Sunday, February 22, 2009

Yes, I will be watching...


Thought the show was really great! Best one in years. Three things:

#1- If they care about the value of the broadcast show, they need to ditch the awards that are not relevant to mainstream movie goers. They should always award and recognize folks like SOUND MIX EDITORS and such, but just like they give out technical awards off camera and at a different ceremony, the more techy awards really need to happen off camera (again, assuming they want to boost the ratings and make the show itself more entertaining). I love the movies, have relatives who work behind the scenes, and respect the behind the scene jobs immensely and I don't even want to watch that shit.

#2-Replace those more technical awards with a few more mainstream awards. It was nice to see some airtime given to the less arty flicks. And as Will Smith said, the action movies (or the comedies or horror flicks,etc) have many, many fans. It only makes sense that if you want to bring more folks to the show, you should focus more on the movies that millions of people actually love. I'm not saying change the voting process to make sure flicks like KING FU PANDA make it into the BEST ACTOR and BEST PICTURE categories. I am saying that the academy needs to invent a few new awards such as: BEST COMEDY, BEST ACTION MOVIE, MOST ENTERTAINING, A PEOPLE'S CHOICE AWARD FOR BEST PICTURE,etc. Every one of those I would stay tuned for and be eager to see who won. And what would be so bad about adding a few extra awards? Those are valid categories and don't take away from the main BEST PICTURE category at all (at least not to me).

#3- Wow, my boyhood idol- Steven Spielberg- is looking old. Which is very weird for two reasons:

a- when you see you childhood heroes age it makes you feel old and makes you realize that we're all only here for a finite amount of time. This- obviously- is obvious. But when you see it laid out like that, with Spielberg kind of limping (it seemed...or shuffling or something odd in his walk) onto stage with his unkempt Einstein hair and very, very white hair and beard it just hit home for me....

b- He's only like 61 or 62. My dad is 82 and looks more full of life and energy that Steven Spielberg. Maybe he just had the flu or something because he just seemed- for the first time that I've ever seen him- to have lost a bit of the sparkle behind the eye. Maybe all the funding issues with his new company have taken a toll. Maybe he's still kicking himself for Crystal Skull (he should be ... :) )....

Ok- later!



I have a love/hate thing with the Academy Awards.

As a kid, I looked at Hollywood (movie directors and writers and other behind the scenes folks) as a window into what my adult life would be like: a glamorous, exciting, and rewarding window into what I was 100% sure was my future.

As an adult, working in a creative industry, having won some awards in my industry, and having seen our pervasive tabloid culture give rise to the obliteration of Hollywood's magic, the reason I now watch the Oscars has changed. These days- depending on my mood- I watch the Oscars for one of the following three reasons:

REASON #1: Nostalgia- As a kid, the Oscars were my Super Bowl. It's fun to think back to those early morning band rehearsals where I would sit with my equally obsessed film buddy Jay while we poured over the just announced nominations that had come out at 5am that morning. It's fun to recall obsessing over the Oscar ballot in USA TODAY that I would carry around in my pocket and study during lunch, arguing with friends over who would and should win. It's fun to recall how excited I was to enter into the movie business and entertain the world with the movies I would make one day. And it's fun to dip myself in the 'magic waters' of nostalgia (as James Earl Jones says in Field Of Dreams) that bring me back to the days where I was sure I would become the next Steven Spielberg*. What a great, sustaining fantasy that was, back when I really needed it the most!

REASON #2: Mocking- it's fun to shout at the tv and make fun of how self-important and full of shit many of the folks on stage and in the audience seem to be (Sean Penn proclaiming that ,"Jude Law is one of our finest actors" was bad enough, but then the entire audience applauding like this is some sort of 'true dat'/'it's about fucking time someone trumpeted the brilliance that is Jude Law' kind of statement?!?!...or the 'All Hail King Jack Nicolson as he holds court!' cut aways that we get every fucking year and the host always kissing his ass while 'King Jack' just sits there in his shades and nods and smiles as if to say, "I am the Godfather of this town!"...ugg, how I fucking hate that shit)! But now look, I love the movies. Love them! Depending on the day, they are my #1 or #2 favorite form of entertainment (movies swap places with video games depending on what I am watching/playing). So movies- for me- are gold. And I am so happy there are people who are great at making the movies that entertain the world. BUT so often you just want to punch these fucktards in the mouth when they go on and on about the magic of their medium. Or the glamour of their town or of their lives. Or how if you just dream big enough, you can be just like them! Or how they- too- were once little kids prenteding to give an Oscar acceptance speech in the bathroom mirror with a tube of toothpaste subbing in for the Oscar statue. Oh Jeeze. Oh Blechh!

