Monday, March 20, 2017

1026. Avatar

Directed by James Cameron

I am taking a break briefly from my Best Picture series, as I haven't had time to watch Spotlight (or really the desire, as I know it will be beyond depressing).  I have had a lot of writing projects lately, so I apologize for taking so long to update this and  respond to comments.  I do read my comments daily and they always make me smile, even if they point out when I'm an idiot.  Anyway, I wanted to write about a movie I have seen before to save time, so I chose Avatar.

The year is 2154 and humans have depleted the world of its resources.  The Resources Development Administration mines for unobtanium on Pandora, a lush planet populated by sexy blue creatures who are peaceful and deeply connected to nature.  The atmosphere of Pandora is poisonous to humans, so the scientists create avatars that look like Na'vi but can be controlled by humans.  One of the operators is Jake Sully, a paraplegic ex Marine.  Jake, of course, falls in love with one of the Na'vi and decides to help the Na'vi defend themselves against the white invaders.

So, once again, we get a very tired concept.  White people invade a land inhabited by peaceful, nature loving people.  One especially hot white guy falls in love with native girl and sees the beauty in their culture, mastering and surpassing the natives in the skills they value.  Then the white guy defends the natives (who are entirely powerless without him) against the other greedy white people.  At least Pocahontas had good songs.

Obviously, this movie is a breakthrough in cinematic technology and was beautiful to look at.  I don't really watch films for the effects; I value unique stories and characters more.  I keep rewriting this part, as I don't want to sound like a snob (that ship might have sailed a long time ago).   I guess I am trying to say that I get the appeal of this movie, but it didn't really cater to my personal taste.

God, I need a writing break *pulls up short story to work on*.

RATING: ***--

Interesting Facts:

James Cameron has said he got the idea for the Avatar from watching Disney's Pocahontas.

60% CGI.

Cameron insisted the Na'vi have breasts so the audience would think they were hot.


  1. Haven't seen this, but saw Spotlight. Not at all depressing as it focusses on the newspaper investigation and the church's cover-up (a mild tale of good vs. evil - SPOILER ALERT: they print the story and win) rather than the depressing aspect of crimes against children.

  2. I'd agree with Dessie. Go for Spotlight, there is a 'happy ending'.

    But.. Amanda, thank you. An ally that thinks 'Avatar' is unoriginal cliche ridden pap. What I would disagree with was the far too high 3 stars you gave it. I was bored rotten by this one, and , despite what should be a good 'message' movie most of us on here would get behind, to a groan inducing almost counter effect lecture.
    Did you ever see it dubbed 'Dances with Smurfs'? An obvious slick one liner, but I'm afraid I agree.
    Amanda, you are far too young to remember all this.. but in your 1001 albums, did you ever come across the groups Yes or even Osibisa? Well, the reason I ask.. Their album cover art was done by a guy called Roger Dean. He did lots of 'aging hippy' almost fantasy art. often landscapes, but sometimes fantasy creatures (No not the large breasted scanty clad women in bondage gear with a dragon, on a chain for heavy metal fans stuff) ..much more dreamy... Google him for images.. Look at some of his stuff and tell me his art (especially his dragon)s - weren't lifted wholesale.. I had a few posters. (if you can find 'close to the edge, which was a 'Yes' Album cover, that was my favorite ) I fear you will have dubbed Yes as pretentious, which I can see, but I used to love that stuff.

  3. Back in '9 we went to the cinema to see 3D that actually worked and was blown away. 3D without headaches! Problem was, we did not remember anything of the story and later encounters with this movie told us that there was a good reason why we did not remember the story...

  4. Yes, Spotlight is not particularly hard to watch. There is no rape or aggression on screen, it is only about hard working journalists doing their stuff. It is quite similar to All The President's Men. Although what it is kinda distressing is that it is based on actual not entirely disclosed events. By the way, my own town is shown in the credits. Not an especially proud moment for us, I am afraid.

    Ok, Avatar's storyline is weak but that movie was not really about that. Does anyone remember what the "The Jazz Singer" was about? I guess most of the people would struggle with that but its relevance in film's history is unquestionable. Without that "weak" film we wouldn't have had Mr. Smith goes Washington, Singing in The Rain, West Side Story or La La Land. We now take sound for granted but it took a lot of time to work out how to produce masterpieces with it. And 3D is not even being developed at the same pace. I hope some day there will be directors who can shoot films like Casablanca or Citizen Kane using 3D but if they ever do, it will be thanks to Avatar's having broken the ice.