Monday, January 31, 2011

You Don't Have To Spend Money To Make Money

CNBC is running a little slideshow of the 15 Most Profitable  Movies of All Time. It's pretty interesting because these aren't necessarily the movies that made the most money, it's the ones that had the best ROI. I won't spoil the ending except to say that the most profitable movie returned 6150% of its cost.

Caveats - no one ever reports their real budget, so the whole list is a pack of lies. And they're all American figures, which strikes me as a little suspicious. Still the general contours - seems likely.

The Gorilla Touches The Glass Again

Since our old-- and, in it's time, rather successful-- home on the Aussie site The Podcast Network is now 403'd (forbidden to be displayed), I thought I'd replay an article which, I felt, is one of those evergreen movie topics worth repeating. It also underscores what the name of our current blogsite means, a metaphor that can always benefit from another explanation.   --S

Several years ago, my wife and Mysti-- a friend of ours and a talented writer-- were having a movie marathon at the house. I wasn't there when they went to Blockbuster and I did not get to pick some of the DVDs, so one of the movies they grabbed was Return To Me (d. Bonnie Hunt, 2000).

Yeah, that Bonnie Hunt. It was the first theatrical film she directed-- and her last. Here's the summary,  by Stephen Hughes via the IMDb:

Bob Rueland (David Duchovny), a Chicago building contractor, cherishes life with his veterinarian wife (Joely Richardson) until she is tragically killed in an automobile accident. Meanwhile the family and friends of Grace Briggs (Minnie Driver), a waitress at a local Italian restaurant, are overjoyed when they learn that Grace will finally get a replacement heart (the heart of Bob's wife). Both Bob and Grace struggle to maintain normal lives after these traumatic events, until fate intervenes and brings them together.

(an aside: The phrase “tragically killed in an automobile accident” is seen quite commonly, but doesn't  it strike you as a strange qualification? “Joe Smith was hilariously killed in an automobile accident, after losing control of his car, apparently furiously pleasuring himself while listening to Katy Perry's “I Kissed A Girl.”)

So the girls got themselves a bona-fide chick flick to watch. I joined in for the beginning. Joely Richardson's doomed veterinarian character specialized in primate research at the zoo. One gorilla in particular was taken by her joyous spirit and, whenever she came close to his cage, he would put his hand up to the glass. Having read the snap-case and knowing what was in store for her, I thought: “No. You are friggin' kidding me! Are they really gonna hang a lantern on that?”

Minutes later, Joely is “tragically” killed, David Duchovny cries his eyes out (the weirdest part of the movie, like “X-Files” weird), and Minnie Driver gets Joely's heart. A year passes. Minnie is on an outing at the zoo with her friend's kids and her swell new ticker. She takes them to see the gorillas...

...I said, “If that gorilla touches that f***ing glass, I'm outta here!”

Mysti said, “Won't happen. They wouldn't--”

--as if on cue, as Minnie came close the gorilla touched the f***ing glass.

I went back downstairs.

And a new in-joke was born. To this day, during the horribly predictable bit of a movie any of the three of us will lean over and whisper “The gorilla is gonna touch the glass!” Always good for a laugh.

ADDENDA: The original posting may have been commented by Bonnie Hunt herself. But evidence of this went down the same Australian memory hole as the old site.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Why Won't This Man Leave Us Alone!

You can't swing a dead Oscar without hitting James Cameron.

"ryan seacrest told me I had to get on Twitter. So here I am. First tweet. I feel younger already," wrote the director, who currently has just over 3,000 followers.

An hour later, he wrote, "I'm at the press junket for #Sanctum. It's basically ten hours of back to back interviews. Fun times."
Retweet!This is GOLDEN!

Kind of explains the dialogue in Avatar though.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Oscars: Tough Call this Year

This is one of those years, like last year, when the acting categories are easier to handicap than Best Picture-- and not just because there are only half as many noms per category. It looks like a bunch of shoo-ins: Colin Firth for The King's Speech, Natalie Portman for Black Swan, Christian Bale for The Fighter, and Amy Adams for The Fighter as well. Okay, maybe Hailee Stienfeld for True Grit, but I doubt it.

