Great points about the nominees; definitely, the poor selection is not a new phenomenon. The difference now, I would argue, is that the ratings are becoming more and more influential. And obviously that's not just on the Academy...the network that the ceremony airs on is guilty as well. And is it just me or are Box Office results more ubiquitous now? They bear some weight on the winners and losers as well.
My "perhaps I'm getting old" moment came when I was soundly asleep in my bed when ARGO won Best Picture. Sure the whole ordeal was pretty dull, but I probably would've stayed up had I not been so gosh darn sleepy. I completely agree on your Affleck thoughts, too, Brandon. The man has had one hell of an interesting career. He goes from winning an Oscar that no one thinks he deserves, to starring in movies like DAREDEVIL/JERSEY GIRL/GIGLI, to directing some commendable films in THE TOWN and now ARGO. That's one hell of a revival. But yeah, it's probably time for him to stay behind the camera for his next project, not because of his acting abilities, but because of the vanity charge, as you rightly point out.
I probably would've been a bigger fan of the evening as a whole had the Oscars been hosted by someone I actually like. The opening bit with William Shatner felt awkward to me and went on far too long; I can understand that those angered by the words "Jedi Mind-meld" would love it, but I've never been much of a Trekie. The "Boob song" complaints are fairly overblown, but I did see a few people noting that a handful of the women McFarlane referenced were nude during rape scenes. That would be my only complaint about the song, especially since, and I know you'd agree, a large majority of our culture either doesn't take the issue of rape seriously enough or flat-out ignores it.
CASABLANCA is one those classics that everyone ends up seeing at one point or another. I'm sure for a lot of people who "hate old movies," they at least like or respect CASABLANCA. For those interested in film or who want to be more intimate with it and its history, CASABLANCA is a film you see very early on and then potentially forget about as other favorites are discovered. I know the latter scenario is definitely true for me. Curtiz's film still holds a special place in my heart for me, though. As love stories and WWII stories respectively go, it's one of the more interesting ones in the history of cinema. It's a film with that somewhat indescribable "movie magic" quality, where the shots and dialogue feel larger than life. Anyway, I have blu ray in my wish list on Amazon, so at some point I'll buy and re-watch it.
Out of all of Marty's Aught films, I probably like THE DEPARTED best, but admittedly, I still need to re-watch THE AVIATOR...can't recall too much from it, as I stated back when we did our 2004 lists.
Ha, I'm sure there was a time when you told me that you liked AVATAR. I honestly hate that movie and I haven't re-watched it since seeing it in the theater. While I would never fault anyone who did see it in the theater, and admittedly...it was a cool experience, I see no reason to revisit it. The 3-D effects are all it has, in my opinion.
Yeah, if I were in Brent's shoes watching SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS with his in-laws, I'd be pretty damn uncomfortable, even though they're very nice/cool people. There should be a disclaimer on movies advising you on whether to watch it with your parents or in-laws. I now think back to Ben watching KILLER JOE with his family. Oh dear...
The throat scene in CACHE is very shocking, very reaction-worthy, and very Haneke. Great point about Haneke and guilt. Guilt plays out pretty beautifully (in an awful way, of course) in CACHE.
Happy to hear that you're hooked on Breaking Bad now; can't wait to read your thoughts on the show. Wish Vince Gilligan would take a page out of Peter Jackson's book and drag the show out even longer. Give us more, Vince! Oh, and good god, the second half of season 5 starts in July?? Completely forgot and assumed it would come back sometime this spring. GAH! At least that gives you plenty of time to get caught-up, Brandon.
I am looking forward to the second and third Hobbit films, but I'm really hoping neither film exceeds the two-hour mark. How wrong I'll be...