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NOT FOR NUTHIN’ - Oscars – 80 years young

Not for nuthin’, but can’t Hollywood make a comedy? This year the Oscars showcased one murderous flick after another. Except for “Juno,” which was a rather unrealistic view of teen pregnancy, all the movies had one thing in common -- death. Jon Stewart even quipped, “Does this town need a hug?” It must. The movies that made the “A” list this year included “No Country for Old Men,” “Michael Clayton,” “There Will be Blood” and “Sweeney Todd: the Demon Barber of Fleet Street.” I’ll admit out of all the flicks I only saw “Michael Clayton,” so I really can’t judge the quality of the others. But if Clayton is matched by the other movies, Hollywood needs more than a hug – it needs a major intervention. I tried to sit through Clayton – I like George Clooney and usually enjoy most of his movies. But hard as I tried, I just couldn’t sit through the whole thing. For those who haven’t seen the movie, basically it’s about an attorney (Clooney) who works as a “cleaner” for a very large global law firm. That means he fixes things: if there’s a problem, he’s the go-to guy to make things all better. However, as he is trying to make things all better for a fellow attorney, someone tries to blow him up. This is where I sort of lost it. I despise films that go back in time and take you to the present that was shown in the first place. Just start at the beginning and work yourself up to the big explosion. Then there’s nowhere else to go. Movies are supposed to entertain – you know, “That’s Entertainment” – not to confuse. If I have to travel forward and backward through the chronology of the movie, I lose interest and am no longer entertained. But that's just me. All these psychological thrillers have got to go, too. Where is Mel Brooks when you need him? Mel should be making new movies instead of remaking his old hits into Broadway bashes. When I go to the movies and fork over 10 bucks a pop (not counting the popcorn), I want to laugh myself silly. I want to leave with pain in my sides and a good feeling in my head. I don’t want to leave the theater feeling more depressed than when I went in. Going to the movies these days leaves not only my pockets empty, but my soul, as well. I long for a musical, a comedy, or an adventure flick – anything but what’s out there. Last year the Academy honored “Pan’s Labyrinth.” Why? Beats me. I tried to sit through it on four separate occasions. It was on Movies on Demand on cable. Each time I made it to the same part – the man in the garage/stable, whatever, is begging the doctor to end it all. By the fourth attempt I was begging to end it all, too. To date I have yet to watch the whole thing, and in all likelihood never will. So Hollywood – when can we expect a great adventure or an adult comedy that will uplift and entertain us instead of sending us crying and running to the psychologist’s chair? E-mail “Not for Nuthin’” at JoannaD@courierlife.net. All letters become the property of Courier-Life Publications and are subject to publication unless otherwise specified; please include your name, address and daytime telephone number for verification.

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