First off, thanks for all your nice messages in response to my post about Adult Gymnastics Class.
I have class 2 tonight and the anxiety has definitely returned lol.
So anyway, I didn’t watch the Oscars last night.
I wasn’t really planning to anyway but I inadvertently passed out at 8PM. (It’s been a long weekend, man!)
Unsuspectingly passing out at 8PM kinda sucks because I woke up suddenly at like 1230AM and the lights are still on and stuff and I’m just like, WTF?!! WHERE AM I?!!? WTF IS GOING ON?!!?
And then I finally find my bearings so obviously you have to get up and pee and stuff, but then I’m all awake and I can’t pass out until 2AM.
And then so even though I passed out at 8PM, I wake up like, super groggy and tired, anyway. What a waste.
Incidentally, the time I was passed out was exactly the time that the Oscars were on.
But I mean, whatever. This is the age we live in right? Where people don’t really respect the NYTimes anymore and awards shows are kind of irrelevant.
Which is kind of sad, you know.
Because I grew up on that stuff. I remember the first time I watched the Academy Awards with my family. It was just so kewl, such an event. So much glamor and prestige. And I got to stay up late on a Sunday night!
The English Patient won that year, which was sort of controversial, I think.
I just remember that scene with the dude running through the desert toward the camera with that low flying plane buzzing overhead.
I never watched the English Patient. But I watched the Oscars that year. Back then, we watched the Oscars but most of the movies being presented on we hadn’t seen or wouldn’t. Not that it mattered. We watched til the end anyway because we wanted to see who won. It was such an event.
And it’s not like we didn’t watch movies either. That was a big family event, too. And Best Picture was a big deal. Man, those are some of my best memories—watching movies as a family, films like Charlie Chaplin’s The Gold Rush, Dr. Zhivago, Schindler’s List, Saving Private Ryan, Titanic, and one of my all time favs, Life is Beautiful. (And that Oscars was awesome, too because Roberto Benigni’s vibes were just off the charts. I think it was the first time a foreign film got nominated for Best Picture or something.)
(Lol lotta war movies on that list. I mean we watched other stuff, too. We saw Pleasnantville in the theater, which was bomb. We also went to Jumanji, lol. [My dad, believe it or not, was a big Robin Williams fanboy.])
Things are a bit different these days. Nowadays, I watch ALL the Oscar movies and almost never watch the awards show.
This year, I had all the Best Picture nomz finished by like mid-January and I remember googling like, WHEN ARE THE OSCARS, and I was like, WTF March??
But yeah, it’s a different time now.
I went to dinner with some people last Thursday, one person who was a new person, you know. And, you know, I haven’t been going out much lately so I had to sort of dust off the old conversational skills. And my third question of the night was basically, SO HOW BOUT THEM OSCAR MOVIES, HUH?
But yeah, that question was a dud. No one had really watched any of em.
Meanwhile, Saturday night, one day before the BIG night, our TV/MOVIES/BOOKS WhatsApp chat is blowing up with talk of TV shows and Netflix recs.
It didn’t help that, IDK, this was a pretty bad year for movies, IMO.
Like there wasn’t a single Best Picture nom that I was all that hyped about.
I mean, there was lots of hype but every movie was pretty underwhelming or at least pretty flawed.
Shape of Water, which won, was kewl, and projected the right values, I guess. It was the movie that had the most sort of like, movie magic feel. Showed a new perspective. But it was still kinda straightforward and formulaic. I mean, it was basically an X-Rated Free Willy.
Get Out, similarly hyped, is smart and fresh and whatever. But as a movie, honestly I was super bored. It’s like, I get it. Kewl metaphor, well executed. But was it ever more than a B-movie? Super campy. Like, take away the timely metaphor on white society and what are you left with? A pretty boring, predictable zombie flick. I don’t just want a movie to say something. I want like, a great movie that stands on its own (if, say, the metaphor somehow is over your head).
Three Billboards was the movie I had the most hope for. And it had a few high points, the ending in particular, you know where you have these contrasting perspectives converging unexpectedly. But from what, really? The movie’s a farce, and the characters are caricatures. That leaves the ultimate character development, no matter how well developed, deeply unsatisfying. Going from black and white to grayscale is kind of obvious, no? But a dark comedy is only effective if the characters are a bit more complex to begin with. So the first half of the movie just left me super annoyed.
