Computer-generated imagery, or CGI, has come a long way in the film industry. Even so, that doesn’t mean studios should move forward with the technology when practical effects can do the job just as easily and, in some instances, better.
From the unnecessary computer-generated tsunami surfing in Die Another Day to Jennifer Connelly’s digital tears in Blood Diamond, these CGI effects were completely useless.
The Freaky Baby In Breaking Dawn: Part 2
Pretty much the entire plot in Breaking Dawn: Part 2 revolved around the half-human half-vampire baby of Bella and Edward Cullen, Renesmee. Instead of auditioning babies to be in the film, the studio opted to use CGI.
Alas, the CGI baby was supernaturally beautiful and beyond freaky looking. Fans were not overly pleased with the result.
Christina Applegate’s Beer Chugging Fiasco In Vacation
In the remake of the classic film Vacation, there is a scene where actress Christina Applegate chugs a beer. But she didn’t actually chug any liquid, as clearly seen in the film’s horrible use of CGI.
Applegate argued that chugging that much of a lager would turn her stomach. The thing is, films don’t use actual alcohol in scenes, only look-a-likes. She would have been fine, and the film could have bypassed some bad CGI.
Everything About Cats
When it was announced the iconic Broadway play Cats was going to be adapted on film, people were excited for a different reimagining of the performance. Sadly, what they got was a horrid use of CGI.
The film’s original concept was to have the actors dress in typical clothing with a bit of cat-like CGI help here and there. Instead, the studio decided to forgo the costumes and go full-on cat CGI, a creepy picture that many people can’t get over.
Henry Cavill’s Clean Shaven Face In Justice League
Warner Bros. went through a lot of trouble for the reshoots of Justice League, using their budget to de-mustache Henry Cavill’s Superman using CGI. During reshoots, Cavill was in the middle of shooting Mission Impossible: Fallout, where he sports quite the facial hair.
Instead of shaving for the reshoots and growing his mustache out once again, the studio used CGI to eliminate the offensive facial hair. The end result is quite distracting, making Cavill’s face look a bit plastic and fake.
A Floating Pear In Star Wars: Attack Of The Clones
There is a lot to be said about the Star Wars prequel films. But one thing that stands out in Attack of the Clones is the use of CGI for a chunk of pear Anakin Skywalker moves across the room using the force.
Production could have easily used practical effects via a string and actual pair to get the desired shot, instead of winding up with something that looks corny and very fake.
The Walkie-Talkies In E.T.
In the original version of E.T., viewers might remember the iconic scene of the boys flying on their bikes to save the little alien from the FBI agents. The original film had said agents holding shotguns.
For the film’s 20th anniversary, director Steven Spielberg thought the shotguns were too much for a children’s film, deciding to use CGI and replace them with less threatening walkie-talkies. He has since said he regrets the decision.
Marlon Brando’s CGI Smirk In The Score
On the set of The Score, actor Marlon Brando had a habit of not doing what he was told by director Frank Oz. Apparently, Brando didn’t like others bossing him around.
As a result, the actor didn’t smile during his final scene, where he was told to smile. Oz ordered a CGI smirk to be put on Brando’s face during post-production.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine And The Awful CGI Claws
While fans have a lot to say, namely complaints, about X-Men Origins: Wolverine, there is one aspect of the film that they just can’t get over — Wolverine’s horribly animated adamantium claws.
Sadly, no aspect of the digitally animated claws looks real, seemingly just floating above actor Hugh Jackman’s knuckles as if they were floating.
CGI People To Conceal Questionable Scenes In Eyes Wide Shut
When Eyes Wide Shut was first rated, it was given the infamous NC-17 rating due to its explicit content. Not wanting the dreaded rating to decrease the box office numbers and viewership, director Stanley Kubrick went back and added in CGI silhouettes of extras to conceal some of the more questionable scenes.
It was an unnecessary use of CGI, considering the director should have known the risque content was bound to get flagged. He should have put in real-life extras from the get-go.
