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The Academy Awards

The Academy Awards

 

Okay. The Oscar winners this year were pretty dull, and besides, I didn’t see it anyway ‘cos I’ve moved in with my girlfriend and she doesn’t have Sky.

But I DID see The Oscars last year, and that’s good enough for me! So, ladies and gentlemen, pray silence for my approximately-13-months-late review of:


THE ACADEMY AWARDS 2006


Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role

George Clooney
SYRIANA

Much like when Charlize Theron won for ‘Monster’, The Academy once again rewarded one of the most sexually attractive humans on earth for having the good grace to look slightly shit for once. If all you’ve got to do to bag an Oscar is grow a beard and put three stone on, I fully expect my mom to take home the prize in 2008 when her HRT’s kicked in.


Achievement in Visual Effects

KING KONG
Joe Letteri, Brian Van't Hul, Christian Rivers and Richard Taylor

See, the thing is, all power to ‘em – they rendered a photo-realistic 30-foot-tall monkey using nowt but Andy Serkis in a unitard and some ping-pong balls – but maaaaaaaan; they know they’re going to sweep all of the effects awards, so why can’t the Weta Workshop employ just one person who doesn’t look and/or sound like a child-murderer…?


Best Animated Feature Film of the Year

WALLACE & GROMIT IN THE CURSE OF THE WERE-RABBIT
Nick Park and Steve Box

It takes so long to make these damn things, Peter Sallis had just finished his GCSEs when he recorded the voiceover.


Best Live Action Short Film

SIX SHOOTER
Martin McDonagh

Hats off to these chaps for pulling in an Oscar, but as a former practitioner of the form myself, I can say hand-on-heart, with no prejudice or malice intended, that the short film circuit is essentially the cinematic equivalent of the Special Olympics. You applaud its existence, you celebrate the opportunities it presents for those who might otherwise never have chance to shine, but it smells ever-so-slightly of urine and you don’t want to get stuck sitting next to it on a bus.


Best Animated Short Film

THE MOON AND THE SON: AN IMAGINED CONVERSATION
John Canemaker and Peggy Stern

And I imagine the conversation goes something like:

MOON: “Say, Son, think anybody will ever actually see our Oscar-winning animated short film?”

SON: “Nope.”


Achievement in Costume Design

MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA
Colleen Atwood

I never understand why a film that takes place in a specific period in real world history ever wins the Oscar for costume design. It’s a bunch of kimonos - it’s not like they had to think it all up is it…?


Achievement in Makeup

THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE
Howard Berger and Tami Lane

I mean, these dudes turned the bloke out of ‘Shameless’ into a fruity man-goat! Now THAT is an Oscar well-earned in my book.


Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role

Rachel Weisz
THE CONSTANT GARDENER

I always quite fancied Rachel Weisz. Then I saw her exceptionally hairy genitals in the film ‘I Want You’, and was frankly put off a bit. Still, congrats to Ms. Weisz for her triumph. Of course, she’d’ve cleared up years ago if they gave an Oscar for ‘Best Performance By A Bedraggled Pubic Thatch In A Crap British Psychodrama’.


Best Documentary Short Subject

A NOTE OF TRIUMPH: THE GOLDEN AGE OF NORMAN CORWIN
Corinne Marrinan and Eric Simonson

I am never, ever, ever going to see this. And let’s be honest – neither are you. Hell, even the people who made it probably never saw this.


Best Documentary Feature

MARCH OF THE PENGUINS
Luc Jacquet and Yves Darondeau

I didn’t see this either. Hmm. Penguins… Penguins… Oh, I do recall someone once telling me that penguins can’t walk backwards.

But otherwise – nope. That’s me done, penguin-wise.


Achievement in Art Direction

MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA
John Myhre (Art Direction); Gretchen Rau (Set Decoration)

And these people invented the rest of Japan, obviously.


Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original Score)

BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN
Gustavo Santaolalla

I want to meet the man who knows how to best convey gay cowboyism in sonic form. Just don’t ask me to pronounce his name.


Achievement in Sound Mixing

KING KONG
Christopher Boyes, Michael Semanick, Michael Hedges and Hammond Peek

No matter how good the sound mixing was, they couldn’t drown out the sound of mass yawns from the global audience as we entered Hour 36 of this gigant-o-chimp siege of the soul.


Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original Song)

"IT'S HARD OUT HERE FOR A PIMP" FROM HUSTLE & FLOW
Music and Lyric by Jordan Houston, Cedric Coleman and Paul Beauregard

I say Jeeves, award this Oscar statuette to Cedric and Mr Beauregard, would you? Yes, that’s them, the two badass mofo’s over there…”


Achievement in Sound Editing

KING KONG
Mike Hopkins and Ethan Van der Ryn

A shame these boys didn’t edit an hour out of the entire movie. Did the world need to see Kong busting out his ice skating moves for 12 minutes? No. That was a worse Peter Jackson-perpetrated self-indulgent cinematic crime than the seven separate endings to ‘Return Of The Kings’. That was Peter Jackson essentially pinning our eyes open like Malcolm McDowell in ‘A Clockwork Orange’, then forcing us to watch him having a monkey-shaped wank.


