So last night I decided to rewatch one of my all time favorite movies, Starship Troopers, as it had been a few years since I last gave it a go and it struck me as rather impressive that the CGI not only held up rather well considering the movie's age (it came out in 1997), but in a lot of ways it looks better than the movies that have come out in recent years that rely entirely on CGI over practical effects. Case in point, watch this clip, And keep in mind it came out the same year as Goldeneye 64, Turok: Dinosaur Hunter, Quake II, Diddy Kong Racing, Final Fantasy VII, and Crash Bandicoot 2, to put things in perspective. Other than the inherent limitation of all CGI, the bugs actually look like they're physically present, and the set (which is a real, physical thing) looks like it's physically reacting to them. Hell, even when characters are killed, it's pretty much seamless. It makes a really strong argument for using practical effects and actual physical scenes where possible and using CGI to enhance the scene to do things you can't do otherwise. Compare it to say the Hobbit movies where almost everything is done with green screen, and you can really tell everything is fake as balls, especially when you compare it to the Lord of the Rings movies where they, surprise surprise, tried to build as much physical sets and use as much practical effects as possible. Even Alien 2 is a really enjoyable movie to watch decades later, and that's because basically everything in that movie is real, and they made the most of the limitations they had. For example, did you know they only had six alien suits for the entire movie? It feels like a hell of a lot more, and that's because the director had to work around the limitations of what the effects are capable of, and a lot more care went into the shots, as opposed to mostly CGI movies where basically the animators are at the whim of whatever cocaine dream the director wants to happen. It... doesn't pay off. If you want a case study for how CGI starts to look extremely dated before too long, go watch the Star Wars prequels. A few months back I decided to watch all the Star Wars movies and I remember watching Episode III in the theaters and really being impressed with the effects. Watching it now, however, and everything just feels wrong, and the seams become really obvious. The alien characters start to look like they don't belong in the same scene as the human actors, and in the large set pieces, you can really tell when somebody's actually an actor or just some kind of computer animation. It's glaring in the worst way possible. Case in point, Effects aside, going back to Starship Troopers and why it's aged so well is that the pacing is fantastic, it does not feel like a 2 hour movie and no scene overstays its welcome for too long. The entire movie is fun, the characters are great, and it does exactly what it set out to do. I enjoy the movie as much now as I did when I was a kid when I first watched it, and I've been picking up new things as I've been watching it (for instance, after Diz gets choked out by Zim, for the next few scenes she has a pretty visible bruise on her neck I never noticed before). They managed to fit a lot of stuff into this movie, but it all flows together pretty darn well and it plays the story straight. In short, I'm glad this is a movie I can still watch 18 years later and still find it holds up extremely well today. How about you guys? Anybody else get pleasantly surprised going down memory lane recently?