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The Oscars

Did you watch the Oscars last night? I only watched bits and pieces of it, but for once it looked as though the broadcast itself had a little bit of a pace to it that isn't usually the case. Speeches were brief but heartfelt, and there weren't as many tribute pieces as usual. On the subject of tributes, one of the nicer ones was in recognition of those movie people who passed away during the last year (actors, writers, directors, behind-the-scenes people, journalists, reviewers, etc.). It was the usual video montage but instead of a piece of recorded music James Taylor performed the Beatles' "In My Life," which I found a nice touch.

I didn't have any particular favorites this year, having only seen one of the ten (TEN!) best picture nominees---I, like most of the Western Hemisphere, saw "Avatar" twice, and while I liked it and recognize its importance in advancing the process of moviemaking did not imagine it would win best picture, and it didn't. That honor, as well as best director, was won by a small movie called "The Hurt Locker," which is about a bomb disposal unit in Iraq. Not exactly the most uplifting of subjects.

As part of my after-the-fact due dilligence I've rented "District 9" for an upcoming business trip, so we'll see if it deserved nomination.

But back to the nominees. While I don't personally like him, you have to give it to James Cameron ("I'm the king of the world!" he proclaimed after "Titanic" won a thousand Oscars back in the late 90's). Who else would have the audacity to make a movie like "Titanic" that won everything, bet the ranch on "Avatar," and have his vision justified by all of these box office records it's breaking. Pretty amazing for a movie about ten-foot-tall blue people from another galaxy.

My final movie comment is something I saw online last night. If you look at the number of tickets sold, and not the dollar value of them, the all time box office champ is still "Gone with the Wind," with way over two million tickets sold. Think they could make that movie now?

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