oscarFor some reason, the short list for the Oscar for visual effects is announced way early, possibly because the nominees apparently each put together a 15 minute reel to present to a committee that will later reduce the list from seven to the final three. Man, talk about pressure - imagine if there was a shortlist of, say, 10 directors who each had to make their cases via a short reel. Damn.

The shortlist of seven films, while it doesn't really include any surprises, is perhaps notable for a couple of absences. On the list are non-shocks such as The Chronicles of Narnia, Revenge of the Sith, King Kong, and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Rounding out the seven are Batman Begins, War of the Worlds, and Creepy Johnny Depp Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. None are too objectionable, right? I imagine, though, that there are some people pretty pissed off that, while they were both in the last group cut, neither Sin City nor Fantastic Four made the final list.

Based on the seven reels, the three nominated films will be chosen and announced at the end of January with all the others. Only three nominees? Come on! I mean, with the growing prominence and importance of effects work in Hollywood movies, it might just be time for the academy to consider adding another few slots.