Monday, February 25, 2013

THE OSCARS (2013): Commentary from my "Brown Carpet!"

THE OSCARS (2013): 
Commentary from my
"Brown Carpet!"

The 85th annual 
Academy Awards
 ceremony has now 
come and gone. 
And I never thought
that I'd ever speak
these words, but
holy cow, I sure

Possessing the panache and professionalism of local cable access TV, ABC kicked off the evening's star-studded affair with a pre-show special, live from the legendary Red Carpet. And the burning question seemingly on everyone's minds — "Who are you wearing?" As if we common folk actually will be able to purchase any of these top-names at our hometown mega mall or supercenter. And grammatically, the question — "Who are you wearing" doesn't even make sense. But the more accurately-worded, important and practical questions might have been, "Whose face are you wearing?" or "Who's your dentist?" or "Who's your attorney?" Now that's info I can use!

Petite, perky and fabulously fetching Red Carpet co-host Kristin Chenoweth offered  plenty of unique insight. However, her personal commentary and heartfelt retorts such as, "Holy crap!" and "We kicked your ass in football," were at times a bit crass. And despite her impressive professional résumé and impeccable singing talent, I found her Red Carpet contribution to be most riveting when the audio on my TV was muted.

Kristin Chenoweth
Former Destiny's Child vocalist Kelly Rowland proved to be an equally effective Red Carpet correspondent — very nearly needing to be pried off Oscar-winning actor Jamie Foxx. Rowland's on-camera confession that "I love me some Jamie Foxx" was, uh, "street" at best. Apparently integrity is no longer a prerequisite when covering the Oscars. Not to be left out of the lively Red Carpet revelations, director, producer and silver screen heartthrob George Clooney offered, "Win or lose, I'll be drinking."

Seemingly separated at birth from twin brother Merrill Osmond, Oscar host Seth MacFarlane started out strong — delivering several signature monologue zingers. But the show quickly took a nosedive, ultimately delivering three hours worth of content that for the most part, ranged from slightly awkward to uncomfortable to downright unfunny.

Oscar host Seth MacFarlane
Q: How can you guarantee 
a comedy bit will fail?

A: Add William Shatner 
into the mix.

"This show is a disaster," Shatner warned during the opening Star Trek skit. Well, he certainly got that one right. Shatner then posed the question, "Why can't Tina and Amy host?" I was already asking myself that very thing, Captain.

I'm not saying that this year's Oscar presentation was a complete disaster. However, it was rather interesting that even the orchestra had enough sense to stay clear of the Dolby Theater — phoning in its contribution from down the street at the Capitol Records Building.

But there were numerous Oscar highlights. Nora Jones' vocal performance from the Ted soundtrack was simply terrific, as was Jennifer Hudson's selection from Dreamgirls. The Les Miserables cast production along with Shirley Bassey's musical James Bond tribute were both bona fide show-stoppers. And I was particularly impressed by how well Halle Berry rocked Nikki Sixx's sparkly 1985 stage outfit that was resurrected for the award-winning actress from Mötley Crüe's vault just in time for the big event.

Halle Berry:
"She's the one they 
call Dr. Feelgood!"
For me, the ultimate highlight of the evening was the series of commercials for the Samsung Galaxy S III — which I believe is a cell phone device. Be sure that I'm certainly no video game enthusiast — I leave that foolishness to the 40-year-old virgins of the world — but if I was, I'd totally be the Unicorn Apocalypse champ!  

For her part, the iconic Barbra Streisand successfully recaptured her What's Up Doc? era sizzle during the dedication of her 1974 hit, "The Way We Were" to its co-writer, Marvin Hamlisch. The multi award-winning composer died last August from respiratory arrest at age 68. The performance was "classic Streisand," however, I'd wager a guess that Babs taped this segment long before the telecast aired.

Okay, let's now get down 
to official business. Here 
are the nominees for this 
year's "Film That I Will 
NEVER See" award.
And the winner is...

Yep, I'll admit that I'm so far out of the cinematic loop these days that I thought Frankenweenie actually was a 1982 porno flick starring Ron Jeremy and Hyapatia Lee. However, in my defense, I did accurately predict a few of the night's big winners in my various recent pre-Oscar blog posts — including Christoph Waltz for "Best Supporting Actor" in Django Unchained and Argo as "Best Picture." Hey, I am, after all, STILL "The Show Biz Guru!"

-Christopher Long
(February 2013)

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