Rant of The Week: CGI (Part 2 of 2)

oliphant2 Rant of The Week: CGI (Part 2 of 2)

Last week I was complaining about crappy CGI and the route most filmmakers are taking. This week, I’ll be discussing what should not be CG’d: epic battles. Also, why can’t Hollywood get the centaurs right?

So I was watching Braveheart a couple of weeks ago and it just amazed me that the movie was epic. Besides the great direction by Mel Gibson, I realized the movie tugged on my emotions because I never thought for once “Oh that crap is fake”. Even in the big battle scenes, Gibson uses real actors. Sure you can see some extras in the background “playfighting” if you nitpick. But it doesn’t take you out of the movie because it doesn’t stand out. Compare that to Patriot, a movie that starred Gibson but directed by Roland Emmerich(Independence Day, 10,000 B.C.) and it’s not even close. In Patriot, Emmerich decides to use CGI for the British Army. It’s absurd, they look like freaking ants synchronizingly walking together without any weight or emotions.

Even Lord of The Rings is getting a bit outdated. When the Rohirims(horse cavalry) rescues Minas Tirith in Return of the King, it distracts me now. It’s well thought out but you can’t help notice the CGI shots, especially when they have wide shots and you can see all of the cavalry. But I give the director, Peter Jackson credit because at least he tried to make each CG character different from another with different mannerisms and different movements. He wasn’t lazy like Emmerich.

glory Rant of The Week: CGI (Part 2 of 2)

Also check out Glory – one of my favorite movies of all time and Last Samurai. Both movies are directed by the same man, Edward Zwick. Glory was a low budget movie while Last Samurai a big budget movie. Yet, Glory is more realistic? Why is this the case? Because as humans, we can unconsciously tell whether it’s real or fake. Last Samurai didn’t have that many CGI shots but it was still enough for me to take notice, especially the battle scenes. In Glory, nothing is CGI and you really rooted for the troops as they attacked the fort in the end because you can feel their emotions. But with CGI, it’s emotionless.

One more thing about CGI: centaurs. It was crappy in the Harry Potter series and it was also bad in the Narnia series. Narnia is a bit better but the ones in Harry Potter are really bad. Once again, they have no weight and look cartoony as hell. What would have been a cool scene is ruined by the fakeness of the centaurs. Why am I ranting about the centaurs? Because centaurs were already perfected in the Hercules tv show with Kevin Sorbo(I’d show you a clip but couldn’t find one on the net). They even used a real actor from the waist up. The way he moved was believable and I’m sure there budget was lower than Harry Potter.

In conclusion, Hollywood should be more creative. I don’t mind CGI when done right but most of the movies now have crappy special effects. When filmmakers face an obstacle, the answer is always “CGI”. My friend asked me if I wanted to watch Hancock. I told him it didn’t interest me because of the bad special effects. I asked him if he felt the same way and he said it didn’t bother him at all. And this friend is a so called “movie buff”. But like I said before, why would filmmakers change this technique when audiences flock to their movies, even movie buffs.

pixel Rant of The Week: CGI (Part 2 of 2)

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