Nonetheless, here is the huge, unruly mob of Best Picture candidates. They have widely different budgets and each excels in very different ways, all of which makes comparison difficult. Seen six of them, which ain't bad: I'll see at least two more before Oscar night, I'm sure. In alphabetical order:

Black Swan - It's picked up a slightly unsavory reputation and had decent but not great box office, which gives it long odds. Darren Aronofsky has become the new Brian DePalma: An excellent director, but one that can't be trusted not to go completely over the top. (Haven't seen this yet.)

The Fighter - Saw it and loved it. Boxing epics, with their strong visuals, extremely obvious conflicts, and simple rags-to-riches storylines, are Academy voter catnip. It'll take acting and technical, but it doesn't quite have the scope and breadth of a Best Picture. I should say everyone but Mark Wahlberg has a shot at winning, as he was the quiet, underacting center of the film and therefore didn't get nominated. And I'm cheering hard for Amy Adams, who threw the best punch in the movie.

Inception - Love to see it win, because it's such a unique film, and it's a production that hews close to the ideal for a Hollywood big picture. But director Christopher Nolan wasn't nominated for some reason, so it's unlikely.

The Kids Are All Right - Didn't see it. No director nod, so no chance. I liked the 1979 Who rock-doc it was based on, though. Wait…

The King’s Speech - The front-runner, as things stand right now. It's got everything: Nice costumes, a unique historical perspective, and lots and lots of British actors.

127 Hours - Didn't see it. No director nod, so no chance. James Franco is second pick for Best Actor.

The Social Network - Just an amazing story, the most unique among the ten. It captures whole the feel of the now, a slice of the evolving present, with a clarity rarely seen in contemporary films. A morality play for a time with no morals. I'm handicapping this one as a very, very close second pick to The King's Speech.

Toy Story 3 - Awesome to see this one win, but it's animated so it probably won't. If you want to measure the quality of a film by it's power to convey strong emotional moments, this one beats anything I've seen this year. True, it didn't make people throw up and faint like 127 Hours did, but that's probably a good thing.

True Grit - This one has done great box office, and has that something extra that might mean a Best Picture win: It seems to have captured the public imagination in a way unique to the list of nominees. There's a fascinating article by Frank Rich in the New York times that draws a parallel between True Grit and The Social Network: both are about conflicts in moral vacuums, one in the Old West of the 1880s, the other in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 2003.

Winter’s Bone - Huh?

Tough to pick a front-runner, and mine is provisional: I reserve the right to change my mind. It's anyone's game!

Oscar Nominees

The good people at Moviefone were kind enough to post a list of this mornings nominees for Academy Awards. See if you can spot what's missing!

Weekend Box Office

Is it possible that two numbers can have sex but just be friends? This is the lamest link I've come up with for the Box Office Mojo chart yet. If you're keeping score.

Only one new movie in the top ten this January week, the romantic vehicle No Strings Attached. Even cavemen, sitting around campfires, knew that you could captivate an audience by depicting two attractive people having sex. This time it's Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman, it debuted and #1 and made almost $20 million. Meh. Now if it had been in 3D...

4 of the movies in the top ten are Oscar-buzz-worthy, which seems a little low to me. We'll see what that looks like NEXT weekend.

Monday, January 24, 2011

A Qualified Viewing Recommendation

Over the weekend I hade the opportunity (i.e. I was too tired to do anything else) to watch Pressure Point, a little black-n-white message picture from 1962. It's about a psychiatrist treating an American Nazi for a sleeping problem. The fun part is the casting - the psychiatrist is played by Sidney Poitier, the Nazi by Bobby Darin. NOW it sounds interesting, doesn't it? Trailer here!

Also in the cast as the young Bobby Darin is Barry Gordon, a child actor at the time who resembled both Bobby Darin AND a 50 year old Jewish Man. See A Thousand Clowns for reference. Like a lot of my favorite movies, Pressure Point is a better artifact than it is a movie; an example of overreaching liberal agitprop from producer Stanley Kramer that gives this kind of picture a bad name. What the hell, it's still fun to watch. Darin had what it takes to depict a small-time Nazi. He could have been famous!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

"Skins" Proves Teens are Immortal

The American (kinda) version of the UK teen drama "Skins" had it's hour-long premiere on MTV last week. As it wasn't aimed to my demographic, I had planned on ignoring it-- even though widespread moral panic is building over it, and advertisers have been marching away from it one by one. But when I read a review in the Washington Post that said it had no redeeming social value, well, I just had to see it. That's strong sauce!

