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15 Films In Line For Best Effects Oscar
And there are some surprises in there

17 December 2007  |  Written by Olly Richards  

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Fifteen films have been announced for the long list for the Best Visual Effects Oscar at next year's Academy Awards. Those films are

Beowulf
The Bourne Ultimatum
Evan Almighty
The Golden Compass
Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix
I Am Legend
Live Free Or Die Hard
National Treasure: Book Of Secrets
Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World's End
Ratatouille
Spider-Man 3
Sunshine
300
Transformers
The Water Horse

There are some names we're surprised to see in there, because they're not films you'd traditionally think of as effects movies. The Bourne Ultimatum used predominantly practical effects and the digital stuff was off the type where it's so good you don't notice it. Which makes them great effects, we suppose.

Ratatouille is also all animation, so you could argue it's all special effects. But we did want to eat all the food, so that's quite an achievement. It's good to see the Academy thinking a little laterally. Does this love for Ratatouille mean it could be in with a shot at Best Picture, rather than Best Animated Picture?

We're also pleased to see Sunshine there, given its budget wouldn't pay for catering on most of the list.

From the list, we'd have to give it to Transformers. Pirates 3 had some stunning effects, but they'd already been perfected for Pirates 2. Who gets your (most likely imaginary unless you're Meryl Streep) vote?

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Your Comments

what?!
I AM LEGEND?!?! The effects were bloody awful. More

Posted by killervideotape at 23:00 on 06 January 2008 | Report This Post

RE: RE:
I'm surprised by the level of support being given to Transformers here. 1) It has been frequently stated that it's relatively easy to do metal objects in CG. 2) Thousands of moving parts per transformation seems to be more of a design issue rather than a 'how do we make this effect look real' issue. Or can set/costume design be honoured by this award? - if so, see 2a. 2a) The camera moves so frenetically that almost-as-convincing transformations could have been done for robots that onl More

Posted by thedrin at 07:55 on 30 December 2007 | Report This Post

RE: RE:
I also think its clearly Transformers. The intruicate details in the "transformations" was amazing! In a word it just looked so COOL! I really think that it had some of the best effects I've ever seen. That said metallic surfaces are fairly easy to do. But I really think that Transformers took it to another level. More

Posted by Jack's Rage at 00:05 on 21 December 2007 | Report This Post

RE: 15 Films In Line For Best Effects Oscar
Either 300(did something new), Sunshine, it looked amazing, and no The Fountain??!! Bullshit.   More

Posted by Deviation at 00:00 on 21 December 2007 | Report This Post

RE:
L: Beat Royale Am I the only one who thought the special effects in Transformers were a bit crap? es you are. How you can say they didn't look like they were there is beyond me....and a few others probably. More

Posted by pablohoolio at 23:59 on 20 December 2007 | Report This Post

RE: 15 Films In Line For Best Effects Oscar
rmers win. The others were good, but god knows why Ratatouille is in line for this? Stunning film but an animation, so, er, HAS to have digital effects? ransformers is one of the few movies where the CGI characters have blended seemlessley with the human and live action footage, and should win it alone for the shot of Bonecrusher roller-skating his way down the freeway!! Amazing shot. Although, I'd give it to ILM every year to be honest, purely for the fact that Davey Jones is simply the More

Posted by pablohoolio at 23:58 on 20 December 2007 | Report This Post

RE: 15 Films In Line For Best Effects Oscar
Transformers is the runaway winner for me. Surely the effects in 300 or Ratatouille are more to do with the cinematography? More

Posted by Spengler at 23:35 on 20 December 2007 | Report This Post

RE: Beowulf!
Hello M155 834N. How's that pronounced anyway? Is that your car registration? Is it Miss Ateyann? Just curious. Sunshine! http://www.empireonline.com/forum/tm.asp?m=303570 This is a hello thread, where you can say hello and meet other forumites who will laugh, love, jest and joke with you. Unless you start singing McG's praises. More

Posted by fireboy at 19:46 on 19 December 2007 | Report This Post

Beowulf!
Beowulf all the way!! The CGI in that is amazing. It's got to win, if not then Transformers. =] More

