Tag Archives: Ben Affleck

David Letterman is happy this morning

I didn’t watch all of last night’s Oscar broadcast, but I did watch enough of it to conclude that if Seth MacFarlane did nothing else, he made David Letterman very happy. I’m sure Letterman slept like a baby last night, content in the knowledge that he is no longer the worst Oscar host on record.

I had the same feeling watching MacFarlane’s performance that I got watching his cartoon, Family Guy. I duly noted the fact that my outrage button was being pushed — hammered, actually — but nothing registered because there was nothing resembling wit behind the mechanically delivered outrage. The early skit with Captain Kirk telling MacFarlane his jokes were tasteless and crass may have been intended as inoculation — Look, I’m so edgy I even criticize myself going in! — but it ended up being more of a prophecy. I’ll credit MacFarlane with looking cool and poised throughout a long, demanding broadcast. The flop sweat was all in his material.

For the record, I’m perfectly happy that Argo got the biggie, Daniel Day-Lewis got another gold guy. (Christy Brown, Daniel Plainview, Abraham Lincoln — what a roster!) and Jennifer Lawrence got her crown. I haven’t seen Life of Pi, but Ang Lee is a real talent. It was cool seeing Shirley Bassey belt out the Goldfinger theme song, then Adele doing the same for Skyfall, its only peer in the Bond canon.       

To show their appreciation, I suggest the Academy voters commission a special Oscar for Seth MacFarlane: a statuette with the hands clenched a little below waist level, to commemorate what Edgy Guy got to spend the night doing in front of millions of viewers.

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Friday finds

I am seriously pumped to see the Coen Bros. adaptation of True Grit, and this advance review confirms my hunch that the Coens are simpatico with the work of Charles Portis, one of the greats of American literature. But while I’m at it, and since this movie has “Oscar bait” written all over it, let me propose a drinking game for the next Academy Awards broadcast. When True Grit bags a golden guy, have one person take a shot whenever Charles Portis gets mentioned in the thank-you speech, and have another person take a shot whenever somebody gives a shout-out to John Wayne, who starred in the first, barely adequate film version. Judging from the way the Coens handled things a couple of years ago, I expect one guest will be dry as a bone at the end of the night while the other is comatose.

If you think the treatment endured by Bradley Manning is shocking, read Zeitoun by David Eggers and learn that not only can it happen here — it’s been happening for a while.

Frederik Pohl reminisces about Cordwainer Smith here and here.

Crustypunks? New one on me.

So you want to be a freelance writer?

Author and translator Damion Searls talks about Rainer Maria Rilke.

But the entire time I was watching the last two-thirds of the film, I could not get out of my head the fact that the foundation, the groundwork, had been so thoroughly botched that if the film had been re-contextualized as a house, it would’ve been leaning heavily to one side, with the bricks falling to the ground and the roof sliding half-off.”

Some drunks are brawlers and some drunks are bawlers. I guess we know which category goes for John Boehner.

Animation Backgrounds is film geekery at its finest: a blog devoted to the backdrops of animated films. If you think that sounds dull, check out this breakdown of the lush, detail-crammed backdrops from Who Framed Roger Rabbit and yawn no more.

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