For those living under a rock CGI = Computer-generated imagery.

Now I freely admit that CGI can be a boon, but more often than not it is overused. I'm looking at you, George Lucas, though he's certainly not the ONLY offender.

Admittedly puppets and guys in costumes can look silly, but at least they are there and taking up space.

That's right, I finally figured out why most CGI fails for me. A CGI is nothing more than an image and while some CGI is awesome and totally believable, more often than not it falls flat because the CGI looks exactly like what it is - an image insert.

Therefore, a puppet or costume might look silly, but at least it is real. There's something to act against, which actually (I think) leads to better actor performances. However, even those not using CGI will sometimes separate the actors and shoot separately, which makes no damn sense to me. The best and most powerful scene's tend to be when the actors are together and actually acting the scene together. But lets go back to CGI...

When you have an actor dressed up or a puppet made up - there's something to take up space, so it is easier (generally) to suspend disbelief because there is actually something there. Sounds simple, but I've found so many times that CGI characters might as well not even be there, sometimes the actors just can't get it quite right, or even if the actor does the actual CGI character is just thin and flat.

However, CGI is awesome for background images and smaller characters. To be honest, I firmly believe the best CGI is where they merge an actor and an image. For example, I'm thinking about Tink from Peter Pan. The actress here really made the faces and even some of the body moves and the CGI was blended to that making an awesome character - if it hadn't been for Ludivine Sagnier, I think Tink would have felt unreal.

So even with all the evidence in favor of real over image, some "people" still seem hellbent to shortcut that and just delete the actor entirely with a plain ol' CGI character. WHY?