Some thoughts on some recent flicks-RE: Oscars
I don’t know about all this talk of Hollywood as racist. The Oscars seemed very diverse and multi-cultural. I had no feelings I was in some white-washed insider party. For what its worth I am against affirmative action, so I may be biased there.
Personally, I thought the Martian was a huge disappointment, both as a novel/book and as a movie. What was funny is the movie actually made a few of the strengths of the book weaker. Specifically, it failed to capture the isolated psychological mood of loneliness the novel effectively tabbed. A lot of this I would blame on the editing and the cinematography. Worse, it never improved the books weaker points, like the skin deep characterization of the NASA players.
The movie was somewhat enjoyable, but I didn’t think it was worth an Oscar nomination.
Another movie I just caught last night was the snub most say should have been included in the nominations; Straight Outta Compton. Very interesting film. I do think Compton was better than the Martian, but was also a very imperfect film as well. From my angle, most of what went on there was the gilded truth and not the nuts and bolts of what really happened. There was a visceral layer of grittiness missing from the content. I thought it spent too much time glorifying the characters instead of show them in a much more flawed light. (sex, drug use, affiliation with gangs) Everything was just too (no pun intended) black and white and I had a real feeling we weren’t getting the whole story. Additionally, I had a real problem with the stock sinister portrayal of the police and law enforcement. Honestly, the portrayal of different races in general was just over-the-top pandering, as every white person in the movie had some huge negative aspect and everyone broke down to some targeted stereotype set to please the audience. So in general, it was not bad, but by no means does it have some big claim to an oscar grievance either.
From what I saw, I think Mad Max should have won best Picture.