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8 Recent Movies That Grossly Over-Estimated What Their CGI Could Do

Film technology has improved in leaps and bounds, but the suspension of disbelief remains constantly questioned.

It€™s hard to believe it€™s been over twenty years since Jurassic Park hit. That€™s not a wistful musing pretending the natural passage of time is somehow shocking, but a comment on the state of CGI in movies. The technology has improved in leaps and bounds, but the suspension of disbelief remains constantly questioned. While there€™s always going to be films with terrible CGI (although studios sometimes forget it, animating and rendering all those shots takes a lot of time and money), what€™s more perplexing is when a director forgets Jurassic Park€™s mantra; know your limitations. Spielberg€™s dino-fun-ride still stands up today because rather than having perfected computer-generated imagery, he knew when not to use it. The T-Rex wouldn€™t be intimidating if it was digital in every shot, so he used models as a supplement. Some modern filmmakers seem to think that we can now produce completely photo-realistic shots. While we are certainly capable of creating realistic-looking images, there€™s still a way to go before you can sit down and watch a film without being able to tell the difference between real and fake. We have an innate ability that tells us when something doesn't look quite right and in a generalised version of what is commonly known as the uncanny valley (where a CGI human looks so almost-real, yet utterly fake), as things improve we only noticed it more. It's unsettling rather than glaring, and in the long run that's worse. Even Spielberg himself messed up with the fourth Indiana Jones movie, giving us an endless stream of clearly computerised action. 3D has only made matters worse. For films shot with stereoscopy in mind (or set in a mostly computer-generated world), there is often a lack of focus on the 2D version (now back as the format the majority of releases are watched). A hangover from 3D€™s multiple points of focus, it looks like nothing the naked eye would pick up and therefore comes off as fake. To prove the point, here are eight recent films that have undisputedly good effects, but push them too far.
Contributor
Contributor

Film Editor (2014-2016). Loves The Usual Suspects. Hates Transformers 2. Everything else lies somewhere in the middle. Once met the Chuckle Brothers.