Category Archives: neil patrick harris

Random Thoughts on the 82nd Annual Academy Awards

The best, absolute best, part of the whole thing was the opening number with Neil Patrick Harris. After only five minutes with co-hosts Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin, I was bored to sleepy tears. Why the hell couldn’t NPH have hosted? At least I could have stayed awake – and I was even rocking the fast-forward button and was bored with Martin and Baldwin. There was no chemistry and especially no humor. NPH for next year’s show, folks, okay?

I thought the animated bit was brilliant, and as I said, if Up won, it took it out of the running for Best Picture. More bits like this would be welcomed. On the presenters, I found them more engaging and refreshing by far than Martin and Baldwin – why not next time just have a dozen different presenters and no hosts? And why didn’t they have each song performed live on the show? That’s something that folks look forward to – why get rid of it? Hopefully not to make more time for Martin and Baldwin’s nonsense…

The entire presentation for Best Screenplay with Tina Fey and Robert Downey, Jr. was brilliant. If we’re talking about how to make this show better, this is a step in the right direction. But, who dressed Downey? Wow. Also on the right track was the tribute to John Hughes. Double wow.

On the bad side, halfway through the Awards I was becoming increasingly annoyed with the clips that frequently were cut rife with spoilers and misinterpretations. These were done for each acting and Best Picture presentations mostly but I really wonder how the folks involved in those films and performances felt about them. Stanley Tucci was visibly shaken when the clip of his Supporting Actor bit was shown.

Ben Stiller should join Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin as unfunny people who should never host the Awards. Mo’Nique gave a near perfect Oscar speech, just enough of what should be in there, and not too much of shouldn’t. I see the tradition of playing folks off when they go too long is still in place – and still very selective. The tribute to Horror was a bit odd. And wasn’t Silence of the Lambs quite some time after The Exorcist? Someone on the Oscar writing staff needs to do their research better.

The intentional inclusions of clips of Martin and Baldwin in the tributes for no other real reason other than they were the hosts were becoming quite irritating as well. Not as much as their actual hosting however. The dancers doing their thing to the scores was no satisfying substitution for song performances, in my opinion. On the other hand, James Taylor singing “In My Life” during the memoriam was a really nice touch, another highlight. But where were Bea Arthur and Farrah Fawcett?

It was cool for me to see two of my favorite directors, Pedro Almodovar and Quentin Tarantino giving away the Best Foreign Film Oscar, a real treat. And what was up with the lamp background? Did the Academy run out of money when it came to stage backdrops?

On the winners, I was glad Michael Giacchino won for Best Score, as he’s my favorite composer these days. I had at least a few of my guesses right. You guys were close but not quite right with the poll to the right, as The Hurt Locker won Best Picture. All in all, this was a tolerable show, not great but not abysmal either. Remember, next year, get Neil Patrick Harris for the whole show.

And oh yeah, go, Sandra!

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2009 Tony Awards

CBS aired the 2009 Tony Awards live tonight. Neil Patrick Harris, Dr. Horrible himself, hosted (my main reason for tuning in), and he did not disappoint.

The opening number was spectacular. “Billy Elliot” took home fifteen Tonys, including best musical and three best actor for the three leads in the title role. “God of Carnage” got best play. Frank Langella and Geoffrey Rush both tried to be funny but failed. Bret Michaels and Poison performed, as did Sir Elton John, but only Bret got hurt. James Gandolfini was unamused. Anne Hathaway had a ball. Angela Lansbury looked good and won her fifth Tony. Liza Minnelli won one too but looked pretty scary. A mispronounciation in-joke proliferated. Lots of fun all around.

And of course, the highlight of the evening was that NPH sang to close out the show. Witness the brilliance:

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Best of 2008: Music

Dr. Horrible on DVD

Now finally on DVD, you can watch Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog anytime on your TV. For those of you living under a rock for the last year or so, Dr. Horrible is quite possibly the best entertainment to come out in and around 2008. While not exactly a movie or a TV show, it’s a new form of entertainment that is – up until the DVD release – was dependent on the internet.

Available in iTunes, this metahuman drama/musical/online vlog tells the tale of Billy aka Dr. Horrible, a wannabe mad scientist/super-villain out to join the Evil League of Evil, and get the attention of Penny, a girl at the Laundromat he crushing badly on.

Former Dougie Howser and current star of “How I Met Your Mother,” Neil Patrick Harris brilliantly fills the title role, with Felicia Day as Penny, and Nathan Fillion of “Firefly” as Horrible’s arch-nemesis superhero Captain Hammer. Speaking of “Firefly,” the whole shebang is the brainchild of Joss Whedon. If you liked his work with that short-lived series or his “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” you’ll love this. I think this is the best thing Whedon has ever done, and that’s saying a lot.

See it here, with, as they say, ‘limited commercial interruption.’ See it, buy the DVD, live the blog – you’ll love it.