Miscellaneous musings from the perspective of a lefty (both senses) atheist with a warped sense of humor.

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Location: Madison, WI, United States

I am a geek, but I do have some redeeming social skills. I love other people's dogs, cats, and kids. Snow sucks, but I'm willing to put up with it just to live in Madison.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Consolation Prizes

Consolation Prizes

in which I reflect on my favorite SF&F films of 2008 getting completely shut out in the Academy Award “Best Picture” nominations

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“And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.”

-- Matthew 6:5 KJV

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Domestic Gross Revenues from Box Office Mojo, 2009 Feb. 19

Oscar Nominees

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button — $122,711,034
Frost/Nixon — $16,619,651
Milk — $26,850,954
The Reader — $19,866,064
Slumdog Millionaire — $88,747,834

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“All five finalists are fine films. But The Reader, Frost/Nixon and Milk aren't so much movies as TV movies: sensitive explorations of major political themes, little pictures on big subjects. It's the stuff more likely to show up on HBO than at the AMC multiplex. Why does the Academy keep citing these (excellent) little movies over the (excellent) big ones, whose scope and excitement can't be duplicated on the small screen?

“One reason is that Academy members are a tad older than the target audience for action-adventures, however elegantly crafted. It's not that Hollywood folk don't get these films; after all, they made 'em. It's that they don't think the grand-scale technical skill lavished on a Dark Knight or an Iron Man is as honorable as the spectacle of two guys talking--as long as one of them is Richard Nixon....

“Moviegoing is exactly what separates the audience from the Academy. You, dear ordinary cinephile, go to a theater and sit in a big room with a big screen on which, you hope, big things will happen. Those things are called movies. But the Academy balloters, by and large, aren't true moviegoers; the movies come to them, on DVD screeners. When the members, many of whom are on the set for 12 or 14 hours a day, do their Oscar homework, they want a retreat from the pyrotechnics they've been creating. They want dramas that are important yet intimate, stressing method and message. Those things are called TV shows.”

-- Richard Corliss, "How the Oscars Became the Emmys", Time, 2009 Feb. 12

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My Favorite SF&F Films

Bolt (9) — $113,643,011
The Dark Knight (9) — $533,070,468
Eagle Eye (8) — $101,440,743
Hellboy 2: The Golden Army (8) — $75,986,503
The Incredible Hulk (8) — $134,806,913
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (8) — $317,101,119
Iron Man (8) — $318,412,101
Wanted (8) — $134,508,551

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“I just can’t get no respect.”

-- Rodney Dangerfield, American comedian

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Average Box-Office Take

For Oscar Nominees: $54,959,107
For the SF&F Films: $216,121,176

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“Money will get you thru times of no Hugos better than Hugos will get you thru times of no money.”

-- Jerry Pournelle, American science-fiction writer

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