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A friend called and asked my opinion on the Oscar nominations.

this is a phone

this is not a phone

I don’t care. I’m not interested. I’m unaware of any and all “nods” apart from my own, nodding to myself and confirming my comfortability with this particular form of ostracization where I  carry and conceal a quality amount of disdain for such a disdainful ceremony. I relayed this to the friend. In a way.

Um …


I’m writing this article because I don’t care.

I’m writing this article because I don’t care?

I’d argue that I must care if I’m addressing the topic. So what do I care about?

I care about A24 movies. I also care that the company is not releasing movies as life-changing (movie-testing) as they once were. But life can’t be changed and tested all year long. So that’s okay if the Oscars aren’t catching on there.

Here’s what I know about myself: I don’t care enough about the Oscars to take a stand against them. I’m fully, wholeheartedly, disinterested.

What, then, would I like to see? See change? See at the theater?

I’d like to attend the theater and experience movies that generate a feeling of pure entertainment, even if the level of engagement is that which I experienced during Marry Me. (But was that a quality movie?) I wasn’t insulted. And, as I said, I was engaged. (You said “entertained.”) I said both. (You were both entertained and engaged by Marry Me … oh, I get it. Engaged.) Oh yeah! I didn’t get that at first.

So, what else would I (we) like to see?

We’d like for The Batman (2022) to be … good (entertaining, engaging). I’m rooting for both director Matt Reeves (Cloverfield, Pallbearer, a couple Ape movies) and Robert Pattinson (The Rover, DamselGood Time). I don’t know if this next Batboot (i.e., Batman reboot) will capture the comic-book vibe, but there’s at least a new Batmobile, right? (Don’t say things like that.)

What else? I’ve been watching movies (as usual).

I enjoyed Lars and the Real Girl less this time around. However, Ryan Gosling’s performance is one of his best. My presumption (if not conclusion) is director Craig Gillespie (I, Tonya, Million Dollar Arm, TV mini-series Pam & Tommy) is the corny Spielberg of the new and quirky style of today. Gillespie’s fiddled with personal, true stories of courage and dysfunction as well as fantasy tales along those same themes (for instance, the overrated Cruella, the anti-spinoff 101 Dalmatians, and his 2011 Fright Night why-remake). But he loses me and his own vision somewhere within his juxtaposition – contrasting serious issues and true-to-life people (if not real people) with audience-appeal (which often includes spurts of poor acting from quality actors).

Gillespie’s work of unconvincing moments is similar to how director Clint Eastwood stuffs his elaborate spectacles with the Spiel-corn style, even though it’s under the guise of drama (I guess, therefore, matching Spiel’s own dramatic corn popping films).

All three (I’m now including Spielberg, getting somewhat lost in my own syntax … I think to prove a point of overstating something) create unrealistic segments (acting; pushy, rising music; scene transitions) as if the yes-nonsense images have somehow snuck out from their brains and onto the screen. They’re like oops moments. And we’re left no longer watching something authentic or accurately satirical. The pony show showed up … with the pony. (Huh?)


Let’s see … yesterday I watched The Ladykillers (1955) with Alex Guinness and Peter Sellers which was just as bad, and probably worse, than the remake (2004 Coen brothers’ version with Tom Hanks). But as I watched and judged the original (recalling how I’d walked out on the remake and felt ashamed for literally turning my back on the Coens), I thought of Alfred Hitchcock. Yeah, one of the bad movie scenes of the original reminded me of Hitchcock hiccups. How he had also, at times, lost the reality for the audience. Irony at its best. (Best?) Worst. (Worst?)

But at least Hitchcock was self-aware, knowing he was going for this new style of satire, making jokes before and after commercial breaks for his TV series “Alfred Hitchcock Presents.” (The episodes end with the big reveal, the anticipated twist and … that’s it. The episode simply ends, and we return to Hitchcock jesting. Wasn’t that betrayal and murder fun?)

Tigerland was as good (better) than ever. I also watched that yesterday.

I’m a little out of sorts, as I can tell, but that’s where I’m at. The movies did it to me.

The Oscars? I don’t know, people. Where were they for The Death of Dick Long (A24 taking the chance to release a movie with a brand-new genre: realistic, situational comedy)?

[You can consider yourself clickbaited if you want, considering my article title. I searched for top phrases regarding the Oscars and the number one phrase was asking if the Oscars and Academy Awards were the same thing. That’s what, and who, we’re dealing with.]

Dan Jones

Author Dan Jones

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