Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Oscars Reset -- 2003 (July 13)

After 3 solid months...the Oscars have returned! And no, it hasn't gotten any better...
"While our pace has slowed to the crawl of an old man with two broken legs, we are undeterred. Though it has become apparent the 2012 Oscars is closer than the completion of our project, we are not discouraged." 

These were the two opening sentences of our 2002 Oscars post...and yes, I think we're starting to get discouraged. Somewhere in between the 2002 Oscars and 2003 Oscars, the old man with two broken legs also broke his glasses, had a folding chair fall on him, threw out his back, and suffered a massive stroke...yep, that about summarizes our pace! Well, you've been waiting long enough...the 2003 Oscars!

Recap: Casey and I are imagining ourselves as minor deities. We have gone back in time and have the authority to pick the Oscars, with hindsight in mind, the way they should have been picked. We started with 2000 and we are working our way towards last year. If you missed the previous three years, then you can click on the links below and catch up!


Note: I did away with my stupid scoring system. It had nothing to do with Casey's incessant whining (which may or may not be fabricated)...I'm just lazy. Sue me.

Opening Comments:

Casey: Hey Jon, if we continue at this rate, we’ll never finish this Oscars project! I believe we began working on this year when my first child was being born in the hospital. I now have 4 kids and 2 grandchildren… okay, so not really, but my daughter is nearly 3 months old now! Oh well – I’m sure our 3 readers will forgive us for the long layoff.

Jon: Let’s tell the truth Casey; you and I couldn’t come to an agreement on how to split Blog Related Income and I locked you out. Don’t be ashamed! I MUST BREAK YOU!

Casey: Everyone knows I’m the real brains behind this blog! Don’t be fooled by the fact that I only contribute 2 articles and 5 podcasts per year. Oh, right, so, about movies… yeah, this year is really awesome, and the academy screwed up yet again. These Oscars are going to get reset more than Nomar Garciaparra’s batting gloves!

Jon: Let’s be honest here, there are no brains behind this blog. It’s just a couple guys with way too much time on their hands. By the way, NICE Nomar reference! I’d also like to nominate Sean Casey in the “oh my gosh, please, for the love of God, get into the batters box so this game will end before midnight” category. We all love The Mayor (that includes you Fred Hoiberg)!

Getting back to the movies, since that’s kinda the point of this inane exercise, I’m very excited to talk about this year. This was a really good year for movies and I’m absolutely appalled at the Academy’s choices.

Disclaimer: All you LOTR fans might want to stop reading right now before I metaphorically toss the movie into the depths of Mount Doom. Just a fair warning…let’s get started!

Best Comedy 

Nominations:     Bruce Almighty                          
                          Old School   
                          Finding Nemo
                          Bad Santa

Jon: Finding Nemo
Casey: Finding Nemo

Casey: Okay, so I hate to keep giving it to Pixar movies…but how could you not! My second choice here would be Elf, in which Will Farrell plays his usual delusional self, but not only was Finding Nemo your typical Pixar homerun – it was one of their best! “Fish are friends, NOT FOOD!”

Jon: First and foremost, the inclusion of Bad Santa onto the nominations list has to be addressed. I would like to take this moment to exonerate myself of this inexcusable sin. Casey strongly insisted it was funny and that it had to be nominated. So there. As for the other four movies…what do you want me to say? Finding Nemo is easily the best and cleverest among them. To be honest, I’m brutally tough on comedies and I didn’t find Bruce Almighty or Elf to be all that humorous even though everyone continues to insist they’re the most hilarious movies of our generation. *Yawn*

Casey: Elf and Bruce Almighty are both funny. I’ve rarely heard anyone refer to either as epically or historically funny. As for Bad Santa, can you remember what the 6th movie was that I insisted on bumping for Bad Santa?  NEITHER CAN I! Look, I may have said it was funny, but that included a caveat that it’s only because Billy Bob Thornton played himself – a degenerate drunk – which is always funny!

