My 2019 Oscar Thoughts

An awards show should cater to the industry it’s awarding and that industry’s fans, not random viewers who do not care either way.

Color me surprised, the Oscars was not the train fire that so many of us thought it would be. In fact, it wasn’t half bad. I’ve never been a big awards show person because a lot of the wins seem to have a kind ulterior motive and this year was no different. That said I have learned to look past the awards I don’t agree with and take in the moments the really mattered. There were some artists last night who were given recognition on the greatest stage of their craft and capturing their joy filled emotions was and always will be beautiful.

Let’s take it back to the beginning though, the show opened with a performance by the remaining members of Queen with touring vocalist Adam Lambert. There could not have been a better way to open the show and it gave me the impression that they may pull something off with this year’s presentation. What followed was a host-less Oscars and it was the best thing that could have happened to this show. Take out the host and you just cut out a bunch of extra fluff that has and never will be needed. It was also more interesting to see a variety of personalities on stage without a framing device past IT’S AN AWARDS SHOW.

This show was lean for the most part and I have to imagine that cutting out a host probably shaved twenty minutes of air time, which apparently is massively important to ABC, the network host. I’m typically not a huge fan of the live music performances but this year gave me not just Queen but the Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper duet Shallow. I was a huge fan of A Star Is Born, the chemistry between the two leads being a huge reason, and damn do these two have the best chemistry I have seen regardless of the venue. The performance brought back those strong emotional feelings I felt when watching the movie. In fact, I’m starting to get bummed again it didn’t win more awards…

I would be remiss to again state that the true heart of the show to me is watching an impassioned artist take in this moment of recognition and reflection of what they accomplished the previous year. There were some very beautiful and moving speeches. Black Panther’s Hannah Beachler for Production Design was the standout this year. When you feel those same feelings that the award winner is feeling you know they are speaking from the deepest place in their heart. It was special, which leads to the biggest issue I have with how the producers of this show choose to run it.

This is supposed to be about the honoring those who have won the awards for whatever category they were nominated for. Why then do we have time for cringey bits? Jokes that never land to the full audience? Why is that time taken away from award winners where they have to speed through their acceptance and acknowledgement of this huge moment for them? I don’t get it, I didn’t need the Melissa McCarthy bit playing with a puppet, I don’t need to see people descend from the sky. I want to see the show about awarding achievements in film to be about those achievements in film. The answer is clear, that the network needs those audience numbers, but it just adds circus tricks to what is supposed to be a prestige show.

Along with being a big movie fan, I’m an avid video game enthusiast. They have had an independent award show called The Game Awards for the last five years. That show gets what it is, and it can do that because the show runner Geoff Keighley decided to build the show directly on streaming platforms. He isn’t bound down to some silly need to draw in audience that doesn’t care for the subject matter, it caters to that industry and to that industry’s fans. It’s the example of what every prestige awards show should aspire to and a goal post of what the Oscars need to reach if it wants to keep the relevance that it so desperately needs.

It occurs to me that in my award show rant, I didn’t even comment about the winners themselves. Congratulations to all the winners! Did some of my favorites not win? Yeah that happens pretty much every year, but I’m not everyone and that’s okay. Go Movies!


2019 Movie Preview

Happy New Year everyone!

While most are focused on those month long resolution goals, I wanted to spend some time looking at the upcoming release calendar and what I’m excited to see. Take a look below at some 2019 movies that I can’t wait to check out!

Glass – January 18th

M. Night Shyamalan’s version of super heroes versus villains finally comes to a head with Glass. For those who don’t know know this film is a sequel to 2000’s Unbreakable, and 2017’s Split. It pits Bruce Willis’s David Dunn from the former against James McAvoy’s The Beast from the later. I’m super excited for this movie for a couple reasons, one being Split was great, and the other that Bruce Willis / Samuel L. Jackson look like they are bringing their acting skills to the table. Shyamalan has been on a solid run in the past several years and this one looks like it might be the one he’s always wanted to make.

Us – March 15th

I have a confession, I still haven’t seen Jordan Peele’s Get Out. I plan to rectify that before his next movie though. Us looks like it’s going to be a fun horror ride. This plot appears from the trailers to follow a family who are being hunted by some serial killer version of themselves. I have no idea where this plot is going to go but I’m super intrigued to find out.