The main character in "Skins" is Tony, this new century's Ferris Bueller, and the bunch of Hollister model-looking high-school-age kids in his orbit. He and his friends conduct themselves in most ways in the manner of hard-core hedonists, much as Ferris did-- but he was about cutting school to go to Chicago, not getting his friends laid, trashing nice houses, stealing cars, treating adults with undisguised contempt, and dealing stupendous amounts of weed. (then again, it was Ferris' dumb idea that lead to the destruction of Cameron's Dad's Ferrari, and therefore Cameron's implicit, offscreen murder.)

It's a strange-looking, strange-sounding show as well. "Skins" is, as mentioned, a remake of a British show of the same name, and as far as I can tell the scripts have not been altered one bit for American audiences. So the dialog is chock-a-block with English slang (like the word skins itself, which means rolling papers) and Clockwork Orange-like cadences that sound bizarre coming out in American inflections.

Make that Canadian inflections: It's set somewhere in America (Baltimore, I read) but it's shot in Canada, an often torrid show set in the cold, bland interior and exterior spaces of greater Toronto. I did not detect any vowel risings among the pale, pale cast, but the Canadian-ness of it all just makes the British dialog even weirder-sounding. This all means "Skins" may be thought of as an apocalyptic "DeGrassi," or "6teen" if it had imitated "The Jersey Shore" rather than "Friends."

Folks out there are afraid that "Skins" is some form of child pornography. It ain't: It's a teen drama with teen actors portraying teens who are obsessed with sex, not a vehicle for distributing illegal images of naked kids. Still, considering the ages of the actors, they are skirting the edges of the law: If there is a nude scene with an actor under the age of consent, it's technically child porn, and from the look of things on "Skins" it's just matter of time.

And yes, the amazing thing about this show is how it shows kids doing irresponsible, even dangerous kid stuff without consequences-- an after-school special from hell, a nihilist "Sweet Valley High." From the Hayes Office to broadcast TV standards and practices, moral balance has been a bedrock requirement of popular entertainment. The good are rewarded, the evil punished, actions have consequences.

But the funny thing about life is there often aren't consequences. Plenty of mobsters die in their own beds at age 99. Don Draper had raw eggs cracked into his Caesar Salads for years, and he's only gotten healthier. It's impossible to prove, but I'll venture a majority of petty criminals are fairly successful-- Maybe only the greedy or stupid ones get caught. Perhaps consequences are merely a social construct, how we pattern-seeking human beings find ways to make sense of a chaotic world. We seek authority and the certainty of morality in a Godless universe where morality is as substantial as a moonbeam.

And what are consequences to teenagers? Teenagers, bless 'em, think they're immortal, that they'll live forever. This is the key to understanding "Skins," a show that just confirms this conditional worldview. As a fun coincidence, this widely held teen belief is also the reason why, in times of war, teenagers get drafted.

Just food for thought.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Butch, Barbarella and the Pain Threshhold

Music is so prevalent in motion pictures (and television, video games, public spaces, smartphones, etc.) that for the most part we don't even notice it unless it's trying to flay us (like the stings in Inception-- Yes, I'm sure we have all pushed the button on that link by now. I never get tired of it). For the most part, good movie music seamlessly underscores the tone and rhythm of the film and reinforces it's genre-- the double-beat percussion of a Michael Bay film, the whimsical strings of RomComs, the oldies abuse of Tarantino or Wes Anderson.

But there was a time, quite a while ago, when Hollywood could not figure out what sort of music to put in films-- and I ain't talking about the eighties, when the studios apparently fired all their musicians and hired a keyboard guy. Things have improved as far as major motion pictures go, but television still uses just that one keyboard guy: synthetic music technology has gotten so good that you really can't tell it's just that one guy anymore.

No, I'm talking about the late 1960s, and I have two examples of films, quite good films, that were very nearly sunk by their music. The youth-culture explosion of the era must have left some studio executives completely clueless as to how films should be scored: They may have thought symphonic music would be considered "square." And there were few actually young producers genuinely connected to the times, such as Peter Fonda and the remarkable soundtrack of Easy Rider (1969). So some producers tried to bring in the kids with a "hip" score-- and they didn't always succeed. And nothing, in the historical long view, dates a film as badly as poorly chosen music.

