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Gregory Nolan Jr. wrote:But then the current administration is providing plenty of material and certainly have it coming!
Sat Mar 04, 2006 3:28 am
drjohncarpenter wrote:Gregory Nolan Jr. wrote:But then the current administration is providing plenty of material and certainly have it coming!
Thus, "The Daily Show."
If Stewart helmed the program in 1998, what do you imagine the dominant topic would've been? And would that have bothered you?
Stewart is smart, funny and a passionate American. If you notice, the show invites guests from across the politcial spectrum, and unlike other conservative, humourless pundits, he treats them with respect.
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With movies like "Brokeback Mountain" and "Crash," 2005 was billed as the year of the message movie, but films do not lead the culture as they once did. Mostly the message of last night's Academy Awards show was a self-congratulatory one from Hollywood to itself: we care, we dare.
Jon Stewart, looking a little nervous, tried to tweak Hollywood self-righteousness by making a joke about Angelina Jolie adopting third world orphans and teasing liberal Hollywood for being "out of touch" with America.
Mr. Stewart wasn't nearly as hostile as Chris Rock was last year, but George Clooney, as soon as he won the Oscar for best supporting actor, set the master of ceremonies straight. "We are a little bit out of touch," the actor and director retorted. He then went on to explain that Hollywood was one of the first communities to speak up for AIDS patients and for civil rights (he cited as an example of the latter Hattie McDaniel's Oscar in 1939). To staunch applause, Mr. Clooney added that he was "proud" to be part of the "out of touch" Hollywood community.
Rachel Weisz, seven months pregnant, was also in a preachy mood, paying tribute to the "people who are willing to risk their lives to fight injustice" when she won the best supporting actress award for "The Constant Gardener." And, when Cathy Schulman accepted the best picture award for "Crash," she thanked all the viewers around the world who were "touched" by the film's message of "tolerance and truth."
Even more than in most years, the self-seriousness of Academy Awards nominees competed with the public's lèse-célébrité....
...Gay themes were inevitable in a year that included both "Brokeback Mountain" and "Capote," though the film about the author of "In Cold Blood" also carried a message that is particularly dear to Hollywood: murderers are bad, but journalists are worse.
Mr. Stewart wasn't as funny as he is usually is on "The Daily Show," but his riff on gay cowboys was clever. He introduced a montage of clips from classic westerns that, put together, could be interpreted as gay (John Wayne silkily telling someone he would have him "spread-eagle on a wagon wheel").
Mr. Stewart also did well with another prepared piece that leaned heavily on "Daily Show" humor — mock negative ads in a Hollywood studio campaign for best actress that echoed the ominous tone of political ads.
New York Daily News - http://www.nydailynews.com
This telecast won't win a prize any time soon
Monday, March 6th, 2006
Jon Stewart may or may not be asked back to host the Oscars - he was funnier reacting to events as the evening progressed than in his opening monologue, and loosened up considerably - but there's one aspect of last night's "78th Annual Academy Awards" telecast that should never, never be repeated.
I'm referring to the horrible, distracting decision to play orchestral music as winners were giving their acceptance speeches. Not after they run over their allotted time, as an aural nudge - but from the very first second they opened their mouths.
When George Clooney accepted the night's first award, as best supporting actor for "Syriana," he had to fight to be heard over the background music.
Was he already over his time limit? Was playing the music a mistake? No, just the most wrongheaded Oscar moment since Rob Lowe sang with Snow White. But that Lowe point was over in a few painful minutes. Last night, every acceptance speech compounded the error - and annoyance - by going wall-to-wall with intrusive music.
It wasn't the only mistake on last night's ABC presentation - just the biggest.
There were far too many unnecessary montages ("I can't wait until later," Stewart cracked midway through, "when we see 'Oscar's salute to montages'") - and even they were drowned by unnecessary music. Also, the legendary Lauren Bacall, in her introduction to a superfluous tribute to film noir, didn't just stumble. On a night when several lesser lights also read the TelePrompTer poorly, she put her lips together and blew.
The good spots? Few, but there. The opening, employing cameos by Billy Crystal, Steve Martin and other former Oscar hosts, including David Letterman, was good.
Lily Tomlin and Meryl Streep, introducing Robert Altman in freewheeling, Altmanesque fashion, were delightful. So was the exuberance shown by Three 6 Mafia when winning Best Original Song for "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp" from "Hustle & Flow."
But the drama last night was largely absent.
Oscar castrates himself
The Academy celebrates niceness, bleeps out "bitch" and pats itself on the back for good behavior. And what did they do to poor Jon Stewart?
By Cintra Wilson
Mar. 03, 2006 | Just when you thought it couldn't possibly get any more wrist-slashingly boring, the boringness collapsed in on itself and became a deadly howling void of terrible sucking from which the light of no star could escape. These Oscars were so hideously uptight, they got pulled down a worm-hole and traveled light-years, on and on, forever, until they finally ended up in the darkest, airless regions of some fat, ultraconservative's welded-on undershorts. Somehow, the roaring vacuum of these Oscars even killed the chi of the Golden Boy, our very own Jon Stewart. He began apologizing within 20 minutes, once he realized he'd never get his ankles out of the anaconda.
How ... HOW did Jon Stewart suck so hard?
I think somebody MADE him suck. I think there was some serious Hollywood penitentiary shower-shanghai going down. Somebody stuck Jon Stewart in the tent with Oscar and made him commit unnatural acts of sucking. I don't want to name names, but I think it was probably J.C. Penney himself.
Walk it off, Jon. Sasha Cohen showed us that you can fall on your ass and still lose with dignity. It's just not America's year.
A few things were surprising: We thought this was going to be the Gay Oscars. Instead it was the "Hey, you fearfully ignorant red-state hick-weeds: Hollywood is America's social conscience and history proves that we've always been smarter than you" Oscars. Oscar was being defensive, because Hollywood is tired of being called dirty names by the no-necked monsters hanging around the White House bowling alley....
I had this list of awards I was sure I was going to be able to hand out from my upside-down perch in my bat-cave, and was disappointed to not be able to use them: ....
Moment Jon Stewart Looked Most Manic-Depressive: I thought there would just be one or two, but you could see his "my material and I are tanking" realization dawning within the first 20 seconds. He hopefully tried to airlift the thing for a while, but after the second commercial break his mood just plummeted unchecked, until he finally became bravely and professionally glum, soldiering forward with all the glee of a rescue worker who continues to try to relieve suffering when he secretly knows that All Is Doomed.
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