Thursday, July 16, 2009

They decide this is the year to do this?

You may have picked up on this. You may already know this. I'm a movie fan. Some might say a movie buff. However you want to slice it, I do love the movies. (And, by the way, that is a perfect example of the only time you should ever start a sentence with the word "however," otherwise, when you are using the word to mean nevertheless, "the word usually serves better when not in first position" — thank you, Mssrs. Strunk and White.)

And when it comes to the movies, I may not exactly be a gourmand, but I am definitely not a snob either. I am happy to be entertained by a movie. There are plenty of "cotton candy movies" — movies that are entertaining, even absorbing, for 120 minutes before they dissolve into nothing, leaving behind only the faintest memory of something slightly sickeningly sweet as you exit the theater — that make me happy, when they do what they set out to do. And I'm a firm believer that excellent stick-to-your-ribs movies, to stay with my movies-as-food metaphor, come in all genres, including comedies (It Happened One Night, RT-97, The Princess Bride, RT-96) and action movies (Die Hard, RT-94), as well as dramas (if I need to give you an example of an excellent drama, move on, you're probably bored silly by this column anyway).

But, 'tis true, bad movies also come in all genres. And this year, more than most, it seems to me, we have seen way more than our fair share of bad and disappointing movies. Movies that should've been good, or at the very least entertaining, were boring, or illogical, or too long, and just plain wrong. It's July and the best movie I've seen all year is a documentary. (Not that there's anything wrong with documentaries, but I'm a movie-girl. As in fiction. As in tell me a story, spin me a fantasy, show me the pretty people. I live to escape, what can I say?)

And because Hollywood doesn't do anything half-assed, except, evidently these days, make movies, the powers that be have decided that this year, this year, is the year they are going to expand the Best Picture Academy Award category from five nominees to ten. Yep, that's right, in a year when so far I have yet to see one picture I thought was fair, they're going to have to come up with ten (10!) to compete for best picture of the year. Now, granted, best is a comparative term, so sure, in that sense, it could work. Like Letterman's Top Ten movies not to see list.

Honestly, who is running Tinsel Town these days anyway? Somebody, stop them!