CGI has revolutionized the way big budget films are made, but like any tool for film making, it can be gravely misused. Whether it be due to time constraints or budget limitations; even Hollywood’s biggest visual effects houses can turn in sub-par results. If they’re lucky, these shots go by unnoticed by the film going public. But on the odd occasion, they stand out like digitised dogs balls.
This countdown celebrates some of the more famous stuff ups we’ve witnessed on the rocky road from Jurassic Park to Jurassic World. Its important to note that the following visual effects weren’t chosen simply because they’ve dated badly over the years, these crimes against animation were bad to begin with.
Before we dive in to the countdown proper, lets look at the entries that weren’t quite as bad as the rest.
The Infected – I Am Legend (2007)
The Jungle Chase – Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)
Young Arnie – Terminator Salvation (2009)
Now on to the countdown!
The Shark Attack – Deep Blue Sea (1999)
Hilarious and memorable this moment may be, there’s no excusing the cartoonish manner in which Samuel L. Jackson’s dodgy CG double meets his grisly demise. No one is pretending Deep Blue Sea is anything but a mindlessly enjoyable B-movie, but when your big monster makes the shark from Jaws look real by comparison, you know you’ve got a problem.
Mountain Troll – Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001)
2001 gave us one of visual effects finest achievements in the form of The Fellowship of the Ring‘s cave troll. Then there was this this abominable troll man from the first Harry Potter film. Its hard to believe that ILM (arguably the best visual effects company in the world) was responsible for this. Sure it was for a kids film, but it was a damn expensive one, and even the ten year olds were shaking their heads in disgust.
Young Jabba – Star Wars (1997 Special Edition)
The story of George Lucas’ sacrilegious changes to his original trilogy are well documented, so I won’t bore you with more furious debate about the bearded ones unforgivable hate crimes. Lets forget the why of it all, and assume that George made the right call re-inserting a CG Jabba over the original on set actor, the question remains: Could ILM not have a made a few more passes to make the whole thing look a tad bit more convincing? In fairness, further home video releases have slightly improved the scene, but maybe the animators should of instead heeded the advice of the great Dr. Ian Malcolm… “they were so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn’t stop to think if they should”.
Glacier Surfing – Die Another Day (2002)
James Bond has become synonymous with jaw dropping stunts and practical effects, none of which are present in this scene from the franchise killing Die Another Day. In a film that already includes an invisible car, one of the worst all time Bond songs, and Halle Berry, this scene is easily the most ridiculous. I’ve played levels on Nintendo 64’s Goldeneye that looked more convincing.
The Scorpion King – The Mummy Returns (2001)
The Rock’s cinematic debut was meant to be the big moment of Stephen Sommer’s Mummy sequel, what we got instead was a cartoon rendering of Dawyne Johnson’s head atop a giant Scorpion’s body that would’ve made first year Multimedia students cringe. The visual effect has since become a cautionary tale for animators the world over, and a prime example of how not to render digital versions of well known actors. Its a lesson Hollywood has thankfully learnt from, with films like Benjamin Button and the recent de-aging of Michael Douglas in Ant-Man proving technology has come a long way since this Mummy of all monstrosities.
That’s all folks! What CG took you out of the movie? Be sure to let us know in the comments section below.