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(March 2002)

Porky & Bugs in "What's Opera Doc?"Everything we know about opera we learned from What’s Opera Doc?
“Be very quiet. I’m hunting wabbits.”
Never have Siegfried and his bride, Brünnhilde been more clearly represented, and in 6 minutes no less. The great and irreplaceable Chuck Jones has passed on after 89 some odd years. For more than 60 of those he made us laugh while, at the same time, poking sharpened jolly sticks in our human faults and foibles. Make millions of people laugh, get much deserved rewards and adulation, leave a legacy of a cast of characters - Bugs Bunny, Wile E. Coyote, El Roadrunner, Daffy Duck and Pepe LePew - that are part of the American culture and we think he lived an unforgettable life. Here's Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle on Pepe LePew: "Pepe was a skunk who fancied himself a great lover, and nothing could dissuade him of that notion. What a concept for a character: A fellow thinks he's Casanova, but in fact, he smells bad. It's amazing that Jones and his staff were able to get so much mileage out of that one conceit." We’ll miss Chuck Jones.

The Time Machine is coming! We know that in the past we’ve railed against remakes of favorite moviesThe Time Machine - 2001 but we must confess, the previews we’ve seen look pretty damn exciting! We still have strong feelings about this remaking (look at the awful mess the currently running Rollerball has proven to be) but heck, sometimes they get it right. Some at The Toast are hung up on the 1960s version of The Time Machine because frankly, he had a youthful crush on the delightful Yvette Mimieux. Others Yvette Mimieuxhere point out to him that her character was the soft, pliable, passive kind of girl-woman popular back then. (Ah, now he’s sitting over there in the corner pouting.) Hopefully whoever is playing Weena in this, the latest version of H.G. Well’s story of tempus edax rerum, will create a 21st Century kind of heroine.

The Oscar nominations for the best in movies in the year 2001 have been announced. These awards are always big, fat, easy targets to make fun of but gee - overlooked, ignored, or just a brain-dead Academy, here are some nominations that should have been included:

For Best Picture, Black Hawk Down is sorely missing from the list for no other reason than it’s a lot better than Gladiator, Ridley Scott’s winning Best Picture of last year. And Mulholland Drive should be on the list because it easily equals, in it’s own Lynch-ian way, the originality of Moulin Rouge (which is a Best Picture nominee).

Speaking of Mulholland Drive, Naomi Watts ain’t on the list of Best Actress nominees and that’s not right. This beautiful, blond English import gave an astonishing debut performance. Her audition for theNaomi Watts in Mulholland Drive “movie-within-the-movie” caused the blood pressure to skyrocket for several here at The Toast.

In the Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress categories, where in blue blazes are Guy Pearce and Carrie Ann Moss from that odd but fascinating movie Memento? Guy Pearce shot up on the American movie scene, along with fellow Aussie Russell Crowe, in the 1997 neo-noir L.A. Confidential. Unlike Crowe who’s gone Hollywood, Pearce has dipped and danced in the Indie arena. He’s outstanding as the dogged, memory-challenged protagonist who’s determined to avenge – well, something… Carrie Ann Moss continues to be the hottie, dark mystery woman she started in Matrix (1999) but here she’s not running up walls.

In Ghost World Steve Buscemi gave such a sweet, sensitive performance as a lonely guy rapidly approaching middle-age, that for him not to be nominated as a Best Supporting Actor is criminal. What was The Academy thinking?

New Stuff
Please check our new piece on Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius (2001). Submitted by our friends Yavar Amidi (words) and Samar Amidi (illustration), The Toast is very pleased. We're looking forward to many more submissions from this talented pair.

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