See No Evil, Hear Only Evil
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Star Wars, Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
War of the Worlds
Not only are there no major travesties in this bunch, at least as far as the Visual Effects go, but it actually shapes up to be a pretty gangbusters category no matter how you cut it. I'd drop Narnia most quickly, since it tended toward chintz much too often, but that was as much an effect of the production design and stolid direction as the effects work. Batman and Charlie enervated me a little, but that hobgoblin hood in Batman and the exponentiation of Deep Roy in Charlie were pretty striking stuff. My own ballot would encompass Kong, Star Wars, and War of the Worlds, all of them deserving of the statue (though I'm betting Harry Potter bumps either the Lucas or Spielberg films on Oscar's list).
Meanwhile, as terrifying as King Kong and War of the Worlds often were, they've got nothing on the pure, wretched horror elicited by this list of the 42 finalists for Best Original Song, which manage almost completely to sidestep the Golden Globes' nominees and still look like absolute crap. (Nathaniel, as usual, was onto this press release before I was.) My guesses for the final five are "Dicholo" from The Constant Gardener, "In the Deep" from Crash, "I've Gotta See You Smile" from Because of Winn-Dixie, "There's Nothing Like a Show on Broadway" from The Producers, and Dolly Parton's "Travelin' Thru" from TransAmerica, with outside odds on the cuts from Narnia, Dreamer: Inspired by a True Story, Mad Hot Ballroom, The Upside of Anger, and Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. But just typing that just made me hurt inside. (If either of the Hustle & Flow tracks gets nommed, especially "It's Hard Out There for a Pimp," I want a notarized contract on someone's desk that says either Céline Dion, James Ingram, and/or Melissa Manchester has to sing it.)