Tag Archives: James Cameron

The Oscars break a glass ceiling, a tribute to a great music teacher, and love for Mr. Mom

Scale of 1 to 10 on last night’s Oscars? I’m going with a 7.7.

Pretty good Academy Awards show, I thought. No major surprises, no unbelievably memorable moments, but pretty good stuff all around, which I’ve come to expect. Maybe it’s me, but it seems like after being bad for a few years, the Oscars have been good for a while now.

Only wish we didn’t have SUCH predictability. Seems like we used to get more upsets. Marisa Tomei winning, or Roberto Benigni (best speech ever, just a totally insanely happy man on the best day of his life), those were genuine stunners.

Still, Sunday night had some moments, good and bad. My quick thoughts:

— OK, Kathy Ireland, you’re beautiful, and you’ve aged beautifully. But oh my God, you were the worst excuse for an interviewer in the history of the world. I mean, if awfulness were people, you’d be India. Dear God, I yearned for Ryan Seacrest, she was so bad!

— Thought Sandra Bullock had the speech of the night; you could tell she knew that unlike Meryl Streep (who shoulda won), this was one her shot ever at Oscar. She seemed really heartfelt, and I’m glad she thanked the Tuohy family (the real-life family in “The Blind Side” ) in her acceptance.

— Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin were better than I thought. Some of the opening jokes were great (The Meryl Streep-Hitler one was particularly funny, and the Steve Martin joke to Christoph Waltz about hunting for Jews was brilliant), and they kept the show moving pretty well.

— Why are we subjected to the god-awful musical numbers that go on for 412 minutes every year? Does anyone enjoy these?

— Tell you what I always DO enjoy: The Dead People Montage. I love honoring those who are no longer with us one last time, for all the good work they did while they were breathing. I do feel sorry, though, for the behind-the-scenes people they honor who never really get much applause from the audience. Patrick Swayze? Big hand from the crowd. Cinematographer guy no one’s ever heard of? Only crickets are heard.

— I knew they were going to do something for my man John Hughes, but it was better than I’d hoped. Loved seeing “The Breakfast Club” group up there. Would it have been too much to ask for them all to break out into the “dancing in the library” scene from the movie? And Anthony Michael Hall, wow, he looked totally different.

— Mo’Nique won for best supporting actress and gave a real nice speech. And no one’s making a big deal that an African-American woman got an Oscar.

I’d say that’s progress, wouldn’t you?

— Hard to believe no woman had ever won best director before; about damn time someone did. Way to go, Kathryn Bigelow. And I love that her enormously egotistical ex-husband James Cameron had to sit there and watch her win.

Just discovered that “The Hurt Locker” is already on my cable box pay per view on Demand channel. Definitely going to watch it soon.

— And finally, from my wife, who pays way more attention to Oscar fashion than I do: “Miley Cyrus, stand up straight! And that dress is totally inappropriate for a 16-year-old!”


**So sometimes I think I’ve posted something on here that I’ve actually only emailed to a bunch of people I know (What can I tell you? I’m a fool.)

I thought I had posted this last week, but apparently, not so much. This beautiful story from the the New York Times last week, by Joanne Lipman, is about her old music teacher. When he died, his old students came together for a final tribute concert. It’s a really beautiful story.

**And finally, because that John Hughes Oscar tribute was so good, and because I feel this movie is criminally underappreciated, a funny scene from “Mr. Mom.” (I tried to find the Schooner Tuna commercial, but dammit, it’s not on Youtube.)

The lunacy of “Avatar” depression, a few words about Braylon, and an original wedding proposal

So I’ve thought for years that we’d just about run out of fake reasons for people to claim they’re sick.

But nope, every year, we get more and more “fake” illnesses and bullshit medical conditions that seem to afflict so many of our citizens.

Now my friends, we’ve got something called the “Avatar” blues, wherein people who see James Cameron’s epic movie leave the theatre and are seriously depressed for weeks afterward, because the reality of life on Earth can’t match the wonder that is Pandora (the planet in the movie.)

