Mammoth egos, feigned humility and blinding jewelry that could feed a small nation: If that's your curmudgeonly take on the interminable mutual appreciation society that is the Academy Awards, you may prefer to consider your Oscars from a more Oscar the Grouch perspective. Take the URL less traveled, where irreverence and disparagement provide a welcome antidote to swollen heads on parade.
If you've already seen Ebert and Roeper don tuxes to impart their Oscar picks, crack open a brewsky and watch their low-rent counterparts pontificate. Thugs on Film (http://www.mondominishows.com/shows/thugs_on_film/) is a flash animated Web series hosted by Cecil and Stubby, two English football hooligans who provide, if not highbrow movie reviews, then perhaps Neanderthal-brow reviews. (Stubby likes them violent "with loads of shagging," whereas Cecil has a somewhat more refined sensibility.)
These ruffian reviewers are hosting the second annual Tossers Awards, a brass-tacks (and brass-knuckles) alternative to the Oscars. According to Cecil, "Unlike that other awards show, the Tossers has categories that you actually give a dog's bollocks about."
For instance, the first category is Special Effect in a Leading Role; the nominees include the wave in "The Perfect Storm" ("I haven't rooted for water like that since 'Titanic,' " Stubby says during the nomination show). But this force of nature is up against formidable competition: "Julia Roberts' Avenging Cleavage in Erin Push-up Bra-kovich."
Other categories include Best Tackle Tickler (which translates to movies that have sexy previews and sexy advertising but then you go see it and discover there's no sex). Nominees include "Charlie's Angels," "Scary Movie" and "finally but most obviously, 'Coyote Ugly.' " ("I don't get it," says Stubby. "You've got beautiful birds, boozed up and dancing on the top of a bar. The rest of that story should . . . write itself.")
The key award of the evening is the Biggest Piece of Overblown Hollywood Wank. This coveted trophy (a figurine who looks like he's just been kicked in the groin) goes to the best example of a movie for which "they spend stinking loads of dosh on everything but the script!" Nominees include "Pay It Forward" and Adam Sandler's "Little Nicky."
The Tossers Awards ceremony runs through Wednesday.
But ye of svelte bandwidth fear not. You don't need flash animation to hear derisive jibes about Hollywood. At the text-based Felixes (http://www.thefelixes.com/), viewers can vote for film faves whilst picking up some wiseacre remarks and mean mots to utter at their own Oscar parties. An "anti-Oscar site" (get it? Felix Unger was the opposite of Oscar Madison), the Felixes provide quips about each nominee's strengths and weaknesses. For instance, "Erin Brockovich" may be a front-runner, but think of the "difficulty explaining to academy voters what tap water is."
Moving away from superlatives, the Hastings Bad Cinema Society annually decrees the year's worst films at the Stinkers (http://www.thestinkers.com). Michael Lancaster, ex-movie theater usher and head stink-sayer, predicts that "Battlefield Earth" will sweep every category it is in. This includes the category Worst On-Screen Couple, for which "John Travolta and anyone in the entire galaxy" has been nominated.
This year, there are several new categories in addition to the old favorites like Worst On-Screen Hairstyle. Competing for Oldest Looking Teenagers are "Bring It On," "Center Stage" and "Remember the Titans," among others. Another new category, Most Unintentionally Funny Movie, will most likely go to "Battlefield Earth," but "Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2" is also a contender.
Other amusing categories include Remake or Sequel Nobody Was Clamoring For, Most Annoying Product Placement and Most Annoying Fake Accent.
"Battlefield Earth" is also expected to sweep the Razzies (http://www.razzies.com/), the only defamation delegation that assembles offline, IRL (In Real Life.)
The Razzies are "Tinsel Town's Tackiest Trophy Derby," conferring their handmade, spray-painted gold trophy (with an estimated street value of $4.27) to filmdom's lousiest for more than 20 years. "Battlefield Earth" will likely be the "Wild Wild West" of the year (that film ran away with a mess of Razzies last year).And, like Steven Soderbergh in the Academy Awards, Travolta is up against himself for worst actor in both "Battleship" and "Lucky Numbers."
While the Razzies gave out Worst of the Century awards last year (Sylvester Stallone and Madonna won worst actor and actress), the Stinkers are revealing their best of the worsts this year in an AFI parody, "100 Years, 100 Stinkers--The Worst Film of the 20th Century." Expect to see the usual suspects: "Waterworld," "Ishtar," "Showgirls" and "Plan 9 From Outer Space."
However, if you insist on watching the Academy Awards telecast Sunday night, Entertainment Weekly (http://www.ew.com/ew/report/0,6115,101502,FF.html) has some suggestions on how to get through the marathon event. Oscar partyers can pass the time with drinking games such as these: "Each time Russell Crowe appears, a female guest must break up with her boyfriend/husband. And later regret it." Or, "during the traditional 'In Memoriam' montage, down a martini every time you see someone you didn't realize had died."