Holy shit, CGI has changed the way we

look at the world around us. Back in the 70’s if you were waiting for
the

movie to start and the bucket of popcorn grew eyes and started
dancing

around the counter top assisted by a reanimated bag of Skittles
you’d

puke in your hat and call a ventriloquist, a priest, and a burly
cop

six weeks from retirement to come deal with it. Now we can’t flip
through

the channels without seeing a seemingly living 2,000 foot robot
whipping

up a lather in his 17,000 foot shower or a muffin writhing out
of
some

bitch’s grasp as she does a walk-and-talk about menopause being a

real pisser. Superman

made us believe a man could fly but it wasn’t until The Revenge of the Sith

that we could believe that Christopher Lee had both Jedi Powers and
Phase-Shift

Parkinsons.

CGI is an amazing tool that many
filmmakers

wield like a digital Mjolnir,

creating worlds and creatures that take our breath away. Unfortunately
through

the years some have used it as a scythe, slashing our dreams and

severing

that muscle that connects our sexual pleasure organs to the
muscle

that tells our mind we’re really good at using our sexual
pleasure
organs.

The result is oblivion.

So with that we bring you CHUD’s
latest

glorious list. The twenty worst instances of CGI in movie
history.
In

no order. Well, except the order we decide to do them.

DAY SIXTEEN
Brought to you by Renn Brown


THE OFFENDER: Ultraviolet (2006)





THE
SCENE:

Pick one. Ultraviolet is nothing short of an extravaganza of shitty CGI that ranges from competently rendered but poorly implemented to low-grade direct-to-video effects to fondled. There’s a helicopter chase and rooftop shootout that may be the worse offenders in terms of bad CGI, but this is akin to trying to figure which of the sixteen knives that are simultaneously stabbing you is the sharpest. Pointless.




WHERE IT

ALL GOES WRONG: Right here:



That’s one of the first frames of picture (these black, soldier-containing spheres are ejected from a plane through a pinball-machine system. No joke.) and it tells us right away that we are about to watch a video game. Your spirit picks back up when they crash into an elaborate set filled with colorful lighting and clever architecture, but it won’t be long before textureless CGI and awful compositing rear they’re ugly heads again. The rest of the film is a whiplash-inducing assault that jerks back and forth between genuinely beautiful and dazzling architecture and cable-grade CGI.



Cleverly, you’ll notice they’ve actually taken all of the live action footage and smeared it with a defocusing blur that removes the texture and detail from the real elements, so they don’t stand out so hideously against the cheap visFX. The thing is, it works! But it works by further lowering the bar from expecting this to be a real movie down to expecting a non-interactive video game experience.

HOW IT COULD HAVE
BEEN DONE PRACTICALLY:
 
It already was! Ultraviolet is a victim of excess on every level and despite having many of the same advantages (great sets, keen eye for combat action, unique aesthetic), by cranking everything up to such a heightened level, the film is dragged down by all the things we were willing to forgive in Equilibrium. The film is chock full of amazing modern architecture the production found in Shanghai and Hong Kong that, were they not floating amidst relentless scenes of laughable computer scenery, would have been brilliant locations for a stylized science fiction flick.

It’s so bad that some of the buildings I laughed at during the movie turned out to be real Chinese skyscrapers! You become so used to terribly rendered buildings patterned after hyperbolic needles, radioactive symbols, and other stupid crap that you can’t even appreciate reality when it peeks through.



HOW BAD
IS

IT? I’ve gotten some shit (mostly from boring, literally-minded people) about my previous entries that focused on examples that weren’t necessarily the WORST CGI IN HISTORY but instead represented some other failure in judgment, but I’m confident that Ultraviolet contains not only some of the qualitatively worst CGI put on a big screen, but perhaps the highest volume of it as well. It is almost non-stop and must be seen to truly be believed.



IN
SUMMATION:
The opening credits of Ultraviolet are set over a montage of comic book art, as if it wants to excuse the illogical, over-stylized mess that follows as a genre entry that follows different rules. That may do something to explain (if not excuse) the terrible plot, dialogue, acting, and pacing, but it doesn’t excuse the fact that if you try and offer us a live-action world but fill it with utterly unconvincing, plastic pixels… nobodies going to buy it. Fuck off.





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