There is yet another award show that has announced nominees for the 2009 movies. This time it is the 13th annual Empire Awards. Empire is the UK’s leading film magazine. Once again Star Trek is on the list with three nominations, including Best Film. See below for details.
3 Empire nominations for Trek – Saldana nominated for Avatar
Star Trek is nominated for Best Film, Best Director, and Best Sci-Fi Film. While Star Trek has nabbed 3 nominations, it is Avatar and Inglorious Basterds that lead the field with five nominations each, including Best Actress for Zoe Saldana in Avatar (so not everyone is ignoring performance capture).
Here is a full list of nominees for the 2010 Jameson Empire Awards:
Best Film presented by Sony
The Hurt Locker
Best Actor presented by Citroën
Sir Michael Caine (Harry Brown)
Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds)
Robert Pattinson (New Moon)
Sam Worthington (Avatar)
Robert Downey Jr. (Sherlock Holmes)
Anne-Marie Duff (Nowhere Boy)
Carey Mulligan (An Education)
Zoe Saldana (Avatar)
Emily Blunt (The Young Victoria)
Melanie Laurent (Inglourious Basterds)
James Cameron (Avatar)
Neil Blomkamp (District 9)
JJ Abrams (Star Trek)
Quentin Tarantino (Inglourious Basterds)
Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker)
Best British Film
The Imaginarium Of Doctor Parnassus
In The Loop
In The Loop
A Serious Man
Up In The Air
The Men Who Stare At Goats
Let The Right One In
Drag Me To Hell
The Imaginarium Of Doctor Parnassus
The Hurt Locker
Carey Mulligan (An Education)
Aaron Johnson (Nowhere Boy)
Sharlto Copley (District 9)
Anna Kendrick (Up In The Air/New Moon)
Katie Jarvis (Fish Tank)
Winners will be determined by online voting and the staff of Empire. The final decision is the reserved right of the Empire staff. You vote online at Empireonline.com/awards2010/vote/
The 2010 Jameson Empire Awards will take place on Sunday, March 28 at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel, hosted by Irish comedian TV host Dara O Briain.
More upcoming award shows
The Award season is almost over. Tonight is the Costumers Guild event, and the Visual Effects and Sound Mixing guilds hold their award shows this weekend. Trek is nominated for awards at all three events. Then we wait for the Oscars which is the big finale to Award season, but the Empire Awards and the MTV awards are kind like encores.
Here is a list of upcoming award shows, along with links to the Star Trek nominations.
- CDG: Best Costumes (Fantasy) (awards 2/25)
- CAS: Best Motion Picture Sound Mixing (awards 2/27)
- VES: Best Visual Effects & Best Matte Painting (awards 2/28)
- Oscars: 4 nominations (awards 3/7)
- Empire Awards: 3 nominations (awards 3/28)
- MTV Movie Awards: Nominees not announced yet (announcement and show likely May 2010)
So Trek’s up against “Avatar” right down the line, again – it can’t win in a direct match-up with that film. “Star Trek” is wonderful, but “Avatar” is better.
2. Yeah, no doubt that Avatar spoiled Trek’s chances at winning more awards this year. Too bad.
Avatar was good but it was not eppic. The only reason they made so much money is because of the premium price that 3D fetches. I think Avatar is over rated.
Best Actress: Zoe Saldana (Avatar)
Thank goodness Empire recognizes good talent when it’s used properly. If they nominated Zoe for her role as Uhura over Neytiri, that would have been grossly unfortunate.
#3: “The only reason they made so much money is because of the premium price that 3D fetches.”
That’s demonstrably incorrect. Yes, 3-D ticket prices inflate the total take, but to say it’s the “only” reason it made so much money is to ignore some pretty simple math.
First, we’ll make the simplifying assumption that the markup hasn’t _lost_ it any ticket sales. That’s unfair to Avatar, but it can hack it. Second, we’ll pretend that the 3-D markup fully _doubles_ the price, so we slash the grosses right down the middle. That’s way unfair to Avatar, but oh well, sucks to be Avatar. Now, look a the numbers again: Instead of being the #1 highest-grossing film of all time at 2.4someting billion worldwide, it’s #2 at 1.2something billion worldwide, after _halving_ the take. And it’s still climbing, because it’s still packing them in.
