig hosting SNL. So I say: Let Tom Hanks host in 2008!

10:45 PM  
Blogger Matt Singer said...

I spelled repetitive wrong.

10:45 PM  
Blogger Michael J. Anderson said...

I agree completely with the good looking man in the photo... and for once I'm not talking about Elliot Gould. And on a completely unrelated (though urgent) note, get-a-load of this Termite readers:

"Beyond Festivals and Criticism
Opportunities in Cinema Studies"

Friday, March 2

4 p.m.

721 Broadway, Room 656


David Carr
New York Times media writer and
author of The Carpetbagger Blog

Lynne Kirby
Senior Vice President, Original
Programming, of the Sundance Channel

Matt Singer
On-air host of the IFC News

Matt Singer has studied film at Syracuse University, New York University, and at Kim's Video on St. Marks Street, where he served as a clerk and was widely derided for loving GYMKATA, a movie about an Olympic gymnast who becomes a karate fighting spy for the U.S. government. He's written about film and comics for The Village Voice and is currently the host of IFC News on the Independent Film Channel.

4:57 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home