Movie: Star Trek Into Darkness
What it’s up for: Visual effects

I don’t care what you say, I love the new Star Trek movies. I like the old ones too, don’t worry. The visual effects were great, of course, but there’s nothing groundbreaking to say about them. Strangely enough, we’re at that place in CGI where it takes something amazing to make visual effects really stand out.  As for plot, I enjoyed it a lot. I was removed from the internet at the time I watched it so I had no clue about certain important plot points. Watching movies WITHOUT knowing all about the plot through the internet is how it’s supposed to be. That’s how you can recognize the full effect of a screenplay. That being said, since I knew nothing about the plot beforehand, I loved all the twists and surprises.

 

Movie: Iron Man 3
What it’s up for: Visual effects

Not gonna lie, the Iron Men are my least favorite of the Marvel movies. As I went in to the theater to watch number 3, I suddenly realized that I hadn’t seen number 2. Good thing that didn’t really matter. There were too many things going on in this movie. I don’t even remember half of them but I do remember being overwhelmed while simultaneously thinking “Was getting Pepper Potts out of most of her clothes really necessary?” (Superhero films are definitely aimed at a certain demographic.) It did add a lot to the Avengers storyline as a whole, though. I like that. The visual effects were great, which at this point just means that there weren’t any obvious moments where things looked terrible.

 

Movie: The Lone Ranger
What it’s up for: Makeup, visual effects

I know that I’m probably the only one, but I really enjoyed The Lone Ranger. I watched it for what it was, without focusing on comparisons, and I thought it was enjoyable and very funny. The plot was intriguing enough to keep my attention during a midnight showing after a very long day of work. I jumped in my seat a couple of times, laughed out loud, and had just the right amount of tension that left me wondering how things would turn out. The makeup jobs on Johnny Depp and others were very good and complemented the costuming well. The visual effects were great. I think it’s harder to create believable CGI in a recognizable environment (like the desert of Earth) versus the creation of a completely foreign environment or completely foreign characters. These kind of effects are often way less flashy and get less attention than fantasy effects. It’s good to see those efforts recognized.

Predictions
Gravity pretty much has visual effects in the bag. I’d rank the rest (from most to least unique) in this order: Smaug, Star Trek, Lone Ranger, Iron Man 3.

(I’ll discuss the makeup category later.)

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