This could be the place where I go on a diatribe about how the Oscars continue to prove themselves more and more irrelevant every year and how, as a writer for a science fiction website, I continue to be annoyed by the lack of respect shown to genre films at awards season. For shame, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences! Shame on you and your children and your children's children!

But I'm not going to, because there is news afoot.

The Academy has announced the fifteen films on the shortlist for the visual effects Oscar, the only award that consistently goes to science fiction and fantasy films. Only three will get to wear tuxes and get luxurious gift baskets full of expensive hand creams. Why only three? Why not five? Probably some silly Academy rule, similar to the one that keeps good documentaries from ever getting any sort of recognition.

And your children's children's children!

But I digress. The fifteen films are as follows:

Angels & Demons
Avatar
Coraline
Disney's A Christmas Carol,
District 9
G-Force
G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Sherlock Holmes
Star Trek
Terminator Salvation
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
2012
Watchmen
Where the Wild Things Are


If you ask me, the three nods are going to go to Avatar, 2012 and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, the first because it's groundbreaking, the second because it's huge, and the third because it made a ton of money and looks pretty good despite being one of the worst films of the past ten years. The biggest surprises on the list are Coraline because it's a stop motion film, A Christmas Carol because it's supposed to be an animated film and Sherlock Holmes because it's Sherlock freaking Holmes (but in all fairness, I haven't seen it yet...may be full of all kinds of CGI sleuthing and deducting).

Personally, I think the borderline photo-realistic effects of District 9 and the beautiful CGI/practical suit combination of Where the Wild Things Are deserve recognition, but they aren't BIG AND FLASHY AND HUGE AND OMG ROBOTS, so they may be too subtle for the Academy (in fairness, I haven't seen Avatar yet but I'm sure the effects are amazing and lovely). And if G-Force becomes the Academy Award Nominated G-Force, I think I'll stick my hand in a blender set to puree.

What three will be nominated? What three should be nominated? Want to make witty cracks about Star Trek deserving a nomination for Best Lens Flare? Fight it out in the comments below.