Sunday, February 25, 2007

Running Diary: The Oscars

I'm keeping a running diary during the 2007 Academy Awards, a la Bill Simmons (and Nick, although he only did it once). I probably won't comment too much on what I think of the movies, but more on what I think about what's going on during the awards show. Let's do this.

5:30 Alright, here we go. The show is starting. A couple days from now, I’m probably going to forget who won what. But here is something the Academy Awards will do that will last a lifetime. The awards received today will decide the adjectives for future movie trailers that we will all see. They decide whether credits for The Italian Job 2 say “Academy Award Nominated Mark Walberg” or “Academy Award Winner Mark Walberg.” Good luck tonight, Mark.

5:31 Wasn't Ellen DeGeneres supposed to be hosting? I think I’m watching a really long, unfunny Apple commercial or something. Five minute of closeups, a white background, and baby piano music. Mac and PC do it better.

5:36 Okay, here’s Ellen. She’s wearing a maroon, velvet pantsuit. Why not wear a dress, Ellen? What are you, gay? Come on, I'm just joking. You know I love Ellen. I like her stand up, all of her tv shows (mostly based upon some character named Ellen), and also her talk show. I wonder if she’ll dance around and rap like she does on her talk show? Fingers crossed.

5:38 Penelope Cruz is hot. No sign of Scarlett Johansson yet.

5:44 Ellen is dancing around and tamborining in the aisles with a gospel choir. Classic Ellen.

5:45 Other than the host, the first two people to speak at the Academy Awards are a British dude and an Aussie Chick. I just think that it’s weird, being an American Award. Great national pride, Academy. Also, I think it’s funny how Australians talk sometimes. Nicole Kidman says “America” like “Ameriker.”

5:49 Cutting away to the first commercial break, we see the voice announcers for the show. Bamm. It’s Don Lafontaine. The guy who has the job I want. Coolest movie announcer voice ever. I know he’s done over 5,000 movie trailer voiceovers (seriously, he has), but man is he blowing up lately or what? First, he was on Family Guy, then the Geico commercial, and now face time at the Oscars. Pretty soon he’ll be starring in movies! Which might clear up space for me to voice over some trailers.

5:53 Will Ferrel, Jack Black, and John C. Reily sing about how comedians never win Oscars. And the whole time, in my mind, I’m critiquing their singing. “Will, you were a little pitchy in the second verse, and Jack, you were singing through your nose. John, the vibrato was a little overpowering for a group performance. I’m going to have to say no to Hollywood.” Can you tell I’ve watched all six seasons of American Idol?

5:55 Be careful Hollywood, Mark Walberg will kick your ass. He was arrested 25 times as a kid.

6:00 Abigail Breslin, that little girl from Little Miss Sunshine, is presenting an award along with Will Smith’s son, Jayden, from that music video “Just the Two of Us.” First Abigail was in the Apple commercial intro, then Ellen talked to Abigail in the monologue, then she was clapping in an audience shot, and now she’s presenting? We’re only a half hour into the show and I’ve seen this little annoying girl six times. Stop shoving her down my throat. I wonder if she’s been in any other movies? Or will she be in the future? Any future role that she does that doesn't get nominated for an Oscar is a letdown, right? She's peaked at ten years old. And now, every movie she's in will say “Academy Award Nominated Abigail Breslin.” What about when she’s in high school? Does she turn in reports with a title page that says “Global Warming and the Effects on the California Coast by Academy Award Nominated Abigail Breslin?” I wonder if she is going to be a child actor who grows up to make halfway watchable romantic comedies like Drew Barrymore. Whatever the case, just stop showing her during the awards show. By the way, I hope she loses.

6:01 Will Smith’s son reads a wrong line from the teleprompter and brushes it off with style. It was actually pretty cute/funny. Which means it was probably scripted.

6:10 Ellen apologizes and clarifies: Penelope Cruz is a hot Spaniard, not a hot Mexican.

