I finally managed to get my grubby paws on a copy of Avatar.  I wanted to see what all the hype was about.  Why this was “The Film of the year” and more importantly why so many people were surprised that it didn’t win the Oscar (although, that says a whole lot more about the people who thought this was a great movie than it does about the quality of the movie itself)

As you can tell from the ratings, I didn’t think all that much of Avatar.  It was enjoyable, but I have a large number of, well, let’s say comments, because I’m in a good mood and don’t want to scare you all off just yet.

Let’s start with the length of the film.  It did not need to be what felt like 6 hours.  At least half the film was taken up with pointless scenery and “look what we can do with computers”  If they had’ve cut even half the pointless scenes out of the film they could have saved an hour and 100 million dollars, and no-one would have cared.

Normally, I like simple to follow plots, which Avatar has.  But the hype around how great the film was centered on the storyline as well as the visual effects.  So, let’s look at that.  The damaged hero get’s a new lease on life and learns how to live again has been done so many times that it doesn’t even count as a plot anymore.  Clicheperhaps might be a better.

But these are minor gripes.  What kind of a God complex must humans have for us to force all intelligent life in the universe to conform to a bipedal humanoid shape.  Surely it’s possible on a planet that doesn’t seem to have any apelike creatures and that most of the lifeforms encountered have 6 limbs, that the dominant lifeform would not be human shaped.  (only having four fingers does not count as a significant enough difference).

Perhaps, the reason is more mundane.  Maybe, the audience is unable to identify with anything that isn’t a recognisable human derivative.  This really doesn’t bode well for when we finally make contact with the intelligent unicellular blobs from Alpha Centauri.

My final comment on Avatar.  Why were they on Pandora.  To obtain a mineral.  The name of the mineral, Unobtanium.  Fuck.  At least use a name with 37 syllables, not something taken directly from “The Core”.

Perhaps I should have seen Avatar at the cinema in 3D, but I feel that 3D is merely a gimmick designed to distract the audience from a dull uninspired movie, and given my reaction to the television version, I’m unlikely to change this opinion any time in the near future.

If you’ve got nothing better to do, go watch Avatar.  But you’d be better off watching a real alien movie like “Alien” or Evolution.

  • kittychunk

    Is this really the same director who gave us such classics of dodginess as “Aliens” and “The Terminator”? How far the mighty have fallen.

  • Yeah, can you believe it. Although I suppose if we look at Terminator
    and Aliens, the special effects were pretty cutting edge for the time.
    But at least they weren't at the point where he thought he could get
    away with making a film in which the effects were all that mattered.

  • Alan Ashwood

    Totally agree with your remark about Pandora and Unobtanium – pretty pathetic . . .
    . . . However, for the rest, I couldn't disagree more!
    Besides the obvious technology, the imagination and creativity that created Pandora and it's inhabitants is spellbinding. The Plot thunders along at a good pace, and I even found myself fancying the Naavi Heroin (!)
    My whole family lovd it, and it's one of very few films we have on DVD.
    So there!

  • I suspect that had I managed to avoid all the hype I would have enjoyed the movie more. Then again…

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