If you use a shaky camera, it' almost a given that you will be hailed as the greatest artiste since Fellini. While Steven Soderbergh pretty much heralded the advent of this rule with fare like sex, lies and videotape, Traffic and even Erin Brokovich, the style is actually a throwback to the work of many untalented, out-of-work film students who are now working at Blockbusters across the country. Hey, shit-heel-ever hear of a tripod? Maybe it' just me, but I hate feeling like I have an inner ear disorder when I'm just trying to be entertained.
This year' entries, Crash and Syriana, followed in those famous footsteps, so here' the rule in a nutshell: if your film looks like a Parkinson' patient was holding the camera or resembles home movies of your seventh birthday-the one in your backyard where your dad filmed you and your friends on the "Slip n' Slide"-you better start writing your acceptance speech right now.
(2) Art Imitating Life (aka The Creative Bankruptcy That Has Become Hollywood)
Pick the aging musical artist du jour who' riding high on a wave of nostalgia (think Ray Charles or Johnny Cash) and do a biopic. All the better if you start filming and then the subject keels over in real life (which happened with both Ray and Johnny, both of whom helped pick the stars who played them but didn't live to see the finished films. Eerie, huh?). Come to think of it, perhaps you have said biographical subject knocked off right before the film' release to increase your chances at Oscar? And it doesn't hurt to have the actor sing a little bit so we can all be surprised.
Either way, biopics of already famous people, whose life stories are readily knowable if people weren't so goddamn lazy and just went to the public library, seem to pluck at the heart (and purse) strings of the Academy. All of this points to the simple fact that Hollywood has run out of original ideas and has now decided to make films based on STORIES PEOPLE ALREADY KNOW about PEOPLE WHO ARE STILL ALIVE OR JUST DIED. Well, here' hoping some lowly Hollywood execs are reading this: the American public has absolutely no interest in biopics on Willie Nelson, BB King, the Rolling Stones, the Beatles, Journey, Air Supply or Foreigner.
(3) Ebony and Ivory
Hey, remember when they invented color? Wow. That was really something. But for some reason, Hollywood seems to think that ditching technological advancements and quality filmmaking (see shaky camera techniques, item 1) will distract us from mediocre scripts. It' like a shell game of some sort: "Hey look! We're filming in black and white! Please focus on the lack of color!"
I know Hollywood may think me a stooge willing to pay $10.75 to watch almost any drivel that they pump out, but believe it or not, I can suspend disbelief long enough to imagine that the story takes place in the 1950s WITHOUT being reminded every second by the annoying lack of color. Based on Hollywood' love of throwbacks such as this, we predict the new trend we should watch out for is the return of silent movies. I personally can't wait to begin reading dialogue on placards between five-second scenes.
(4) Anal Sex: the New Ugly
It used to be that a sure-fire way to win Oscar gold would be to ditch your Hollywood good looks, and make yourself appear like you just lost a fight with an ugly-stick-toting Mickey Rourke. Think Charlize Theron in Monster, where she gained weight and wore bad prosthetic teeth, all to make herself look like your local Big Lots cashier. And while this year' nominations throw a bone to the homely Felicity Huffman in Transamerica, there' a new way to play dress up at the Oscars this year.
That' right, folks, anal sex is the new ugly. Based on Brokeback Mountain' record eight nominations and Phillip Seymour Hoffman' Oscar favored turn as the openly gay Truman Capote, it seems that fucking someone in the ass is the new way to get Hollywood liberals to call you "brave." It' too soon to tell if we might see Dirty Sanchez and the team from Bangbus.com up against Belladonna for major kudos this time next year.
(5) Dumb and Dumber
While not on display this year, Hollywood loves the dimwitted: Rain Man, Forrest Gump, I am Sam, Mission Impossible. Any time an actor portrays a character with an IQ of 50 or below, we seem to go gaga. Matter of fact, combining Hollywood' love for retards with rule #3 about biopics, we might start pitching around our idea for a Jessica Simpson biopic.