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Network America ^ | 25 Jan 2005 | Jim Condit, Jr.

Posted on 01/25/2005 11:45:29 AM PST by Robert Drobot

"Jump the Shark" is a semi-known phrase meaning "lose all credibility" or "it's all downhill from here."

The phrase comes from - which catalogs and debates the (paraphrase) "defining moment when you know you're favorite TV Show has reached its peak and its all downhill from here."

The phrase "jump the shark" comes from a Happy Days episode - late in the series - where Fonzie went on a vacation with the Cunninghams. In that episode of the sitcom, Fonzie jumped over a jaws-like shark while waterskiing on the ocean.

Fans generally thought this moment was so absurd, that it was the signal that Happy Days was about out of steam. Happy Days had lost credibility. Happy Days had "jumped the shark."

Another example given is that "Charlie's Angels" jumped the shark when Farah Fawcett left the show (which was after only 1 year, according to the site). Get the idea? OK.

Well, network nightly TV has itself long ago "jumped the shark" as far as I'm concerned. And it is long past the time when those producing nightly network TV shows should have been arrested for corrupting minors.

And despite the already debauched image Hollywood has achieved, there has still been a sense that there was at least a good faith ATTEMPT to give the nominations and Oscars to those who deserved the awards each year, more or less.

But this year, the Academy Awards along with Oscar himself may "Jump the Shark."

As if it wasn't bad enough that Mel Gibson's movie, "The Passion of the Christ", became the 9th largest grossing film of all time - and as if it weren't bad enough that the film was hailed by just about everyone outside of Hollywood as one of the most remarkable films, if not the most remarkable film, that many had every seen - 2004 turned out to be a really, really very bad year for memorable movies, let alone movies deserving the Oscar for Best Picture.

Things were so bad that a seeming scramble took place to release flicks which might pass as credible Oscar Nominees. A flurry of films being touted for nomination were released near the December 31, 2004 deadline.

ONE PROBLEM: none of the other mentioned Oscar nominee contenders did very well at the office. A quick internet survey revealed that all of the other movies being touted as potential nominees -- including "Ray", "Million Dollar Baby", which is actually a right-to-die movie, "Kinsey", a falsified life of the pervert which never made it to 300 screens on the way to bombing, ("The Passion of the Christ" by contrast made it to about 3000 screens), "The Aviator", "Sideways", "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind", and "Finding Neverland" - all together hardly made the box office which was achieved by "The Passion of the Christ."

BIGGER PROBLEM: If you don't know much or anything about the rest of this "march of the mediocre" films - don't feel bad. If you keep up with the news at all, you probably know that "Ray" is about the life of recently deceased singer Ray Charles. But I would be hard pressed to tell you much of anything about any of the others. All of which means that nobody is talking about them, and nobody can find anything much to say about them - not even in the media.

Does anyone seriously think that ANY of these other movies will be talked about 5 years or 10 years from now? - as "The Passion of the Christ" surely will be?

I don't think so - because - hear me now - no one is talking about these other movies FIVE DAYS or TEN DAYS after they see them!

The more relevant question is: Is anybody talking about these other films FIVE MINUTES or TEN MINUTES after they see the films - while they are catching a bite to eat shortly after leaving the theater?

The artistic brilliance of "The Passion of the Christ" includes - and this is just from off the top of my head from the last time I saw the movie (this time on DVD) a few months ago:

* The aerial scene of the crucifixion which leads to the teardrop falling from Heaven;
* The camera work as Longinus the soldier thrusts the spear at Jesus' body which gives the feel of the blood and water from Christ's side almost hitting the viewer in the face;
* The strategically placed flashbacks which evoked emotion or made some important point, such as that Christ worked for a living and had a sense humor;
* The absolutely great acting performances turned in by the actors and actresses who played Jesus, Mary, Mary Magdelene, and Pontius Pilate. The important thing here is that all the actors did a good job in the movie - you always felt you were in the action and in the moment - one mark of a great movie. (If you wonder how good Jim Caviezel was in realistically portraying Jesus - just go back and look at the other performances in other movies about Jesus.)
* The scenes where Director Mel Gibson approximated great paintings or works of art. One of these scenes was where Christ's right hand was being nailed to the Cross, while he looks at his right hand out of the corner of his eye; another was at the end of the movie when Mary holds the lifeless body of Jesus, which had just been taken down from the Cross, and looks at the camera; this scene approximates Michaelangelo's Pieta.

