Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Random Thoughts: No nomination for Harry Potter? Really Hollywood?

Let me make one thing perfectly clear.  I'm not a big Harry Potter fan, although at least two of my sons are not to mention various other family members.  But I have seen all of the Harry films, found some of them just so so, others pretty good, and still others a total bore (Deathly Hallows Part One).  Yet, I found Deathly Hallows Part Two to easily be the best of the bunch, a damn good film, and a really terrific sendoff for the series.

It would seem that most people are in agreement with me as the film garnered a 96 per cent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes making it one of the most well received films of the year.

Yet, even though there were nine best film nominees this year, the Hollywood elite decided Harry and the gang didn't deserve so much as a nomination.  Frankly, accomplishing what this series did, how many tickets the series sold, and how many people were employed on the films, you would have thought they'd be a little more grateful than that. 

But instead we get the usual oddball conglomerate of Best Picture Nominees,  a list that as usual has no real rhyme or reason for it’s existence.  It’s not like I’m saying HP & The Gang should win the award, but to not even nominate it is more than just an oversight.  It’s just another example of Hollywood elite snobbery that does nothing more than turn the general public off.

Oh sure, we get something like The Tree of Life as a nominee so all the elitists of film land can prove to us once again that the ones who buy most of the tickets don't know art when they see it, or squat about films in general.  Sure I do.  If it bores your ass off, and doesn't make a lick of sense, it's art.  And the consensus of opinion of the average moviegoer and even some critics  is that The Tree of Life is a crushing bore.  I guess that means we’re all just low brow dim wits who don’t know artsy fartsy when we see artsy fartsy.  And even Sean Penn doesn’t think the film was that great and he starred in the damn thing.  And if you can’t please Sean Penn with artsy fartsy, then we know you’re just blowing smoke up our ass.

Then there's the case of Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close which scored a paltry 48 per cent on the Rotten Meter.  But it's this year's 9/11 movie and I guess there's something in the rules that says if it's a 9/11 movie, it gets a guaranteed nomination.  It’s the only explanation I and even most critics can come up with as to explaining it’s listing in the Best Picture category.  

I could also make the case that Potter was at least as good as The Help (76 per cent), or is certainly equal to Woody Allen's latest self-indulgent shlubfest, Midnight in Paris.  And of course, let's not forget this year's big gimmick film, The Artist, which somehow won a best screenplay nomination despite the fact that there's not one word of dialogue spoken in the whole damn thing.  The next time someone tells me Titanic didn't deserve a best picture because of the clunky dialog in Cameron's script, I think I'll tell them to shove a copy of The Artist screenplay up their ass. 

Two years ago the gimmick film was The Hurt Locker, the gimmick being that it had a woman director and the ladies had yet to win one despite the fact that they have directed way more deserving films than this one note Johnny.  It’s already been forgotten by most people, and a high percentage of those forgot about it before the credits finished rolling.  Then there was Slumdog Millionaire the previous film, which was entertaining enough, but was totally ridiculous in it's premise of learning everything you need to know to win Who Wants to be A Millionaire in the slums and that you can get all hot and bothered over a girl at a very young age and stalk her until you are well in your teens.  Hadn’t Anakin Skywalker covered that eternal love stuff territory once before?  Use the force Jamal!  .And they consider Harry Potter movies fantasy? 

Don't even get me started on the ridiculous win of Crash over Brokeback Mountain, which proved despite it's supposedly liberal leanings, Homophobia still wins out in good old Hollywood.  And yes, this year’s racism is a very bad thing movie is The Help, a theme which also seems to be a big boost for squeezing your film into the Best picture category.  But like I said, just don’t make a movie about gays or lesbians because then your goose is cooked before it even gets basted.  Just ask Ang Lee.  Hollywood has to keep the right wing nutcases happy somehow.   

Let’s be real.  The Oscars are not really much of an indicator of anything anymore.   At least not for me and a whole lot of other people.  Once upon a time I did think it was a big deal, but not any more.  

When they finally got around to acknowledging the Lord of the Rings Trilogy,  the Oscar TV ratings went up just as they did during Titanic’s big year.  Since then, as one film after another joins in the race to be the film the general public cares least about, the ratings have once again begun to slide.  It only took about one year for the viewing audience to figure out that nominating ten films was simply another dog and pony sleight of hand trick, and I'm sure we'll once again be able to pretty much guess the Best Picture Winner before the end of February (The Artist, what a shock!).  And before long, even The Miss America pageant will be more relevant then this yearly self congratulatory “let’s drool all over one another” crappy crap  fest.  

And that thing they used to call an Oscar bounce where winning Best Picture added gazillions to a film’s gross?  It appears that has pretty much passed into the annals of history as well.  Just ask the producers of Hurt Locker about that piece of fiction.

I should point out some other snubs as well although I really don’t want to spend too much time on this nonsense.  Look at the animation feature category.  What’s up with the two obscure films nobody’s ever heard of and that nobody is never really going to give a damn about?  Chiquita Bananas and the Lovely Rita Meter MaidTop Cat Does Paris?  What the hell is that crap?   They’re the Herman Cain and Michelle Bachman of the Academy awards.  Nobody cared when they came out and no number of nominations is going to get most viewers to give a rat’s ass .  Hell, the DVD’s and Blu-rays weren’t even released in this country.  Left out of the animation category were Cars 2, Spielberg’s Adventures of TinTin, Rio, or even Winnie The Pooh which had a whopping 91 percent on the Tomato meter.   

People are so excited in regards to TC does Paris that the IMDB message board is just brimming with excitement over it.  There are exactly three posts.  The enthusiasm is just overwhelming.  And according to this damn thing, the movie came out in 2010.  I thought these films were supposed to be released in 2011?

Then there’s the fact that only two songs were nominated (two songs?  really?) because they have a real quirky half assed nominating system for best song.  Look at the bright side.  At least you won’t have to watch all five of them being performed with some overdone overblown stage productions.   The two songs that did get nominated aren’t exactly going to be getting heavy rotation in anybody’s house anytime soon.  I love and adore The Muppets, but that song Man or Muppet will never be another Rainbow Connection

I could go on and on, but the fact is that like most people these days I just don't care enough, and I don't even make it a point to watch the thing which is a far cry from way back when I live blogged the event.  Hmmm…maybe I’ll do that this year for the purpose of poking a little fun.  Oh wait, I forgot.  I’m having an operation on the sixth of February so I doubt I’ll be up for that.  Maybe next year we’ll do it when Hollywood’s Elite shits on the ticket buyers once again.