Oscar's VFX shortlist


Batman, Iron Man and Benjamin Button are in, but Indiana Jones and James Bond are out as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences released the shortlist of seven films that will vie for the visual effects Oscar.

For the first time, the list, announced Tuesday, includes a 3-D movie, Eric Brevig's "Journey to the Center of the Earth."

The seven titles that will vie for one of three available nominations include year-end arrivals "Australia" and "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" as well as summer popcorn movies "Journey," "The Dark Knight," "Hellboy II: The Golden Army," "Iron Man" and "The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor."

On Jan. 15, members of the Academy's visual effects branch will view excerpts from each of the films at the annual bake-off. Nominations for the 81st Annual Academy Awards will be announced Jan. 22. (partialdiff)