Jon: Don’t you dare defend yourself from Bad Santa! You picked it, you own up to it! I’d comment more on the Billy Bob Thornton thing, but I’ll just save that since you’ve given me the pleasure of railing on you for nominating him, as well as the movie. By the way, how can you have attended Grace College and not heard everyone on campus fawn over Bruce Almighty and Elf? People built shrines to those freaking movies! Makes me sick…

Best Actor in a Comedy 

Nominations:     Jim Carrey (Bruce Almighty)                       
                          Will Farrell (Elf)                         
                          Vince Vaughn (Old School)   
                          Will Farrell (Old School)
                          Billy Bob Thornton (Bad Santa)

Jon: Will Farrell (Old School)
Casey: Will Farrell (Elf)

Jon: …but not as sick as seeing Billy Bob Thornton nominated for any category that doesn’t start with the word “Worst.” For this, we only have you to blame Casey. Just for your information, I picked Will Farrell in Old School solely because of his “we’re going streaking!” line. I literally hated everything about 2003 comedies…it was honestly the only funny thing I could remember.

Casey: Make fun of me all you want for Bad Santa, but YOU just gave an Oscar to 1) the less deserving of two nominees within the same movie; and 2) the less deserving of two roles for a nominee (everyone follow that?).  That’s hard to do! Maybe Bruce Almighty was overrated, but you’re simply delusional to think Buddy the Elf was anything short of hilarious. One of these days you’ll have to get over your Grinch complex, Jon!

Jon: To be fair, my deep seated hatred of Christmas and all things cheery likely closes me off to ever accepting Elf as a funny movie. Definitely one of those “it’s not you, it’s me” type of things. Still, Billy Bob Thornton…come on man…Billy Bob Thornton…

Casey: To be completely honest, I had no idea Thornton was on the “come on, man” list – this is a bit shocking to me! I know there’s a plethora of personal life issues, and he hasn’t always made the best role choices… but you do realize he won an Oscar, right? Anyway, I didn’t even vote for him – but you gave the award to Will Ferrell, who had 4 lines!!!

Best Supporting Actor

Nominations:     Tim Robbins (Mystic River)                      
                          Kevin Bacon (Mystic River)                       
                          Benicio Del Toro (21 Grams)   
                          Ken Watanabe (The Last Samurai)
                          Sam Rockwell (Matchstick Men)

Actual Winner: Tim Robbins (Mystic River)

Jon: Tim Robbins (Mystic River)
Casey: Tim Robbins (Mystic River)

Casey: I recently learned something about Ken Watanabe (whose name, as you’re well aware, I am incapable of pronouncing). I was watching Inception with my parents, and as soon as Saito enters the screen, my dad goes, “Hey, that’s the guy I met at that one hotel.” Turns out my dad chatted with Ken for several minutes years ago, and never thought to mention it until now. My dad met Saito!!!

Jon: Did Saito buy the hotel because it seemed neater?

(Quick side note on your “Billy Bob Thornton won an Oscar” defense. He didn’t win as an actor. He won as a writer. But nice try…)

Casey: I can’t believe I got that wrong. I was thinking he won best actor for Sling Blade… I forgot about Geoffrey Rush in that weird Shine movie. Anyway, Billy Bob has been nominated twice for Best Lead Actor, both legitimate roles. It’s not a stretch to say he’s talented. What I love most here is how we haven’t mentioned Robbing once… why would we? No contest.

Jon: Who exactly is Robbing? I know who Tim ROBBINS is, but not this Robbing guy. First, you mess up on Billy Bob’s Oscar. Then you call Tim Robbins “Robbing.” How can we take you seriously Casey? Also, going back to Billy Bob; Nick Nolte got nominated for Best Actor in 1998…is he talented too?

I suppose I’ll make a quick Tim Robbins comment. If you just watched Mystic River and Shawshank Redemption, you’d think Robbins was one of the most accomplished actors of our generation. What exactly happened to his career? Also, I find it to be a travesty that he didn’t even get nominated for Shawshank. Personally, I think that was a far superior performance to even this one. I’ll award you an extra comment for your thoughts…as long as you leave the Billy Bob thing alone!

