Categories One-by-One: Visual Effects

FilmFan720
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Re: Categories One-by-One: Visual Effects

Postby FilmFan720 » Wed Feb 28, 2018 3:06 pm

I finally caught up with Blade Runner this weekend, so I feel like I can talk about this category.

This is probably between Blade Runner and Planet of the Apes, and I think it comes down to one question that has always bugged me and that I think people often overestimate.

How much do you think Academy voters remember the winners from year to year?

Yes, they know who won Best Picture and the big acting awards, but for the general voting population, do you think they know that the Planet of the Apes series has lost twice already? People seem to think that they will honor it as a tribute to never giving it an award before, but I don't think they would necessarily note that. Instead, my guess is that a lot of voters would look at it and say "been there, done that," not realizing that no one has awarded them for being there before.
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Re: Categories One-by-One: Visual Effects

Postby criddic3 » Thu Feb 08, 2018 9:28 pm

Mister Tee wrote:
criddic3 wrote:2. Maybe Production Design, but there's no way you can seriously say "E.T." didn't deserve it's Oscar for Visual Effects.

At the time, everyone I knew thought 1) E.T. was a wonderful movie, 2) it was sure to win for visual effects, but 3) apart from the flying bicycles, its special effects weren't that widely impressive, and nowhere near the visionary class of Blade Runner's. Your mileage is free to vary.


Well in that vein you could make a case for Poltergeist, as well. The creature effect of E.T. himself, along with the spaceship, the flower, the flying bicycles, and various other bits throughout the film, were very effective. I would say the effects are spread out throughout as opposed to the world-building of Blade Runner, but E.T. was definitely a worthy winner.
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Re: Categories One-by-One: Visual Effects

Postby Mister Tee » Thu Feb 08, 2018 4:12 pm

criddic3 wrote:2. Maybe Production Design, but there's no way you can seriously say "E.T." didn't deserve it's Oscar for Visual Effects.

At the time, everyone I knew thought 1) E.T. was a wonderful movie, 2) it was sure to win for visual effects, but 3) apart from the flying bicycles, its special effects weren't that widely impressive, and nowhere near the visionary class of Blade Runner's. Your mileage is free to vary.

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Re: Categories One-by-One: Visual Effects

Postby The Original BJ » Thu Feb 08, 2018 1:06 am

I'm in general agreement with Mister Tee on the contours of this race.

I guess the effects in Kong: Skull Island are fine, but like everything about the movie, I truly wondered what the point was. I feel like I've seen versions of this movie countless times before in the form of umpteen King Kong remakes and Jurassic Park sequels, and nothing much about this incarnation felt fresh. I imagine many voters won't even bother to see it, and its chances of winning are virtually zero.

I thought the Guardians of the Galaxy sequel might get a nomination here when I saw it last summer -- there were certainly enough lively effects in the new world on display that it would qualify. But I don't see this one token nomination being enough to carry a ho-hum sequel across the finish line here.

As expected, The Last Jedi has a ton of effects, some of which feel same old-same old (the various starships we've seen a million times), but some of which do at least feel like stuff we haven't see before (I thought the porgs were quite fun). With four nominations, this Star Wars film has enough of a below-the-line presence to be a win possibility...but with a new Star Wars film coming out every year, I think it's hard for any of them to stand out enough visually for recognition. If it didn't happen with The Force Awakens, I don't see it happening in the near future.

I also rooted for the Planet of the Apes series the last two times it was nominated here, and wouldn't be opposed to a win based on recognition for the series -- this film's effects were, as always, beautifully rendered. But I don't get a sense that voters feel "it's time" to honor the franchise (the way the third Rings film was clearly prepped for across-the-board recognition for its final installment). I generally agree that voters have now had multiple opportunities to reward the apes, and they've passed on them for films they liked more overall, even if the effects weren't as strong.

With Blade Runner 2049, they have a film that DOES have dazzling effects, AND is something of a below-the-line juggernaut. Were it not for The Shape of Water, it might have Production Design and Cinematography in the bag, and it could win one or both of those categories regardless. But even if it loses those, this might be the category where voters opt to honor the overall visual wow of the film. I don't know if I'm in the camp that would say the original was ROBBED here -- E.T. is a pretty great creation -- but this new installment managed the very difficult task of building upon a world with a groundbreaking sci-fi look and still finding ways to make the new film's visuals seem consistently fresh. I rate it the most likely (and deserving) winner.

