I’ll preface today’s comic by saying “No, Cami doesn’t really have me ‘trained'”. Truthfully, she would probably resent the categorization if Theater Hopper were a work of non-fiction. But as it turns out, this little detail is for entertainment purposes only.

The point of this week in the story arc is to fill in any loopholes that might provide Cami and Charlie and easy escape from the women’s restroom. The cell phone doesn’t work and Tom is inept, so what’s left? Could Jimmy possibly be coming to save the day? Well, don’t count on it. You’ll see what I mean Friday.

I’m learning that one of the drawbacks to telling a larger story with a more dramatic bend is that people start to treat it like it’s really happening. As such, they start asking questions like “Why would the women’s bathroom go unchecked for two years? We thought Jimmy was so professional?” So now I find myself in the position of having to answer these questions before getting into the chewy center of the story. Y’know, the one where Charlie finally tells her secret for being back home.

The experience is teaching me a lot, but I can’t help but feel like this gauntlet I’m running is kind of like that episode of The Simpsons where all the nerds are grilling Xena: Warrior Princess star Lucy Lawless about the inconsistencies in her show.

“Um… Whenever you notice something like that, a wizard did it!”

“Uh, yes but…”


The Academy Award nominations were announced yesterday and looking over the field of candidates, I can’t help but reflect that 2004 was not a particularly good year for movies. Frankly, I was surprised that The Aviator walked away with 11 nominations. But I suppose through the Academy’s filter of “ONLY EPICS SHALL WIN BIG AWARDS!!!” it’s not so surprising.

Sure, smaller films like Sideways and Vera Drake are up for Best Picture, but that feels like lip service to me. It’s just a way for the Academy to show that they’re not out of touch with smaller productions on independent cinema. A token gesture to prove they’re not completely out of touch. You know – kind of like the guy who’s been a hard core Def Leppard fan all his life, but buys then buys a White Stripes record in a feeble attempt to look cool. He doesn’t get it. He doesn’t understand it. But dammit, it’s in his record collection, so he must be onto something!

When it comes to the nominations, I usually pay less attention to who receives the accolade than who ∗didn’t∗. People really seemed to notice that neither Fahrenheit 9/11 nor The Passion of The Christ received major category nominations. They were probably two of the most successful and controversial films of the year. But I think it’s that controversy that kept them out of Oscar contention. The Academy isn’t the type of organization with the conviction to endorse anything controversial. They just want to huddle their membership into the Kodak Theater, pat themselves on the back for 4 hours and then drink ’til sunup.

Really, it’s probably moot – at least in F9/11’s case. I think Michael Moore ran himself out of contention by refusing to submit the film for Best Documentary or perhaps broadcasting it on television before December 31 (which neuters his eligibility in the Academy’s eyes) or some such nonsense.

When it comes to snubs, what I can’t understand is why Paul Giamatti wasn’t nominated for Best Actor, while his movie Sideways gets a Best Picture, Director and Writing nominations. It even racked up two Best Supporting Actor nods for Thomas Haden Church and Virginia Madsen.

Man, THAT’S a twist of the knife. The guy who played a half-retarded airplane mechanic in a lousy sitcom and the woman who starred not only in Candyman, but Highlander II: The Quickening are being recognized ahead of the man who has been recognized as one of the best character actors of the last 10 years. Then again, he DOES have Big Fat Liar on his resume…

Another snub I thought was noteworthy was the exclusion of The Polar Express from the Best Animated Feature Film category. Don’t get me wrong. I think the film looked horrible, saccharine and soulless. But despite its failings, the film WAS a technical achievement. Especially in regard to the motion capture technology director Robert Zemeckis probably advanced by five years with his work.

But to be bested by Shark Tale? Ouch! Don’t try to tell me that box office didn’t influence the Academy’s decision in that regard.

Any another thing, I’ve always harbored a little grudge against the Shrek franchise for stealing the very first Best Animated Film Oscar away from Monsters, Inc. in 2002. If Shrek 2 wins out over the VASTLY superior The Incredibles in 2005, then there is no justice in the world.

Some odds and ends…

What’s up with Alan Alda being nominated for Best Supporting Actor in The Aviator. Honestly, I saw nothing outstanding from the performance. Really nothing more noteworthy than what Alec Baldwin did with the same amount of screen time in the same movie.

I was pleased to see Natalie Portman and Clive Owen getting Best Supporting recognition for their work in Closer. I thought it was one of the best movies of the year. It was probably too mean-spirited or too much like a play for the Academy’s taste, but it’s nice to see actors who shined in their supporting roles be recognized over their lead actor contemporaries.

Very surprised to see Kate Winslet be nominated for Best Actress in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. She won’t win because the movie came out almost a year ago and most voters probably won’t remember it. But it’s a nice tip of the hat to another wondrous film from ’04.

Beyond that, I don’t know what more to say. I guess I need to study the nominations a little closer. I’m just pointing out the things that really set off alarms in my head.

What are your thoughts about the Academy Award nominations? Y’know, we’re talking about it in the THorum…

↓ Transcript
Well, my cell phone is out of juice, so we’re not getting out that way.

What about that guy you came in with? Wasn’t that your husband? Shouldn’t he be looking for you?

Oh, Charlie. You really have no idea what it means to be married, do you?

Once married, a rigorous training program is implemented to remove all decision making ability from the man.

After 5 years together, I’d wager Tom is probably in the lobby talking someone’s ear off and over explaining one of his crack-pot theories.

Without me to tell him it’s time to see the movie, he’s likely oblivious we’ve been stuck in here for the last hour.

I guess you can say I trained him a little too well!

So, Y’see In Panic Room, the three robbers actually represent the 3 facets of Jodie Foster’s personality!

The Id, the Ego, and the Super-Ego.

Hey, are you listening?