Seven vie for VFX Oscar noms

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Seven films with sequences ranging from the spy-on-spy battles in "Casino Royale" to the superhero standoff in "X-Men: The Last Stand" are on the shortlist for Oscar nominations for best visual effects.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Friday announced the films that made the cut, earning further consideration as possible trophy contenders at the 79th Annual Academy Awards on Feb. 25.

They are "Casino," "Eragon," "Night at the Museum," "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest," "Poseidon," "Superman Returns" and "Last Stand."

"Dead Man's Chest" is the sequel to "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl," which was nominated for the visual effects award in 2004.

As part of the next step in the nomination process, on Jan. 17, the Academy's visual effects award nominating committee will view 15-minute excerpts from each of the shortlisted films. Afterward, members will vote to nominate three films for Oscar consideration.

The nominations will be announced Jan. 23.
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