Too Much CGI?

Ever since the time that CGI started to become more, and more prevalent in movies, people began to ponder whether there is too much of it.

CGI has become so prevalent that “practical effects” has become a term used in the industry lately as a feature rather than just a totally normal thing that you would see in every movie.  People are understanding what it means, and are paying attention to the differences.  The latest Mad Max movie is a good example of that.  I personally saw plenty of articles, reviews, or videos explaining on how their major use of “practical effects” instead of CGI made a big difference in the movie.  Not only did it make a big difference, but people point it out as one of the major reasons it turned out to be so good as well as visually stunning.

The subject comes up a lot when you think back to things such as the big complaint over the Star Wars prequels.  Although I agree they aren’t good for a number of reasons, a lot of people said there was too much CGI involved with the film.  The same is brought up while mentioning recent movies such as The Hobbit, or Jurassic World.

The limitations of CGI appear to only be limited by the writers, and CGI artist’s imagination.  Although, people seem to have a particular value in practical effects rather than the computer generated.  Just like every argument there is another side that either doesn’t care, or has a firm standing belief in CGI instead of using practical effects like costumes, or make-up artists.

There are movies out there that are entirely CGI, or very close.  James Cameron’s Avatar broke a lot of major records with their movie, and it was almost entirely CGI based.

The question is, what holds up better over time?  As a person with no strong standing with either one, I’d say that practical effects hold up better over time.

CGI is certainly no slouch, you can watch the trailer alone for the movie Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, and I think it’s still very visually satisfying to watch.  That movie is from the year 2001, and could’ve been obtained on a VHS tape, but still fantastic.  If you watch movies like Avatar though, you can see quite a few differences in the detail, and quality that makes it not hold up so well.

A great example of practical effects doing their job to hold up over the years, is the original Jurassic Park movie.  You can watch that movie today, and you’d be shocked at its current age.  The same applies for movies of a similar production standard.

CGI is vastly improving though, so we’ll see in another ten years if people will still have the same opinion of it.  I personally think they’ll hardly notice the difference anymore.

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