It's been quite a week. First the Oscar nominations, next the Super Bowl.
I'm kind of torn on this. Push me, and I'll pick Super Bowl. Then again, there's nothing like waking up just in time for Best Picture.
The loyal website minions have been polling Star readers on this very thing, and unlike the Bills versus Anyone, or Scorsese vs. the Academy, it's a virtual dead-heat.
Coming right up after the jump it's a blog-off: JABS and Oscars blogger and movie critic Peter Howell, head to head.
JABS: So it's Super Bowl weekend, and Oscar noms week. Strange these two mega-events would bump up against one another, but I'll take the Super Bowl over the Academy Awards. The Supe is way overhyped, but at least it comes and goes fairly quickly next to the Oscars, where there's five weeks of b.s. to endure.
HOWELL: The best thing you can say about the Super Bowl is that it's over quickly? I would second that thought, and point out that for many people, the ads are the best part of the show. The Oscars are a complicated and lengthy process because movies actually mean something, unlike football. Most people can name many Best Picture winners through the years. But very few can rattle off the name of even the previous year's Super Bowl winner.
|Howell: "Give me her smartass remarks any day."|
JABS: Football not mean anything? Tell that to the people who show up barking in dog suits in Cleveland, in a snowstorm, and have never even been to a Super Bowl. But this is about more than that: the Super Bowl is a cultural event that has now been exported around the world, and who wins only matters if you have money on it (which is one of the reasons it's been exported around the world).
Now here's a complicated and lengthy process for you: First the who's-gonna-be-host storyline. The Golden Globe, the MTVs, the Butte, Montana Critics Circle all crowding the awards field. Five weeks of Brokeback Mountain jokes. A week of gown speculation. Joan Rivers on the runway. Then we finally get to the overture and Jon Stewart's opening leer. I endured partial paralysis watching King Kong -- yeah, there's a movie that means something -- but that one's a greyhound next to this tired dog named Oscar.
HOWELL: Wait -- you mean we're now exporting a North American obsession whereby drunken males spend hours watching steroidal thugs fondle a giant leather pacifier? Why are we challenging soccer's claim as the world's biggest waste of time?
The fact is the Super Bowl is just a colossal excuse for one half of the population to get hammered, to dress up and to act like children, a situation any woman would tell you hardly needs more encouragement.
The Oscars, on the other hand, are an attempt to promote the best aspects of an art form that has been the most popular across the planet for more than 100 years, one that appeals equally to both genders. The attendant circus aspects of the Oscars are far less juvenile than the licensed loutishness of the Super Bowl. Give me Joan Rivers and her smartass remarks any day over some barking fool in Cleveland, howling at the moon.
|Howell: Great. JABS: Pain in the butt.|
JABS: C'mon. That Super Bowl get-together you describe sounds a lot like Oscars parties. They don't call the the Oscars the Gay Super Bowl for nothing. As for promoting the best aspects, yes, I see. That's why it took the Oscars until 2002 to award a black woman its top acting award. That's why Scorsese -- the Marty Schottenheimer of filmdom -- has never won an Oscar, but Cuba Gooding Jr. has. All Cuba does is movies about dogsledding now (which, from the sound of it, is what Schottenheimer might be doing next). And at least the Super Bowl ends at a reasonable hour -- enough time for All-Star Survivor, in fact! The Oscars give way to the test pattern. They really should take a page from the Super Bowl and bring in a halftime as a cue for the superannuated to take the stage and shake a tambourine -- oh wait, I think that's what the Irving Thalberg Award is for.
|Scorsese: The Schottenheimer of film.|
HOWELL: I've heard the Oscars referred to as "the Gay Super Bowl" before, and I think it should be taken as a compliment. It speaks to the intelligence and refinement of gays, most of whom I suspect prefer film to football, over the simple-minded boorishness of many straight males. And really, is there anything more homoerotic than the Super Bowl? All those men in tight pants grappling with each other and slapping each other on the butt? Reminds me a lot of Ennis and Jack from a certain Oscar-nominated movie.
JABS: I told you! Brokeback Mountain jokes! We have five weeks of this! Take cover!
At least I know that Sunday night, I'm either going to win or lose my Pro-Line stake, and then I don't have to worry about this butt-slapping until at least April.
Breezing through Metacritic today, I came across a film critic at the Baltimore Sun who has King Kong the best movie of 2005. I have nothing against film criticism or critics, but I must vigorously advocate up-to-date innoculations for Oscar voters to prevent such an outbreak. At least the Super Bowl has agreed-upon rules to determine the winner, and it's decided right there, in broad (or artificial domed-stadium) daylight. Who do you like, by the way? I'm kinda leaning to the Steelers.
HOWELL: The Oscars do have voting standards, although admittedly they could be overlooked in the rush to stock up on corn chips and Coors for Sunday's bunfest. And did you know that Oscar contenders have to go through a gruelling advance series of industry and critical guild votes and challenges to get to the Academy nominations stage, much like football players seeking the Super Bowl crown? Maybe the two pursuits aren't so far apart after all.
|Brokeback: The smart money fave.|
As to who I choose to win the game, I support whoever plays the best and the fairest.
JABS: I'm all for that, as long as they end up on the side of my bet in both cases, a little action being the most likely way to offset the creeping nausea brought on by the acceptance speeches. A Pittsburgh-Capote parlay sounds good to me. And lots of espresso.
HOWELL: I only bet on the Oscars, never the Super Bowl. And the smart money this year is on Brokeback Mountain.