Casey: Stupid auto-complete! In typical Boris Diaw Time fashion, I don’t suppose you have plans to edit my typos, yet you’ll gladly edit your own. As for Timmy (going with the safer spelling here), living with Susan Sarandon for 20 years couldn’t have been healthy for him – throw in a crappy remake of War of the Worlds, and you’ve got your answer. However, kudos to him for cameos in two of my all-time favorite movies: Austin Powers and Anchorman!

Best Actress

Nominations:     Charlize Theron (Monster)              
                          Naomi Watts (21 Grams)               
                          Scarlett Johansson (Lost in Translation) 
                          Alison Lohman (Matchstick Men)
                          Holly Hunter (Thirteen)

Actual Winner: Charlize Theron (Monster)

Jon: Naomi Watts (21 Grams)
Casey: Naomi Watts (21 Grams)

Jon: Let me first say that I have not seen Monster, nor do I have any desire to see Monster. It is my understanding that Charlize Theron’s performance was incredible and that she definitely deserved this Oscar. That having been said, I’m picking Naomi Watts. I think you know why…

Casey: Indeed I do, and for once we can agree! Look, Naomi Watts delivered one of the greatest performances for an actress in the last 10 years. Let’s not take away from that just because she also happens to be Naomi Hotts! (It should be noted that though Jon is the one who employs the hot-actresses grading scale, I was actually the one who came up with this nickname.)

Jon: I never claimed the nickname! I didn’t even use it! All I said was she was super hot! Geez Casey; why are you trying to start fights even when we agree? By the way, I want to thank you for actually mentioning that Naomi Watts was incredible in 21 Grams and that she was much more than a glorified prop. I seemed to have gotten sidetracked along the way…

Casey: I’ll use my closing time here to give credit to another of my beloved actresses: Alison Lohman. She portrayed a 14-year-old at age 23 in Matchstick Men! Alison made the most of her early career, demonstrating seemingly endless potential with great performances in White Oleander, Matchstick Men, and Big Fish…only to end up in Beowulf, and then disappear off the face of the earth. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted Alison!

Best Actor

Nominations:     Sean Penn (Mystic River)           
                          Sean Penn (21 Grams)                
                          Johnny Depp (POTC: The Curse of the Black Pearl)
                          Nicolas Cage (Matchstick Men)
                          Ewan McGregor (Big Fish)

Actual Winner: Sean Penn (Mystic River)

Jon: Sean Penn (Mystic River)
Casey: Sean Penn (Mystic River)

Casey: Nice try, Johnny! I have to say I’m tempted to encourage Johnny Depp with an Oscar here, given the endless list of garbage that is the rest of his film resume, but no one can take this one away from Penn. Perhaps you could argue he deserved it for 21 Grams instead, but he did have more screen time in Mystic River, so I’m happy to keep it this way.

Jon: I’m slightly offended you would even consider Johnny Depp for this award. Perhaps it’s just my innate tendency to reject popular opinion, but I personally think Depp’s performance as Captain Jack Sparrow is extraordinarily overrated. Don’t get me wrong, I love POTC as much as the next guy (if not more). Captain Jack Sparrow is one of the finest film characters of the past few decades and I’ll give Depp his due credit for doing a fine job, but there’s a pretty good chance he actually filmed the entire movie while under the influence. Thus, we have our beloved (and drunk) Captain Jack Sparrow. But hey, if they ever award an Oscar for “Best Performance by a Drunk Guy, Who is Actually Playing a Drunk Guy” then I’m all in.

Oh yeah, also Sean Penn is amazing. Knocking out Mystic River and 21 Grams in the same year is like Albert Pujols winning the Triple Crown, breaking the home run record, AND coming out of the bullpen to save 60 games. 

Casey: How do I follow that up? Yes, it was one of the greatest years an actor has ever had. In fact, I can’t think of a contender…maybe Blood Diamond/The Departed for Leo? I’d still give Penn the edge there. I’m glad you didn’t defend Depp, by the way – you know I hate him probably more than he deserves. Johnny; when Tim Burton finally does a film without you, and critics call it “his masterpiece,” that’s not a good sign!!! Following this up with a slaughtering of Willy Wonka effectively terminated our relationship.

