It looks like our Lights Out editors have been busy this week, so Im going to take a break from the rumors department and talk about the recent Saturn Awards (beside, they used up all the good rumors!) Depending on how it goes, I might do this annually, maybe Ill try for predictions next year or I might turn to heavy drugs. Youll understand shortly...
The Saturn Awards are presented annually by The Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films. The Academy was originally some sort of Dracula fan club, but changed its name in 1972 and has somehow stuck around long enough to gain some sort of legitimacy. The awards show was syndicated for a few years in the 70s, but has since been licensed to Mania Entertainment, which publishes CINESCAPE MAGAZINE (not to mention Cinescape Online,) and host the very popular something. Really, thats how their description ends, just hosts the very popular. Perhaps they meant the awards show, which can be seen on June 21, if you have something called the Space Imagination Channel, which I think is an exhibit down at NASA.
The Saturn Awards are presented for the best in what we refer to as genre entertainment. Most of us think this means SF, Fantasy and Horror, and you would think, by the Academys name, that they would agree. But, as you read the nominations, I think youll see they have a different interpretation. Basically, anything that isnt a Romantic Comedy appears to have a chance here. Wait, it looks like Serendipity has gotten a few nominations. There goes that theory. I give up! I have no idea how these people categorize these things.
The Academy forms multiple committees, which meet and select the nominees in each category, apparently while consuming mass quantities of alcoholic beverages or controlled substances. Ballots are then sent out to obscure industry pros, even more obscure fans and random homeless persons in Los Angeles. I suspect that each Ballot package included at least one bottle of something rather potent. Anyway, the results are mailed in to an audit company, which produces the list of winners. Then they film the awards ceremony. Then, according to Cinescape, the award winners, nominees, presenters and guests get to celebrate at a chic party at Guys Bar. I not kidding, they really said that!
So, without further ado, heres the list of nominees, with the winners highlighted. And of course, my own observations on each award! Grab a drink and sit back! (Really, grab a drink! It may be the only way you can figure out some of their logic!)
Best Science Fiction Film
A.I. Artificial Intelligence
Jurassic Park III
Lara Croft: Tomb Raider
Planet of the Apes
They sure didnt give themselves many options here! Personally, I think I would have just refused to vote. Of all of these, only The One and JP III were very entertaining and thats stretching it. But I suppose everyone knew from the start that this was going to A.I., if only because of the Stanley Kubrick posthumous effect. Spy Kids and The Mummy Returns should have both been in this category. Although I could argue The Mummy Returns either way. Evolution, Ghosts of Mars and K-Pax are all suspiciously absent here, but at least Spacey gets a nod for Best Actor!
Best Fantasy Film
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
The Mummy Returns
Ok, I can sort of buy the animated films here. If they didnt use a very broad definition of fantasy, then they probably wouldnt be able to present this award every year. The only two real fantasy films here are Rings and Harry Potter. Anyway, there was only one choice here and they made it.
Best Horror Film
The Devil's Backbone
Here is another sparse category. I guess we just didnt make any really good horror last year. Id have to go with Jeepers Creepers here it was fun, if predictable and way too short. The Others just didnt do it for me. I figured out the twist more than half way through the movie. Sadly, I suppose were going to see more of these Sixth Sense inspired thrillers.
Best Action/Adventure/Thriller Film
Black Hawk Down
Brotherhood of the Wolf
The Man Who Wasn't There
Now heres a tough category! Of course, its got nothing to do with Science Fiction, Fantasy or Horror. But, theres some real competition here. However, I agree with the Academy, Memento was a clear standout. Hey, did I mention that this was a tough category?
Tom Cruise, Vanilla Sky
Johnny Depp, From Hell
Anthony Hopkins, Hannibal
Guy Pearce, Memento
Kevin Spacey, K-Pax
Billy Bob Thornton, The Man Who Wasn't There
Ouch. I like Tom Cruise, I really do. But hes just not in this class. Johnny Depp and Billy Bob kind of hover on the edge. But Hopkins, Pearce and Spacey are up there in the stratosphere. Either of these guys can prop up a weak script and turn a movie around for the audience. Spacey gave it a good shot, but Ive just got to ding Pearce not for his excellent work in Memento, but for The Time Machine. So, it should have been Sir Hopkins without him, Hannibal would dove straight into the discount bin! I think this is when the drinks started kicking in for the voters...
Nicole Kidman, The Others
Kate Beckinsale, Serendipity
Angelina Jolie, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider
Julianne Moore, Hannibal
Frances O'Connor, A.I. Artificial Intelligence
Naomi Watts, Mulholland Drive
Were they just being cute here? Giving an award to Tom and Nicole? Hoping for some kind of brawl at the ceremony? Actually, she might have deserved this one. Kidman did a good job in The Others, but I havent seen Mulholland Drive or Serendipity yet. None of the others even came close. But Kidman really should have won for Moulin Rouge.
