I can still remember many years ago when, after I sat through a "blockbuster" (and quite dull) Schwarznegger movie with an enormous budget, I vowed not to go to the theaters to watch any movie with a budget of $100 milllion and higher. Talk about ridiculous uses for so much money!
So when I read the following juicy details about the special effects in Spiderman 3, well, I felt a little bit ill:
Blockbuster season's most expensive movie star isn't a clean-cut actor. It's a pile of sand. It took a 30-person f/x team two years of CG-heavy lifting to crank out Thomas Haden Church's villainous Sandman. The laborious supporting character is also rumored to be a big reason Spider-Man 3 ran an estimated $100 million over its original $200 million budget. "This isn't just an effect like a twister or a tidal wave," says Scott Stokdyk, visual f/x supervisor. "Because it's a character, each particle of sandpile has to roll and have a direction and a target and start forming in and be part of a flow that forms into a volumetric shape." The illusion meant a crash course in developing software simulators that made sand behave like a fluid or a gas one instant and a sack of tiny marbles the next. Sand supervisor Doug Bloom says: "We did six years of R&D in two years. We honestly started the project not knowing how we'd be able to finish it." But will Spidey 3 hit box office pay dirt? Only time will tell.
They spend $100M just on getting the special effects right for the Sandman villain? What the hell is wrong with them, and wrong with us, with humans, that we would tolerate such a disgusting expenditure of money at a time when there is so much pain, so much need?
I know, I am such a whiner. Fine. Whiner, I will be. I will not see Spiderman 3 in the theaters. Maybe I will bother to watch it someday on an airplane, or at home.