Per usual, not too much for genre fans to get excited about. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, which I suppose could classify as fantasy, sort of, had the most nods this year, including Best Picture and Actor. Heath Ledger is up for Best Supporting Actor for The Dark Knight, but the movie failed to get any other major nominations. It is up for the usual throw-them-a-bone categories of Cinematography, Film Editing, Makeup, Sound Editing, and Sound Mixing.
Wall-E did pretty good – it failed to get a Best Picture nod as many were hoping for, but it is up for Animated Film (duh,) Original Screenplay, Original Song, and several technical awards.
The Visual Effects category puts Benjamin Button up against The Dark Knight and ILM’s Iron Man.
UPDATE: StarWars.com has a full listing of all ILM and Skywalker Sound Oscar nominations, as well as BAFTA and VES nods.
Fans up in arms over casting: M. Night Shyamalan is making a movie version of Nickelodeon’s animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender, and the first casting choices were announced last week. The problem? Well, Avatar is set in an Asian-inspired world, with a multiethnic cartoon cast, and the live-action choices thus far are entirely caucasian. Naturally, fans are pissed.
(And since y’all would probably stone me if I didn’t include this, let’s not forget Avatar’s primary Star Wars connections: The Clone Wars’ Dave Filoni directed several episodes, while Mark Hamill voiced Fire Lord Ozai, the show’s ultimate antagonist.)
- It’s beginning to look a lot like ‘best of’ time. John Scalzi’s sci-fi hits and misses for 2008.
- Another day, another Bat-rumor. Rachel Weisz as Catwoman? Meow. (But wait! There’s more!) Meanwhile, check out these fanmade posters lobbying for a Ledger Oscar.
- When fanboys attack. AICN source compares The Spirit to Battlefield Earth. Ouch.
- This is the worst idea ever. Second Life: The Movie. Well… I guess it could be worse. It could be Everquest.
The Golden Compass took the VFX Oscar. Sorry, ILM. Needless to say, that was pretty much the only genre win of the night, but you can check out the rest of the winners at Oscar.com.
Harrison Ford is among the stars that Barbara Walters will talk to on her Oscar Special. Expect lots of questions on Indiana Jones. The Barbara Walters Special will air February 24th at 7pm Eastern, just before the Oscars. (West Coast viewers can catch it after the show.)
UPDATE 02/25: Video is here.
- Leia abandons Padme and Chewie! Luckily, zookeepers stepped in to save the pair of critically endangered tamarin monkeys babies.
- Geek Gestalt celebrates ILM and Skywalker Sound’s Oscar noms, while StarWars.com has quotes and the complete lineup.
- Homeland Security channels the Death Star with a military grade throwable digital camera.
- Cleveland firm restores stained glass at Skywalker Ranch.
Anyway, some surprises. The one that knocked me over was Johnny Depp and Viggo Mortensen both up for Best Actor (For Sweeney Todd and Eastern Promises, respectively.) Cate Blanchett is up for both Actress categories for The Golden Age and I’m Not There. In Animated Feature, Ratatouille and Persepolis are going head to head.
As for actual genre releases, The Golden Compass is up for Art Direction, as well as battling ILM’s Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End and Transformers for Visual Effects. Transformers also got a Sound Editing nod, while At World’s End is up for Makeup.
The familiar hand of Drew Struzan (and son) is at work on the poster for the 80th annual Academy Awards poster. In other Oscar news, the show may be picketed if an agreement isn’t reached by February 24.
- Justice League is down for the count. Shocking.
- Bags and Boards: Comic-Con is safe.
- First Star Trek picture, the official site is live and there are reports that the teaser trailer will be with Cloverfield.
- On that note, where not to go for Star Trek rumors. Aww. I just got a little homesick for the runup to TPM. Remember ‘The Illustrated Edition?’ Good times.
- Cloverfield comes out this week: It’s doing 73% on Rotten Tomatoes, not too shabby for a movie that may very well be 2008’s Snakes on a Plane.
- James Masters, still kinda nuts: “Oh, Dragonball is the coolest television cartoon in the last 50, 000 years.” Can’t… Keep… Straight… Face…
Three ILM films are finalists for the VFX Oscar nomination: Evan Almighty, Transformers and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End. Five of their films made the preliminary list.
The Academy also gave out their science and technical awards Friday, with Nick Rasmussen, Ron Fedkiw and Frank Losasso Petterson honored with a plaque for their development work on ILM’s fluid simulation system.
No surprise here: Five ILM films are on the preliminary list for the Best Visual Effects Oscar. The list of 15 will be narrowed down to 8 finalists, and from there to the 3 Oscar nominees.