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Why Do Spider-Man Movies Have Such Bad CGI?

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Spider-Man Electro fight

You might mistakenly think this “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” scene is from a video game

Having watched The Amazing Spider-Man 2, I am taken aback by how a movie with a massive budget of $200 million can have such bad CGI. With many of the action scenes, I might as well have been watching a video game cinematic from 2005. Surely I can’t be the only one that feels this way.

Granted The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was an overall good movie, the numerous unrealistic CGI scenes took away from any immersion that can be had by a keen viewer. Seriously, in most of the scenes that involved the use of their powers, you would be excused into thinking that Spiderman and Electro were pulled straight from one of the many PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 Spiderman video games.

It brought back memories of the first Spider-Man film and how it looked like Spiderman weighed nothing as he swung from place to place. In the same vein, Electro looked cartoonish when set against the backdrop of a realistic New York City.

Watch the following trailer and pay particular attention to scenes from the 0:30 second mark to 0:34, and from 2:51 to 3:00. Let me know how realistic you find the animations.

I have watched this particular trailer many times, and I think the problem lies with the textures and the movements of the characters’ limbs. Simply put, they are so poorly rendered that Spiderman looks like a clay man when web-slinging.

Keep in mind that Spider-Man 2 was a $200 million film, which is a shame considering that the Avengers and Iron Man movies cost just as much to produce but delivered better CGI elements. There wasn’t a single scene in The Avengers that made me think “Man, that looks fake.” On the contrary, “WOW, that looks awesome” was my general reaction throughout.

Stepping away from comics for a second, have you seen the apes in the Rise of Planet of the Apes? If you haven’t, check them out here. Their CGI rendering will blow your mind.

Sony, the company that owns the filming rights to the Spiderman franchise and the one responsible for the CGI in The Amazing Spider-Man, could learn a thing or two from the team responsible for the CGI in The Avengers and Iron Man.

After watching the first Amazing Spider-Man, I was hoping that with more CGI rendering experience under its belt, Sony would have stepped up its game with the second movie. I was wrong, because what it delivered was a movie with CGI that is marginally better at best. Get with the program, Sony; you are being outplayed.

Editorials

Who Will Negan Kill in The Walking Dead TV Show?

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Negan Walking Dead Comic

In what can be considered the biggest development in The Walking Dead in quite a while, Negan, an infamous villain in series lore, will make an appearance at the end of season 6 of the popular TV show, and we can’t to see what he has in store for Rick and the crew.

Personally, as a reader of the comics, I am both excited and terrified that a character notoriously known for killing one of the most beloved character in The Walking Dead expanded universe has a role to play. He’s a lot like Merle — ruthless, masochist and a racist — and makes even a sociopathic like ‘The Governor’ look tame!

As if the suspense surrounding Glenn’s fate at the end of episode 3 didn’t have fans talking enough, we must now wonder who Negan is going to kill and when. Readers of the comics know its Glenn, but will Robert Kirkman, along with the other producers, change things up to make the show less predictable? Most likely, considering that’s what they’ve been doing since the beginning.

Remember when The Governor killed Hershel in the middle of Season 4? Well, in the comics, it was cuddly ol’ Tyreese that fell to his wrath. Who is Negan going to kill on the silver screen? I predict it will be Maggie, Morgan or Tara.

Morgan, Walking Dead

It’s worth pointing out that, in the comics, Morgan didn’t last long and was not an important character. However, in the TV show, he’s a fully-realized badass that has undergone several transformations and received a full episode dedicated to his backstory. Now, it seems that whenever the producers give a supporting character ‘special attention’ (you know, like his own episode), it only means one thing: DEATH!

Maggie, Walking Dead

Moving on to the now-pregnant Maggie, she witnessed her husband, Glenn, die in The Walking Dead comics, leading many to believe it’s Glenn (assuming he’s still alive) whose life Negan takes. However, will it really be slippery survivor? I mean, will Kirkman allow a thing like that to happen to such a fan favorite? What if he switched Glen’s fate with Maggie’s in order to spice things up? I don’t think it’s a farfetched idea considering she’s handicapped by her pregnancy in a seemingly hopeless post-apocalyptic world. She’s a liability during pregnancy and will become even more of a liability after giving birth.

Tara, Walking Dead

Finally, we have Tara. She’s finally found a new love interest in Denise, Alexandria’s doctor, and had some of the spotlight shine on her in episode 5. Denise was Heath’s love interest in the comics, but Kirkman figured it would be better to pair her with Tara in the TV show. Now, why would he do that? Could it be that, like with Beth, he purposely gave her screen time to get us attached and then have her killed off in dramatic fashion? Plausible.

