The Oscars And My De-evolution

They say as you get older, your tastes get refined. Sophisticated.

For me, that is apparently not true.

In 1997, I graduated college with a degree in English literature and a minor in Theater. My days and evenings then usually consisted of Medieval and Renaissance literature and pouring over Shakespeare or Arthur Miller. My senior thesis was on William Blake (an epic undertaking, mind you). In 2000 I got married – and my wife and I shared a love of live theater and compelling cinematic dramas.

Then something happened. Around 2002, I started reading comic books – something I had not done since I was in middle school. My first read was “Quiver”, the Green Arrow book by Kevin Smith. I was fan of the movie “Clerks”, so I was interested in seeing what Smith could do with a super hero character. From then on, I was hooked on comics. I also started going to the occassional convention – the Star Wars Celebration was held in my home town and I went all four days (sans costume). Broadband internet soon turned me into an all-out cyber junky – looking up all the new scifi-fantasy movies, checking rumors, and of course, I eventually created DelToroFilms.com.

My wife always complains that I “misrepresented” myself before we got married. What is now replacing my fine literature collection in our den are banker boxes full of comics. The poor gal – it was never intentional. I think I just went through that “hippy” period where “everything is deep, man.” Now I’m back to having fun again, just like in middle school.

So what does this have to do with the Oscars? Well, I just looked at the nominees for the major categories today. They are as follows:

Best Picture
“Atonement”
“Juno”
“Michael Clayton”
“No Country for Old Men”
“There Will Be Blood”

Actor
George Clooney, “Michael Clayton”
Daniel Day-Lewis, “There Will Be Blood”
Johnny Depp, “Sweeney Todd the Demon Barber of Fleet Street”
Tommy Lee Jones, “In the Valley of Elah”
Viggo Mortensen, “Eastern Promises”

Actress
Cate Blanchett, “Elizabeth: The Golden Age”
Julie Christie, “Away From Her”
Marion Cotillard, “La Vie en Rose”
Laura Linney, “The Savages”
Ellen Page, “Juno”

Of the 12 movies listed above, I’ve seen one of them. JUNO. And its a comedy. Six of the movies above I had not even heard of. So my question is this – is this just a slow Oscar year, where the nominated films are smaller projects with little acclaim, or have I completely geeked out to the point where if the film doesn’t have a Wookie, Troll, or Robot in it, it just doesn’t interest me?

I vote for the latter. In the precious amount of time I am allowed to actually SEE a movie, I usually go for the fun, entertaining choices, rather than the brooding, serious ones.

And my de-evolution continues. I have a 10 month old son. In a year or two, I will only be watching animated films.

And my geek side is actually thrilled about that.

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