Tag Archives: Chadwick Boseman

An Oscars with no host? No problem. My many thoughts on a pretty good Academy Awards show, with a great diversity of winners

One of my favorite nights of the year came around Sunday night, and for once nobody complained about the host of the Oscars.

That’s because, of course, there was no host. And you know what? The show was fine without one. Sure, some of the skits the host does every year are funny, but mostly they’re a waste of time.

I have to say, even though I saw so few of the movies nominated (life with two small kids doesn’t allow much time for adult flick theater-going), I enjoyed this year’s Oscars. No one movie dominated, the show didn’t drag, and I actually saw and liked the movie that won.

Now a lot of people on social media Sunday night were hating on “Green Book,” because of its historical inaccuracies (the friendship between Dr. Shirley and Tony Vallelonga was nowhere near as close as the movie made it, and the family of Dr. Shirley is very unhappy with the portrayal, and there is a bit of a “white hero saves the day” theme of the film), but I have to say, I enjoyed it a lot. Is it a perfect movie? No. But I thought the acting and writing was terrific. I’m happy it won.

— Other things I was super-happy about: Mahershala Ali winning for “Green Book,” Spike Lee finally getting a long-overdue Oscar (you knew his speech would be something epic in scope, and it was), and Lady Gaga winning for best song for “Shallow.”

— Speaking of which… Gaga. Cooper. “Shallow.” Freaking mesmerizing performance. One of the two highlights of the night for me. And Gaga gave a terrific speech, too. I’m rapidly becoming more and more of a fan of hers.

— Haven’t seen it yet but I hear “Bohemian Rhapsody” was fantastic, and it was very, very cool having the “Wayne’s World” stars Mike Myers and Dana Carvey introduce the film. If only we could’ve gotten a “schwwwinnnggg!” out of them.

–It was a night without too many great speeches, but Olivia Colman winning for best actress had the speech of the night. She was adorable, charming, thanking everyone, telling her kids “This won’t happen again” and practically apologizing to Glenn Close for winning, telling her “You’ve been my idol for so long, this is not how I wanted this to be.”

Really sweet, special stuff.

— The other speech I found awesome was from Melissa Berton, co-director of the Best Documentary Short winner, “Period. End of Sentence,” who opened her remarks with “I’m not crying because I’m on my period. I can’t believe a film about menstruation won an Oscar!”

Truer words may never have been spoken from that stage.

— Just a general question: Is there no end to the movies that are made about queens, kings, monarchs, and royals? I mean, haven’t they been exhausted as a subject matter? Please can they be exhausted as a subject matter?

— So there was no host, but Tina Fey, Amy Poehler and Mya Rudolph did the closest thing to an opening monologue, being funny and charming and I once again please, why can’t Tina and Amy host every awards show, ever? Please???

–OK, most importantly, the best and worst dressed categories, as judged in the Lewis house, as always, by my wife. On the women’s side, to the good we loved Angela Bassett’s gorgeous dress (above), Julia Roberts is 51 years old and looks amazing, and wow wow wow, again, on Jennifer Lopez, who fulfilled my No. 1 rule for women: You can never, ever be too sparkly. Big points also for Gaga’s dress. The men who dressed great were Chadwick Boseman, Daniel Craig (hey, he’s 007), and Mahershala Ali, who always looks good.

On the bad side, oof, Stephan James and that red tuxedo, my wife was really not a fan. And Kacey Musgraves looked like the cotton candy display at the county fair.

— Enjoyed the Death Montage as always, really thought Penny Marshall should’ve been the Hammer at the end, but hey, Albert Finney was fabulous too, so no beef.

— So Alfonso Cuaron won for Best Director, the 5th time the last six years a Mexican-born filmmaker has taken that prize.

So the beautiful people from the New York Times Twitter feed made this to celebrate, and of course mock the idiot in Chief:

— Can we get a buddy road trip movie starring Spike Lee and Barbra Streisand, please? Like you WOULDN’T go see that? Two kids from Brooklyn who made it big, driving from New York to L.A., and having adventures along the way. I’ll buy my ticket for that now.

