When is too much too much? Computerized effects in movies.... - AnabolicMinds.com

When is too much too much? Computerized effects in movies....

  1. CNizz's Avatar
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    When is too much too much? Computerized effects in movies....


    Idea for this thread came out of the conversation in the I Am Legend thread, at what point do you guys draw the line in using CGI effects in film? Coming from my love from the horror genre, I have never been a fan of any effects that could not be performed within the frame of the camera; it is much more impressive to me to see amazing makeup and special effects performed on screen or at least with physical elements added in by computer.

    The most classic example for me is the original Star Wars Trilogy vs the prequels: Star Wars had groundbreaking special effects, amazing costumes, and beautifully hand crafted sets. The Rancor may have been added in digitally, but at least it was a hand crafted puppet. The Death Star was created out of thousands of plastic car models glued together on a piece of ply wood, yet the end result is an epic scene in movie history that IMO has yet to be topped in the Sci Fi genre. Seemingly every scene and 'set' in the prequel series appeared to be 90% if not entirely CG. For me, this took away from the preceived reality we are supposed to receive from watching the film. The CG characters that were added, though amazing as far as CG is concerned, still felt more cartoony.

    Where do you guys consider drawing the line for digital effects? I believe if you can effectively acheive an effect without the need for digitalization, the CGI should be left out. There were numerous sets in the new Star Wars that were entirely computerized that easily could have been created on a sound stage and would have given the movies more integrity and believability. Where I feel CG is adventageous is in movies like Spider-man, where the majority of the effects that can possibly be done in make-up and on set are used, but impossible or impractical stunts like web-slinging or maneuvers that are not humanly possible are added in. Spider-man is probably going to end up being a bad example since the sequels took more liberties with the effects *cough Spider-man 3* but I am interested in anyone else's opinions.

    On another side note, I enjoy the CG work employed in 300 because it was used as a stylistic device continuously throughout the entire movie to create a surreal painting like quality to the film, much like the effects of Sin City. Is there a difference between using CG to this extent, or is that being hypocritical?

  2. ReaperX's Avatar
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    It is a balance. I think it is better to have the graphics too good as opposed to really bad quality. At the same time, the graphics need to enhance the movie, not make the movie, unless the movie is CGI all together. (Final Fantasy)
  3. CNorris's Avatar
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    If I want graphics I will play a video game. I have no problem with CGI if it is tasefully done. If a movie doesnt use graphics to enhance good characters and a great story the movie will be bad. I can not stand action movies with characters I dont care about like King Kong. I couldn't even make it through that movie.
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    I thought the CG graphics in 'I Am Legend' were HORRIBLE, to the detriment to an already-weak script.

    Compared to the effects of 30 Days of Night, I Am Legend SHOULD have been able to take advantage of cutting edge graphics. With big name draw and a massive budget, I was extremely disappointed.

    CG has come a LONG way (see Monster House and Final Fantasy) towards humanistic realism. IMO, creating truly horrific monsters should START with that humanistic base, then further modify the creatures to SEEM like the mutated humans they are purported to be. 'I am Legend" failed miserably here, instead going after something pretty fake looking and entirely unconvincing, eliciting NO horror factor at all.
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    Yeah plus there were some Zombies in I am Legend that were muscular so they must have been bench pressing and doing deadlifts during the day.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ReaperX View Post
    Yeah plus there were some Zombies in I am Legend that were muscular so they must have been bench pressing and doing deadlifts during the day.
    Not to mention that I would like to know what kind of mutation would allow you to break through 4 inches of plexiglass with your skull without squashing your head like an eggplant.
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    When the "special effects" award is all it can get because there are no best actor or actress possibilities.

    When people say "that looked good, but it was boring".

    Kind of like a lot of newer generation games lolol.
  8. CNizz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CNorris View Post
    I can not stand action movies with characters I dont care about like King Kong. I couldn't even make it through that movie.
    King Kong is a great example both for and against my argument. The work done by WETA to create a real gorilla on screen was second to none, King Kong really did look amazing. Also, there is no other physical way to make a believable character like Kong without the use of CG, same was the case when they needed the T-Rex to run in Jurassic Park, it simply cant be done using animatronics. Plus, hundreds if not thousands of hours were spent behind the scenes of King Kong building maquettes and miniatures before the CG was ever rendered.

    Getting back to T-Rexs though, the part of King Kong that absolutely destroyed the movie for me was the excessive and unnecessary scenes with the dinosaurs running through the valley trampling the crew, and even worse the T-Rex battle in the vines. If you are going to spend SO much time making King Kong as beautifully crafted and believable as possible, WHY would you do such a stupid thing like having him fight a couple of T-Rexs swinging in vines as the girl coincidentally lands safely from vine to vine?? To me the movie became a cartoon, a mockery of everything they were trying to do. It simply wasnt believable. I know this is where the argument usually comes in that movies are supposed to be "fun" and that I spend too much time breaking them down to enjoy them, but I loved King Kong fighting the T-Rexs on the ground where they belong, why not keep it as realistic as possible if that was the goal in creating the CG originally?
  9. CNorris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CNizz View Post
    Getting back to T-Rexs though, the part of King Kong that absolutely destroyed the movie for me was the excessive and unnecessary scenes with the dinosaurs running through the valley trampling the crew, and even worse the T-Rex battle in the vines. If you are going to spend SO much time making King Kong as beautifully crafted and believable as possible, WHY would you do such a stupid thing like having him fight a couple of T-Rexs swinging in vines as the girl coincidentally lands safely from vine to vine?? To me the movie became a cartoon, a mockery of everything they were trying to do. It simply wasnt believable. I know this is where the argument usually comes in that movies are supposed to be "fun" and that I spend too much time breaking them down to enjoy them, but I loved King Kong fighting the T-Rexs on the ground where they belong, why not keep it as realistic as possible if that was the goal in creating the CG originally?
    This was the scene where I had enough and shut the movie off. I agree 100%.
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    Best: Full CGI movies I would love, who needs actors

    Worst: 1000 Smiths from Matrix 2.0 - How lame and rubbery.
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    I agree that there is a fine line when it comes to adding CGI to movies nowadays. When it first began, like in Jurassic Park, the images were beautiful. I'll never forget the feeling of seeing my first "real" dinosaur, then panning to a field of them living in harmony. It was beautiful.

    But when it comes to using it instead of actors when an actor could have done so much better, I think it becomes tacky. Motion capture is a wonderful way of doing things (Gollum in LOTR, Tom Hanks playing most characters in Polar Express). But if Romero were to come out with another Living Dead flick featuring all CGI zombies, even this horror freak would have a beef with it. (That, and I'd pity Tom Savini for being out of a job.)

    Effects should be used to either create the entire film (Final Fantasy, Beowulf) or to enhance the look of the film (300, LOTR, etc.). I firmly believe that films should not be carriers for new graphic design technology. Too much 'art' is a bad thing...
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    Quote Originally Posted by dsade View Post
    CG has come a LONG way (see Monster House and Final Fantasy) towards humanistic realism.
    you left out beowulf. When I first saw a still printed in a newspaper, I thought it was a live action movie...
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