...And the award for biggest snoozefest goes to: The Academy Awards! The Oscars telecast from last Sunday was a long, dull bore of epic proportions. The movie's weren't that exciting (The Departed-Martin Scorsese films corrupt people) and the hosting was perfunctionary (Ellen Degeneres did OK). The only exciting moment was watching expected winner Jennifer Hudson win best supporting actress for Dreamgirls. When Oscar winning former Vice President Al Gore comes off like a live wire, you know you're in trouble.
Ultimately, the problem with the Oscars extend to modern film itself. The winner's just seem so predictable that it's hard to get excited or feign interest. This is one of the big reasons why the film industry is financially faultering, they aren't pushing to make great movies most of the time. I understand the appeal of heavily marketed paint-by-numbers filmmaking as I have seen both Just Friends and She's The Man in the past two days. Both movie's play it safe with story and let their young actors cut loose a little to keep things interesting. While they succeed on that level, it's hard not to remember the thousands of other movies I've seen just like them.
2006 will be remembered as the year of inspired competency. I mean, it's not like Scorsese hasn't made a mob film before. But film seems destined to follow music into a place of decentralization where one piece of media cannot hold mass interest. While niche market movies are usually the best ones, in the end it's sad because media is one of the few things that tie together the lives of different people. The Oscar's theme of memorable tag lines ("Do ya feel lucky, Punk", "Rosebud" and so on) underscores this.
Hopefully, some of this trend will turn around and some mass consumption entertainment will become popular. Even a resurgence of Transformers will be welcomed if this summer turns out well. Every family will go back to buying their kids robot dolls that turn into suitcases or end tables. After all, Autobots fight battles to defeat the evil forces of...the Decepticons! It will be annoying when it hits, but it will be nice to see some common ground in entertainment again.