Joel Harlow and Gloria Pasqua-Casny
For being one of the most underrated films of 2013, “The Lone Ranger” pulled in two nominations from the Academy and proved that it wasn’t so universally panned after all. Now, of the two nominations, the film’s chances rest mostly in the Best Makeup and Hairstyling category. Not only are there only two other competitors in that category (“Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa” and “Dallas Buyers Club”) but it also appears to be the dominant film of the three. With Johnny Depp’s Tonto taking the brunt of the make-up, with his white and black painted face, the makeup makes that character so much more intense. With the chipping painted face of Depp’s, there is so much personality in that paint alone. Add on to that, the disgusting look of William Fichtner’s Butch Cavendish and his cronies and the makeup ability in the film cannot be denied. It’s biggest competitor is likely (or unlikely) “Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa” which used prosthetic makeup to transform Johnny Knoxville into a very realistic old man. Working in favor of “The Long Ranger”, however, is its Disney connection as well as Joel Harlow having previously won Best Makeup for his work on “Star Trek” (2009).
Tim Alexander, Gary Brozenich, Edson Williams and John Frazier
Not to discredit “The Lone Ranger” in the Best Visual Effects category, but having previously seen the other nominees before the challenge, I can say that it falls to the bottom of my list of films that could take home this prize. The obvious deterrent for all the films in this category is that all odds are on “Gravity” and rightfully so. With that, every other film in the category is basically an afterthought. “Gravity” is also up for Best Picture, which none of the other films are, giving them a distinct disadvantage right out of the gate. That being said, the visuals in “The Lone Ranger” are impeccable, containing some of my favorite scenes of the year, including the opening train crash which was heavily featured in the advertising of the film, as well as the train chase at the end of the film, the exploding bridge, the rabid wild jack rabbits, and the narrow train-horse jump. At its heart, the film is a Disney film and coming from the creators of “Pirates of the Caribbean”, the team involved switched from stunning pirate and ship visual effects to stunning cowboys/Indians and train visual effects with ease. Most of the visual effects team nominated for the film are seeing their first Academy Award nomination, but veteran John Frazier receives his eleventh nomination having been nominated for his work on “Twister” (1996), “Armageddon” (1998), “The Perfect Storm” (2000), “Pearl Harbor” (2001), “Spider-Man” (2002), “Poseidon” (2006), “Transformers” (2007), “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” (2007), and “Transformers: Dark Of The Moon” (2011). His only win came from the ever incredible “Spider-Man 2” (2004). Probably not taking home the award this year, Frazier will be receiving “a Scientific and Technical Award (Technical Achievement) along with Chuck Gaspar and Clay Pinney for the design and development of the Pneumatic Car Flipper”.
// Produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and Gore Verbinski // Directed by Gore Verbinski //
// Dated Viewed: Friday, January 17th, 2014 // BLU-RAY // 42 films – 45 days //