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January 19, 2009

'Iron Man' flies with VES


The nominations are out from the Visual Effects Society, and the list is largely "Dark Knight"-less, though a major superhero blockbuster did win the members' hearts. It was "Iron Man."

The Paramount summer launching mega-hit picked up five nods for visual effects in a visual effects-driven movie, best single visual effect of the year, outstanding animated character in a live-action movie, outstanding models and miniatures in a feature, and outstanding special effects in a movie.

Competitors include "Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian," "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," "Hellboy II: The Golden Army" and "Cloverfield."

Dig deep into the nominee list and you'll eventually find "The Dark Knight." But you'll also see NBC's now-cancelled "Knight Rider," the FedEx "Pigeon" TV advertisement  and "Speed Racer." The VES, in its seventh year of presenting awards, casts a fairly wide net.

More details and the full list of nominees here.


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Oscar Contenders

  • So "The Dark Knight" didn't make it into the final five after all, never mind that critical and popular support. Let's just call the comic-inspired mega-hit "The Biggest Snubee."

    Here are the best picture contenders in a race that, two weeks away from the Oscars, seems to be a foregone conclusion ("Slumdog") unless there's a come-from-behind possibility ("The Reader" anyone?)

    "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," with Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett; the politically timely "Milk;" rags-to-riches fairy tale, "Slumdog Millionaire," Holocaust best-seller-based drama "The Reader," and Watergate-era biopic "Frost/Nixon."

    Could "Button" and "Slumdog" split the vote, allowing another film to take the prize? Doesn't seem likely. After having clung to "Button" for months as what we thought would be the Academy voters' top vhoice, our money's now on "Slumdog." Momentum can't be ignored.

    Watch this blog for updates, ephemera and all manner of postulating.

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  • Mmmmm, chocolate Oscar. Not every star will walk away from the 81st annual Academy Awards with a trophy, but if they hit the high-profile Governor's Ball they can have pastry chef Sherry Yard's gold-dusted candy version. Also on the menu from celeb chef Wolfgang Puck is tuna tartare in sesame miso cones, chopped Chino Farms vegetable salad with ginger soy vinaigrette, Maine lobster and caviar. Serve it up! (Getty Images)

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