And some of us (raises hand) saw it in 2D twice _before_ shelling out for 3D.
Is it overrated? Maybe. That’s subjective. Is 3-D, as you put it, “the only reason they made so much money?” No. And that’s a fact.
TrekMovie should save itself some time and just say “and here’s a list of some more awards that Star Trek will not win due to Avatar.
I just hope Trek wins something.
Empire gave ST09 a great review **** out of *****
but their reviews for the rest are abit off:
TMP deserves ***, TWOK *****, TSFS ****, TVH (isnt there) ****,
agree with TFFs **
TUC should have ****, GEN ***, FC ****, INS **, NEM **
I’m optimistic they can win the Oscar for makeup but that may be about it.
A couple categories are sponsored!?!? Hahaha, what a classy award ceremony.
I enjoyed Avatar (saw it twice in 3D) but I too am in the ‘overrated’ camp. It was a technology, rather than storytelling revolution. ‘Aliens’ is by far James Cameron’s best film in my opinion. As a fan I obviously enjoyed JJ Abrams’ Trek much more than Avatar; it’s a straight-up, streamlined action-adventure with timeless characters, against Cameron’s overplayed sprawl. However, even I’ll admit that ‘Hurt Locker’ should win Best Film. ;-)
As much as I enjoyed “Avatar”, “Star Trek” was a better film. The big problem for me with “Avatar” was that it was about a half hour too long.
It dragged a bit at times. I never got that feeling with “Star Trek”. And “Star Trek”‘s visual effects were slightly better than “Avatar”s.
#12: “I never got that feeling with “Star Trek”.”
Well, that’s one thing I think just about _anyone_ has to give to Trek. If they had awards for “briskest pacing that never ever EVER felt slow,” Trek could win a special Best of the Last Ten Years award :/
Zero credibility for this awards show because of this:
#14 Well, apart from that one, I really can’t argue with the choices. But these awards are credible.
@11. “it’s a straight-up, streamlined action-adventure with timeless characters”
Well, what ever works for people is no problem, but I’m gona have to say that your ‘timeless characters’ thing is a little off. If these were the ‘timeless characters’ of the original Star Trek, I would agree with your point, but as everyone including the writers have stated, these are not those characters. They are a rehashed version of those characters done differently and are not bound to what made the original characters timeless in the first place. Were all the original series and movies straight-up, streamlined action-adventure stories?
And you gotta give Cameron credit. When he sets out to make his characters important to the story, he does it in spades. Just compare Neytiri to Uhura. Neytiri is a hunter and a renowned dragon flyer. She not only shows great use in of those skills in the film, but also teachers them to Jake which benefits both the characters and the story. And we actually see it happen on screen instead of it happening off screen while she ‘explains’ it while Jake is underneath her bed watching her take off her clothes. If you want a character who will stand up for what’s right, you won’t get it from Uhura since she had to be put in the spotlight before she would say anything about Kirk’s warning. Neytiri has no less than five occasions in the film where she steps up to the playing field that actually does something all on her own. Now, should I bring up the romantic angle and how these two movies handled them differently? It’s kind of night and day.
Not saying the characters in Avatar are timeless. They’re not. I just like them a lot more than the rehashed versions of the timeless characters I enjoyed back in the day.
Gotta disagree with you. Avatar was a better visual experience than Star Trek. Star Trek was a better film. Avatar as a film is derivative, formulaic and at times, downright cheesy. e.g. Mother Earth sends all the wild beasts to defend her children from the EEEEEEEEEVIL military/capitalists. Silly.
Easy to vote for Empire awards…. I just registered my choices.
I like the part where they stick their hair into animals. Bravo Cameron.
First of all, I don’t disagree that Avatar, at least as far as the plot goes, is derivative (made of 100% post-consumer recycled genre cliche). It’s your basic going-native story, sure. Formula.
But what puzzles me is when people use this as a _comparative_ point to Trek09, which is _also_ made of 100% post-consumer recycled genre cliche.
So yes, Avatar is derivative, but that makes it different from Trek09 how?
The differences lie elsewhere. The “derivative” thing is a non-point.
