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Oscars prediction time!

Who should win Best Picture?

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button38%[ 10 ]
Frost/Nixon8%[ 2 ]
Milk4%[ 1 ]
The Reader0%[ 0 ]
Slumdog Millionaire50%[ 13 ]

Total Votes : 26

Posted: Thu, 22nd Jan 2009, 2:03pm

Post 1 of 26

Simon K Jones

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The 2009 Academy Award nominations have just been announced and we want to know who you think will be going home with the Oscar this year.

Check out all the nominees below, then post a reply with your picks!

Best picture
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Frost/Nixon
Milk
The Reader
Slumdog Millionaire

Best director
Danny Boyle - Slumdog Millionaire
Stephen Daldry - The Reader
David Fincher - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Ron Howard - Frost/Nixon
Gus Van Sant - Milk

Best actor
Richard Jenkins - The Visitor
Frank Langella - Frost/Nixon
Sean Penn - Milk
Brad Pitt - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Mickey Rourke - The Wrestler

Best actress
Anne Hathaway - Rachel Getting Married
Angelina Jolie - Changeling
Melissa Leo - Frozen River
Meryl Streep - Doubt
Kate Winslet - The Reader

Best supporting actress
Amy Adams - Doubt
Penelope Cruz - Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Viola Davis - Doubt
Taraji P Henson - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Marisa Tomei - The Wrestler

Best supporting actor
Josh Brolin - Milk
Robert Downey Jr - Tropic Thunder
Philip Seymour Hoffman - Doubt
Heath Ledger - The Dark Knight
Michael Shannon - Revolutionary Road

Best foreign language film
Revanche - Austria
The Class - France
The Baader Meinhof Complex - Germany
Departures - Japan
Waltz With Bashir - Israel

Best animated feature film
Bolt
Kung Fu Panda
Wall-E

Best adapted screenplay
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Doubt
Frost/Nixon
The Reader
Slumdog Millionaire

Best original screenplay
Happy-Go-Lucky
Milk
Wall-E
In Bruges
Frozen River

Best original score
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Defiance
Milk
Slumdog Millionaire
Wall-E

Best original song
Down To Earth - Wall-E
Jai Ho - Slumdog Millionaire
O Saya - Slumdog Millionaire

Art direction
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Changeling
The Dark Knight
The Duchess
Revolutionary Road

Cinematography
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Changeling
The Dark Knight
Slumdog Millionaire
The Reader

Costume design
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Australia
Milk
The Duchess
Revolutionary Road

Best documentary feature
The Betrayal
Encounters at the End of the World
The Garden
Man on Wire
Trouble The Water

Best documentary short subject
The Conscience of Nhem En
The Final Inch
Smile Pinki
The Witness - From the Balcony of Room 306

Film editing
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
Frost/Nixon
Milk
Slumdog Millionaire

Make-up
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
Hellboy II: The Golden Army

Best live action short film
Auf der Strecke (On The Line)
Manon on the Asphalt
New Boy
The Pig
Spielzeugland (Toyland)

Best animated short film
La Maison en Petits Cubes
Lavatory - Lovestory
Oktapodi
Presto
This Way Up

Sound editing
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Iron Man
Wanted
Slumdog Millionaire
Wall-E

Sound mixing
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
Wanted
Slumdog Millionaire
Wall-E

Visual effects
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
Iron Man

The official winners will be announced during the Oscar ceremony on February 22nd.

FXhome Awards incoming...

Last edited Fri, 23rd Jan 2009, 9:09am; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Thu, 22nd Jan 2009, 5:39pm

Post 2 of 26

No Respite Productions

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Here be mine!

Best picture
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Best director
David Fincher - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Best actor
Brad Pitt - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Best supporting actor
Heath Ledger - The Dark Knight

Best animated feature film
Wall-E

Best adapted screenplay
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Best original screenplay
In Bruges

I have to admit, not a lot lit my fire this year film wise, and once again the nominations are limited to just a teeny tiny selection of films, most of which are quite recent from a cursory glance.

I think In Bruges should have been nominated more, particuarly for the acting.

NR
Posted: Thu, 22nd Jan 2009, 7:44pm

Post 3 of 26

Atom

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I think In Bruges should have been nominated more, particuarly for the acting.
I totally agree. Kind of a shame to see how the nominations panned out, especially including a so-so movie like 'The Reader' in a list that should've been very tight without it. The Reader's up in almost every category, even best actor? Really? Couldn't that spot have gone to Colin Farrel, who stood a chance at a nomination after his Best Actor win at the Golden Globes?

