Computer Error: The Worst of CGI is a scathing critique of modern movie magic told through a comedic feature-length compilation of memorably terrible instances of computer-generated imagery.
Saturday, April 12, 10:00 PM
COMPUTER ERROR: THE WORST OF C.G.I.
(2012, 98 min, Dir. Bryan Connolly & Tommy Swenson)
From Michael Bay to George Lucas to the guy who made Sharktopus, no guilty pleasure is safe outside of their respective contexts. Laugh at a giant scorpion with the face of The Rock! Groan at digital characters retroactively inserted into beloved film classics! Scream at a succession of non-actors getting clumsily eaten by digital snakes! With an eclectic soundtrack that ranges from Black Flag to Enigma, this comedy of computer errors sarcastically celebrates everything from gibberish tech dialogue to interactive pornography. Yes, this one has it all, folks, and we guarantee that you’ll never look at some of your modern favorites the same way again.
Cinedelphia chatted with Bryan Connolly, one of the minds behind Computer Error, about his inspiration for the compilation film:
Cinedelphia: In your mind, what makes something “the worst” CGI?
Bryan Connolly: I hate computer graphics that take you out of the movie. If I have to do a double-take and say, “Wait a minute…that was a CGI James Bond,” then I’m not thinking about the movie. I especially don’t care for things that could have been real. For instance, in XXX: State of the Union, Ice Cube drives a CG car on a CG train track. That is not fun to watch because there is no thrill.
C: Would you say that the freedom of CGI has actually limited filmmaker imagination?
BC: Yes, it has made filmmakers incredibly lazy. Nobody is doing stunts anymore. Nobody is attempting to make crazy gore effects. Nobody is crafting and building incredible camera shots like Hitchcock or De Palma or Welles. I watch Sam Raimi’s movies now, and it’s like watching someone clock into work and can’t wait to leave to go home. Raimi’s films used to be full of amazing things that people built in the real world, and now watch the awful Oz the Great and Powerful. It’s like going to a friend’s house and watching them play video games.
C: Do you find yourself more forgiving concerning practical effects?
BC: I love all practical effects no matter how poorly made. If it exists in the actual place of the filming of the movie, I’m into it. I don’t question that someone is talking to Kermit the Frog even though we know he isn’t a real frog. Clay animation is great and though not in the actual space of the actors at least clay is a real thing that I can imagine touching.
C: What, if any, would you consider good examples of CGI?
BC: Someone like David Fincher is good at using CGI because you can’t tell. Look at something like Zodiac, which surprisingly has a heck of a lot of CGI. I only know it’s there because I watched a ‘making of’ feature, but watching the actual movie I noticed literally zero of it. Jurassic Park still looks great. Terminator 2 is great. But both of those are amazing movies because they mix practical effects with CGI. That’s how it should be done.
C: Worst/Best CGI of 2013?
BC: The best was the way Shane Black used it mixed with actual skydivers in Iron Man 3. Man of Steel was hands down the worst. Zack Snyder loves to throw CGI at all of us and thinks he is making movie magic.
Author: Ryan Silberstein
Ryan has been writing thoughtful film reviews and pop culture commentary on and off for over a decade. He spends his days at a company named one of the best to work for in the Philadelphia area. His other interests include comic books, coffee, experimental beer, discovering new music, and books.