What The Dark Knight Has Done: A New Direction at WB

It’s been over two weeks since the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced their best of 2008, thus it’s time for the Academy of Science Fiction Fantasy & Horror Films to take center stage to announce its Saturn Award nominations. Well, at least they aren’t as far behind as the MTV Movie Awards (but at least those manage to nominate a few of the new year’s movies as well).

This year, the Saturn recognized The Dark Knight with 11 nominations, while The Curious Case of Benjamin Button earned a few less than at the Oscars with 9, while Iron Man had 8. To add some comic relief, Valkyrie was nominated for 7 awards and Indiana Jones: The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull picked up 6. For those of you unaware, the Saturn Awards pick 24 films over 4 categories to represent the best 2008 had to offer in Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Horror, and Action. And for those of you who thought, “There couldn’t possibly have been 24 good films in those categories,” well . . . This year’s nominees include:

Best Science Fiction Film:
THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL (20th Century Fox)
EAGLE EYE (Paramount / DreamWorks)
THE INCREDIBLE HULK (Universal / Marvel)
INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL (Paramount / Lucasfilm)
IRON MAN (Paramount / Marvel)
JUMPER (20th Century Fox)

Best Fantasy Film:
THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: PRINCE CASPIAN (Walt Disney Studios)
THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON (Paramount)
HANCOCK (Sony)
THE SPIDERWICK CHRONICLES (Paramount)
TWILIGHT (Summit Entertainment)
WANTED (Universal)

Best Horror Film:
THE HAPPENING (20th Century Fox)
HELLBOY II: THE GOLDEN ARMY (Universal)
THE MUMMY: TOMB OF THE DRAGON EMPEROR (Universal)
QUARANTINE (Sony)
SPLINTER (Magnolia / Magnet)
THE STRANGERS (Rogue / Universal)

Best Action/Adventure/Thriller:
CHANGELING (Universal)
THE DARK KNIGHT (Warner Bros.)
GRAN TORINO (Warner Bros.)
QUANTUM OF SOLACE (Sony)
TRAITOR (Overture)
VALKYRIE (MGM / UA)

Full list of nominees here.

Wha?! Changeling for action? Hellboy II for Horror (confusing, because that drunk sing-along between Red and Abe Sapien was one of the funniest things I saw last year)? Hancock and Jumper for anything? Look at the acting nominees: Maggie Gyllenhaal – Best Lead Actress for The Dark Knight; Shia LeBeouf – Supporting Actor nominee for Indiana Jones; Joan Allen for f*cking Death Race! For chrissake there are SIX nominees for Best Animated Feature – including Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa.

As for television, if you somehow wandered onto the set of “Lost” while they were filming an episode, you probably got nominated for a Saturn Award. Though, I do have to give them credit for nominating The Nightmare Before Christmas for Best DVD Film Classic Release, because that box-set was grade-A titties.

I don’t know how many people take this seriously, but I believe the ASFFHF does. According to the website, “To the best of his ability, the awards manager tries to balance each area committee (which selects specialized awards like acting, directing, etc. – everyone votes for the best picture categories) with one third professionals, one third fans, and one third academics.” Academics. Does that mean the professor that showed me Equilibrium in a Film History class gets a vote? Probably.

The 35th Annual Saturn Awards ceremony will be held on June 25th. Last year’s winners were Cloverfield, Enchanted, Sweeney Todd, and 300, respectively.


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