Barbarella (1968) is a big-budget European sci-fi psychedelic freakout of a film, directed by Roger Vadim. It stars Vadim's wife Jane Fonda wearing costumes with transparent sci-fi bits in a role I think was calculated to give Henry Fonda a stroke. It's over-the top, tongue-in-cheek, breezy fare, sure, and it didn't exactly set any box-office records when it came out, but it has an undeniably unique visual style. It's also the very first film adapted from a comic book (Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers were serials).

For reasons I can only imagine were tied to a sincere effort to be groovy, Bob Crewe, a former member of The Four Seasons, was hired to composed the soundtrack. The result is painful. His idea of creating a sci-fi mood is to run a guitar through a super-wet coil (you can hear this on Frankie Valli's "Can't Take My Eyes Off You," which Bob Crewe co-wrote). It's such a overwrought, high-pitched, silly sound that it begins to hammer at you, turning from merely annoying to mild torture by the end. Which is a shame, because what's onscreen is quite lovely to behold.*

On the more Hollywood side of cinema, the producers of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) must have thought they had a pretty hip property (two guys, one gal, not married!) so they hired a musician who must have seemed pretty far out by studio heads at the time: Burt Bacharach. (I just saw this in sublime HD, which is why I wrote this piece.)

(And I'd like to point out that I am not just making fun of old movies here. I'm sure audiences at the time were as bewildered as I am now that someone would hire a Doo-Wop artist to score a sci-fi love-in, or Dionne Warwick's songwriter to compose a western.)

I'm quite amazed by how, in several sequences, the music sucks you completely out of the film. There's a scene where Butch and his maybe-girl Etta goof around with a bicycle (which was a new invention in the film's setting in the 1890s). "Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head" plays. This gets you half-way out of the film. Then, for some reason, the soundtrack starts blaring what can only be described as three minutes of obnoxious circus music. You are then pushed completely out of the film, left watching Paul Newman and Katherine Ross aimlessly improvising bits with a bicycle on a ranch set. This out-of-film experience happens again later in a sequence where Butch and Sundance elude a determined posse to a peppy, mixed-chorus New Christie Minstels sort of scat deal.

But bad music, in this instance, does not kill the movie. It's still a remarkably good watch, much of that credit going to George Roy Hill's interpretation of William Goldman's amazing script. Never a dull moment-- though there are some hard-on-the-ears ones. Katherine Ross was sexy and great, Paul Newman gives an amazing performance and Redford, well… The producers lucked out by getting Robert Redford at the exact moment when he was in full bloom, at his absolute maximum amount of handsome. I'm not generally attracted to men, but in many scenes I found myself unable… to... stop… staring at him.

Jane Fonda, Robert Redford: I guess you can turn the sound off.

*And yeah, they're remaking Barbarella, and the talk is Rose McGowan will be playing her. Maybe they can get Sha-Na-Na to do the soundtrack.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Weekend Box Office

TW LW Title (click to view) Studio Weekend Gross % Change Theater Count / Change Average Total Gross Budget* Week #

1 N The Green Hornet Sony $33,526,876 - 3,584 - $9,355 $33,526,876 $120 1

2 N The Dilemma Uni. $17,816,230 - 2,940 - $6,060 $17,816,230 $70 1

Hey, I got the flu. You want it readable, here are the numbers.

Monday, January 17, 2011

When The Going Gets Tough, The Tough Get Netflix

There's this bug going around the office - it hits you like a ton o' bricks, and the next thing you know you have a 102 degree temperature and the energy level of a Romero zombie. The shambling kind, not the sprinting kind. My ton o' bricks came at me about 3 o'clock on Friday afternoon and suddenly I had no interest in any of the fun gallivanting I was planning for the weekend. Basically if I didn't have the choice of crawling rather than walking, i didn't want to go.

So hoorah for streaming Netflix! When I had the energy to sit up, I was able to enjoy a few gems. If you absolutely need to be a couch potato, Netflix could very well be the thing that saves your life.

