Archive for August, 2007

YOU MIGHT WANT TO MAKE SOME POPCORN BEFORE STARTING ON THIS

August 27, 2007

I was reading something a few weeks ago about some upcoming, or perhaps existing, motion picture–I have no memory of the details–and for some reason a question bloomed in my mind, which evidently hasn’t much on its plate (the one in my head, get it?), because I haven’t been able to get the question to go away in the intervening weeks. Thinking that if I lay it out here in front of the world (or at least the two or three members thereof who might drop by this pitiful exercise) I may somehow be freed of its grip, I hereby pass it on.

What American motion picture has in its cast the most winners, either previously or eventually, of the Oscar for Best Actor?

I realize that this is probably an old, hoary, beaten to death question in the world of cinemaphiles and their various blogs, but that world is not mine, nor its society one I am even remotely familiar with.

I originally made the assumption that groupings of two or more Oscar winners would almost invariably be male, and I’m not sure why, other than the usual “vain, sexist, chauvinist pig” explanation. But I soon realized the error of my ways, thanks to “Steel Magnolias,” of which more below.

I took a half-assed stab at researching this question by Googling it, and running through the first dozen or so links, with no success: PR for and reviews of recent Oscar-performance films suck up all the top-tier entries on the subject.

I e-mailed Chron film critic Mick LaSalle, who replied, with rather an inordinate degree of pride, that he had no idea and couldn’t care less.

So the following is strictly based on the failing memory and viewing history of this unworthy layman. If anyone wants to chime in, be my guest.

The record so far as I can tell is held by “The Godfather,” with four: Pacino, Brando, Duvall and Keaton.

There are several co-holders of second place at three: “Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner” (Tracy, Hepburn, Poitier), “Glen Garry Glen Ross” (Lemmon, Pacino, Spacey), “Steel Magnolias,” which holds the record for most Best Actress cast members (MacLaine, Fields, Roberts), and the improbable “Man Who Shot Liberty Valence” (Wayne, Stewart, Marvin).

One might make a case for “How The West Was Won,” with Stewart, Wayne, Tracy, Peck, and Fonda (Henry), but one would get a lot of argument, since Tracy was merely the narrator, and Fonda and Wayne were little more than cameos. If I were to count cameos, I’d have to go look up the cast of “Around The World In 80 Days,” and life is too short.

Anyway, there’s today’s topic for discussion. I now turn my attentions to getting the song “Shortnin’ Bread” out of my head.

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GROWING OLD DISGRACEFULLY

August 19, 2007

The Ninth Worst Thing About Turning 63 is that you are now literally,
officially,
physically,
biologically,
chronologically,
aesthetically,
hormonally,
sexually,
exactly,
and fully
three times as old as you were at 21.

And in answer to the unasked question: You don’t really want to hear about Worst Things one through eight.

EXCESS BLOGGAGE #664

August 4, 2007

Still more random bits of reality culled from credentialed, reliable media, for no particular reason and to no discernible end…

OPRAH, OSAMA; OSAMA, OPRAH
The Amazon.com ranking of the book “Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower” before it was mentioned by Osama bin Laden in an audiotape released in January: 205,763. The ranking afterward: 26.

LIQUID ASSES
The amount of taxpayer money that the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power spent in the past 2 years extolling the quality of its water to the public: $1,000,000. The amount of taxpayer money that Department of Water and Power employees spent in that time on commercial bottled water: $88,000.

UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES DEPARTMENT
The number of meth labs busted each month in Iowa before the state passed laws restricting cold medications used in producing the drug: 120. The number now: 20. The purity of locally-made meth before the regulations: 47 percent. The purity of the Mexican-made meth now replacing it: 80 percent.

ROLE REVERSAL
Among female college students, the percentage who say they have been subjected to sexual harassment in the form of sexual pictures, photos, Web pages, illustrations, messages or notes: 15. The percentage among male college students: 22.