Posted by M155 834N at 11:05 on 19 December 2007 | Report This Post

Gotta be the kick ass robots!!!
What's all this talk of them not looking that they're there? They were freekin awesome, completely believable. Every frame with a robot on, is an absolute masterpiece, and Megan Fox's midriff deserves an oscar of it's own. More

Posted by manufan at 20:59 on 18 December 2007 | Report This Post

RE: Sunshine
It's easy to forget that Oscars have 'For Outstanding Achievement in the Field of..' in fornt of them. So perhaps only Jurassic Park and The Two Towers deserve the recognition for the CGI work. Once the breakthrough has been made, the achievement has been awarded. So really Optimus Prime is just a very complicated T-Rex, without having to be as emotional as Gollum.     More

Posted by fireboy at 15:33 on 18 December 2007 | Report This Post

Sunshine
Sunshine, 'cus that sun was sickingly beautifull. I almost wanted to grab a pair of sunglasses in the cinema. Transformers did the best FX-job (ILM, doh), but Sunshine's sun is one hard digital nut to crack. More

Posted by Bluehawk at 14:59 on 18 December 2007 | Report This Post

Transformers for me,
It was a bit cheesy but the FX were superb. 300 looks gorgeous too but I think the Spidey 3 efforts were a bit hit and miss. Shouldn't Beowulf be in the best animated film catergory? If it is I wish it luck against Persepolis. More

Posted by Lupin 3 at 12:52 on 18 December 2007 | Report This Post

Animated Films?
Honestly, animated films have their own category and the task of computer animation is different from making visual effects interact completely believably with real footage. Completely CG worlds = animation. Of the lot, I would give the 3 nominations to PIRATES, TRANSFORMERS and SUNSHINE and would hope that SUNSHINE would win, though TRANSFORMERS had many impressive effects. More

Posted by BAC at 12:01 on 18 December 2007 | Report This Post

Spidey 3????
Mr. Zemicks hopefully has his party invitaions out. Yes transformers was awesome and had it not been for the amazing effects but interms of all out great effects, hmmm i dunno. However Spiderman 3??? seriously! Pirates, transformers, beowulf, 300 and just because ther is always a film on the list that is not known, Water Horse. thats my pick but its up to that academy. More

Posted by cece at 11:45 on 18 December 2007 | Report This Post

Winner: silly cartoon turned into awesome reality!
Transformers must get the Oscar: the effects made an awful premise into a vivid action piece of make-believe. More

Posted by olirog at 11:10 on 18 December 2007 | Report This Post

A correction (sorry Olly)...
"the digital stuff was off the type" was maybe meant to read 'of the type?'. Anyway, I'm glad to see Sunshine on the list and am hoping for a win there, even though my head tells me it doesn't stand the most remote of chances. Also, I'm surprised that I Am Legend made the long list, especially given the comment by Empire earlier in the day regarding the Stateside criticism of Legend's CGI villains. More

Posted by sonofliberty1 at 05:55 on 18 December 2007 | Report This Post

Am I the only one who thought the special effects in Transformers were a bit crap? Nothing looked like it was actually there and the robot design was intricate but messy. And all the action was a bit hard to follow. I would go for Sunshine. And for set design as well. Easily the most stunning looking film of the year (after Blade Runner: The Final Cut). More

Posted by Beat Royale at 02:16 on 18 December 2007 | Report This Post

Go HP
Very glad to see Harry Potter up there, that last battle was sensational. 300 wasn't totally effective...er...effects wise (the wolf-need I say more?) and though films like Spiderman, Pirates and Transformers were quite awfuul films, their special effects was stunning. However, my vote would either go to SUnshine or Harry Potter, and possibly Die Hard. More

