In just under a month, Oscar statuettes will once again be handed out at Hollywood's Kodak Theatre. By our calculation, this gives Academy voters fewer than 30 days to make a very important decision when it comes to the expanded Best Picture category.

Namely: Will they opt for one of the eight unworthy nominees that no one will care about a decade from now? Or will they do what's right and choose one of the two totally awesome sci-fi movies that somehow made the slate?

OK, as sci-fi nerds, we're admittedly biased. But while the two groundbreaking films in question -- James Cameron's groundbreaking 3-D epic "Avatar" and the cinema-verité alien opus "District 9" -- are more than worthy of inclusion on the list of nominees, we can't say we like their chances. Not when the Academy has such a long history of getting it wrong with sci-fi films.

In an attempt to show voters how foolish they might look 20 years from now and therefore sway them to choose, say, "District 9" (please!), we hereby present Asylum's Top 5 Sci-Fi Movies That Should Have Won Oscars.

5. "Blade Runner" vs. "Gandhi" (1982)

This is the first of two Ridley Scott rips on this list. "Blade Runner" was light years ahead of its time stylistically, and Its cyberpunk influence is still evident today -- even in both of this year's sci-fi nominees.

The fact that "Gandhi" actually is a pretty darn good biopic keeps "Blade Runner" from placing higher on our list. But let's face it, without Ben Kingsley, what have you got? At best, an Emmy-worthy miniseries.


4. "The Empire Strikes Back" vs. "Ordinary People" (1980)

Yeah, we know the original "Star Wars" was nominated -- and lost -- in 1977, but that's not such a glaring error. Woody Allen's "Annie Hall" is still a classic from another under-represented genre: comedy.

Besides, everyone knows that "Empire" is the best installment of the "Star Wars" franchise. It introduced Boba Fett!

So, what film won Best Picture that year? "Ordinary People." Yeah, we had to look it up, too. Amazingly, it has Timothy Hutton in a critical role.


3. "The Matrix" vs. "American Beauty" (1999)
This one should have been easy. "The Matrix" featured a mind-bending story, truly revolutionary special effects, and a complete reinvention of cinematic technique.

"American Beauty" had Kevin Spacey spanking it in the shower to Mena Suvari, and a crucial cameo by a floating plastic grocery bag.

We're all about rose-petal-covered honeys, but beyond that, you need to pour Red Bull over your popcorn to stay awake during this overrated flick.

2. "Alien" vs. "Kramer vs. Kramer" (1979)

Come to think of it, that sounds like a pretty good sequel idea -- at least as good as "Alien 3."

Scott's "Alien" is a work of art -- a masterpiece of suspense worthy of Hitchcock. Set in a grimy future, it has influenced nearly every sci-fi and horror movie that followed it.

If there's a flaw to "Alien," it's that no matter how many times you watch it, Ripley isn't going to lose the underwear.

On the other hand, "Kramer vs. Kramer" retains all the relevance of CB-radio lingo. Wow -- Mommy and Daddy got divorced? Did it make you cry tears of acid? Fail.

1. "2001: A Space Odyssey" vs. "Oliver!" (1968)

"Open the Kubrick-winning envelope, HAL."

"I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that."

Criminally, none of Stanley Kubrick's films ever won a Best Picture award; worse, "2001" wasn't even nominated. While the auteur's meditative space epic has its flaws (pacing, flat-lining actors), we think Kubrick should have jettisoned the competition into the icy vacuum of space.

You say you want music? There's not a cubicle slave on Earth who can't finish the chorus to "Daisy." Now, name me one song from inexplicable winner "Oliver!" Our point exactly. Let's hope the Academy has better sense this year.