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Wednesday, February 22, 2023 

The worst special effects displays in superhero movies

Digital Trends published a list of several superhero movies where they consider the CGI effects perfectly dreadful, and not too difficult to see through their obviousness of being "unreal". For example, last year's Thor movie:
Director Taika Waititi’s second Thor film has become a punching bag for disgruntled fans since its 2022 release. One thing they seemed to have the most ire for is the way young Axl appeared as a floating head while magically talking to Thor.

Axl clearly looks like he was cut and pasted onto the screen, and when Marvel Studios tried to touch up the effect for the Disney+ release, it somehow made it look even worse. This is one of the many instances in the MCU that proves the studio should ease up on its VFX artists and, perhaps, CGI in general.
Some could argue you can't be surprised if a film already suffering from too much wokeness could end up having such bad FX to boot. Perhaps because too much attention was given to applying political correctness to the screenplay than to whether they were using the best possible CGI technology available.

Another example from over a decade ago is Ryan Reynolds' Green Lantern movie:
In this infamous comic book film, Hal Jordan’s Green Lantern suit is supposed to be made of his Power Ring’s energy. This idea is great in theory, but it flopped in its execution. Ryan Reynolds’s bright-green suit doesn’t blend well with his actual body, and it looks even worse when he has a mask brushed onto his face.
I remember what that looked like. The look of the "costume", with lines like ripple-effects, was most obscenely ugly. It gave special effects a bad name, though what was really angering was casting what was originally an "identity" given to Hal during Zero Hour as the main villain in the screenplay: Parallax. All because they presumably didn't want to make it look obvious they were going to spotlight a more ideal adversary like Sinestro. One must wonder what's so wrong with using villains like Evil Star, or even Goldface for a film like this.

One more given example to highlight here is the X-Men prequel for Wolverine:
There were many things wrong with this X-Men prequel film, and one of the biggest problems was with Wolverine’s computer-generated claws. While actor Hugh Jackman was given prosthetic claws in his first three films in the X-Men franchise, the filmmakers behind his origin movie decided to go digital, giving him razors that are completely unreal — and not in a good way.

Much like a certain co-star’s Green Lantern suit, Wolverine’s claws don’t mesh well with his actual body, and it’s clear that these shiny blades were pasted onto his hands in postproduction.
To be honest, I don't think I'd find prosthetic claws appealing at this point either, recalling an armor suit worn by Gal Gadot in the 2nd Wonder Woman movie looked like a dull combo of metal, plastic, and paint. Sometimes, I wonder if even Star Trek impresses as much as it did in my youth anymore. Okay, what was usually most impressive was if the stories could make you think, like if they did metaphors for the Cold War. But in today's PC-plagued environment, nobody wants to do that anymore, because it's otherwise taboo among leftists to offend communists.

While the special effects examples given by the article are certainly dismaying, I still grew tired of live action science fiction blockbusters years ago, after seeing the Mummy remake from 1999 starring Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz, and the Matrix movies from those times were also decidedly insufferable. So it's hard to care about franchises that are now laced with considerable wokeness at the expense of thoughtful storytelling regardless of the FX quality in the finished products. So many millions of dollars wasted by Hollywood over such overrated junk.

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  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
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