Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Avatar (2009)


So I caught Avatar last week at home…on a DVD rental…just would like that to be clear…because I know the fact that I did not watch in a theatre in 3D would undeniably have some impact on how I enjoyed and like the movie. I had actually wanted to see this in the theaters…it would have been my first 3D movie (yes I have not experience this “amazing” 3D technology yet ;) ). But every time I tried to book tickets for the weekends…only terrible seats were left…so I missed my chance. And now ever since Avatar has been released on DVD, my mom has been eyeing the thing…wanting me to get it (she's more interested in watching it than I was)…but I told her no way! Because we’d be paying full price for a crappy empty edition. And since its available for rental we finally finally saw it.

Now I had read several reviews early on, that said Avatar did not really have a strong story, that it was horribly simplistic,  science fiction that’s been done a hundred times over…and that it's really was just great in the special effects department…and of course many have rave on the visuals. How technological advance it was…and so forth. My initial thoughts on that was pretty much…what do you expect? It’s a summer blockbuster…they’re never about having a good story…the brainless the better right…its all about things blowing up and the action right? Then the award season rolled in, and Avatar was up for a few, including…an Oscar for Best Picture. So maybe the story didn’t satisfy some critics’ standards…but surely to be nominated for Best Picture…the story can’t be all that bad. Right?

But it is. It is bad. I remember reading somewhere that it was pretty much a carbon copy of Pocahontas…I didn’t really believe it then…but how right the reviewer is! Its totally Pocahontas…just replace the native Americans with blue cat people and that’s it. From the Neytiri's initial curiosity of Jake Sully which kept him alive. To the “lets show this new guy how we live”…to running around Pandora…to the bonding which leads to the two leads falling in love, to the Navi tribe and their love of nature…to the evil company trying to suck Pandora dry off its natural resources…and come on, there’s even the whole “tree of life” thing in Avatar…grandmother Willow anyone? Can’t believe someone is actually watching this thinking it’s a wonderful magical story…And I know I know…the movie probably looked gorgeous in the theaters in 3D…which most likely blinds them to how bland and unoriginal the story actually is. And the characters…is there really any chemistry between Jake and Neytiri…cause I don’t really see it. And oh my…Neytiri has got to be one of the most annoying characters ever! Arghh all she does is hiss and screech…you wonder how Jake fell for her!

And lets get to the visuals…in all its 3D glory. Did it really make people go oooh and ahh? Because at home…on dvd, with a regular size TV…there was nothing spectacular about it. The supposed revolutionary motion capture technique that captures the actors performance more accurately than ever before? And the landscape of Pandora? Don’t get me wrong. It didn’t look awful. Pandora was gorgeous and the Na’vi’s, they looked decent enough…but nope it wasn’t that great. Weren't the Na’vi’s supposed to look and move more naturally than all the CGI stuff we’ve seen previously?…Because honestly I just don’t see it and so I just don’t believe this world that they’re trying to sell to me…and that’s where Avatar fails for me. And also there’s a nagging feeling that I’ve seen all this before, ever since I first saw the trailer for Avatar. Two words. Final Fantasy. Especially the landscape…and some of those sweeping overhead shots of Pandora…don’t you think?

So conclusion. Avatar was a decent blockbuster…it had some pretty shots but that was not enough to hold my attention…I attribute that to the tiresome lacklustre story…that was dreadfully slow moving (they could have cut out a lot…162 was just way too long) and annoying characters…yes I pretty much fell asleep when "The Company" started firing at Pandora (and that was supposed to be the action packed part) and had to continue from there, the next day. Wow…this has definitely been quite a movie rant I’ve done…and well still can’t believe this movie made like 2 billion dollars. Thankfully I did not get the DVD for this. Not likely I’ll want to watch it again…well maybe in 3D just to see if I’d like it better.

4 comments :

  1. Avatar is definitely a movie that warrants being seen in theater as for the most part, the main attraction is its visual aspect. As you noted, the plot itself, story, characters are fairly generic and forgettable. Definitely not a great movie by any means but somewhat entertaining (in theater :)

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  2. Yep, what Castor said. Watching it in 3D, Pandora really comes to life and it's really mesmerizing. It's not a movie to be appreciated for the story, but y'know I didn't mind it so much and it's got a lot going for it to be an entertaining and memorable film for me. But good enough to win Best Picture? Nah, but neither did The Hurt Locker. That's why I was rooting for Inglourious Basterds.

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  3. I had seen The Hurt Locker in the theater. And Best Picture at this year's Oscar I think had always seem to be between The Hurt Locker and Avatar...all the other movies were just to make up the numbers. So between the the two, I definitely choose The Hurt Locker.

    And regarding the visuals...its disappointing that, that is the only attractive factor of Avatar...and even then it lose much of its appeal when not seen in the theaters.

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  4. Christmas Day = Avatar + 3-D x IMAX
    Greatest Christmas in awhile.

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