78 Years of Gratuitous Self-Adulation

OscarSince none of us actually saw any of the movies that were nominated this year, I thought I would save us all a little time. I watched the Oscars so you wouldn’t have to! Here’s what you missed:

  • 8:06 pm – The first obligatory camera shot to Jack Nicholson. Do you think he saves those orange-tinted glasses just for Oscar night, or are they equally useful when smashing in someone’s car window with a golf club?
  • 8:07 pm – Can someone please tell Catherine Keener that it’s bad form to check your text messages at the Oscars. You’re a nominee for pete’s sake not a seat-filler, start acting like it!
  • 8:10 pm – If you had 10 minutes and under in your Time Till the First Dick Cheney Joke Pool, congratulations, you’re a winner.
  • 8:13 pm – After a Jon Stewart joke about Johnny Cash, Joaquin Phoenix wins the Sean Penn Memorial Least Sense of Humor About Yourself or Your Movie Award by not even attempting to crack a smile.
  • 8:17 pm – I think Nicole Kidman may, in fact, be the palest person on the planet. I took the opportunity of her presenting an award to white-balance my TV.
  • 8:21 pm – It seems as though the director of the Oscar telecast has decided to pump up the sentimentality of acceptance speeches by adding dreamy mood music. The trap is set, now If only someone could descend into a non-sensical political tirade!
  • 8:28 pm – Tom Hanks participates in a skit where he gets poked by a trombone and has a viola smashed over his head. That’s your two-time Oscar winner for you folks! Proving yet again the age old axiom: you can take the boy out of Turner & Hooch, but you can’t take the Turner & Hooch out of the boy.
  • 8:29 pm – Appearing in front of millions of viewers in a green body suit, I’m pretty sure Ben Stiller has given up on any future plans to have an acting career that doesn’t involve movies that hinge on jokes about bodily fluids or TV remakes.
  • 8:35 pm – Probably because of their oversized bowties, the creators of Wallace & Grommit are forced to sit in the furthest reaches of the first seating section with the other un-camera worthy friends and relatives.
  • 8:36 pm – J-Lo is in da house with a scraggly looking guy who appears to be her personal valet.
  • 8:37 pm – Dolly Parton performs the best song nominee, “Travelin’ Through,” with a face pulled back tighter than a Hillary Clinton smile.
  • 8:42 pmCommercial Alert! Apparently Wal-Mart is cool now! Well I’m convinced! Healthcare for none, low prices on trendy goods for all!
  • 8:46 pm – We’ve now reached the middle portion of the telecast, also known as the stretch of incredibly boring awards no one cares about. This is the hour segment of the telecast where all you’re hoping for is that the eventual winners are not present to accept their award, just to move things along. This almost never happens. Even if the particular winning sound-mixing team has previously won the Oscar 47 times.
  • 8:52 pm – While the winners of the Best Costuming award for Memoirs of the Geisha walked to the stage, the camera cut to Kate Capshaw whispering into Steven Spielberg’s ear. I imagine she said something like this, “See, I told you you should have directed that one instead of another stupid alien movie with that scientologist nutjob.”
  • 8:55 pm – Going into the commercial break, the voice-over announcer intones, “Will Farrel and Steve Carrell will take the stage next.” He forgets to add “expect zaniness to ensue!”
  • 9:03 pm – I love how the Academy always sends up-and-coming but not quite there yet starlets to host the Science and Technical Achievement Awards (This year Rachel McAdams represents.) It’s like the Oscar minor leagues. That is, if the minor leagues consisted mostly of wrinkly old Jewish men.
  • 9:08 pm – In her acceptance speech, Rachel Weisz uses an Oscar telecast record 96 adjectives to describe how great she thinks the cast and crew of her movie are.
  • 9:10 pm – Commercial Alert! Tab is back baby! And you thought 80’s nostalgia was so over.
  • 9:25 pm – There’s a new theme at the Academy Awards this year. Props! First it was the little bowties, now the March of the Penguins guys brought stuffed penguins to the podium. If this keeps up, we might have to send out a search party to find Carrot Top so he can pick up the hosting duties next year.
  • 9:27 pm – Is it just me, or did the set for the performance for the best original song nominee from Crash remind anyone else of the prom nightmare flick Carrie?
  • 9:39 pm – I’m sorry, but you can’t give Samuel L. Jackson a prolonged soliloquy without having it escalate into an angry tirade. It’s like telling Emeril to cook something without adding in one of his idiotic “BAMS!” You just expect…no, demand that it happen.
  • 9:45 pm – The President of the Academy, Sid Ganis, reassures us that even compared to new-fangled inventions such as DVDs and home theaters, there’s nothing quite like the experience of going to the movies. You can almost here the telecast director shouting, “Find the oldest star in the room, find the oldest star in the room! Okay…cut to Mickey Rooney nodding in approval.”
  • 10:23 pm – After the Three 6 Mafia’s performance, the Oscars brought on Queen Latifah to present Best Original Song. I almost expected her intro voice-over to say to the white-washed audience “And if you liked that, here’s another African-American person you may enjoy, Queen Latifah!”
  • 10:30 pmJennifer Garner, not used to walking in heels with her post-pregnancy boobs, almost does a faceplant.
  • 10:35 pm – For the first time in memory, there’s no clear-cut winner in the always creepy In Memoriam Clap-off.
  • 10:55 pm – Someone needs to tell John Travolta that his short-cropped haircut only accentuates the fact that his head is now shaped like a bulk-sized two-pack cereal box.
  • 11:03 pm – Palpable tension rises as Reese Witherspoon waits until the very last moment to thank husband Ryan Phillipe in her acceptance speech. Ryan sported the “Oh my God, I’m going to be the next Chad Lowe,” face for a good three minutes straight.
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Many people have tried to accurately capture the essence that is Brian, but this much is known to be true: he has dutifully paid the hosting bill for Ranzino.com since 2001.

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