Beowulf….to CG, or not to CG?

I just happened to watch Beowulf (I know…I know, I am slow), and I thought overall the movie was mostly good, I would recommend it. The story was solid, an interesting take on the ages old myth, breathed a bit of life into it and kept me interested throughout the film. The CGI was simply amazing, I found myself noticing little amazing bits of CGI that made me sit awe of how far we have come. That said however, I still found myself sitting there noticing something odd here and there, some movement that just was not up to par. This brings me to my question.

Should we CG when we do not need to? I think Beowulf could have been done in a manor much more like LotR, human actors with CG enhancements or even sets. Movement of people is is very fluid in the film and in 9 out of 10 times their movement did not draw my attention, but other things, hair, clothing, that strap of leather dangling here, etc….it was just off. And that is where I ask the question, why use CG? From a certain stand point this must be done, dumping $150 million into this film caused research and development to happen on a huge scale and push us closer to extreme realistic CG. From another stand point though, this causes many people to say they dislike CG because it just “doesn’t feel right”. I can agree with this last statement (while still realizing that the first statement is a necessity as well). I would find myself throughly enjoying the film and then a scene would come that had something off just enough that it made me focus on the CGI instead of the film.

And that is where I draw the line on when to use CGI and when not to. If the CGI draws attention to itself, and I do not mean in the ‘ah! wow that was soo cool’ angle, then it should not be used. I feel that Beowulf would have been an amazing epic film if they had used humans with CG enhancements and/or sets.

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