Monday, February 25, 2008

Don't Make a TV Critic Cranky on Oscar Night

New York Post's Adam Buckman Pissed He Had To Stay Up Late to Review Oscars, and He Makes Sure Jon Stewart Knows

The life of a TV critic? Pretty cushy. The networks send you advance screening copies. You watch them at your leisure, more or less, then you bang out a review.
Sure, a lot of what you watch sucks, but it still beats working night rewrite or being holed up in police headquarters waiting for something to happen.
But occasionally you might be called upon to review something that's live and crank out something pithy on deadline. Adam Buckman of The New York Post had to do that for the Oscars last night. Thumbnail assessment: thumbs down (note: online and print editions are somewhat different).
Buckman had it in for Jon Stewart and his mild political shtick -- no big surprise given the Post's right-wing stances and Stewart's usual skewering of same. Buckman got all hot and bothered about such quips as: "Oscar is 80 this year, which makes him now automatically the front-runner for the Republican nomination."
Was last night one of Stewart's best moments? Hardly, but more than enough to make you forget David Letterman and Whoopi Goldberg if not Billy Crystal.
And while Buckman was correct about the ceremony having the perennial stink of self-congratulation, he did demonstrate he probably needs to turn off the TV once in a while and get out more.
"[Stewart] never directly acknowledged what many of us at home were thinking, which was that, as a group, this year's nominated films stunk so badly that few of us were actually interested in going out and seeing them."
Actually, many film critics were lamenting how tough it was to pick top-10 lists last year because of the bumper crop of movies made here and abroad. And since when does box-office success equate with Oscar worthiness?
For example, raise your hand if you went to see that movie about Edith Piaf, "La Vie en Rose," the film for which Marion Cotillard won a Best Actress Oscar last night," Buckman screeches. "
Edith who? Marion who? I figured as much."
So, he never heard of Edith Piaf and all movies with subtitles bite the big one. Nothing like an informed critic to rile up the masses.
By Buckman's standard, "Saw III," "Norbit" and "Transformers" should instead by vying for Best Picture. Obviously, he's more than a little peeved about the ending for "No Country for Old Men." But that's no reason to take a dump on all of moviedom,
And about that Stewart joke? Betcha McCain got a few guffaws out of that, provided he hadn't already turned in for the night. Buckman reads like he wishes he could've done the same.

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