So, I saw Avatar on Saturday. Anne Ida and I went to see it in 3D at Ringen. It was a really weird experience. It's very rare to see a movie that is at the same time both really really good and completely awful.
Not, I guess, that I should have expected otherwise. But still.
I hardly even know what to say about this movie. The effects are amazing, astonishing, beyond fantastic. In 3D it was like we were practically there. I will even admit to cringing a couple of times when tiny floating objects seemed to be coming a little too close to my face. ;-) But the effects are also all there is to it. I mean, literally. The script is toilet paper. The story is ... well, it's Dances with Wolves, pretty much. (And that sucked ass too.) The story in this movie is 100% predictable. I wouldn't have thought it possible, but I was almost bored watching this science fiction spectacular. It's easy to tell why Cameron's gone so overboard with the effects on this one ... it's because without the effects, his audiences would all have gone to sleep. I could have written the screenplay for this movie myself. Watch one scene and you know exactly how the next is going to play out. You know right from the start what's going to happen, how it's going to end, who will live and who will die, etc. Without the effects, this movie's nothing. And it got me to thinking.
What's the point of making a movie like this? Obviously there's only one point, to show off technology. So it makes me wonder. Is mainstream Hollywood really so intellectually bankrupt that this is the best they can do? Are they this insecure, do they really have nothing to say to the world? If they've got nothing to say, I've almost got to wonder why they're even trying to communicate. (Don't say it, I know it. Money. Sheesh.)
Something interesting about this movie is that while the effects are spectacular, and the smurfs, I mean the Na'vi, look utterly real, it all left me completely cold. It didn't touch me emotionally at all. And I am very easily touched by movies. Seriously. I mean, I've seen The Sound of Music something like 25 times, and I don't even like that super kitschy scene with Maria and the Captain in the garden, but it still has me in tears every time. I am a seriously weepy moviegoer. Cartoons too, it doesn't have to be real people. But Avatar failed in every way to touch my emotions. I just looked at the pretty scenery, but I didn't for a second care about any of the characters or about the plot. (Which I had already guessed in its entirety anyway.) Has anyone seen The 10th Kingdom? That's one of my favorites. :-) The effects used on that show are like drawings by a toddler compared to the Mona Lisa when you think of it in comparison with Avatar. But even so, The 10th Kingdom is miles above in so many ways. I think that's so interesting.
So, my conclusion is: Beautiful to look at, but fundamentally one big yawn. Will never pay money to watch this movie ever again.
11 hours ago