— This is hilarious: Apparently Trevor Noah, while discussing “Black Panther,” mentioned a phrase in the Xhosa language, “‘Abelungu abazi ubu ndiyaxoka’- which means, ‘In times like these, we are stronger when we fight together than when we try to fight apart.”

But in reality, many Africans on Twitter pointed out, that phrase he spoke actually translates to “White people don’t know I’m lying.”

Brilliant. Maybe Trevor should host the show next year.

“42” a terrific movie, even though it’s simplistic. Justin Bieber makes another idiotic comment. And “The Daily Show” nails the NCAA

jackie robinson wb 650

Sometimes everything you read about a movie before you see it is wrong, and you have a totally different opinion than most critics (this happened when I saw “Trainspotting,” which everyone seemed to love but I thought was awful.)
Other times I come out of the theater going, “Yep, the critics nailed that one.”

The latter feeling hit me as I walked out of the new Jackie Robinson biopic “42” on Sunday afternoon.
Going in, the consensus seemed to be: good, rousing movie, but way too simplistic and broad, with very little nuance or deeper explanation of all that Jackie Robinson and Dodgers GM Branch Rickey went through in 1947, as they fought to integrate baseball.

The movie was good, really good. Harrison Ford as Branch Rickey was a whole lot of fun, Chadwick Boseman looked great as Jackie, and the supporting characters (I particularly loved “Scrubs” John C. McGinley, aka Dr. Cox, playing legendary broadcaster Red Barber) were all superb.

And if you had never heard of Jackie Robinson or knew just the outlines of his legendary story, you would have been perfectly happy with this Disney-fied, clear-cut black and white version of the story.

But for those of us who know a lot more about the Robinson story, a whole lot more could’ve been explored in this film. If only Spike Lee could’ve directed it (He tried for years to get a Robinson film made, but couldn’t get the funding).

For one thing, the movie shows ballplayers as only either “good” or “evil,” but none of the conflicted feelings of Dodgers teammates like Dixie Walker.
We also never saw Robinson’s struggles in day to day life in 1947; going into restaurants, hotels and on trains with his Dodgers teammates. The movie could’ve used a whole lot more of that.

I also found their depiction of Branch Rickey as moral saint to be a little over the top (frankly, I was surprised at how much Rickey was in the movie; I”m guessing once Harrison Ford got attached to the project they made Rickey the focal point, but he was in more scenes than Robinson was).

Still, I’m picking nits a little. It’s incredibly important that the Robinson story lives on and gets re-told; it was pathetic when a poll of baseball players in the 1980s found many of them had never heard of the Dodgers’ No. 42.

If there’s only going to be one Jackie Robinson movie told for future generations to watch, this movie is a worthy choice to continue that legend.

joel-bauman

I always love it when non-sports magazines or TV shows take a look at the NCAA and realize how ridiculous it is, in so many ways.
“The Daily Show” did a hilarious piece on the NCAA’s recent decision to bar University of Minnesota wrestler Joel Bauman from competing after a rap video he made showed up on YouTube.
Watch Jon Stewart and Co.’s knife go in slowly here.

**So I guess I’m not too surprised that a kid who’s been obscenely famous, an be worshipped by millions, for the past five years would be as clueless and disgustingly insensitive as Justin Bieber keeps showing himself to be.
The boy’s head has been filled with people telling him how awesome and wonderful he is, so I guess you can’t expect him to have too much perspective on the world and life.

But even though I usually cut him some slack, what he did on Friday while visiting the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam was beyond the pale.
Bieber was on tour there and he decided to visit the museum and learn all about the famous 1940s child who hid for two years in an attic before the Nazis found her and her family in 1944; she then died in a concentration camp in 1945.

After visiting the museum with his bodyguards, this is what Mr. Bieber wrote in the guestbook:

“Truly inspiring to be able to come here. Anne was a great girl. Hopefully she would have been a Belieber.”

Yes Justin, if only Anne Frank had survived the concentration camp and the two years of hiding in fear of her life, she could’ve enjoyed the sweet sounds of “Baby, Baby, Baby.”

I know, I know; who cares what Bieber says, he’s just a stupid famous singer. But it bothers me how completely detached from any reality this guy is.