Do away with the pre-show interviews. The hosts sucked and the clips were hastily pasted together on the fly. Jann Carl even committed the faux pas of saying “and the winner is…” when anyone who actually watches the awards knows that it’s “and the Oscar goes to…”.

I found about 25% of Chris Rock’s act funny. I think the message he sent to African-Americans who were watching was “make more meaningful films”. The recorded bit from the Magic Johnson theaters would probably have elicited the same responses in many predominately white theaters, so it wasn’t really that inventive. He did some of the playful digging that all Academy Awards hosts do, however some of his comments (Jude Law?) seemed caustic, given his “outsider” status.

My favorite recipients:

  • Morgan Freeman, Best Supporting Actor (whom I’ve enjoyed ever since hearing and seeing him on The Electric Company)
  • Brad Bird, Best Original Screenplay (The Incredibles)
  • John Dykstra, Achievement in Visual Effects (Spider-Man 2) (“Boy, am I glad there wasn’t a fourth episode of Lord Of The Rings.”)

I liked the best original song nominee performances, especially Carlos Santana and Antonio Banderas’ rendition of Jorge Drexler’s “Al Otro Lado Del Rio” from The Motorcycle Diaries.

The HD production, which I watched from about 10:15p on, was actually quite nice.

On review, I didn’t like the fact that the “behind the scenes” winners weren’t afforded the luxury of the full walk down the red carpet and onto the stage. The aisle shots and the stage lineups were time-saving measures that didn’t work for me.

Please come home, Billy Crystal!