@19: “I like the part where they stick their hair into animals. Bravo Cameron.”
Yep. God forbid a writer who wants to make a scifi create an alien culture that does things we humans are incapable of doing. Leave it to the masses who take that alien concept at face value and treat it like it was something we should look at with a low point. Isnt that what the human characters in Avatar did? o.O
It’s a shame Avatar will win these awards because i feel Star Trek was a far better film, if not Trek then District 9 before Avatar. Avatar sure was great, not disputing that, i enjoyed it as much as i enjoy disney films but really? would anyone still be talking about it, would it have been nominated for a best-picture OSCAR had it not made so much money at BO or used state-of-the-art CGI and 3D technology – nnnno i don’t think so and it’s unfair that this world has become so driven by the almighty dollar that truly all round great movies get “brushed away” in favour of the big box office money making Goliath’s.
As far as awards go, I respected BAFTA for not giving Avatar best movie because it simply isn’t a best movie – thats not to say Star Trek deserved it either but it just goes to show that there is at least one award show that doesn’t make it’s decisions on how much a movie has made at the Box Office – the OSCAR’s are quite simply a sham for doing so – pandering to money and the audience rather than the art and substance.
At best; Avatar was a great Christmas blockbuster – amazing pop-corn film, very watchable and engrossing for the visuals if strung along with an un-original story – in a world where there are only so many stories to tell – told poorly. The thing that held it together were the visuals and the 3D aspect – if it was to win anything it would have been the Special Effects award but alas the mighty dollar rules all.
@21: I got the whole’one with nature thing’ with the hair in the animals. I thought it was too blatant and very unsubtle from an Oscar winning director (still unbelievable). Cameron is so overrated as a storyteller.
Avatar = Dances with Smurfs
It’s the cinematic equivalent of giving a starving man a Twinkie; it might curb his appetite for a bit, but ultimately leave him wanting something more substantial.
#24: Star Trek 2009, on the other hand, is like giving a starving man a cartoon drawing of Twinkie, which then explodes.
I tend to agree with #3. E.g here in Germany the cinemacharts are measured by cinemagoers, and not by money. Titanic had 18,000,000 visitors, Avatar has 9.500.000 so far. I know that´s no proof and one cannot compare the situation in Germany with other country´s, but I think it´s a little hint.
And besides that, there´s inflation. Remember, Titatanic is nearly 15 years old. A rough rule of thumbs says, prices are reduplicate every 20 years.
P.s.: I´m suprised Star Trek is nominated for best movie. Best Sci-Fi movie is appropriate. But in the end, I´m afraid it won´t win best film nor best sci-fi movie
#26: If you can refute the factual numbers in my post, please do so.
Post #3 claimed, explicitly, that the _only_ reason Avatar makes so much money is, _specifically,_ the premium charge placed on 3-D tickets. That claim is factually and demonstrably incorrect.
Your other points are well-taken but irrelevant to #3’s erroneous claim. I’m familiar with the inflationary differences (that’s why Avatar isn’t #1 adjusted, only #1 gross, etc) … but that’s not what the exchange between posts 3 and 5 are about.
O.K., after reading your post again, I´m must say you´re right in that point ;-)
1. Dennis Bailey
Agreed. After watching ST 09 on DVD a few months after seeing it in the theater, its flaws really jumped out at me. It’s fun but not much more. It requires a Trek fan to be very forgiving. Which I am becoming less and less, I suppose.
Regarding Avatar’s derivative elements? Most songs are constructed from the same set of notes and chords that have been used by musicians since music was invented. Yet despite this, new original music is still possible because of the way in which these notes and chords are arranged and performed. For me, Cameron has combined familiar notes and chords into a very entertaining and cohesive movie. Perfect? Hardly, but Ican honestly say I liked it better than Trek 09.
