The Right Opinion

Cars & Movies

By Rich Galen · Feb. 25, 2013

Let's start with my theory about the Academy Awards. I am not anti-Oscar. Neither am I anti-NBA playoffs. I want to know who won, but I don't want to sit through the agony of watching the processes.

With that in mind, I am free to type this beginning at 7:30. I have closed Twitter for the evening while still wondering how Danica Patrick went from 3rd to 8th in about 50 yards on the last lap of the Daytona 500 yesterday afternoon.

Dear Mr. Mullings

Just to be clear, you are making a big deal about not watching the Academy Awards, yet you watched three hours of cars running in a circle? Please explain.

The Piers Morgan Appreciation Society (U.S. Division)

Easy. Once I realized that the new Gen-6 cars (at least when running with restrictor plates installed) are too closely matched to do any real racing, I (and my cat) slept through the middle two hours. We awoke in time to see the replays of the wrecks, the final pit stop, and the race to the flag at the end.

See? I know that Jimmy Johnson won (not, I was saddened to find out, the former coach of the Cowboys and Dolphins) and that it was his second time in the winner's circle.

Tomorrow morning I will find out who won which award for which category and, if it was someone who acted in a movie I've seen, I will nod approvingly. If not, I will cluck, roll my eyes, and complain bitterly about the Left-Wing-Creeps in Hollywood who vote on these things.

Because I am on a mission to be nicer to the Mullings Director of Standards & Practices – if only so she lets me know when my Social Security checks have been auto-deposited in our joint checking account – I actually saw a good number of nominated films including, on Saturday night, “Silver Linings Playbook” which was a lot better than I had expected it to be.

Nevertheless, as we were leaving the theater I overheard one woman say to another, “There were just too many crazy people in that for my taste.” Before I could join in their conversation, a trait which makes me popular the world over, the MD of S&P took my arm and steered me out to the parking lot.

“Silver Linings Playbook” contained Best Actor in a Leading Role (Bradley Cooper), Best Actress in a Leading role (Jennifer Lawrence), and Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Bobby DiNiro).

Why isn't the distinction between “Actor” and “Actress” an actionable violation of sex discrimination laws? Right-Wing-Creeps in Hollywood.

Linda Hunt won an academy award for Best Actress for playing a man in “The Year of Living Dangerously.” Dustin Hoffman was nominated for Best Actor for playing a woman in “Tootsie.” Go figure.

Of the nominees for Best Picture, I saw “Argo” twice. Once in the theater and last week on a flight back from Paris. I also saw the “Life of Pi” on an airplane. We saw “Lincoln” when it was first released, but not “Zero Dark Thirty” because … well, just because.

We didn't see “Les Mis” because I had broken into open sobbing and wailing during the previews a few months before its release drawing concerned glances from movie patrons sitting around us and that was just a five minute snippet. I would have had to join the group therapy session from “Silver Linings Playbook” if I'd have tried to sit through the whole thing.

I thought the latest Bond flick, “Skyfall” was so good as an action/thriller it should have been nominated for Best Picture, but maybe dispatching M to the great intelligence bureau in the sky put the members of the Academy off. We know how they love to protect paramilitary characters in films.

During the run-up to last night's awards I heard, saw, and read time and again entertainment reporters telling me they would be “live blogging” or “live Tweeting” the event. If you were in a place where you could read a “live” blog or “Tweet” (which would not, one hopes, include driving a car on the New Jersey Turnpike or similar) you would likely be in a place where you could watch the actual broadcast.

Ok. Here's what I really wanted to write about …

Oh, drat. I'm out of space. Maybe I'll peek in on the Academy Awards for just the briefest moment.

On the Secret Decoder Ring page today: Links to “A Year of Living Dangerously,” “Tootsie,” and to the NY Times coverage of the Daytona 500.

Also a pretty good Mullfoto of a billboard in Morocco.

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richard ryan in Lamar,Missouri said:

Rich, my wife and are visiting out here in the land of fruits and nuts and about all we get is LA news. This morning a reporterette made the comment that Danica Patrick finished a respectable 8th. Had it been a male driver, this babe would have reported that he finished a miserable 8th. The so-called news shows out here are staffed with movie star wannabees. Will be happy to get back to southwest Missouri in a couple of weeks where we can see real people for a change.

Monday, February 25, 2013 at 7:47 PM

Wayne in Hinesville, GA said:

I lived at the Defense Language Institute for a year while attending school. The folks in Monterey were some of the most stuck-up, nose-in-the-air a**holes I have ever encountered. Only other folks I know who are worse are the French.. Apparently most of California is just a big La-La Land.

Monday, February 25, 2013 at 8:54 PM

Diane in Tx replied:

I spent a year there too, The only bright spot I remember was Compagno's Deli out the Pacific Grove gate - they made the best sandwiches..sigh.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 12:28 PM

Diane in Tx said:

I too didn't watch - however I never watch anything on that network. In the infinite wisdom of Congress and the CEO of our (not) local affiliate (it's from 90 miles away), I should be able to pick up the analog low power repeater of the affiliate using a standard roof top antenna. I used to, before we changed to all digital, it was semi-snowy and weak but I could watch it without getting annoyed. Since I can't see it now, my satellite provider should be able to sell me the west or east coast feeds of that network, but it takes their permission. Thanks to Congress and the aforementioned CEO, they denied me that permission about 2 months after I requested it. So whoever set up these rules to ensure my purchasing dollars went to the right products because I might be missing the (not) local commercials, doesn't get my business for the national chains either. And Congress wonders why people in rural areas complain about over regulation.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 12:40 PM

Joan in Dayton,Ohio said:

Looks like I'm the only female and defender of Hollywood. My husband and I were married in 1968 and spent every sat. night at the theater. I've seen every best picture and nominee since 1967 and some before that. I read the book, then see the movie. I love watching actors work and bring my books to life. I prefer historical novels that I can learn something from. While Skyfall was a great movie, after seeing it you forget it. I prefer a movie that leaves me with something to think about, even if I'm offended by it. The Godfather, Gone With the Wind, Empire of the Sun, Bonnie and Clyde, Butch Cassidy, Cuckoo's Nest, are brilliant. Ang Lee was brilliant with one of my favorite books Life of Pi. Can't imagine my life without movies, books and music but can't understand what men get out of running all over a field and killing each other over a ball, watching cars run in circles, watching men beat each other bloody in a ring, or see who can pick up the heaviest object. It's a good thing we have a variety of entertainment. Hooray for Hollywood and congratulations to Ben Affleck, Jennifer Lawrence, Daniel Day Lewis, Ang Lee and Quentin Tarrantino.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 2:33 AM

Joan in Dayton,Ohio said:

The worst part of the Oscars was the appearance of Michelle Obama and I almost fell out of my chair when Jack Nicholson announced her. Knowing that Obama had won the Nobel Peace Prize, I thought Michelle was going to announce, and the Oscar for best actor goes to Barrack Obama for his tears and performance over the Sandy Hook shootings.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 3:47 PM