According to this CNN story, thousands of people have logged onto “Avatar” fan sites to deal with their depression, and some have had near-suicidal thoughts:

“Ever since I went to see ‘Avatar’ I have been depressed,” said a user named Mike. Watching the wonderful world of Pandora and all the Na’vi made me want to be one of them. I can’t stop thinking about all the things that happened in the film and all of the tears and shivers I got from it,” Mike posted. “I even contemplate suicide thinking that if I do it I will be rebirthed in a world similar to Pandora and the everything is the same as in ‘Avatar.”

To which my response is: ARE YOU KIDDING ME? It’s a movie, people! A movie! This is driving you to depression, that you can’t live in this world???

Look, when I was little I saw “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” and I desperately wanted to go live in the factory. But after a few minutes I knew it was fake and I got on with my life!!!

Ugh. Just makes me mad.

***On a less-depressing note, New York Jets receiver Braylon Edwards was in a Cleveland court Tuesday, and received a suspended sentence of 180 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Of course, when our man Braylon was handed the sentence by the judge, he dropped it.

(Braylon, sweetheart, you’ve got to make a big play this week against the Chargers! We need you!)

I’m pretty sure she said yes:
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The brilliance, and ludicrousness, of “Avatar.” And the completely puzzling Urban Meyer

Sometimes you go see a movie and you are constantly listening to the two voices fighting in your head.

Voice No. 1 says: “Good God, this is amazing! Look at the colors, the scenery, the action sequences! This is quite possibly the greatest thing I’ve ever seen!”

Voice No. 2 then replies:  “This is the most un-believable story ever. There’s no way any of those last 15 things could’ve happened. How can I watch this?”

Now you know how I spent 2 hours and 42 minutes Monday night, as I sat with my 3-D glasses on and watched “Avatar,” James Cameron’s $300 million epic about a former Marine who’s disabled but goes to the future, befriends some natives, kicks some butt, and that’s not even 1/10th of what the movie’s about.

My brain was fighting itself all the time during the flick. First, the overall verdict: I thought it was great, a true step-forward in moviemaking. The animation and “motion capture” technology are so far above and beyond anything you’ve ever seen before; it makes a Pixar movie look like a Pictionary drawing. The color, the scenery, the everything, was just amazing. Some critics have said it was like watching “Star Wars” for the first time, and that sounds about right.

The acting was also great, with Sam Worthington, Sigourney Weaver and Stephen Lang (who, as the villain in the piece, was terrific despite being saddled with the most cliched lines I’ve ever seen) being particularly terrific. The movie pulls on your heartstrings, has two incredibly well-filmed action fight sequences, and really never drags.

But the story had so many gaps in logic, and so many times where you’re just like “Wait a second, how did that happen?” I’m not talking about general plot leaps, I’m talking about all kinds of specific points which just didn’t really seem possible.

Still, I walked out of the theater completely satisfied that I’d gotten my money’s worth (well, my Dad’s money’s worth; he bought the tickets). This is a movie that will stay with me for a long, long time.

**So I thought if I gave it a day or so I might better understand what the hell Florida football coach Urban Meyer said over the weekend, when he quit, then un-quit, in 24 hours.

Nope. I’m still wildly puzzled. Meyer, the 45-year-old coach at University of Florida, had had serious heart issues over the past few years, and after a hospital stay after the Gators’ last game, realized he was killing himself with this coaching thing.

So he wisely, on advice of his doctors who told him the stress could cause his premature death, resigned as UF coach on Saturday. He talked about how he wanted to be around for his family for a long time, and that this was the smart thing to do. And I was glad to see a coach putting his family first.

Only then on Sunday, Urban turns around and says he’s only taking a “leave of absence,” and that he plans to coach again, maybe next year.

Huh? Tell me exactly how his heart won’t be affected when he’s back on the sidelines. Is coaching going to suddenly be stress-free? Is he going to be miraculously cured? Did he just wake up Sunday morning, as I suspect, and realize he was the head coach at Florida, with two national titles under his belt, along with the worship of millions of fans, and maybe decide he wasn’t quite ready to walk away?

Whatever it was, it speaks to how disingenuous these coaches are. It’s about the football family first, not the real family. Which is very sad, if you ask me.

Anyway, here’s a great column by Florida Today’s Peter Kerasotis about the whole situation.