Considering all the speculation surrounding him, Negan couldn’t arrive in The Walking Dead soon enough. One big-time character is going to die because of him, but who will it be? Maybe Michonne, Abraham or even Carol? Share your predictions in the comments below.

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Hugh Jackman Makes a Bad Wolverine. He’s too Tall and Handsome

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Hugh Jackman Wolverine

I was in high school when the first X-Men movie came out. Back then, I was upset that Hugh Jackman was chosen to play Wolverine, arguably the poster child for the X-Men franchise. I was upset that, rather than someone stubby, muscular and intimidating actor, a tall and lanky Aussie that is honestly too handsome to play the fierce Canadian was chosen. It’s been more than ten years since I graduated high school and I am still upset.

Over that period, Jackman has played a prominent role in five X-Men movies and one standalone Wolverine movie. He has become sort of a big deal, so much so that by the third X-Men film, it seems he was playing himself more than the action hero. As much as the average moviegoer has become accustomed to him, he is not an has never been the ideal Wolverine.

For starters, Wolverine doesn’t get women dropping their panties using his good looks. No, he is able to get into their pants because he’s a badass. He is a rugged and homely man-animal with ‘issues’ — a psychotic prone to “berserker rages.” Jackman, on the other hands, is simply too handsome and domesticated. As hard as the directors tried to downplay his good-looks, they failed!

And then there is the height issue. Somehow the butch midget that comic book fans grew up with has grown 6 foot tall. Got milk? No matter how much Jackman bulks up or how hard he tries to look angry and fierce, it doesn’t work. Heck, his Wolverine is taller and better looking than Cyclops in the films!

Hugh Jackman had a good run with the adamantium-clawed superhero, but he will retire the role very soon, providing an opportunity for Fox to do a proper real-live Wolverine. As for who I want to see take over, anyone. That’s right, anyone, so a long he scrubby, butch and not overly tall and handsome. As for the acting, how hard is to put on an anger face?

Who do you want to see play Wolverine? Better yet, what qualities should an actor have in order to do him justice? Share your thoughts.

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Nigerian Movies Suck. Why Do You Watch Them?

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Nollywood Sign, Nigeria somewhere

The comparison of Nollywood to Hollywood by major media outlets has many thinking that Nigerian movies are some kind of big deal. Well, I’m here to tell you that Nigerian movies suck. In fact, I wonder why anyone watches them.

Seriously, to say that movies from the West African country are bad would be an understatement. Those that have watched their fair share know what I mean; those that have yet to experience the terribleness will just have to force their way through one. They are inexcusably bad in a number of key ways:

  • Poor production value in the form of grainy visuals, laughable special effects, terrible sound mixing and quality that sometimes completely ruin the viewing experience, and jarring lapses in continuity. Then again, what do you expect from an industry that still shoots many, if not most, of its films using a camcorder?
  • Predictable and unoriginal story lines that seem to have been made on the fly, ones filled with excessive melodrama, displays of materialism, catfights and evil mothers-in-laws.
  • Cheesy and uninspired acting.

I can’t say I have watched a single Nigerian movie that doesn’t suffer from at least one of these ailments. Have you? Yet Nollywood rakes in hundreds of millions of dollars every year and employs over 1 million people.

Researcher Emily Witt attributes the popularity and proliferation of Nigerian movies throughout Africa to their simplicity and relatedness to everyday urban life, hence the prominent role granted the supernatural, romance, corruption and crime. While this increasingly has less sway over Generation Y, Gen X remains very much addicted.

Still, it’s difficult to understand how an industry as large, wealthy and prominent as Nollywood can be so complacent in such notoriously nightmarish quality. It doesn’t matter if you’re Gen X or Gen Y, not being able to hear what the actors are saying or see clearly what they are doing should be indications that the producers and directors care little about their work. It’s either that they are lazy or just downright incompetent. Regardless, they lack the foresight to realize that better quality generally means more viewers and more of what they seem to only care about — money!

It doesn’t help that you have major media outlets like Forbes and the New York Times falling for the unfounded hype. But there are signs of change. Half of a Yellow Sun goes against convention. Based on an award-winning novel by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie about Nigeria’s 1960s civil war, the film stands out as having a relatively large budget of $8 million, the largest in Nollywood history. Remember those ailments I mentioned above? Well, this movie is free of them. It’s watchable; it’s makers have some dignity.

Half of a Yellow Sun should be a benchmark for future Nigerian movies, not necessarily in terms of budget or story, but with regards to meeting basic film-making requirements. Most, if not all, Nigerian movies should not look or sound as if they were made by a 12 year-old using a Camcorder! Nollywood should not be compared to Hollywood or any other respected film industry until it delivers the bare essentials.

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