Posted by Pinguman at 01:30 on 18 December 2007 | Report This Post

Transformers. One of them got an eye punched out! More

Posted by John Firth at 00:18 on 18 December 2007 | Report This Post

RE: 15 Films In Line For Best Effects Oscar
I'm confused. This is a timetable from www.oscars.org/80academyawards/timetable.html December 3, 2007:al Screen Credits forms due ay, December 26, 2007:tions ballots mailed y, January 12, 2008:tions polls close 5 p.m. PST , January 22, 2008: ions announced 5:30 a.m. PST, Samuel Goldwyn Theater ay, January 30, 2008:ballots mailed February 4, 2008: s Luncheon y, February 9, 2008: fic and Technical Achievement Awards presentation , February 19, 2008:polls close 5 p.m. PST Febru More

Posted by fireboy at 22:58 on 17 December 2007 | Report This Post

Tough call, they've made some good choices there. I'd say Transformers will probably win though. I think Bourne Ultimatum should get a nod in the shortlist but it probably won't. Other than that, Beowulf, Pirates 3, Spidey 3 are all in the runnings I think for the shortlist. Hopefully Ratatouille will get the chance at Best Film because it was probably the best of the year, well, after Bourne. More

Posted by cluesy at 21:49 on 17 December 2007 | Report This Post

I was disappointed to see that Evan Almighty got the nod over Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer since the effects in the latter were superb. More

Posted by D.J at 19:51 on 17 December 2007 | Report This Post

TF FTW
I thought SUNSHINE had some stunning effects considering the modest budget. Fuck Spider-man 3. It was a 2 and a half hour long cartoon, and by far the biggest disappointment. The Transformers looked REAL, even though they were based on a cartoon. Therefore, the Bayhem should win. More

Posted by The Jackal at 18:17 on 17 December 2007 | Report This Post

L: the ageless stranger The first scene with Sandman in the reactor, figuring out how to put himself together was fantastic, effects-wise, but the rest of the film wasn't anything we hadn't seen before in the previous ones, IMHO sp; Ok dude - firstly i have no idea what IMHO means (lol). and yeah i do get what your saying it was some stuff we had seen before and venom did suck a bit, nevertheless i was equelly blown away with spiderman 3 as i was with transformers or sunshine More

Posted by plum bob at 17:39 on 17 December 2007 | Report This Post

RE:
L: plum bob hmm, i would say spiderman - true it wasn;t as good as the other 2 as a superhero film, but as a film with huge action and amazing effects it is right up there sp; The first scene with Sandman in the reactor, figuring out how to put himself together was fantastic, effects-wise, but the rest of the film wasn't anything we hadn't seen before in the previous ones, IMHO. More

Posted by the ageless stranger at 17:00 on 17 December 2007 | Report This Post

Transformers or Sunshine, hmm
I think i'd have to go for Sunshine cos, well, on a smaller budget it can't have been as easy to do something as well as they did, than a multi million project where it's easier to afford car bots. More

Posted by Ethanial at 16:55 on 17 December 2007 | Report This Post

Transformers. Easily.
I can't beleive these other films actually got nominations! its not exactly the Autobots or the Decepticons who look the most stunning, but more the actual action of them transforming is so intricate. Totally deserves it FTW More

Posted by topgunmaverick at 16:53 on 17 December 2007 | Report This Post

hmm, i would say spiderman - true it wasn;t as good as the other 2 as a superhero film, but as a film with huge action and amazing effects it is right up there More

Posted by plum bob at 16:52 on 17 December 2007 | Report This Post

I'd probably go for Transformers, or maybe Ratatouille, just because I want it to win every single award. Realistically, I think the Sandman effects in Spidey 3 might be worth a shout, too, but I think it's the Trannies' year (oo-er). More

Posted by britesparc at 16:49 on 17 December 2007 | Report This Post

Tough call......
I'd probably go with Transformers too, although I haven't seen I Am Legend yet and I hear the effect of a desolate New York in that are pretty spectacular. I really liked the effects in 300 and Sunshine though. More

Posted by the ageless stranger at 16:38 on 17 December 2007 | Report This Post

Transformers did look fantastic and I was quite happy to believe that Robots really were running around the States (ah, if only). Sunshine was an incredible light show though, so for sheer awe factor, Sunshine gets my vote. More

Posted by riothejedi at 16:36 on 17 December 2007 | Report This Post

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