Well, I won't complain past that, I'm one of the minority that generally likes the Oscars and their choices. Like I said, though, just a shame they went so Reader-crazy, a movie with minimal public buzz. As much as I may think it was unwarranted, it would've been nice to see The Dark Knight up for Best Director and Best Picture and definitely for screenplay. Oh, and it looks like they just completely snubbed Revolutionary Road. Poor DiCaprio, tries his damndest and never gets anywhere with it. unsure

Ah, well. Here goes my nomination picks. Kinda surprising how things change once you've seen all of the nods, really. I thought Benjamin Button was for sure my pick but then it ended up.....surprisingly......anti-climatic and overall forgettable. Which is a shame. Still, there were so many great movies out there and having seen so many of them it's a hard bargain to make. Nevertheless,

Best Picture
A toss-up. While lots has been heard about many of them, I tend to think and hope Frost/Nixon wins. A terrific picture, better (unexpectedly better, but better) than the other nominations- if only by a small margin. My picks and predictions:

Slumdog Millionaire's got the best shot, and it's tied in my mind for the Oscar pick with Frost/Nixon. Either win would make me happy. I'm still kinda unsure about Benjamin Button. I tend to think the Academy and public was similar to me- highly anticipating it, calling it the Oscar favorite, but then watching it mostly fade into the background. I mean, does anyone still here buzz about it anymore, less than a month after its release? unsure

Best Director
Danny Boyle - Slumdog Millionaire - Never thought I'd see the day I said this. But it's true. Directing toddlers, little children, and adults all speaking a language he doesn't understand: and you completely believe it all? Astounding direction.

Best Actor
Frank Langella - Frost/Nixon - Without a doubt. Mickey Rourke will have another shot, I'm confident, but oh my jesus Langella absorbs the role of Nixon so shockingly. You hate him, you feel for him, you want him to win, you want him to lose, you see the depth of his character and the man's acting. IF you haven't watched him in it, please do. I nearly skipped the movie and am immensely happy I didn't.

Best Supporting Actor
Robert Downey Jr. - Tropic Thunder - Oh, hell yes. Please give this man an award, he already lost his shot at Best Actor by Paramount moving 'The Soloist' to a 2009 release date. Plus, he's utterly amazing in the blackface role.

Best Animated Feature Film
Kung Fu Panda - Go ahead, Wall-E, try and take it. smile

Best Adapted Screenplay
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button - I'll give it this one, outclasses and adapts the rest of the screenplays. In Forrest Gump fashion, it may have done the opposite on me as Forrest Gump and left me empty and forgetting it- but there's a wonder to the chronological, slipstream, death-is-inevitable-ness to it.

Best Original Screenplay
In Bruges - Terrific, dark, complex, and amazing. If Wall-E or anything else beats this, I'll go crazy. One of the best original screenplays in a looooong time.

Once again, a shame The Reader took so many nods. The Dark Knight, Revolutionary Road, In Bruges, and even Clint's Gran Torino (hugely surprising/rewarding-to-watch film) got squished out of various categories mostly because of that movie. Oh, well. I guess we'll see how my predictions pull out.
Posted: Thu, 22nd Jan 2009, 8:36pm

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Jabooza

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Atom wrote:

Poor DiCaprio, tries his damndest and never gets anywhere with it. unsure
I must say, I do feel quite sorry for that poor, multi-millionaire, Oscar-nominated, actor who's adored by millions and starred in the highest grossing film of all time. wink
Posted: Thu, 22nd Jan 2009, 8:42pm

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Rockfilmers

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funny, the only movies that I've seen on that list is Tropic Thunder and The Dark Night. I don't think Tropic Thunder should win any kind of award.
Posted: Thu, 22nd Jan 2009, 9:41pm

Post 6 of 26

Atom

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Did you see Robert Downey Jr. in the role?

Also, here's the rest of my picks based on the nods:

Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Taraj P. Henson - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button - The shining light of the movie. Terrific performance, terrific character, terrific actress.

Best Achievement in Cinematography
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button - Slick, Fincher-y as always.

Best Achievement in Editing
Slumdog Millionaire - I quote Roger Ebert here, "When I saw "Slumdog Millionaire" at Toronto, I was witnessing a phenomenon: dramatic proof that a movie is about how it tells itself." It is completely true with this movie. I was amazed by the frenetic style of it all.

Best Achievement in Art Direction
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button - Terrific, magical art direction.

Best Achievement in Costume Design
Australia - Obvious.

Best Achievement in Makeup
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button - Obvious.

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score
Tie:
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button - amazing, unforgettable music in a forgettable movie. Nostalgic, epic, and all-around astounding.
Slumdog Millionaire - Unique, equally-unforgettable, and slick stuff.

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song
Slumdog Millionaire - I would've liked to see Bruce Springsteen's song for 'The Wrestler' in this category, but I think it's nice to have the climatic song 'Jai Ho' in the running, so that when it potentially loses to Benjamin Button in the Original Score category, it'll win here. A fantastic, emotional song with a Bollywood-throwback flavor.