6:12 The Hollywood Sound Effects Choir performs. It’s a pretty cool performance. Scenes are shown without sound, and this choir of people makes all the sounds with their mouth. Cars, rainstorms, alomst any and every sound you can think. It’s pretty much the same thing that this group did in that car commercial. This wasn’t as cool as the car commercial, but still pretty cool if you’re seeing them for the first time. Also, it appears that Howie Mandell’s brother is the director.

6:17 Hey, there’s Jessica Biel. Still no sign of Scarlett.

6:22 Ladies and Gentlemen, Academy Award Nominated Mark Walberg.

6:26 Ellen introduces another performance. It’s the rolling-on-the-ground shadow artist troupe from that other car commercial. On one hand, I think this is cool, even cooler than the sound effects choir. But on the other hand, I’m thinking WTF? Is the Academy just watching NFL commercials and saying “Hey, we should get those guys for our show?” Presenting the next award, Jay Mohr and a can of Diet Pepsi.

6:28 Apparently, Dove did a viewer contest for their Cream Oil Body Wash. And the winning commercial was just aired during the Oscars, much like the viewer-submitted NFL and Doritos commercials that aired during the Super Bowl. We in the advertising industry are screwed if this trend continues. We’ll all lose our jobs to horrible, but zero-cost, viewer-produced commercials.

6:32 Randy Newman and James Taylor perform some song from Cars.
I fast-forward the TiVo.

6:34 Melissa Etheridge performs some song from An Incovenient Truth.
I fast-forward the Tivo.

6:42 This is how Cameron Diaz was announced: “The voice of Princess Fiona from the Shrek movies, Cameron Diaz.” Ok, it makes a little sense because it was the animation award, but still, to me it seemed like she could take it as an insult to not mention any other role she’s ever had. They said, “Cameron, you’re hot and a talented actress, but in our opinion the only good thing you’ve ever done is talk in those green monster cartoons. That’s all we’re going to mention.” “You mean you can’t say Being John Malkovich, The Gangs of New York, Something About Mary, and Shrek?” “Ummm, I think we’re just going to say Shrek.”

6:46 I always forget what Ben Affleck won an Oscar for. Forces of Nature? No… Changing Lanes? No… Daredevil? No… Gigli! It’s gotta be Gigli, right? Then what is it?… oh that’s right, he allegedly co-wrote Good Will Hunting.

6:47 All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

6:50 Borat is nominated for something! Oh no, I wonder what scene they’ll show! I’m worried that Borat will embarrass the Academy if they show the clip of him running naked through a hotel. Whew, dodged a bullet on that one. They chose to show the clip of him shitting into a bag at a dinner party.

6:54 Heading to commercial, we meet our backstage reporter, Chris Connelly. Yes, the same Chris Connelly from Yo! MTV News, MTV Rock N’ Jock Basketball VII, and RetroSexual: The 80’s. Okay, I know that this guy did some real MTV News specials about voting and the war overseas, and he also does human interest reports for SportsCenter sometimes, but I just can’t take him seriously after eight years of Rock N’ Jock. Apparently he’s legit, though, because Tom Hanks knows who he is.

7:11 Ellen goes into the audience and gets Steven Spielberg to take a picture of her and Clint Eastwood for her MySpace page. And then she continues to give Spielberg composition instructions to make the snapshot look better. So far Ellen is doing a good job hosting.

7:20 We come back from commercial. Naomi Watts is presenting. But still no Scarlett. I’m starting to think she didn’t show. Or maybe she didn’t get invited! She’s never had the best attitude, and lately, she has been skanking it up a little bit.

7:30 Two foreign people are presenting the award for Best Foreign Language Film. The Academy is finally taking my advice.

7:32 The German guy who won had a long speech and the orchestra started to play him off. He said, “No I have to say one more thing…” Good for you man. Don’t let some band director tell you when to stop talking. You just won the biggest award of your life, but they want to cut you off so that they can air one more Chevy commercial. He said his last thing, which was short, but I wish someone would just continue until they get physically yanked by a bouncer. And then when they do get yanked, let their body go limp like a ragdoll, all non-violent-protest style.

