I’ll let you in on a little secret: nerd culture is a direct reaction to mainstream culture. This may seem obvious but let’s extrapolate that for the purposes of examining the modern mainstream.
You may or may not have grown up with a Dad who loves Westerns. I did, and so I got an early education in John Ford thanks to John Wayne’s laconic take on the Western Hero. There was something about The Duke that seemed big, besides his frame. Like Elvis or The Beatles or Spielberg the first time you encounter a figure like Wayne he’s presented to you as a legend. Obviously these legends have the careers to back up the status but the initial impression of them as a legend will seal the deal and you will forever after be unable to think of them fully as people.
CGI has yet to define itself as a new color in the cinematic palette. This may not seem the case when you consider that any major blockbuster released by Hollywood is lousy with it. But let’s not take Hollywood as a guide in this instance. Instead, let’s just say that CGI is nothing more than digital matte paintings, digital make-up effects, digital animatronics and digital-digital, just to be safe.