Monday, March 16, 2009

Oh, I'll show you what bad CGI REALLY is!

Last week, Total Film posted an article on the 20 Worst Movie CGI Moments. And, in looking through the list...I have to wonder if they really know what bad CGI is.

Yes, Sam Jackson's death in Deep Blue Sea is horrific (horrifically AWESOME!). With that and Shark Attack 3 to open things up, I had a feeling that they might be onto something fun. Then I read on...and realized that whoever wrote this article has never watched the SciFi Channel on a Saturday night (though I'm not sure if that says more about me or Chris Hicks).

It's one thing if you want to stick to scenes in big budget movies like Watchmen or Transformers and that sort of movie. That's a whole different discussion. But when you start off by mentioning a couple of low budget shark movies, well, they just can't compete. A movie like The Matrix has a lot more money to work with than the likes of Shark Attack 3. It's not a level playing field. And it's unfair to lump them into the same category.

Besides...if you want to talk about bad CGI? Let's start by taking a look at something like Attack of the Sabertooth.

That's from the friggin movie! A movie like Transformers puts more effort into an animatic!

And you want to talk about surfing? Die Another Day has not-a-goram-thing on Escape From L.A.

Do you really think that any thing about this looks better than what the accomplished in Die Another Day? Come on, dude!

Or, let's look at Event Horizon:

Do you really think that the opening sequence full of shitty looking floating debris looks better than anything in Lord of the Rings? And don't even get me started on Johnny Mnemonic or Lawnmower Man and their all CGI depictions of the interweb.

And let's be fucking honest, the only reason the effects looked bad in King Kong was because of how much Peter Jackson and Weta Workshop accomplished on LotR. Sure, the dinosaurs weren't the best CGI effects, but the damn monkey looked amazing.

The Wachowskis, the Bays, the Bruckheimers in this world will never put out the kind of movies that are chock full of bad effects and pure awesome-osity that the Lions Gates, Nu Images and Asylums will.
It's just a different mentality.

And not just among the film makers. As a viewer, I go into something like The Matrix with certain expectations. I expect to see something to write home about. When I pop in something like Raging Sharks, I expect to get a good chuckle and maybe be entertained for a few minutes. So, when I see a goofy alien, or a bad CGI shark, I laugh. I make fun of it. And while I may expect it to be bad, that doesn't mean that it's more inexcusable for a big budget movie to have a little shoddy CGI in it. Hell no. After seeing what people are doing on average home computers and with little money, I expect MORE out of the low budget flicks. When you have all the money in the world to spend on your movie, you damn well better hire the best. When you're on a shoestring, it's about getting the biggest bang for your buck. And when you don't...when you get something that looks like it was made using the airbrush in MS Paint...that's the CGI to get offended by.