The best thing that Adam Sandler has ever done, apart from star in Punch-Drunk Love and Uncut Gems, is openly admit that the rest of the mediocre movies he makes are simply excuses to go on well-paid holidays.

“I have done that since 50 First Dates,” he once told Jimmy Kimmel. “It was written in another place. I said, ‘Imagine if we did it in Hawaii, how great that movie would be.’ And they said, ‘Yeah, that’s a very artistic idea.’ I’ve been doing that ever since.”

Unless you’re one of Sandler’s regular co-stars like Jennifer Aniston or Rob Schneider, though, you’re probably not going to be so lucky to film in somewhere beautiful like Hawaii.

Most big budget films today are made on some nondescript studio, completely devoid of natural landscape. In 1978, the star-studded cast of Death on the Nile headed to Egypt to film at the actual Pyramids of Giza; four decades later, the new cinematic version of Agatha Christie’s novel was shot entirely at Longcross Studios in Surrey, England (shooting took place in 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic took hold of the film industry).

That’s why the worst thing about the new Death on the Nile isn’t – shudder – Gal Gadot’s line deliveries, but rather the woeful studio-made CGI. Watching Kenneth Branagh’s film, it’s painfully obvious that a digital illusion of Egypt is being used.

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Some of the most unconvincing clips from the film went viral on Twitter this week. “I believe CGI is getting worse even as the tech advances,” someone wrote. “I don’t know if it’s laziness or cost cutting but so many shots look so much worse now than in the nineties. Look at these shots from DEATH ON THE NILE. It looks like it was shot at a local tv station’s weather map set.”

The ensuing jokes at the film’s CGI have been hilarious and brutal. “There are backgrounds on Horrible Histories that look way better than this,” mocked one person.

TV isn’t immune either. The new MCU series Moon Knight has only just been released but already it’s copping flak for its use of CGI. Just see for yourself below – one looks like a deleted scene from Reno 911!.

At the same time as Death on the Nile and Moon Knight were being roundly derided, a clip of Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible – Fallout was also going viral: “I still can’t believe most of this shot was practical,” the tweet was captioned, accompanied by the famous scene of Cruise hurling himself out of a moving plane.

The praise for the scene and the crew’s filming efforts was unanimous and welcome. Maybe if more and more terrible clips of modern cinema’s CGI keep getting shared, the pushback will continue. Having access to greater technology shouldn’t conversely equate to worse production results.

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