The beauty of a well-made special effect is that, even though we know it's fake, we're happy to let ourselves be tricked into believing otherwise -- as jaded as we may be, there's still a part of our brain that thinks Michael Fassbender really controls metal, or Henry Cavill can really fly, or Robert Downey Jr. really looks 40. That is the magic of the movies.
Well, let us now murder that magic by showing you how damn dumb every big-screen badass looks before the effects kick in:
6 Actors Doing "Magic" Look Like Total Dorks
Since its debut in 1997, the Harry Potter franchise has gone from some silly wizard books your little sister made fun of you for reading to an epic saga for the ages. That's partly thanks to the fact that, in the movies, the magical battles between good and evil look like thrilling, tense affairs where something cool or horrible could happen at any moment.
That said, if you ever feel like taking a trip back to the time when Harry Potter was the dorkiest thing ever, simply look at the DVD extras. The making of a battle scene in these movies is indistinguishable from a bunch of kids running around a playground pointing their fingers and yelling, "Bang, I shot you!" and, "Nuh-uh, you missed!"
The birthday party entertainers union is striking again.
The eight movies collectively cost over a billion dollars to make, but if you went behind the scenes it looked like your local community theater choreographing an interpretative dance about eating an avocado covered in hot sauce for dinner (because magic doesn't exist and everything alive is slowly putrefying).
Except the confused guy in the sweater, who thinks this is the worst orgy he's been to.
Even the one-on-one duels look like outtakes from a gritty remake of West Side Story:
In the script, Sirius Black kept saying, "Shamona!" and grabbing his crotch, suggesting
that Gary Oldman wasn't the first casting choice.
It's not just Harry Potter, of course -- the magical members of The Avengers, for example, look so dopey behind the scenes that we fully expect a pack of high school bullies to burst in at any moment and give them wedgies. Thor shooting lightning to devastate his opposition resembles a dude pulling off a move he saw at his amateur MMA gym, then feeling sad because no one saw it ...
Mostly because he's alone, in his bathroom.
... while Scarlet Witch looks like your aunt performing her one-woman show about the Wiccan dating scene in Bismarck, North Dakota.
This looks more like a Mary-Kate and Ashley joint.
5 CGI Animals Are Actually Crazy People
Probably the most intense movie scene of the past year was in The Revenant, when Golden Globe winner Leonardo DiCaprio is brutally ravaged by a mama bear. However, the filmmakers couldn't sic a real bear on DiCaprio, since his contract has a strict "no make-out scenes with women over 25 and no being mauled by savage animals" clause. As a result, the bear is CG, but they still needed something for Leo to initially interact with -- so they hired someone who looks like he plays in the National Furry Football League.
20th Century Fox
"Brian Grrrlacher, linebacker, Chicago Humans."
Please imagine DiCaprio trying to look all intense while rolling around with that guy in the forest (the production has wisely not allowed any photos of that moment to be released). He deserved that Golden Globe just for not cracking up on camera.
Speaking of CG animals, the ones on the new Jungle Book movie have been widely praised for being incredibly convincing and expressive. The behind-the-scenes footage, however, makes it look like the Cookie Monster's sex offender cousin was trying to sneak up on Mowgli.
"Hey, bears aren't the only ones with necessities."
And here's Mowgli being threatened by one of nature's fiercest animals: the majestic, elusive Jon Favreau.
If you see a cast member from Swingers in the wild, stand still and do not make eye contact.
Meanwhile, Jurassic World made kids ride around on beleaguered adults. It's a great example of merging effects with acting, because the kids look more thrilled that grown-ups are doing their bidding than they would be on actual dinosaurs.
And the production cloned this man for a fraction of what it would have taken them to clone a dinosaur.
Getting the movement of the raptors just right required a troupe of actors wearing what looked like novelty hats that got handed out at a kid's dinosaur-themed birthday party.
Someone spent 10 years becoming a paleontologist just to be the guy on set
who goes, "No, no, his butt should be higher."
Seriously, is this what happened to all the dance majors we went to school with? They all became dinosaurs and wizards? Even the original Jurassic Park made their animators run around like lunatics to teach them how dinosaurs move.
This was around the same time crystal meth really hit big in California.