Good News! We Fixed The Oscars!

Every year around this time the same talking point arises and it’s this:

The Oscars are stupid. Giving awards for artistic merit is like ranking your favorite sunset against the best Beatles song ever written. The whole idea is crass, pointless and probably impossible.

Like many things in life, there’s a lot of merit to this thought. It’s also horseshit. As a minor Emmy-Winning Filmmaker™ and amateur bloviator (hoping to go pro, fingers crossed!) I think we can agree on this:

Some studios and creative teams work to bring us Charlie Sheen in “9/11” or the industrial-grade cynicism of “The Emoji Movie. Others work to bring us the charmed delights of “La La Land,” the fraught genre thrills of “Get Out” or the beautifully observed human portraits in “Lady Bird” or “Moonlight.” Giving the makers of the latter SOME recognition is meaningful.

Making good things is hard. Doing it in Hollywood is nearly is nearly impossible. You’ve seen and forgotten “Justice League.” You know what I’m saying. Pushing against all the forces of pabulum and economics to bring us something like “The Shape of Water” or “Coco” gives us all something to celebrate. When done right, the best movies can last for the better part of a century.

But the Academy Awards as they stand give recognizing cinematic worth an awful name. Harvey Weinstein has more Oscars (one) than Stanley Kubrick (none. NONE!). This is a system that pitted “La La Land” against “Moonlight,” “Schindler’s List” against “The Fugitive” (?!) and “Star Wars” against “Annie Hall.” How are we honoring greatness when each of these movies has stood the test of time as some kind of classic (okay, fine, a minor action classic for The Fugitive…)

Add to this Hollywood’s insufferable level of self-regard when it comes to bestowing gold on worthy movies. Some years it seems the more depressing and bleak, the better your chances (“Ordinary People,” “Schindler’s List,” “The Deer Hunter,” “The Killing Fields”…). If you’ve got a British person with problems, even better (“Theory of Everything,” “The King’s Speech,” “A Passage to India,” “The English Patient,” “Chariots of Fire” and probably 30 more). If they can wear frilly costumes, you’re almost there (“Shakespeare in Love,” “Dangerous Liaisons,” “Howard’s End,” “The Piano” and “Remains of the Day” BOTH in1993…).

Of course, those movies are worthy respect. But they’re a sliver of human experience. We laugh, we sing, we imagine, we get frightened, and we enjoy the thrills only film can bring us. But you wouldn’t know it from the Oscars.

Tim Dirks (@AMC_Filmsite) at Filmsite.org has written up a fantastic analysis, so I’ll link it here and hit the toplines. As far as The Academy goes, comedies, animated films, musicals, science fiction, fantasy horror and family movies need not apply. Think about how much of filmmaking that encompasses.

Only one musical has won best picture since 1970. More silent films have won best picture (two) than science fiction films (streak remains unbroken at ZERO). Only one comedy has won since the 1970s — that famous laugh riot “The Artist” (2011). “2001: A Space Odyssey” wasn’t even NOMINATED for best picture. Horror classics like “Psycho” (1960), “Alien” (1979) and “The Shining” (1980) also weren’t nominated. The closest thing to an action movie to ever win an Oscar is “Titanic” (1997).

So we’re going to have to take this down to the studs and totally rebuild it.

That’s Part 2.

Dorking Out Episode 100: The Wakanda Forever, Black Panther Edition

Hey there, dorks. Chris and Sonia review the 18th (!) installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, BLACK PANTHER. Directed by Ryan Coogler, BLACK PANTHER stars Chad Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman. Daniel Kaluuya. Letitia Wright, Forest Whitaker, and Angela Bassett.

We hope you enjoy our dorky podcast. You can listen to us here, or you can find us on iTunes and Stitcher.

Dorking Out Episode 99: The Star Trek Discovery, Episode 15 Edition

Hey there, dorks. Our Star Trek experts, Jeff Bond and Alexandra August join Chris talk about the season final of of STAR TREK: DISCOVERY titled “Will You Take My Hand.”

We hope you enjoy our dorky podcast. You can listen to us here, or you can find us on iTunes and Stitcher.

Dorking Out Episode 98: The Who Reviews the Reviewers Edition

Hey there, dorks. Another podcast reviewed our podcast, which got us thinking about reviews and reviewers. What do we want from our critics? What do we like? What do we hate? In this post-Roger Ebert world, which movie critics are filling that void for us?

And in our second segment (that’s right – SECOND SEGMENT), we share what we’ve been dorking out about, including BLUE PLANET 2, the anime movie YOUR NAME, and a review of Netflix’s ALTERED CARBON … sort of.

We hope you enjoy our dorky podcast. You can listen to us here, or you can find us on iTunes and Stitcher.

Dorking Out Episode 97: The Star Trek Discovery, Episode 14 Edition

Hey there, dorks. Our Star Trek experts, Jeff Bond and Alexandra August join Chris talk about episode 14 of STAR TREK: DISCOVERY titled “The War Without, The War Within.”

We hope you enjoy our dorky podcast. You can listen to us here, or you can find us on iTunes and Stitcher.

Dorking Out Episode 96: The Big Trouble In Little China Edition

Hey there, dorks. In the episode we do a deep dorking out about 1986’s BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA, starring Kurt Russell and directed by John Carpenter. Joining us for this chat is BFF of the show Peter Brown,  Peter Brown, associate editor of Assignment X.

We hope you enjoy our dorky podcast. You can listen to us here, or you can find us on iTunes and Stitcher.

Dorking Out Episode 95: The Star Trek Discovery, Episode 13 Edition

Hey there, dorks. Our Star Trek experts, Jeff Bond and Alexandra August join Chris talk about episode 13 of STAR TREK: DISCOVERY titled “What’s Past Is Prologue.”

We hope you enjoy our dorky podcast. You can listen to us here, or you can find us on iTunes and Stitcher.

Dorking Out Episode 94: The Last of the Mohicans Edition

Hey there, dorks. Albert “AJ” Muller from Daily Grindhouse  returns to the podcast for a deep dorking out about 1992’s “The Last of the Mohicans,” starring Daniel Day Lewis and Madeline Stowe, and directed by Michael Mann.

We hope you enjoy our dorky podcast. You can listen to us here, or you can find us on iTunes and Stitcher.

Dorking Out Episode 93: The Star Trek Discovery, Episode 12 Edition

Hey there, dorks. Our Star Trek experts, Jeff Bond and Alexandra August join Chris talk about episode 12 of STAR TREK: DISCOVERY titled “Vaulting Ambition.”

We hope you enjoy our dorky podcast. You can listen to us here, or you can find us on iTunes and Stitcher.

Dorking Out Episode 92: The Kinky Phantom Thread Review Edition

Hey there, dorks. Chris and Sonia try to talk about PHANTOM THREAD. Is this the movie that Daniel Day-Lewis really wants to go out on?

We hope you enjoy our dorky podcast. You can listen to us here, or you can find us on iTunes and Stitcher.