Best Foreign Language Film of the Year

TSOTSI
South Africa

I suspect there are no space battles, monsters, topless ladies or frat parties in this film. While I don’t require any of those things to make me want to watch a movie, I require ALL of those things to make me watch THIS movie.


Achievement in Film Editing

CRASH
Hughes Winborne

Maaaaaaan, do I envy Hughes Winborne. Not for the Oscar – the sweet surname-for-a-name thing. I always thought I’d do a lot better in life if I was called ‘Spalding Merriweather’, or ‘Chesterton Moncrief’. At the very least, such a name would provide me with a legitimate reason for sporting a blazer, chinos and a yachting cap.


Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role

Philip Seymour Hoffman
CAPOTE

See, where ‘Brokeback Mountain’ went wrong was, their gays didn’t have comedy voices. If Heath Ledger had walked about stuttering like Porky Pig, he’d’ve cleaned up.


Achievement in Cinematography

MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA
Dion Beebe

From all the visual awards it picked up, I’m beginning to think that this movie must look really, really, really good. But d’you know what? I’ll just take the Academy’s word for it…


Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role

Reese Witherspoon
WALK THE LINE

Much like Scorsese being robbed of Best Director for both ‘Taxi Driver’ and ‘Raging Bull’, the fact that the Academy hadn’t already awarded Ms Witherspoon for her early groundbreaking work in ‘Legally Blonde’ is an absolute travesty


Adapted Screenplay

BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN
Screenplay by Larry McMurtry & Diana Ossana

And here’s an excerpt from the screenplay itself.


CUT TO:

EXT. CAMPFIRE. NIGHT.
DONNIE DARKO GRUNTS AND WITHDRAWS FROM THE GUY FROM ‘A KNIGHT’S TALE’S BOTTOM. DONNIE DARKO AND A KNIGHT’S TALE ARE BATHED IN THE GLOW FROM THE CAMPFIRE. THEY SILENTLY HIGH-FIVE, AS IF TO CONGRATULATE EACH OTHER ON BEING DARING IN THEIR CHOICE OF ROLES…

DONNIE DARKO
Yep, that ought to do it. That’s bagged me a Best Supporting Actor Oscar fer sure.

A KNIGHT’S TALE
Ah dunno, Donnie. Y’all ain’t pretendin’ to be mentally handicapped, nor puttin’ on five stone in weight…


CUT TO:
INT. GEORGE CLOONEY’S DINING ROOM. NIGHT.

GEORGE CLOONEY, GROWING A BEARD AND SCOFFING A WHOLE VIENETTA TO HIMSELF, FLICKING THRU A SCRIPT LABELED ‘SYRIANA’…


Original Screenplay

CRASH
Screenplay by Paul Haggis & Bobby Moresco; Story by Paul Haggis

I have heard mixed reviews of this particular film. People for whom I have little-to-no respect - they all love it. People whose judgment I usually trust – they reckon it’s an hour-and-a-half of being bludgeoned over the head by a baseball bat with ‘RACISM IS WRONG!!!!!!!’ printed on it. Of course, free will dictates that I – and you, dear reader - must make up my own mind with this movie. How I’m going to do that when there is no way in hell I am ever going to watch it eludes me, however.


Achievement in Directing

BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN
Ang Lee

He can put this on the shelf next to his award for ‘Achievement in Making A Gamma-Irradiated Monster On The Rampage Ever-So-Slightly Dull’. Yep, he did ‘Hulk’ before this – and somehow, ‘Hulk’ was actually gayer than ‘Brokeback Mountain’. It was less “Hulk smash”, more “Hulk get in touch with true feelings about abusive relationship with father”. It didn’t exactly open the floodgates for other Arthouse directors’ interpretations of cartoon classics either; I think it was a sad loss we never got to David Cronenberg’s ‘Minnie The Minx’– Minnie’s gets up to all sorts of hijinks, despite having six vaginal pseudo-pods growing out of her back – or Ken Loach’s ‘Thundercats’ movie (where Lion-O was portrayed as a Glaswegian alcoholic.)


Best Motion Picture of the Year

CRASH
Paul Haggis and Cathy Schulman

How can anyone take a film seriously when it was made by a dude named after a sheep’s innards full of mincemeat? I mean, ‘Haggis’ – there’s no escaping it; at some point, his Celtic ancestors were so unremarkable, the best way the local clans could remember them was by naming them after a nice meal they once knocked up. It’s like Spielberg’s stood up there at the podium to present the award, nervously rips open the envelope, smiles a great big ‘well done’ smile, and blurts out: ”And the Oscar goes to… oh wow… ‘Crash’, Cathy Schulman and Donnie Shepherd’s Pie.” See? Crappitty crap crap crap.

 


 
 
 
 
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