And the Oscar goes to...!

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Last night was the Oscars, so I thought I’d devote today’s post to the high and lows of the annual ritual: the dresses and tresses, statues and speeches.

First, the highlights from the red carpet…

Yeah, I’m not really going to do that. I’m not so superior that I didn’t check out some of the pictures and read a few stories today, but really, the Oscars are done for me. I watched Seth McFarlane kick off the show, then switched channels once the first presenter appeared.

If you like them fair enough. I used to make a point of seeing the show. Dunno, just bores me now.

I suppose it doesn’t help that movies have been in a slump for a while now.  There were some highlights. The Dark Knight Rises was very cool, and so was Dredd. Prometheus looked great, even if Ridley Scott could have done more with the story. Haywire was uneven but had great moments.

But if you Google ‘movies of 2012’ and start scrolling through the posters that run along the top of the page, it’s a gallery of mediocrity. Sorry, but I wasn’t especially impressed by The Avengers, and I didn’t bother with Men in Black III, despite the good reviews.

Moonrise Kingdom was one quirky film too many from director Wes Anderson. The Grey had real potential, and I enjoyed elements of it, but the special effects of the wolves were a bit cheesy and the final scene didn’t work for me – the overly long pause in action as he binds the glass to his hands, coupled with the recitation of a poem that shouldn’t have repeated its last line twice (yes, I’m also a poetry critic). Even one of the first scenes, when he shoots a wolf sprinting for a cluster of men. Have wolves every done that, ever, in the history of the species?

I saw Flight just this month. I enjoyed it, I really did, but I couldn’t help but feel it felt like a high-budget made-for-TV special, sort of a ‘He’s a drunk, but the truth set him free’ cliché thing.

Cabin in the Woods was fun, truly, but not the gem fanboys try to make it out to be. The Campaign and Ted were both good for laughs but not memorable.

I didn’t see Argo and I didn’t see Lincoln. I’ll see the former but have little interest in the latter.

I know, I didn’t mention a single art-house movie. I’m sure there was a fantastic silent film shot all in shades of green about a little known amateur painter who made his living as a dentist in 1920s Bulgaria. I should have seen it, I wish I’d seen it, but darn it all, I live in Amherst. It didn’t come to the local theatre and they don’t rent it at Pharmasave or Needs. And I’m enough of a Luddite that I don’t buy movies online and enough of a stick-in-the-mud about copyright that I don’t steal them off the Internet either.

Truth is, I’m not that into the art-house films, either. I don’t expect a movie to change my life, and don’t usually want it to intellectually or emotionally challenge me much, either. I do want it to entertain me, though, with some combination of excellent writing and/or spectacular visuals.

Hollywood did a less than spectacular job of producing either in 2012.

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