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Spoiler: Basically Lucas, Jackson, Spielberg, Cameron all the way down
January 30, 2014 7:20 PM   Subscribe

Clips from each of the visual effects winners at the Oscars since 1979. Worth comparing to this great feature from Empire where 15 leading special effects artists were each asked to pick a favorite effect (also with clips). It is probably not worth comparing to the 6 best special effects from Turkish knock-offs of American films.
posted by blahblahblah (22 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite

 
Awesome post!
posted by Renoroc at 7:22 PM on January 30


Wait: Babe is nearly 20 years old?

WTF, time.
posted by scody at 8:07 PM on January 30 [3 favorites]


I knew every movie till the mid-late 2000's. Apparently my movie watching fell off considerably around then...
posted by Annika Cicada at 8:22 PM on January 30


You know what still holds up? Jurassic Park. For a 20 year old film, those CGI dinosaurs still manage to terrify and awe.
posted by cazoo at 8:30 PM on January 30 [9 favorites]


I'm still pissed that fucking Lone Ranger got a nomination but Pacific Rim didn't. For Pete's sake.

Yes, I know it doesn't matter. Leave me alone.
posted by brundlefly at 8:39 PM on January 30 [1 favorite]


You know what still holds up? This review from now-defunct magazine The Wave of Turish E.T.
posted by deadbilly at 8:51 PM on January 30


You know what still holds up? Jurassic Park. For a 20 year old film, those CGI dinosaurs still manage to terrify and awe.

Remember the scene about the flea circus? Hammond enthusiastically remembers his first attraction: swinging trapeezes, a tiny carousel, a motorized see-saw. People would swear they could see the fleas... Spielberg is coming right out and telling us what makes his special effects work.

The way the actors sell the scene the first time they see a dinosaur is still what I remember most from that movie. The head grab always gets me. After that you could show me a sock puppet and I'd believe it was a dinosaur.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 9:08 PM on January 30 [7 favorites]


After that you could show me a sock puppet and I'd believe it was a dinosaur.

Here you go!
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 9:31 PM on January 30


Spoiler: Basically Lucas, Jackson, Spielberg, Cameron all the way down

Alternate title: ILM rules the roost

They worked on 18 out of the 34 movies here.
posted by aubilenon at 11:36 PM on January 30 [1 favorite]


I know it's the Oscars, but E.T. beat Blade Runner in 1982? Wha?
posted by kokaku at 12:50 AM on January 31


No admiration for Quidditch?
posted by Cranberry at 1:08 AM on January 31


I'm more of a Quodpot man myself.
posted by solarion at 1:14 AM on January 31


My prediction for this year to win fx category is Gravity.
Even the trailers give mo motion sickness so I am unable to see it, but because the effects in that are more obvious, i bet it will win.
posted by Faintdreams at 1:31 AM on January 31 [1 favorite]


I know it's the Oscars, but E.T. beat Blade Runner in 1982? Wha?

Oscar voters were going for the cute alien puppet in E.T. rather than the effects in that other movie everyone hated (and relatively few voting members of the Academy even saw).
posted by Mothlight at 5:57 AM on January 31


Some of the effects shots seem to be from Special Editions. The shot from E.T. where the bikes start to fly originally showed the federal agents carrying guns instead of walkie-talkies. And some of the Star Wars explosions look suspiciously like CGI, but I could be wrong about that.
posted by mokin at 6:43 AM on January 31 [1 favorite]


Huh. I was not aware that What Dreams May Come was a movie.

Also, Babe over Apollo 13 seems like a bit of a miss, while E.T. over Blade Runner is a classic Oscar miscarriage of movie justice.

Fun to watch this. Star Wars, Jurrasic Park, Matrix, and Lord of the Rings all felt like visual effects game changers to me. don't get me started about Avatar
posted by mcstayinskool at 7:19 AM on January 31


Faintdreams:
My prediction for this year to win fx category is Gravity.
Even the trailers give mo motion sickness so I am unable to see it, but because the effects in that are more obvious, i bet it will win.
Also because it solved a visualization problem that hadn't really been tackled before and an entirely new workflow had to be designed and implemented.
posted by whittaker at 7:41 AM on January 31


As for E.T. over Blade Runner, In rare defence of the Academy I actually think E.T.'s effects (that is to say, the Carlo Rambaldi puppetry) is riskier and far more crucial to the film working* than Blade Runner's flying cars and mattes.

I think what most people are actually praising and what is actually peerless and highly influential about Blade Runner is the production design. The real Oscar tragedy of 1982 was Lawrence G. Paull losing to Stuart Craig and Robert W. Laing for Gandhi.

*Making an audience dramatically identify with a puppet is not easy and it positively terrified the Empire Strikes Back film-makers who (correctly) identified Yoda to be the most challenging element of the entire film and scheduled it at the end of production accordingly--and that was for a supporting character who's on-screen for 10 minutes, maybe, total.
posted by whittaker at 7:54 AM on January 31 [5 favorites]


I would agree with your point that it's very hard to make an audience dramatically identify with a puppet. My issue with E.T. is that I didn't dramatically identify with the puppet.

In Blade Runner I was treated with a rainy, dark, utterly believable landscape that I dramatically identified with.
posted by mcstayinskool at 10:14 AM on January 31


My prediction for this year to win fx category is Gravity.

If Gravity doesn't win I will figuratively explode out in every direction, smashing into everything and every one in arm's reach and becoming the epicenter of an ever expanding mosh pit of chaos and destruction.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 10:16 AM on January 31 [2 favorites]


What? ET got an Oscar for special effects but Mac and Me was never even nominated?
posted by ckape at 10:20 AM on January 31 [2 favorites]


I know it's the Oscars, but E.T. beat Blade Runner in 1982? Wha?

By the time of the Oscars, Blade Runner was mostly forgotten except maybe in year-end lists of the biggest bombs. E.T. was a huge international hit that everyone was talking about; Blade Runner by contrast was a weird cult failure that no one saw.
posted by octothorpe at 11:17 AM on January 31


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