It looks like our Lights Out editors have been busy this week, so I’m 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 I’ll try for predictions next year or I might turn to heavy drugs.  You’ll 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 70’s, but has since been licensed to Mania Entertainment, which publishes CINESCAPE MAGAZINE (not to mention Cinescape Online,) and host the very popular something.  Really, that’s 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 Academy’s name, that they would agree.  But, as you read the nominations, I think you’ll see they have a different interpretation.  Basically, anything that isn’t 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 nominee’s in each category, apparently while consuming mass quantities of alcoholic beverages or controlled substances.  Ballots are then sent out to obscure industry pro’s, 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 Guy’s Bar.  I not kidding, they really said that!

So, without further ado, here’s the list of nominee’s, 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

The One

Planet of the Apes

Vanilla Sky

They sure didn’t 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 that’s 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

Monsters, Inc.

The Mummy Returns

Shrek

Spy Kids

Ok, I can sort of buy the animated films here.  If they didn’t use a very broad definition of fantasy, then they probably wouldn’t 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 Others

The Devil's Backbone

From Hell

Hannibal

Jeepers Creepers

Thirteen Ghosts

Here is another sparse category.  I guess we just didn’t make any really good horror last year.  I’d have to go with Jeepers Creepers here – it was fun, if predictable and way too short.  The Others just didn’t do it for me.  I figured out the twist more than half way through the movie.  Sadly, I suppose we’re going to see more of these Sixth Sense inspired thrillers.

Best Action/Adventure/Thriller Film

Memento

Black Hawk Down

Brotherhood of the Wolf

Joy Ride

The Man Who Wasn't There

Mulholland Drive

Now here’s a tough category!  Of course, it’s got nothing to do with Science Fiction, Fantasy or Horror.  But, there’s 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?

Best Actor

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 he’s 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 I’ve 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...

Best Actress

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 haven’t 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 it’s 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, I’m inclined to go with Diaz here – she really channeled Glenn Close.  But it’s 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 weren’t here.  Tough choices all around.

Best Direction

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.

Best Writing

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; he’s a visionary director and the creator of some of our most favorite movies.  But I’m afraid there’s a reason why he’s 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...

Best Music

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 don’t know if Williams score was all that remarkable here.  Perhaps Rings should have edged him out, but I’d have to go with Nancy Wilson (half of the Heart sisters,) just because I’ve had a crush on her since I was ten.

Best Costume

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, I’ve just got a thing for Moulin Rouge!

Best Makeup

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...

Television Nominations

Best Network Television Series

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Angel

Dark Angel

Enterprise

Smallville

The X-Files

Since I watch very little TV, I don’t have much to say here.  None of these series do anything for me.  I’ve 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 didn’t get something every year!

Best Syndicated/Cable Television Series

Farscape

Andromeda

The Chronicle

The Invisible Man

Stargate SG-l

Witchblade

As long as they are both in production, Farscape and Stargate SG-1 will just toss this one back and forth.  The others don’t even come close.  I can’t 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

She Creature

Teenage Caveman

Gads!  This reads like a list of bad 60’s 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 don’t 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 can’t say I’ve been impressed with Butler.  Then again, I can’t 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 they’ve 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, he’s very good.  Then again, I don’t 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 they’ve 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...)

DVD Nominations

Best DVD Release

Ginger Snaps

Bruiser

Lady and the Tramp 2: Scamp's Adventure

Panic

Rat

With a Friend Like Harry

It’s 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 can’t 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 DVD’s?  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 doesn’t explain the lack of competition.  And, as far as I can tell, Ginger Snaps was released in March of 2002!  It shouldn’t even have been eligible!

Best DVD Special Edition Release

Shrek

Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider

Moulin Rouge

Planet of the Apes

Why wasn’t Shrek in Best DVD?  As far as I can tell, there’s 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 isn’t surprising, considering it’s the first year for these categories.  Maybe when the DVD committee sobers up they can get it reworked.  It’s 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

Suspiria

Oh, here’s The Phantom Menace.  What’s it doing in Classics?  They just gave Phantom Menace two Saturn’s 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 that’s the only way Snow White beats Phantom Menace and Encounters.  The only way.

Here are all the Special Award winners, sans commentary.  I’m sure they were all deserving of something and, frankly, I don’t want to do the research to figure out who should have won!

Special Award Recipients

The Dr. Donald A. Reed Award

Sherry Lansing

The Life Career Award

Stan Lee

Drew Struzan

Special Achievement Award

Anchor Bay Entertainment

The George Pal Memorial Award

Samuel Z. Arkoff (posthumously)

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Whew!  We’ll that’s it for the Saturn’s this year.  I hope, one day, to reach an exalted enough position that I, too, can be involved with the Saturn’s.  Not that I think I can make a difference.  It’s just that those guys really know how to party!

That’s last call!  Drink up!  ~Lee