How to Argue with Someone's Opinion

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Reader Comments (33)

I should have known that was going to end with a Michael Bay slam. I say, "Kudos, to you, kudos."

July 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBen Z

Baysplosion!

July 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMark "Rizzn" Hopkins

Bladerunner

Now try to defend CGI instead of models.

July 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMatt Silberstein

first 2 panels ..
genius ...

July 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNitin Gupta

I think "George Lucas" would have worked for that slam as well.

July 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRob

"Opinions are like tents, Anyone can build one, and they don't need a foundation."

Brilliant! I shall steal that.

Unfortunately, unlike tents, the whole thing won't collapse just because you cut most of the guys. Opinions, once built, are held up by optimism.

July 20, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterancient.brit

The problem isn't whether CGI or traditional model/animatronics effects are being used but rather the decision of which to choose for a specific scene/purpose. Jurassic Park is a very good example of how a mixture of traditional animatronics and (for the time) modern CGI can be combined into a believable overall look while the use of just one technique would've ended up looking silly. I don't think people are even aware of how many effects in JP are done with animatronics and dudes wearing rubber dinosaur legs...

July 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMichael Woelk

Four Faces of Scott as depicted in panels 1-4:

Witty Repartee
Sarcastic Anger
Nonthreatening Logic
Stern Condescension

July 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMatt

I liked panels 1 and 4 best. They were better than the other two because they were superior.

July 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPatrik

Special effects used to be understood to be "special." They were a way of filling in areas of the story that could not be represented on camera by simple filming. They were not what they are today, which is the substitute for a story. As South Park noted, also referencing Michael Bay:

"That's not a story idea, Michael, that's a special effect."
"I can't tell the difference."
"We know, Michael. We know."

July 20, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterkhereva

I've always found it easier to suspend disbelief for special effects with photographed elements, rather than 100% computer graphics.

However, the fact that I'm agreeing with Rick means it's time for me to seriously reevaluate this opinion.

July 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKwakerjak

Comics are better since computers!

July 20, 2012 | Unregistered Commentercybergoober

for those like me who needed to know who michael bay is:

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000881/

--roger

July 20, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterirrogical

Wonderful comic today (actually, as always!!). The comment on Bay was perfect! The reality is that I (shudder) am fully in agreement with Rick.... in my manner of thinking, the WAY CGI is used has nearly ruined the enjoyment of many films because most of the uses of CGI have been to have people, animals, scenery, etc do things that defy the laws of physics for no plot-related aspect to the film. Obviously an occasional break from a physical law may be needed in a plot once in a while, but to make most of the film and its "story" defy everything that makes logical sense in terms of interaction is taxing and tiring to watch and follow on the screen. After a while it lulls me into a stupor and I wish I would not have gone to the theater. My first recollection of the evilness that can be done with CGI was "Jar-Jar Binks" by the way.

July 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPipeTobacco

Michael Bay's new documentary: "When explosions explode".

July 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBirren

A sense of size and mass: Spaceball 1

July 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMikey

Panel 1: Starts with an epic analogy, (truly one for the ages which I will be quoting in conversation …properly attributed, of course), and ends with a subtly nuanced version of circular reasoning. It makes me happy.

Great strip overall, but panel 1 is one of my all-time favorites.

July 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBeardo

It takes real vision to make movies about exploding explosive explosives that explosively explode even more explosives. Some would even say, genius.

July 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterThipp

I really think George Lucas is best at providing the grand level of vision, and the first trilogy was improved not only by the resistance of non-digital media, but by the input of model-makers, matte painters, etc. that Lucas had to work with under conditions of slower and less-precise feedback.

Also, it's tough to argue that the low cost of such things as air travel and audio amplification have really improved the experience of what had been grand events: special effects would seem much, much better if they were more scarce.

July 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJoel

I'm confused. In the last panel, are Scott and Rick's lines supposed to belong to each other? The way it is now, Scott is giving the argument to Rick, and Rick's saying he sees the the problem.

