6 Recent Movies That Look Hilarious With The CGI Removed
Movie visual effects aren't going anywhere any time soon. Hell, we wouldn't be surprised if the next Marvel movie is just CGI space-monsters battling digital versions of dead movie stars -- and who wouldn't want to see Galactus tangle with Marlon Brando? But as impressive as these technological wonders may look onscreen, as we've mentioned once or twice, or way more times than that before, often the behind the scenes experience was hilariously less breathtaking, such as how ...
The Invisible Man was Just a (Very Visible) Dude
While stopping short of adding a scene where Tom Cruise's Mummy movie is revealed to be a dream in the mind of an unimaginative coma victim, this year's The Invisible Man charted a new course for the so-called "Dark Universe" -- which, as you might remember, previously amounted to just one crappy movie and a publicity photo (that was also crappy).
The Invisible Man, though, is quite good, turning the familiar tale into an allegory for the trauma of abuse. They also updated the method of invisibility for the 21st century; instead of a crazy potion, it involves a high-tech suit -- which also means that this is the first Invisible Man movie where the titular character isn't running around town with his junk flapping in the breeze. In one early scene, Cecilia (played by Elisabeth Moss) is attacked by her abusive, invisible ex-boyfriend. It's freaky and weird and it was accomplished by literally just having a dude in a bright green suit hang around the set, who is decidedly less good at hiding.
The scene plays way differently when the attacker is painfully visible.
Yeah, it's way less terrifying with a man a skintight bodysuit --
-- that, frankly, leaves nothing to the imagination.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker -- Those Space Horses Were Just ... Horses
Regardless of how you feel about Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, it inarguably has some pretty terrific special effects; from the space battles, to the lightsaber duels, to whatever digital technology was used to make it seem as though Oscar Isaac wasn't constantly dying on the inside.
In a memorable moment, Rey, Finn and the gang travel to one of the moons of Endor, where a giant, surprisingly intact, chunk of the Death Star landed. They're soon visited by a horde of ex-Stormtroopers riding horse-like creatures called "Orbaks" -- presumably because J.J. Abrams was watching reruns of Law & Order while hammering out the script. So how did the production create these Orbaks? Animatronics? CGI? Nope, they just stuck a bunch of crap on some plain old Earth horses.
For some shots it seems as though they had John Boyega ride some kind of mechanical bull-like contraption --
-- driven by a guy who probably didn't tell his kids exactly what his job working on the new Star Wars movie entailed.
Sonic the Hedgehog's Stand-in is Upsetting to Look at
After early footage revealed that the new movie version of beloved video game character Sonic the Hedgehog looked creepy enough to belong on some kind of Mushroom Planet watch list, the filmmakers did the unthinkable: they pushed back their release date and completely overhauled the character design. Back during the making of the movie, though, the crew was obviously working with the original, craptastic version. Meaning that Sonic's stand-in ended up looking disturbingly realistic, as if Dr. Robotnik had finally killed and taxidermied his arch-enemy.
And good luck getting a solid night's sleep again after beholding Sonic the Hedgehog with his face missing, Nicolas Cage-style.
The Motorcycle Chase in John Wick 3 Was Created by Pushing Keanu Reeves on a Sled
Further confusing America into thinking they were reading a book, John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum returned with another crazy story of elite assassins and the world's sketchiest hotel that doesn't have the words "Econo" or "Lodge" in the name. The highlight of the movie is probably the thrilling motorcycle chase, much of which was captured in just one shot. At the risk of ruining the illusion that Keanu Reeves is the most superhuman badass on the planet, we'd like to show you how that scene was actually made. Most of it was shot on a green screen, with the actors on "bike sled rigs" being pushed around by stagehands.
Who apparently weren't super-happy.
So it was less of a death-defying stunt than it was the adult equivalent of a suburban shopping mall's kiddy rides.
The Lion King Set was an Empty Room
As Disney continues to mine its past library of films for content, until all that's left to be remade is Song of the South and friggin' Condorman, we recently got an unnervingly realistic new take onThe Lion King starring Donald Glover, Beyonce, and James Earl Jones -- because no one fires James Earl Jones, goddammit. While director Jon Favreau's previous intellectual property reheat, The Jungle Book, was full of amusing props and actors subbing in for CGI animals, with no human actors in The Lion King, that wasn't necessary this time. But they still created a set, albeit a virtual one, which they first scout with VR goggles.
Then they basically used virtual cameras to film the empty room.
For those awe-inspiring aerial shots, they flew an actual drone inside the room. stage.
The movie went on to make more than $1.5 billion at the box office, but the making-of footage looks like a birthday party for Favreau thrown by his imaginary friends.
The making of Shazam! Looks Uncomfortable and Nausea-Inducing
Like Big if Tom Hanks was as into steroids as he is old-timey typewriters, Shazam! tells the story of Billy Batson, a fourteen-year-old boy who turns into a hulking adult superhero thanks to a literal wizard. In what surely was intended as an allegory for puberty, Billy is forced to figure out how to use his new powers, looking super-awkward in the process. As he's learning to fly, in real life, actor Zachary Levi was sent careening through various locations on a large "tuning fork" pushed by some guys in blue leotards.
Most of the flying was seemingly accomplished by spinning the actors around as if they were strands of spaghetti on giant cutlery --
-- then CGI-ing the puke stains off of their clothes in post. Probably.
Top Image: Universal