MTV Movie Awards: Another Victory for Music

Alba's curves and antics from Farrell and Ferrell were overshadowed by performances by AFI, Gnarls Barkley

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Really, who needs the Oscars? After all, the 2006 MTV Movie Awards had political statements, earnest acceptance speeches and pee-pee jokes for the whole family.

Hostess Jessica Alba, who sweetly used a commercial break to give her parents a shout-out, showed off sharp comedic chops with parodies of Tom Cruise's overwrought MI:3 performance and The Da Vinci Code. Some of her drunken repartee with King Kong garnered actual belly laughs from the crowd, something even Jim Carrey wasn't able to pull off. After entering the stage followed by a multitude of extras in angel wings to accept his lifetime achievement award, Carrey gave a speech about his amazing powers in the Hollywood ''statusphere,'' which felt like leftover Andy Kaufman schtick. ''Is he supposed to be Jesus Christ?'' one exasperated audience member whispered.

Though Alba's curves and an awkward, naked-body-painting joke between presenters Famke Janssen and Rebecca Romijn were geared for horny straight-guy appeal, the night really belonged to Brokeback Mountain fans, who awarded Jake Gyllenhaal golden popcorns for both Best Kiss and Best Performance. He assured the audience it was ''a big deal'' for them to vote for man-on-man action over the likes of Brangelina, but it was a promise undercut by tired ''ranch hand job'' jokes from presenters Justin Timberlake and Eva Mendes.

Amid the usual glib acceptance speeches (such as Best Villain winner Hayden Christensen mumbling, ''This doesn't suck'') and one embarrassingly lengthy one from Batman Begins star Christian Bale, Spike Lee silenced the audience with a reality check of his own. Accepting the Silver Bucket of Excellence award for the enduring impact of Do the Right Thing, he simply asked, ''These issues are still with us today, so how much progress have we made?''

Music was a mixed bag at the show. Christina Aguilera's heavily hyped appearance with a fleet of Busby Berkeley-era throwback back-up dancers was initially met with enthusiasm from the crowd, but her retro-inspired makeover ultimately inspired little more than a smattering of polite applause. More successful was AFI, who performed ''Miss Murder'' on a rotating stage as audience members chanted their name, and Gnarls Barkley, who wowed the crowd by taking the stage dressed entirely in Star Wars regalia. Really, you haven't heard ''Crazy'' until you've heard it played by a drummer in a Chewbacca outfit.

Considering that every moment of the show was tightly planned -- right down to strategically dropped F-bombs and cheesy product placement (Talladega Nights co-stars Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly pointedly name-checked sponsors Starburst and Dr Pepper) -- the fun felt a little canned. But presenters and Miami Vice co-stars Jamie Foxx and Colin Farrell managed to shake things up. A hyperactive Foxx offered to ''tongue box'' Jessica Simpson before worrying, ''I don't want to get Nick on me,'' apparently having missed the last 20 issues of Us Weekly. Meanwhile, a bored Farrell ate popcorn off the podium and cursed. It may have made MTV execs shudder, but it was the kind of moment that added freshness to a too-often stale popcorn awards.