How I Feel About Cell Phones
Cell phones have changed the world. At the tip of your finger is access to the world of knowledge. You can use it as a camera or GPS. It has many valuable features. However, the obsession with cell phones is harmful, like any addiction. There are children who completely freak out if you take their cell phone away. There are young adults who get completely lost without their cell phone. This is not how it should be.
Oscars and the Films of 1990
Wow. In my last article of this series (films of 1989) I stated that I wonder if there would be a year when I would agree with the Academy's choices. How funny that the next year is the year when I totally agree. In 1990, there were a bunch of entertaining films, but it seems this year Hollywood really didn't care about winning Oscars as much as it did about entertaining viewers. Movies that I enjoyed this year that were not nominated for anything were Jacob's Ladder and Edward Scissorhands — horror and fantasy got gypped again, but that's forgivable because the Academy did nominate correctly this year and did choose the right winners in my opinion.
Another School Massacre
I found out today about the massacre at a Florida public school. 17 people dead. Families in agony. A 19-year old mentally-ill kid with a gun. The media and masses reporting while political leaders deliver response speeches. Everybody's got a thought or a feeling about it, except me. I will post the sad faces on Facebook responses, and I will say the appropriate compassionate response, but I honestly don't know what I think or feel about this. It's not the first time this has happened, so it's not shocking. It probably won't be the last time, regardless of more gun laws or not. I want to share my opinion or my stance, but really all I have in mind is a ton of unanswered questions.
Oscars and Films of 1988
So what happened in movies in the year of 1988? This was a good year for movies. Viewers had a great choice of serious or silly. Silly doesn't tend to do as well in Oscars as it may do at the box office; neither does horror, unfortunately. People love the horror genre—this is evident in Stephen King's success and all of his book to movie productions. Every year a slew of horror movies comes out, and every year the Academy ignores them. Not one horror film has ever won for Best Picture. I think that is unfair. I also really wish that the Academy would add some categories, especially one for horror. Every year several horror movies are released, but most of them don't get taken seriously by awards groups. I think if there was a specific category for it, it would inspire the makers of that genre. In 1988 an incredible horror flick was presented: Serpent and the Rainbow and the Academy seemed as if they couldn't care less. Oh well, sorry, horror fans.
Oscars and the Films of 1989
1989 – The year I graduated from high school put out some great movies. My favorites of the year were When Harry Met Sally, Indiana Jones, Dead Poets Society, The Little Mermaid, Pet Sematary, Born on the 4th of July, and Lean on Me. Of my favorites, only two were nominated and won an Oscar; Oliver Stone got Best Director for Born on the 4th of July and Dead Poets Society won Best Screenplay. Looking over the list of the winners of the 62nd Academy Awards, I am again in disagreement. I wonder if there will ever be a year when I actually agree with them. I doubt it. They said the Best Picture was Driving Miss Daisy—I disagree. They said the Best Actor was Daniel Day Lewis in My Left Foot—I disagree. They said the Best Actress was Jessica Tandy of Driving Miss Daisy—I disagree again. Let me tell you how I would have awarded the Oscars, and then I'll explain why.
Oscars and the Films of 1987
1987 was a strange year for movies. There were serious dramas, ridiculous comedies, and lots of horror pics. Looking over the Oscar winners for the year, I have to say that for the most part I disagree with the Academy's choices. Not only do I not like their choices for Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Actress, but they practically ignored one of Kubrick's gems - Full Metal Jacket - with only one nomination for the screenplay, and they paid absolutely no mind to one of the best Horror films ever—Hellraiser. Just knowing that is enough to make me shake my head in disagreement, but let me explain in detail why I disagree with their winning picks.
Oscars in the 80s
The 55th Academy Awards celebrating the films of 1983 must have had everybody talking. The two films competing for awards and attention? Gandhi directed by Richard Attenborough and E.T. directed by Steven Spielberg. At this point, Spielberg's name is on the lips of every common man and woman. We the people of 1983 may not be movie critics or familiar with the industry's artists, but we know who Steven Spielberg is.
Oscars in the 80s
In 1981, two films were released that captured the hearts of movie goers: Chariots of Fire and Raiders of the Lost Ark. Chariots of Fire won four Oscars including Best Picture, Best Screenplay, Best Score, and Best Costume Design. Raiders of the Lost Ark also won four Oscars including Best Sound, Best Visual Effects, Best Editing, and Best Art Direction. There is no doubt in my mind that these were the best two films of that year; However, I disagree with the "Best Picture" choice. Had I the power of deciding winners, the Best Picture Oscar would have gone to Raiders of the Lost Ark. This seems so blatantly obvious to me that I have to wonder if the Academy's choices are based on how the audiences will truly react to a film or if the Academy is just using these awards to promote a good film that isn't received as well as they think it should be. After looking at many years of Academy Award decisions, I tend to believe that the latter is truer—that the Oscars are generally just a promotional campaign to let the public know what they "should" be watching and what they "should" be liking, and not really taking into account what they "really" watch and what they "really" enjoy. For myself, this could not be more true, as I have often indulged in films that are never even nominated while only watching some films that I never knew of just because they were either nominated or won an award. I don't think I'm alone in this perception or behavior.
Academy Awards Through Time
This evening I spent the last 3 hours scouring over the past 45 years of Academy Award winners. The reason I didn't go further back is because I wanted to know what and who has won since I've been alive. I wanted to see if I agreed with the Academy's choices based on what I know of the movies and actors or actresses. I got very passionate about some of my opinions and decided to write a series of articles expressing those opinions, this one being the first of that series.