The Academy Awards online
The Academy Awards online--We take a look at some websites devoted to all things Oscars
Much like the featureless gold statues they iconize, Oscar websites are hard to tell apart. So picking the site with the best 72nd annual Academy Awards special — be it Reel.com, Mr. Showbiz, E! Online, Variety, EW.com (sorry, coworkers), or even the official Oscar.com — is mostly a matter of who has the best design and worst-dressed photo gallery (we win, thanks to that pic of Kristy McNichol in a tux). Otherwise, it’s a yawn-fest of nominee lists, recycled interviews, and trivia.
So instead of filling out another Oscar-predictions poll, I suggest casting a vote for The Tossers (http://www.shockwave.com), an awards parody that is ”much like the Oscars but with categories that you actually give a dog’s bollocks about.” Hosted by two animated British knuckleheads who star in Mondo Media’s weekly series Thugs on Film, the Tossers include such categories as Best Performance by a Bodacious Rack in an Unsupported Role (Sigourney Weaver in Galaxy Quest), Most Pathetic Casting in a Major Motion Picture (the entire cast of Wild Wild West), and Best On-Screen Shagging (Jason Biggs and the pie in American Pie). Winners will be announced on March 23, along with a presentation of the Peter O’Toole Lifetime Thug Achievement Award to Robert Downey Jr.
If you prefer live-action blokes to cartoon ones, Wirebreak.com’s Backdoor Hollywood (http://www.wire break.com) — ”the only review show with its own bartender” — is another excellent Oscar alternative. Assuming your computer doesn’t explode while loading the site’s abusively graphical interface, you’ll end up in a tiki lounge with Jason McHugh and Glasgow Phillips, producers of Orgazmo and organizers of spoof film festivals Lapdance (craptv.com) and Cannes You Dig It? (http://www.cannesyoudigit.com/site/). Their nominations this year include a Best Picture nod for Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo, which McHugh deems worthy because of its title, even though he’s never seen the film.
For a less quirky, more achingly sincere take on this year’s Oscar contenders — and films in general — browse the movie ”investigations” from the ChildCare Action Project’s Christian Analysis of American Culture (http://www.capalert.com/cap reports). Here, every film is rated using a unique W.I.S.D.O.M. quotient, which is based on the number of occurrences of Wanton violence/crime, Impudence/ hate, Sex/homosexuality, Drugs/ alcohol, Offense to God, and Murder/suicide. Each of those is accompanied by an amazingly thorough list: How else would you know that there are ”53 uses of nasty three- or four-letter words” in The Green Mile, or that The Sixth Sense includes a shot of ”adult underwear”? The reviews offer an equally intriguing perspective — according to CAP, Best Picture contender American Beauty portrays homosexuality even though it does ”nothing for the script, plot, or even the choreography.”
Such Oscar-related sites may not help you win the office pool, but at least they’ll provide you with a good joke to tell while all those presenters ruin Oscar writer Bruce Vilanch’s one-liners. Speaking of which, be sure to visit Vilanch’s official website (brucevilanch.com), where you can try different ugly T-shirts on the Muppet-headed Hollywood Squares star — which, after sitting through three hours of yuk-yuk jokes on the Oscar telecast, may be the closest to revenge you’re going to get.