Wednesday, March 18, 2009

"One Category at a Time": Best Visual Effects

Last year was the first year in a while where all three visual effects nominees were actually good films, as opposed to mindless blockbuster trash. My hopes aren't as high for this year, but here's what I think will impress on the FX front this year:

One of this year's bigger movies of note will be the return of James Cameron after a twelve-year absence with his new sci-fi adventure Avatar. Early word on this picture is that it could be another huge technical breakthrough a la Benjamin Button, albeit less subtle. The plot summary reads: "A band of humans are pitted in a battle against a distant planet's indigenous population."... sound like another Cameron film you know? And get this, Sigourney Weaver's in it too! Three-time Oscar winner Joe Letteri leads the team. I'm looking forward to this one.

On a less promising note, there are plenty of franchise entries to choose from this year: Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen may be able to earn its FX team the Oscar they had so rudely stolen from them by The Golden Compass two years ago. Afterall, Pirates didn't win this category until its second installment. There's also Terminator Salvation, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Star Trek, Night at the Museum and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. I'll give an edge to Terminator over the latter four because their previous films haven't had a great track record here, while Terminator 2 is still remembered for its groundbreaking (in 1991) effects.

If you're willing to take a chance on a less conventional nominee, try Where the Wild Things Are or The Wolfman. If either of these turn out to be surprisingly decent, it will give them an advantage.

Predicted Five:
Avatar
Terminator Salvation
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

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