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

Jack Briggs

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I must admit that the "loyal opposition" are making some truly good points here. Noted. Now, let me think for a while about how best to respond to them! :)
 

TheLongshot

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I think CGI gets picked on so much because we see it being used in SO many movies nowadays. It is still a relatively new art in movies, in relation to models and stop-motion.

The primary reason for the gratuitous use of CGI is cost, I think. It is cheaper to build scenes and have a "cast of thousands" with computer graphics, rather than build large sets and hire thousands.

Then, we get into doing the impossible. There are a lot of actions and shots that are just not possible without using CGI. The problem with that is that years of watching movies, we know that. It stands out that, "This is not possible, so it must be CGI". Unfortunatly, unavoidable. No matter how "real" it looks, we will always know it is fake because we know that they can't do that in real life.

Jason
 

Eric Thrall

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Why are people arguing in favor of CGI by saying it looks better than movies made with other techniques 40 or 50 years ago? The point is whether you could use other techniques that would look better with TODAY'S technology. In most cases, you could, and using CGI is nothing but a cheap alternative, an easy way out.

I can forgive bad CGI (although I'd still rather see bad model shots than bad CGI) in low budget movies or TV shows, but there's no excuse for a big budget movie like Spider-Man to produce so many horrible CGI effects. Spend a couple of bucks and do it some other way (or do it with CGI, but do it well instead of settling) so that it looks convincing.
 

Ron-P

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I sure could use a CGI beer right now
htf_images_smilies_yum.gif

Peace Out~:D
 

Eric Thrall

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Furthermore, movies have put things that weren't possible on screen before without using CGI. Superman flew without CGI. I still think those effects are pretty good (and certainly look better than the scenes of Spider-Man jumping from building to building), but today, they'd be fantastic. Unfortunately, if they make a new Superman movie, they'll probably insist on an all-CGI Superman anytime he flies.
 

Luc D

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I've been thinking about this whole argument all day and something occurred to me. I think that part of the problem is that when people see a computer generated image they recognize it as a computer generated image and can identify its source. The effect isn't impressive because we know how it was done. It's like going to a magic show and knowing the secret to each trick. You lose that sense of "how the hell did they do that?" you get when you see, dare I say, an "organic" special effect.

Take "Predator", I think the invisibility effect looks great and part of the fun is that I have no idea how it was done (nor do I care really).

The mystique of special effects is shattered by the image of "nerds" working on computers. You don't get that sense of "the craft of filmmaking" behind a fully computer generated image. You get the impression that instead of using human ingenuity or creativity they're using technology and in that sense it feels too easy and so we're not impressed.
 

Terrell

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I still think those effects are pretty good (and certainly look better than the scenes of Spider-Man jumping from building to building), but today, they'd be fantastic.
Are you suggesting that they shoul've not used CGI for Spidey's action sequences? If so, could you tell me how they could do that and have it remain true to the comic book character. Superman doesn't have to do anything nearly as complex as Spidey does.
 

Ron-P

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I thought the wire-stunts in CTHD were done very well and could have been used in Spider-Man, achieveing a more realistic effect in some of the closer CGI shots.
Some of the jumping CGI shots of Spider-Man were pretty bad.
Peace Out~:D
 

Chuck Mayer

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I agree with Terrell re: Spidey and the need for CGI. I would imagine that Spidey is about as hard to create as anything. He has the double problem of having normal human proportions and appearance, along with having to do things no human could. I thought it worked beautifully. I realized it was CGI, but it looked so fun that I didn't give a fig. I think the fluidity and speed that Spidey moves precludes many older techniques for certain shots.

Of course, CGI is like any other tool...many use it, few use it truly effectively. Cameron and Spielberg are two such directors. Fincher does as well, but not so you'd really notice.

George, well, he's in the hole. TPM was a draw, but the SE's were not...some good, but some AWFUL. AOTC could get him out though...it looks like all that dazzlery will support a great film.

Take care,

Chuck
 

Terrell

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Some of the jumping CGI shots of Spider-Man were pretty bad.
Agreed! But Sidey's scenes were far more complex than CTHD's wire-fu scenes. It might have worked in a few instances.

