Entertainment has recently depended on CGI. And that had consequences. How did you get here?
The world of special effects is not valued enough. They tend to be called back when something goes below expectations. But the spectator is so accustomed to such a high level that he has already, to a large extent, lost the capacity for wonder.
This may be because the hegemony of digital effects, to a large extent, has caused some standardization. It is taken for granted that anything can be done and, to the extent that this happens, there is no longer any perception of what something has cost. Not to mention that everything tends to feel more like something mass-produced, not as handcrafted as practical effects.
Technology has reduced some costs and made it possible to go where it was not possible before. But it had consequences. So much so that the production level of the studios is far beyond the capabilities that an animation team can reasonably offer.
There is a saturation which caused a degradation of the results. And, to a large extent, we are all responsible for this situation. If this bubble has been reached, it is because there is a voracious demand from viewers.
And, with that, it has come to this situation in which Marvel has been criticized lately for the look of some of its productions. Social media burned with CGI from Hulka series, added to controversy that sparked Taika Waititi with its frivolous comments on the look of one of the scenes of Thor: Love and Thunder. The director raised the indignation of more than one professional in the sector… So much so that it all exploded into an article that lays out why working for Marvel Studios/Disney isn’t as enjoyable as the marketing would have you believe.
Anyway, this is not something new. And it’s not just Disney. For this reason, below is a series of CGI examples that could have been better. Some legendary, some newer. But a lesson can be learned from each of them:
– 3d shark
As groundbreaking as it was (and it was), this film has a major ambition problem. Evidenced by this explosive shark at the endI. It was not believable at the time and it is less so now.
What was left of Spielberg’s shocking subtlety at this point?
There are absolutely inexplicable cases. Like this movie that had a big budget looked like that. How is it possible that a cape looks like anything other than a cape? Still to be determined.
– lost in space
Matt Leblanc at the time of the greatest glory of his career embarked on a mission: to be a star. And he chose to launch a blockbuster that hoped to revive the mythical science fiction series. Results? Number one at the box office, beating Titanic when it premiered.
Which do we talk about and which do we forget? Or it would be if it weren’t for the fact that, from time to time, it’s enhanced by what little has been invested in special effects. It’s impossible not to see these planes and have the movie constantly kicking you out.
– Star Wars (1997)
george lucas he is a visionary and a technical revolutionary. It’s undeniable. But even the greatest of giants can fall… As proof, the various revisions that Lucas made of his own films. A Lucas who started experimenting with CGI as a good pioneer…
But what happens is that these scenes have been really hurt by the inclusion of details that, in addition to not responding to compositional or aesthetic reasons, seem to be half-baked. And that distracts the viewer from what the scene is trying to say.
To be fair, cinema could not have evolved without these attempts. But, as they say, it is never advisable to be the first to do anything, because you are more likely to fail.
– The return of the mummy
Few people weren’t blown away when Stephen Sommers’ directorial debut, The Mummy, arrived. And there was a desire with a sequel that seemed to be up to par. Everything was fine… Until it happened. Care must be taken because, otherwise, a single scene can eliminate the epic of what is told.
A legend of evil CGI. Wordless.
– The Green Lantern
Warner’s first case goes to Green Lantern, the film that Ryan Reynolds is most proud of in filmography. Unsurprisingly, he keeps mentioning her. And it will be for a reason…
This is the climax of the film. After several minutes spent witnessing a somewhat embarrassing CGI chase, a point is reached where nothing that happens in the confrontation has any credibility. Again, this should be something spectacular… And, both for the tone and for its appearance, it is very far from it. Green Lantern is a tough character to make and look good in live action, but this movie doesn’t seem like it didn’t try.
– tron the legacy
Rejuvenation technology was in its infancy. And the strange valley popped up every time Jeff Bridges appeared on screen. So much so that there is a tendency to divert the film based on this aspect… A real shame for a film that, on the other hand, looked spectacular.
– X-Men Origins: Wolverine
Another complete production disaster on many levels. It hurts to see that films with a loose budget are carried out as they are made… And this film was only left to make jokes and nothing else. To show that dramatic scene in which the claws look like they’re in their first render. And it won’t be because of budget issues… Ten years ago, in the first X-Men, they looked infinitely more believable. Better not to mention the Charles Xavier who appears at the end…
– The Justice League
Haste is a bad adviser. And everything that happened with The Justice Leaguepractically, it’s a guide to follow on how a production of this caliber should not be carried out. Everything that was shot at the last minute seems far from believable… But the palm of the hand went to the biggest nemesis a production team has ever had to face: Henry Cavill’s mustache.
– The Mandalorian
Again, a bug with rejuvenation. But rectifying is wise. In this case, Luke Skywalker’s appearance was marred by digital processing that removed any element of expressiveness.
That all changed when a hobbyist in his house upgraded the scene, as seen above. Results? The scene for this episode has been updated and the stuntman has been added to the team at Lucasfilm. It was a qualitative leap from the scenes seen in The Book of Boba Fett:
The next issue is related to sentence generation via monitoring and playback. The possibilities are limitless except for one detail: it’s not acting. There is nothing left of the possible modulation and intonation that an actor would put on, the truth is lost.
It should be mentioned that this selection was made based on those effects that were already screaming at the time. It is very easy to criticize over time. Also left out are examples of movies that have consciously sought to appear ridiculous, especially horror ones. He sought to focus on some of the most representative blockbusters regarding this issue. At the same time, we must take into account such a problem as the strange valley in which animated films such as Final Fantasy: The Strength Within there polar express they have surpassed themselves in a quest for digital realism.
Common denominator? Production disasters. Plain and simple. But there are also other factors like wanting to run rather than crawl. Going to the forefront and seeking to innovate carries risks that involve stumbling in favor of others who come to enhance your contributions. At the same time, it must be taken into account that it is very hard work and that, because it is relatively new, a strong union with bargaining power for decent working conditions has not yet been organized.
Criticizing is very easy. But all factors must be taken into account. And that often problems in the end result are not always the fault of whoever tends to point it out.