Monday, May 26, 2014

Thoughts on the Hugo Award Nominees: Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form)

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Iron Man 3
Pacific Rim

Without trying, I have watched all of the Long Form nominees for Best Dramatic Presentation. I almost described this as "all of the movies" because that is how I often think of the category and is what typically ends up on the ballot, but it have to be so.  The category is for "a dramatized production in any medium, including film, television, radio, live theater, computer games or music. The work must last 90 minutes or longer (excluding commercials)", which is why since 2003 we have had nominations for Heroes: Season One, Game of Thrones: Season One, and the audio presentation of METAtropolis.  Of course, that is only three nominations in twelve years, so the original point still stands. 

At the bare minimum, I would select each of these movies above No Award.  So, there is that. 

Pacific Rim and Iron Man 3 both fall in the category, for me, of "it's fine".  I enjoyed Iron Man 3 much more than Pacific Rim, and most of that is due to the personality and presence of Robert Downey Junior. Also, Iron Man is probably my favorite of the Marvel comics I have read.  I'd watch it again.  But, I'm not sure I would hold it up as one of the truly best movies of the year. 

Frozen is a bit of a special case. I very much appreciate what it did, and if I have daughters in the next couple of years, I fully intend to buy a copy of the movie so they can watch it.  Out of all of the Disney films, I most appreciate that it isn't a straight up "princess movie" that requires the love of a man or being an adventure for boys, or relying on a man to save the day.  There's good stuff here.  I also rather enjoyed "Do You Want to Build a Snowman" more than "Let It Go".  This is a traditional Disney musical with some very modern sensibilities.  I am concerned, however, that I am now past the point where I can fully appreciate the Disney animated movies. I was at a perfect age (if a couple years older) to fall in love with The Lion King, and I just don't see that I can hit a Disney movie like that again. I probably couldn't recognize it.  But Frozen is good.  I just don't know if it is that good.  I can't tell.

Catching Fire is a solid followup to The Hunger Games. Jennifer Lawrence is excellent as Katniss and I expect to be at each of the next two movies on opening weekend. This is a very well done adaptation of the book and a good movie in its own right.

But, one of my favorite movies of last year, period, was Gravity. Sandra Bullock nailed the performance and the claustrophobic feeling of being alone in space, spinning out of control, was absolutely perfect.  This is absolutely my kind of movie and, I think, the best of the nominees.  It's been a while since I last watched Gravity, but my feeling of the movie hasn't changed since it was in theaters. 

My Vote
1. Gravity
2. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
3. Frozen
4. Iron Man 3
5. Pacific Rim
6. No Award

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