@25: Thank God I wasn’t drinking anything while I read that — it would’ve come out my nose! :D
Though it sounds more like Michael Bay’s Star Trek than JJ Abrams … (can you imagine? *shudder*)
The Empire Awards are always my favourite awards show besides the BAFTAS. The BAFTAS totally turned me off this year by nominating that moron Mo’Nique as Best (gag) Actress for Precious. I am not too fond of the Oscars or the Golden Globes either. Sandra Bullock’s nomination for that crap film The Blind Side is a joke. The majority of my favourite films are usually on Empire’s List. Besides Star Trek, it was great to see An Education, Young Victoria, Fish Tank, and Nowhere Boy on Empire’s List. Anne-Marie Duff is one of my favourite actresses and it is nice to see her get a nomination for Nowhere Boy.
#30: “Though it sounds more like Michael Bay’s Star Trek than JJ Abrams … (can you imagine? *shudder*)”
Aye, I suppose we must count our blessings :)
” It was a technology, rather than storytelling revolution.”
There have been no “storytelling revolutions” for thousands of years.
@16: I’m sure Orci and Kurtzman would argue that Abrams film represents the same essential characters as the original series, at least at this point. Neytiri is perhaps a stronger character than Uhura, but as a fan I’d much rather watch Uhura…
@33: Perhaps ‘revolution’ was too dramatic a term, but what I was trying to say was that Avatar’s story was very much an archetype, as has been stated by Cameron himself. There may be only a dozen truly original stories, but there are countless ways you can spin those templates – countless variations – driven and populated by equal variations on characters. In this sense, I considered it a technology, not storytelling revolution.
The thing is that both films “Star Trek” and “Avatar” were huge blockbusters. However whilst i appreciate both the arguments presented S. John Ross seem to me to be completely bias Trekkie slander from a fan who didn’t like HIS timeline messed with.
The simple truth of this is that Star Trek 2009 came from a 43 year old franchise, it didn’t gloat about it being revolutionary or original – it set about making “normal” people realise that hey, Star Trek is kinda cool! and it did that job well with an exciting story and great CGI and Acting – it was an all-round fun summer movie.
Avatar… whilst being fun, adventurous, thoroughly enjoyable and exciting, gloated about the fact that it was on original story with state-of-the art new 3D technology and whilst the latter is true and my god it deserves praise for it’s visuals, the simple fact is this – Avatar didn’t come from a 43 year old franchise and yet the story felt old and not original at all – i understand that there are only so many stories to tell in this world and some could say that Star Trek resembled Star Wars: A New Hope but where as Star Trek put a fresh spin on that story and did it in an exciting way, Avatar didn’t and relied too much on the spectacle of the new technology – had it just been a normal film Avatar would have sunk faster than the Titanic.
#35: “Avatar … gloated about the fact that it was on original story.”
Well, no, Avatar didn’t. Nor did the filmmaker: James Cameron himself has publicly compared it to Dances With Wolves.
#35: “S. John Ross seem to me to be completely bias Trekkie slander from a fan who didn’t like HIS timeline messed with. ”
Um. I’m the guy who says “canon” should be abolished because it’s ‘tarded and that they should have had the cojones to do a full-on reboot to save on the narrative load :/ Timeline, schimeline … the more damage to that the better. My complaint is that it failed on spirit, message, content and morality, not some namby-pamby timeline crapola :)
#37, LOL, nice avoidance of the “R” word!
#35, “The thing is that both films “Star Trek” and “Avatar” were huge blockbusters.”
I think we have to redefine “blockbuster”, or “huge” then. Star Trek made less than $386 million worldwide and Avatar has made more than $2.4 billion. I don’t consider them even remotely in the same class as far as boxoffice. For that matter neither was Star Trek in the same class as Transformers 2.
I would also point out, that while Star Trek did have a 43 year old fan base, Avatar did not. Yet ticket-for ticket, Star Trek sold about 51 million tickets. Avatar, has sold about 160 million tickets and still going strong. Isn’t it interesting that a film with a huge historical franchise fanbase sells less than a third of the tickets that a film with no beloved franchise history or fan base of any kind?
Finally, Titanic had only earned 2/3 of its box office by the same time in it’s history. If Avatar has only earned 2/3 of it’s income it will close the box office well over the $3 billion mark. Even half of that amount will put it in the top 5 all time adjusted for inflation list. Avatar is an undeniable phenomenon.
