OK. So last week would have been the opportune time to weigh in on the Academy Awards, right? Not necessarily since it’s basically a sham that puts high fashion over films and makes the rich and detached world of celebrities so many drool over even more opulent.
Putting too much weight on who won what and worse yet, who wore what, is a mistake. For one, many, many great films are overlooked by the Academy because this group of elitist snobs has obviously lost its connection to the public, i.e. the movie goers.
Does it really matter whether Meryl Streep wore Prada or whether Nicole Kidman’s Balenciaga was so red hot that Jack Black would look good in it? I know these folks’ clothes for the evening are more expensive than my college education, do I really need it rubbed in my face as they strut down the red carpet?
No, I don’t.
Besides, some of them truly don’t belong there to begin with and I can think of a number of actors in Kitsap County who put these “icons” to shame on a regular basis with top notch community theater performances.
A fine example of Hollywood’s truest form is Kirsten Dunst (who is the Melanie Griffith of the new millennium.) Connection? Neither can, has, or ever will be able to string together a silver screen scene that passes as believable dialogue, much less acting.
One can surely argue that the Oscars are all about prestige and that it would be cheapened if say, best comedy, best action movie and the like were added to the lineup. Yet seeing that “X-Men: The Last Stand” was the fourth on the list of top grossing movies for 2006 (and believe me, it was bad. As in I want the last 104 minutes and whatever seconds of my life back bad), obviously Hollywood doesn’t need to be brilliant to make a few bucks. Or $234,307,000 as the case may be.
In fact, and supporting the fact that the Oscars are out of touch with the public, Best Picture, “The Departed,” chimed in at No. 15 on the money making list. Meaning that more people plunked down their hard earned dollars to see Adam Sandler in “Click,” Will Ferrell in “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby,” and Tom Hanks in the uber-hyped but painfully flat “The Da Vinci Code.”
At the box office, “Dream Girls” edged out “Scary Movie 4” by $10 million and “Little Miss Sunshine,” which came in at No. 51, was behind such audience favorites as “The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause” (23), “Jackass: Number Two” (33) “Rocky Balboa” (39) and Tim Allen again as “The Shaggy Dog” (48).
And while release dates can be a point of contention on these, the fact remains that — according to the Academy — we all pretty much watch and love crap. Which is, of course, probably why so many of us watch the Oscars to begin with.
But with so many great movies for 2006. What was the best? What single movie’s title captured the essence of the movie itself and didn’t sell it’s audience short?
Walking into “Snakes on a Plane” (2006), you pretty much know what you’re going to get. A plane with snakes on it.
That’s the beauty of this silver screen gem — simplicity. It doesn’t talk down to its audience with a lot of pretentious nonsense, have much of a message about morality, the triumph of the human spirit, or tread lightly around the fact the movie is a brilliant throwback to the ‘80s, when it would have been considered high cinema.
Samuel L. Jackson seems to realize this and really throws himself into his role as Agent Neville Flynn. I laughed. I cried. I felt a kinship with the thousands of CGI snakes that died horribly. Why did they die? Because venomous, attacking snakes should never be loose on a plane, that’s why.