Jon: I never really understood the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory hate. Honestly, I think the original kinda sucks. I know it’s almost sacrilegious to say that, but really, it does. The remake was infinitely better than the first one and I don’t care what anyone (or everyone, as the case may be) says. Anyways, back to the topic at hand; Sean Penn and the most dominating season in movie history. We really do need to do some research on this. Blood Diamond/The Departed is the closest thing I can come up with in recent history. Still, I don’t know how close that comes to Mystic River/21 Grams. Good work Sean Penn! Now you can go back to tongue kissing the nation of Venezuela.

Best Director

Nominations:     Clint Eastwood (Mystic River)  
                          Alejandro González Iñárritu (21 Grams)        
                          Peter Jackson (Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King)
                          Tim Burton (Big Fish)
                          Gary Ross (Seabiscuit)

Actual Winner: Peter Jackson (Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King)

Jon: Clint Eastwood (Mystic River)
Casey: Clint Eastwood (Mystic River)

Jon: Fair warning to all you LOTR fans out there; you might want to close your eyes and scroll on down because I’m about to tear into The Precious. For the life of me, I don’t understand how Peter Freakin’ Jackson wins Best Director in a year where Clint Eastwood and Alejandro González Iñárritu basically pitched perfect games (second baseball reference). Yes, yes, I get that the Academy wanted to reward him for the entire trilogy…I also get how ridiculous and idiotic that line of thinking is. It’s like when Peyon Manning won the Super Bowl MVP even though he had kind of a mediocre game and definitely wasn’t the most deserving player. Stop giving people undeserved awards for things they’ve done in the past! Just because Manning is arguably the greatest player ever doesn’t mean he HAS to get a Super Bowl MVP when he doesn’t deserve it! Likewise, just because Peter Jackson made the Lord of the Rings trilogy doesn’t mean he deserves Best Director for any individual one of them! Clint Eastwood’s work on Mystic River was beyond amazing and it’s an absolute travesty he didn’t get this award.

Casey: In a stunning turn of events, Casey comes through and saves Jon from an aneurism!!! Jon and I have argued endlessly over this, and look, I could just have easily given this to Jackson (and I’m sure that’s what Jon was expecting). I don’t criticize the Academy for giving him the Oscar, because by all means he deserves so much praise for everything he did with this amazing trilogy (ignore what Jon is saying – I know you already are!). But Mystic River may have been the BEST directorial piece of Eastwood’s career – yes, I’m talking about a guy with TWO OTHER Best Director Oscars!!! A part of me always looks back and thinks, “Man, Eastwood should really have three Best Director Oscars…too bad he happened to make one of them during LOTR.” And that’s really the problem here.  Jackson, on one hand, deserves this for all his work. But Jon’s point about rewarding past years’ events is true.  It shouldn’t happen like that, Academy. It’s unfair to those stand-alone masterpieces.

By the way Jon, who is this Peyon Manning fellow? Is he a friend of Tim Robbing? I’ve heard of PEYTON Manning… but not Peyon. HAHA – I knew I’d get payback, but didn’t expect it this soon! Readers should also note I had to edit Alejandro González Iñárritu’s name above, as Jon is too ignorant to spell out the funky Spanish symbols.


Anyways, I actually would have been shocked if you had given this to Peter Jackson because I still held out some semblance of hope that you aren’t a complete moron. I say the word “complete” because you still said Jackson deserved the Oscar for all his hard work. What the heck kind of argument is that? You sound like one of those pansy parents who doesn’t want to keep score at their kids basketball games because “we’re all winners!” Look, if the Academy wants to have Jackson come on stage and honor him for making a cool trilogy, then by all means, have at it. But to give an underserved MAJOR award for “hard work” is completely unforgiveable. Did Clint Eastwood not work hard on Mystic River or something? That movie must have just filmed itself, right? Give me a break! By that token, George Lucas should have won for Star Wars Episode III (he worked hard), Steven Spielberg should have won for Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (he worked hard too), and Sylvester Stallone should have won for Rocky IV (it must have been tough to direct Rocky II, III, and IV). At best, Jackson is the third place finisher this year and giving him this award is outright thievery!

