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9 Sci-fi Films That Should’ve Won Best Picture At The Oscars

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Academy Awards

The Academy Awards (Oscars) have a prestigious worldwide distinction. Given out by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences of the United States since 1929, they’re a recognition of films that stand out. But, if you take a closer look at the awards that have been awarded there’s a pattern that can be clearly seen. That is sci-fi films don’t receive the same recognition as other genres at the Oscars.

A total of 24 Awards are given, each one allocated to a different category. Some of the most well known are Best Picture, Best Foreign Language Film, or Best Original Screenplay. But, there are other categories that, are well received like the best actor, actress, or director.

One of the good things about the Oscars is that they tend to accommodate almost all film genres. Yet, not all genres are equally valued.

Regardless of how good the movie is, even if it’s later considered a movie classic, sci-fi films hardly ever get the attention they should at the Oscars.

Sci-fi tends to be pushed to awards like Best Visual Effects, Best Sound, Best Photography, or Best Sound Editing. Beyond these, we will find little. But is that fair?

We’re are going to look at 9 science fiction classics. 9 sci-fi films that were important in the genre and that, despite everything, were not credited as they should have been at the Oscars.

1. 2001: A Space Odyssey

1968, gave us one of the films that would make history in the world of cinema. 2001: A Space Odyssey, directed by Stanley Kubrick. It’s a landmark both for its revolutionary special effects and for the way imagery was responsible for communicating the story.

If you saw this movie now, it would not cause you the same emotion that it caused at that time. We are talking about a 1968 film and, in its context, it was a real innovation.

Science fiction gained a lot when Stanley Kubrick decided to direct this film. Addressing topics such as human evolution, technological advancement, life away from the Earth, and the appearance of Artificial Intelligence. It was a film endowed with incredible realism. Also, the soundtrack deserves separate consideration.

Despite everything, the Oscars failed to measure up for this sci-fi classic. It had four nominations: Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Art Direction, and Best Visual Effects. It only received the award for Best Visual Effects.

That year the Best Picture Oscar went to Oliver!

2. Blade Runner

Released in 1982, inspired in a way by a Philip K. Dick novel called Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?. Not only is it considered a classic of its genre, but it’s also one of the forerunners of the cyberpunk genre. The film’s axis is artificial intelligence and the creation of replicants used for forced labour. Those that broke programming and have gone astray are being tracked by the cops, Blade Runners.

‘Blade Runner’ was nominated for two Oscars, for Best Art Direction and for Best Visual Effects. But it didn’t win any of them.

That year the Best Picture Oscar went to Gandhi

3. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

It feels impossible that you wouldn’t know this movie. Directed by Steven Spielberg and released in 1982. The film tells the story of E.T., a little alien stuck on Earth and he just wants to return home.

During his stay on our planet, he lives with an American family and becomes close friends with the family’s son, Elliott. However, everything gets complicated when his presence is discovered. Scientists cant comprehend friendly creatures and want to find and run tests on poor E.T.

It became a box office success, surpassing even Star Wars. Of the movies we’ve seen so far, it was the one that received the most award recognition. It got nine Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, but alas didn’t win it.

It ended up winning only four awards: Best Soundtrack, Best Sound, Best Sound Editing and, again, Best Visual Effects.

That year the Best Picture Oscar went to Gandhi

4. Interstellar

Directed by Christopher Nolan it’s one of the most recent sci-fi films on this list to fail with Best Picture at the Oscars, released in 2014.

In this film, it’s told how the Earth has to face the consequences of everything humans have done. There are few crops, agriculture is no longer sustainable. Humanity’s survival is increasingly threatened.

It’s discovered that there is a wormhole near Saturn, which could open a path to a galaxy with habitable planets for all humans. But it takes volunteers to research, and that’s exactly where Cooper, a former professor with a young daughter, goes.

The film has reminiscences of 2001: A Space Odyssey, incredible special effects, and a plot capable of keeping the viewer totally on edge. The surprising ending, mixing science fiction and some drama, manages to put a good ending to this film.

But, again, the Oscars failed to see it. It was nominated for Best Soundtrack, Best Production Design, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound, and Best Visual Effects, although it only won in the latter category.

