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The TOTEM Poll: Totally Off Topic, Everything Media
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Old January 27th, 2004, 03:35 PM   #1
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AMPAS Visual Effects Nominees

The three movies nominated for best visual effects for 2003 are:

Lord of the Rings: Return of the King
Master and Commander: Far Side of the World
Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl

Say what? I didn't notice anything groundbreaking or visually stunning in any of these movies. Gollum was unusual, but he was already realized in LOTR 2. The wooden boats in the other two movies were not that realistic. You want realism? Re-watch Errol Flynn in The Sea Hawk, or any pre-1950's movie with pirates or sea-faring men. I've seen better fighting skeletons in a Harry Harryhausen film.

Why did the Academy snub Matrix Reloaded, Matrix Revolutions, Terminator 3, Hulk, Freddy vs. Jason, Lara Croft Cradle of Life, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, X2, Underworld, etc. I prefer seeing special effects in futuristic or horror movies, not movies about the past. There must be some bias in the voters (i.e., ILM).
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Old January 27th, 2004, 04:31 PM   #2
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Many that you mentioned weren't even on the short list of possible nominees.

Overall, I think it was a poor year in the visual effects category. All of the entrants represented refinement of techniques that have been around for some years, rather than groundbreaking new effects, as STAR WARS, T2 and The Matrix won with.

My money's on a third win for the Rings team.
All the best,
Robert K S

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Old January 27th, 2004, 05:11 PM   #3
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I agree almost without doubt that LOTR will win this year.

Pirates will give them a run for their money, but I mean, the sheer epic scope of LOTR is just too hard to beat, imho.

Marc: As far as Master and Commander goes (and I haven't seen it, mind you) then the fact that you didn't see anything stunning might be exactly why it was nominated.

An effect that you can't see is an effect done right. All the movies that you mentioned have flash and glitz, but only LOTR really struck new ground with the development of Massive and the sheer number of shots (400 in FOtR, 775 in TT, and about 1,500 in Return of the King) that utilized visual effects.

It's just a baffling amount of work and very deserving. WETA's done something that I'm sure won't be matched for at least a few years, which is a big accomplishment in this competitive industry. Check out a great article on the making of ROTK at .
Rob Zeigler
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