Oh and that "Blechh" sound? In case you were wondering, that was me puking. Because how many magical movies hit in a year? 1-3, at best? And as for the life of glamor? Well you know good and well that these celebrity's lives are just as normal/exciting/boring/mundane/magical as our own lives and yet they insist on perpetuating this damaging fantasy of glamor and godhood in order to...what? Convince themselves that their normal life IS actually unique? Create a persona that will help them sell more movie tickets, but in the process continue to damage society by presenting false images of what life is actually like? I dunno...I- clearly- got a real issue with this issue. And it comes to full bloom on Oscar night. And so I tend to shout at the tv. A lot. It's good fun :)

REASON #3: Fantasy- With all that said, it's still fun to kick back at the end of the day and watch the beautiful people walk the red carpet as the warm California sun bathes them in its glow; as people scream their names and rush to get interviews; as we get to see modern versions of fairy tales come to life, where nothing goes wrong for these people, they always look great, everyone always loves them, life is exciting, and there is no reason to ever fear anything. I know it's all bullshit, but just for a few moments amid the 3-4 hour show, I get to indulge in the fantasy that all is well. And the ironic part is, all IS well. But you only end up knowing that if you leave the fantasy behind, live in the real world, and realize that it's actually not so scary after all. But that takes work...and that's hard. So for a few hours, it's fun to imagine the alternative.

So I'm gonna go spin and get some exercise, then do some work on the game for a few hours, and then plop my ass in front of the tv, a pizza slice in one hand and my Tivo remote in the other (I sure as SHIT don't watch the Oscars without 30-45 minutes of buffer on the hard drive that lets me skip the boring shit). Hope you guys/gals- who choose to watch- dig the show!

Chat later!


*NOTE: I still think dreaming HUGE is important...nothing wrong with those sorts of goals, but I think you gotta plot your own course/walk your own path versus shooting to live someone else's already spoken for life. As Oprah Winfrey likes to say, "There can only be one Oprah, and I already have that job and I do it very well".


Anonymous said...

What are your predictions?

Gazzo said...

Nice, Dave/David/Jaffe/David Jaffe. You've got today figured out for sure.

I never was a big movie guy. I like some movies, but I just find it hard to devote myself to a 2 and a half or so hour film. There are some movies I absolutely adore, though. For example, Die Hard. That movie is fantastic. I just prefer video games, and sometimes books, more than movies.

Yes, I like to read. Oh noez! I think award shows play into the people emulation topic you mentioned awhile back, so I'm glad you brought that up again. I know I won't be watching, though. haha. It's boring as shit, Jaffe. :)

See ya.

Anonymous said...

Hello Jaffe I work for

We are an up and coming game site and we would love to get an interview with you. Please contact us.

David Jaffe said...

Killa- I've already responded to you. Check back a few posts in the comments. Would be happy to do your show.

The Cheap-Arse Film Critic said...

I'm not sure if I'll be watching, because like it or not I don't think I'm diehard enough anymore to sit through the whole boring thing to hear a few good or fun speeches.

However, this year's show has underscored just how ingrained my contrary is. For months I was championing Heath Ledger to win Best Supporting Actor, but now it's being taken as a foregone conclusion, I find myself cheering on Robert Downey Jr. instead, partly because I'd been saying for months that he'd get a nomination for that role, and pretty much the entire Internet had told me I was mentally ill. So to see him get the nomination was very satisfying.

I don't feel the same way about Mickey Rourke, though. Have hoped he'd walk away with Oscar for months, and still do today. So watch the Academy give the award to (gah...) Sean Penn.

starblinky said...

Yeah I have never really watched any type of award show, they are just so damn boring and cheesy.

But I agree with you that too many actors out there think their are the shitz. That's why I like actors like Tom Hanks, he just bees himself, thats why reporters dont swamp him when he steps out of a car, they think hes too boring.

Also this reminds me of something I read that was kind of sad. It was written by a bouncer at a popular club. He was talking about how he never lets anybody just walk in, they have to wait in line, no matter how big a star they are. And the sad part/funny part he said was he sometimes will get 'reality show' stars and they think they are the shitz and will bad mouth him when they arent allowed to walk right in, they said things like "dont you even know who I f*cking am!?"

heheheheh. yeaaah I think I read that in MAXIM, I cant remember.

