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@jaredmobarak • NPH in sequins … i guess that’s something …

The 82nd Annual Oscars ceremony begins, yet the hosts are nowhere to be found. Have we gotten to the point now where we need a lead-in for the most assuredly lame/very PC stand-up routine? We need to get the ball rolling for the ball that gets the show rolling? And they wonder why it always goes over its allotted timeslot. So, not only do we have to be introduced to all the lead acting nominees—because anyone watching doesn’t know who they are already—we get Neil Patrick Harris doing a bit that recalled Hugh Jackman’s musical number of a year before. Between the black sequined-tuxedo and his always snide line delivery, I actually hoped that there was a problem and he was the new host … but alas, a line in his song mentioned how Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin were soon to arrive, and once they did, the pace slowed to a crawl and I realized, once again, how great Ricky Gervais was at the Golden Globes.

@jaredmobarak • good CAA joke … ill give him that …
@jaredmobarak • and a The Jerk reference … they should talk about Precious the whole show …

Martin and Baldwin are great comedic talents, no question, but they just fell flat in their opening and pretty much stayed stagnant for the whole show. You can say they played off each other well, but if it’s not funny, who cares? I’ll definitely give them the Clooney looks—that was on the nose—but besides the Precious quips, especially the comparison to his role in The Jerk, I couldn’t wait for Best Supporting Actor to be awarded. Even that was kind of lame on principle since there was no way Christoph Waltz would lose, yet his inherent modesty and authentic gratitude during his acceptance speech made it a fantastic moment. Finally there was something to get behind on the show as Inglourious Basterds received its only award of the night. Well, that shot of Antonio Banderas in full Wolfman beard entertained too, especially since I’ve been flabbergasted recently how Anthony Hopkins keeps getting cast as Spanish actors’ fathers. So Banderas instead of Benicio would have been a reunion for the two after Zorro anyway.

@jaredmobarak • did they seriously not let T-Bone talk? maybe Martin/Baldwin will bring him back like Stewart did for Marketa’s Once win

Next came the usually tired animated characters gratefully thanking the Academy for their nominations. It almost seems like too much money for no reward; I mean getting the voice-actors and animators back to do those things can’t be cheap. Up took Best Animated Film without surprise, Steve and Alec went down another notch in the fun category with a horrid attempt at a The Hangover joke, and all of a sudden Best Original Song was upon us. “The Weary Kind” winning was somewhat of a foregone conclusion, but hopefully Ryan Bingham would be able to speak, since he was in the bathroom or something when they won the Golden Globe. Unfortunately, the microphone was shut off when he finished and T-Bone Burnett got the shaft. I know they had a separate ‘Thank You’ camera back stage, but at least have the decency to let the guy say Thank You broadly. If you are going to puff the show up with a longwinded horror tribute, (with footage from a few not so very scary movies included), at least let the winners have a second to acknowledge the audience.

@jaredmobarak • oh good, they dont have scary ugly orange SJP with Matthew … what was he thinking when he married that?

Is it bad that after a handful of awards are handed out, the highlight of my night comes in the form of Coke using a Temper Trap song in their new commercial? I guess the evening can only get better right? Well, on comes Robert Downey Jr, so things are looking up. There to announce Best Original Screenplay, he talks about the disparate social standing of the pretty people—him—and the mole people—writers. Possibly the biggest hit joke-wise of the night, I started getting back into the show, crossing my fingers for either the words that went through Sy Abelman’s mouth in A Serious Man or Tarantino’s rat-ta-tat with Inglourious Basterds taking the trophy. And the winner is … The Hurt Locker, one of many to come. However, with original screenplays on the mind, the Academy decided it a perfect place for a John Hughes tribute. Very tasteful and nostalgic, the whole endeavor was a memorable interlude, culling together a bunch of has-beens to support their fallen friend. Judd Nelson sounded like he was deaf, screaming at the top of his lungs, Ally Sheedy still looked gorgeous, and Macaulay Culkin was discovered to still be alive.

