7. A creepy CGI baby - Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part Two


This is a bit of a strange case. From the point of view of the sadists behind Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part Two, there was a perfectly reasonable explanation for summoning a demonic CGI baby instead of using a real little fleshbag. In the plot, the heroine Bella gives birth to a wildly powerful vampire/human hybrid and proceeds to name her Renesmee, presumably after one of those fancy shampoos you can't afford. This tyke is kind of a freak -- she was more or less born with adult intelligence, and has the psychic ability to imprint memories on the people she touches. The CGI would, ideally, get the message across that this isn't your garden variety larval poop machine.

But it just doesn't work. You'd think that someone would have seen the Tom Hanks Polar Express movie and realized that making realistic CGI humans was a bad idea, but evidently no one on the production team had ever heard of the uncanny valley. The effect is worsened by the subject in this case being a baby, a being that is supposed to be cute but is instead an off-putting pod person.

The baby grows up at an incredible rate because it's Twilight (there's a whole Wiki page on the matter if you'd like to go spelunking) and they keep going with the CGI augments. It doesn't get any better.


Again, they did this because they wanted a way to show that this child was out of the ordinary. You might guess that animatronics might be a better way to handle that kind of thing, but you'd be so, so wrong.

That's a real puppet they tested out for Renesmee, before everyone gouged out their eyes with rusty bottlecaps and the producers had to hire a new crew. On one hand, you can sort of understand why they wanted to go with a CGI baby after that trollspawn soiled the set, but it also reinforced the idea that fake babies are a terrible idea. Right, American Sniper?


6. Chilly breath - The Social Network 


David Fincher movies are known for being some of the best-looking big-budget movies out there. From Se7en to The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Fincher always utilizes everything at his disposal to make give his movies that trademark tone. He's not afraid to use CGI; it worked very well for Zodiac, which used tons of special effects to create a believable 1970s-era San Francisco. And then there's The Social Network, an Academy-Award winning movie with some of the worst computerized breath on film. 

There are only so many ways that you can explain temperature with visuals, and visible fog breath is one of them. But as you can see, the result looks as though both actors have hotboxed their entire mouths. Cold fog breath just doesn't billow out of your mouth like pot smoke out of the Mystery Machine. If they didn't have room in the budget for more than a tween script kiddie with a pirated copy of After Effects, maybe they should have ditched the breath altogether and just settled for a few extra shivers from the dude in the dopey hat. 


5. Nudity


There's a disturbing trend going on in movies these days when it comes to nudity. Back in the pre-CGI days, if someone didn't wanna go naked they just wouldn't go naked, or at least they'd get pull in a stunt butt. But thanks to our new and terrible digital age, we now have a half-measure -- stay un-nude on the set, but use the black magic of computer animation to insert fabricated nudity into the movie. Jessica Alba OK'd this technique when she filmed Machete, the Before and After of which you have no doubt been strenuously staring at above. Somehow it made sense to spend tons of money and man-hours taking the clothes off of an attractive woman but stopping short of actually depicting her naughty parts. 

That isn't to say that movies haven't gone all the way with CGI. There are not one but two instances of this in the body-swap comedy The Change-Up.


According to Olivia Wilde, she didn't actually go topless for the movie, as she had prosthetic pasties covering her chest. But when the director got the footage back and some of those prosthetics were visible, they went ahead and airbrushed it out and added a nipple. You know, for realism. If the story hadn't gotten out, you probably wouldn't notice, but the logic is still a bit confusing. If someone doesn't want to/isn't being paid to be naked on-screen, computers allow them to make everyone believe that they were naked with visual trickery. So, what's the difference? Is it a body image issue? Is it about being naked and vulnerable with 26 people staring at you for 8 hours a day? 

Whatever the case, it's not terribly uncommon a practice. Olivia Wilde's co-star Leslie Mann gave the go-ahead for the same treatment in the very same movie, though in her case it was a bit less subtle.


We're throwing up a censor bar here because that's the right thing to do, but is it really not safe for work if the boobs aren't real? If that's the case, I know a lot of hentai fans who can sue to get their jobs back.