Oscar Body Count 2007

By Mark Ramsey | 2007/02/26

In honor of Ennio Morricone, this entire recap will be written in Italian. Because the only thing worse than a boring TV show is a boring TV show in a foreign language with no subtitles.

Yes, it’s a show rewarding dozens of movies almost nobody has seen. And it’s nearly four hours long. What could be more fun to watch than that?

It’s two and a half hours before start, and already the “celebrity arrivals” are being broadcast. What glutton for punishment steps down a red carpet two and a half hours before this show starts? One who can’t get noticed fifteen minutes before it starts, that’s who.

24 minutes before start: One of the red carpet interviewers is from Lucky Magazine. Lucky magazine? The magazine for shopping!? Where’s the interviewer from Soldier of Fortune?

ennio.jpgShow opens with six dreary minutes that rip off an Apple computer campaign – and not even the current one. Give Apple credit for keeping their spots to 30 seconds! Meanwhile, the tone has been set, and it’s slow and sluggish.

Cut to Peter O’Toole, looking like Peter O’Cigar Store Indian. I can smell him decomposing from my living room.

Seven minutes in: Enter Ellen – dressed like Captain Kangaroo. Cut to our first presenters: Mr. Moose and Bunny Rabbit.

18 minutes pass before the first award. And it is…drum-roll please…for art direction! Way to glue an audience to their seats!

On the way to a break, camera pans over Oscar announcers: What’s a John Fontaine and Geena Tuttle?

21 minutes in. Jack Black and Will Ferrell in cute black tie song and dance bit. Last time I enjoyed one of these I think Dean Martin was on Donny & Marie.

Minutes – hours – pass as I’m folding and cutting angels out of my play-at-home ballot. At least two thank-yous to God, but I don’t think He’s involved. After all, if He can create the world in six days he could certainly wrap up the Oscars in three hours.

Time to enjoy scenes from the technical Oscars. Time for a special message from producer Gil Cates. Time to wonder what I’d do if I had a life right now. Time to imagine what this show would be if it were aimed at the same folks who actually go to the movies instead of their grandparents.

cruz.jpgEnter the Hollywood sound effect choir in an effort to prove producer Cates has completely lost his marbles. Is this even good enough for YouTube? And who volunteers for a sound effect choir?

Awards for Sound editing…Sound mixing…sounds like a yawn.

We’re almost an hour in and finally, the award for supporting actor! Spielberg has already gone to the bathroom forty times.

Enter Pilobolus dance troupe interpreting films by contorting their bodies behind a bed sheet. Where do I make my contribution to Public TV and how long until I get my tote bag?

Cue musical interlude with James Taylor which provides a restful nap before a much more entertaining bit from Melissa Etheridge.

1:20: How funny is it to hear Ben Affleck introduced as an “Academy Award Winning Screenwriter”? Cut to another too-long segment on how writers have been treated over the years in films. It could have used a polish.

1:40 When did Jack Nicholson become Rod Steiger?

2:00 Sherry Lansing tribute. You know, I was just talking the other day with an audience for Ghost Rider about whatever became of Sherry Lansing and could she please bore a billion people by reading her remarks off a teleprompter for as long as possible.

Enter the incredible Jerry Seinfeld who momentarily makes you imagine what the Oscars could have been if they had been hosted by Jerry Seinfeld.

Celine Dion does for the Oscars what she did for Titanic: She carries it to a watery grave. And she nearly ruins my favorite Ennio Morricone song. Damn you, Celine!

Jennifer Lopez introduced as “A great reason for HD TV.” I say when your main selling point becomes your appropriateness for justifying a new TV purchase, your career is in big trouble.

Finally, Beyonce and the Dreamgirls in a genuinely entertaining segment that actually appeals to folks under retirement age. And it made the absence of Dreamgirls from the Best Picture category all the more conspicuous.

More than three hours have passed and most of the awards anybody cares about have yet to be handed out. This is criminal.

Commercial break coming…Suddenly white-gloved hands appear to brush the dust off an Oscar statuette. That’s creepy! Is that the idea producer Gil Cates had after the idea of bringing out the carcass of Maurice Chevalier to slide up alongside a statuette and warble a love ditty?

We’re into the third hour and only now are we getting the tribute to the Hollywood VIP’s who died this year, including several who passed away during the course of the actual show.

Ah, the end is in sight. And a fairly predictable end at that.

Now, where was that award for Poseidon?


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