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Friday, February 03, 2006

Best Picture This!

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, also known as the Oscar Whores (but not by me, I assure you) released their nominations for this year's awards ceremony. The biggest and most prestigious award is the Best Picture award, because it is the only award that goes to producers, the self-important blowhards. I shall continue the annual tradition I started last year and attempt to summarise the highly complex, intricate, and exploitative plots of these films for you.

While I have your attention, don't forget our annual Live Blog of the Oscars! I'll be there, or here, as the case may be. I don't know about any of the others. Stew? Jorge Carlito? Zimpter, care to trek down to the Kodak Theatre and get a quote from Wanda Sykes?

Where was I? Ah yes, and the Oscar will go to... well, one of these:


Brokeback Mountain

Two sheep ranchers, pretending to be cowboys, go off into the mountains on a "camping trip". In the mountains they find a magical Vought Corsair, which they fly off to a land of enchantment, mystery, and showtunes: the legendary (at least according to Variety) Brokeback Mountain. Upon arriving there though, they discover that it is entirely populated by ex-rodeo clowns, everyone of them as butch as Clint Eastwood. Disappointed, and slightly unnerved by being surrounded by so many clowns (who wouldn't be), they are guided back to the real world by the spirit of Emmitt Kelly. They settle in Haight-Ashbury and use the profits from the plane to open a little shop, where they sell postcards to passing hippies, in-between romps in the sheep dip. Emmitt sweeps up the shop at night, including the lights.



This intense biography of the famed author starts with the publication of his memoirs, entitled Brokeback Mountain. He then sets off to explore a notorious murder case, but is sidetracked by a smudge on his Berluti shoes. After several attempts to clean off the shoes, including one attempt where he takes peyote and is visited by the ghost of Jim Morrison, who is flying a Vought Corsair (which is very peculiar as Morrison is actually alive at the time and living two blocks down the street from him in Los Angeles, California), he finally removes the smudge with a generous application of Mr. Clean. He then sets off to write In Cold Blood, the masterpiece which earns him enormous sums of cash, all later blown on fancy-pants shoes and a peyote farm near Barstow.



What do a Brentwood couple, a store owner from Iran, An African-American filmmaker, his wife, two romantically involved cops, a couple of middle-aged Koreans, two car thieves, and a locksmith from Mexico all have in common? They're all in this film. Aside from that, they are all squashed flat when the VW Van they are traveling in, on their way to a Kenny G concert, has a P-51 Mustang fall on it. You thought I was going to write Vought Corsair, didn't you? Well, you're correct, it wasn't a P-51 Mustang, it was a Vought Corsair after all. Fancy that.


Good Night and Good Luck

The true story of how Edward R. Murrow (George Clooney) and Joe McCarthy (George Clooney) battled it out over McCarthy's increasingly paranoid insistence that Joe Stalin (George Clooney) was a communist. The veteran newsman and silly Congressman take to the ring to settle the score. Murrow relies heavily on the grizzled experience of his ageing cornerman Mick (George Clooney) and his loser brother-in-law, Pauly (George Clooney). Joe McCarthy, being the cheating bastard the filmmakers depict him as, relies on the massive military firepower of the Vought Corsair (George Clooney) to turn the tide. along with his star-spangled boxing trunks (George Clooney). Murrow wins the battle when, at the last minute, McCarthy slips on a banana peel (George Clooney), and is chopped to bits in the Corsair's propeller (Clooney, one more time). Afterwards, Murrow comments on how much the two men had in common, as their last names both begin with the letter M.



After the horrible hostage crisis at the Munich Olympic Games, about which there will be no jokes thank you very much, the Moussad (The Israeli Secret Service) sets out to punish the perpertrators. This too, is not particularly amusing to most people, and in fact the whole bloody film is incredibly serious and morbid, except for the part where Yasser Arafat stubs his toe while trying to board a Vought Corsair. That part demonstrates what a slapstick comic genius Speilberg could be if he weren't so busy depressing the hell out of everyone to prove he's a "mature" filmmaker. Lighten up, Steven! Bring back the comic romps of The Sugarland Express, ET, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Duel, Jaws, and War of the Worlds. (Not 1941 though...let sleeping dogs lie, my friend.)


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