Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Dark Knight and Oscar ....

I don't understand the reported Hollywood resistance to the idea of The Dark Knight as a Best Picture candidate.

I'm not sure Joe and Gertrude Blow are sitting around the house barely containing their enthusiasm about an Oscar race with Doubt, Milk, Frost/Nixon, Button, and Slumdog Millionaire. These films aren't even generating that much consistent enthusiasm among Oscar followers. Stick The Dark Knight in there and everyone is talking about the race.

And it's not like it's just a ploy to get viewers. The Dark Knight is the best major studio release of the year so far (with a few to see). It's made a zillion dollars. It's filled with ideas and ambition. It would give the public a rooting interest and generate buzz for the show. It would grab viewers who otherwise wouldn't watch the Oscar telecast. What's not to like?

I was at a dollar theater last night catching up on Burn After Reading (good film), and for whatever reason, Apocalypse Now crossed my mind while waiting for the show. Some love that film. Some think it's bombastic overkill. But I was thinking, what director would even try one of those crazy set pieces, much less all of them? Think about the opening. You sit there looking at a village in the jungle in the distance. Suddenly you hear choppers coming from behind you. But you don't see them at first. Then The Doors "The End" starts. Then you start seeing the choppers floating around dreamlike. Then the explosions. And Martin Sheen's face. Upside down. then you have the bunnies scene, the two battle scenes with Kilgore, the Do Long Bridge, the French Plantation, etc. Who makes films like that anymore?

Then I watched the trailer for The Dark Knight, which just got to that second-run theater. And I watched just that one assassination scene with the hundreds of police officers lined up in the street. And I thought, well, at least one.

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