Hayden Christensen “Surfing” In Star Wars: Attack Of The Clones
While Star Wars: Attack of the Clones is riddled with strange CGI that shouldn’t have happened, the worst is arguably the time Anakin decides to surf on the back of one of the creatures on Naboo.
The creatures looked fake, to begin with, but Hayden Christensen’s sense of surfing made the entire situation that much worse. It’s a scene that very well could have been cut.
The Fake Puppy Poo In John Wick
Amazingly, the production of John Wick decided it was worth $5,000 to use CGI to generate the beagle Daisy’s puppy poo instead of going to a local dog park and collecting some.
While $5,000 wasn’t a lot of money in the grand scheme of the movie’s budget, it was money that could have been saved by using practical effects instead of CGI.
The Surfing Scene In Die Another Day
If there is one scene in the entire James Bond franchise that shouldn’t have happened, it is arguably the bizarre surfing scene in Die Another Day. Instead of doing a practical fight scene, 007 is seen para-surfing on a broken piece of an airplane through a tsunami and broken glaciers.
Why production thought this was a good use of CGI is a question for the ages.
The Un-Broken CGI Arms On Jeremy Renner in Tag
While filming the comedy Tag, actor Jeremy Renner was actually going through something pretty drastic — two broken arms. Instead of delaying filming or recasting his character, the production crew painted his two casts green and used CGI to create arms.
Alas, the arms are clearly fake, levitating oddly in various scenes. There is even one point where viewers can kind of make out Renner’s braces underneath his shirt!
The Digital Tears In Blood Diamond
As an actor, it is important to learn to harness emotions, including crying on demand. In Blood Diamond, they didn’t really seem to take that into consideration. Instead, the producer decided they would get the shot and then digitally insert tears on actress Jennifer Connelly.
As a trained actress, they probably could have just asked her to cry. But, hey, that might have been too easy.
Wesley Snipes’s Open Eyes In Blade: Trinity
Wesley Snipes proved himself a diva when he refused to open his eyes during a scene in Blade: Trinity. In the scene, half-mortal, half-immortal character Blade is lying in the morgue.
However, Snipes ultimately refused to open his eyes, something the character does to show he is not actually dead. The director clearly didn’t put up much of an argument, giving in to Snipes’s weird demand and using CGI to generate eyes instead.
The Rock-Scorpion Hybrid In The Mummy Returns
Those who have watched the Mummy movies know of the prequel film The Scorpion King. It was fun for fans of the franchise to see The Rock play the character again after a less than believable introduction in The Mummy Returns in 2001.
In the Brendan Fraser-led sequel to the 1999 hit, he appeared on screen as a horrible Rock-Scorpion hybrid a la CGI. Production could have very well just had The Rock appear, taking away the strange CGI and hybrid concept altogether.
The Special Edition Of Star Wars
When it comes to a classic like Star Wars, things shouldn’t be touched. Everything should stay exactly as it was back in the 1970s, puppets and all. Instead of leaving his masterpiece alone, George Lucas decided to make a special edition, utilizing CGI to remaster some of the alien species, including Jabba the Hut.
Sadly, the CGI takes the nostalgia out of the film; it shouldn’t have been used in the first place.
The Infected In I Am Legend
The entire premise behind I Am Legend is finding a cure for the infected, pretty much people who turned into zombies. Unfortunately, production decided to save time with makeup and used CGI to create the infected.
Their use of technology did not pan out, and the zombies looked overly fake, something that wouldn’t have happened if they had used practical effects, prosthetics, and makeup.
The Golden Dwarf In The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug
While The Lord of the Rings trilogy is praised for its use of practical effects, the same can’t be said about The Hobbit trilogy. In the second film, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, there is a golden statue of one of the Dwarf kings.
The golden statue does play a part in the film, killing the great dragon Smaug, but director Peter Jackson should have gone back to the original trilogy and done some practical effects to make the scene more realistic.
The Green Lantern Super Suit
When it comes to super suits, the one worn by Ryan Reynolds in Green Lantern is arguably one of the worst. For some reason, production opted to use CGI for the suit and his mask, making for an awfully unrealistic-looking hero.
They very well could have gone with a practical costume and mask; it would have made a world of difference.