Moving to another point: some news articles are claiming that Michael Moore removed himself from the documentary category. How can this be? Michael Moore's movie, Fahrenheit 911 - IS a documentary. It is not a movie version of anything. It is a documentary. How does anybody get to move their production from the category it belongs in to a category it doesn't belong in? In any case, this shoots down the argument that the Academy can't award "The Passion of the Christ" the Best Picture award because its characters speak two foreign languages.

To conclude this Network America e-wire: the Hollywood elite are in a real box this year. From an artistic point of view, from an cinematic historical point of view regarding the probable longevity in the public mind, and from the aspect of box office success - then "The Passion of the Christ" is the clear winner (not just a worthy nominee - but the CLEAR winner) for the categories of both Best Picture and Best Director.

One article entitled, "Choosing the Best Film Will be Trickier than Ever" ran in the Daily-Herald based in Provo, Utah. The article noted the following:

"While "The Passion" is sui generis in terms of subject and execution, it has the financial credentials: It was the third-biggest earner of the year, with more than $370 million gross. And, more important, it fed the moviegoing desires of a growing and increasingly influential segment of the country -- including an untapped reservoir of people who would never otherwise go to the movies.

"Does Hollywood, already wearing the Mark of Cain for being licentious, immoral and Jewish, want to antagonize the entire fundamentalist Christian community by overlooking its favorite film?"

And Pat Buchanan, guest hosting for Joe Scarborough on MSNBC a month or two ago, made this point (paraphrase): Do the Academy voters hate a really effective movie about the Passion of Jesus Christ so much that they will forego what could be the largest ratings in their history? Buchanan asked how it would be possible to attract more people to watch the Academy Awards worldwide than if both "The Passion of the Christ" and Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 911" were both nominated for best picture of the year? Such a lineup would probably attract the largest audience ever for the Academy Awards.

It seems a certainty that the Academy is going to completely snub Jim Caviezel for his portrayal of Jesus. This is raw religious discrimination, trying to signal actors and actresses, young and old, that they'd better do soft porn or "politically correct" themes, and not wholesome movies - if they want to be recognized for their work.

But if the Academy snubs "The Passion of the Christ" - I wouldn't be surprised to see, for the first time ever, more protesters on the outside than attendees on the inside - as the cultural war divide continues to widen.

I also wouldn't be surprised if we could all hear a collective world wide laughter if we walk outside our houses at the moment the Oscar for Best Picture is awarded to one of these other comparative turkeys, rather than "The Passion of the Christ."

NOTHING is harder to rebound from for an institution that wants to be taken seriously - than to find itself the object of derision and laughter.

Will the Academy Awards and Oscar himself - "jump the shark" this year?

We'll find out a few hours from when this e-wire is released. You will find that we sent this Network America e-wire out at 11:45 PM California time on January 24, 2005 and it is so time-stamped on the independent website in the Network America section. The Academy Awards for movies released in 2004 are slated to be announced 6 hours from now, at 5:30 AM on January 25, 2005.

End of this e-wire.

Jim Condit Jr.,
Director, Network America Ewire List
Director, Citizens for a Fair Vote Count

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: academyawards; actors; anger; antisemitism; atheists; avoidance; awards; bias; bible; bigotry; bloodlibel; boohoo; brutality; christians; christjesus; communist; curse; envy; film; fringe; gluttony; god; greed; hollywoodinsanity; lust; medieval; movies; notthisagain; oscars; oy; paleos; pride; religiouswar; romancatholic; shrek; sin; sloth; spiderman; truth; whinealert
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To: Borges

Shrek 2 was way, way better than any of the idiotic movies that were nominated.

21 posted on 01/25/2005 11:58:50 AM PST by Alouette (Learned Mother of Zion)
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To: Robert Drobot

I think I'll purchase the DVD of "The Passion" on February 27.

22 posted on 01/25/2005 11:59:11 AM PST by kellynla (U.S.M.C. 1st Battalion,5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Div. Viet Nam 69&70 Semper Fi)
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To: kellynla

I already have it, but that's a good idea. I think I'll buy another for someone on that day.

I have no intention of watching the Oscars.

23 posted on 01/25/2005 12:00:18 PM PST by Soul Seeker
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To: Robert Drobot
Who cares about the O-Scar awards??? Their snub is a Badge of Honor!

Pray for W and Our Troops

24 posted on 01/25/2005 12:00:24 PM PST by bray (The Rather-hate Scandal was to support Fraudulant 911)
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To: Alouette

Shrek 2 was better then Sideways and The Aviator?

25 posted on 01/25/2005 12:00:32 PM PST by Borges
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To: Robert Drobot

Chris Rock as host? Bob Hope is spinning in his grave.

