In the next few weeks, you will be inundated with stories in the entertainment media about the Oscars.
It may seem a bit premature to you, considering that the Oscar telecast isn't scheduled to air until March 2, but journalists who write about the movies have nothing better to do in September. I'm not kidding; the long summer movie season is over, and we can no longer whine about sequels, superheroes and silly comedies. The glut of "important" fall movies has yet to begin. There is nothing for us to do but speculate on the Oscar race.
Although most serious Oscar contenders have not hit movie theaters yet, many of the films have been seen by critics on the film festival circuit and a consensus is starting to take hold. Favorites are emerging from the pack. Pundits are getting excited. Speculation is rampant.
After studying the winners of the best picture Oscar over the last decade _ "Argo," "The Artist," "The King's Speech," "The Hurt Locker," "Slumdog Millionaire," "No Country for Old Men," "The Departed," "Crash," "Million Dollar Baby" and "The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King" _ I am prepared to reach my own conclusion about the Oscar race.
With the unstable nature of the movie business, it is probably a foolish endeavor to make predictions like this, but playing the fool has never stopped me before. Anything can happen in Hollywood, but I like working without a net.
Here are 10 fall movies that have no chance of winning the best picture Oscar. If I am wrong, I will apologize. But I don't expect to apologize.
1. "Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues" _ After an agonizing decade-long wait, Will Ferrell son is back as anchorman extraordinaire Ron Burgundy, and there is widespread speculation that this will be a huge box office hit in December. But Ferrell would be the first to acknowledge that popularity with the movie-going public rarely translates into Oscar gold _ unless, of course, you've got a really big boat, an iceberg and Leonardo DiCaprio.
2. "Tyler Perry's A Madea Christmas" _ Oscar voters frown on directors who put their names in the title. Voters are afraid that if they reward just one director with an Oscar, then every director in town will attach their name to the title. Directors are known to have a bit of an ego, and they don't need much encouragement. How does "Roman Polanski's Chinatown" sound to you?
3. "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" _ Although the first film in Peter Jackson's fantasy trilogy made a mere $1 billion at the worldwide box office, the academy wants to make it clear that they already gave Jackson an Oscar for one of these hobbit adventures, and one hobbit Oscar is the limit in Hollywood. Jackson will have to be content with another billion dollars in the bank.
4. "The Muslims Are Coming!" _ A group of Muslim stand-up comedians tour the country. This is a concept that should resonate with the typical Oscar voter.
5. "Metallica Through the Never" _ Unless I am mistaken, I don't think the band's fan base among the 5,000 academy voters is as strong as one might suspect. The average age of an Oscar voter is about 112, so Metallica probably isn't their cup of tea. Everybody knows that Oscar voters prefer the music of Black Sabbath.
6. "Thor: The Dark World" _ What's a nice summer superhero movie like this doing in a fall movie schedule? As the title indicates, there is a darker, edgier tone to this action flick, and star Chris Hemsworth has been quoted comparing some shots in the film with Oscar winners "Gladiator" and "Braveheart." Nice try, Chris.
7. "Carrie" _ Members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will never vote for a remake, even if it is a remake of "Citizen Kane."
8. "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" _ It's always a little scary to bet against a movie with Jennifer Lawrence in it, but what are the chances that she'll carry this action film to the promised land? Besides, her pact with the Hollywood devils clearly states that she gets a nice paycheck for her big movies and an Oscar nomination for her small movies.
9. "Machete Kills" _ Frankly, I loved the 2010 original because Danny Trejo is awesome. If you think that you are unfamiliar with the actor, I can assure you that you would recognize his face in a heartbeat. It's just that you were so scared the last time you saw his face that you have desperately tried to forget him.
10. "Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa" _ I smell Oscar. Or maybe that's something else?
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