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Re: Categories One-by-One: Visual Effects

Postby Greg » Wed Feb 07, 2018 10:19 pm

criddic3 wrote:
Mister Tee wrote:Because Blade Runner 2049 ... but you can also throw in the fact that the original film is now widely thought to have been robbed in the visual effects and production design categories).


Maybe Production Design, but there's no way you can seriously say "E.T." didn't deserve it's Oscar for Visual Effects.


Hard as it is to believe, I am agreeing with criddic. Also, I would, by an edge, have given Production Design to Victor/Victoria over Blade Runner.
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Re: Categories One-by-One: Visual Effects

Postby criddic3 » Wed Feb 07, 2018 9:00 pm

Mister Tee wrote:The nominees:

I agree, John C. Reilly’s character was an especially bad element.)

Because Blade Runner 2049 ... but you can also throw in the fact that the original film is now widely thought to have been robbed in the visual effects and production design categories).


1. I actually liked Reilly's performance. I agree it is a mediocre film overall, though.

2. Maybe Production Design, but there's no way you can seriously say "E.T." didn't deserve it's Oscar for Visual Effects.
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Categories One-by-One: Visual Effects

Postby Mister Tee » Wed Feb 07, 2018 8:45 pm

The nominees:

Blade Runner 2049
Guardians of the Galaxy, vol. 2
Kong: Skull Island
Star Wars: the Last Jedi
War for the Planet of the Apes

This branch has been known to throw in a best picture nominee or two, and voters have been prone to selecting those prominent efforts over more impressive visual effects achievements –- Hugo over Rise of the Planet of the Apes a recent case. Except for 2015 (where the presence of three best picture contenders may have divided the field enough for Ex Machina’s startling win), the last time a non-best picture contender defeated a nominee was 1970. So, this year’s contenders probably breathed a sigh of relief when, despite being finalists, neither Dunkirk nor The Shape of Water made the final cut.

For dws1982: yes, I’ve seen Kong: Skull Island, and, no, it’s not very good, but, oh my, I’d watch it another ten times before I’d sit through an Alien movie again. (You have no idea how physically uncomfortable that Alien creature has made me over the years.) I actually though the opening half-hour of Skull Island was okay – I liked the fly-through-the-storm sequence, and was intrigued by their decision to set the film in 1973. Unfortunately, it turned out the chief reason for this was to revive that thought-dead cliché, the crazed Vietnam vet who “wants to win this time”, and the movie went to hell as it wore on. (I agree, John C. Reilly’s character was an especially bad element.) The effects were fine, though it mostly amounted to the big ape and some Jurassic Park-wannabe lizards. I presume the film has no shot at winning.

The first Guardians of the Galaxy, despite being immensely popular and considered a breath of genre fresh air, had no impact whatever in this race, so I doubt this less-impressive follow-up can make much showing.

The same with Star Wars: the Last Jedi. The Force Awakens had all the hype in the world and record-shattering grosses, but failed to take advantage of that in the big split of 2015. It’s hard to see how this deemed-disappointing (by both hardcore fans and box-office numbers) follow-up can do better.

I’m hearing a lot of people advocate for War for the Planet of the Apes, partly as tribute to the entire series. The ever-seeking-to-predict Broadcasters gave it their prize. Having this film win would truly vex me: I rooted tirelessly but in vain for both earlier installments; it would be just my Oscar luck for it to finally triumph the only time I wasn’t in its corner. But I’m not sure why people think the film is in such strong position this time. It’s not like the series has ever been a wide-ranging favorite: none of the earlier entries got nominations for production design, or even the gimme-for-loud-action-movies sound nods, and this version follows suit. I guess you can’t dismiss the film’s chances out of hand, but this feels like another blogger blind-spot.

Because Blade Runner 2049 did get those sound nods – as well as cinematography and production design – and is at least in contention for many of those categories. Plus it’s viewed (much like its 1982 predecessor) as a truly visionary work, with crazily inventive effects. I don’t see how it’s not the front-runner on that basis alone…but you can also throw in the fact that the original film is now widely thought to have been robbed in the visual effects and production design categories, and this seems a perfect time to atone for at least the first one. (I know this sounds vaguely like the “they’ll want to make it up to Christopher Nolan” argument, but the difference is, Nolan’s fans were looking for the same group to somehow regret their decision just a few years later. In the Blade Runner case, the make-up of the Academy has changed drastically over 35 years, and I’d guess its current membership is far likelier to view the original as a seminal film under-appreciated in its time.)

Anyway, because I’m not immune to the emotional contagion of Internet consensus, I’ll be nervous about this one right up to the opening of the envelope. But I have to feel Blade Runner’s the way to go, in the end.


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