I love movies and television.  And I love the ins and the outs of Hollywood (OK – honestly I love it mostly so I can make fun of it, but still…).  And usually when the two come together (meaning movies or TV shows ABOUT Hollywood), it rarely works.  I mean there are hits…like The Player, Sunset Boulevard, or The Bad and the Beautiful.  But, mostly there are misses.  And then there are the movies that are set in the world of Hollywood but are more about other storylines and not really entirely focused on the movie business, such as Singin’ in the Rain, Hugo, Extras (well, that’s not HOLLYWOOD, per se, since it’s set in London, but it’s still a TV show about the movie/TV industry). 

Episodes, like Extras, is a joint television presentation between Showtime and the BBC (Extraswas between HBO and the BBC).  And the cast is British/American too.  The two main characters, TV screenwriters from London who move to Hollywood to “re-do” their hit UK show there, are British (Tamsin Greig as Beverly and Stephen Mangan as Sean).  But, the “actor” who gets the part in the American version of the show is played by VERY-American actor Matt LeBlanc, best known for the iconic Joey on the iconic sitcom Friends.  Because LeBlanc is the complete opposite of the character in the British version of the show, the entire show has to be re-worked to cater to LeBlanc’s younger, more attractive character.  This, naturally, causes tension between Beverly and Sean since they know they have “sold out” for success and money. 
The writing is rapier sharp…in all the right places.  The humor is dark and sarcastic but super witty.  The “Hollywood” characters have just the right tone of dishonesty/falseness.  And the relationship between Beverly and Sean has just the right amount of homesickness, selfishness and pride.  If you know anything at all about the goings-on of Hollywood, you will love this show.  Even if you do not know about or even enjoy the “Hollywood” scene, I’m still thinking you will love it. 
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With the impending re-release of both Titanic (1997) and Beauty and the Beast (1991) in 3D, I decided I am fed up. Now, I confess to taking a 3D class in college (the class was actually Widescreen, 3D and Stereophonic sound). And I also confess that I would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to see the 3D version of Alfred Hitchcock’s Dial “M” for Murder, that was filmed and never released. If anyone could do 3D like a master, it would ONLY be the Master of Suspense. But, I am tired of every movie and its mother being filmed in 3D, whether it is warranted or not. And RE-RELEASING already shot films just to capitalize on the 3D bandwagon is THE LAST STRAW. Where will it end, I thought.

So, I put together a list of other “sensible” (sarcasm intended) 3D re-releases. If any of these come out in cinemas, I’m moving to Mongolia and living in among the yak herders in a nice yurt!

The African Queen
All of those mosquitoes. All of that unbridled WWII passion.

All The President’s Men
All of that typing.

Amadeus
All of that piano playing.

Babe
Little pig. Sheep. Ducks. Dogs. Need I say more.

Bridge on the River Kwai
Madness. MADNESS.

Caligula
It can only improve it, right?

Chariots of Fire
Running, running, running.

Citizen Kane
Rosebud. IN 3D!!!!!!!!!

Fargo
Marge’s belly comin’ at you like never before.

Field of Dreams
The corn. The ghosts. Go the distance.

Forrest Gump
Run, Forrest, run!

Gone with the Wind
Frankly, my dear, I would love to see Tara in 3D.

The Graduate
One word: plastics.

The Hustler
All those pool balls. All those cue sticks.

It’s a Wonderful Life
3D could only improve Mr. Potter’s disposition.

Last Tango in Paris
Butter.

The Last Temptation of Christ
Would only enhance the controversy.

The Lost Weekend
Would make it easier to find those hidden bottles.

The Maltese Falcon
The stuff that dreams are made of.

Message in a Bottle
See above @ The Lost Weekend.

No Country for Old Men
The guns and the oxygen tank alone. Not to mention the haircut.

No Way Out (1987)
And I thought that limo ride couldn’t get any better.

Oceans’ 11 (2001)
Eye candy comin’ at you!

The Odd Couple
Felix wants 3D. Oscar hates it.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
Nurse Ratched softer, more three-dimensional side.

Raging Bull
Pow, right in the kisser.

Roxanne
The Nose.

Silence of the Lambs
Do I really need to elaborate here?

Singin’ in the Rain
All of those raindrop. So lifelike.

Some Like It Hot
You should see the gams on Curtis and Lemmon.

The Sting
3D would just make the cool cooler.

Tootsie
You should see the gams on Hoffman.

Unforgiven
William Mony killed women, children and 2D.

(P.S. I hesitated posting this since it’s so snarky, but take it for what it is…a movie lover’s plea for Hollywood to wake up and start creating new material and even new technology!)