July 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBrady

Let me know when CGI can do Bladerunner. Let me know when CGI can do the opening scene of Bladerunner.

July 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMatt Silberstein

While we're on the subject of CGI, I can give the reason(or at least another reason) why people didn't like Jar-Jar Binks. I've learned from Mary Robinette Kowal, a former puppeteer and current fantasy writer, that puppet movements must have meaning behind them. That they should convey what the person is feeling and what he or she is thinking about. But Lucas didn't do that with Jar-Jar. What he did was try and show off what he could do with the CGI. So he had Jar-Jar just moving around and waving his arms completely at odds with what he was saying at the time. So that's why we hate Jar-Jar, folks. Because not only did Lucas make him the most annoying character ever, he also made Jar-Jar a spastic.

July 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDarius

Brady, I was confused about that too. Scott spends the entire strip arguing for CGI, and then deliberately defeats his own argument?

July 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJoshua

Are you seriously suggesting that if Howard the Duck had replaced a cavalcade of dwarves taking turns in the animatronic duck suit until they couldn't stand the heat exhaustion any more with a CG duck, the movie would somehow have been worse?

July 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterE. L. Wisty

The implication is before we didn't get to see the directors true vision. Think old movies like blade runner and star wars were limited by special effects so had to make do with putting it in only where necessary because of time and cost. Now we can have jar jar and sky scraper size fish and giant explosions, actors are just meat props. So we're being subjected to the directors vision and it is a horrible thing.

If they redid blade runner you can almost guarantee there would be several cut scenes of the dna coming apart, reforming and being built by machine or something. Just like when spider man gets bitten... watching chemistry happen adds nothing to the film.

Old special effects were not better as effects, but they were better because they required enough time / effort they were used sparingly and not as a substitution for plot or acting. So in that way, they were superior. New special effects are so superior that you can create anything any make it look real, but in the end it's meaningless or detracts from the story.


New effects also win because they give us such awesome movies like Mega Shark vs GIant Octopus. :-)

July 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRuss

2nd Panel, Scott looks like Capt. Haddock. Rick looks like Tintin. Well, the guy who ate Tintin.

July 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterW.R.Printz

Wow, way to make your site completely unreadable. Your new design completely stinks - the comic is too small. I had to use View Image and then scroll in to read it. Reading a comic shouldn't be a chore -- but that's what you just made it.

The images should be displaying normally now - 600x600. Squarespace is a great host, but their point-and-click design system is frequently harder than just typing in custom CSS. ~Missy

July 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSteve

Love the new site design.
Also, the last panel cracked me up.

July 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPaige

Aggh, Scott, what happened to your website?!

July 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTan

I mostly like the new site design, but you put the "previous comic" button on the right and the "next comic" one on the left? Really?

July 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

True, all true.

CGI is at it's best though when you don't even spot it. For example: canopy reflections in the gliding (sailplane) sequence of The Thomas Crow Affair (1999 remake).

July 24, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterancient.brit

I summed up my argument against CGI for my son this way: You knew the things in Raiders of the Lost Ark couldn't really happen, but it looked like they did. In Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, you know those things could never happen, and furthermore, it doesn't look like they ever did.

July 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMike M

To me, CGI is simultaneously the best and worst thing to happen to special effects.

The best because it allows filmmakers to do many things which simply couldn't have been done before. Let's face it, things like the T-1000, Gollum, the Navi - they just plain couldn't have been done properly with old-school visual effects. CGI has broadened the range of things special effects can achieve to "almost anything".

The worst because suddenly directors and studios see it as the one and only way to do special effects. Simply put, if an effect can be done well in-camera, it's going to look better than CGI ninety-nine times out of a hundred, but a lot of filmmakers just see CGI as the cheap, quick and easy option and run with that for everything (even though "cheap, quick and easy" CGI is invariably the worst kind).

True story: Martin Scorsese let George Lucas visit the huge-scale set for Gangs of New York during production, and Lucas' response was, "Why didn't you just do it with CGI?". That there is the attitude that is killing special effects today.

August 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDust

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