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Another Worst Blue/Green Screen Effects in Movies

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Another Worst Blue/Green Screen Effects in Movies

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Owen Maxwell
Not even big budgets can save these movies from rotten special effects. For this list, we're looking at the compositing shots in films released after the 1980s that looked embarrassing instead of impressive. We're basing our picks on a mix of poor blending, cartoony looks and the comedy or cringe that arises as a result of these poor effects. Though the films we mention are not necessarily terrible, we're excluding the poorly financed world of indie flicks and b-movies no matter how egregious their contributions may be. Our countdown includes films such as "Speed Racer" (2008), "The Last Airbender" (2010) & "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" (2009). Which movie do YOU think has the worst blue/green-screen effects? Let us know in the comments!

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Transcript
Script written by Owen Maxwell

Another Top 10 Worst Blue/Green-Screen Effects in Movies

Not even big budgets can save these movies from rotten special effects. Welcome to WatchMojo and today we're counting down our picks for Another Top 10 Worst Blue/Green-Screen Effects in Movies. For this list, we're looking at the compositing shots in films released after the 1980s that looked embarrassing instead of impressive. We're basing our picks on a mix of poor blending, cartoony looks and the comedy or cringe that arises as a result of these poor effects. Though the films we mention are not necessarily terrible, we're excluding the poorly financed world of indie flicks and b-movies no matter how egregious their contributions may be.

#10: Snow Mountain Fight

"Speed Racer" (2008)
Speed Racer, along with his family and friends, find themselves taking on a group of thugs head on. But the accelerated pace of the brawl highlights the composited backgrounds, resulting in the camera movements transforming the mountains into poorly layered photographs. The lack of natural focus and interaction between the actors and their environment only worsens the already lackluster immersion of the effects. While "Speed Racer" is a fairly comedic film up to this scene, the fight's zany choreography transforms the picture from a fun homage to a painful watch.

#9: The Wave Attack

"The Last Airbender" (2010)
As a master of the four elements, the young Aang sets out to defeat the evil Fire Nation and bring peace to the world. So when he's facing an armada of Fire Nation ships, he calls on a massive wave to push them back. Though the wave that Aang releases looks quite majestic, the soldiers on the boat have delayed reactions to the oncoming water. The worst perpetrator however is a man who attempts to touche the wave, despite there being a large distance between them in the shot. The unclear spacing hurts this scene, and given how many misfires "The Last Airbender" suffers from already, this is was shameful way to close it all out.

#8: Surfing

"Escape from L.A." (1996)
When tsunami-size waves start hitting L.A., anti-hero Snake Plissken learns to surf fast. But it's hard to believe he's in any actual danger since the water inorganically splashes the surfers and the cliffs nearby. The lighting rarely matches the subsequent shots either, resulting in the waves having stock-footage quality. Some convincing practical close-up shots also serve to undermine the wackiness of the wide angles. Add in Snake's apparent lack of concern for his balance, and the tsunami seems more of a laughable addition to the film than an epic set-piece.

#7: Car Jump

"Gone in 60 Seconds" (2000)
When ex-con Memphis’ stolen shelby hits a gridlocked bridge, he drives right off a truck to escape the police. Despite all the film’s believable and mostly real shots, the CGI car used in the airborne scenes never seems to quite nail it in terms of realism. The Shelby's feather-light tap on an ambulance and Nicolas Cage's strange close-ups expose the film's bizarre use of effects. Though the visual choices were allegedly a safety measure, the Shelby's poor look completely deflates all or any intensity within the scene. Besides, "Gone in 60 Seconds" deserved better considering its other great action scenes.

#6: Action Shots

"X-Men Origins: Wolverine" (2009)
In this scene from the Marvel solo prequel, we find Wolverine at odds with goons in a helicopter, though he's practically invincible against all of their firepower. When the helicopter fires missiles at him, Hugh Jackman doesn’t even seem to be within radius of the ensuing explosion thanks to the movie's weird green-screening. Much of this helicopter fight becomes comedic since the vehicles and actors all appear pasted into the scene. Even Wolverine's fight with Deadpool later on in the film doesn't even seem to use a set at all. With so many lackluster special effects in "Wolverine," it makes it all the more sad to see this hero treated so carelessly.

#5: Suits and Space

"Green Lantern" (2011)
While some action shots look tight or at least appropriately over-the-top for a superhero flick, the mix of digital suits and cosmic landscapes in "Green Lantern" results in an overall clumsy look. As Hal learns to use his powers, it often appears as though Ryan Reynolds' head is cut into the scene. But the worst moment of all comes when Jordan fights Parallax. During the battle, the real life setting highlights the imperfections of the film’s screen effects. Along with Hal's suit constantly changing its level of hue whenever he’s talking to other characters, "Green Lantern" is definitely one of the hero's blackest nights.

#4: Bike Chase

"Torque" (2004)
When Biker Cary Ford is framed for murder, he hops on his motorcycle and goes on the run, leading up to a high-octane escapade through the streets. But during the chase, it is fairly obvious that Ford is in front of a screen due to the cartoon-like way he's separated from the cars around him. He moves so fast in several shots that it looks as though pictures of bikes are being inserted into street footage. And because the events which take place in the scene are not in sync with the background, you'll notice how out of place the actors are within seconds. In the end, this chase scene is clearly sub-par compared to the genuinely exciting stunts "Torque" opens with.

#3: The Chase

"Alien 3" (1992)
Trapped on a prison planet with another Xenamorph, Ellen Ripley works with fellow prisoners in an effort to capture it. When the creature does appear however, the audience is treated to some embarrassing shots of it in action. Though the monster looks accurate to the original, it is so terribly edited into the scene that viewers can see tints of green composition on it. The Xenomorph also looks particularly bad when it’s running as well due to how its CGI reacts to the jail's concrete. In an arguably terrifying chase, these angle shots of the alien kill any tension that was built leading up to that point. It's also hard to reconcile this kind of sloppy work with all the great Xenomorph costumes in earlier films and "Alien 3" itself.

#2: Training

"Dragonball Evolution" (2009)
The sinister Piccolo is using his obscene powers to take over the world, so a young boy named Goku sets out to stop him. Though this sounds like a recipe for epic adventure, Goku's elevated training session is goofy at best. From differences in coloration to wonky close-ups, the backgrounds in this otherwise stunt-driven scene draw your eyes even further. And the saddest part is that the backdrops aren't actually important to the shot, which is excusable when Goku jumps over lava later in the movie. Next to many of the film's excitingly choreographed brawls, the high-wire sparring in "Dragonball" is more of a step backwards than an evolution.

#1: The Entire Movie

"The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D" (2005)
Max's fantastical dreams come to life, and force him into the world of his favorite heroes, Sharkboy and Lavagirl. Unfortunately for the viewers of the film, the attempt to realize these dreams falls comically flat as our three protagonists travel in front of environments that don’t even seem realistic. Whether the actors’ are running on candy, ice or nothing at all, it is clear that they are disconnected from whatever ground is below them. Green edges also appear throughout the movie, and several head shots show the lack of depth that a green-screen effect can create. The scenes which take place underwater also spark a good laugh due to the use of fans and CGI over actual water. Simply put, "Sharkboy and Lavagirl" falls short of its potential.
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