BTW speaking of movies, Dave have you seen Benjamin Button, and did you cry? XD XD XD

Anonymous said...

I guess Im the same as you except I have big dreams of being a game designer/creative director.

Unknown said...

Slumdog Millionaire will win Best Picture.I called it. That was one of the best movies I've ever seen.

Anonymous said...

I thought this was pretty hilarious. I cant believe movies change to your #1 favourite medium though. Games last so much longer and they're so much more fun. And awards are generally handed out biasedly, like the best actor shouldn't just be whoever had the most over-dramatic role. I think narratively, movies are also behind books and tv. They're just too short to have any connection with the characters.

Anonymous said...

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My email address is


Anonymous said...

Hey man hit me up on my skype

It will be quicker

Skype account is


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Anonymous said...


Did you see the new Hiphopgamershow blog? At 6:25 this dude starts blabbing about Twisted Metal like you guys released information on it. He starts talking about all these features like he has an inside source, which he doesnt. You should send him a message or something to tell him to STFU. Don't trust the dude Jaffe.


Good blog. I agree with most you had to say


F1REST0RM said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
F1REST0RM said...

Wow...watching the Kate Winslet speech, you called it almost 100% with that toothepaste in the bathroom comment. o_O

Then again, this is only the second Oscars I've watched, so maybe that's why I'm surprised by it.

Anonymous said...

The customization feature for the new TM HAS been talked about, browse around Guess you should STFU now, eh?

Anonymous said...

This year could have been the year for the academy to stand up and go "Hey, we understand what kind of movies people watch and enjoy" ... but as usual they passed on what was clearly the best film of the year (The Dark Knight) in favor of a bunch of political crap that nobody will remember in 10 years. Ugh.

Anonymous said...

hey jaffe,

are you gonna be involved in the god of war movie ?

would love some real people to be incharge so hollywood hot shots don.t ruin it .

starblinky said...

so slumdog won. heheh my parents were watching and I heard.

What do yous guys think of that? I have yet to see this movie, I went to see it but it was sold out.

If its still playing I think Ill see it Tuesday. Cept im moving this week so maybe not.

Anyway, Jaffe wad you think of the winners? Agree/disagree?

Anonymous said...

The show itself was really well done and quite entertaining. I have to say when the Oscars are more fun than the MTV Moview awards something is wrong in the universe. I loved how Tina Fey and Steve Martin made some " not so subtle" jokes about certain religion, or how Jack Black likes to do one Dreamworks animation movie per year and then bet his money on Pixar films, and Ben stiller was great too.

Overall the SHOW was suprisingly entertaining and not so stuck up as usual. Hugh Jackman did a great job at hosting and even the the little intros and bits we're funny. As David said, one of the best shows in years, well worth staying up until seven in the morning....

P.S I found my old God Of War strategy guide( which i bought, because there is some wicked concept art in it.) I gotta say, i really dug the earlier concepts of Kratos with the baby on his back. In retrospect, it would have been a odd choise, but definitly a cool one.

Anonymous said...

I didn't like the show at all. I thought almost everything except Will Smith felt forced and all the best picture noms wouldn't have interested me in the least if they hadn't been nominated.

Anonymous said...

what? what is this? I just ended up on this site, I was looking for David Beckam who are you??

Unknown said...

I really enjoyed it. I myself are glad they give out the "no-name" awards. Like the sound design and editing. because they are real unsung heroes of the movies. They deserve just as much recognition as the people in front of the camera.

And I think game awards should be more like the Oscars. I'm not for the VGA awards and stuff like that. The best thing we have is the Game Developer Awards at GDC in my opinion.

David Jaffe said...

greek- I'm not saying they don't deserve awards and some recognition...but to what end? If that is the main goal and ABC is just happening to be broadcasting the ceremony and the Academy is all about simply doing their celebration and not worried about the ratings: great! You are right.

But if the goal- or a key goal- is ratings then they need to entertain people. And the reality is, MOST people get bored not simply watching 'no names' (not being disrespectful to them, but compared to celebs, that is what they are)...but it's not the fact that they are 'no names' it's the fact that most people don't knowingly care about the jobs they do. So those parts of the show- for most people I would guess- are simply crazy dull.

