Sunday, December 20, 2009

Avatar: James Cameron's Money Shot

On Saturday night, I along with the sexy Spot, The Revolutionary Man, and The Kid made the trek to Reading, MA to see James Cameron's Avatar, a story about...well let's be honest, this movie isn't really about a story. It's about changing the future of cinema. It's about expanding the possibilities of CGI. It's about making the viewer feel as if they are a part of the movie. It's about James Cameron saying "Hey everyone, bow at my feet and stroke my huge...ego."

I am no movie critic so I won't get into the intricacies of symbolism, cinematography, or comparing Avatar to other Cameron flicks. I am just going to offer my honest opinion of an entertaining, but uneven movie. And ya this is not burger related, but it's important, so please read on.

The Good
HOLY SHIT! I don't really even know what else to say about the CGI work in this movie. You honestly have to see it to believe it. I've never seen anything like this. I was on the planet Pandora. It was insane. Cameron created a whole world and even though it was a little cheesy (the trees and some of the terrain were straight from MJ's Billie Jean video) it was astonishing.

If you are going to see this movie, please see it in IMax. You really don't want to miss an inch of what he created. The coolest part about the 3D effects were actually the scenes inside of the human ships. You really felt like you were walking through the mess hall or going into the lab to get into your own Avatar pod. The 3D wasn't gimmicky at all made a massive difference. I honestly would not even bother seeing the movie unless it was 3D and on a huge screen.

The acting and dialogue was actually not that cheesy either, save for a couple lines, but what can you expect from a sci-fi movie? The dude who played Jake Sully was good, Sigourney was not unbearable, and even Michelle Rodriguez did not make me want to gouge my eyes out with a dull, rusty scalpel like she usually does (Lost fans know what I'm talking about). Actually the worst part in the movie was Giovanni Ribisi's character, who was the business mogul looking to secure the supposedly valuable Unobtanium from the planet Pandora. But he's usually one of my favorite actors so I'll give him a pass. And this segue's into my next part...

The Bad
You may have noticed by now that all the good I mentioned was the technology and visuals explored in this movie. But the plot, oh man the plot. I'm not entirely sure there was one. There may have been 3. There may have been 0. Really hard to tell.

Without giving too much away, so I'll say ***SPOILER ALERT*** here, it seemed like the original plot of the movie is as follows:
  • Humans discover the planet Pandora
  • Humans discover the element Unobtanium (ya I'm vomiting in my mouth thinking about that ridiculous name) which apparently is wicked valuable on Earth ($20 mil per kilo) even though it's never mentioned what it does or why it's valuable
  • Burgeoning capitalist Giovanni Ribisi brings soldiers and scientists to the planet to remove the Unobtanium, but first they must study and assimilate with the natives of the planet, the Navi, who are a bunch of blue, pony tailed hippies that literally are in touch with the planet
  • And...
Well that is the last mention of Unobtanium in the entire movie. Why do humans want it? Do the Navi want it? Why can't we just ask them for some? They seem to like us ok if we aren't, you know, trying to destroy them and their way of life. Which of course we do eventually, supposedly to get the Unobtanium, I think, but I'm not really sure.

Now, the Spot assures me that the plot is not important because like I said earlier this was about changing cinema forever and not an award winning plot. But shit, Cameron spent over a decade on this movie, the least he could have done was have someone work on the script and make sure it made sense.

And one last thing I'd like to comment on: if this is the future of cinema, I am a little afraid. 3D is awesome and watching this movie was great. But if every movie starts becoming 3D, I'm gonna have to politely tell Hollywood no thank you. I really don't want to wear these glasses every time I want to watch a movie. You should have seen the ridiculous things Jordan's Furniture put us in. Uncomfortable and barely stayed on my head (yes cue the people out there who know me with their jokes about my ridiculously oversized head). I'm just nervous that Hollywood is gonna see the crazy success of this movie and think that every movie from here on out will have to be in 3D and they will dedicate most of their time and energy to creating the effects and forget totally about the plot leading to every movie being Transformers 2.

Overall, this was a great movie watching experience. I heavily recommend it to anyone, but only in the theaters and preferably in IMax. Just trust me on this one. Especially those of you who have never been to IMax, it is totally incomparable. Trust me my Burger Mob, you do not want to wait for this to come out on DVD. Rush to IMax and prepare to be blown away.

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