@jaredmobarak • just about to say i hope Ed Asner doesn’t die during the show, but then they showed Chris Plummer … he looks like he just did

Who’s inspired casting was it to get Sam Jackson, one of today’s most prolifically vulgar men in Hollywood, to stand up for the children’s film Up? Whomever it was, give them a raise. The fun didn’t continue, though, because next on tap was a category I had little knowledge about—the Short films, presented by Carey Mulligan, (weird as a blonde), and Zoe Saldana. If anything, I reminisced about West Bank Story, a great Live Action Short from a couple years back while waiting to see if Logorama, my favorite of the Animated Shorts would win. And, frankly, after seeing John Lasseter sporting a Cars button-up shirt, it seemed appropriate for a film using 3,000 logos without permission to be victorious. It was the winner and Documentary Short went to Music by Prudence, (a great acceptance speech due to it being hijacked by someone, hopefully involved in the movie and late to the stage, pushing the winner aside), with The New Tenants taking Live Action. And what was that quick glimpse at the box seating area without any purpose? Talk about people with one foot in the grave …

@jaredmobarak • God i hate Tyler Perry …

So, Star Trek wins Best Make-up after a watered-down version of the introduction that Sacha Baron Cohen would have killed—had he been able, (read about the original skit here)—by Ben Stiller. Cohen as a pregnant Na’vi accusing womanizer James Cameron of fathering his child turned into a miffed Stiller making clicking sounds while someone offstage plays with his tail? Yeah, tragic. I mean come on, Cameron left Bigelow for Linda Hamilton, (his actress), and then returned the favor by leaving her for Suzy Amis, (his actress). I think he would have gotten the joke. Either way, following that was what I assumed to be another awkward win for Up in the Air as Best Adapted Screenplay, watching Reitman thank everyone while the guy who started the script was ignored in the background. But, alas, the winner was Precious. Very deserving, as well as Mo’Nique’s inevitable win as Supporting Actress, her monologue at the end of the movie being quite possibly the most powerful scene all year. Her acceptance was very heartfelt as they’ve all been, but it’s screenwriter Geoffrey Fletcher that steals the show with his absolutely stunned silence. So overwhelmed, he couldn’t fathom the words to say … and then Martin makes a poor decision in ad-libbing a joke about it.

@jaredmobarak • haha … he stepped on Sigourney’s dress … wear something longer why don’t you

Avatar wins Best Art Direction—Surprise. And The Young Victoria nabs Best Costume Design—so glad to see it win something, what an underrated film along with Bright Star. But wait … winner Sandy Powell begins her speech with the words, “I already have two of these”. And we have the most ingratiating/egomaniacal/bitchy moment of the show. After praising her win internally, I quickly wished she had lost. I do, however, have to wonder what Tom Ford was thinking having to stand next to glowingly orange Sarah Jessica Parker. Bet he was thanking God he didn’t have to turn her image around like he did Gucci. I digress, though, the technical awards were in full regalia and Hurt Locker wins Best Sound Mixing and Editing, Anna Kendrick becomes even more cute seeing how genuinely nervous she looked on stage, Travolta shows why he should be bald permanently, and Sandra Bullock displays how much she cares about Best Cinematography with her blank stare and unenthusiastic delivery. Avatar won that one by the way.

@jaredmobarak • Demi … funny to introduce the deceased list since her career kinda died …

Now for the time-honored tradition of paying respect to all those industry veterans who passed away during 2009 … shown behind the wondrous voice and acoustic guitar of James Taylor. Yeah, that actually happened. How schmaltzy and tacky can you get Academy? And then you leave off Farrah Fawcett? It’s bad enough that Michael Jackson, dying later the same night as her, upstaged any sympathy, but they don’t even remember she died at all. Hey, at least we got to watch a bunch of Cirque du Soleil wannabes in street clothes dance to the scores of this year’s Oscar nominees. I’d much rather see the choreography to be used in Channing Tatum’s next film then hear T-Bone say thank you earlier; very good use of time management. And J.Lo—I think everyone forgot about making fun of your large behind … you don’t have to put a huge bow on your side for us to be distracted. Almost as bad a dress as Charlize Theron putting fabric roses on her chest—did you not want us to look there?

@jaredmobarak • just me or is Fisher Stevens’ role in Short Circuit 2 possibly the most racist ever … you really couldn’t find a real Indian for that one?

