This will take many many parts over the next few hours and days. Be patient, grasshoppers.
We start with an opening film montage, in which Michael Moore is called a “hero,” and already things are off to a rollicking start. I’m surprised Che Guevara wasn’t included in that “hero” segment, too, but we’ll get to that later.
Rock starts off with an opening monologue that reminds me a bit of Steve Martin, who would always be my choice for host of the show. Martin has a knack for cutting on Hollywood in general without being mean. He has that self-deprecating humor down pat. He’s not picking fights. And he’s naturally funny. Sadly, Rock couldn’t not sound mean, and at least one presenter without a sense of humor would later call him on it. Ah, Sean Penn…
Chris Rock was also, at times, almost unintelligible. I had to strain to make out what he was saying through the shouting. And while I appreciate all the jabs at various people — including Cuba Gooding Jr. for that Boat movie — some of it felt a little awkward to do at the Academy Awards. He was no Steve Martin.
Then there’s the political aspect of it. Rock launched into a three minute stand up comedy routine about the Bush administration. It started off OK, as it was actually linked to the movies. Then it veered off and never came back. The Michael Moore line was funny because it related back to the movies. The Bush part of the routine was just a “Hey, liberal Hollywood, please love me” bit. Completely out of place.
Onto some awards:
Putting all the nominees on stage reminded me of AMERICAN IDOL. It’s just plain cruel. How would you like to stand up in front of the world and be seen to lose? If you’re sitting at your seat, at least the camera whips right off you and you can hide in your chair for a while, and accept the lame “I’m sorry”s of your fellow movie makers seated round you. On stage? You’re toast.
Renee Zellwegger took forever to talk to the microphone, mostly because it’s impossible to move her legs above the knees in that dress. It was awkward.
Robin Williams protests his “censoring” by showing up with a piece of tape over his mouth, and then uses all the same jokes, anyway, but not in song form. It’s a bunch of tired lame jokes, anyway. Hasn’t he done the Elmer Fudd “Stella” joke before? Robin Williams is tired. Time to go away.
He introduces the nominess for “Best Animated Film” as being “the cream of this year’s crop,” but leads off with SHARK TALE. So much for the cream. Thankfully, THE INCREDIBLES won. They should have had this category when THE IRON GIANT came out, so Brad Bird could have won then. Sadly, the Academy probably would have given it to whatever cookie cutter Disney movie also came out that year.
I’m sick of Dustin Hoffman already. He is to the Oscars what Ellen Degeneres was to the Grammys — the “go to guy” for crowd reaction shots.
Beyonce singing in French? Impressive. One of the kids in that boys choir is a local, so we cheer them on, even if they were barely audible in the piece.
Scarlett Johansen (I know that spelling is off somehow) was chosen as the Tech Geek’s Dream Girl this year. She stands in the balcony to introduce the segment with a left arm that won’t stop waving as she talks. I thought she came down with Parkinson’s for a brief moment…
Pierce Brosnan is introduced with the Bond theme music. I guess the Academy doesn’t keep up with the latest news from the Broccoli family, eh?
To be continued. . .