By the way, I’m not too lazy to put the funky Spanish symbols…I’m too apathetic. Once we syndicate in Spanish, I’ll remember.

Casey: I’m sorry, Jon. You’re right. I misspoke. Let me rephrase. PETER JACKSON DID AN AMAZING DIRECTORIAL JOB. IT WAS REALLY, REALLY GOOD, IN THE SAME WAYS AS MANY BEST DIRECTOR-WINNERS BEFORE IT! THE QUALITY OF THE FINISHED PRODUCT IS THE EVIDENCE THAT THIS IS TRUE. OH, AND 97% OF THE WORLD THINKS YOU’RE A COMPLETE MORON FOR NOT SEEING THIS. Is that clear enough for you? Okay then. By the way, I didn’t say you were lazy, I said you were ignorant…an English (not Spanish) dictionary might do you well.

Best Picture

Nominations:     Mystic River
                          Matchstick Men    
                          21 Grams
                          Big Fish
                          Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

Actual Winner: Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

Jon: Mystic River
Casey: Mystic River

Casey: I have been thinking about this moment for weeks. I kept having these internal arguments, trying to convince myself that 21 Grams is deserving of this award – and I’m still not totally sure that it isn’t! In fact, in most other years I’d give it Best Picture in a heartbeat! But this was an amazing year, and someone has to go home empty-handed. They are two very different movies in the sense that one is linear and filmed in a classic style (Mystic River), whereas the other is convoluted and irresolute (21 Grams). At the end of the day, I am awarding the simpler of the two films. It’s incredibly difficult to make a simple film great in the way that Mystic River is; it excels in every aspect of filmmaking. But I want to give 21 Grams its due credit for its originality and its raw emotion. P.S. I would really like for Alejandro to sue ‘Seven Pounds’ for stealing his movie and remaking it with 100 times the budget… and still not being nearly as good!

Jon: I couldn’t have said it better myself. I love both movies and it sucks that 21 Grams can’t win too. Actually, given your “we’re all winners” tendencies, I’m surprised you didn’t try to do that! Anyways, you’re spot on when you talk about the simplicity of Mystic River. Eastwood is so good at creating characters and telling stories and he tells the Mystic River story in such a compelling way. 

Before I finish, I noticed you didn’t mention how the Academy stupidly gave LOTR the Oscar here! First, looking back at our Peter Jackson argument, I NEVER said that LOTR wasn’t a good movie or that Jackson did a poor directorial job. I was simply arguing his merits against Eastwood’s…and you agreed with me on that point! Also, I could care less what 97% of the world thinks…if I started caring about that then I would immediately start to hate America. Anyways, we could go back and forth on this all day. There were certainly a lot of good things about LOTR and Jackson did some solid work on it, but I can point out several things that were pretty poorly done (how about Sam and Frodo’s interactions…they were horrible!). Mostly, I can’t be a fan of this because he strayed too far from the books and I hate him for it. The point is, Jackson was not deserving of his award and the movie was DEFINITELY not deserving of Best Picture. You can say what you want, but against movies like Mystic River and 21 Grams, LOTR just doesn’t stack up.

FYI – I’ll buy an English dictionary when you learn that there’s only supposed to be ONE space between sentences. I’ve been editing each sentence you write to fix this. Deal? Good. 

Casey: Really? I had no idea you were doing that – how sad! I had noticed that you were using a font with the ‘single enlarged space,’ and it looks a bit goofy with two spaces. But up until not long ago, it was quite normal to use two ‘word spaces’ after a sentence, and I, being an old man, was trained that way. It’s a really hard habit to break, and up until this point, I haven’t ever used a font that used such an awkwardly huge enlarged space! Ironically, when you post this in BDT, it will be displayed it a different font anyway, but I’ll try my best while we’re writing this column.

