Hugh Jackman

About forty minutes into the picture, my wife whispered, “I think I’m leaving.”“You are?” I asked with envy or admiration.“It’s ridiculous and revolting,” she said.“That’s being gentle,” I said.She reminded me that she is gentle and asked if I was coming too.“I can’t,” I hissed. “I’ve got to write about it.”“If only they knew, you’d be so much kinder if you didn’t have to see it.”

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So this month’s flap over someone “using a word” is between Meg Whitman and Jerry Brown in their battle for the California governorship. The word this time, given the personnel, is not the N-word, of course--although wouldn’t you know, exactly that word has been brought in as a comparison. This time it’s whore, on a tape from last month that turned up of a conversation between Brown and an aide.

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Only time will tell, but it's clear the Academy is pulling out all the stops when it comes to terrible ideas. First, it was the awful, bifurcating decisions to up the number of Best picture nominees to ten and cut down the number of Best Song nominees, possibly doing away with the category altogether.

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What do you do when your superhero franchise has no future? You reverse time’s arrow and plunder the past. After two strong, Bryan-Singer-directed outings, the original X-Men trilogy wheezed to a grim, dispirited conclusion in 2006 with the Brett-Ratner-helmed X-Men: The Last Stand--a lurching wreck of a movie that should have added $5 million to Singer’s subsequent asking price. So, having hit a wall going forward, the franchise has turned back.

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