Best Achievement in Sound
The Dark Knight - Always kind of an ambiguous category, most people confuse with Sound Editing. In fact, last year, Bourne just got both for the essentially the same thing. smile But The Dark Knight gets it here.

Best Achievement in Sound Editing
Iron Man - The suit noises and such are perfectly blended with the booming, in-your-face nature of it all.

Best Achievement in Visual Effects
Tie:
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
Iron Man
- God Visual Effects is usually a clear winner (Transformers last year being it, getting sh*t on by The Golden Compass) but I honestly can't straight-up pick one. I will say I was most impressed by Benjamin Button (and crazy how little I liked it overall but am giving it the favor in almost every category smile)
Posted: Fri, 23rd Jan 2009, 9:14am

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Simon K Jones

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Visual effects is always a weird category. Is it supposed to be rewarding innovation and new techniqes, or perfecting/improving existing techniques? I wonder if the actual criteria are published anywhere?

What happens if you have phenomenal effects, but used in a kinda crappy film? Or average effects in terms of technical ability, but used in astounding ways by a great director?
Posted: Fri, 23rd Jan 2009, 8:29pm

Post 8 of 26

Atom

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I think it's all how they work in the context of the film, or at least that's how I think one has to look at it as. More of the latter of what you say, Tarn. Kind of the reason I wanted Transformers to win. Not only were they amazingly revolutionary/more-realistic-than-any-CGI-I've-ever-seen, but in the hands of the handheld-camera, contrast-heavy, actioner Michael Bay, the realism and grittiness of the characters looked that much better.

Whereas in the hands of Lucas, something that should be equally-impressive, under mediocre technicals and confused direction just doesn't come off as well.

The same reason cinematography wins for what it does. It's in the precision of the work, yes, but I believe it's the precision of the work in the context of the film.
Posted: Sat, 24th Jan 2009, 12:32am

Post 9 of 26

CX3

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It's such bull that the Dark Knight didn't get nominated for more than that. I bet that'll effect some of the viewership this year.
Posted: Sat, 24th Jan 2009, 1:48am

Post 10 of 26

Atom

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It was nominated for 8 major Academy Awards, CX3, including one for acting. That's better and more nominations then....I dunno.....like every other movie last year besides Slumdog Millionaire and Benjamin Button, which are nominated for more. Besides, the only others it possibly could've taken a nomination in were Best Director and Best Picture.

And........come on.....The Dark Knight was a good movie, but let's be honest with ourselves. Best Picture of the year? Not close. I'm glad the Academy didn't buy into the hype either, quite frankly. It's an awards ceremony for those in their respective fields congratulating eachother for the best work, not a people's choice awards.

Langella said it best (and I'm paraphrasing it here)- it's the recognition of your peers with generations of integrity behind it, that's why the award matters'. I agree, to succumb to trying to change your picks based on viewership is ridiculous, and diminishes the value and integrity of the award. At least, I think so.

And in 20 years, be it myself or CX3 or another FXHomer that ends up on the podium, I'd hope that same integrity is there.

Just because it's televised doesn't mean they have to pander to us. I'm a little confused how 'The Reader's director got on that list before, say, Sam Mendes or Martin McDonagh- both noted Academy Award winning directors (as in, not obscure people that never had a chance due to limited exposure)- but that doesn't mean I think we should outcry for the likes of Nolan. After all, in the end he directed a summer superhero blockbuster. A terribly good one, but that's it.

He's a great director, no doubt, but he's also working with an incredibly talent, Oscar-winning cast to begin with, you know.

This is all kind of the same argument people gave The Bourne Ultimatum- a vastly better movie than TDK. And had Bourne had the momentum off of the fascination of a performance from a deceased cast member and brewed the hype The Dark Knight did because of this- it would've been in the same boat and had the same outcry- and likely the Academy would still see past that to the fact that it was just a terrific summer blockbuster.

To quote Mugatu: "I feel like I'm taking CRAZY PILLS!" here with all this 'The Dark Knight's gonna win!' talk. Come on, now. Revolutionary Road, Gran Torino, In Bruges, Che, etc.-Academy players- weren't even nominated!
Posted: Sat, 24th Jan 2009, 10:21am

Post 11 of 26

CX3

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The Academy makes me yawn. It all comes down to opinion (boring ones). And how Robert Downey got nominated is beyond me.

And I wasn't referring to "more" as in amount (I can read shhh ). I doubt I'll be watching the Oscars again this year. To understand you though, just because a film involves a hero from a comic book it should negate it from being nominated for best picture? I'm not saying TDK should have won best pic/dir but I think it would have been good to have in the selection. If Watchmen is amazing and doesn't get nominated for best picture just because its a comic book adap, it'll be such bs. I still think they gave it to LoTR just to shut some people up for a while.
Posted: Sat, 24th Jan 2009, 3:13pm

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Jabooza

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Atom wrote:

After all, in the end he directed a summer superhero blockbuster. A terribly good one, but that's it.
Are you suggesting that it isn't good enough for Best Picture or Director because it's a summer superhero blockbuster? I don't see how what kind of movie it is is relevant to its quality at all.