Discredit however your biases guide you. Nevertheless, it has attracted far more people to the box-office including many Star Trek fans who liked it. Star Trek failed to do the same thing. Perhaps it was merely a marketing problem, but realistically folks, Paramount marketed the sh*t out of Star Trek. They couldn’t have made it more attractive unless they offered to pay you to see it. And who knows, perhaps Star Trek has a Dark Knight comeback in its future following the successful DVD launch. Only a long 2 1/2 year wait will tell.
But Avatar’s success as a film is undeniable. People love it. Suggesting that is is merely a jump on the bandwagon, follow your fellow lemming to the precipice of artistic destruction because the people who like Avatar are somehow not as sophisticated as Star Trek fans is just ridiculous. I can dismiss some of the billion dollar audience for Transformers and other big budget blockbusters as mostly juvenile, film illiterates, but seriously, Avatar earned higher major critical praise than Star Trek (which by the way is often cited in defense of Star Trek’s objective value). Combined with a third more people seeing it than Transformers, with another 100 million tickets or more likely, I’m really not about to write the entire Avatar audience off as merely film illeterati. That takes a special kind of arrogance to do. ;-)
Is Avatar really worthy of all the awards? Technical Awards – absolutely but Best Film awards?…
Shouldn’t the top Best Film Oscar contenders also be nominated for Best Screenplay or Best Adapted Screenplay? The fact that Avatar has NOT been nominated for Best Screenplay says to me that the story wasn’t the best… how then does it qualify for Best Film? Surely a story is integral to a Best Film? What were the Academy thinking?
Hurt Locker, Inglorious Basterds, Up, Precious, Up In The Air, A Serious Man, District 9, An Education all recognised for Best Writing and Best Film… notice anything missing… no Avatar in Best Writing… and yet nominated for Best Film? Incredibly it is favourite to win!!!!??? Insane.
@38 I agree with you, Avatar was hugely more successful than Trek in terms of box office. Did it truly earn “higher major critical praise”, though? Not sure how relevant this is, but for example Rotten Tomatoes cites Trek at 94% positive and Avatar as 82% positive. Admittedly, I haven’t read the content of all those reviews. Trek also had to fight a certain amount of negative stigma from the general public (Avatar did too, but I suspect the moviegoing public were in general more open minded than some genre fans upon seeing the trailer). I enjoyed both movies, but I’m a Star Trek fan. I loved Abrams Trek, I liked Avatar.
#38: I’m saving all my surplus R’s to type “Red Skirt” with a bashful flutter of my eyelashes, of course :)
#39: “Shouldn’t the top Best Film Oscar contenders also be nominated for Best Screenplay or Best Adapted Screenplay?”
Quite a lot of people in filmmaking consider the screenplay a bit beside the point (for a truly hilarious take on this, find a copy of the Miller’s Crossing/Barton Fink script book … there’s an awesome intro by the guy who edited both films, where he dismisses scripts in venomous terms as, basically, just something to keep the actors out of trouble by giving them something to memorize …) Anyway, I’m no hardcore proponent of Auteur Theory, myself, but in _broad_ terms I agree: the best director makes the best movie. (And that said, I think a film can deserve Best Picture without also deserving Best Director)
#40: “Did it truly earn “higher major critical praise”, though?”
Negative reviews of ST09 are very rare; Avatar got more outright negatives … On the other hand, ST09 got lots and lots of faint praise … whereas when Avatar is praised, it’s not so faint.
The end result is a bit of a Rorschach Test, I think (did I spell that right?), and depends on your priorities and how you interpret each film’s priorities.
For my own ticket-buying money, I think it’s inevitable that Avatar gets more negative reviews, simply because it wears its heart on its sleeve, while ST09 is a product generated for broad demographic appeal. And I think Avatar has sold more tickets for _exactly_ the same reasons.
And let me add to a couple of your points:
#39, There are 10 best film nominations. There are only 5 original screenplay nominations. Therefore, it would be impossible for every film to be nominated for best film to also be nominated for best screenplay. Therefore your argument is irrelevant at this stage. Also, I suggest you do a little research next time. Almost never does the Best Picture and Best Screenplay end up the same. While Best picture and Director tend to go hand in hand. The reasons are largely what S. John Ross suggests, as a screenplay can often be better than what the director shoots (See: Harlan Ellison).
