I'm not trying to initiate a discussion about which movies have good or bad special effects. Instead, I want to talk about a very specific phenomenon. In a nutshell - you see a new movie and eulogise about its special effects. Several years later you see the same movie and now the effects appear so obviously fake that you can't believe you ever liked them. I noticed this forcibly the other day when I rewatched Apollo 13 after a gap of a couple of years. The launch sequence now shrieks out that it's computer-generated, whereas when I first saw it I was really impressed (and I'm in good company - one of the Apollo astronauts who saw it asked Ron Howard where he'd found all the previously-unseen archive footage). The most obvious reason for finding special effects fake a few years on is increased sophistication of the audience. It's well-documented that people fled the nickelodeons when they first saw the short movie about a train coming into the station because they were convinced it would come through the screen. Likewise, in World War I people were convinced they were watching genuine footage of naval battles that to a modern audience are obviously some model boats filmed in a bathtub. Okay, this explains the really very obvious special effects in older movies, but it doesn't really explain more modern computer-generated stuff. Again, it's not that we gain experience of something in real life which leads us to spot something that's fake on the screen. E.g. how can we judge the accuracy of battles between spaceships from first hand experience? Yet again, it's not that increased sophistication of effects makes it easier to spot previous fakes. Newer movies may make us realise how clunky earlier movies were in retrospect, but I think they only allow us to make a judgement on the quality of the fakery, not spot the fakery in the first place. So what causes the effect? I'm at a loss. The only thing I can think is that we become more blase about special effects and so are less willing to suspend disbelief (e.g. take a look at Terminator 2 - it looks so dull compared with the 'wow!' factor that morphing created when it was first released). However, I don't think that is the whole story. Anyone any ideas?