But of course, there's no way the Academy would ever let a summer superhero blockbuster win those awards. unsure

-Jabooza
Posted: Sat, 24th Jan 2009, 7:42pm

Post 13 of 26

CX3

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Jabooza wrote:

Atom wrote:

After all, in the end he directed a summer superhero blockbuster. A terribly good one, but that's it.
Are you suggesting that it isn't good enough for Best Picture or Director because it's a summer superhero blockbuster? I don't see how what kind of movie it is is relevant to its quality at all.
That's exactly what I was thinking.
Posted: Sun, 25th Jan 2009, 8:46am

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Atom

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CX3 wrote:

Jabooza wrote:

Atom wrote:

After all, in the end he directed a summer superhero blockbuster. A terribly good one, but that's it.
Are you suggesting that it isn't good enough for Best Picture or Director because it's a summer superhero blockbuster? I don't see how what kind of movie it is is relevant to its quality at all.
That's exactly what I was thinking.
What I'm saying is, a summer superhero movie blockbuster is a summer superhero movie blockbuster. Not that it can't be good enough, but, no, I do not believe a movie like the Dark Knight to be 'Best Picture' caliber. Maybe Best Director, but not Best Picture.

To hear such ridiculous outcry and b!tching all over the internet about how it was 'robbed' of so many Academy Awards- awards it either didn't deserve or wouldn't have won in the first place- especially when it was the third most-nominated film of last year- just seems whiny and ungrateful to the Academy; at least to me.

At the end of the day, I'm more than willing to accept that The Dark Knight was an exceptional, exceptional film. But it had its flaws and succumbations to blockbuster/summer movie formula in ways that obviously kept it from being Best Picture material. And, even if it was that material, there were too many better movies that were acknowledged by the Academy in the first place.

My position on it is like this. I loved Iron Man just as much as The Dark Knight. Both presented interesting themes and also worked as blockbuster fun, but neither I would consider the greatest. If we're to complain about TDK all the time, why not show the much-loved but dampened-after-Batman film, Iron Man?

Because, my friends, neither were the right material for Best Picture. As much as they may want it, the material of 'superhero' and 'action film' can only be stretched so far- even to a point of 'close-to-masterpiece', but that's it. There's an ending point in the pigeonholed genre.

Am I the only one that thinks this is obvious? People can complain about 'movie that nobody even SEES!' being the ones picked by the Academy Awards and winning every year- but who the hell cares? That makes me feel like, in 20 or so years- I'll be able to take my movie that no one has seen and have a chance at an Oscar.

And either way, those movies no one sees- those movies now so harshly criticized by the public because of their contrast with the wild popularity and exposure of The Dark Knight- generally are the best movies of the year.

Slumdog Millionaire barely showed until it picked up more exposure. It can be called esoteric or worthless because the public hasn't seen it like they've seen The Dark Knight, but I'm 1,000,000,000,000% sure it was a better, more-deserving movie of Best Picture of the year. At the very least, the material and lack of restraints of a genre allows it to be.

Hopefully you'll see what I'm saying and I won't have to justify my obvious reactions to emotional people without regard for the hardwork and quality of those 'little movies no one sees' that, almost always, are the best ones. Lord of the Rings: Return of the King shouldn't have won the year it did- but the public b!tched about it and the Academy succumbed, lost integrity, and I hate that. I'm glad I didn't see a repeat of it this year with The Dark Knight.

I know, I know. That last statement might get me some heat, so let me shift it up a little bit. Quite clearly, the Academy realized they had messed up not giving Fellowship the award, and decided to make it up later for the whole trilogy's sake. And it still lost integrity with that move.

The pride, importance, and quality of the Oscars is there because of how they've always picked things- not how the general public does. Let's all please not forget, all we're doing is getting to watch a private ceremony with a private company of filmmaking peers and legends that congratulate/award select few each year. That's why the Oscars mean more than anything else in filmmaking awards.

If the public opinion was the most important, the People's Choice Awards would be the top-watched and most-highly-regarded ceremony.

Watchmen will likely, at least I'd like to hope so, present some of the same filmmaking/cinematic and storytelling/thematic quality that The Dark Knight did; if not more. And because it's based in a dystopian world of realism- you might find me biting my words, but I doubt it. There's only so much and so far you can go with such a specific genre- deny it all you want, it's true. I have no doubt, from what I've seen thus far, the movie will be fantastic- but I also think that movies with a less restrained genre/material will have better opportunities to go further with their filmmaking and- with the right people- make better films that end up being nominated/winning Oscars.

