Monday, October 02, 2006

The end for "Survivor"?

People who actually watch this show tell me "Survivor" has already abandoned its race war format by the third show. I guess the NAACP will also be able to abandon its bold "wait and see" approach to this puerile format.

In better news, the premiere of "Ugly Betty," which I must confess I also snubbed in favor of "My Name is Earl" and "The Office," apparently beat "Survivor" in the key 18-49 demographic. Huzzah, indeed.

Even if I don't tune in to this telenovela based in the world of high fashion (not exactly my realm, as anyone who knows me can attest), I wish it and star America Ferrera only the best. I've loved her ever since "Real Woman Have Curves" (amen to that), and she deserves to be a big star.

Now, if this really could signal a turning point in the tide against reality TV, I'll really be ready to celebrate, but I don't have my hopes too high just yet.

"Flower" blossoms for Oscars

A correction on my part in the form of an apology about my ignorance of geopolitics.

When the entrance of "The Banquet" was announced into the running for the nominations in the Foreign Language Film category for this year's Oscars, I just assumed it was being backed by China. Not so fast.

It turns out "The Banquet" is actually being nominated by Hong Kong, leaving China free to nominate Yimou Zhang's martial arts epic "The Curse of the Golden Flower." This one is near the top of my must-see list for this year, so its nice to see the recognition, even if it is confusing.

As we reach the final day for nominations in this category, at least two more films have entered the fray. Joachim Trier's "Reprise," about two young writers and their friendship, love and insanity, is Norway's hopeful. Iran will, perhaps surprisingly be represented by Kambosia Partovi's "Café Transit," a film defending women's rights.

China vs. Hong Kong? Pedro vs. Guillermo? Depending on which flicks make the cut to the final five, this could be the most fascinating category come Oscar night.

Say it ain't so ...

Apparently Jon Heder isn't the only one continuing to cash in on his "Napoleon Dynamite" nerd cache.

Poor Efren Ramirez, who has recently been moonlighting as a DJ, will apparently play, well, a nerd in McG's reprehensible remake of "Revenge of the Nerds."

I'm not even sure what to say about this one, so I'll just lay it out for your consideration. I can't possibly vote for Pedro in this endeavor.


Vasta said...

The race for best foreign film has always been my favorite.

The Banquet was a bit of a disappointment despite being visually stunning, but I quite enjoyed The Curse of the Golden Flower. It almost feels as though nobody wanted to see Xiaogeng Feng go without a nomination, so they decided to pass off The Banquet to Hong Kong despite the fact that Yimou Zhang's film is so much better.

Reprise was good, but not best foreign film good. Haven't seen Cafe Transit yet, but I've heard good things. The big race will probably be between del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth and Almodovar's Volver, but I wouldn't discount De Heer's Ten Canoes or Mehta's Water just yet.

Great field this year. Now I just can't wait for Denmark to pick their entry, because After the Wedding was just delicious and I would love to see it win.

Anonymous said...

Efren Ramirez has been in a bunch of movies since Napoleon and didn't play a nerd in any of them. He was a transvestite in Crank. He is in Employee of the Month opening this Friday. And was in the films Walkout on HBO and All You've got on MTV.

Jon Heder on the other hand has only played Napoleon in all of his movies... and his box office draw is coming towards and end.

I am excited to see Efren play a normal nerd. I am certain it is not going to be just another Pedro remake character. I can't wait to see the movie!! :)

Reel Fanatic said...

I'm very jealous, Vasta .. I don't get to see any of these movies in my small town, but I'm gonna catch up on as many as I can in November in NYC ... If I had to handicap five, I would think it would, as you suggested, Water, Pan's Labyrinth, Volver, Golden Flower and ... the fifth one would be up for grabs, I think

Mercurie said...

In some respects it would not surprise me if this is the end of Survivor. It seems to me that the whole cycle towards reality shows has been running down for a while now. There are fewer reality shows on the air now (keep in mind I don't consider shows like American Idol and America's Got Talent "reality shows"--they're "talent competitions."). And many of the reality shows that debut these days don't do too well. It seems to me it was only a matter of time before Survivor would fall.

Of course, I am surprised by the success of Ugly Betty. I've no idea if it is a good show or not, but I was really hoping My Name is Earl and The Office would win the time slot.

Reel Fanatic said...

I'm gonna have somebody tape Betty for me this week, Mercurie, so I can see what I'm missing ... I can't really see myself getting into it, given the subject matter, but I guess I'll find out soon

Vasta said...

The four you listed in your handicap are pretty good bets, and I'd probably add the Algerian film Indigenes to that list, to round out the five.

Sadie Lou said...

He played a nerd in Employee of the Month because I've seen the preview. Hopefully he won't make a habit of it like Jon Heder. Reel Fanatic is totally spot on with his analysis of both "Pedro" and "Napoleon". So where's Kip and Uncle Rico?

Reel Fanatic said...

Good question, Sadie ... you've piqued my interest enough that I just may do a little IMDB sleuthing to get to the bottom of that one ... I was asking the same thing about Tina Majorino until she turned up on "Veronica Mars"

Portnoy said...

Your coverage makes me wanna sit thru the Oscars, which if you knew me, you'd take as a compliment.

I might also lobby (humbly) for the following item in your sidebar (based on your reviews)

Current Must See Films

(i would give Efren the benefit of the doubt. Work is work. If you're lucky it's quality work.) On the other hand I like McG as much as the oscars.

newbluebaby said...

A remake of Revenge Of The Nerds is unnecessary, and just a bad idea.

I heard Efren on Opie and Anthony XM Radio the other day and the best thing he had to say is that he has a twin brother and sometimes, when he cannot make an event, he sends his brother instead.

Reel Fanatic said...

Maybe he'll send his brother in to star in this asinine remake!

Sadie Lou said...

I found Kip on imdb and I was surprised at how non-nerdy he looked!

teresa said...

Reel, I taped Ugly Betty while I was watching Survivor and then during the commercials changed the channel to do a little peek, but I didn't like what I saw and thought it was stupid, quickly changed it back to Survivor. Then I read an article about how good it was and thought what the hell? Wow! It's a great show. You really gotta see it.

The Root said...

I'd say with the advance buzz that Guillermo is a lock with Pan's Labyrinth. You better believe I will be catching it as soon as it graces a screen here in Manhattan.
"Ugly Betty" is worth the DVRing (or Tivo, if you're a name-brander kinda person). Funny, clever stuff.
I didn't like Napoleon Dynamite in the first place, but I really am not digging Jon Heder's shtick. One trick pony. And a trick that I didn't like the first time.

Anonymous said...

I've seen a sneak of Employee of the Month. (It's surprisingly entertaining. Look for a review Wednesday or Thursday.)

I never saw Napoleon Dynamite, so I have no idea if Efren Ramirez is playing a variation of Pedro. He's not that distracting, and he does one good stunt.

Reel Fanatic said...

You're one of the very few people I've encountered who doesn't like Napoleon Dynamite, Root, but I understand his act isn't for everyone

Aunt Jackie said...

I LOVE Napoleon Dynamite and America Ferrera is a good actress... definitely.

Anonymous said...

Just want to add my support for Ugly Betty -- it's formulaic but America Ferrera carries the show with her charm and utter adoreableness.

Reel Fanatic said...

I'll definitely have to check out Betty now, Jinna .. the positive word is just building up too high to ignore!

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