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Friday, December 18, 2009

Avatar: Mini Review

First, NEVER see this in 3D unless your brain is wired for 3D. Mine is not. So while the movie had some great moments, I suffered for them. I still have my headache, and it's a doozy.

That aside, let me simplify this movie into a short statement. It borrows from Dragonriders of Pern, John Carter of Mars, Dances With Wolves, and the black southern Baptists at the edge of town. There is nothing really original about the story, but that's not a deterrent. I didn't mind the borrowing at all.

I did mind the gawd-awful stereotypes given the military and suits. Military & suits: bad guys. Scientists & natives: good guys. Can we please do something a little more original here?

What I did like very much about the movie is the theme of balance within the natural world. It appealed greatly to my inner tree hugger self without coming across as silly or New Age.

The special effects, I'm sure you've heard by now, are obscenely good. Some of the CGI was slightly unnatural with the minor 'beasts', but it compensated with excellent pacing, keeping you from concentrating too hard on the weaknesses.

Speaking of pacing--a little slow in the beginning, but once Jake gets on the inside, it never lets up.

Characters: Mixed bag. I would've liked to have gotten a little deeper into Jake's character. I think he was a little glossed over to make way for the aliens. Neytiri, the alien love interest was far more developed and multi-layered.

The bad guy colonel was way over the top and two dimensional, but that could be Cameron's liberal politics showing. --Very bad call, Cameron. Makes you looks like a simpleton.

Avatar was visually stunning and I'm sure it would have been enjoyable had I seen it in 2D instead of 3D. If you can separate yourself from the politics, it's also an okay story.



Shelley Munro said...

I don't get to the movies very often, but I thought I might try to see Avatar. I didn't realize it was 3D though. It's just started here in NZ.

Maria Zannini said...

Not to worry, Shelley. It does come in 2D. Our theater was playing both versions. We just happened to show up when the 3D version was going to start so we took that.

And I imagine most people wouldn't have trouble with 3D. It's just me. My brain doesn't like being told 'how' to see.

I recommend it though. It needs to be seen on the big screen.