Sunday, December 20, 2009

VLOG 12/20/09: Avatar review

I swear to God I had not seen Spoony's review when I filmed this. Here's my thoughts on James Cameron's Avatar.

And furthermore...The more I think about this movie, the more I hate it. They couldn't settle for beating us over the head with environmental propaganda, but they even throw in a rant against the War on Terror. They might as well have had the words "all white people are evil" omnipresent of the screen.

By the way, is the actual name of the mineral they're mining for unobtainium? Are you fucking kidding me? I thought at first that they were joking and would mention the real name later, but NO!! As if Pandora wasn't a lousy enough name for the planet itself. And how the fucking hell were the Na'vi communicating in the battlefield? They just squeezed their throats a little, and it worked exactly like a walkie-talkie! Explanations, movie!! We need to know these things!! Honestly, when Sigourney Weaver hit us us with the bullshit about how everything on the planet is connected, the movie's mail order "corporate asshole" took the words right out of my mouth: "What have you people been smoking!?"

And the real tragedy of it is that it truly is massive waste of truly groundbreaking technology. I think is speaks volume that the best actor in the movie is Zoe Saldana, whose character is entirely animated. I've honestly never seen animated characters so realistic and expressive, and it breaks my heart that there were no three dimensional, well developed characters behind said faces.

EDIT: Also, the longer I think, the more I realize that this technology really isn't that groundbreaking. Sure it was more realistic looking, but not that much. CGI technology has been steadily improving over the years, and this is really nothing more than another small micro-step, not a game-changing leap forward. It's still not seamless, and it still can't fully replace real-life actors, concrete matter, and practical effects. Pixar mastered the art of making animated characters believable & expressive over ten years ago, without the aid of a real actors face as a model. So really, even the special effects don't stand out that much.


Cin Wicked said...

What? You didn't love Titanic? We can't be friends anymore!

I kid of course. The only additional note is that beyond just being a fantastic visual experience the scoring for the movie was a work of ART. I personally like to think that one of the main reasons that Titanic was so lauded was because the music made the audience feel even when the story was so lackluster as to be laughable.

On to the Avatar portion of your Vlog though. Everything I've heard so far tells me I'm gonna hate this movie no matter how visually stunning it is and apparently Cameron screwed up this time in not having a killer score to counteract a shitty plot. Even Disney managed that much (say what you will about Pocahontas, but Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz made a worthwhile score out of a shitty white-guilt plot).

Great Vlog as usual Josh, good luck on finishing the next Lunatic Fringe in time for Christmas!


Joshua the Anarchist said...

That's my problem with Titanic. When the score and the visuals are the only thing stirring up emotion, instead of the characters and their situation, then it's just plain manipulative. The score should meld seamlessly with and support the story, not overshadow it.

What I remember about the Avatar score was it just being loud and obnoxious. It was like it was trying so hard to be constantly epic that it just got in the way. Maybe I was just bitter though, IDK. Hell, even the Star Wars prequels managed to have decent music (I still listen to "Battle of the Fates").

And thanks, it's gonna take a miracle to get it done by Christmas Eve.

SAINT said...

I first thought it was going to end the way you said it would when Trudy (the smart@$$ pilot lady, and probably the only character I liked a lot) said she didn't think this would end up as a martyrdom; but no, of course not.

I was kind of wondering where Jake got all the rifles and grenades, though it was probably from the small gunship. I also knew it would end up like an Atlantis/Pocahantas type film when I first saw the Colonel (the guy you called the general). He reminded me a lot, and even sounded like, the one from "Atlantis: The Lost City" (or whatever it was called) which I thought was a little better overall.

Anyways, nice review and looking forward to your Christmas special.