For example, I finally caught up with Exit Through the Gift Shop, the "documentary" by "Banksy". Skot once defined art to me as "anything you can get away with" and that is very much the theme of this movie. The narrative concerns a French eccentric who was documenting the street art scene, was desperate to get footage of Banksy, and eventually got into Banksy's secret inner circle. Banksy encourages the man to put his footage together into a real documentary. However, it proves unwatchable, and Banksy then encourages the man to put together his own gallery show while Banksy attempts to edit the footage into something usable. The resulting gallery show is awful but a huge success; the resulting documentary is Exit Through the Gift Shop.

A handful of people insist that this isn't just a hoax on the whole art world, but I don't know any of those people either. I will say that Exit plays just fine whether you believe it or not.

I'm exhausted! I think I'll lay down a while.

Okay, back to Netflix. What's this? Who is Harry Nilsson and Why Is Everybody Talkin' About Him? Another documentary. Okay.

Nilsson makes a troublesome subject for a documentary because he was a little camera-shy. I'm guessing there is no footage of an interview with him, or they would have used it. Blessed with a silky multi-octave voice and a musical genius that was eventually outmatched by an urge toward self-destruction, Nilsson was endorsed by no less an authority than the Beatles. They heard his demos and said good things about him at a press conference. John Lennon called Harry Nilsson his favorite group.

From there Nilsson had a pretty good 6 year run, with a few hits and tremendous acclaim, all without ever playing concerts. Then he started torpedoing his own career, making terrible artistic choices, while living just like a seventies rock star. He managed to even go bankrupt in the nineties, then it all caught up to him in the form of a massive heart attack.

You know, I have a podcast called Dark Meat: Music For Depressives. Nilsson is my kinda artist.

Okay, that's enough of my yappin' for now. I'm popping a couple of generic Tylenol.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Golden Globes Successfully Roasts Itself

Ricky Gervais Didn't exactly blow his hosting gig at the Golden Globe Award Show, though it certainly looked like it. I think he was up to something a bit more subtle.

In the course of the long ceremony he treated the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the literal hand that was feeding him, to a non-stop barrage of sneering abuse, some funny, some shockingly blunt. Right out of the gate, Gervais made jokes about The Tourist, the star-studded bomb nominated for best comedy or musical (huh?), a nod which may or may not have been influenced by the film's producers junketing the HFPA to Vegas. It had zero chance of winning anything, but nominating one of its stars guaranteed Brangelina would attend the awards ceremony. Gotta have them!

Ricky Gervais made fun of Phil Berk, the president of the HFPA, practically to his face. He was not amused. He also introduced Steve Carrell with a joke that his early departure from "The Office" was killing the franchise he created. Steve was really not amused-- though it's hard to tell if he was just in character.

Ricky Gervais' antics polarized the audience as well. Aside from the justifiably livid Mr. Berk, Tom Hanks, Tim Allen and especially Robert De Niro did not seem to appreciate Rick Gervais' blunt snark. Christian Bale, who worn Best Supporting Actor for The Fighter (well deserved!) threw a punch of his own at the HFPA, calling the press people who nominated him "those awful characters." (When Christian Bale started to speak, my wife sat up and said "I had no idea he was English!" This is much to Mr. Bale's credit, if you ask me.)

It was one of the weirdest awards shows I've seen in a while. What made it weirder is I watched it sort of backwards: came in the last 45 minutes or so, then picked it up from the top when NBC repeated it at 8 p.m. PST.

This is what I think Ricky Gervais was doing: what he was hired to do. He was trying to de-legitimize the Golden Globe Awards-- this year's awards, at least. He was, in gangster-movie parlance, busting out the joint.

This is not as seditious as it sounds. As things stood, the HFPA was already riding some bad press about the whole Tourist/Vegas Junket nomination buying scandal. Another similar report of vote-buying had just appeared in the trades mere days from the ceremony. The Golden Globes people could do two things: ignore the bad press and carry on, or hire someone like Mr. Gervais, let him torch the place, and start over. Hollywood is all about image control, and though things looked remarkably out-of-control most of the time, The HFPA successfully took it's scandals public, turned them into punchlines, and even looked like the victimized party at the end.