Like I said, The Dark Knight is nominated for the third-most awards (by no means kept out of the running for all awards because of the type of movie it is) behind Slumdog Millionaire and Benjamin Button, and I'm sure Watchmen will be in a very similar situation- but there will always be those very real, very true-to-heart stories to be told and people to tell them each year that will inevitably surpass the abilities of the 'superhero' genre. They can do more, go further, and will be better. If I'm being overly-confident, I'd say.....always.

It's always going to happen. I hope that a movie like Watchmen could be the Best Picture of the year, but I also have faith in the work of......someone.........to bring me some exceptional, small-scale, wildcard of a film that blows me away each year. This year it was Slumdog Millionaire and In Bruges.
Posted: Sun, 25th Jan 2009, 9:36am

Post 15 of 26

Axeman

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Atom wrote:

People can complain about 'movie that nobody even SEES!' being the ones picked by the Academy Awards and winning every year- but who the hell cares? That makes me feel like, in 20 or so years- I'll be able to take my movie that no one has seen and have a chance at an Oscar.

And either way, those movies no one sees- those movies now so harshly criticized by the public because of their contrast with the wild popularity and exposure of The Dark Knight- generally are the best movies of the year.
Indeed, the Oscars, in theory, are awards based on quality, not popularity. Ticket sales have nothing to do with how well a film was crafted. Far too often that's not how it plays out, if you ask me, but that is the way that it should function.

I enjoyed The Dark Knight quite a lot in cinema, and watching it again on DVD, it was still enjoyable, but I noticed much more the second time how long and disjointed the script was, and how over the top Bale's Batman voice was. Not quite as absurd as Rorschach's in the second Watchmen trailer, but close. But it just didn't feel like one cohesive story to me; more like 3 or 4 shorter stories stuck back to back. 3 or 4 good short stories, but the episodic feel detracts from the quality of the whole for me. I would agree that while it is an excellent film in may ways, its not Best Picture material. Despite not having seen any of the Best Picture nominees. But I have to say that WALL-E is a much better film.
Posted: Mon, 26th Jan 2009, 9:53am

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Simon K Jones

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This seems to be Atom's "it's just a test, so I can't vote over 3" attitude scaled up to the big screen and the Oscars. wink

There's only so much and so far you can go with such a specific genre- deny it all you want, it's true.
You see, you're making that same mistake of getting your opinion muddled up with fact. You should really try to stop doing that.

I have no doubt, from what I've seen thus far, the movie will be fantastic- but I also think that movies with a less restrained genre/material will have better opportunities to go further with their filmmaking
I'm not sure if you're saying this about comic book adaptations, comic book stories, or the superhero genre specifically.

Either way, you're generally talking out of your ass. smile Comic book adaptations and comic book stories aren't limited in any way whatsoever, as it's just the delivery medium and has no relevance to actual content.

In terms of the superhero genre, if you think that it's limited I can only presume you're not very widely read. A bit like the science fiction genre, it can approach pretty much any topic and theme it wants, in whatever way it desires. It's one of the most open and versatile genres. However, just as a lot of people ignorantly dismiss the science fiction genre "because it has spaceships in it", a lot of people dismiss the superhero genre "because it has superheroes in it".

But, to be honest, if you're analysing genre in such a superficial manner, then it's not surprising that all you see are restrictions.

Last edited Tue, 27th Jan 2009, 9:41am; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Tue, 27th Jan 2009, 1:10am

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CX3

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Agreed Tarn,

On a side note: You know how there's that whole commotion on the President topic from certain people who are now 19 telling those who are 14-17 that they will regret certain things that they say looking back on it in a few years? (You know because when you turn 19 and have a partial year of college under your belt, you have a new found outlook on life and learn to stop putting your foot in your mouth).

Atom, from your comment it seems as though you may need a few more years on that (skewed) logic because you're really still sounding like those younger members on here that you're trying to "enlighten"... If not much younger...

Atom wrote:

There's only so much and so far you can go with such a specific genre- deny it all you want, it's true.
"Deny all you want" ... "It's true" ... Duh' because Atom's opinion = truth...
You honestly haven't re-read that and thought "Wow... I sound like a know-it-all ass"?

You should do what this guy does. He's the man. ---> silenced
Posted: Tue, 27th Jan 2009, 3:22am

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Atom

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Exactly what I'm talking about. The Dark Knight becomes a bandwagon, and the first person not to think it's the almighty greatest picture ever made faces personal retaliation and condescension. unsure
Posted: Tue, 27th Jan 2009, 3:35am

Post 19 of 26

CX3

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Atom wrote:

Exactly what I'm talking about. The Dark Knight becomes a bandwagon, and the first person not to think it's the almighty greatest picture ever made faces personal retaliation and condescension. unsure
Way to dodge wink

EDIT: I believe all 3 of us we're talking about your comments regarding the whole Superhero/comicbook/graphic-novel franchise. Not the Dark Knight specifically.

