For movie fans, 2016 started with two grim Westerns, continued with two movies about iconic superheroes getting mad at each other, and will end with way too many continuations to dormant franchises that maybe should have been left alone. Then again, this approach seems to be working:
So, why is it that Hollywood movies can be wildly successful and blindly unoriginal at the same time? Who's running this cash-eating donkey show? Well, sorry -- I'm not an expert. But if I had to guess in, say, seven listed points, they would probably look like this ...
7Studios Are Using CGI To Make Actors Immortal
He looks like he traveled back in time to tell himself to stick to VHS porn.
Could it be that Herman's blood pact with the Prince of Darkness entails a forever-walk among the living damned? Perhaps that's the in-canon explanation, but as Reubens later admitted, the true secret is simply that they used computers to de-age the star, not unlike they did with Michael Douglas at the beginning of Ant-Man or that adorable li'l Robert Downey Jr. in Civil War.
Marvel's next project is a shot-for-shot remake of Wonder Boys.
We've come a long way since the anus-clenching horror of Tron: Legacy's CGI Jeff Bridges -- to the point that movies are applying "beauty work" so readily that we no longer notice it's happening. And it is happening. All the damn time. Here are some before and after samples from Vitality Visual Effects, one of the many CGI companies specializing in making actors and actresses look like vampire clones of themselves:
Vitality Visual Effects
The guy isn't impressed, judging by the jerk-off motion.
Supposedly, this process is being secretly done for every fucking TV show and film at this point. Shows like Glee get digital "pimple passes" on every episode, while in The Jacket Keira Knightley's skin got the CGI treatment after she suffered from an outbreak during filming. Zero flaws. Zero aging. Everyone looks the same in every film, and a 51-year-old Downey Jr. can play a wrinkle-free Tony Stark long after he decays into the soil.
Channel 4, Marvel Studios
That was actually Robert Downey Sr. playing him in Age Of Ultron.
No, really -- since this trend started, companies have been taking digital scans of actors at their peak weights in order to virtually replace their features for later reshoots. Meaning that in 2080 we could still have a new release exclusively starring an army of 30-year-old Chris Evanses. And speaking of a whole bunch of stuff that look the same ...
6Vastly Different Films Have The Same Visuals (Because The Same People Are Making Them)
After Batman V Superman, how many times have you rolled your eyes at a CGI creature that was essentially the cave troll from Lord Of The Rings?
New Line Cinema, Warner Bros.
It's a disgrace that they don't have furry pink hair, as Tolkien described.
Somewhere between production and the drastically different concept art, Doomsday became a big, swole lump of gray crap with a mean hunched face and some forgettable growl. Just like every goddamn movie beast fit to slay.
Universal Pictures, Warner Bros., Walt Disney
Even freaking King Louie is more cave troll than orangutan now.
So when did every monster become a dumpy nightmare? Since The Lord Of The Rings' Weta Digital became the go-to for these visual effects, turning grotesque renderings into one of New Zealand's primary exports. But this is far from the only case, as every J.J. Abrams monster is like first cousins of the one from Cloverfield.
There's a lot of inbreeding, apparently.
It's always some festering-mouthed abomination with spider legs. We can trace this back to a single guy named Neville Page -- who in addition to all of Abrams' monsters, also did the crazy-mouthed aliens in Avatar and the crazy-mouthed squid in Prometheus.
20th Century Fox
It's like if H.R. Giger was afraid of anuses instead of dicks.
Paramount Pictures, Columbia Pictures, 20th Century Fox
Not to be confused with blood magic subplots.
Did you think it was a coincidence that every film character suddenly needed or had special blood? Nope -- it was just two guys who kept going to that smelly well. Because once a writer or producer is obsessed with an idea (like cutting off arms in the Marvel universe), you can spot their work in a lineup. Hey, remember Jon Peters, the insane producer who keeps trying to put giant spiders in people's movies? Cracked has mentioned him once or six times. Well, suddenly, Hollywood is full of Jon Peterses.
He finally got one in a Superman film, by the way. The absolute maniac finally did it.