Sunday, February 24, 2013

Avatar Dec 31, 2009 3:42PM PST

Saw the new James Cameron movie last night. It's pretty much like everyone has been saying: decent, almost inovationless plot with great visuals for a Hollywood thrill. Of course, while everyone's been saying it's an obvious metaphor for Iraq, I was thinking of the Navi (blue elf people seen in the ads) as Native Americans more than anything, and as their super special rock resource in terms of gold more than oil (which lazy English settlers often made the Natives go after). Hell, the whole love story of guy on evil team who's not really evil meets good girl he likes and decides evil team is wrong and colorful jungle setting screamed Pochahontas to me. Then again, having a speech at the end with the terms "preemptive strike" and "fight terror with terror" did a good job of pounding me over the end with Iraq references. Thanks James, I think I got it. Speaking of the colorful jungle, that's what I think I liked most about this movie. Now the monsters were too weird looking to be intimidating for me in many cases, and as far as the 3D is concerned I feel Cameron could have used more coming at you shots to fix this problem (yes that would be gimmicky, no I wouldn't care as this was my first 3D movie experience). But what did impress me was the fact he decided to place a dystopian future story somewhere other than a monochrome fucking city for once. Sure, the military sequences basically do this anyway, but the vast majority of the film takes place among the Disney-magic looking jungle. Note to dystopian futures: Colors are nice. As far as plot and characters go, it's pretty simple. Chain smoking snarky woman doctor wants PhD help, gets unexperienced twin brother instead, geeky/nice male doctor gets friendly with him, doctors get in Avatar bodies to become one with natives and offer diplomatic solution to convince faceless corporation/military people not to just bulldoze their shit (ok, that last part was not as typical with the Avatar bodies, but pretty much everything but that part was). The people saying it's impressive that we can accept the blue elves as main characters through most of the movie are mostly right, but they sometimes looked to me like videogame characters i.e. not quite that level of believable (this may have not been helped by the 3D). I also noticed that 3D may eliminate the need for visual cues telling people where to look, given that it makes foreground and background extremely overstated and I wonder what this means for things like visual foreshadowing, since many directors use images in the background as sort of easter egg clues for what's coming. Overall a great visual, entertaining movie, nothing special in plot or characters but enjoyable nonetheless. Edit: I'll post my favorite games for 2010 and some Best of 1up impressions later, after we go to dinner and possibly a movie tonight.

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