#40, Yes it did earn higher professional critical praise. You are citing the averages, but the major critics came it at 94% for Avatar and 92% for Star Trek. As for the so-called “T-Meter Critics” frankly I could care less what Kurt Loder thinks about_anything_!
And yes, you can easily see how the “haters” were voting early on by simply looking at the general public reviews chronologically prior to the films release. Avatar has several pages of negatives months before it came out, while Star Trek only has a couple, mostly positive reviews. Which is also interesting, in that it suggests very few people were even paying attention to Star Trek, while Avatar had a lot of interest.
#42, As well as Best Screenplay I think you’ll find that there is also a category called Best Adapted Screenplay and if you combine both the Best Adapted Screenplay and the Best Screenplay nominees you’ll seen that the movies I have mentioned (Hurt Locker, Inglorious Basterds, Up, Precious, Up In The Air, A Serious Man, District 9, An Education) are all included… minus, of course, Avatar. Perhaps you should research the category list next time. If you would like to research even further you’ll find that the Best Picture Winner for at least the last 20 years has been represented in either the Best Screenplay or Best Adapted Screenplay categories… with the exception of one year… 1997 where a film called Titanic won Best Picture without being acknowledged for it’s screenplay. A common feature with Cameron films it would seem. Back to you…
Infact as far back as I can see throughout the history of the Oscars (with the exception of Titanic 1997)… the Best Picture Winner has been represented in a Screenplay category . I think Screenplay is important to a film and any film nominated for Best Picture should have a good Screenplay. Except if you’re James Cameron…
The reason that “Avatar” has dominated at the box office comes down to these reasons:
1) James Cameron. His track record is nearly impeccable, minus Piranahs 2. His films have made boatloads of cash at the box office.
He knows how to write great characters, male and female. He has made sequels that were as good or even better than the original. He pushes the boundaries with visual effects. He is a great storyteller, though “Avatar” didn’t have the strongest plot in my opinion.
2) The awe and splendor of the world that James Cameron has created.
The fact that it was in 3D had a greater appeal to those who wouldn’t have seen it otherwise. The visual effects drew people in. 3D drew in way more people. Plus, there was something magical about the CGI that stirred the imaginations of people.
3) The acting. Stephen Lang, Sigourney Weaver, Zoe Saldana, and Sam Worthington all put in strong performances. They kept the movie grounded in reality within the visual playground that is this movie.
4) The movie was accessible to everyone. Nobody had to know anything about the characters prior to seeing this movie. Plus it has a simple storyline that doesn’t confuse anyone with too much exposition. It wasn’t burdened with prior history. And it made the effort to appeal to a broad audience.
Anyone expecting “Avatar” like numbers for the sequel to “Star Trek” can keep dreaming. A Star Trek film will NEVER make the kind of money “Transformers 2” made, never mind “Avatar”. Truth is, inspite of the success of J.J Abram’s “Star Trek”, there will always be a stigma associated with Star Trek. There is the perception that our favorite franchise is a “male geeks only” club. The new movie shed some of that, no question, but unfortunately, the stereotype will always remain in some people’s minds. Also, Star Trek may be too intellectual for people who prefer to shut off their brains at the theatre. I am certain (depending on the quality of course) the sequel will earn more money next time. A $500 million worldwide haul is quite reasonable, but anything more would be a huge bonus, a big stroke of luck, and enough reason to buy a lottery ticket.
I would suggest that Star Trek has always been more of a cult classic, rather than a male-geeks-only-club. I certainly know plenty of women who have enjoyed Star Trek since TOS. But Star Trek is the desired entertainment of Trekkies and Trekkers. It is not everyone’s cup of tea. I suppose from a business standpoint, Star Trek is in competition with other movies, but as a single entity, Star Trek is not in competition with anything else. Star Trek is unique, in a sense. It appeals to a certain aspect of the public… it always has, and always will. It is only a certain aspect of fandom that puts Star Trek into a competiton with other “products,” such as Star Wars, or BSG, or Avatar, or whatever. Some of the fandom even puts Star Trek into competiton with itself, saying one particular series is superior to another. This says more about people’s attitudes about competition than it does about Star Trek.
