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David Poland

By David Poland


Oy… give the hungry monkeys a tiny bit of meat and they go nuts!
Yesterday, Larry Mark and Bill Condon were handed the reins of The Oscars, as the Academy gets more and more fearful that their the cash cow of all cash cows is fading and fading fast.
But this hire is not like adding a “$100 Million Movie Award” or “Best Kiss” to the show.
This is hiring theater guys who are also vested movie guys to come up with a better show… a show that the Academy Board hopes will set a new standard moving forward.
Like so many things, The Academy has to come to an acceptance of being the biggest dog on a block that is, simply, getting smaller. And to that end, a few real changes to a show that has been boilerplate for a long time is a step in a right direction… EVEN IF THIS YEAR’S RATINGS ARE DOWN AGAIN.
This is a critical point. One of the reasons that The Oscars haven’t changed much is that every time they try something, it gets slammed by traditionalists (sometimes rightly) and the ratings don’t improve – expecting them to, from show content changed in the same year makes no sense – so they retreat.

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9 Responses to “What”

  1. IOIOIOI says:

    Here’s how you get the fucking ratings up: NOMINATE THE DARK KNIGHT IN MULTIPLE FREAKIN CATEGORIES. If this Academy continually ignores it’s biggest genre. They will just have to accept that one day soon. The Tony’s and The Oscar’s will have a lot more in common than anyone in that nice ACADEMY BUILDING would ever freakin like.

  2. jeffmcm says:

    Which genre is that, the PG-13 action movie? Return of the King just won a few years ago. The noirish crime movie? The Departed and No Country won the last two years. The highest-grossing movie of the year? They have an award for that, it’s called Making The Most Money of Any Movie All Year.

  3. Triple Option says:

    I think you gotta educate the masses. What the hell would someone wanna sit down for 4 hours to not know jack about what they’re gonna see? They can’t just let what movies are doing at the b.o. determine people’s interest/knowledge of the nominees. The costumes & art nominees are many times from small period pieces. During the broadcast they’ll show like 10-15 seconds of the movie and get a quote about the experience on their contribution to the film. It’s too little too late. Maybe no one knows about the lighting process or sound mixing, but let people know the creative process or maybe a little about the people.
    NBC shows Olympic trails. Sure, I complain about how a lot of their packages trying to overblow any event to make it some huge over come adversity to triumph and whoever has the saddest story should win mentality but every once in a while they get a wrestler like Rulon Gardner from a small Wyoming town or that 41-year-old mother of two coming out of retirement to swim. People have some inkling who’s involved and these events get a boost. Give the audience some reason to tune in before what they guess will be the final 15 minutes.
    Next, ramp up the gambling, and then wink like you don’t condone it. CBS pays a billion dollars for college hoops rights. NCAA tourney pool brackets floating around every gosh darn office in the country is a nice little incentive to get some otherwise uninterested people to tune in. Look at the explosion of online fantasy football sites. Get some sponsorship of Oscar ballot contests and watch those jonesing between the Super Bowl and Final Four to run to the copier w/their ballot and a few reasons to turn in for the awards.
    That’s the broad strokes. I’d give details but I’m gonna need to be paid as a consultant.

  4. Cadavra says:

    The Oscars are a victim of changing society. The movies used to be for everybody; now they’re for stupid teenagers. The handful of grown-up films that do get made and then nominated are of no interest to kids. That just leaves a dwindling audience of adults who are tired of seeing films in multiplexes full of noisy, texting teens, and wait for the DVD. But since the Oscar chasers all come out at the end of the year, the Netflixers don’t get to see them until after the ceremony, so they pass on it. No kids, no adults, no ratings. It’s not rocket science, people.

  5. chris says:

    Is the Oscar chart meaning to imply Angelina Jolie was nominated for “Mighty Heart?” She wasn’t.

  6. yancyskancy says:

    Yeah, the Jolie comment didn’t track for me either. Maybe it was a phrasing problem?

  7. IOIOIOI says:

    Triple Option makes very good points. That would work more than Cad complaining about the teenagers. Movies are still made for everyone. The teenagers seem to be the only people that like going to the theatre. So the studios have to throw them a bone every once in a while, but Burn After Reading still got made. This means: QUIT YOUR COMPLAININ!
    Finally we come to Douche McGee aka Twatlips McCord aka Bennington Daffington aka Rupert Kittles aka Jeff Mac! The COMIC BOOK GENRE NUMBNUTS. This is why you are no longer treated with civility because you make stupid fucking statements.
    No matter what mutiny states. This decade will not be remembered for Potter or Rings. It will be remembered for Spidey, Bats, and Tony. This is how it will work, but the Academy has totally ignored this for a bunch of walking assholes. Who simply did not use those eagles to fly over Mount Doom, and make their journey a lot easier.
    The Academy ignores those films, but have a chance this year to atone for their sins. If they ignore the Dark Knight for this bumper crop of average crop of contenders on paper. They will reap what they sow and their show becomes even more irrevelant.
    Until someone fucking tells them to spend more time on SELLING THE NOMINATED FILMS, instead of selling us the medium of FILM. It’s not like film popularity is waning. People love movies. Now the people just need an award show that spends 3 hours explaining why and awarding the best of each category in a year. Unless we are counting FX by ILM or a movie directed by numero uno aka David Fincher, then they just need to know that those nominees are screwed.

  8. Cadavra says:

    C’mon, IO. Go back to the 70s. You had great comedies like WHAT’S UP, DOC?, YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN, SLEEPER, MURDER BY DEATH, THE BAD NEWS BEARS, AIRPLANE! (filmed in ’79) and tons more that absolutely played across the board. The comedies today are brainless collections of unfunny gags involving bodily functions, all aimed at the very lowest common denominator–the key art for COLLEGE is a guy barfing into a toilet, f’chrissake. Serious drama has been relegated to the indies, except when there’s a name director with enough pull to get one made. We’re lucky if we get one western a year, ditto musicals that feature people over 25. And if Lee Marvin told me I was under arrest, I’d be a hell of a lot more worried than if it were Josh Hartnett. And since I’m smart enough to know it ain’t ever going back to the way it used to be, please allow me my kvetching.

  9. jeffmcm says:

    IOI, I knew you meant comic book movies, but I was trying to give you some room to wiggle out of that corner you want to paint yourself into. No comic book movie, with the possible exception of Dark Knight, has ever merited Best Picture consideration. I like Iron Man and the first two Spider-Man movies – #2 was on my top ten for that year – but the Academy would never look at them as anything other than profitable kid movies. And while they’ve nominated some stinkers over the years, there’s not really any reason for the Oscars to turn themselves into the MTV Movie Awards because you feel like your tastes need to be validated.

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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

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