I Saw the Oscar Awards show this past Monday. The show was okay. Ellen DeGeneres did an okay job.

As with last year’s broadcast, I did not see most of the Oscar nominated movies at the theater but I have watched many on DVD.

Many of the nominated movies are not in theaters now and are still not out on DVD so I’ll have to wait a little while longer if I want to see them.

I need to put in a word or two about the Oscar nominated or awarded movies I did see on DVD. I’m not going to do any long reviews but I will say a few words about them.

I saw “The Departed”. This was the best picture winner at the Oscars. The story is your basic small time Mafioso, corrupt cops story. Like in the case of Mystic River, I don’t see what was so outstanding about this picture. Because even though there are other themes running through this flick, they are so muted and washed out that they’re unimpressive. I don’t think it should have won for best picture.

However, I think director Martin Scorsese’s victory in the best director category was okay because he has long since deserved an Oscar for previous films.

Anyway, I rented “The Departed because it had some of the top (or critically acclaimed) US actors in it and because it won for best picture. I’m glad I didn’t spend the money for a movie ticket for it though. There are dozens of crime dramas on regular television that I can watch for free. The movie gets a grade of C+.

I saw “The Devil wear’s Prada”. This movie is a shameless plug for the fashion industry in my view and as such I could do without it. Meryl Streep gives an Oscar worthy performance though. It’s too bad she didn’t win in the best actress category.

“The devil wear’s Prada” is watchable even as the subject matter is of no interest to me, which is saying something. Usually, when I’m not interested in a movie I become extremely bored and must turn the movie off, but not in the case of “The Devil Wear’s Prada” so this movie gets a grade of B minus.

I saw “Little Miss Sunshine”. I was pleasantly surprised with this movie, which juggled several themes within a family dynamic and it is funny in many instances. The main theme examines what is a winner and what is a loser. The end of the film even explores what (if anything) is obscene and inappropriate (mannequin looking girls and/or an age inappropriate dance routine) about a certain type of beauty pageant.

“Little Miss Sunshine” is composed of good writing and filmmaking. The movie gets an A.

Some other movies I have seen on DVD that were not necessarily Oscar nominees are “Flags of Our Father” (A pretty good movie. It gets a B grade), World Trade Center (a very powerful film about some New York Police officers trapped in the rubble of the collapsed World Trade Center buildings. The movie gets a grade of , “Superman Returns” (I did not like this movie that much. The powers of superman seem so inconsistent in this film. It gets a grade of C), “Batman Begins” (this one was pretty enjoyable and was really thorough in explaining Bruce Wayne’s transformation into a masked and caped crime fighter. “Batman Begins” gets an A) and “Talladega Nights – The Ballad of Ricky Bobby” (the unrated and uncut version – it is funny and well done and gets an A).

Music notes: I said I would mention some music that has some pretty terrific electric guitar playing going on.

Now the easiest thing for one to do if one wants to hear a lot of electric guitar playing is to listen to music by heavy metal groups but volume cannot replace quality in my view.

Most of the groups here are not heavy metal groups but have produced some timeless classics. These songs are filled with or peppered with the sound of electric guitars (of all types).

This is a very short list of songs with a lot of electric guitar playing in them that I enjoy. All of these songs are A or B grade in my opinion.

One more thing, one should always pick the long play version of a song if one wants to hear the great guitar riffs. Many groups released singles (or radio versions of songs) to get more radio airplay or to provide something for the consumer to purchase when they did not want to pay for a bunch of songs (they may not like) found on an album back in the day of the record (just like those that would rather download a single mp3 file rather than purchase a whole CD today). The long version or album version of a song will contain the guitar riffs and other things you want to hear but may not get in a single or short version of a song.

“Layla” by Derek & the Dominos, “American Woman” by The Guess Who, “Stairway to Heaven”, “Dazed and Confused”, “Immigrant Song” and “Rock and Roll” by Led Zeppelin, “Walk This Way” by Aerosmith, “Ramblin’ Man” and “Whipping Post” by The Allman Brothers Band, “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)”, “Hey Joe” and “Foxey Lady” by Jimi Hendrix, “Rock you like a Hurricane” by Scorpion, “All Right Now” and “The Streaker” by Free, “Hold Your Head Up” by Argent, “More Than A Feeling” by Boston, “Crossroads” and “Sunshine of Your Love” by Cream, “I’d Love To Change Your World” by Ten Years After, “Born to be wild” by Steppenwolf, “The Seeker” and “Sparks” by The Who, “Can’t Keep” by Pearl Jam, “Headful of Ghost” and “Solutions” by Bush, “Let’s Go Crazy” by Prince, “Vertical” by U2, “American Idiot” by Green Day, “Are You Gonna Go My Way” by Lenny Kravitz, “Bawitdaba” by Kid Rock, “My Gift To You” by Korn, “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana, “With A Little Help From My Friends” by Joe Cocker, I’d do anything for love (but I won’t do that) by Meatloaf, “Free Bird” by Lynyrd Skynyrd, “Unsung” by Helmet, “Calm Like A Bomb” and “Killing In The Name Of” by Rage Against The Machine, “Higher” by Creed, “Peace Sells” by Megadeath, “Blinded By The Light” by Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, “Happiness In Slavery” by Nine Inch Nails, “Plush” by Stone Temple Pilots, 25 or 6 to 4 by Chicago, “You ain’t seen nothing yet” by Bachman-Turner Overdrive, “Eruption” by Van Halen, “Eye of the tiger” by Survivior, “Money for nothing” by Dire Straits, “Frankenstein” by Egar Winter Group, “Every time I look at you” by Blink-182, “The promise” by The Cure, “(I can’t get no) satisfaction” by The Rolling Stones, “Bothered” by Candlebox, “Crazy life” by Toad the wet sprocket, “Ocean size” by Jane’s Addicton, “Legs” by ZZ Top, “Shallow be thy game” by The Red Hot Chili Peppers, “Mississippi queen” by Mountain, “Lay down Sally by Eric Clapton, “Rock and roll all nite by Kiss and “You give love a bad name by Bon Jovi.

Like I said, this is a very short list. Masters like Pink Floyd are missing, but occasionally I insert a small list of the songs I listened to into my blog post so I’m sure I’ll list some good music by other groups or singers again soon.

on Mar 05, 2007
I enjoyed The Departed myself. I can't weigh in on whether it deserved an Oscar or not because I haven't seen all of the nominated movies. I am not sure I even know which ones were nominated. Another great movie is Blood Diamond. Was that one nominated? Anyway, both were good movies.