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Monday, February 08, 2010

Avatar

2009 162 minutes
Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver
Written and Directed by James Cameron
*** out of ****

Avatar is easily one of the most aesthetically appealing films ever made and should be seen for just that reason. As 3-D film experiences go, Avatar is easily the most immersive. Beyond the beauty, Avatar is not a great film. We have seen Avatar's plot in a hundred different films, and many of those used it to better dramatic effect (The New World immediately springs to mind). The special effects, while revolutionary, are at points mind-numbing--extended action scenes have the tendency to fall into video game cutscene territory. All the pretty colors are enough to wash away the yucky taste of unoriginality, though, and the near three-hour running time flies by at a brisk pace.

2 comments:

Neal said...

For this type of story, I do believe that Dances with Wolves and The Last Samurai told much more immersive stories with the material, and ones that will stand the test of time more.

I'm not going to shoot down the story too much, though. I can chuckle a little at monikers like "Dances with Smurfs," but I thought it was a fairly well told story. It was enough to draw me in, and I wasn't going in to the movie with too many expectations.

I have seen some people be almost vociferous in their hate of this film, and I wonder if that's backlash from how popular it is. I don't think it's deserved all the money it earned, but it was a movie worth seeing. Nor is it a story that we can really afford to ignore, either- we humans seem to repeat it all too often, albeit with our own variations.

Nicholas said...

I don't think it deserved all the money that it did either. I don't really see how someone could hate it without just being spiteful, though. Even if the story makes you roll your eyes (and I did once or twice), you have to be pretty cynical to let the beauty of the visuals completely pass you by.
I missed half of the dialogue in the "Dances with Smurfs" South Park episode because I was laughing so hard.