C'MON HOLLYWOOD: More Makeup Effects, Less CGI!

...more makeup effects, less CGI!
by J.A. Hamilton

My girlfriend and I caught SPLICE last weekend which was...well, interesting to say the least (it reminded me a lot of the MASTERS OF HORROR episode JENIFER) but one thing that definitely stood out was the makeup effects applied to Delphine Chaneac, making Dren a real creature as opposed to a CGI monster. There’s a reason people love eighties flicks, especially monster movies and it’s because they used real props back then (not that they had much of a choice) instead of the technological CGI mess we often see splashed across the big screen these days. Sometimes CGI fits (and is needed), but most times it doesn’t come close to the real thing.

"It's my tail isn't it? I swear it has a mind of its own."

Other than SPLICE, another really great example of recent makeup effects trumping CGI is THE WOLFMAN. It’s truly remarkable what gurus like Rick Baker can do with real actors (and whether you liked the movie or not, Baker made the apes in the PLANET OF THE APES remake look five kinds of awesome). Benicio Del Toro and Anthony Hopkins looked phenomenal in wolf form (of course they should after sitting in a chair for four hours) and the leg extensions used in both THE WOLFMAN and SPLICE to give their legs that raised canine look really adds some much needed (and welcomed) depth to the creatures. Sure, the time process involved for these types of suits, makeup and effects is no doubt taxing but they bring these creatures to life in such a believable fashion that the audience is breathless with both fear and delight.

Edward, Jacob, I'm pretty sure Benicio here could destroy them both.

I remember being intrigued and even excited when the first trailer for BOOGEYMAN came out back in 2005. The premise sounded cool, a dude getting stalked by the dreaded Boogeyman, a supernatural creature that came from his closet. I mean, come on, what kid from our generation didn’t lose a bit of sleep over the damn Boogeyman? Admittedly I dug the story (despite the fact it was PG-13) which doesn’t surprise me as it came from the mind of SUPERNATURAL’s Eric Kripke, but all hope was lost when I came face to face with the monster itself hovering over a bathtub in all its CGI glory. I actually turned to my girlfriend and said, “Are you fucking kidding me!?” Nope, I was not impressed.

I'm not sure if it's the lighting or angle but Jabba's looking pretty sexy here.

I hate to drag STAR WARS into this but of all the reasons why the original trilogy is and will always be superior to the latest one, the lack of GCI is probably top three. Jabba the Hut looked like a real...umm...worm thing as opposed to his CGI younger counterpart who came later. The Ewoks (love them or hate them) looked infinitely cooler than Jar Jar and his ridiculous fish people. I won’t just dump on the new STAR WARS flicks though as a couple of my favorites BROTHERHOOD OF THE WOLF and the recent OUTLANDER were fantastic action flicks whose monsters also suffered from overuse of CGI. Did this kill the movies for me, not really but that doesn’t mean they couldn’t have been done better.

Come on Rodriguez, don't let me down.

One of my favorite special effects monsters of all time returns to theatres in a big way this summer, that’s right ladies and gents I’m talking about PREDATORS. Using dudes in suits with insanely cool makeup and body armour is THE way to go as far as I’m concerned. The face huggers and chest bursters from the ALIEN films are also up there on my list of favorites but again, I’m all for what looks more “real”. Hollywood has been slowly coming back around as directors and producers continue to fight for less CGI based effects which makes me happy and I’m hoping they continue to win this war. CGI effects have their place in films for making the impossible look probable but when it comes down to creature/monster effects there’s no substitution for the real thing.
Extra Tidbit: I watched THE A-TEAM a couple nights ago and loved it. Don’t buy into any negative reviews as it’s a solid good time. That said, the CGI heavy scene near the end (you’ll know it when you see it) made me cringe. No amount of makeup could fix that particular situation but I have to wonder if it could have been done better with less CGI.
Source: JoBlo.com



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