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Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Oscars, newspaper films

James Franco (Getty Images, Rick Rowell)

ACADEMY AWARDS: I don’t watch the Oscar telecasts anymore and apparently this year was a good year to be sure not to watch. Some guy I never heard of named James Franco was the host along with a gal who is a pretty good actress, Anne Hathaway. I hear that Hathaway gave it a good try but hosting awards shows doesn’t seem to be on her list of things she does well. The consensus was that Franco was terrible.

So, who is this guy? Time says he writes fiction, is working on a Ph. D from Yale, and has appeared on the soap “General Hospital”. When told the ratings for the Oscars were dismal, he replied, “You know what? If it’s the worst Oscar’s show ever, who cares?”

That’s a pretty cocky attitude from a guy who is basically a nobody who blew his chance for a great gig. I hope for his sake, he stays in school. He’s probably going to need that degree. Where the hell is Bob Hope when we need him?

I was looking over a list of past Oscar hosts and I would have to give David Letterman the booby prize as the worst I have seen. He hosted in 1994 and really laid an egg from the start with that silly “Uma-Oprah” nonsense trying to make a joke of the introduction of Uma Thurman and Oprah Winfrey to each other. It was embarrassing to watch but I think Letterman is always embarrassing and I wonder how he holds his late night job. If they want a late night host to do the Oscars, try Jimmy Kimmel, a guy who IS funny.

FINAL NOTE ON CHARLIE SHEEN: Charlie is getting his 15 minutes and then I think we will not see much more of him in anything noteworthy. Charlie says, “I’m tired of pretending I’m not special.” What a great line that is: Just think of what Dana Carvey could do with that as the church lady.

Charlie never was a BIG star. He milked his dad’s influence and because he was so adept at playing himself, made “Two and a Half Men” a hit. Now, he is pushing 50, appears to be strung out on that airline made of snow, and his prospects appear to be minimal. I love “Two and a Half Men” and hope he straightens out but I’m not holding my breath.

GREAT NEWSPAPER FILMS: Most of you know I love the films from the 1930s through the mid 1950s. I realize I am a member of a small group but there were some great films then especially about newspapers. “It Happened One Night” (1934) won all 5 major Oscar awards. In the 1940s it was “His Girl Friday” (1940) with Cary Grant. In the 1950s it was “Deadline USA” (1952) with Humphrey Bogart. Before you say, “Huh?” let me say that if you don’t enjoy the story, it’s still fun to see how newspapers operated in those eras. Check out TCM for running times.

As far as modern movies which involve newspapers, I hear “Iron Man 2” (2010) is pretty good. Has anyone seen that? If so, what did you think? IMDB gives it a 7.1 out of 10, not bad.

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