I have maintained that Star Trek does not need to win all sorts of awards, or become the biggest box office film of all-time. Every film-maker would love to achieve such goals, but those goals are not what drives film-makers in the first place. Star Trek has a niche, and does not intend to be all things to all people. Star Trek does not require mass-marketing, it is the biggest fish in its own pond, the way Star Wars owns its own position in the sci-fi/fantasy genre. These franchises do not need to conquer other ponds. The fact that Trek09 brought in a swell of new, curious viewers is a positive thing, and has the potential to expand the size of Star Trek’s fan-base. I believe it is the quality of Star Trek, in general, that keeps it going, and is the reason why something like Lost In Space is not still a viable franchise 40 years later.
I think it is unfair, in many ways, to paint Trek09 in any negative light, since it is only one film, and it was a film that needed to accomplish numerous goals. The fact that it made more money than Paramount expected it to indicates that Star Trek is not dead, and there is still interest. The sequel will need to accomplish certain goals, as well, but it is still a Star Trek movie being made for Trekkies and Trekkers. Whatever mainstream spills in will be a bonus.
I believe the film-makers know what they must do with the sequel. They’ve seen what Trek09 did, they’ve listened to all of our praise, criticism, nit-picking, and, I believe, they understand what Star Trek is all about just fine. Star Trek does not need to “beat” the “competition,” it simply needs to be successful with Star Trek lovers. That’s all it has ever done, anyway.
#43/44, The Chief Engineer, I stand corrected. Many Oscar winning Best Films have a winning screenplay as well. But many also have won without their screenplay (original or adapted) also winning. And thank you for doing the research, so I did not have to! Especially the nominations bit. ;-)
But your argument is still basically specious. Your premise is basically that it is not good enough from which to extract a good film, and a film cannot be good without a good screenplay and you go out looking for data to support that presumption. S. John Ross’ point still stands that the best movie does not necessarily have to have the best script, and Star Trek has proven that even an extremely entertaining movie does not have to have a great script.
And I maintain that despite there are 10 film and 10 combined script nominations, only 5 of those nominations can apply to Avatar. Perhaps Avatar was two votes shy of beating out another one of the 5 that were chosen. Your entire argument presumes to know the vote count and where Avatar would have fallen in the top 10 votes cast for best original scripts. Frankly, you cite all the other scripts which “represented” the best films by nominations, if not a win, yet you have no idea where they rank in the minds of the Academy. Who is to say that the screenplay which won, wasn’t the least of the nominees, or a nomination didn’t merely edge out another film?
It also begs the question, how did a screenplay get nominated when no other major aspects of its film were nominated? Because one has nothing to do with the other. A good script can be poorly made, and a bad script can be exceptionally made. Are you going to judge the merits of one based on the other? Well you shouldn’t. And in your view, there’s little other reason to nominate people in other categories who were not instrumental in the making of the Best Film nominees. But that’s not true, not for acting, not for wardrobe and not for writing.
As I see it, there were 10 films, 4 with original screenplay noms, and 4 with adapted noms, 2 without any. But, there was only one original screenplay (and just one adapted) which was not nominated for best picture (and only otherwise nominated for a best supporting actor role) – “The Messenger”. Who is to say that script did not barely edge out Avatar? And who’s to say it didn’t have more votes than the other 4? What’s more, while the WGA Awards _did_nominate Avatar for best original screenplay, they_did not_nominate The Messenger, as well as two other films that did not make the Oscar cut. This is similar for the WGA Best Adapted screenplay which also nominated Star Trek. Since the WGA makes up a lions share of the voting membership of the Academy, how do you explain that Avatar was so bad it couldn’t stand up to Oscar scrutiny, yet appeared on the WGA short list?
How would you react now if Star Trek had made the Oscar’s best adapted screenplay list, but nothing else? What if Avatar had? Based on the WGA awards, I can speculate that both probably carried a large number of votes, regardless.
So hate on Avatar all you want, but your observations_do not_prove anything, other than Avatar was not in the top 5 list and you don’t think much of it. The various guilds and major critics disagree with you.
As for being the favorite to win, that’s rumor, hearsay, speculation and hype. “The Hurt Locker” has so much momentum and proven wins at this point, that it will most likely take the Oscars and satisfy all your personal requirements for a best film.