And there are other categories- as I listed- that would serve to involve the viewers more and celebrate the massive impact movies have all over the world. I mean, think about it: how can you have a yearly show celebrating the best in the movies and NOT pay serious tribute to the kinds of movies MOST people really, really love (action, comedy, romance, horror)?

Again, I know this is not the stated goal of the Oscars and that is fair. Doesn't need to be. But if they want to get ratings and if that is equally as important as celebrating the loftier films, then I think there is a better balance they could be striking in terms of the content of the awards ceremony.


ps. not suggesting taking the no names OUT of the show. Put them in- even in a fun way that gives them recognition. But don't make me sit thru 35% of the show dedicated to sound mix editing and short animated film! I mean: SHORT FUCKING ANIMATED FILM deserves a statue but BEST COMEDY does not?!?! That is nucking futs, dude! :)


Unknown said...

Ya. I understand what your saying completely. But I'd rather ABC entertain people with the jokes and music like they've always done. Of course it wasn't that good the past two years (writers strike and recession). But with a good host, the awards show is a blast. Sprinkle more acts between the awards more often maybe to keep the attention up if that's what they need.

If they added something like "best comedy" it becomes like a people choice awards or IGN picks. And sure, they want ratings and viewers, but they have a style and tradition of something "artsy" and "classy" if you will.

If people want something more fun. I really don't think the Oscars is the right place for that. I'm not saying make the show a drag. I just think its fine the way it is.

I'm not saying that comedies and action movies don't deserve their own award. But for the Oscars I don't think they shouldn't be included. Just my opinion.

PS. During the part of Pineapple Express watching the best picture nominees. That was funny. They could include no-names in something like that.

Anonymous said...


OMG I couldnt stop laughing when Kate Winslett said she used to stand in her bathroom looking into her mirror giving oscar acceptance speeches.

Its like she read your blog right before going up there. She said exactly what you said someone would say,

David Jaffe said...

Yeah because that is what they ALL fucking say :)

I liked her speech and I like her alot but it's more of the same shit.

I am not one to mock or deny the power of childhood dreams. They are fantastic and I have benefited from my own childhood dreams. It's just become so cliche is all.

But all that said, loved the show! Totally surprised!

Gazzo said...

Yes, merhaps, but where would we be without a little cliche and repetition once in awhile? I mean, c'mon. Kratos has crawled all the way out of Hades how many times? And no matter how many times he does it, I still enjoy watching and playing as that little bald bastard crawls his way up those creepy arm-and- demon-infested walls; it's just as good as the first time.

Well...maybe not the FIRST time. I'm sorry, bro, but those rolling spikes knocked me all the goddamn way down so many times... ;)

But you know, I'm sure a lot of the winners thought the same thing. "I'll never give one of those cheesy speeches if I win."

Then they do.

Anonymous said...

I usually like what you say, but i can't be with you on this one, at all. Maybe you should start seeing the MTV movie awards and forget all about the Oscars, it seems that's more your thing. And what if your brother won one of the "boring" awards, wouldn't you want him to go on stage and thank you? I bet you would be pissed as hell if he didn't even appear on the show.
Maybe the bad thing is that people want to see Oscars as this big mainstream event, which it isn't. And the show shouldn't be a way to make some serious bucks but more of a recognition thing made to those who really love the movies and not just those popcorn flicks.

David Jaffe said...

My points are:

1- movies that are popcorn flicks are just as valid and important as loftier faire and those should be celebrated as well.

2- I agree that if the Academy simply wants to keep it a show that says, "to hell with the fans, we are here to give out awards to our industry" then I agree with you 100%. But then they should not try to also make an entertaining show. Stick it on IFC, don't charge ABC millions for the rights to air it, and don't bitch that ratings are slipping every year. So should the no names be honored? HELL yes! But don't bitch about the fact that most people are bored as shit during these categories and thus- over time- tune out of the whole show because no one besides the families and colleagues of the no names who wins gives a shit.

3- I don't care that much for the MTV movie awards. I love movies and want to see all kinds of movies celebrated in a serious but still entertaining fashion. Paying respects to a movie like IRON MAN or BATMAN or FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL- films that entertained millions and made millions of people happy- does not dilute the honor of the Oscars. If anything, it celebrates one of the key reasons that movies exist: to entertain.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with you now :)
But the academy would have to go through some serious changes in order to achieve a show like that. I don't think they'll go on that direction in the near future. Maybe if they're really desperate to solve the ratings problem...

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