While on the topic of grammar, Jon, I have some bad news for you…it’s your friend, the semi-colon. He’s not doing well. It seems that his utterly inappropriate overuse over the last seven months has brought him on the verge of death. The rest of the world’s bloggers have written me, begging me to intervene and stop your rampant semi-colon addiction. They’re worried there won’t be any left for them to use. Deal? Oh, one more thing… if you could care less about something, then all you’re telling us is that you do care at least a little bit.

Jon: You do realize Microsoft Word auto-corrects most of those semi-colon’s right? They’re correctly used…perhaps you should brush up on semi-colon usage…much like you had to brush up on All-Star game rules (third baseball reference)! Here’s an idea though; why don’t you write more than one post a month and we’ll take a little dig through and see what we can find. No, seriously, write something for me! I’m literally paralyzed without football and basketball!

By the way, when were you trained to put two spaces between sentences? 1987? Were you still typing with a typewriter up until the last few years? I knew you were old, but this is kinda ridiculous. I’d definitely watch out for Prince if I were you! Also, I will DEFINITELY link that YouTube video. Very funny. Still, I couldn’t care less about saying I could care less. 

Best Movie

Nominations:      Mystic River
                          Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl  
                          Matchstick Men
                          Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
                          Finding Nemo

Jon: Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
Casey: Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

Jon: I’ll be very interested to see what you put for this one. Honestly, I could make a good argument for Mystic River here, but there’s really no way to pick anything other than POTC. The second, third, and fourth POTC’s were unfortunate, but The Curse of the Black Pearl is going to go down as one of the most beloved movies of all time. I know you hate Johnny Depp (with good reason), but Captain Jack Sparrow was an amazing character. All in all, I’d say POTC did a fantastic job of creating and developing nearly all their characters…also, Keira Knightley is really hot. As I’ve said before, one of my big criteria for Best Movie is my initial reaction after the first viewing. Call it The Theatre Experience. POTC is easily one of my top five Theatre Experiences, and I’d give anything to be able to watch it again for the first time. Amazingly, it accomplished something that most movies of its kind utterly fail at, in that it was a big budget, heavily promoted summer blockbuster that was able to find the right balance of visuals, effects, characters, and story…not to mention the amazing Hans Zimmer score. You really can’t find many people who didn’t love POTC, thus it is the Best Movie of 2003.

Casey: I didn’t even bother checking the list nominees. Like you indicated, this movie may have had the highest combination of hype/results in movie history. It was one of my favorite theater experiences, too. In fact, to this day it holds my personal record for most theater viewings – eight! Before readers vomit and then call me an irresponsible fool, please understand that I didn’t pay a dime for any of it – oh, and I also had all the free popcorn and soda I wanted. Yep, I worked at a movie theater in 2003! One of the best choices of my life.

Jon: Sadly, I vomited before I read the part where you didn’t pay any money for it. Hold on; give me a second to clean up. Cleaning…cleaning…and there. I’m good. Seriously though, 2003 was a pretty solid year to work in a theatre. Question – given all the free popcorn and drinks (it’s not soda!), what would you say your plus/minus was during your employment? 

Before I finish, I would like to take a second to give some much deserved props to Matchstick Men. As we move through these years, Casey and I are rapidly approaching the end of Nicolas Cage’s career. Matchstick Men was one of his last good movies and it is perhaps my favorite of all the movies he has done. Likely because I have some unfortunate OCD tendencies myself, I always enjoy a movie/TV show featuring an OCD character. Other than Tony Shalhoub in Monk, Nicolas Cage was the most entertaining OCD character of all time. Look, I’m not saying it was the best movie of all time or anything…I’m just saying it was a fun and entertaining movie that people shouldn’t forget.

Casey: That’s a great point, Jon. Because 2003 was such a great year for film, we barely mentioned Matchstick Men! But we do both love it, and I will add that I, too, have many OCD tendencies. For me, Cage is right up there with Jack Nicholson in As Good As It Gets.

