The few people who still visit this blog may have noticed that I haven’t updated since November. That’s a 5 year record (of extended absences) and there are lots of reasons for it but here are the top 3:
1. Work – I’m not just referring to freelance writing because that doesn’t pay all the bills, but the other various things/projects I’m working on in an effort to survive.
2. Computer problems – My 8 year old Mac computer with all my files, software, etc. died. I’ve had major problems with the last two Macs I bought & I couldn’t afford another one (I also loath Apple’s business practices) so I purchased a Dell laptop about 2 months ago and I’m still transferring files, making updates, etc. and figuring out how it runs. I used PCs in the ’90s but it’s taking me awhile to forget all my MAC habits and learn how to properly use my new machine.
3. Burn out – I write about movies every week for The Movie Morlocks but they aren’t my only love and they’ve been consuming way too much of my free time. In an attempt to use my free time more wisely – and any writing time I have more productively (and keep from becoming utterly burn out) – I’m focusing a lot of my attention on other things and Cinebeats is going on hiatus in 2013. You can still find my weekly updates at the Morlocks and I’ll occasionally post on Twitter and Facebook (although I’m also utterly burn out with social media as well) but generally speaking, you’re going to see a lot less of me online this year unless I get some fabulous offer to write a regular column about my first love – horror films.
Every year I always devote some time to the Oscars but after last year’s utterly wretched show of which I wrote:
“The 84th Academy Awards was the worst Oscar show I’ve sat through in ages. Between Billy Crystal’s badly aged/tasteless jokes and the overall dullness of the whole production I can’t believe I got through it all. I still feel abused just from watching it and I’m not surprised they got their lowest ratings ever. I really hope they fire Bruce Vilanch and get some decent writers next year as well as a host who isn’t locked in a 1990 time warp.”
I’m having a hard time justifying watching it again for a number of reasons (I always have a hard time watching but I watch for shits & giggles and even those are getting difficult to come by) and I just haven’t been all that eager to discuss the program or the nominations this year. In general, I think 2012 was a pretty lackluster year for major film releases (and yes, I realize I’m in the minority in thinking that) and unlike years before, I actually saw most of the Oscar nominees thanks to my participation with AWFJ but most of them didn’t leave much of an impression on me. This year Seth Macfarlane is hosting the show and it feels as if the Oscars is trying really damn hard to force me NOT to watch… that’s how much I dislike Macfarlane and his sophomoric humor… but for the 5th year in a row I’ll be tuning in and “Tweeting the Oscars live” while I try to tune Macfarlane & the bad musical numbers out. Now that that’s out of the way, here are 3 reasons I’ll be watching the Oscars tonight:
1. SKYFALL – I spent much of 2012 writing about spy films and my fascination/appreciation with the James Bond franchise but nothing prepared me for how damn good and outright entertaining SKYFALL was. I’m one of those weirdos who believes it was the best Bond film in decades and I wrote a lengthy appreciation of the film (with some reservations) for the Movie Morlocks that you can find here. I’m looking forward to any Bond related wins or tributes that the Oscars might have planned but I’d especially love to see the incredible cinematographer Roger Deakins take home an Oscar for his work on SKYFALL.
2. THE MASTER – To be frank, I had a lot of mixed/indifferent reactions to Paul Thomas Anderson’s earlier films but I consider his last two movies , THERE WILL BE BLOOD (2007) and THE MASTER, to be flat out brilliant & beautifully shot. THE MASTER is an amazing looking movie that manages to capture some of the mysterious beauty of the Bay Area in a way that I’ve rarely seen before. It also contains a mesmerizing performance from Joaquin Phoenix that deserves any accolades it gets. It’s a long shot that Phoenix will win a Best Actor Oscar for his unforgettable portrayal of Freddie Quell because he’s the dark horse in a race full of show horses, but he should.
3. AMOUR – I’ve long considered HIROSHIMA MON AMOUR (1959) one of my favorite films so it’s wonderful to see its star, the lovely & talented 86-year-old Emmanuelle Riva, being acknowledged for her performance in Michael Haneke’s harrowing AMOUR, which attempts to look illness, aging & death (topics cinema rarely tackles) in the face without flinching. I would be very happy to see the film, Riva or her director take home an Oscar tonight.
Odds are that I’ll be disappointed on all fronts but I’ll be watching & tweeting with wine in hand while hoping for the best.