Oscars, ‘trotters and “Menopause”

January 22, 2008
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Some unrelated thoughts on a catch-up Tuesday: 

The Academy Award nominations are out  and it’s interesting to note that “Transformers” (3) received more nominations than “Norbit” (1).

Seriously, though, for those of us who watch the Oscars the way others watch the World Cup, it will be interesting to see how this plays out since there is no clear front runner. For me, the category to watch is Best Supporting Actor. Nominees Philip Seymour Hoffman (“Charlie Wilson’s War”), Javier Bardem (“No Country for Old Men”) and Hal Holbrook (“Into the Wild”) were all outstanding in very different ways. Haven’t yet seen the other two nominations but expect when I do I’ll have an even tougher time making a choice (not that my choice matters).

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I caught the Harlem Globetrotters at Conseco Fieldhouse yesterday and before you question what sports matters are doing in an A&E blog, consider this: The ‘trotters were combining athleticism with performance art long before Cirque du Soleil set up shop. Seeing the show on MLK day got me thinking about how the team was perceived during the ‘60s. I know there was controversy, with some seeing the group as catering—and even “Uncle Tom-ing”—to white audiences. And that may well be legitimate criticism. From my own narrow perspective as a white kid growing up in that era, though, not only were these amazing men athletic and funny—they were also in control. Nobody—not an opposing coach, not a whistle-blowing ref—could one-up these guys. Watching the Globetrotters, it was impossible for me to imagine the word “inferior” applying to anything about these men. Quite the contrary.

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I’ve been getting you-go-guy feedback about my review of “Menopause: The Musical” (you can find the review here). Have you seen this popular musical review, which just returned to the American Cabaret Theatre? What are your thoughts?
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  • Besides being technologically well-done, Transformers was a lot of fun. Being in my 40's and, you know, a girl, I never got into the toys, cartoon or mythology, but after the film I found myself doing some catch-up on Wikipedia. Shia LeBeouf is going to definitely be someone to watch.

    Even the years when I don't have an Oscar party, I have one on my own, printing out the ballot and placing my bets. I have an over 50% score every year, losing most on the shorts and foreign films. But I do a pretty good job of making picks based on press and who's been screwed over longest by the Academy.

    As for the Globetrotters, saw them as a kid in the mid-70's. It was an amazing show, something I remember very clearly.
  • I'm disturbed by the fact that Norbit was even nominated at all! Transformers certainly had the effects. I enjoyed that aspect of the movie, though I thought the plot was retarded and it bored me so much I fell asleep. I had been a fan of the original Transformers cartoon from the 80's and had hoped for better. I have learned though, that if Michael Bay is involved in anyway, the movie will most likely lack in story and character development and be way too dependent on effects.

    Due to a kitchen remodel, I'm really behind in my movie watching. I usually try to see at least all the best picture noms before Oscar night. This year all I've seen are Atonement and There Will Be Blood. I really enjoyed Atonement and thought it was the closest adaptation of a book I'd ever seen. I read the book and enjoyed it, so was looking forward to the movie. I think it was done very well. I hope to see Juno before the big night, but we'll see if I find the time.

    I usually print out a ballot from EW.com and fill it out before I watch the ceremony, but that's about it.
  • Everybody who has produced Menopause around me has wanted astronomical prices for it - Seattle and here. I recommend Mid-Life! - the Crisis Musical at TOTS for a more affordable and likely just as enjoyable show. But it closes in two days - better hurry.

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