Saturday, January 29, 2005

Oscar Buzz at the Box Office

We left home last night with every intent on seeing (the multi Oscar niminated) “Sideways” at the local movie palace. Upon arrival, this film that didn’t even show up last week in the top five box office grosses was sold out. Admittedly, this theater often puts under-performing films in smaller “rooms,” but even so, we were somewhat surprised. We were there and had time to kill, so we saw “Meet the Fockers.”

Fockers was lame to the nth degree, but Barbra Streisand was luminous. I only wished she sang something…even one note. The DeNiro character—overbearing, former-CIA father with his circle of trust--is getting tiresome. Dustin Hoffman was also funny, but it’s difficult to imagine he’s taking these sorts of roles after “Rain Man,” “Death of a Salesman,” “All the Presidents Men,” “Tootsie,” and so on. Guess he has to pay the rent like everyone else.

Also, somehow Ben Stiller’s appeal is lost on me. He plays the same character in every film—a dzlub (pronounced shlub) with a self-depreciating sense of humor. His dad, Jerry, whose portrayal of Frank Costanza in “Seinfeld” is Hall of Fame material, is far funnier than his offspring. But then again, so is his mom Ann Meara.