If by ‘over/under’ you are wondering what my true net income was during that year, let’s see here…minimum wage…5,000 lbs. of popcorn…1,200 liters of SODA. Yep, I netted $1 million! If you mean how much weight I gained, the answer is none of course! I was 16 years old! By the way, we need to settle this “soda” thing once and for all. I’m sure many of our readers are from the Midwest, so it’s my sad duty to inform you that 95% of the nation (the parts that matter) calls it SODA! Don’t believe me? Watch…well, any movie or TV show that isn’t called Napoleon Dynamite!

Closing Comments: 
Jon: Well Casey, it’s taken us quite some time to reach this point. I can assure you our “many” readers hold you responsible for the delay. How dare you inconvenience us by having a child! Looking beyond that, I’d say it was worth the wait. By my estimation, the travesties that unfolded with LOTR netting Best Director and Best Picture rank right up there with the NCAA letting Cam Newton play. Just plain stupid. I know you love LOTR, but can you at least agree it was shameful to pick it over Mystic River???

Also, if by 95% of the nation you mean California, then it’s my sad duty to inform you that California is no longer part of the United States. Don’t believe me? Watch…well, anything your governor is in! House Maids of Beverly Hills anyone?! (FYI, I made that show up! It’s because Arnold…well, you know.)

Casey: Oh man…wait, let me stop laughing first…okay. You do realize Arnold isn’t the governor anymore though, right? Seriously, do you actually think California is the only place that calls soda “soda”? I know for a fact that you did leave the Great Lakes region at least once in your life, when you went to New York. Tell me you walked into a restaurant, ordered “pop,” and didn’t get laughed at!

Oh, we were talking about movies, weren’t we? I won’t call all the LOTR Oscars ‘shameful,’ but rather I’ll just say I would have approached it differently, in hindsight. Of course, hindsight is the operative word here. You may recall that I strategically doled out my Oscar for Peter Jackson in 2001 – the year when we unanimously gave an Oscar to Chris Kattan, and the actual winner was a man who has also given us such gems as Splash, Willow, and Edtv! So, I managed to weasel my way into giving Peter Jackson his Oscar, without hurting good ol’ Clint Eastwood or Roman Polanski! Unfortunately, the Academy didn’t have the hindsight to plan that kind of maneuver in advance…and if I had arrived in 2003, never having awarded Jackson’s brilliant work on LOTR, I honestly don’t know what I would have done. I am REALLY glad that I was never in that situation. Gotta love that hindsight!

Jon: In my mind, Arnold will always be your governor! Also, a quick look at this map proves that your 95% ‘soda’ estimate is 100% stupid. Also, I lived in New York for a year…and never got laughed at. Regardless, you call it what you want! I’m not here to talk about the past…wait, that’s exactly why I’m here. Well, since this is my last chance to say something before 2004, let me rip on the Academy one more time. The mere idea that the Academy would need to ‘maneuver’ to give Jackson an Oscar is completely reprehensible. How about this – GIVE THE OSCAR TO THE MOST DESERVING PERSON/FILM!!! Mystic River>>>>>>Lord of The Rings!!! Clint Eastwood>>>>>>Peter Jackson!!! YOU SUCK ACADEMY!!!!!!!!!!


  1. For your best actor section and the question of who could have had a better single year, I'm surprised no one thought of Hugh Jackman in 2006 with The Prestige and The Fountain. Just a thought.

    -John Larson

  2. Jackman had a really nice year, but it doesn't really stack up against a year in which Sean Penn could have legitimately won Best Actor for TWO transcendant movies.

  3. I love that Jon intros this article with not one but TWO misused semicolons right out of the gate! (Note to the reader: Jon writes the intro last).

  4. Note to Casey: You're stupid...I said those were the first two sentences of the 2002 post. They were copied and pasted.

  5. My bad... so I guess what you're saying is you've learned your lesson since then? ....

  6. Like I said, you're entitled to a full refund of the free material that I spend hours working on. My apologies for making a few mistakes when I write upwards of 10,000 words per week. You're always free to submit more content if the quality of the (amateur and purely in my spare time) site is not up to par.

  7. oooh oohhh can a submit things too? Such as color photographs, its a surprise what they are of. BTW you guys are super board clearly!!