Being a theatre person, I’m more prone to attempting to watch the Academy Awards than most. Usually, I regret doing so. Last night was the best Academy Awards show that I have ever seen. Part of it was the structure of the program itself. Part of it was deserving winners in certain categories. Part of it was Hugh Jackman being awesome in all possible ways. In the style of JT’s “Random Randomness,” here are some observations of the Oscars, and a few wrestling references.

1. There is absolutely no way that “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” deserved to win the award for “Best Make-up” over “Hellboy II.” Yes, it was realistic. Yes, it was well-done. It was also done on a single character. As much as I dearly love “The Dark Knight,” and wanted it to sweep everything, it should not have won that particular award either, as the Joker and Two-Face were the only real make-ups in the film. “Hellboy II” featured an entire cast who spent eight hours plus in the make-up trailer. The guy who played Wink had a prosthetic suit that weighed 130 pounds, and he still moved and fought in it. “Hellboy II” was robbed.

2. As badly as I wanted to see Marisa Tomei win “Best Supporting Actress,” I don’t have a problem with Penelope Cruz winning it.

3. Kate Winslet’s acceptance speech for “Best Actress in a Leading Role” was grand! I really don’t see how her performance in “The Reader” was better than Meryl Streep’s role in “Doubt,” but that’s as may be.

4. Hugh Jackman is the most amazing performer on Earth. If you only know him as Wolverine, you have to get on YouTube RIGHT NOW and check out his Broadway singing and dancing. That’s how he got into show business in the first place, live stage singing and dancing. Greatest. Host. Ever.

5. Heath Ledger won “Best Supporting Actor” for his role as the Joker. Some people claim that if he hadn’t died, he never would have been nominated. Bullshit. Even people who didn’t care for “The Dark Knight” thought he was amazing. It really wasn’t much of a contest, although Phillip Seymour Hoffman in “Doubt” was my second choice.

6. “Slumdog Millionaire” won “Best Director” and “Best Picture.” Of all the nominees, it totally deserved them. Do yourself a favor and see it if you haven’t.

7. The video packages for each type of film (romance, action, comedy, and so on) were very nicely done, and added something extra to the show.

8. The manner in which the awards were given was also a vast improvement. Clips were shown of past winners, and five actors or actresses who had previously won the award about to be given would all come out on stage together, and each one would speak to and about one of the current nominees. This was great, and much better than having one person come out with an envelope.

9. Whoever wrote the jokes and performance numbers took plenty of potshots at the Academy for being out of touch with ordinary moviegoers. Hugh Jackman sang about not having seen “The Reader” in his opening number, and Will Smith made a reference to action movies as the genre of film that actually has fans. Nice touch.

10. Mickey Rourke should have won “Best Actor.” Sean Penn was great in “Milk.” I’m not taking anything away from a tremendous performance. Rourke, though, inhabited the character of Randy Robinson like no one else on the list, and Penn’s performance just won’t stick with the viewer like Rourke’s will. Mickey Rourke was robbed!

11. That Christopher Nolan was not nominated for “Best Director” for “The Dark Knight” is a crime against gods and men. It didn’t have to be up for “Best Picture,” but that man deserved the nod.

12. I despise “High School Musical” in all its incarnations with an unholy fiery passion of burning. Those people and that sone had no business on a stage with Hugh Jackman. Or an audience.

13. “WALL-E” won “Best Animated Film.” Yaaay!!!

14. Did you see the audience reaction to “Waltz With Bashir?” It was off the charts! When the award for “Best Foreign Film” did not go to that one, but rather, to the Japanese entry, there was a silent pause for about two seconds, and then polite clapping kicked in. Everyone was surprised and disappointed. Me too.

And now, the wrestling references.

15. Vince recently went crazy over the “leak” of Matt Hardy being behind Jeff Hardy’s troubles. What is it with the McMahons and “leaks?” Honestly, when you make a movie or a tv series, fans who have watched for a long time, or who have actually experienced life, end up guessing where you’re going with an idea. I know that my first thought was Matt, before Christian was even mentioned. Why do the McMahons sincerely believe that in an age of constant exposure to various forms of entertainment, anyone who guesses where they’re going with an idea must have gotten it from a “leak?” We’re all too stupid to possibly guess on our own? Jeebus.

16. ROH is taping their ppv in Houston on Mania weekend, at the Saturday show. The show to which I have tickets. Huzzah!!!

17. TNA has now lost Petey, Sonjay, and Jimmy Rave. If they really mean to shove seven or eight guys in the Ultimate X match (which I have read is the plan), they won’t have enough left, at this rate.

Check back on Friday for “Impact” Impressions!

Peace out,


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