Tag Archives: Jeff Bridges

The 83rd Annual Academy Awards: The Official Sponsor of Bullshit

Top 10 random thoughts on the 83rd annual Academy Awards.

1. The King’s Speech wasn’t the best picture on that list (I believe it was either True Grit or Winter’s Bone).  It was good but it wasn’t great; if anything it was mediocre and sentimental and relied on trite tropes.

2. The commercials were really obnoxious, like usual, with the most offensive commercial being the American Cancer Society’s proclamation that they’re, “The Official Sponsor of Birthdays.” What? I didn’t know the ACS had that much authority to assume they have a hand in everybody’s birthday. Of course I think cancer is terrible and I’m hoping when I get cancer groups like the ACS are there to lend a helping hand but by officially sponsoring birthdays they’re overstepping their bounds. If they’re the official sponsor of birthdays I’m the official sponsor of anniversaries. Hear that world? Every anniversary is sponsored by me and this blog!

3. James Franco and Anne Hathaway weren’t that good as the show’s hosts. They gave it their best but it wasn’t good enough. It wasn’t necessarily their faults and I blame the writers, who didn’t write any of the material for the two hosts, but the writing just seemed lazy and stupid this year. In fact, I believe this was probably the worst Academy Awards show I’ve ever seen.

4. When Melissa Leo, or next year’s Best Supporting Actress winner, says “fucking easy,” you only need to cut out the “fuck;” everything else is suitable for young ears.

5. The Fighter was only mediocre, although Christian Bale’s portrayal of a washed-up crackhead was good and Melissa Leo’s performance as an over dominating mother was worthy of an Oscar. I personally felt Jennifer Lawrence’s role in Winter’s Bone was more deserving of the statue, although I’m hopeful she has a nice, long career ahead of her.

6. The only funny thing about turning various movies into trashy pop musicals was the Twilight thing. I’m not a big fan of Mormon vampires with a conscious and that Jacob kid walking around with his shirt off all the time doesn’t interest me.

7. Paying homage to a bunch of old movies so Hathaway and Franco host less was dull. Also, saying the Oscars are more “youth oriented,” is also silly, especially since the youth will watch it regardless of presentation; the youth like watching movie stars talk shit.

8. The beginning skit where Hathaway and Franco travel into Alec Baldwin’s dream was only mediocre and fell apart at the end when the duo mimicked Back to the Future – it didn’t work. If they came onto the stage in the car it might’ve worked but they just came out in fancy clothes and said lackluster things.

9. Kirk Douglas was actually funny, even though he already has one foot in the grave. There were parts of his speech that were excruciating but overall he was quite charming and humorous. It’s too bad Spartacus is going on 100 and sounds like he has Bells Palsy; he was an incredible actor once.

10. Ending the show with an elementary school choir wearing Hanes t-shirts was tacky and made the show seem schizophrenic. There was really no theme for the entire broadcast and the ending was weak. I didn’t even watch at this point, turning off the television and going to sleep.

True Grit: A Comparison of Two Versions

The Coen Brothers’ latest outing is a contemporary rendition of Chares Portis’ 1968 novel True Grit. Originally brought to the silver screen in ’69 by director Henry Hathaway (Niagara, Call Northside 777) and featuring John Wayne, singer Glen Campbell, and Kim Darby (the mother from Better Off Dead), the over 40 years between the two renditions shows a drastic change in filmmaking. Where Hathaway’s version features an almost lighthearted approach to the Western genre, Joel and Ethan Coen’s interpretation is grim, dark, and explores the darker aspects of humanity. There’s also a vast difference between performances. Although Wayne is a competent Rooster Cogburn, his Oscar winning performance lacks the tough demeanor the character demands – a trait Jeff Bridges brings to the role. The 2010 version of True Grit contains exactly what the title exclaims: grit. It’s a meticulously fashioned film, presenting an honest account of vengeance whereas the John Wayne version embodies the mythological interpretation of the Old West common in western films of the era. Continue reading

Tron: Legacy

I was a small child when the original Tron first entered America’s cultural zeitgeist. Being a product of the Star Wars generation I naturally had (and still have) a soft spot for science fiction, especially visually alluring examples of the genre. As I get older the appearance has lost much of its importance but I’m still a sucker for cool looking science fiction films. 1982’s Tron is a prime example of this; a film with more visual than narrative appeal. I didn’t actually see Tron when it hit theaters but a few years later on television. I waited with baited breath, familiar with the story through magazines, read along records, and action figures. When I finally saw the film I wasn’t disappointed, mesmerized by Disney’s fabricated digital world, Jeff Bridges’ portrayal of the uber-cool Kevin Flynn, and the futuristic sounding analog synth soundtrack by Wendy Carlos (A Clockwork Orange, The Shining). Upon reflection I don’t see Tron the same way, instead believing it a stylish retro ‘80s film that’s more important to film’s history for its meticulous construction than content…and the arcade game and action figures are still pretty cool. Continue reading