Missing The Big Show (3/26/00)

In happier news, your friendly neighborhood AtAT staff are bleary-eyed and quite spent following that seemingly neverending event known as the 72nd Annual Academy Awards. While we're not in the motion picture biz, there's nothing we like more than a good movie-- unless perhaps it's the chance to see lots of big-name celebrities dress up in silly clothes and sit uncomfortably through four hours of tongue-tied acceptance speeches, stale teleprompted "humor," and musical numbers that occasionally redefine the word "awful." This year, though, everything seemed to click. Other than the fact that three people in the audience died of old age before the show was over (and they were in their late twenties when it started), we have little to complain about.

Check it out-- Angelina Jolie won for Best Supporting Actress. Good for her! We felt a little bad for Chloë Sevigny, but she'll get other chances. The Matrix won every technical award for which it was nominated. American Beauty cleaned up, snagging five Oscars-- only Annette Bening was passed over as Best Actress, but if she had won, we'd be ranting about how Hilary Swank got robbed, instead of marvelling that a movie like Boys Don't Cry actually got that kind of recognition. And far from being downplayed, the performance of "Blame Canada" from the South Park movie (done by Robin Williams, no less) received the most lavish treatment of all the Best Song nominees, and as far as we know, Canada has yet to declare war on the Academy in retort. Okay, so that utterly forgettable Phil Collins song won instead; at least the old boy seemed genuinely surprised and happy during his acceptance speech.

In fact, our biggest gripe isn't with any aspect of the show or even with who won the awards. It's with Apple. C'mon, here's the second-biggest advertising opportunity of the year, and it's being watched by a billion movie fans the world over. Didn't anyone at Apple think that this might just be a perfect chance to push iMovie? We saw plenty of other consumer-targeted ads related to the movie business. Heck, Sony even advertised its own digital video editing hardware and software. So where was iMovie? Or even a new "Think Different" ad with a montage of movie geniuses over the years? Frankly, we're stunned that Apple passed on such a perfect opportunity to hype itself both to movie-crazy consumers and the movie-making industry itself; we thought "content creation" was one of Apple's core markets. Oh, well... As the nominees who went home without awards know, there's always next year.

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The above scene was taken from the 3/26/00 episode:

March 26, 2000: Microsoft launches a covert attack against Yours Truly, by making the Mac version of Internet Explorer 5.0 somewhat AtAT-unfriendly. Meanwhile, the government appears less than impressed with the latest settlement offer from Redmond, setting the stage for a verdict on Tuesday, and Apple misses out on a golden advertising opportunity at the Oscars...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 2179: We're In Their Sights (3/26/00)   Never let it be said that them Redmond-dwellers ain't some crafty buggers. Look, nobody's still harboring any illusions about what Microsoft did to Netscape, right? Billy G. saw that he had a comfortable monopoly in the operating systems market, so when he was late to the Web browser party, he simply bundled Internet Explorer "free" with Windows, sat back, and waited for the market share numbers to change...

  • 2180: Call That An Offer? (3/26/00)   Hey, speaking of "Redmond Justice," how 'bout we dish a little dirt on the latest developments, just to give the devil his due? When last we tuned in, Judge Jackson poured a little adrenaline on the proceedings by announcing that, unless significant progress was reported towards a settlement, he'd issue his ruling on Tuesday...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

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