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Bad Practical Effects or Bad CGI?

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Bad Practical Effects or Bad CGI?

Old 02-07-21, 01:58 PM
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Re: Bad Practical Effects or Bad CGI?

This is more of an example of good practical effects vs. bad CGI (which I think everyone and their dog prefers good practical effects), but I think of the "visible breath" technique in The Exorcist, and Stir of Echoes. The Exorcist used a refrigerated set, Stir of Echoes just CGI'd it in. But there's a 26 year difference in the films, and it's just mind-boggling that a 1973 effect looks more realistic than a 1999 effect. Movie magic is supposed to get better as technology improves, CGI has arguably made it worse.

I also remember showing a young friend of mine Jackie Chan's Police Story, and she just completely lost it that it was obviously Jackie himself hanging off the back of that bus. Even though we see that scene today and that bus is clearly not going fast, it's so much more impressive that he was doing it for real, rather than seeing all these superhero movies with 200mph stunts that are clearly being done in a studio with green screen. There's just no sense of danger when you know it isn't being done for real.
Old 02-07-21, 05:10 PM
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Re: Bad Practical Effects or Bad CGI?

Originally Posted by Nick Danger View Post
Good CGI is good. In he director's commentary on The Social Network, Fincher talks about just how much CGI went into that movie. It's in almost every scene. I don't see it, and that's what he wanted.
See also Sicario:

Old 02-10-21, 02:39 PM
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Re: Bad Practical Effects or Bad CGI?

It's hard to say and usually depends on the context and age of the film. Clash of the Titans (1981) was thrilling in 1981 and you can really appreciate the craftsmanship and effort that went into the painstaking stop-motion animation and the melding with the live action. The remake had smoother, more realistic CGI effects but also seemed completely soulless.

I think when CGI effects tamper with the laws of physics it just rings false and takes an audience out of the action. The Fast and the Furious series always had this problem where the motion of the vehicles just doesn't ring true, especially for a film that takes place in our "reality" as opposed to a cartoon or science fiction world.

To me, the practical effects of car chases like The Road Warrior, Raiders of the Lost Ark and even the original Gone in Sixty Seconds are much more effective. On the other hand when the CGI is done well it can be very effective too.
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