#47: All speculation on your part… there’s alot of “what if’s” in your argument. I’m dealing in fact. The fact is that the Academy has not recognised Avatar as a Best Screenplay contender… it doesn’t matter a damn if it missed by one vote, it is not there! Fact. You’re right, I have no idea how many precise votes were cast by the Academy, but the facts are that is not nominated for Best Screenplay. There is no disguising it. “What if” scenarios will not change that. My observation simply concerns the Oscars. I’m not talking about any other Awards ceremony… just the Oscars. The big one.
I don’t hate Avatar… it’s a decent movie… fun to look at… but in 5 years time, when those effects are standard, i don’t think it will hold up (just my opinion!). I’m sorry but a good story makes a good film. We can agree to disagree on that. I happen to believe (and i’m sure i’m not the only one) that the Best Picture should be recognised as having a good story. The Academy have decided Avatar is not good enough to be nominated for Best Screenplay. I’m sorry, but that’s a fact.
My observation simply states that history has shown that in about 99% of all Oscar ceremonies that the Winner of Best Film has been acknowledged in a Screenplay category. Again, it’s just a fact that cannot be argued! Read into that fact what you will…
If Avatar wins then fair play. It will be one of those quirks that breaks the mould of Oscar winners… just like Titanic. However, I just have a feeling that the Oscars may follow suit like the BAFTAs, where Avatar will be recognised for it’s Special Effects and Production Design (and absolutely deservedly so), but Hurt Locker is recognised for it’s Director, Screenplay and ultimately Movie. But hey, now i’m speculating… ;-)
#48, “99% of all Oscar ceremonies that the Winner of Best Film has been acknowledged in a Screenplay category”
99% of all Oscar ceremonies in which_only 5 films_ were up for Best Film, has the winner also been acknowledged in a screenplay category. In fact it is almost guaranteed with that ratio of 10 screenplays to 5 films.
I never suggested any of my earlier points were anything other than speculative. But then neither are yours. Your argument is just as speculative, based on judging the 2009 Oscars by same criteria for the last 64 years. There haven’t been 10 films nominated for best picture since 1944.
Going back further, when the Academy did nominate 10 films, your 99% ratio begins to fall apart, and is further complicated by the fact that for several years there were different writing categories, including story, adaptation, and original. So 10 films were often represented by as many as 15 writing nominations (easy to hit your bullseye then).
So you have absolutely no evidence based on previous nominations that the Best Film out of 10 nominations would have been represented by the 10 screenplay nominations.
What they did in the past is fact. How that applies to the current awards is pure speculation. You are using facts to substantiate a speculative position that what happened in the past under a completely different set of circumstances applies to the current situation.
In the end, members can only vote on the films nominated. In the past, with only 5 nominations, it was much harder to get a specific film on the list because votes would be diluted among all the eligible films.
And simply because a film makes the list doesn’t ultimately mean the entire Academy thinks it is the best movie of the year, but simply the best movie out of the 5 choices offered. If that were the case, why nominate films at all? Just announce the winner of all the nominations and be done with it. Certainly would save a lot of money for ballots, envelopes and postage.
#46: “I certainly know plenty of women who have enjoyed Star Trek since TOS.”
Indeed, once (years ago) Star Trek fandom was famous as being less male-dominated than other forms of SF fandom … I remember reading an article from the early 1980s that estimated that fully 70% of the attendees at a Star Trek convention they ran the numbers on, were women. The shift seemed to occur across the 80s and be cemented by The Next Generation, and then a further shift seemed to follow the other spinoff shows.
“I think it is unfair, in many ways, to paint Trek09 in any negative light”
No paint required. Either way, it’s a product (more than anything, it’s a product) and not above consumer criticism.
“since it is only one film, and it was a film that needed to accomplish numerous goals.”
Every film is “only one film” and _virtually_ every film needs to accomplish numerous goals. This earns none of them special coddling.
“The fact that it made more money than Paramount expected it to indicates that Star Trek is not dead, and there is still interest.”
It indicates that the brand can be re-applied to broadly-marketable product. This isn’t news.