Shazam! – April 5th

It’s Big meets superheroes, what is not to love? While I do enjoy your normal superhero movie, one’s that try and do something fresh with the genre always catch my eye. This looks like it’s gonna be a great time with a lot of laughs.

Avengers: Endgame – April 26th

Avengers: Infinity War rubbed me the wrong way. I enjoyed it but no where near to the extent that most fans did. The ending felt hollow to me, but if it was all set up to make Endgame the movie I wanted in the first place (a Marvel movie with major stakes) then fine by me, and boy oh boy, this looks exactly like what I wanted Infinity War to be.

Pokemon Detective Pikachu – May 10th

Talk about a trailer that completely won me over. When I heard they were making a live action Pokemon movie about a talking Pikachu who solves crimes, I was very skeptical. This trailer though hit all the right notes. The detective angle actually looks like a solid move to tell a story you can accomplish in one film. The Pokemon look great, and that sweet soothing voice of Ryan Reynolds just seals the deal. This movie is gonna make crazy money.

John Wick: Chapter 3 – May 17th

The Baba Yaga is back for round three baby! The John Wick series has been my favorite gun-fu action series in recent memory. The gun play action is just a blast to watch as ex-hitman John Wick head shots and double taps every poor soul who decides to take him on. The last we saw him in the last movie leaves him in a very very stick situation so it will be be wild to see him fight through what seem like impossible odds. If anyone can do it though, it’s the man who kills scores of thugs for killing a dog.

Godzilla: King of Monsters – May 31st

Holy crap, May is staked with great movies. I have three on this list and there are at least two others that look pretty great too. I really enjoyed 2014’s Godzilla and 2017’s Kong: Skull Island, but before we can get to Godzilla vs. Kong, our Kaiju protector will have to battle against three of his most popular foes. This is the monster movie I have wanted to see since I was a little kid. It looks absolutely insane and I can’t wait to see how Godzilla takes down these formidable opponents.

Joker – October 4th

This comic book movie sounds absolutely bonkers. Joaquin Phoenix starring as the Joker? Todd Phillips of The Hangover fame directing? A cast also including Robert De Niro and Zazie Beetz? I have no idea if this DC stand alone spin-off strategy will pay off, but out of any comic book movie that has been made since the Marvel explosion, this one has my complete attention.

Knives Out – November 27th

Little is known of what this movie will be about besides it’s a murder mystery. The two reasons I’m excited for this movie and why it has made my list are the director and cast. Rian Johnson, you know that guy who directed Star Wars: The Last Jedi? Yeah he’s the one who wrote and is directing this film. While The Last Jedi was pretty split down the middle between if you liked the movie or not, go back and watch some of his other work. Looper, Brick, this guy makes great movies. Now take a look at the cast: Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Jami Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, Christopher Plummer, Toni Collete. This ensemble alone would have me interested but pair that with a director that I enjoy, this should be great treat for the Thanksgiving weekend.

Star Wars: Episode IX – December 20th

After three straight years of Star Wars during the holidays 2018 skipped this trend. I didn’t like that. I’m happy it’s returning and more to the point, I’m beyond hyped to see how J.J. Abrams closes out this new trilogy of Star Wars. Out of all the new Star Wars films Abrams’ last entry The Force Awakens was my favorite. The Last Jedi took the franchise into some bold new directions and I’m very interested to see how Abrams will take that all back into that feeling of classic Star Wars mixed with the new. What a way to end the year with the conclusion of this new era of Star Wars.

I had a bunch of other movies I would have thrown into this list, so below is a rapid fire honorable mentions of other movies that I’m excited to see.

Captain Marvel – March 8th
Captive State – March 29th
Pet Sematary – April 5th
Hellboy – April 12th
Brightburn – May 24th
Dark Phoenix – June 7th
Men In Black: International – June 14th
Toy Story 4 – June 21st
Spider-Man: Far From Home – July 5th
The Lion King – July 19th
Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs and Shaw – August 2nd
The New Mutants – August 2nd
It: Chapter 2 – September 6th
Zombieland: Double Tap – October 11th
Terminator: Dark Fate – November 1st

Wow! What a great year ahead for movies!