Monday, June 16, 2008

It's 2008, Right?


I've seen dinosaurs walk among people. I've watched the White House blow up from gigantic space invader rays. I've seen Keanu Reeves dodge bullets. I've witnessed hundreds of thousands of Orcs and Goblins descend upon an imaginary city. Oh, the scenes I've seen thanks to movie technology.

So what the hell gives with The Hulk?

What makes The Hulk such a tough nut to crack? You want an entire futuristic society that may or may not exist for the next 100 years? No problem. You want a recreation of the Titanic crash? Done and done. A big green dude? What, the hell is your problem????? Movie magic can create a gigantic gorilla and make it terrorize a vintage Manhattan. It can give us a mutated hobbit that walks and talks and seems real enough. But it sure as shit can't give us a slightly larger than life green dude in torn jeans that looks worth a shit.


After seeing two completely different Hulks now, which look completely fake in completely different ways, I wondered what's so damn hard about creating this guy? When I watch him leap through the sky, why do I feel like I'm suddenly watching a cartoon? That's the question that kept floating around in the old head as I watch The Incredible Hulk today. In lieu of any real kind of movie substance, that was the only thing worth thinking about.

Just give me Lou Ferrigno, already.

11 comments:

Ray said...

The new Hulk is definitely not photorealistic, but I thought it was passable.

The problem is that computer animation does not do skin very well. They can simulate muscle movement and such, but living skin (or at least what our minds register as skin) has a transluscency that is difficult to replicate. That, and they never do shadows deep enough on these characters - ever notice how CGI characters have light shadows, rather than the harsher ones that we normally see in real life? I think it's because the graphics artists want to see more detail as they are animating (unconsciously), and they also want US to see all the detail.

Whew. Well, there you have it ... my psychoanalysis of the CGI industry.

Piper said...

Damn, that was a good one Ray.

Average Jane said...

I was wondering the same thing. You just know that when the CGI looks bad in the TV commercial, it's going to look even worse on the big screen.

Fox said...

I gotta say, I loved the fact that he looked like a cartoon. *The Incredible Hulk* delivered for me what *Iron Man* didn't.

I crave more of the fantastical when see a comic book movie, not the realistic.

Piper said...

Fox,

You are bizarro Piper as it relates to Comic Book movies. That's all I'm saying.

Kramer said...

I’ll piggy back on Rays excellent comments. People can spot fake people above all else in cinema. Clay-fighter neo in the matrix sequels anyone? Clay-fighter Spiderman climbing buildings in Spiderman 1? Etc. The hulk certainly is not 100% human, but his face, basic muscle structure, and build are primarily human. Fine artists who are learning to draw can get away with a so-so dog, cat, dinosaur, etc. when drawing, but even non-artists can spot a human figure who doesn't quite look right on the spot. Humans perceive the nuances in other humans far better than any other living thing. (I had a drawing teacher tell me that once.) Add to that you have this supposed 10 foot tall, 1000 lb. monster of a man who can leap over a mountain, and it’s tough to make him look real when he spins on a dime. If the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park suddenly spun around as quickly as the hulk does, it would look odd. But they don't-instead they kind of lumber around. It’s due to the physics of the guy. I’m not sure if the hulk can look real and still do the stuff he does in the comic. You almost have to pair down his ability to make it seem remotely possible. At least he isn’t bright neon green this time...

Burbanked said...

I haven't seen the new movie so I don't know nothin, and I'm not comparing plots and CGI and nuanced performances and how incredibly great Ed Norton is and OMG how bitchin it is that they used the TV music in the movie trailers OMG OMG!

...but if you simply compare those two Hulk headshots at the top of this post, I say Ang Lee's version looks far more realistic than the new one.

Sorry, Lou Ferrigno.

Fox said...

Ha! Maybe I am just getting warmed up for the blog-a-thon... or, maybe I AM!

Piper said...

burbanked,

I agree. It seemed in the Ang Lee Hulk, he looked fake in the action shots. They took a lot of time with the details on the close-ups.

* (asterisk) said...

I'm *so* over comic-book movies. Maybe Hollywood might get an original idea again some day.

keelansfaceisbeautiful said...

the fact of the matter is, the original hulk comics made the hulk seem like lou ferrigno size but a lil larger. defenitely not as large as hulk 2000 or incredible hulk 2008. Hulk is a monster but hes gotta have limits. computer animation artists focus on making the muscles bulge and how shiny he is when he stands in the sun, but he looks like the comic book cartoon. they need to still use the computer animation but focus on the originality and creative perspective of their hulk, but not exaggerate too much. his size should be that of an average man times two. he shouldnt look so much like shrek in man form (shrek 2) but a real man with slightly exxagerated features. I think im catchin' on to sumthing, and im only 12 yrs old