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CG Bashers - How do you stand watching old movies? (1 Viewer)

Brian Lawrence

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While puppets and models used in some classic films may look a little dated, I still prefer them over cgi. While the original Godzilla, may have looked like a man in a rubber suite, It is still something real being captured on film and as a result seems more organic to the movie. I much prefer the space battles in STAR WARS (even with the matte boxes) over the synthetic feeling of those seen in Phantom Menace
Look at films like ALIENS, BLADE RUNNER, EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, & PREDATOR. none of todays cgi films even come close that level of realism.
 

Terrell

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Can you just imagine how crappy the werewolf morphing scene in "An American Werewolf In London" would be, if it was done today?
Looking back, it looks like garbage today. If you guys allow CGI to ruin your movie-going experience, go right ahead. But it seems everyone is selective in which films they like. In Spider-Man, which has some quite bad and fake looking CGI, everyone's okay with it. In Star Wars, which has some amazing CGI, those same people hate it, and will probably hate AOTC for it. Which is fine. The CGI in Spider-Man didn't bother me one bit.

CGI has allowed movies to be made that could have never been made otherwise. LOTR for one. So I say bring it on CGI. I know you're not going away, and there's nothing I can do about it. So I'm not gonna complain about it.
 

Chuck Mayer

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Just watched AAWIL for the first time a few months ago...I thought the transformation scene was top-notch. The CGI changes in AAWIP (granted, BAD CGI, but CGI) looked very pedestrian in comparison.

I enjoy CGI, specifically the freedom of movement it allows certain shots to have. It is a very useful tool, but that is it. Haven't we had this discussion every week, with the same results (none)?

Take care,

Chuck
 

Terrell

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Hmmm, did they redo part of that scene in CGI Chuck? And yes, we've discussed this before. The end result turns out to be the same.
 

Jack Briggs

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Everybody here has already said what I would have. Lou: I'm not sure where you're coming from. Are you saying that because the effects in these "old movies" are "cruder"--obviously a position that cannot be defended--they, too, should "take us out of the movie"?

Read Al's post: Imagine An American Werewolf in London without Rick Baker's magic at work. That's one organic transformation into a werewolf--and Al is correct to note that it wouldn't work today if made into a primarily CGI effect.

I've only seen clips and trailers from Spider-Man--and though the costume looks terrific, the action scenes I've observed so far do not look "real" in the slightest. Is that how King Kong should also look, if done today?

As for 2001: Read Peter's post. No other film before or since captures and evokes the sense and feel and look of space travel so correctly. Don't rattle off any CGI-intensive titles at me. None of the ones I've seen compares. And I've been waiting for something to surpass that film visually. Don't think I'll ever see it.

And reread Robert's post. CG films today are nothing more than exercises in sensation. Think Twister. Where's the plot? Why, they don't need one! The story is those fake-looking, computer-generated tornadoes.

To this day, The Wizard of Oz features the most convincing cinematic tornado ever to grace the screen.
 

Al B. C

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It doesn't ruin it. It just bothers me to know that they use it for wonderful effects that we could never experience before and on the other hand they use it for cost cutting measures that make some scenes look totally stupid.

Like someone mentioned above, it takes a good director to know how to blend it seemlessly into a flick. I don't wanna OD on it.
 

Aaron Copeland

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Bah...what is the debate here anyway? You can have bad or poorly done CGI just like you can have bad or poorly done costumes and models. So where is this debate headed? But the simple fact is this: CGI is the future and is here to stay. The graphical capabilites of computers multiples yearly and sometime in the none too distant future CGI will look 100% real.

Aaron
 

PhilipG

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Look at films like ALIENS, BLADE RUNNER, EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, & PREDATOR. none of todays cgi films even come close that level of realism.
How about A.I.? If you rephrased that to "very few of..." I'd agree with you.
CGI is relatively cheap to do these days - and everyone's doing it. No wonder it looks bad most of the time; it's not done by some world-respected talent like Harryhausen, it's done by Spotty Jim and his friends from Super Shiny Imaging. That and the fact that CGI is still too smooth (in terms of both look and animation). Bump mapping helps a lot, but usually it's more of a problem getting the lighting and the shadows right so that the CGI elements fit in (something very few CGI animators manage).
 

Jack Briggs

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CGI is the future and is here to stay. The graphical capabilites of computers multiples yearly and sometime in the none too distant future CGI will look 100% real.
You've both stated and answered your argument with those two sentences, Aaron. No one here denies that digital effects are the future; they are arguing that CGI effects are still not ready for prime time in many cases. They're often being done simply because they can be done. Remember how pop musicians got carried away with synthesizers in the 1980s? Everybody was so enamored over them they went crazy, and gave us a lot of bad, synth-laden music in the process.

Similarly, mass-market Hollywood product is now spewed out for the simple reason it can be spewed out, and with the right amount of hype, the studio cashes in on that big opening weekend, and the film dies out--after enjoying a brief resurrection on DVD. Then it blends into the mix of Hollywood product in general. Same ol', same ol'.
 

Chauncey_G

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I was able to see John Carpenter at The Egyptian Theater in Hollywood, and someone asked him his opinion on the use of CG. He specifically referenced The Thing, commenting on the Dog Creature, and said that if this movie were to be made today that whole sequence would be CG'd. To do so, in his opinion, would ruin the shot because everyone in the theater would be thinking "Look at that special effect" instead of "Oh my God, that creature's disgusting!"
I have to agree. While I acknowledge that there is a lot of good CG work being done today (I thought LOTR, on the whole, did a great job with it), it hasn't been able to replace the real-life model/animation work that a true artist can deliver.
Not yet, anyway.
 

