2/15/2010

I guess I should probably weigh in on this movie, since it's the biggest movie of all time and my brother already posted his review a long time ago. My opinion on Avatar? Good, but not great.

I think I would've enjoyed it more if it hadn't been directed by James Cameron. Besides the fact that he's a sadistic egomaniac, I can never forgive him for the monstrous travesty of Titanic. But here's my feeling on Avatar: there's a lot of hype behind it. It's in 3-D. It has the most advanced computer-generated motion-capture we've ever seen. It has eye-popping scenes. It has very imaginative alien life-forms. The press is fond of saying it took fifteen years to make, because we didn't have the technology to create it fifteen years ago when Cameron conceived of it. Well, that's nonsense. There's nothing in Avatar that couldn't have been created even twenty years ago. It just would have been done with traditional hand-drawn animation. Not as impressive, but it would have been essentially the same story.

Speaking of story, let's take a look at that, since all the gushing praise and heavy breathing about the visuals drown that out. As I stated before I even saw the movie, even the most enthusiastic supporters of the movie say the story is not great. And it isn't. The story is essentially recycled, Dances with Wolves in space. The characters are almost universally two-dimensional with wooden dialogue. None of them have any real motivation explained to us; they walk out as stereotypes (the nerd, the tough guy, the psycho commander) and end as stereotypes.

I know a lot of people will argue that the story isn't really the point, which is exactly my point. Have we as movie-goers become so enamored with visuals that that's all we demand? In ten years, will we have movies with literally no story or characters, just a lot of cool CGI effects that we can gawk at? Well, I think Avatar is a step in that direction. The movie fails my B-Movie Test, where you imagine the same movie filmed for ten million instead of five hundred million with unknown actors and cheap special effects. If that had been the case, Avatar would have gone straight to DVD without question. So I give the special effects an A, but the movie itself gets a C+.

What do you think of Avatar? Let us know in the comments!
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2 comments:

Mauricem said...

Everything you said is true EXCEPT I still think it's one of the best movies of the year. I knew Cameron was a ego-manic, but I never knew he was a sadistic egomaniac.

wallruss said...

I'm going to go ahead and agree with most of what you said. The special effects definitely deserve an 'A'. I think the movie deserves a 'B' as opposed to what you gave it. I actually did enjoy the movie. I probably won't buy the DVD and add it to my collection but that one time experience I had watching it was pretty good.

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