7:35 Congrats to Jennifer Hudson, whom I did not vote for on American Idol. Also, ladies and gentleman, Academy Award Nominated Abigail Breslin. You lost little girl. You didn’t cut it. Better luck never.

7:44 Jerry Seinfeld is presenting an award by doing a 2-minute bit on movie theater snacks. Classic Jerry. They showed him in the crowd a couple of times earlier tonight. I was wondering what he’s been up to lately. I know he doesn’t need to work; he has, like, 50 Ferraris. But I always hope he’ll do something else in tv. He’s too funny to quit. Maybe he could host the Oscars next year?

7:47 They’re naming the documentary award nominees. I don’t know who’s won yet, but if you haven’t seen it, rent An Inconvenience Truth. I haven’t seen the other nominated movies, so I can’t say anything good or bad about them. But I also order you to rent When The Levees Broke. You NEED to see these two movies, NOW. Spike Lee’s When The Levees Broke couldn’t even be nominated for an award because of some strange rule; it aired on HBO before hitting movie theaters. Lame, Academy. Lame.

7:56 Celine Dion is singing. This is so 1997. I fast-forward the TiVo.

8:00 Clint Eastwood translates Italian for Ennio Morricone. Wow, this is a random and awkward scenario. Who knew that Clint spoke Italian? And is this a special occasion, or does he do this all the time? Like a side job, for the UN?

8:06 Hot Spanish (not Mexican) actress Penelope Cruz is presenting an award. I’ve given up on Scarlett.

8:06 Another funny word in Australian; Hugh Jackman said “roster” but it sounded like “rasta.” Yes, Rasta, like the Jamaican religion. Big ups and irie to Hugh Jackman, mon.

8:16 Chris Connolley’s nasally voice greets us once again as we’re heading to commercial. Why is he even here? Twice in three hours—do we really need a backstage reporter if we’re only going to use him for a total of 35 seconds out of three hours? Sorry Connolley, you’re gone next year when Seinfeld hosts. Ray Romano, you’re in as backstage reporter, and we're giving you a total of five minutes.

8:19 Despite Sawyer’s advice, Kate is going back for Jack. Oh wait, it’s just a commercial. Lost. Wednesdays at 10pm.

8:21 Beyonce, Jennifer Hudson, and some other people from a movie I didn’t see sing a lot. I fast-forward the TiVo.

8:27 I am getting worried. My TiVo is saying I have three minutes left, but the big awards haven’t been given out. Crap I think the show is running long and my DVR can't account for that. Damn you, technology. I might miss the ending. Why didn't I watch it live?

Yeah, I missed the ending. I don't know exactly what happened. But I went online to do a litte research. It turns out that Scorsese finally won. He has deserved this for years. He’d been previously nominate for Raging Bull, Last Temptation of Christ, Goodfellas, Gangs of New York, and The Aviator. He finally got it. Marty, call me in the morning. Congrats buddy.


Voice Acting said...

Hi there,

If you want to get into movie trailer voice overs, you should check out

Here's a link: Voice overs

Glad you're a fan of Don's. He's a great guy. By the way, the other announcer was Gina Tuttle.


Stephanie Ciccarelli

Mike said...

how the heck did that girl find your blog giraffe?

messa said...

Giraffe....I was all prepared to make a serious comment and then I ready the comment that is already on there and totally forgot what my original comment was going to be. That is weeeeeird.

Oh...what I think I was going to say is...come one, When the Levies Broke is about as worthy of the classification "documentary" as Farenheit 9/11. I think there should be a new category like Fictiomentary.

Oh, and the fact that you did this whole blog thing and didn;t get to see the end of the show is absolutely hilarious.


Nick said...

You did the right thing by acknowledging Bill Simmons as all running diaries should pay him some credit.

Too many awesome things to comment on, so I'll just say I liked it all. Oh, I especially like your disgust of a poor girl who just found out that life is full of disappointmen.

Messa's right. The end of this diary is the funniest part. You've got all this momentum built up and then, bam! It's over.