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Sick of CGI movies?

post #1 of 46
Thread Starter 
***RANT ON***

Am I the only one fed up to the back teeth of these stupid, brainless, CGI movies? Am I the only one not "wowed" by these cheap computerized special effects anymore?

Computer graphics alone do not a movie make-- what about story, characters, and I don't know, CINEMA? They are all starting to look and sound the same to me, more like cheap video games, not movies. These computer graphics don't look realistic, and when you know how it's done, when you know that the hero or his "stunt" double is never in any real danger, just posing in front of a green screen, doesn't that take some of the "magic" and involvement out of movies? It's all so slick and pre-planned and mechanical, when you see the "stunts", you know no one was in any real jeopardy. It's all so carefully choreographed, the camera movements, the way the characters dance around on wires and such, it's all a big yawn...

I would go so far as to say I prefer the old days when space ships were models and creatures were stop-motion animation or animatronic puppet creatures. Look at 2001 a Space Odessey from late 60s. I've still never seen space-ships that look more real, and those are models in front of rear projection screens. The first Star Wars looks much better than the newer CGI series to me. Look at Alien, ET, or any of the 80's "creature" movies that were foam latex and puppetry-- they look 100 times more "real" than CGI monsters of today, because they were real objects actually on the set and physically interacting with the actors. Look at the movie from the early 80s called "Dragonslayer". That dragon is a little 12" puppet done by "go-motion", a variation on stop-motion, and it looks 100 times better than the CGI dragon voiced by Sean Connery in that recent Dennis Quaid movie.

To me, there's just something about photographing a real live 3D object that CGI just can't replicate. There's something about watching "real" stunts (no matter how professionally overseen and executed) limited by physics, gravity and reality, that just looks more "real" than these gee-whiz fantasy stunts we see nowadays where the hero always has a cool look on his face and executes graceful, perfect movements.

Anyone with me?

***RANT OFF***
post #2 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by markl
... It's all so slick and pre-planned and mechanical, when you see the "stunts", you know no one was in any real jeopardy. It's all so carefully choreographed, the camera movements, the way the characters dance around on wires and such, it's all a big yawn...


To me, there's just something about photographing a real live 3D object that CGI just can't replicate. There's something about watching "real" stunts (no matter how professionally overseen and executed) limited by physics, gravity and reality, that just looks more "real" than these gee-whiz fantasy stunts we see nowadays where the hero always has a cool look on his face and executes graceful, perfect movements.

Anyone with me?

***RANT OFF***
Yes and no...

One of the problems is overuse. We all know that a cat or dog cannot talk so when they map over a cg mouth on the object you know you're seeing something that cannot exist, thus doesn't look natural. Now let's take a different example...

I saw Jurassic Park on Sci-Fi about a week ago. Probably haven't seen it since I had it on laserdisc. One of the true tests is how does it look on television. Both Jurassic Park and Terminator 2 still hold up. I was more than willing to suspend my level of disbelief on JP and for that matter the creature in The Relic look better today than say the creatures in Star Wars, Alien vs. Predator (although I was impressed at the end when the Queen Alien was chasing them through the snow.) or Chronicles of Riddick. I was on the edge of my seat for the 17 minute Dock battle sequence on The Matrix Revolutions.


The strange thing is some of the best CG is the cg you don't even see. There are plenty of stellar examples if you leaf through Cinefix Magazine( I think that's what it's called) as far as seamless intergration. Even for all of it's violence and cg I was really impressed with Sin City.

Polar Express? Years ago I would have been amazed. Frankly I was bored with the concept. My god, look at Gollum. We know he's not there and it's an effect, but in quite a few scenes it's believable and from what I gather it would be impossible to film that live action.

I do concede on the model aspect. That's one of the things I was dissapointed with when I saw Star Trek: Insurrection. They went to completely computer-generated ships and it shows. There is alot to be said for a real world object being shot on a blue screen and composited later.