Best Supporting Actor
Ian McKellen, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
Robbie Coltrane, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Mark Decascos, Brotherhood of the Wolf
Eddie Murphy, Shrek
Jeremy Piven, Serendipity
Tim Roth, Planet of the Apes
Another good choice! And its nice to see Mark Decascos get a mention. Hold on, the voters are starting to get woozy...
Best Supporting Actress
Fionnula Flanagan, The Others
Monica Bellucci, Brotherhood of the Wolf
Helena Bonham Carter, Planet of the Apes
Cameron Diaz, Vanilla Sky
Frances McDormand, The Man Who Wasn't There
Maggie Smith, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
What? Fionnula Flanagan was better than McDormand, Smith and Diaz? Personally, Im inclined to go with Diaz here she really channeled Glenn Close. But its always hard go against McDormand. I think the choice was just to hard for them, so they just took a random stab.
Best Performance by a Younger Actor
Haley Joel Osment, A.I. Artificial Intelligence
Freddie Boath, The Mummy Returns
Justin Long, Jeepers Creepers
Alakina Mann, The Others
Daniel Radcliffe, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Emma Watson, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Hard to say here. Osment did a pretty good job, given what he had to work with. But the Potter kids were very good, as well. In fact, most of the kids here did a great job. The only amazing thing was that the Spy Kids werent here. Tough choices all around.
Peter Jackson, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
Alejandro Amenabar, The Others
Chris Columbus, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Christophe Gans, Brotherhood of the Wolf
David Lynch, Mulholland Drive
Steven Spielberg, A.I. Artificial Intelligence
Oops! They slipped up and made a good choice here! Jackson deserves this award just for convincing the studios to let him film all three Rings simultaneously. And then he went and did a fantastic job, on top of that.
Steven Spielberg, A.I. Artificial Intelligence
Alejandro Amenabar, The Others
Andrew Stanton and Dan Gerson, Monsters, Inc.
Stephane Cabel and Christophe Gans, Brotherhood of the Wolf
Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio, Joe Stillman and Roger S.H. Schulman, Shrek
Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens and Peter Jackson, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
Another ouch! Everybody loves Spielberg; hes a visionary director and the creator of some of our most favorite movies. But Im afraid theres a reason why hes never won an award for writing. This really should have been between Shrek and Rings. And I would give the edge to Shrek. Some of the voters must have gotten to that sentimental drunk stage...
John Williams, A.I. Artificial Intelligence
Angelo Badalamenti, Mulholland Drive
Joseph LoDuca, Brotherhood of the Wolf
John Powell and Harry Gregson-Williams, Shrek
Howard Shore, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
Nancy Wilson, Vanilla Sky
You would think they could actually just call this the John Williams award, but this marks only his fifth win. I suppose you could count one more for the remarkable achievement of tying himself in 1977, for Star Wars and Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind. Oddly, the only other multiple winner is Danny Elfman, with four wins. But I dont know if Williams score was all that remarkable here. Perhaps Rings should have edged him out, but Id have to go with Nancy Wilson (half of the Heart sisters,) just because Ive had a crush on her since I was ten.
Judianna Makovsky, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Colleen Atwood, Planet of the Apes
Kym Barrett, From Hell
Dominique Borg, Brotherhood of the Wolf
Ngila Dickson and Richard Taylor, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
Catherine Martin and Angus Strathie, Moulin Rouge
Yet another good, competitive category. Personally, I think Rings beats out Potter, but Rouge takes the edge. Then again, Ive just got a thing for Moulin Rouge!
Greg Cannom and Wesley Wofford, Hannibal
Nick Dudman, Mark Coulier and John Lambert, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Peter Owen and Richard Taylor, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
Aileen Seaton, Nick Dudman and Jane Walker, The Mummy Returns
Rick Baker and John Blake, Planet of the Apes
Michele Burke and Camille Calvert, Vanilla Sky
Ok, the voters are officially plastered. What the heck were they thinking? Apes clearly beats the tar out of everybody else! I mean, come on! This was the only thing that Apes got right!
Best Special Effects
Dennis Muren, Scott Farrar, Stan Winston and Michael Lantieri, A.I. Artificial Intelligence
Rob Legato, Nick Davis, Roger Guyett and John Richardson, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Jim Mitchell, Dan Taylor, Donald R. Elliott and John Rosengrant, Jurassic Park III
Jim Rygiel, Randall William Cook, Richard Taylor and Mark Stetson, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
John Andrew Berton Jr., Daniel Jeannette, Neil Corbould and Tom Rosseter, The Mummy Returns
Arthur Windus, Val Wardlaw, Hal Bertram, Nick Drew and Seb Caudron, Brotherhood of the Wolf
This is always a hotly contested category, for good reason. Special Effects have become so fantastic that it gets hard to compare. This may have been the only win that A.I. really deserved. But we could argue that one forever...
