Snub-eness – Part 1

I have no idea if the title I wrote can be considered a word. Know that it is the word snub when in its simplest form. Besides my short three sentence rant, it’s awards season. The Golden Globes were last week and the Oscars are a month and a half away.

(Feb. 22 to be exact.)

I’m not going to spend time writing my reaction and prediction to the Oscar nods right now, but be rest assured I’ll have something written about it soon.

Why so serious, Academy?

What I want to spend time talking about is a more noticeable problem within the film industry as each year passes. I would argue since 2008 when Christopher Nolan’s blockbuster, box-office hit and critically acclaimed “The Dark Knight” released. When that film continued to see success throughout the year, film critics and fans were pushing for the first superhero film ever to be nominated for an Oscar. Thankfully, Heath Ledger received the posthumous Oscar for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role because:

1. He gave the performance of his career, and unfortunately for his lifetime. 2.His Joker defined the role – as did Jack Nicholson’s and Mark Hamill’s – so much so Jared Leto is being given the Ledger litmus test before he stars as the purple suited sociopath in the upcoming “Suicide Squad” film.

Since then no other superhero film has been given remotely any attention it deserves. “Ironman?” Robert Downey Jr. as Ironman? “Captain America: The Winter Soldier?” Chris Evans as Cap? “Guardians of the Galaxy?” James Gunn for direction and screenplay? Chris Pratt as Peter Quill/Star Lord? Bradley Cooper as Rocket? Dave Bautista as Drax?

On a non-superhero film note but in a similar genre: “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes?” Andy Serkis as Caesar? Toby Kebbell as Koba?

There are other superhero films that I didn’t mention, not that they were not any good, but it did not resonate with me personally. It should still be considered because of acclaim: “X-Men: Days of Future Past” and although not a superhero film “The Lego Movie.” I’ll leave that discussion for when I write my Oscar reaction.

Let’s go through the films I mention:

  • “The Dark Knight”

Ledger did posthumously receive the Oscar for Joker, but the film itself did not even scratch out a nod. “The Dark Knight” is one of the best films of ’08. No one can question that statement. It has impeccable performances from its two leads: Christian Bale and Ledger, including from its fantastic ensemble cast Aaron Eckhart, Michael Caine, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Gary Oldman and Morgan Freeman. A tense, dramatic story; excellent set pieces; and memorable, quotable individual scenes. And it’s not necessary to be well-read in comics.So, why did it not garner attention from the Academy? They, frankly, do not care about comic books and anything flashy that isn’t a tear-jerker. And they are old. Harsh I know, but it’s the damn truth.

You know we would kick some ass at the awards, so that is why you keep snubbing us.

  • “Ironman” and “Guardians of the Galaxy”

I put these two films together not because there are similarities, there are not. Both, again, are too flashy in the visuals effects department for the Academy, which is unfair.

Damned films, left, and the Academy, right.

  • “Captain America: The Winter Solider”

We are talking superhero films, right? Well, I might be going out on a limb here, but “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” was the best shot a superhero film has had since “The Dark Knight” at an Oscar nomination. It’s my favorite political drama/thriller film to date. I think my last sentence that I wrote says enough about the film itself and its more than worthy consideration. Plus similar to “The Dark Knight” you do not have to be into comics.

  • “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes”

When I selected “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” to be my movie of the year for 2014 I wrote a focused post on the jaw-dropping performance by Andy Serkis:

When I walked into the theater to watch “Dawn of the Planet,” I did not know what to expect. The film’s predecessor, “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” was good and had some great individual performances from Serkis, again, and James Franco. But it didn’t reach its stride until the final third of the film when (SPOILERS!) the apes are making there way acrossthe Golden Gate Bridge behind their new leader Caesar. Destroying it in the process to reach a new home in the woods 

Chills crawled my spine whenever I heard Caesar speak in Rise. I think that speaks to the performance of Serkis. One thing is to act on-screen in live-action and another is to capture the essence and realism of an animal. No actor past or present can achieve this as Serkis does so so brilliantly. He’s the master of motion-capture and a genius as an actor.

When I saw Dawn for the first time I was in awe of its visuals and more so of the performances by Serkis and Toby Kebbell. During my second viewing, I loved everything about it. Now I can’t wait for the third installment.

Need I say more?

Will any of these types of film be nominated for an Oscar, especially with DC and Marvel’s upcoming slate?

I say yes, but it may be 20+ years down the road. If I had to make a bet on which films may have a chance I’ll predict “Captain America: Civil War,” “Suicide Squad,” Apes 3, “Guardians of the Galaxy 2″ and I’m being super bold for this last one: “Ant-Man.”

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