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Crappy Green Screen: A Burgeoning Problem

Although I didn’t review it for this site, I watched the movie Allied when it came out.  And something bothered me about the movie.  Namely, shitty green screening in places where it really shouldn’t be. It caught my eye almost immediately.

Brad Pitt parachutes into the Moroccan desert, complete with PS1 graphics switching from ‘real’ to ‘CGI’. But that was only the beginning, because while such a stunt might warrant such effects, Pitt then quickly got into a car.

And the shitty green screening continued.  Right throughout the movie.  Later this month the movie is released on Blu-Ray and this week a new behind the scenes clip has been released, which shows the extent of the effects abuse (I think that’s a good word to describe it).  I can’t embed the video, but you should check out CinemaBlend’s video to see how much it’s used.

White House Down (2013), an extreme offender

Like Independence Day: Resurgence or In the Heart of the Sea, Allied is a movie that tries to cut corners on visual effects and just totally weighs the movie down and takes you out of the moment, the opposite of the intention.  Suddenly, French Morocco becomes less atmospheric and borderline cringe.

In fact with movies like these, after noticing crude back screening for exterior shots and even side streets two or three times, your mind starts looking for more of it throughout the rest of the movie.  And sure enough it becomes a game of ‘spot the tight-fisted bullshit background’.  Also, to accompany these fake environments, they introduce crappy synthetic light.  In fact for me, often this is the first sign that something in the background isn’t quite right.

It’s funny that people like Robert Zemeckis don’t see how badly these ‘effects’ suck, or don’t care. It’s like we’re regressing to crappy 1950’s with atrocious rear projection.

They’re sitting on a fucking stage! … should be a complaint of the past.  Where is the money going in these stupidly expensive movies?

  • Der

    Pitts money is going to anjelina

  • Lt_Cobretti

    White House Down and the Marvel movies piss me off with this, didn’t so much notice it in Allied, maybe because the rest of the filmmaking was up to snuff compared to those movies.

  • jim

    Excellent article….It doesn’t matter to me if the effects are good or bad…I need to know that there is a physical reality to what I’m watching…I want to know Hopper and Brando were grinding through a shoot in the Phillipines on Apoc Now…It matters that Peckinpah and co. were soaked in sweat & tequila in Mexico doing the Wild Bunch….Now it seems directors want to green screen everything…even the normal everyday easy stuff…it’s like a blander duller throwback to the 1940’s when films were made entirely on sets & soundstages….yet another reason to write off the movies…include me out… Night asks where is the budget going? It’s going into the pockets of the geeky manbabies who prefer to stay within limo distance of their analyst and favourite cuddly toys….these betas get nervous when they are too far from home…

  • Mucho Macho

    Hollywood accounting fraud it’s a real fucking practice.
    I mean the Adam Sandler movie “Jack and Jill” is reported to have cost over 70 million dollars and if you’ve ever seen that piece of shit movie it does not look like it cost more than $15 dollars.

    I remember when “WaterWorld” back in the nineties was reported to have cost a hundred million dollars, the press went fucking crazy and then when the “Titanic” budget hit proximately 200 million the press went even crazier. Now you got movies that cost 500 and 600 million dollars every other weekend and nobody says shit and when you look at them some of them look like they got fucking shot & edited on a cell phone fucking camera.

    if I were ever in charge of doing a movie like “Titanic”, I would set up a camera, I would fill a bathtub with water, put some ice cubes in it, drown a fucking Lego boat, fake my own death and disappear with the money.

  • TheOldMcClane

    Just one more thing to not like about films these days.

  • AlTeo

    This is why I have major respect for actors and filmmakers who are willing to film on-location… Filmmakers like George Miller, Alejandro Inarritu and the late Tony Scott really made great use of their locations, and Patrick Swayze really jumped out of a plane in Point Break 1991 and Tom Cruise really hung onto the outer door of another in MI5… Some things can’t be captured on a CGI stage; CGI is good for touching up stuff or adding something that can never be truly done in real life (Fury Road, Revenant) but bad when it takes charge of everything else (Independence Day: Resurgence, Terminator Genisys, nearly every superhero film).

  • AlTeo
  • AlTeo

    https://youtu.be/wtviWL-c5CA

    Even in R-rated action fare this is prevalent

    • Lt_Cobretti

      It was way worse in White House Down though, despite having like twice the budget and being from a major studio.

  • Just Some Polack

    Well, yeah, it is bothering, but if the movie is at least rated R, I can deal with it, because that usually means smaller budget.

  • Der

    Its nothing new think of the back ground in any gagney or Bogart movie as they drive in cars or matte drawings out the window or behind the actors ,CGI is just the modern equivalent.

    • Kirk’s Toupee

      I’d argue though that the eye/brain knew those matte drawings were fake and didn’t care. Maybe because they were done by hand and still had some reality to them. But the eye/brain can immediately pick up on cgi and knows that it’s fake. And it can’t shake that uneasy feeling of crap. I’ll take matte painting over cgi any day.

      • Der

        Yea me too ,love the look all old hammer horrors had great drawn backgrounds gave them a great look