Best Network Television Series
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Since I watch very little TV, I dont have much to say here. None of these series do anything for me. Ive seen some of each, but quickly lose interest. I think this is just a nod to all the Buffy fans out there. They would probably storm the Academy if Buffy didnt get something every year!
Best Syndicated/Cable Television Series
The Invisible Man
As long as they are both in production, Farscape and Stargate SG-1 will just toss this one back and forth. The others dont even come close. I cant even believe that The Invisible Man was on this list. They must have gotten their Raspberry list mixed up with the nominees. Drinking to excess will do that to you...
Best Single Television Presentation
Jack and the Beanstalk - The Real Story
Earth vs. the Spider
The Lost Empire
The Mists of Avalon
Gads! This reads like a list of bad 60s B-movies. The only one of these I even noticed was The Mists of Avalon. Are some of these jokes? Teenage Caveman? She Creature? I dont even want to know.
Best Actor in a Television Series
Ben Browder, Farscape
Richard Dean Anderson, Stargate SG-1
Scott Bakula, Enterprise
David Boreanaz, Angel
Robert Patrick, The X-Files
Tom Welling, Smallville
And just like Best Syndicated/Cable, this one will go back and forth between Browder and Anderson. Or at least it should.
Best Actress in a Television Series
Yancy Butler, Witchblade
Jessica Alba, Dark Angel
Gillian Anderson, The X-Files
Claudia Black, Farscape
Sarah Michelle Gellar, Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Kristin Kreuk, Smallville
Whatever. I cant say Ive been impressed with Butler. Then again, I cant say that about most of the others. Claudia Black does good work, as does Gillian Anderson. We all know what the Buffy fans think. Ok, nobody really stands out here.
Best Supporting Actor in a Television Series
Michael Rosenbaum, Smallville
Christopher Judge, Stargate SG-1
James Marsters, Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Anthony Simcoe, Farscape
Connor Trinneer, Enterprise
Michael Weatherly, Dark Angel
They're staggering drunk now. I think theyve all finished off whatever they got with the ballot and have moved on to a strip bar somewhere. My choice? Judge. When they actually let him act, hes very good. Then again, I dont watch the others much.
Best Supporting Actress in a Television Series
Jolene Blalock, Enterprise
Gigi Edgley, Farscape
Annabeth Gish, The X-Files
Alyson Hannigan, Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Amanda Tapping, Stargate SG-1
Michelle Trachtenberg, Buffy the Vampire Slayer
The voters are definitely at a strip bar! I can hear them saying that theyve have got to get Blalock in a tight dress at the ceremony. Remember, these were the geeks in high school! (So was I, but I got over it. Mmmmm. Beer...)
Best DVD Release
Lady and the Tramp 2: Scamp's Adventure
With a Friend Like Harry
Its now officially a disaster. The voters are passed out all over the bar and the only guys left have a financial stake in Ginger Snaps. I cant even understand this section! What are these movies doing here? If this is just for any old DVD, what happened to Phantom Menace? How about the Buffy, Stargate SG-1 and Farscape DVDs? There had to be hundreds of possibilities here! Ok, so Ginger Snaps was two thirds of a good B-movie (the last third went to bad B-movie,) but that doesnt explain the lack of competition. And, as far as I can tell, Ginger Snaps was released in March of 2002! It shouldnt even have been eligible!
Best DVD Special Edition Release
Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within
Lara Croft: Tomb Raider
Planet of the Apes
Why wasnt Shrek in Best DVD? As far as I can tell, theres only one DVD edition out so how can you call it a Special Edition? And where is the Fifth Element? It looks like the whole DVD competition is massively confused. Which isnt surprising, considering its the first year for these categories. Maybe when the DVD committee sobers up they can get it reworked. Its a disaster this year. Anyway, with Shrek out of the running, Moulin Rouge is the clear choice.
Best DVD Classic Film Release
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
Star Trek: The Motion Picture (Director's Edition)
Star Wars: Episode I--The Phantom Menace
Superman: The Movie
Oh, heres The Phantom Menace. Whats it doing in Classics? They just gave Phantom Menace two Saturns in 1999! Yes, yes, all Star Wars movies are instant classics, but this category really seems to be about older movies that are just finally making it to DVD. So where is the Re-mastered 2001? Anyway, the last voter must have passed out with his pencil in his hand and accidentally marked off Snow White. Because thats the only way Snow White beats Phantom Menace and Encounters. The only way.
Here are all the Special Award winners, sans commentary. Im sure they were all deserving of something and, frankly, I dont want to do the research to figure out who should have won!
Special Award Recipients
The Dr. Donald A. Reed Award
The Life Career Award
Special Achievement Award
Anchor Bay Entertainment
The George Pal Memorial Award
Samuel Z. Arkoff (posthumously)
Whew! Well thats it for the Saturns this year. I hope, one day, to reach an exalted enough position that I, too, can be involved with the Saturns. Not that I think I can make a difference. Its just that those guys really know how to party!
Thats last call! Drink up! ~Lee