Read.
Posted: Tue, 27th Jan 2009, 4:11am

Post 20 of 26

Arsynist

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Atom wrote:


What I'm saying is, a summer superhero movie blockbuster is a summer superhero movie blockbuster. Not that it can't be good enough, but, no, I do not believe a movie like the Dark Knight to be 'Best Picture' caliber. Maybe Best Director, but not Best Picture.

To hear such ridiculous outcry and b!tching all over the internet about how it was 'robbed' of so many Academy Awards- awards it either didn't deserve or wouldn't have won in the first place- especially when it was the third most-nominated film of last year- just seems whiny and ungrateful to the Academy; at least to me.

At the end of the day, I'm more than willing to accept that The Dark Knight was an exceptional, exceptional film. But it had its flaws and succumbations to blockbuster/summer movie formula in ways that obviously kept it from being Best Picture material. And, even if it was that material, there were too many better movies that were acknowledged by the Academy in the first place.

My position on it is like this. I loved Iron Man just as much as The Dark Knight. Both presented interesting themes and also worked as blockbuster fun, but neither I would consider the greatest. If we're to complain about TDK all the time, why not show the much-loved but dampened-after-Batman film, Iron Man?

Because, my friends, neither were the right material for Best Picture. As much as they may want it, the material of 'superhero' and 'action film' can only be stretched so far- even to a point of 'close-to-masterpiece', but that's it. There's an ending point in the pigeonholed genre.

Am I the only one that thinks this is obvious? People can complain about 'movie that nobody even SEES!' being the ones picked by the Academy Awards and winning every year- but who the hell cares? That makes me feel like, in 20 or so years- I'll be able to take my movie that no one has seen and have a chance at an Oscar.

And either way, those movies no one sees- those movies now so harshly criticized by the public because of their contrast with the wild popularity and exposure of The Dark Knight- generally are the best movies of the year.

Slumdog Millionaire barely showed until it picked up more exposure. It can be called esoteric or worthless because the public hasn't seen it like they've seen The Dark Knight, but I'm 1,000,000,000,000% sure it was a better, more-deserving movie of Best Picture of the year. At the very least, the material and lack of restraints of a genre allows it to be.

Hopefully you'll see what I'm saying and I won't have to justify my obvious reactions to emotional people without regard for the hardwork and quality of those 'little movies no one sees' that, almost always, are the best ones. Lord of the Rings: Return of the King shouldn't have won the year it did- but the public b!tched about it and the Academy succumbed, lost integrity, and I hate that. I'm glad I didn't see a repeat of it this year with The Dark Knight.

I know, I know. That last statement might get me some heat, so let me shift it up a little bit. Quite clearly, the Academy realized they had messed up not giving Fellowship the award, and decided to make it up later for the whole trilogy's sake. And it still lost integrity with that move.

The pride, importance, and quality of the Oscars is there because of how they've always picked things- not how the general public does. Let's all please not forget, all we're doing is getting to watch a private ceremony with a private company of filmmaking peers and legends that congratulate/award select few each year. That's why the Oscars mean more than anything else in filmmaking awards.

If the public opinion was the most important, the People's Choice Awards would be the top-watched and most-highly-regarded ceremony.

Watchmen will likely, at least I'd like to hope so, present some of the same filmmaking/cinematic and storytelling/thematic quality that The Dark Knight did; if not more. And because it's based in a dystopian world of realism- you might find me biting my words, but I doubt it. There's only so much and so far you can go with such a specific genre- deny it all you want, it's true. I have no doubt, from what I've seen thus far, the movie will be fantastic- but I also think that movies with a less restrained genre/material will have better opportunities to go further with their filmmaking and- with the right people- make better films that end up being nominated/winning Oscars.

Like I said, The Dark Knight is nominated for the third-most awards (by no means kept out of the running for all awards because of the type of movie it is) behind Slumdog Millionaire and Benjamin Button, and I'm sure Watchmen will be in a very similar situation- but there will always be those very real, very true-to-heart stories to be told and people to tell them each year that will inevitably surpass the abilities of the 'superhero' genre. They can do more, go further, and will be better. If I'm being overly-confident, I'd say.....always.

It's always going to happen. I hope that a movie like Watchmen could be the Best Picture of the year, but I also have faith in the work of......someone.........to bring me some exceptional, small-scale, wildcard of a film that blows me away each year. This year it was Slumdog Millionaire and In Bruges.
Sure, sci-fi is limiting....it's all superheroes and space ships and what-nots.
It's like how comedies are always funny. Don't you hate that? How unoriginal.
And if I see one more drama that has sad/angry people and conflict...well.

