Sure, it’s the thick of January, but Academy voters are already buzzing about two movies that will be a major factor in the 2007 awards season. The first, Tristan & Isolde — from the people who brought you Waterworld and Lara Croft: Tomb Raider 2 — features staggering dialogue and a love story that perfectly captures the boredom and listlessness of the Dark Ages. (James Franco’s chest might just warrant a nomination of its own!) Meanwhile, the vampire saga BloodRayne has critics using terms like ”unbelievable” and ”oh, holy crap,” and director Uwe Boll (building on his momentum from last year’s Alone in the Dark) now stands in a category unto himself. Hard to say what Academy members will remember most: the blood? the Rayne? One thing’s for sure — expect Oscar winner Sir Ben Kingsley to be singled out for his career-altering performance. After all, Gandhi never wielded a sword like this.