Yes movie fans … Fisher Stevens is an Oscar winner. It’s for the Documentary The Cove, but a win is a win. And he is the second “Lost” alum to take home gold after Michael Giacchino proved victorious for his Up Score. Next was Best Visual Effects to Avatar—in the bag months ago, yet I still secretly hoped District 9 would take it—and Hurt Locker taking Film Editing after we deal with Tyler Perry actually being allowed to set foot on stage. I don’t know why I dislike him so much—I have never seen a Medea film—I just do. Serendipitously they cut to a shot of Quincy Jones after Perry leaves, right before going to Keanu Reeves. And then the weird thought of how fun it would be to recast Morpheus in The Matrix with Jones popped into my head. It was a Stay-Puff Marshmallow Man moment and I all of a sudden knew what Dan Aykroyd’s Ray must have felt. And then it happened … Secret in Their Eyes from Argentina wins Best Foreign Language Film. My dreams of Michael Haneke gracing the Kodak Theatre stage were quashed and the world was cheated of seeing all that white hair, hiding behind Tarantino in his seat, in full HD-glory. Grand larceny my friends.

@jaredmobarak • wow … Oprah and Tyler Perry at the Oscars … the world has ended and i guess i didn’t make it into Heaven …

Did the show announcer before each commercial really drop the ball a couple times? Not only did she forget to say Best Actress was forthcoming after Actor was awarded, but a couple commercial breaks earlier she posed the question of whether Avatar, The Hurt Locker, Blind Side, or a surprise would take home Best Picture. So not only does she put Blind Side as the third best frontrunner, but she also pretty much tells the other seven films they don’t have a chance in hell of winning. Nice esteem booster honey. My disappointment in her subsided soon, though, because one of my favorite new shows, “Modern Family”, took it upon itself to make an Oscar-themed commercial. I really love those characters and following them came the acting categories—an appropriate transition. Unfortunately, we had to watch the back-slapping fraternity of Hollywood tell mostly sentimental tales of their friends and how happy they are for them being nominated, first. Tim Robbins’s anecdote about Morgan Freeman calling him “Ted” was priceless, so all was not lost. Even Bullock stealing Mulligan’s statue and Jeff Bridges moseying in for Colin Firth’s didn’t hurt too much. Bullock was great, no question, it was just an inferior film. I did love her speech, however, so humble and truly touched, she went up many points in my book. And Bridges—well the guy was stellar. Much like how I wanted Mickey Rourke to win last year, you can’t complain about Sean Penn beating him. The same with Jeff over Colin this time, more so due to his jubilant speech.

@jaredmobarak • Babs? seriously? its like the Super Bowl halftime, we get all the old has-beens to pretend they are still relevant …

Now, do you think the Academy knew Kathryn Bigelow was a shoe-in to win Best Director? Is that why they dug up Barbra Streisand to hand her the bald man? Breaking through the glass ceiling once and for all, I would have been pissed if she didn’t win. Strange Days will always be my favorite of hers, but there is no denying the power and intensity brought by The Hurt Locker, all at the hands of her vision. There was more to that award, though, it also signified a chasm in the night’s award count for the two big favorites. Hurt Locker had five statues and Avatar only three, the former in prestigious categories and the latter in technical ones. Did that mean Cameron would get the pity vote to take home a media-relevant trophy after being shutout from the rest? Well, it didn’t take long as Tom Hanks took the stage, thirty minutes passed the desired end time for the show, and decided to not even read off the nominees, (you know, these guys—click here—well the real versions of these entertaining spoof posters at least).

@jaredmobarak • Gervais for 2010? God i hope so …

The winner is … The Hurt Locker!! David beats Goliath and deservedly so. Was it a surprise? Not really. My only huge upset of the night came from Haneke getting robbed. Martin and Baldwin played it safe and thankfully weren’t given very much screen time to be worse. I did love the stage in its minimalism and efficiency with large screens and simple stairs to give presenters an entrance without dragging the duration along. Still a half hour too long, though, so more changes might need to be made. Hopefully one of those will be making the show funnier; it’s amazing how much having a good time can make even a three and a half hour self-satisfying award show fly by. And Steve … let go of Bigelow’s Oscar!

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