15 films vie for visual effects recognition

Posted by · 7:41 pm · December 12th, 2008

The Dark KnightA little late to the party on this.  Been out, so, apologies.  But it looks like AMPAS has narrowed the Best Visual Effects field to 15 contenders, as follows:

“The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian”
“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
“The Dark Knight”
“The Day the Earth Stood Still”
“Hellboy II: The Golden Army”
“The Incredible Hulk”
“Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”
“Iron Man”
“Journey to the Center of the Earth”
“The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor”
“Quantum of Solace”
“The Spiderwick Chronicles”

I’ve always had the itching feeling that “The Spiderwick Chronicles” could surprise in this category, but that could be the same feeling that told me the same thing about “I Am Legend” and “The WaterHorse.”  Anyway, after seeing “The Day the Earth Stood Still” Thursday night, I’m inclined to take it off my predicted three (where it’s been for a few months now).  There wasn’t anything particularly popping about it, and really, all the effects are ultimately in the trailer.  I thought there’d be more.

So with that, I still think “Iron Man” and “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (your winner, ladies and gentlemen) are secure.  Then I’d say it’s a free-for-all.  Love for “The Dark Knight,” despite a reliance of practical effects, could spread to this field.  Though after checking out the DVD’s special features, I see there’s more CGI going on than I thought.  Interesting to see “Cloverfield” on here, and really, I wouldn’t be shocked.  “Hancock” is still a possibility, but come on.  Most of those effects were kind of cheesy.  Maybe.

Any of the summer films — “Prince Caspian,” “The Incredible Hulk,” “Hellboy II” — could pop up here, but I might lean toward the Bat at the end of the day.  We need to here from the Visual Effects Society to get a better idea.

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8 responses so far

  • 1 12-12-2008 at 8:44 pm

    N8 said...

    I was kind of hoping WALL-E would make it after Ratatouille made the shortlist last year, but I guess you can’t win ’em all. It wouldn’t have been nominated anyway, but still… :(

  • 2 12-12-2008 at 9:20 pm

    michael mckay said...

    Actually, I was really impressed by the visual effects in The Spiderwick Chronicles…it would be a worthy nominee.

  • 3 12-12-2008 at 9:24 pm

    Ben M. said...

    Yeah, I agree Iron Man and Benjamin Button (though I haven’t seen the latter so I can’t comment on how deserving it is) are in and the third slot is the one to watch for.

    Frankly while it is sometimes hard to tell what might have been make-up or practical effects under Del Toro, I thought Hellboy 2 had tons of visual imagination and I would love to see it get in, but my guess is the third slot will go one of two ways: if Dark Knight gets a BP nom the momentum there should carry over, if not then look to Narnia which not only had some pretty impressive sequences, but fantasy films also seem to surprise here (like the first Narna over Star Wars Ep. 3 and Golden Compass winning when most probably thought it wouldn’t be nominated).

  • 4 12-13-2008 at 10:35 am

    AJ said...

    Can someone explain to me how an animated film can have special effects?

  • 5 12-13-2008 at 2:03 pm

    The InSneider said...

    Where the hell is WANTED on that shortlist? That movie got screwed!

  • 6 12-29-2008 at 8:45 pm

    D. said...

    Yes, I’m also puzzled that Wanted’s not up there – in all of its more-positive-than-expected reviews, the fight sequences and scenes that rely heavily on visual effects were singled out as astounding and exhilarating.