Thursday, July 1, 2021

Thursday Movie Picks #57: Oscar Edition: Best Cinematography and Visual Effects

Hey! Welcome to Thursday Movie Picks where you get to share your movie picks for each topic presented every Thursday!  Based on the theme presented each week, you can pick up to 3 to 5 movies and explain why you picked those movies! This meme is being hosted by Wandering through the Shelves!

This week's theme is: Oscar Edition: Best Cinematography and Visual Effects!

If there's one thing that I like about movies, it's the cinematography and the visual effects!  Not only do I usually love the stories being told in the movies, but I especially love the cinematography and the visual effects of the films and this week's topic, we will be exploring some movies that won Oscars for best cinematography and best visual effects!

Best Cinematography

A meek Hobbit from the Shire and eight companions set out on a journey to destroy the powerful One Ring and save Middle-earth from the Dark Lord Sauron.

I always remembered how beautiful the cinematography in this film was!  My favorite shot is probably the shot of the Hobbit getting the ring dropped on his finger!

2. Avatar

A paraplegic Marine dispatched to the moon Pandora on a unique mission becomes torn between following his orders and protecting the world he feels is his home.


I remembered how big this movie was when it first came out!  Not only was it visually stunning, but it also has some really good cinematography moments!

3. Mank

1930s Hollywood is reevaluated through the eyes of scathing social critic and alcoholic screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz as he races to finish the screenplay of Citizen Kane.

Even though this movie had a very slow pace, I was immediately amazed at how beautiful the cinematography in this film was!  It made me think that I was in 1930s Hollywood!

Best Visual Effects

A toon-hating detective is a cartoon rabbit's only hope to prove his innocence when he is accused of murder.

I honestly didn't know that this movie had won an Oscar and it was for "Best Visual Effects!" Honestly, it was well deserved as the visuals in this movie were fantastic!  Even though "Mary Poppins" did the animation /  live action hybrid much earlier, "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" was the film that really showcase the beauty of the live action / animated hybrid movies!

A pragmatic paleontologist visiting an almost complete theme park is tasked with protecting a couple of kids after a power failure causes the park's cloned dinosaurs to run loose.
Oh man!  I remembered when this movie first came out and how everyone fell in love with the designs of the dinosaurs!  I have to admit that for a film that was made in 1993, the visual effects still hold up to this very day!

When a beautiful stranger leads computer hacker Neo to a forbidding underworld, he discovers the shocking truth--the life he knows is the elaborate deception of an evil cyber-intelligence.

I didn't even know that the Matrix won any Oscars (another film on this list that I didn't know won any Oscars).  Anyway, I think it really deserved this win!  The big thing I always remembered about this movie was how stunning the visual effects were, especially whenever Neo is performing these awesome moves whenever he's fighting against a foe!




  1. I'm glad the LOTR films are so popular this week. They deserve it. We match on Jurassic Park!

  2. Cool to see Who Framed Roger Rabbit? get some love! Your other picks for Visual Effects are great, too.

    I'm not as big on your picks for Cinematography. They all look great, but generally don't do it for me (except The Fellowship of the Ring, which I really like). Great work!

  3. I can't say I loved all these films (some I flat out hated) but even for the ones I disdained I'll admit they had great looks. I haven't seen Mank yet but it is on my too see list.

    I'm not an animation fan but Roger Rabbit has such a joyous spirit I did have a good time when I went to see it in the theatre.

    Jurassic Park is another where the effects have held up over the years. I caught a small part of it recently and was impressed at how didn't seem dated like so many films from the 90's.

    I stayed within cinematography for my three this week, almost had a Montana theme going with two of them but my third is set on the open seas.

    The Black Swan (1942)-Florid swashbuckler with Tyrone Power as reformed privateer Jamie Waring. Commissioned by the newly pardoned master pirate Henry Morgan (Laird Cregar) now governor of Jamaica to offer amnesty to the other bandits of the sea he sets off on the task along with his trusty sidekick Tommy Blue (Thomas Mitchell) but runs afoul of renegade picaroon Billy Leech (George Sanders-buried under a red wig and beard) and his henchman Wogan (Anthony Quinn) who refuse to give up their thieving ways. Much swordplay ensues. All the while Waring romances the fiery beauty Lady Margaret Denby (Maureen O’Hara). This all unfurls in lush sumptuously rich Technicolor provided by Leon Shamroy who won the Best Color Cinematography Oscar, at the time the category was divided between color and black and white.

    A River Runs Through It (1992)-Mediative drama of two Montana brothers Norman and Paul Maclean (Paul Sheffer and Brad Pitt) and the divergent paths their lives take with their shared love of fly-fishing serving as a metaphor for the vagaries of life. While the story is solid and the acting by the entire cast superior it’s the breathtaking vistas as well as the more intimate scenes shot by Oscar winner Phillipe Rousselot that truly dazzle the eye.

    Legends of the Fall (1994)-Brothers Tristan, Alfred and Samuel Ludlow (Brad Pitt, Aidan Quinn and Henry Thomas) all love the same woman, Susannah Fincannon (Julia Ormond) in the wide-open spaces of their father William’s (Anthony Hopkins) sprawling ranch leading to sorrow for all. Sweeping family melodrama once again set in Montana but a quite different one than A River Runs Through It. This is the Montana of vast spaces and operatic happenings and emotions. Venturing farther afield to other continents and the majesty of the ocean cinematographer John Toll earned his award by using his keen eye to lend a strong chiaroscuro element to the picture.

  4. I need to rewatch Who Framed Roger Rabbit as it has been picked several times this week and I don't remember much about it.

    1. It's a pretty good movie! You should definitely rewatch it!