Every year at about this time, there is a buzz in the offices of Aces Casino, the Orange County casino party leader. Normally, it's that stupid fire alarm that goes off at least once a day down the hall, but not THIS time, my friends. That "buzz" you hear is the "Oscar Buzz," because once a year, the Annual Aces Casino Oscar Prediction Tournament takes center stage.
And the prize for winning this storied event, you ask? Why, It's only the most coveted trophy in the history of motion pictures here in SoCal -- "The Annual Aces Casino Oscar Pool Championship Trophy," of course. We're surprised you haven't heard about it, simply because of the fact that yours truly, your top Orange County casino night blogger, won the award in 2011. And 2010. AND 2009. Every year that the O.P.T. has been held, the ol' blog-guy has won the title. I could have SWORN that little tidbit of non-news would have slipped out by now. Well, now we know why it's so coveted.... "I don't wanna give it back!" (Grin) It's some 7" high, as plastic as most of the actresses in the biz, and cost us $8.
3. "The Popcorn Ladies" -- (F) What the heck was with the popcorn ladies walking around in the aisles, handing out popcorn in the lower level? Please tell me they weren't selling it. I know the Kodak Theater's in Chapter 11 bankruptcy, but whomever came up with the the idea that those popcorn hawkers roaming the aisles was a good idea won't be returning to the Oscar think-tank for 2013. Come ON, Grazer. Goo-FY.
4. Vader, Winfrey and the Makeup Guy -- (F) OK, let me get this straight.... James Earl Jones, Oprah Winfrey and Dick Smith are awarded honorary Oscars, but all we see of the three of them is some old tape of them receiving the awards back in November of 2011? The three of them are sitting RIGHT THERE next to each other in the theater, in one of the balconies on Oscar night last night. WAAAY up there somewhere. But no camera-time for them, no speech, no nothing. A LOOONG camera-shot of them, at least I THINK it was them. It was too far away. Boy, those 3 got short-changed. Bad move. I don't know what's worse -- Pissin' off Oprah, or tickin' off Darth Vader. Heads are rollin' on this decision, too. Sorry, SORRY coverage. These three deserved FAR better.
5. "The Band" -- (F) This is too funny...The producers of the telecast ALSO had what looked like a three-piece BAND playing goofy, uninspired melodies before breaks. I guess they were there to liven up the parts where the popcorn chicks were doing their thing. What, John Williams wouldn't come? James Horner was busy? NOBODY would orchestrate? Who WERE those guys in that lil' band? The only thing missing from this telecast was someone throwing t-shirts to the crowd. Incredibly bad idea.
6. "The Winners." -- (A-) Everyone behaved, there were some great moments, people were truly touched over their receiving an Oscar, some laughs were to be had, especially from Meryl Streep ("People at home were saying, 'Oh, NO, not HER again!'"). One of the best parts of the show. (Trust me, we'll take it. There weren't many.)
Overall Grade -- (D) Loved the Oscar recipients, Billy was pretty funny, the crowd sounded like they had an I.Q. of 9 points above plant life, the presenters that thought they were funny looked totally stupid, and there wasn't an OUNCE of the magic and celebration that makes the show great, that celebrates the grand history of the motion picture industry and their many fine films. Bad broadcast, people are losin' jobs on this one. Brian Grazer laid a big, fat dinosaur egg right on the stage with this steming pile.
Well, that's it from Aces Casino, the Orange County casino night champions (and part-time awards-show critics). We hoped you liked the broadcast. We liked it, but we also like Godzilla films and turtle races. When you're "professionally irreverent," you tend to have little taste, I suppose. Good thing we're good at casino parties. Heck, I KNOW we're better at producing Academy Awards shows.
Oh, yeah -- I don't care if last night's show was a bomb-o. I'm still keepin' my trophy.