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So, what did we think of the show?  Well, even though Billy (Crystal) was back, the show still lacked some of its verve and vibrance from previous years.  True, it was better than last year –but 2011 wasn’t exactly a good year to compare things with, right?  I mean at least Billy Crystal wasn’t stoned (or at least didn’t appear stoned) and he genuinely seemed like he was excited about hosting and being there.  One good thing I can say for sure — it was SHORT.  I cannot remember a year when the Oscars doesn’t hit the 3.5 hour mark.  VERY GOOD in the length dept.  In my own opinion, I could have done without the Cirque du Soleil and the overly self-serving montages of actors sharing why they love the movies.  We get it…they are IN movies, so naturally they will LOVE movies.  Move on!  
Aside from all of that, I thought Billy Crystal did a good job of keeping the show moving forward at a good pace.  Of course, there are always going to be draggy speeches and long, drawn-out parts (it is the Oscars after-all — this is the pinnacle for Hollywood’s ego).  Over-all, though, I thought the show was pretty entertaining. 
Now, for the winners (and losers).  I am still a little sore that I was deprived of another George Clooney acceptance speech.  And though Jean Dujardin was good in The Artist, Clooney was uncharacteristicly excellent in The Descendants…which is saying a lot considering that he’s usually gives strong performances (Solaris, anyone???).  And I though I love Meryl Streep like most other movie fans, I really, really wanted to see the double hit of Octavia Spencer (who won) and Viola Davis (who lost to Streep) from The Help.  Davis got a lot of flack from being in a movie where she plays a Southern maid and I thought she really knocked it out of the park, regardless of controversy.  Streep acted the heck out of Maggie Thatcher in The Iron Lady (just as Helen Mirren did several years ago with Queen Elizabeth II in her Oscar-winning performance in The Queen) but Meryl has won twice before and doesn’t need another Oscar to prove her worth.  An Oscar for Viola would have confirmed what moviegoers have known for a while: she’s a powerhouse actress who’s finally getting the acclaim she deserves. 
Just my two cents from someone who loves the Oscars, loves the movies and loves talking about both!

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Best Picture
War Horse
The Artist
*WINNER
Moneyball
The Descendants
The Tree of Life
Midnight in Paris
The Help
Hugo
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

Best Actress
Glenn Close, Albert Nobbs
Rooney Mara, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Viola Davis, The Help
Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady *WINNER
Michelle Williams, My Week With Marilyn

Best Actor
Demian Bichir, A Better Life
George Clooney, The Descendants
Jean Dujardin, The Artist *WINNER
Gary Oldman, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Brad Pitt, Moneyball

Best Director
Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist *WINNER
Alexander Payne, The Descendants
Martin Scorsese, Hugo
Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris
Terrence Malick, The Tree of Life

Short Film (Animated)
Dimanche/Sunday
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore *
WINNER
La Luna
A Morning Stroll
Wild Life
 

Documentary Short Subject
The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement
God Is the Bigger Elvis
Incident in New Baghdad
Saving Face
*WINNER
The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom

Short Film (Live Action)
Pentecost
Raju
The Shore
*WINNER
Time Freak
Tuba Atlantic

Best Original Screenplay
Michel Hazanivicius, The Artist
Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo, Bridesmaids
Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris *WINNER
J.C. Chandor, Margin Call
Asghar Farhadi, A Separation

Best Adapted Screenplay
Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, The Descendants *WINNER
John Logan, Hugo
George Clooney, Beau Willimon and Grant Heslov, The Ides of March
Steven Zaillian, Aaron Sorkin and Stan Chervin, Moneyball
Bridget O’Connor and Peter Straughan, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy


Music (Original Song)
“Man or Muppet” from The Muppets, Bret McKenzie *WINNER
“Real in Rio” from Rio, Sergio Mendes, Carlinhos Brown and Siedah Garrett

Music (Original Score)
John Williams, The Adventures of Tintin
Ludovic Bource, The Artist *WINNER
Howard Shore, Hugo
Alberto Iglesias, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
John Williams, War Horse

Supporting Actor
Kenneth Branagh, My Week With Marilyn
Jonah Hill, Moneyball
Nick Nolte, Warrior
Christopher Plummer, Beginners *WINNER
Max von Sydow, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

Visual Effects
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
Hugo
*WINNER
Real Steel
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon



Best Animated Feature
A Cat in Paris
Chico & Rita
Kung Fu Panda 2
Puss in Boots
Rango
*WINNER

Documentary Feature
Hell and Back Again
If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front
Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory
Pina
Undefeated
*WINNER

Sound Mixing
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Hugo
*WINNER
Moneyball
Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon
War Horse



Sound Editing
Drive
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Hugo
*WINNER
Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon
War Horse

Film Editing
Anne-Sophie Bion and Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
Kevin Tent, The Descendants
Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo *WINNER
Thelma Schoonmaker, Hugo
Christopher Tellefsen, Moneyball

Supporting Actress
Berenice Bejo, The Artist
Jessica Chastain, The Help
Melissa McCarthy, Bridesmaids
Janet McTeer, Albert Nobbs
Octavia Spencer, The Help *WINNER

Best Foreign Feature
Bullhead
Footnote
In Darkness
Monsieur Lazhar
A Separation
*WINNER


Makeup
Martial Corneville, Lynn Johnston and Matthew W. Mungle, Albert Nobbs
Nick Dudman, Amanda Knight and Lisa Tomblin, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
Mark Coulier and J. Roy Helland, The Iron Lady *WINNER

Costume Design
Anonymous
The Artist
*WINNER
Hugo
Jane Eyre
W.E.

Art Direction
The Artist
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
Hugo *
WINNER
Midnight in Paris
War Horse

Cinematography
The Artist
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Hugo
*WINNER
The Tree of Life
War Horse

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