Sunday, January 24, 2010

Dances With Avatars

- Victory of style over substance

I just sat through Avatar in 3D on the big screen.

WOW - it looks beautiful. I mean it, really impressive and, once you get used to the stupid glasses, you can easily loose yourself in the visual splendour of Cameron's vision. I have a definite appreciation for why this movie is pulling people in to see it - you HAVE to see it and you have to see it on the big screen. Okay? Are we all happy now? Good.

Because it's not a good movie.

I'm sorry - and I know almost no one is going to agree with me on this but GOOD movies have compelling (or, at least, interesting) stories with well-defined characters. Characters who go through some sort of development and allow us, vicariously, to grow in some way with them. If we're lucky, such movies also have interesting locales and are compelling to look at. But the settings are secondary - story and character are primary. GOOD movies have good stories and interesting characters. Avatar doesn't; Avatar isn't a good movie.

In the last hour of this nearly three hour long flight of fancy - as I was shifting in my seat trying to restore feeling to my buttocks - I kept asking myself: If they were willing to spend millions to make it look so nice why didn't they spend a couple thousand to buy a good story?

I don't know the answer to that question. I don't know why Cameron chose to tell a watered-down version of Dances With Wolves without the character-development. Did he think that a good story would somehow distract us from the visuals? Could he be right? I don't know.

I'm glad I saw it - and I encourage other people to see it, too. In 3D. On the big screen. Absolutely - once should do it though. Because ultimately, this is not a good movie.


GeNeRaL said...
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candance said...

Thank goodness some one else thinks this. avatar was amazing but mostly in scenery. the last half of the movie I was pretty much thinking is it done yet ? resisting the urge to check my cellphone every 5 ..ok 3 mins!