Look, I don’t hate Dances With Wolves. Unlike most of my film-snob friends, I actually have a soft spot for it. I remember watching it in the theater and being moved enough to want to see it again. I cheered when the tatonka finally showed up and Kevin Costner’s Lieutenant Dunbar got to ride to the American Indian camp and rouse them to the hunt. And speaking of Costner, I really like him, too. From Silverado to Company Men to the vastly underrated Thirteen Days, Costner’s appearance on screen always brings a smile to my face. And he directed the film with craft and artistry. So I have no problem with Dances With Wolves (and Costner himself) getting nominated in 1990.
But if you’re asking me to be OK with the fact that both the film and Costner beat Goodfellas and Martin Scorsese? The answer would have to be: Go fuck yourself. Because that is undoubtedly the greatest travesty in Oscar history.
In the epic, contentious, slanderous 40-person e-mail chain that kickstarted this endeavor a few weeks back, I slavishly recalled more than 20 perceived Oscar Travesties" occurring before 1972, our cutoff year in this arbitrary contest. (Here's one: Paul Lukas in Watch on the Rhine beat Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca for Best Actor in 1942. Think about that.) I never thought we would vote on these ancient mistakes, no matter how deeply I believe Dr. Strangelove deserves that shine over My Fair Lady. I was merely trying to point out that the Oscars, before we were watching them, before we were born, hell, before our parents were born, have been blowing it. And though the voting procedures have changed over the years (revisit Mark Harris's essential Oscarmetrics coverage from 2012 for more details on the evolving voting body), the fact has remained: Getting it wrong is the only way Oscar can be right.
"Let's all reconvene here several months hence, after they've revealed the first official trailer, and decide whether or not to strip Snyder to his burgundy galoshes and lock him away in the Phantom Zone," we wrote back in late July after viewing some inconclusive teaser footage, skeptical that 300 slow-motion fetishist Zack Snyder would be able to translate his CGI ab-fabricating magic to the rebooted Superman franchise. Well, the full-length trailer for Man of Steel has finally been unleashed on the public, and here we are, keeping our promise to consider the new evidence in the case of Nerds v. The Guy Who Inflicted Gerard Butler on the World, How's That Working Out for Everybody?
On today's pod, Andy and I would like to thank Brad and Brad over at WME, the writers' room, our hair and makeup people who make us look beautiful every day, and our long-suffering wives ... oh, sorry, I was having another one of my "episodes." Let's try that again. On today's pod, Andy and I have a discussion about the Emmys. We ask the important questions: Was Homeland's coup of Mad Men expected? Does Modern Family's reign mean network sitcoms are back? Has anyone told NBC that? Is Tom Berenger still, spiritually and sartorially, in Romania? And what year is it there?
Following our acceptance speeches, Andy and I checked the pulse of Parks and Recreation and The Office, the former coming off an episode that saw it in full flight, full of Capra-esque sweetness, Cheers-esque joy, and Roy Hibbert, while the latter ... well, it's the last season of The Office, guys. I somehow get very emotionally worked up about Jim and Pam, by the way; I know you were all waiting for that.
The once and future Tim Riggins (Taylor Kitsch) dons extraplanetary swords and sandals to strap up for this seemingly humorless sci-fi gladiator epic about imperialism. "You are ugly, but you are beautiful." You are silly, movies about squinty stoic heroes saving princesses from things.
Holy crap! The Arrested Development movie, which has been rumored for so long that it accidentally became a joke, is actually happening. OK, well, maybe. After the project was mentioned at a cast reunion at the New Yorker Festival this weekend, Jason Bateman followed it up by tweeting, "We will do 10 episodes and the movie. Probably shoot them all together next summer for a release in early '13." Fans of other beloved cult TV shows that have had movie versions discussed — without what seemed like a realistic chance of having that movie made — you now have new hope! Grade: A+ [HR]
Kurt Russell will replace Kevin Costner in Quentin Tarantino'sDjango Unchained, as the evil slave trainer Ace. Russell actually hasn't been seen in a movie since his last flick with Tarantino, Death Proof. Has he just been sitting at home, bouncing a tennis ball, staring at the phone, willing Quentin to call? Grade: A [HR: Part 1, Part 2]
Justin Timberlake will star in Spinning Gold, a biopic on record producer Neil Bogart, who ran Casablanca Records in the 1970s and had a hand in the careers of KISS, Parliament, Donna Summer, and the Village People. So JT, former beloved pop star, is now making a movie about music that will in no way feature him singing or performing? Okay, now he’s just messing with us. Grade: B- [Deadline]
Real Hollywood screenwriter Josh Olson (A History of Violence) is writing a screenplay called Tabloid both based on an idea from Mick Jagger and being developed as a potential starring vehicle for Mick Jagger. The movie revolves around a shady global media mogul and the young journalist who gets sucked into his world. This is not going to make Keith Richards happy. Grade: C+ [Deadline]
On second thought, Universal Pictures has decided not to move forward with Ron Howard's insane-seeming three-movie, two-miniseries mega-adaptation of Stephen King's The Dark Tower, which would have sent Javier Bardem's kids to private school and been one of the most expensive and ambitious productions in history. Instead, they'll more wisely spend the money on the next dozen Fast & Furious sequels. Grade: A [Deadline]
Anger Management, Charlie Sheen's sitcom adaptation of the 2003 Adam Sandler-Jack Nicholson movie, was upgraded from "pipe dream" to "pipe dream with a press release" yesterday with the announcement that Lionsgate subsidiary Debmar-Mercury will distribute the show in the unlikely event that it ever finds a network or a show-runner. "I chose Anger Management because, while it might be a big stretch for me to play a guy with serious anger management issues, I think it is a great concept," said Sheen in the release. Hilarious. Grade: D [HR]