The Academy Awards – Nominations commentary

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Ohhhhh man the nominees are out officially! There are some surprises and some snubs, as always! Unfortunately, this is not my PREDICTIONS, those will come a bit later (but I promise they will come before the day before the Oscars this year, I’m actually VERY close). This, my dear readers, is my commentary on the nominations. A place where I can provide to you my opinions on the nominations. You know, what surprised, what disappointed, etc. I’m going to be posting a category at a time every day for the next however many days it takes. I’m not going to cover Documentary or Foreign, as I have seen only one movie between both award categories. I’m also not going to cover the shorts because where I live it really is impossible to ever see them. And finally, I won’t be covering the sound awards because I don’t know too much about them. Today I’ll probably try to cover visual effects, production design, costume, cinematography, and makeup & hairstyling. Anyway enough with the pleasantries and onto the pedantry!

I’m going to start off with Visual Effects because why the hell not?
So the nominees for visual effects are:
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Guardians of the Galaxy
Interstellar
X-Men: Days of Future Past

Now, I LOVED all five of these movies. However, let’s chat about the visual effects.
In Captain America you had all the practical effects your little heart could handle. All the action scenes, stunts, and explosions were all as real as you and me. However, I have always though that there needs to be a separate award for stunts and/or practical effects, and unfortunately this award usually goes to the movie with the best CGI, so I’m not sure ol’ Cap has much of a shot at this one. Which is unfortunate because the action is incredible. Some of the best of the year.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes has the benefit of motion capture, and the Academy LOVES them some motion capture. Honestly, Andy Serkis played the ape so well again, it’s really a shame he doesn’t at least get a supporting actor nod for this one (lord knows he should have the first time around, as well as for Gollum in LOTR). The effects themselves are really incredible. At times you forget you’re watching CGI motion capture apes running around on horseback with machine guns. God what a great movie.


Guardians of the Galaxy
*COUGH*BestAdaptedScreenplaySnub*COUGH*
Anyway this movie had everything. Two motion capture performances (one a humanoid raccoon, the other, and tree man), one of which was partially done by VIN DIESEL who should have been NOMINATED for BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR (dream big). Anyway so we have two members of the team full-on, beautiful CGI, entire extras just pure CGI, whole planets, space ships, floating heads in the middle of the universe that people live inside, and a duck smoking a cigar. What else could go possibly want for the effects award.

Interstellar
This movie had all the super SLICK, minimalist visuals. Hyperrealistic CGI and practical effects were used for those robots, and NO GREEN SCREEN was used. They created these gorgeous space visuals with CG and then showed them in the windows of the ship setpieces on these huge screens. I guess to make it easier for the actors to really feel like they were in space but it also looked totally amazing. Guardians looks amazing, but will Interstellar be the Life of Pi to em>Guardians’ The Avengers?
(To clarify, back in 2012, Avengers was nominated for Visual effects and seemed like a shoe-in because they literally digitally created the city of New York in a different city, an entire alien invasion, Iron Man, the Hulk, and had some CRAZY awesome action scenes and Life of Pi had an extremely life-like tiger. The tiger won. SOME PEOPLE were a little annoyed, regardless of how impressive the tiger was)

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X-Men: Days of Future Past
Despite having some amazing looking Sentinels and superpowers going on, making Hugh Jackman look younger, and some crazy particle effects on the Sentinels in the future, it’s sort of just AMAZING bu no QUITE as amazing as Guardians so I feel like it doesn’t have much of a shot. Which is a shame because I loved this movie so much.

Anyway that’s Visual effects for you. That’s my analysis anyway. My predictions will come all at once in an easily digestible format after I have done all of these postings. I will be as consistent as I can, however I am going on a trip this weekend so no promises that I will post each day.

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