Archive for Heath Ledger

Epic Win


Well, the big comics-related news today is that Heath Ledger won a well-deserved Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor last night for his role in “The Dark Knight” as the Joker. What does this mean for the comics biz? Probably not a durned thing. It’s cool that comic-based performance won the award, but DC has already tried to piggyback on “The Dark Knight” and it’s gone nowhere. As it is, I’m glad Ledger received the Oscar, and it’s too bad we lost such an unbelievable actor so soon.

As for the other Oscars… I dunno. An unusually small number of surprises this year. No dark horse winners — the winners that everyone expected — “Slumdog Millionaire,” Heath Ledger, “Wall-E,” “Man on Wire” — all took home their awards. (Isn’t it weird that the actors from “Slumdog” didn’t get any acting nominations?)

I am relieved that “Benjamin Button” didn’t take Best Picture. I didn’t see that one, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen trailers that bad for a high-profile movie before, and I don’t know anyone who thought it was worth a bucket of warm spit.

Although I also gotta say — I really wish they’d quit giving the Makeup and Special Effects Oscars to movies like “Benjamin Button.” I enjoy those awards more when they go to horror and sci-fi movies, the way God intended.

Any other interesting things out there? Let’s review the linkdump file…

* The Archie McPhee catalog has the world’s freakiest, coolest stuff.

* A bunch of fascinating, beautiful photographs of deserted, abandoned, and ruined places.

* Neil Gaiman’s Hugo-winning Lovecraft/Sherlock Holmes story “A Study in Emerald” — collected in convenient and entertaining PDF format.

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Ledger gets Oscar nomination for "Dark Knight"


I completely forgot that Oscar nominations happened today. The big news for us comic geeks is that Heath Ledger received a nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his role as the Joker in “The Dark Knight.” He’s competing against Josh Brolin in “Milk,” Michael Shannon in “Revolutionary Road,” Philip Seymour Hoffman in “Doubt,” and Robert Downey Jr. in “Tropic Thunder.”

If we’re handicapping things, Ledger looks like he has a pretty good shot at the Oscar — pretty much everyone was talking about what an awesome job he did as the Joker, so he definitely starts out with the most buzz. On the other hand, it’s far from a sure thing — the Oscar voters really love Philip Seymour Hoffman, because I don’t think he’s ever turned in a bad performance. And Josh Brolin got really stellar reviews for “Milk.”

I’m a little boggled that Robert Downey Jr. got nominated for “Tropic Thunder” — Oscar voters generally seem to hate comedies, especially very silly comedies like “Tropic Thunder.” Hey, didn’t that guy also play a comic book character last year?

I generally enjoy the nominations more than the actual Academy Awards — primarily, there are fewer dance numbers. You get a much better overview of what the best movies and performances really were. As far as the other noms go, I’m stoked that Melissa Leo, who played one of my favorite characters on “Homicide: Life on the Street,” got a Best Actress nod for “Frozen River,” that Mickey Rourke got a Best Actor nomination for “The Wrestler,” and that “WALL-E” is a shoe-in for the Best Animated Feature. (But it shoulda got a Best Picture nomination. They coulda put it in place of “Benjamin Button.” I’ve been anti-“Benjamin Button” ever since the trailers, which made me want to projectile vomit directly in Brad Pitt’s face. Yes, I realize the movie is probably perfectly nice, but dangit, those trailers were entirely awful.)

So whatcha think? Is Ledger the likely winner? What are your other Oscar picks? And how much should David Fincher be apologizing to me personally for those barf-worthy trailers?

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Why So Serious?


Why so serious? Probably because Heath Ledger’s dead.

Heath Ledger was found dead Tuesday at a downtown Manhattan residence, and police said drugs may have been a factor. He was 28. NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said Ledger had an appointment for a massage at the Manhattan apartment believed to be his home. The housekeeper who went to let him know the masseuse had arrived found him dead at 3:26 p.m.

The Australian-born actor was nominated for an Oscar for “Brokeback Mountain,” where he met his wife, actress Michelle Williams, in 2005. Ledger and Williams had lived in Brooklyn and had a daughter, Matilda, until they split up last year.

Ledger was to appear as the Joker this year in “The Dark Knight,” a sequel to 2005’s “Batman Begins.” He’s had starring roles in “A Knight’s Tale” and “The Patriot,” and played the suicidal son of Billy Bob Thornton in “Monster’s Ball.”

So from the looks of it, the last time you’ll be able to see Heath Ledger in a movie is going to be in the Batman sequel this summer. You’ve seen him in the trailer for “The Dark Knight,” right? Looks incredible. It’s a bummer that we won’t be able to see him in anything else — I had him picked as picking up his first Oscar in the next coupla years…

Any of y’all see this coming? I sure didn’t. Ledger seemed like a guy who’d gotten his act together. To go out as a disposable bad guy in a comic-book movie just doesn’t seem right.

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