That year the Best Picture Oscar went to Birdman

5. Alien

Today, after more than three decades, we can appreciate the film’s significance. A classic of science fiction and horror.

Directed by Ridley Scott (again), it got people screaming in movie theatres. Even to this day, this film is capable of making the odd exclamation, despite all the time that has passed and how much cinema has changed in those years.

One of the most curious details of this film is that it began as one more film, with some suspense and a low budget to face all the charges that it could entail. Indeed, neither the actors nor the director, nor the producers themselves, expected that Alien would end up being a movie classic.

Once again, the Oscars failed to measure up. It just got two nominations, Best Visual Effects, and Best Art Direction, skipping the rest. He was only awarded the same one that, at the time, won 2001: A Space Odyssey: Best Visual Effects.

That year the Best Picture Oscar went to Kramer vs. Kramer

6. Planet of the Apes (1968)

The same year that 2001: A Space Odyssey was released, we got to see some apey excellence. Directed by Franklin J. Schaffner it’s based on the novel by Pierre Boulle.

Astronauts are in a hibernation state when their ship suddenly falls into a lake, in the middle of a totally unknown planet. It is then that they discover that they are not alone on that planet.

Despite how important this film has been to the science fiction genre and how famous the rest of the saga films have been, it received only two Oscar nominations: Best Soundtrack and Best Costumes.

It did not win either of the two awards, but it won an honorary award for the makeup quality, as there was no specific category for makeup.

That year the Best Picture Oscar went to Oliver!

7. Inception

Going back to another of the more recent movies, we have Inception (2010). Christopher Nolan produced and directed it. The starring roles went to Leonardo DiCaprio and Ellen Page.

In this film, a thief named Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) uses a device that steals people’s ideas while they sleep to extract a specific plan from a Japanese tycoon. But the victim realizes it, and everything gets complicated. When they discover Cobb’s machine’s power, they offer him a job: instead of stealing ideas, he has to manage to create one. And this is how they’re immersed in the world of dreams.

It was nominated for 8 Oscars, quite an achievement considering that we are talking about science fiction. It won 4 awards, all down to the more technical aspects: Best Photography, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound, and Best Visual Effects.

That year the Best Picture Oscar went to The King’s Speech

8. Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope

The first of the world’s most popular galactic franchises came out in 1977. The impact and importance of the first Star Wars is unmatched by any other movie.

This sci-fi masterpiece was nominated for 11 Oscars, of which it managed to win 7. But, it failed to take the Oscar for Best Picture. It managed to win 7 statuettes for Best Art Direction, Best Costume Design, Best Visual Effects, Best Editing, Best Soundtrack, Best Sound, and Special Recognition to Ben Burtt.

That year the Best Picture Oscar went to Annie Hall

9. Mad Max: Fury Road

Directed by George Miller in 2015. Set in a post-apocalyptic future. A world where nuclear war has destroyed most of civilization. We see Max return for a reboot and a battle along the road.

It was nominated for ten Oscars in 2016. The film won 6 for Best Production Design, Best Sound Mixing, Best Makeup and Hairstyling, Best Sound Editing, Best Film Editing, and Best Costume Design.

That year the Best Picture Oscar went to Spotlight

Sign-off

So many other great Sci-fi films failed to make the Best Picture Oscar cut. A few more worth mentioning include The Martian, The Matrix, Gravity, The Time Machine, to name but a few.

It is curious that Hollywood doesn’t know how to reward sci-fi. But the important thing is that the viewer enjoys it, as many of us do.


Thanks for reading our article on 9 Sci-fi films that should’ve won Best Picture at the Oscars. Do you agree or disagree with our points or have anything to add? If so, leave us a comment below.


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9 Bands You Forgot Played Themselves In Movies

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Paramount Pictures

There are more bands than you think that played themselves on the big screen. Here are nine bands you might’ve forgotten appeared in movies.

1. Alice Cooper – Wayne’s World (1992)

Being a teenager in the nineties was great for many reasons. Two of those being the release of the Wayne’s World movies. The genius that is Mike Myers created one of the best music-based films of all time. Plus, he convinced one of the greatest rock musicians of all time to be in it. If you’re not a geek like me, you may have forgotten that Alice Cooper was featured in the film. It had the iconic scene of Wayne and Garth meeting, Alice, backstage on bent knees. We’re not worthy, indeed. Alice himself pulls off the diva Rockstar brilliantly, even though he’s a genuine, down-to-earth guy who plays a lot of golf.

