Saturday, January 31, 2004

Pixar might regret dumping Disney

It's clear enough that the Pixar/Disney breakup is especially bad news for Disney, which hasn't seen any of its own animated films hit big since "The Lion King."

Pixar has been dominating the animation field lately with blockbuster hits such as Toy Story I & II, Monster's Inc. and Finding Nemo. So it would seem that Disney would be the big loser in this deal. But I can't help but think that Pixar might be shooting itself in the foot as well. As good as the Pixar movies have been, who is to say that their mega-box office success wasn't spurred on by the wholesome Disney glow that surrounded each release? Without the Disney stamp of approval, would the films have performed as well as they did? It is clear that quality is not a guarantee of success at the box office.

Without Disney, I'm afraid Pixar will find its films faring about as well as "Ice Age" or "Antz," which is to say not badly, but far from the huge moneymakers that they have been.

Maybe if we are lucky, the Disney board will can Michael Eisner and then lure Pixar back into the fold before it is too late.

Friday, January 30, 2004

I joined a group blog

I've been invited to join a group blog called eTALKINGHEAD which features political commentary, analysis and opinion. There are about a dozen contributors so far and I'm one of just two Democrats in the bunch.
I'm not sure why or how I came to be picked to join the group, but I was flattered by the offer and am enjoying the challenge of trying to balance out a mostly conservative site. Each blogger was invited to select a book from to feature on the site so I chose Molly Ivin's latest work "Bushwhacked" which I have an autographed copy of.

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Academy Award reactions

I was hoping Lord of the Rings would score 14 nominations, but I’m happy with 11 provided that they carry through and win most of them. Still, I am bitterly disappointed that Rings did not receive any acting nods, not even a supporting role for Sean Astin as had been predicted. But Rings wasn’t the only Best Picture nominee to go without acting nominations this time. In fact, both Master and Commander and Seabiscuit are in the same boat.
I thought that Russell Crowe being passed over in the Best Actor category was a bigger surprise than Nicole Kidman being left out of the Best Actress category. But I was delighted to see both Johnny Depp and Bill Murray make the cut. I know this is supposed to be Sean Penn’s year for his role in Mystic River, but I would love to see Depp walk away with the trophy.
Considering the all around snubbing that Cold Mountain received I’m surprised that Jude Law still got the Best Actor nod instead of Crowe, although I would have put Viggo Mortensen in that slot for his portrayal of Aragorn.
I’m happy with all of the Best Picture nominees this time, especially Rings and Seabiscuit. And I’m actually looking forward to seeing the ones I’ve missed - Master and Commander, Mystic River and Lost in Translation.

Sunday, January 25, 2004

WMDs - "I don't think they existed"

"I don't think they existed. What everyone was talking about is stockpiles produced after the end of the last (1991) Gulf War, and I don't think there was a large-scale production program in the nineties.” – David Kay

So Bush’s chief weapons inspector for Iraq has finally confirmed what Hans Blix and the United Nations had been saying before the war even began. There were no stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq when we invaded and there had probably not been since shortly after the end of the first Gulf War in 1991. And there were no programs underway in the 90’s to produce such weapons.
So there was no imminent threat. The sanctions and the U.N. inspections were working and the French and the Germans and the Russians were right all along.
And as for those 500-plus U.S. troops who died (and continue to die everyday) supposedly defending the world from this threat, well, never mind. We’ve wasted billions of dollars and hundreds of lives chasing after a toothless dictator, a regional thug who posed no threat to other nations while we’ve allowed Al Quaeda to regroup and plot their next attack.

Even Colin Powell is finally conceding that there probably weren’t any WMDs, although he continues to make lame arguments for why we had to go in and invade:

"We had questions that needed to be answered. What was it?" he asked. "One hundred tons, 500 tons or zero tons? Was it so many liters of anthrax, 10 times that amount or nothing? What we demanded of Iraq was that they account for all of this and they prove the negative of our hypothesis."

Prove the negative of our hypothesis? How are they supposed to do that? I do believe that Iraq said repeatedly before the war that they had no WMDs. How do you prove that you don’t have something? You show them nothing?

I wish that our “So Called Liberal Media” here in the U.S. would hold Bush Co. accountable for these lies the same way the British press is doing to Tony Blair.