26 posted on 01/25/2005 12:00:41 PM PST by socal_parrot (Gotta dance!)
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To: Robert Drobot
My family intends to watch something more interesting than a herd of overpaid, over-Botoxed, over-egoed losers. Passion of the Christ was the most beautiful movie ever made, and because it is a "Christian" movie, is being ignored. The best way to show our displeasure with this oversight is to stay home from the theaters this year and see how many of the Hollywood spectaculars make any money.
27 posted on 01/25/2005 12:02:12 PM PST by JCISLORD (Boycott Hollywood)
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To: Borges
Does this person really want artistic merit measured out by popularity?

What does it matter? The Oscars are just a marketing ploy anyway.

28 posted on 01/25/2005 12:02:32 PM PST by mewzilla (Has CBS retracted the story yet?)
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To: mhking

29 posted on 01/25/2005 12:02:36 PM PST by getmeouttaPalmBeachCounty_FL (...............................................JEB..................................................)
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To: Borges
I thought Gandhi was a foreign film. Somehow I recall they were in competition
30 posted on 01/25/2005 12:02:39 PM PST by SMARTY ("Stay together, pay the soldiers and forget everything else." Lucius Septimus Severus to his sons)
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To: Robert Drobot

I rarely go to the movies - and I never watch their self-promotion programs. Quite frankly .. I don't give a rip who they nominate or who they give the award to.

31 posted on 01/25/2005 12:02:50 PM PST by CyberAnt (Where are the dem supporters? - try the trash cans in back of the abortion clinics.)
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Nope. It won Best Picture.

32 posted on 01/25/2005 12:02:55 PM PST by Borges
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It wasn't ignored. It got 3 nominations.

33 posted on 01/25/2005 12:03:36 PM PST by Borges
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To: TheBigB; Junior_G
So the phrase "jump the shark" has, as it were, jumped the shark?
In fact, the phrase "jump the shark" has SO "jumped the shark" that saying "'jump the shark' has jumped the shark" has itself jumped the shark.
34 posted on 01/25/2005 12:04:16 PM PST by beezdotcom (I'm usually either right or wrong...)
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To: mhking
I agree with you. Once the Academy started promoting those Art House type films instead of the more mainstream films most people see they lost me entirely.
I don't think I have been interested or even watched an Academy Awards show in at least 15 years or more.
When I was a kid growing up in the 1960's it was treat to watch, chances are I had seen most of the movies nominated and I always had an actor or actress I was pulling for.
Except for a very few, most of today's so called stars are crass, vulgar, classless, and of very little real talent.
I haven't seen any of the nominated films and the only one I was interested in was "The Aviator" except that DeCaprio is terrible casting for the role of Howard Hughes. Will wait for the DVD at this point.
Now the Academy has really taken a dive with having Chris Rock host and who knows to what depths he will sink with his jokes, etc.
Give me Bob Hope or Johnny Carson anytime, true class acts that have not been seen since they left. Remember the year Carson's protege David Letterman hosted, what a flop he was.
Well count me out again this year. Until Hollywood and the Academy start catering to their real customers again I won't be watching.
35 posted on 01/25/2005 12:05:59 PM PST by Captain Peter Blood
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To: Borges

It was ignored for Best Picture and Best Actor. The others were nominal.

36 posted on 01/25/2005 12:06:43 PM PST by JCISLORD (Boycott Hollywood)
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To: Captain Peter Blood

What art house type films? And besides the only way a good small film can reach a wider audience is by a being recognized in this manner. You think The Oscars should just do the bidding of studio marketing depts. and hype big budget studio product?

37 posted on 01/25/2005 12:07:43 PM PST by Borges
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Cinematagraphy is one of the primary arts of the movies. Nothing nominal about it. Music either. In those other cateogries it's just a case where 5 other movies got more votes.

38 posted on 01/25/2005 12:08:37 PM PST by Borges
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To: Robert Drobot

I don't think "Passion of the Christ" was not a particularly well made film so I can't get worked up about it not being nominated. Of course the films that did get nominations are not particularly well made either, but rather tired old formula pictures and a few 'indie' formula pictures.

The only film I can think of off the top of my head that should have definatly gotten on the list was "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind." That was genuinely innovative and well constructed.

39 posted on 01/25/2005 12:09:37 PM PST by orangelobster
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To: Robert Drobot


40 posted on 01/25/2005 12:10:21 PM PST by kellynla (U.S.M.C. 1st Battalion,5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Div. Viet Nam 69&70 Semper Fi)
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