2. Primus – Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey (1991)

Let’s try and erase the recent Bill & Ted movie from our memory and head back to 1991 for their bogus journey. They come from the future to kill the non-robot versions of themselves and ruin their performance at a Battle of the Bands competition. What’s cool is the band who are playing before them. Californian alt-metal kings Primus. Although the clip is only short, they play themselves and sound as you would expect. Epic.

3. Fall Out Boy – Sex Drive (2008)

You’d be forgiven for forgetting about this one. The teen sex comedy from 2008 is forgettable and won’t really appeal to anyone apart from its teen target audience. If you can sit through all the cringe-inducing moments, you will spot pop-rockers Fall Out Boy. They are performing in a barn in front of some drunk Amish teenagers. There’s a reason for that, but I won’t bore you with it here. What is good, is the soundtrack of the film. As well as Fall Out Boy, it features Airbourne, AC/DC and weirdly, Kenny Loggins.

4. Twisted Sister – Pee Wee’s Big Adventure (1985)

Paul Reuben’s character Pee Wee Herman made his big-screen outing in 1985. The children’s show star had a scene where he is being chased through a studio parking lot. Unbeknown to him, glam rockers Twisted Sister are recording a music video on a car. Lead singer Dee Snider is always up for a laugh, so it’s no surprise they’re featured. The clip is brilliant. Pee Wee’s prop-laden bike is just about to crash into Twisted Sister and the look on Dee’s face is genius. Go check out the clip.

5. David Bowie – Zoolander (2001)

Who can forget the brilliant Zoolander? Starring Ben Stiller as the dippy model, it’s one of the funniest comedies ever made. One of the best scenes of the film is the walk-off. This involved Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson’s characters doing a catwalk-off. Of sorts. Can you remember who refereed it? The legend himself, David Bowie. It’s not the first time Bowie was in a movie – remember Labyrinth? But this time, he plays himself. And does it with all the cool swagger you would expect.

6. The Mighty Mighty Bosstones – Clueless (1995)

I can’t say that I was a massive fan of this teen comedy at the time. The plot revolves around Alicia Silverstone’s character giving her friend a makeover. The premise doesn’t sound like it lends itself to a cool band cameo. You’d be wrong, though. There’s a scene where the lead characters go watch a gig. The band that are playing are The Mighty Mighty Bosstones. The Boston ska-punk legends are only on stage for a moment, but it’s a slick clip. It certainly brings the film up a level on the cool stakes.

7. Daft Punk – Tron: Legacy (2010)

This sequel to the original sci-fi classic is a cracking movie. The visuals and effects are stunning, as is the atmosphere of the film. The music to the film is also rather special. A futuristic and dystopian movie could only have one act doing the score, and that’s Daft Punk. It works a treat. The music is intertwined into the movie and becomes a part of it. The delicious electronica is the perfect complement to the visuals. The French electronic masters also have a cameo at the end of the movie. They’re spinning the decks in a blink-and-you-miss-it scene.

8. Aerosmith – Wayne’s World (1993)

We’ve already had an appearance from the first film further up our list, and the second doesn’t disappoint either. The plot revolves around Wayne and Garth putting on their own music festival. Book them and they will come, is the advice given. And they certainly did. The headline band for the festival were none other than Aerosmith themselves. They do a sterling effort on stage as performers. And Steven Tyler also shows that he can handle his own on the acting front too.

9. Reel Big Fish – BASEketball (1998)

Trey Parker and Matt Stone star in this bizarre and hilarious sports comedy. Written by the king of spoof David Zucker, it’s become a cult classic. The soundtrack heavily features ska-punkers Reel Big Fish. They do a brilliant rendition of A-HA’s Take on Me, which they also perform in the movie. The band are the entertainment at the stadium where Parker and Stone are competing. You can tell by the footage that the band are clearly enjoying themselves. They add a touch more fun to an already hugely funny film.


That’s our list of nine bands who played themselves in movies. Did we miss any of your favourites? Let us know in the comments below.


Check out our list of actors in bands HERE.

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