Do you get it? The sci-fi genre is as limited as any genre. That's why they're genres.

I think you're right. A sci-fi film will likely never win an Academy Award, but I think you have the wrong reasoning. It's not because the genre is "limited", its because the imaginations of the Academy members are limited. It's no different from the way many "fine artists" view comic book artists. It's the way classical musicians think of country rock bands. Elitism is limiting, not science fiction. 

Before The Watchman, people were saying very similar things about comic books and graphic novels that you are saying now about the superhero genre. Then it won awards. Maybe we'll all luck out and Watchman, the movie, will be as good as its original form. Maybe it will break this rigid mold around a supposedly limited genre.

My honest opinion about The Dark Knight is...maybe it wasn't the best movie if the year, but it seems fairly obvious that it should have been nominated. And Maybe it's okay that the blockbuster success of the year is also the most critically acclaimed film of the year. Sometimes popular opinion is popular for a reason.

Live outside the box.
Posted: Tue, 27th Jan 2009, 6:53am

Post 21 of 26

Sollthar

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There's only so much and so far you can go with such a specific genre- deny it all you want, it's true.
You see, you're making that same mistake of getting your opinion muddled up with fact. You should really try to stop doing that.
He's been trying to seperate his own opinion and fact for years. Give him some time.

What limits the genre of a comic-book hero for an oscar is the very fact people have prejudices against it. It's about a superhero, it can't be an oscar film... It's for kids. Same as fantasy. The fact that Lord of the Rings got one was probably merely because it was almost unavoidable to aknowledge that there was filmhistory written in front of us.

That is however not to say I believe The Dark Knight should win an oscar. It wasn't nearly good enough for that imo. Ledger was great, but the film itself was not "best film of the year" material or close. That has nothing to do with it's genre though.



As for the nominations, the read like a typical nomination-list. And most of the nominees aren't out here yet so I haven't seen them. What I saw of that list, I liked "Changeling" the most (But Angelina Jolie? Please...). But Frost/Nixon looks very interesting too and I really wanna see Benjamin Button.

Wall-E is my definate favorite animated film despite the fact I laughed my ass off in the cinema at Kung Fu Panda. biggrin
Posted: Tue, 27th Jan 2009, 7:55am

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CX3

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Sollthar wrote:

He's been trying to seperate his own opinion and fact for years. Give him some time.
But how much more?!?! wall sad

Sollthar wrote:

What limits the genre of a comic-book hero for an oscar is the very fact people have prejudices against it.
This is true, but this also applies to all genres. No one genre is universally liked/accepted. It just comes down to the academies likes/dislikes (unfortunately).

Sollthar wrote:

It's about a superhero, it can't be an oscar film... It's for kids.
I couldn't tell if you were making fun of other peoples over-generalizations or if you were saying that because it's what you believe (I don't think you were). Because trust, not even close to all comics involving superheroes are for kids -- The Watchmen for instance (And even that can be light compared to other dark comics ha).
Posted: Tue, 27th Jan 2009, 8:06am

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Sollthar

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This is true, but this also applies to all genres. No one genre is universally liked/accepted. It just comes down to the academies likes/dislikes (unfortunately).
Very true, yeah. There are however genres that have been around for longer or have less negative prejudices against it. Another genre that still has to fight for it's value is animation. Though Pixar have done a lot for the genre in publics view, it still fights with being "for kids only".
(Also interesting that an animated film has his own cathegory in the oscars. You don't see any "best drama" or "best sci-fi movie" cathegory)
While certain Genres like "Drama" have it the other way round. It's a Drama, surely it MUST be good.

A bit like how some people argue Hollywood is crap and Arthouse/European films are all good. Both is untrue.

I couldn't tell if you were making fun of other peoples over-generalizations or if you were saying that because it's what you believe
The former. smile
It's not at all what I believe, but it's something I've hear many, many times.
"Comic books are for kids, hence comic book movies are also for kids." *shudders*

It's such a shame that so many people don't see beyond the "costume" and realize how many comic books also have a lot of deep psychological, even philosophical layers that are definately for adults. Even those that appear to be for kids.

But I'm well aware I don't have to tell you that. We just have to wait and hope, I guess... smile
Posted: Tue, 27th Jan 2009, 9:52am

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Simon K Jones

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Yeah, odd that Atom took it as us jumping on him because he thinks he's some kind of advanced filmgoer because he's "seen past the hype" and thinks Dark Knight is overrated.

For the record, I also think Dark Knight is overrated, and isn't good enough for a 'best film' type award. I still love the film, though. But that's all besides the point, because, as CX3 pointed out, my comments were regarding your disparaging comments towards the genre in general.

