Tuesday, February 21, 2017

27 Days of Oscar, day 27 part 1: Original Song, Score, and Visual Effects

It's hard to believe that today is the last day of my 27 Days of Oscar series. It's such a big day that I'm going to divide it into two parts! Part 1: Original Song, Score, and Visual Effects. Part 2: Actor, Actress and Live Action Short.

That will pretty much cover every category on the list other than Picture and Director. I think. (I hope.) We will discuss those two tomorrow when I publish my predictions.  Then we have 3 days of fun here at Awards Wiz. I'm going to resurrect my Top 10 Scenes of 2016 as well as publish my Top Television of 2016 and Top Performances of 2016. And then wrap the season up on Sunday/Monday.

This morning I managed to watch the last 2 of the nominated features. 47 films in total. And that's just the films that made the cut! By tonight I will have watched all 15 shorts as well.

First up, "Trolls."

"Trolls" really did get a bad wrap with the critics, but I don't think every animated feature film has to be groundbreaking. Some of them can just be fun, right?

Maybe I simply liked it because I had just seen a slew of really bad Oscar nominated films? Other than "Sully," I found the last three days of watching to be taxing. Two very disappointing live action shorts as well as "Deepwater Horizon" and "13 Hours," both terrible. But hey, maybe some macho dude out there feels the same way about those films like I did about "Trolls."  Eh...doubtful.

Next is "Doctor Strange." This is a rare example of a trailer not doing the film justice. I really had little desire to see it, despite the critical praise.  One things is for certain. After "Batman v/s Superman" and "Suicide Squad" it is so obvious that Marvel is the standard toward which all superhero movies should strive. Or maybe that's the problem. DC keeps trying to be Marvel and they fail. DC was so much better when they had a vision. When they had Nolan.

Let's look at the category....

Deepwater Horizon
Doctor Strange
The Jungle Book
Kubo and the Two Strings
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Let's just take out "Deepwater Horizon" and "Kubo and the Two Strings." Why? "Deepwater Horizon" is so wretched, I honestly can't imagine the Academy as a whole awarding it for anything. The visual effects branch nominating it is a whole other story. "Kubo" is great, but to be honest, its nomination is its prize.

Most people are saying that "The Jungle Book" is going to win. And I certainly believe it is deserving. The visual effects are so incredibly realistic that you almost forget the animals aren't real. 

"Doctor Strange" has stunning visuals, certainly not based in realism but fantasy. Although the car crash in the opening of the film is remarkable in its believability. 

"Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" is classic in its Visual Effects. But, here's my theory. The same one that makes me go with "La La Land" for Production Design over "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them." If "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" can get nominated for 5 awards but not win a single one, I don't see "Rogue One" taking the prize.

So, it's a two way race. I'm going to go with "The Jungle Book." It really is too good to ignore. (Unless "Doctor Strange" ends up being too flashy to ignore.)

"The Empty Chair" from Jim: The James Foley Story
“City of Stars,” La La Land
“Audition (The Fools Who Dream),” La La Land
“How Far I’ll Go,” Moana
“Can’t Stop the Feeling,” Trolls

It would be fantastic if Lin Manuel Miranda won the EGOT with this Oscar. But I just don't believe it is going to happen.  First of all, the name of the composer isn't on the ballot. I'm guessing plenty of Academy members are unaware that this honor would seal the EGOT deal from Miranda.

If anything, I think that "How Far I'll Go" and "Audition" will cancel each other out, leading "City of Stars" to take the prize. I'm ok with that, simply because I think "La La Land" deserves to win this category. I just wish it was for "Audition" or the non-nominated "Someone in the Crowd" or"Another Day in the Sun." I think all 3 are all better "La La Land" songs.

La La Land

I found "Passengers"' score to be completely underserving and "Lion"'s simply standard. I couldn't tell you much about it at all.

"Moonlight" and "Jackie" have superb scores. Highly original, simplistic and highly supportive of the films and their tone. I would have a really hard time deciding between "Moonlight," "Jackie" and "La La Land," but I don't think the Academy will struggle one bit. "La La Land" is its songs and score!

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