Alright, so I know this movie has come and gone, and the debates have mostly died down about it, but I didn’t have a blog to express my opinions so I’m getting it out now. Partially to vent a little, but mostly because I want to write something and I haven’t done or seen anything interesting today.
I saw Avatar twice in theaters. First time, I saw it in standard 2D. It was an alright movie then, and it had an alright storyline. I can, however, understand people not liking the movie when they saw it in 2D because they missed what 80% of the movie was geared towards: pushing the envelope! When I saw it the second time, this time in 3D, I understood that this movie was not about having a great storyline, sending a politically motivated message to movie goers, or anything else of that nature. What the movie was created for was making 3 dimensional art. The effects were astounding, the sounds combined with the images popping out made you feel as if you were on Pandora. I didn’t even really care about the script or the story the second time I watched this movie, I just stared at the shiny.
This being said, I don’t understand why some people hate this movie with such passion. To those that say this movie was the same exact storyline of Pocahontas, just replace some of the words, I say who cares? Very few movies are completely original anymore. Sukiyaki Western Django, for example, was the exact storyline, replace a few words, of War of the Roses. Yet you don’t hear people complaining about that. In fact, many people like it for just that reason because it is a fresh and new take on it.
So what is the difference? Sukiyaki Western Django had almost no buildup in the American market. There was a little bit of excitement to it, but not anywhere near as much as with Avatar.
The one flaw Avatar had was too much hype. I honestly believe this is the only reason there are so many critics of the movie. The movie was, by any technical film standards, virtually flawless. However, the hype was huge. People all saw that this movie was going to be one of the first, and I believe the first in digital, live action 3D films. Along with that, it had the famed director name of James Cameron tattooed on it. With both of these happening, everyone expected an amazing and original work with the best actors money (among other things) could buy. That wasn’t what Cameron set out to do.
Technically speaking, this film is a success and no one can really dispute that. It has grossed $2.7bn worldwide, making it the best-selling film worldwide. EVER. It also pioneered live-action 3D filming, a technology that almost every Epic is trying to get their hands on now. Clash of the Titans tried it, though they didn’t film with it in mind. Avatar: The Last Air Bender is going to do it. Numerous other movies are announcing that they will not only go 3D, they will also film 3D, making the effect close to the effect of Avatar. Pandora was also a brand new world, teeming with unique and highly detailed life. It takes an enormous imagination and a great deal of film genius to put that onto the big screen.
So basically, no matter what anyone says, I think it was a good movie.
Those that say is was being racist by giving the Na’vi dreadlocks and face paint, portraying an “obvious” stereotype of tribal Africans, I say bullshit. Almost every culture had that same style of fashion in their tribal stage of progression. The only thing that would point to it being Africans in particular is the obsessive use of color, however their world is full of color, so it would be natural to assume they would utilize a great amount of color as well.
To those that say it was an attempt to push Cameron’s environmentally friendly political stance on the moviegoers, who cares? If you are reading into it that deep, you are actively TRYING to find some flaw in the film, so your opinion is invalid. The only part would suggest that stance is that the bad guys were strip mining and hurting the planet, however, that just points out an entirely different fact to me. Humans are ruthless when it comes to getting what we want. That’s not a bad thing, and it’s not wrong to put in a movie. It is a historically proven fact that humans are ruthless when it comes to getting what they want. This applies to ALL human beings. It is also a historically proven fact that some “good” comes along that brings that ruthlessness to its knees. So if you want to go along that route, it’s just a movie about another possible future where we give into our nature yet again. No big deal. I can’t even count on my fingers and toes the amount of movies that point that little fact out.
So if you come into my house, see me watching Avatar, and I’m enjoying it. Don’t criticize me. You have your opinion and I have mine. However you cannot deny the proof that is pioneered what is becoming the new “thing” in cinema and that pioneering that made a SHITLOAD of money.