Saturday, January 9, 2010

I review it: Avatar

Oh, yes.  I have seen the blue people.

And fair play to James Cameron.  Avatar is visually stunning in a way words don't do justice.  He set out to create a fully realized, immersive world.  Mission accomplished.  The technology he spent so much time and money developing work flawlessly, translating the actors' performances in a way that felt true and realistic.  Even though Sigourney Weaver did fall a bit into the happy valley for me.

So it's a shame that all that beautiful technology was used to service a paint-by-numbers story.  Several times during the movie I found myself wishing that the script had the same heft as the visuals.  If you're going to create a totally new world, why not give it the totally new story it deserves?

Here now is my recipe for making your own Avatar:

1 page from Rousseau's noble savage
1 part Dances with Wolves
a soucon of Apocalypse Now
a dash of Sgt. Hartmann
A level boot full of evil army
The rave scene from Matrix 2
The "They'll never take our freedom" speech from Braveheart, liberally sprinkled with the "This is our independence day" speech from ID4
The Ewok dance party from Jedi

Cook at 1 billion degrees for 10 years

According to Wired, James Cameron started making movies because he wanted to be George Lucas.  I think he took away some of the wrong lessons from his Sith Lord.  At least he didn't Jar-Jar up the Na'vi, so thanks for that.

Here's hoping that Pixar can successfully hit the sweet spot between tech and story with their John Carter of Mars.

1 1/2 10-foot-tall blue kittehs out of 5.

And fair warning to you James Cameron.  If you run into TortieGirl in a dark alley, there's going to be some pointy reconing coming due.  You owe her $14 and 2 1/2 hours of her life back.

James Cameron’s New 3-D Epic Could Change Film Forever | Wired Magazine

Garrison Dean, I think I love you.  Garrison Dean Thinks You'll Care.: Buh. whu. um. siiigh. My Avatar review.

Avatar | Film | Review | The A.V. Club


Therese Odell said...

You're welcome.

Garrison Dean said...

Awe. I love you too!!!