Sollthar wrote:

Another genre that still has to fight for it's value is animation. Though Pixar have done a lot for the genre in publics view, it still fights with being "for kids only".
(Also interesting that an animated film has his own cathegory in the oscars. You don't see any "best drama" or "best sci-fi movie" cathegory)
This aggravates me greatly. Particularly because Animation isn't actually a genre, it's a technique.

If the Animation category was genuinely about the best animation, it'd be fine. Because the film with the best animation might not be the greatest film ever, and the best film that happened to be animated might not have the best animation - in much the same way that the best special effects has little to do with the quality of the film itself. But instead it is for the 'best animated film', which is completely different, and implies that an animated film couldn't also be the 'best film'.

The animatation category is the main reason I don't take the Oscars particularly seriously.
Posted: Tue, 27th Jan 2009, 3:59pm

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Atom

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As a first note: I agree entirely with the whole bit on animation. It's a way of going about creating a film, not a genre itself.

It's humorous to me, the back-and-forth remarks as if I'm not part of the conversation that bleed with condescension, and yet because I'm on the opposite end of the argument it's considered just me being my typical egocentric, argumentative, against-the-grind self. Thank god I wasn't here to talk about Return of the King. smile

Well, you want some conclusion to my thoughts? Here it is. On the surface, I guess, my primary problem is- yes- that The Dark Knight is overrated and, while a good film, by no means of the caliber of 'Best Picture' material. However, when my whole mention of 'caliber' is questioned, I felt it necessary to explain in the genre.

Arsynist wrote:

The Dark Knight is...maybe it wasn't the best movie if the year, but it seems fairly obvious that it should have been nominated.
Well, no. Just......no. It isn't 'fairly obvious that is should have been nominated'. And this is my problem. Everyone seems to think this. It's like a good football game. As much as I might have liked the Cowboys, as good a team as they may be when they standalone amidst the NFL, I have to ultimately look at the alongside the other best teams in the league. After all, there can only be two teams in the Superbowl and one winner.

The same is true with the Oscars. Even if I am to call The Dark Knight 'Oscar caliber', because there are only 5 slots for nominees and were 5 better films that were able to gain enough exposure to be nominated, I don't consider the film to have been 'snubbed'.

Sometimes popular opinion is popular for a reason.
And sometimes (rather, make that almost always) popular opinion is such because the better films don't get as much exposure. biggrin

Live outside the box.
Wouldn't that be.....not just calling the biggest movie of the year.......the best? biggrin

As for Tarn, CX3, Sollthar, etc. I think there's an important distinction I'm trying to make here:

When talking about genres, you can't simply say the 'superhero' genre and the 'drama' or 'comedy' genre ultimately have the same limits and lack thereof- because 'superhero' is an esoteric genre. Just like 'war movie' can be a genre, 'superhero' may make excellent films- but it is by no means as open-ended to narrative possibilities as, say, the 'drama' genre. Because a superhero film can be a drama, but a drama doesn't have to just be a superhero film. I'd think this would be blatantly obvious.

Make no mistake, superhero films are by far some of my favorite movies. And my second-favorite "genre". It is not my intention to 'disparage' the genre at all. The point I'm making isn't to mock or haughtily act like I'm 'above' the genre (I mean, goddamn, I'm making a Batman trilogy right now, guys. smile)- but to try and convey what I've felt since The Dark Knight first came out- that the genre pigeonholes the film into certain narrative/character crutches, whether it likes it or not, and that's one large reason it is kept from being 'Best Picture' caliber. Certainly not the only reason, but one that I'm certain will continue to keep several Oscar-quality portions of filmmaking in future films from collectively making an Oscar-quality film.

Annnnnnd, now I'm behind in taking notes in my Advanced Narrative Strategies class that I'm in right now. Quite an annoyance and coincidence, actually, I'm listening to the 20-something professor gush about the 'genius' narrative style and 'Best Picture-ness' of The Dark Knight right now. Hopefully my aggression doesn't transfer one place or another this hour. smile

EDIT: Oh great, now she's going into how 'amazing' Tarantino is. rolleyes
EDIT 2: Now she's going into why No Country for Old Men works and why smaller movies sometimes deserve to beat big-exposure films. Maybe she's onto something.... smile
EDIT 3: Nope, nevermind.
Posted: Tue, 27th Jan 2009, 5:16pm

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Simon K Jones

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Atom wrote:

Arsynist wrote:

The Dark Knight is...maybe it wasn't the best movie if the year, but it seems fairly obvious that it should have been nominated.
Well, no. Just......no.

Atom wrote:

There's only so much and so far you can go with such a specific genre- deny it all you want, it's true.
Hehm.


I think the ultimate point, really, is that the Oscars is just a bunch of combined opinions of a fairly specific group of people, and shouldn't be taken as any more or less relevant than any other group's opinions. They're still just opinions, at no point does it become fact.