Terrell

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Michael, way to pick apart and completely misinterpret what I said. How about next time use the entire quote, rather than picking them apart to further your argument.;)
 

RobertR

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Excellent post, Michael. I'll add another analogy in reference to what Jack was saying: In the early days of stereo, there were a lot of "ping pong" recordings made with little attention paid to acheiving a realistic soundstage. The producers of the recordings simply wanted to play with the technology. Similar things happened with 70s era quad recordings.

Ans so it goes with too much CGI.
 

Terrell

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Yeah, excellent at selectively ripping parts of my post completely out of context, and twisting it around to suit his argument.
 

Terrell

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Let me set you straight Michael.
You ripped this quote completely out of context.
The CGI in Spider-Man didn't bother me one bit.
It certainly didn't cause me to not enjoy the film, which is what CGI obviously does to some people here. As for the bad CGI, of course it could have been better. I would have preferred it. But I didn't go in with a notepad to nitpick and write down every little CGI flaw. I went in to enjoy the film.
Next time, just use the entire quote, please. That way, we wouldn't have any discrepancies in their interpretation.:) That is all I'm asking. If a point is made in such a way that you can't tell what I'm saying, just ask. It's as easy as that. It happens to me sometimes. I can't tell what a person is trying to say. But rather than misquote them, I ask if this is what they meant.
 

dpippel

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I've only seen clips and trailers from Spider-Man--and though the costume looks terrific, the action scenes I've observed so far do not look "real" in the slightest. Is that how King Kong should also look, if done today?
I think Lou's trying to point out that people in general are saying they don't like CGI effects because they don't look "real". At the same time they express admiration and enthusiasm for stop-motion, prosthetic and miniature effects in older films that don't look real either. So why should CGI be treated differently than these other techniques? Granted, Harryhausen's work is amazing and legendary but it doesn't look real by any stretch of the imagination. There is well done CGI, there is awful CGI and there's everything in between. It's not the fact that it's done on a computer that makes it suck - it's that it's done poorly or gratuitously. To put a different spin on another observation made in this thread, imagine how much worse "The Phantom Menace" would look if the effects in that final battle were done completely with stop-motion animation.

As far as I'm concerned there are two kinds of special effects work: good and bad. I don't care how the effect is accomplished. If it's good, it's good. My gripe with special effects in general is that they're used to prop up so many lousy films. The Hollywood money machine KNOWS that all they need do to generate a lot of box office numbers is throw a bunch of half-baked effects at a half-baked script. And they're right - people pay money to watch crap if it looks "cool". Take "The Scorpion King" as a good example of this. It's hauled in $75 million in just 3 weeks! Amazing. We get what we pay for.

By the way, don't criticize the effects work in "Spider-man" until you've seen the completed film. In my opinion it's the best superhero movie to date, and just a good movie period. The effects look just fine thank you very much.
 

Jason Seaver

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Have any of you ever watched an old Harryhausen picture like Jason and The Argonauts or The Seventh Voyage Of Sinbad? ...

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How about watching a movie where the special effects support an interesting, engaging story (as with the movies you mentioned), instead of where the effects ARE the story (as with too many of today's films)?
Um, have you seen Jason And The Argonauts? It's just as laughable as any modern Frankenfilm. Its effects are some of Harryhausen's more polished, but this is not in any way a good movie. The Seventh Voyage Of Sinbad isn't quite as disposable - its leads at least had some small amount of charisma - but we're not exactly talking great art here, either.

Truthfully, I think CGI is judged differently than physical effects. Yeah, you can often spot it. And you can often tell it's CGI. But the same could be said about physical effects. But it often seems like people critique CGI based on whether or not it looks "real", as opposed to whether or not it looks "good".
 

Ron-P

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Both movies had excellent CGI and bad CGI. (TPM & Spider-Man)
I'm all for CGI as a tool to enhance a movie, but like Lucas, he decides to use CGI to build a movie. If it works great, but with TPM it did not. Now, rumor has it AotC is much better. I'm willing to give Lucas the benefit of the doubt and go see it. My mind is open.
CGI, for me, lacks depth of field, where as a model does not. I look back at older films that used models and todays CGI just cannot compare. CGI is also just so 'computer' looking, shinny and plastic.
The X-Wing and Y-wing fighters looked so much more 'real' then the fighters from TPM. Sure Lucas made them shinny and sleek, but they lacked that real, worn, used look.
Peace Out~:D
 

Terrell

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I personally think people, for the most poart, have been trained to spot CGI. They see something that they automatically know can't be done realistically. In their mind they say, that has to be CGI.

To be honest, nothing in Jason and the Argonauts looked real either. Same with Sinbad. In fact, compared to even the mediocre CGI today, it's looks bad. Why else did Spielberg abandon stop-motion, and go with CGI. Because the stop motion was clunky, it had no fluidity, and the CGI did. We know animals don't move in the jerky, unfluid ways of stop-motion.

Ron, I used this argument before. I'd agree Lucas tends to use CGI for some things he doesn't need to. I still maintain that to bring his vision to life, in a realistic and inexpensive way, a lot of CGI is a must.

As for the ships, maybe you meant something else, but the prequels, for the most part, are intended to have a newer and shinier look. At least when compared to the originals. The Republic was destroyed in the originals. Manufacturing and technology was severely limited by the Empire. Aesthetics went out the window. So did fashion. That's why fasion is so basic in the originals, and it's not in the prequels.
 

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