Monday, December 21, 2009

He Said-Avatar

Dear Michael Bay, please take note; this is how epic is done, not with offensive stereotypes, literal wrecking balls, and a Maxim magazine portrayal of women.  Avatar is simply put the freaking Jurassic Park of the aughts.  There’s no other movie that I have seen that has made freak out like I did when I was a kid in Mexico watching the Brachiosaurus stand on two legs to eat from the tree. This movie strikes so many balances in the right way.  It was a crazy expensive movie and while you can see where the money went, it was in a subtle, more elegant way than other CGI heavy spectacles from this past year.  It is a big crazy explosion ridden action movie it’s able to strike an emotional chord with you in all of the right ways.  Its dialogue and characters are sometimes cheesy and cliché, but damn it I found myself caring about all of them.  This movie is weird testament to James Cameron’s ability to take a big spectacle and make it feel more personal. 

To be fair, this is by no means a perfect movie, it is a bit cliché we have all heard comparisons of Fern Gully (seriously people saw this?), Dances with Wolves, and Dune.  Mind you, I won’t say too much of why the comparisons are true for the sake of keeping this spoiler free. The dialogue is really cheesy at times especially, when there are scenes with the humans. Sam Worthington, Zoë Saldana and Sigourney Weaver all deliver pretty good performances that are overshadowed by the technology used to film this movie.  And let me tell you, this performance capture used for the facial expressions on the Na’vi is amazing to the point where you WILL forget that they are computer generated. The worst characters are specific to Giovanni Ribisi and Stephen Lang who have the worst lines in the movie coming off as cliché.  For Ribisi it’s his weasly, corporate guy and Lang for his tough guy lieutenant, but damn he is so intimidating that I don’t care.

 This movie is faulty for the aforementioned reasons but like I’ve stated before there is no way you will no leave this movie unaffected.  My eyes were constantly trying to take in the visuals, almost as if I had never seen before.  My heart was pounding, nervous for the Na’vi and their home, and their fate in a way that is very rare for me.  It’s only after you see the movie that the experience sinks in properly and if you are bothered by anything in this movie, it will be long over by the time you realize it.  Avatar is a movie that is truly what movies should do, they take you away to worlds not imaginable, and they captivate your emotions in a way that feels like you’re a kid all over again and for that I thank James Cameron.

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