It is always nice to have an opportunity to see old friends. And I don't really mind seeing the others as well.
2. The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug
3. Pacific Rim
4. Star Trek Into Darkness
5. Iron Man 3
6. World War Z
9. The Lone Ranger
10. Thor: The Dark World
This is an interesting list. Not necessarily any great films here, but certainly a few entertaining ones. I have seen worse years.
Obviously everyone wants to win. But winning is very difficult so getting a nomination is much more likely and is also incredibly valuable to one's career. If one is trying to be an effects supervisor, to be nominated for an Academy Award is a big deal and explains some of the politics around who gets to be one of the "four" who are selected by the producer to be in consideration.
For the second year in a row, a movie is distinguished and made notable by its visual effects (last year was Life of Pi). I do not know if this is a good thing or not, but its probably not a bad thing. If visual effects is to be worth all the money, this is a useful thing to have happen. If visual effects people are to rise above being considered commodities, having work that distinguishes themselves and is not just like everyone else's is also helpful.
5. The nominations are ...
I think that Gravity and The Hobbit will be nominated. I am rooting for Pacific Rim to be nominated because I think it is important to have giant mutated sea monsters in cinema from a content point of view.