Now jar-jar on the other hand...
post #3 of 46
cgi is a cinematic tool, and is only as good as the artist using it.

the problem is that most cgi is handed off to a team of non-filmmakers, who know computers and animation but don't know how to make a movie. and they are creating whole scenes out of nothing.

it is up to the director and cinematographer to make the visual aspects of the film work, including cgi. a great example "jurassic park". speilberg and cinematographer dean cundey (who used to work on john carpetner's films) manage to make dinosaurs seem solid, and this is one of the first examples of cgi in a film. speilberg is still the cgi master, as "war of the worlds" proved.
post #4 of 46
Although it was entertaining in a sort of comic-book way, I found Sky Captain to be a little dark and blurry. Not a very enjoyable experience.
post #5 of 46
One day cgi will displace actors who are too reluctant to do their sex scenes, therefore marking the begining of cgi ****.

Good or bad?
post #6 of 46
Yes
post #7 of 46
I think too much cgi cheapens a film. As much as I loved Spiderman 2, there were a few scenes that were way too obviously cgi. When it's obvious, it's bad. BTW, in 2001: A Space Odyessy the shipped were matted photographically into shots. Painstakenly placed frame by frame. I just know that because its my favorite film. Some shots of the apes were a rear projection system, much unlike the blue screen they use today. And, yes, CGI can be cloying. Like someone said, seamless integration is the key. My favorite weird question related to special effects is that Werner Hertzog actually flung a real steamboat down rapids over a real waterfall in Fitzcarraldo -- as it just looks so fake! Strange!
post #8 of 46
Yeah, crap like "The Aviator" just killed it dead. I mean, the WHOLE MOVIE was cgi!! WTF?! CGI can be cool to do huge scenes but it's cheap-ass to not use real stuff.

I do like CGI movies though (animated) like shrek, etc.
post #9 of 46
While I don't mind CG for some things (fire and water, for instance - look at Pirates of the Carribean. IIRC, the ships sat in essentially a giant swimming pool in reality), it's definitely overdone. It's the cheap way out - "We need an explosion, huh? CG."

I definitely agree that movies like Alien and Predator would not be what they were had they been CG. That's one reason I was glad they didn't go CG in AvP. (which I thought was quite good)

As for Jurassic Park, I saw JP3 awhile ago on Sci Fi. What struck me was how fake the intro looked, where the glider is falling out of the sky. You could practically see the blue screen. The dinos, OTOH, looked spot-on. Then, they're puppets. Massive puppets.
post #10 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephonovich
snip

As for Jurassic Park, I saw JP3 awhile ago on Sci Fi. What struck me was how fake the intro looked, where the glider is falling out of the sky. You could practically see the blue screen. The dinos, OTOH, looked spot-on. Then, they're puppets. Massive puppets.
actually, the t-rex vs. spinosaurus scene was a cleverly cut combination of cgi and animatronics. see if you can spot the cuts.
post #11 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by redshifter
actually, the t-rex vs. spinosaurus scene was a cleverly cut combination of cgi and animatronics. see if you can spot the cuts.
Oh yeah, I forgot about that. I didn't notice it, anyway. I wasn't looking for it. The animatron I was thinking of was the T-Rex scene where it's attacking the plane. Apparently someone actually got injured during the filming of it because the operators accidentally hit someone with the head.
post #12 of 46
CGI isn't the problem. The problem is when directors and such think that it can replace bad scrpits, bad acting, and bad movies. It isn't a miracle pill to "fix" something bad, it merely enhances what's already good about a movie.
post #13 of 46
I too am getting tired of the overuse of cgi in live action movies. Cause well, I think it's done poorly more than not. (at least in mainstream films) The scenes often seem so fake and pathetic, it even causes me to laugh sometimes.

If you're charging me 9 bux for a flick and 3 for a bottle of water, I expect to see some damn effort. I've gone back to watching older movies pre-cgi, and I liked them a lot better. Even if the story sucked and there was nothing but action.
post #14 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by ServinginEcuador
CGI isn't the problem. The problem is when directors and such think that it can replace bad scrpits, bad acting, and bad movies. It isn't a miracle pill to "fix" something bad, it merely enhances what's already good about a movie.
Yup, that was what I was thinking while suffering through "War of the Worlds." (Oh, OK, you got me, I was actually listing all the actors who could have done a better job than the "star"). In that case it was the bloopers in the logic and physics of the story that got me. Once they killed my ability to suspend my belief, it was all down hill. Lot's of neat effects are interesting but they aren't entertainment to me...
post #15 of 46
Nope, can't get enough of them. I even go so far as to search out stuff like Reboot and Beast Wars.
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