Personally, I never took a liking to Ricky Gervais or his humor. Not sure why he rubs me the wrong way-- too smug, too dry, too look-at-me-ain't-I-clever. I always though he was a comedian's comedian, which is why I thought he'd do a slick job hosting the Globes. Called that one wrong, huh?

A few disconnected observations:

• The tone of the show was so odd and vicious that when The Social Network won for best picture, Jessie Eisenberg and his blandly handsome co-star (whose name I forgot) looked positively hesitant about ascending to the stage at Scott Rudin's request to share the accolades. I don't blame them.

• Nail a bunch of 2x2 studs together, paint them gold, then adorn with strings from several bead curtains: Do-it-yourself Golden Globes Awards set! I especially liked the "Flying Crystal Pickles" backdrop.

• "Glee's" Lea Michele does not seem to have an "off" switch. That's the likely reason a camera was stationed about eight inches from her head the entire evening.

• Chris Colfer won for his work on "Glee." Very well deserved. Kudos also for Steve Buscemi for "Boardwalk Empire." It's the Year of the Really Pale Actor!

• Someone still needs to explain to me why Annette Bening's work in The Kids are Alright was better than Julianne Moore's. Just confused, is all.

• Aaron Sorkin, winning for his Social Network screenplay, gave us a valuable insight into the mind of a Hollywood insider, offering his opinion that “elite is not a bad word, it’s an aspirational one.” I hope the valet at the Beverly Hilton, after hearing this, keyed his Lamborghini Murcielago.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Weekend Box Office

January, man... numbers.

What did I tell you about January? Big names in terrible movies. The sole big release this week is Season of the Witch, which stars Nic Cage as a soldier in the Crusades who comes home only to discover the Black Plague has started. Yes, these events were separated by hundreds of years in "history" but don't let that stop you from seeing it.

Still, something must be stopping you because it opened at #3 and only made $11 million. Everything else is holdovers from last month. January!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Greenlight More Movies With Dragons

Movies don't make ALL their money in America. And the latest growth market to factor in your rewrites is... China!

Chinese box office takings increased by 64% last year, helped by Hollywood blockbusters such as 3D movie Avatar.

Revenue surged to 10.2 billion Chinese yuan (£966m), though local officials said Chinese film-makers needed to up their game to compete with US movies.

Avatar was the biggest film in China in 2010, having taken $204m (£141.5m). In contrast the top-grossing Chinese film, Aftershock, made just $100m (£64.5m).
Thanks to the BBC, for reporting figures in pounds instead of dollars. If it interests you, Google can convert those for ya.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Why The Eighties Ruled, Compared to Today

In the Eighties, a fellah like Tom Hanks could stroll down the Rye Playland boardwalk and come across this neat Zoltar fortune-telling machine, which might even make him turn into a child in an adult's body.

If Hanks turned up today, he could buy a Pepsi. THAT'S IT.

(h/t Scouting New York, via Mental Floss)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Weekend Box Office

Here are your first numbers of the New Year!

No major movies opened on New Year's Eve. This bodes the traditional start of the January flop season. People are less inclined to spend money on amusement this month, opting instead to try to pay off their credit cards, lose weight, and defend themselves against nature itself, which Garrison Keillor observed "is making a serious effort to kill you." Movies are an afterthought.

In fact, I won't report anything specific this week. This month, watch for movies which look entertaining in trailers but turn out to be horrible, once you actually see them. There'll be lots.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Today in super-obvious movie news

LA Times:

Online critics name "The Social Network" best picture

I suppose this could have alternately been headlined "Today's 'to a person with a hammer, everything is a nail' news."

A few days ago, after the tag of some show like "The Middle," I witnessed the following commercials run in order (verified via my DVR):

People's Choice Awards Show promo (:15)
Critic's Choice Awards Show promo (:15)
Ad for toilet paper coyly featuring animated bears in woods (:30)
Golden Globe Awards Show promo (:30)

These first two I have barely heard of, nor have I heard of the Online Critics dealie referred to in the lede. Amazing that someone keeps creating more awards and awards shows-- it's as much of a growth industry as film festivals were pre-2008.

I wonder where it's all headed, especially when one considers the overall number of motion pictures being distributed slips a bit every year. I can see a time in the not-too-distant future when the number of released films and awards for them coincide exactly. Then we'll be in feel-good heaven where, as in elementary school athletics, everyone wins!