Weekly Recap: Awards Season Starts and the Bracket Games Continue
As January comes to a close the focus of the site shifts from our annual bracket games to Awards Season. This was a transitional week as the Oscar nominees were announced and the Movies of 1998 Bracket Game reached its midway point. Optimus Prime was snubbed by the Academy once again this year, but last summer’s robot-smashing would-be blockbuster, Tranformers: The Last Knight, did lead the list of nominees at this year’s Golden Raspberries. Between awards ceremonies, celebrity birthdays and nostalgic contests, there was a lot to keep up with her at the blog. Just in case you missed anything, here is your weekly recap. It also turns into a car.
Perhaps my biggest goal for the site this year was to spark a little more activity in the comments section. I have always taken a measure of pride in the fact that this was a place where pop culture enthusiasts could engage in polite discussion with like-minded people. The participants have changed over the years, but the conversation remains friendly. In the last year or so, it seemed like we weren’t hearing from people as often and I started to worry that we had lost that sense of community. I am happy to see that between the bracket games and the nominations, things have picked up. We’ve been hearing more from old friends and made a few new ones. So as we go through this week’s recap, I want to spotlight some of the comments this week.
We’ll start off with the Oscar nominations. This year’s announcements were the most commented-on post of the week. Craig Hansen was happy to see Blade Runner 2049 acknowledged for its eye-popping art design and special effects. Gus Allen wondered about a snub in the Best Song category which Daffy Stardust attributed to Disney’s campaign strategy favoring Coco over the live-action Beauty and the Beast. Get Out‘s Best Picture nomination launched a discussion of previous horror movies to receive that distinction (there aren’t many). Forever1267 congratulated the Academy for a good list of nominees and cautioned them to get the winners right:
All in all, really well done, Academy. Now surprise us with the worthiest wins, not just carbon copies of the last 3 awards shows.
The flip side of the Oscars is the Golden Raspberry Awards. I have spent a lot of time here at the site examining the history of the Razzies and while I feel like I have figured out a lot of their patterns, I still don’t understand the point. Do the awards exist to shame Hollywood’s weakest efforts to to celebrate “bad” movies. More often than not, it seems like the point is to take potshots at easy targets. Targets like the fifth installment in Michael Bay’s toy-based movie franchise or the second movie in the Fifty Shades of Grey series. Are Transformers and Fifty Shades Darker bad movies? Yeah. Are they the worst movies of the year? Doubtful. Is it especially insightful to single them out for ridicule? Absolutely not.
Readers were glad to have missed most of this year’s nominees, but robbushblog chastised Razzie voters for nominating Darren Aronofsky’s polarizing thriller, Mother! Daffy Stardust, who frequently boasts about having avoided all of the Razzie nominees, actually saw Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales this year. He rightly pointed out that while the movie isn’t good, it’s not a train wreck either.
I will say that while I didn’t come close to loving this movie, that if it really is the worst movie of the year, then we’ve done pretty well.
Craig Hansen initiated a conversation about Tom Cruise’s history with the Razzies which I will explore in detail when the winners are announced. And forever1267 checked out Baywatch which other readers agreed missed the point of the TV show (which was never about anything more than T&A).
This should have been a summer slam dunk. Instead it was late August Dog Day material.
Next month, we’ll shift gears as Daffy and friends roll out the Oscar coverage. And I’ll have the annual write-up on Razzie winners when they are announced in March.
But it wasn’t all glitz and glamour here at Le Blog. Jestak rolled out another week of celebrity birthday celebrations. Let’s see who had a special day this week:
- January 22: Beverley Mitchell, D W Griffith, Diane Lane, Justin Hurwitz, Linda Blair, Michael Cristofer, Sergei Eisenstein
- January 23: Ariadna Gil, Chita Rivera, Derek Cianfrance, Ewan Bremner, Julia Jones, Mariska Hargitay, Randolph Scott, Rutger Hauer, Sonny Chiba
- January 24: Carlos Saldanha, Carrie Coon, Daniel Auteuil, Ed Helms, Ernest Borgnine, Karin Viard, Kristen Schaal, Neil Diamond
- January 25 & 26: Christina Ochoa, David Strathairn, Ellen DeGeneres, Lucinda Williams, Michael Trevino, Mimi Leder, Olivier Assayas, Scott Glenn, Stephen Chbosky
- January 27: Alan Cumming, James Cromwell, Kate Wolf, Patton Oswalt, Philip Rosenthal, Rosamund Pike
This week’s list includes some pioneers of film, Superman’s mom, a devilish child, a legendary cowboy, the leader of the replicants, a martial arts master, a Daily Show correspondent with a hang-over, the skipper from McHale’s Navy, a recently retired singer-songwriter, a talk-show host and forgetful fish, the helmer of one of our bracket game contestants and at one time the highest-grossing female director of all times, Daredevil’s mento, Nightcrawler, Farmer Hogget, a cooking rodent and a Bond girl who is gone.
Our latest bracket game examines the movies of 1998. Here are the most recent match-ups in case you missed them:
- There’s Something About Mary Vs. The Big Lebowski
- The Truman Show Vs. Pleasantville
- Rushmore Vs. Shakespeare In Love
- Saving Private Ryan Vs. Out of Sight
- Deep Impact Vs. Mulan
- The Wedding Singer Vs. The Big Lebowski
1998 is remembered for Shakespeare in Love‘s controversial Oscar win which many attribute to the political acumen of Hollywood asshole, Harvey Weinstein. If you were expecting to see a rematch here in the brackets, that possibility is officially off-the-table. Daffy set up the game such that the confrontation would only happen if both movies made it all the way to the finals. But this week saw both movies as well as The Truman Show eliminated in what were arguably upsets. I say this every week, but it bears repeating. If you want to see your favorite movie stay in the game, be sure to come back and vote every day. To that end, today’s contest see Pleasantville face off against Rushmore to decide who rounds out the final four.
That’s a lot of content already, but we had more for you. Kevthewriter took a look at sequels which took their sweet time getting into theaters. And our Movieline article of the week was a profile with Jurassic Park star, Sam Neill.
As always, I want to thank everyone for reading and participating in our silly games. Please, keep commenting. All of the writers here at the site appreciate hearing your thought.
Next Week: A bracket game winner is crowned, the sequels of 1998, celebrity birthdays and a Movieline interview with the site’s top WTHH subject.