Friday, February 22, 2008

Best Sound Mixing

The Bourne Ultimatum – Scott Millan, David Parker, Kirk Frances
No Country for Old Men – Skip Lievsay, Craig Berkey, Greg Orloff, Peter F. Kurland
Ratatouille – Randy Thom, Michael Semanick, Doc Kane
3:10 to Yuma – Paul Massey, David Giammarco, Jim Stuebe
Transformers – Kevin O’Connell, Greg P. Russell, Peter J. Devlin

Will win: First rule of Sound Mixing: When in doubt, take the musical. Sadly, that rule does not apply here. Next rule: Take the war movie. Good plan, except there are no war movies. Third rule – shit, there is no third rule.

So I could come up with some impressive-sounding argument about how the action scenes in Bourne Ultimatum have such a gritty, intense feel that the movie’s sound mixing is far more accomplished than that of the louder but more sterilized Transformers. But that, even more so than most of my arguments, would be complete bullshit.

So I’ll just go with the old standby and take the one Best Picture nominee on the list. Chalk up another victory for No Country for Old Men.

Should win: There’s a hilarious moment in Shrek that applies here. The ogre has just been shot in the ass with an arrow, so Princess Fiona sends Donkey deep into the forest to look for a special plant with healing powers – a blue flower with red thorns. Donkey, given energetic vocal life by Eddie Murphy, races off, muttering to himself, “Blue flower, red thorns, blue flower, red thorns – this would be so much easier if I weren’t colorblind!”.
Well, that’s essentially how I feel with the Sound categories. It would be so much easier to evaluate which of the five nominees exhibited the best sound mixing if I had the slightest fucking clue what differentiates good sound mixing from bad sound mixing. I don’t. I abstain.

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