Ladybird was another movie I was looking forward to because who doesn’t love a good coming of age tale. But it was just bland. A lot of hype that wasn’t lived up to. I mean it was fine. But if this is the best stuff coming out of the whole year, I mean, it just leaves you wanting.
Call Me By Your Name had a lot of great elements. Italy in the 80s. The Facebook Twin saying “laterz.” And the next big thing, Thimotee—who really kills it in that last scene BTW. I mean he kills it throughout. But call me old fashioned, the whole like 30-something year old man getting with a high school student just made me kind of uncomfortable? I get it, love, and all. And who am I to judge, anyway. And don’t get me wrong, I actually really liked this movie.
Dunkirk, too, was like another movie that you really had to admire, that you had to respect. But I just didn’t find it all that enjoyable. Like, if Michael Bay went to art school. Sensory overload but lacking, maybe not humanity, but human-ness. And maybe that was the point, but like, I pretty much forgot about the movie as soon as I left.
Darkest Hour was a nice complement to Nolan’s attempt. Like, behind the scenes and all. Nice script, good performances. But super dry. (Not as dry and boring as The Post, but that’s not saying much.) Actually, the one thing I was thinking during the movie was how similar Churchill and Trump are. The brash contrarian taking it to the elites during a time of global turmoil. One’s got his typewriter and cute receptionist. The other has Twitter and Hope Hicks. Look, I’m not saying they’re historically comparable. I’m just saying.
Phantom thread, too. There are so many things about this movie that are beautiful. Except the characters. They were just so damn unlikable. I mean the performances were good. But I just couldn’t get behind any of the stuff going on. Nor did I really care. Would be sad to see DDL go out on this one. I want more. Give me one more. There Will Blood, this movie was not. Which I guess is inherently unfair anyway.
And I mean I already mentioned The Post. I enjoyed Spotlight waaaaay more. Watching Spotlight made me want to be a journalist. Watching The Post made me not much at all.
Maybe I was just in a bad mood when I watched all these movies?!?
That’s certainly possible, but IDK.
And maybe I’m not the best person to judge at this point.
After finishing re-watching The Office, I started re-watching Friday Night Lights. I just finished over the weekend. Season 2 was really weak. But four and five were really great. It ended on a nice high.
And IDK, I just really love FNL. There’s so many moments where like, I just find myself breaking into a dumb smile.
Watching TV shows is meditative because it’s a long term relationship. It’s a slow burn. Over time, you get to know each other. You develop a connection. You become emotionally needy and dependent. And isn’t that what true love is? You learn to love each other despite the flaws, in part, because of all the investment you’ve already made.
(But that isn’t to say that the last 2 seasons of GoT are forgivable, because really, they’re not.
And GoT has a lot of responsibility, a huge burden on its shoulders! It’s like one of the last TV shows of its era, you know, back when everyone still watched the same thing at the same time each week, and we could get together afterwards and just chat it up about every episode.
At that same dinner last week, we ended up talking about TV shows and the convo is basically like. YO, I’m watching this, it’s good. OH YEAH? It’s good? Awesome, I will keep that in mind. I’m actually watching this, it’s super good. OH YEAH? Awesome. That’s so kewl! But how bout them Stranger Things, yeah?)
And so maybe it sorta makes sense we’ll have a year like 2017 where all the movies are just kinda meh.
Cuz if TV shows are long term relationships, movies are definitely one night stands. And IDK about you, but for me, being a virgin and all, I’ve definitely heard from more experienced people that like 99% of one night stands are pretty underwhelming. The idea of it is almost always better than the execution.
Sure, once in a while, it’s good. A flash in the pan that truly moves you, leaves you better off than you were before. The stuff that dreams are made of.
I live for those one night stands.
(Chill, I’m talking about movies.)
Because in the end, that’s what we all dream about right? Now the slow and methodical and reasonable and patient relationship that develops over time.
In our dreams of dreams (you like that Inception reference, right?), we yearn for love at first sight.
And so yeah, TV is in now.
But I’ll always love the movies.
Until next year, I guess.
Top photo: Hehe. Just a couple of guys watching a movie. 🙂