I think Luc makes a good point. We know so much more about the CGI progress than we used to. You rarely heard this argument when we were blind to how they were created. It was a sense of wonder and awe. Now that has gone away with people learning how they were made. And Hollywood is partially responsible. They've taught us how these effects were created. I'm beginning to believe they would have been better off to keep it a secret.
 

JonZ

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I dont hate CGI, I just hate when a movie revolves around it instead of using it as a TOOL to enhance the story.
 

Rain

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I'm with JonZ. Exactly.

I hate Jurassic Park not because it features CGI effects, but because it's an amazingly boring film with very little story and contains some of the worst acting I've ever seen in cinema.

CGI, like any other type of SE, should be used to advance a story, not to replace it. I'm not about to shell out admission to a movie just to gasp in awe at the effects. I'm just not impressed by that.

I do have to say, though, I prefer a good puppet over CGI any day. Though their movements may be a bit clunkier, they look more real to me. Keep in mind, they are actually physical things which are there on the set. The same DP lighting the actors and the set is lighting the puppet. It just blends together so much better.

And using CGI to "enhance" a classic film that already has superb creature effects is simply blasphemy to me.
 

JonZ

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"The same DP lighting the actors and the set is lighting the puppet. It just blends together so much better.

And using CGI to "enhance" and already classic film with superb creature effects is simply blasphemy to me."

AMEN
 

Rain

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Thanks for the "Amen," Jon, but after re-reading my final statement, which you quoted, I had to re-word it ever so slightly to ensure no misinterpretation.

Call me a stickler. :b
 

Lou Sytsma

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Doug your comments -

"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?" - is pretty spot on.

Let's take Jason's remarks -

"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."

See I grew up with that film - to me Jason and the Argonauts was and still is a classic. I knew what and what wasn't effects - but the charm, the adventure, the story came through and negated the limitations of the technology of the time.

People are so dismissive today. I believe alot of people when they see a bad effect be it CGI, miniatures, matte paintings can't get past it.

Jack I know your feelings on 2001 and in fairness should not have put it in my original post. It's a classic no doubt and has aged extremely well. I would argue though that the initial Star Gate voyage effects are somewhat weak and again in no way does it diminish my appreciation for the film.
 

Jason Seaver

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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."

See I grew up with that film - to me Jason and the Argonauts was and still is a classic. I knew what and what wasn't effects - but the charm, the adventure, the story came through and negated the limitations of the technology of the time.
And, if you look at my ratings and comments in the "Brattle Envy" section of my 2002 film list entry, you'll see that I actually rather liked Sinbad. It's an example of a good popcorn movie. Jason And The Argonauts was just bad; it suffers from all the things we criticize something like The Mummy Returns for: Cardboard characters played by charisma-free actors, stilted dialogue, a plot that exists for the sole purpose of connect FX scenes; its effects are just physical rather than digital.

But, see, you "grew up" with that movie. And, as I've said before, I don't really buy into the whole "special effects should ONLY support the story, not vice-versa" theory; if a movie is impressive for its FX, it's still impressive. I'm just saying that "it's more than just its effects" isn't really an argument you can use for that particular movie.
 

chris winters

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I thought it might be interesting to point out that the same effects company that did Star Ship Troopers, Sony Imageworks, also did spiderman. So the company that helped create what many people here feel is the best example of CGI also made the "low" quality effects many of your are complainng about in Spiderman.
 

Patrick McCart

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2001 features the best special effects without the aid of computers, IMO.

CGI is great when used properly. I think it's most effective when used for invisible effects and compositing.
 

Terrell

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Chris, even the best effects companies have some stinkers in them. ILM has done amazing work quite often. But then they slept through most of The Mummy Returns, or they had their least experienced team working on that film. Some of the effects were pretty good. Some were terrible.

However, I'd have to say that Sony ImageWorks drags up the rear on effects, at least out of the big names. ILM and Digital Domain are who I'd consider the best. WETA is not old enough to be included in with those two. But they did some great work on FOTR, and some not so great work. But overall, FOTR was a very solid effort.

Starship Troopers had decent effects, and tremendous bug effects. But their ship and space battles has no sense of scale to them. Their ships looked like small models. Where as ILM did an amazing job of showing the huge mass and size of the ships in the Star Wars films. That was my one major complaint about Starship Troopers. The bug effects were terrific though.
 

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