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Forums - Movies Discussion - Film with the best CGI-free special effects

Wman1996 said:

Honestly, I don't think any looked better than the effects in the Star Wars Trilogy (pre-Special Edition). The puppetry, models, and visual tricks they implemented were revolutionary.

It's honestly astounding how well they hold up to this day in my opinion considering they're in the region of 40 years old. I'd go so far as to say they hold up better than the "Special Editions" where the 90s CGI has aged rather badly.

Bet with Liquidlaser: I say PS5 and Xbox Series will sell more than 56 million combined by the end of 2023.

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Since nobody said it yet I might as well mention The NeverEnding Story plus the two movie Petersen directed before and after it Das Boot and Enemy Mine also had very good practical effects. Plus as far as movies that use a lot of CGI effects go I think The Perfect Storm is actually pretty good also and under rated plus it has a great score by James Horner.

Mnementh said:

Hah, there was a lot of thoughtgoing into effects pre-CGI. And in the time CGI came into being, some movies mixed CGI with other effects. The original Jurassic Park is pretty well known for that, having some dinos animated with computer, but others being animatronic puppets. And Spielberg was pretty good in hiding the transitions between the two. Same with Total Recall, which had miniature models, animatronics, but also CGI.

The only CGI in Total Recall was the x-ray scene

It was one of the most expensive films to make at the time. They film required so many sets, crew and cameras.. definitely a visual feast for the eyes!

Terminator 2 deserves a spot in the discussion. Yes, the film has a lot of special effects (incredible for the time... and honestly holds up fairly well now), but James Cameron knew that they couldn't just rely on special effects and used practical effects when they would be more effective. The above gif is just one example among many in that film.

Any movie made by and with Buster Keaton?

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High tension for me had the best non cg effects and basically any movie done by Alexander aja

Aliens and The Thing