I read somewhere that Avatar was ‘sat on’ for close to ten years. The technology to produce it way back when would have been too costly. This means, James Cameron could have used the time and developed the movie extensively. He clearly chose not to. I imagine him running to CGI experts every six to twelve months and saying, “Are we there yet?” After each rejection he sulked away like The Max does when I tell him he may not have ice cream for breakfast.
The public was presented with this epic sci-fi film which seemingly everyone is going to love love love! The effects in the movie are going to blow us away! Actually, they did. I am not a huge fan of fancy computer graphic movies. I like my cartoons to look like cartoons and real life to look like real life.
I think they finally sold me on CGI on this film, and that’s the only thing they did. Except for the tree…the rope light glowing tree. I wasn’t much a fan of that. However, I loved the tree the Na’vi lived in, and I would like to live there too. The blending of CGI and real life shots was the best I have seen. Certainly we have come a long way since Roger Rabbit.
Now I am going to tell you why I think it sucked:
The characters and the dialog were so dry that I felt like I was watching a visually stunning episode of a Saturday morning cartoon. I saw the scary money hungry evil white men who wanted to murder the perfectly peaceful blue Smurf/human types for, of course, financial gain. The Jake Sully character was so easy he would have converted to their way of life even if they sat in poo all day while singing the Macarena. I’d go on dissecting the characters, but I am annoyed by them.
The plot was dumb. It required a completely gullible viewer to be enjoyed. If this was the first movie you had ever seen in your life, you would have loved it. But, the story was a mish mash of Pocahontas and Dances With Wolves with a futuristic spin. Good overcame evil in the most uncreative possible way.
So, why is this the BEST of something? Cause I am still glad I saw it. It sure was purty.
I didn’t think as little of Avatar as you did, but I think you nailed the problem areas.
I remember sitting through the panel at Comic-Con this past July–it left me with a bad taste in my mouth. James Cameron is an egotistical douche…who makes millions in overblown, overhyped films. I wanted to hate it, if only to spite him. I entered that movie theater fully expecting to be disappointed, left hanging. I expected overblown graphics and an underdeveloped plot. I expected to leave wanting more. And when I did leave, all I wanted to do was immediately see it again.
Oh my dear. How we disagree on this one. 😦
Awesome review Kristianne.
Whoa whoa whoa. Time out. Really? Wow. Everyone is certainly entitled to their own opinion.. but wow.
Granted it wasn’t the most original theme as we’ve seen this before “Dances with Wolves”… “The Last Samurai”… but I would hardly say
“It required a completely gullible viewer to be enjoyed.”
Certainly we’ve seen much worse this year.. TRANSFORMERS REVENGE OF THE FALLEN or G.I. JOE anyone?!
Of course, not everyone likes fantasy over real life. But clearly we have some other money making franchises that have been waaaaayyy more shallow. Did I mention Indiana Jones 4 or the Star Wars prequels. Those had some of the worst plots and characters I have EVER seen.
Transformers and it’s basic story has amounted to nothing more than a big budget popcorn action flick. If I didn’t grow up on Transformers, I may have not even watched them. Quite frankly, I think Michael Bay is a HORRIBLE director!!!
Still.. Neytiri (in my opinion) is one of the most interesting and realistic CGI characters to grace the screen. The facial performances were unbelievable. The new language, geography, visuals.. really took you somewhere else for awhile. ESPECIALLY in 3D!
I think there is something to be said about a story of a man who became more than he was through the help of a woman. You also must know that it is not common practice for Hollywood to venture far from what has been done and worked in the past. That’s why we are getting so many similar stories and remakes. Have you seen the trailer for the new KARATE KID movie. They are destroying a classic!!!
Anyways. Agree to disagree. I’m still glad you have your own thoughts.. but I think this movie served it’s intent in the end.. a nice 3 hour escape from reality. 🙂
Yes, Transformers and GI Joe were worse, however, they did not receive the prestigious title of BEST worst movie 😉
Also, there was not enough development in Jake when he ‘transformed’. Why was he such a misfit in the first place…when did he truly struggle?
HAHA! BEST worst movie. Clever girl. I see what you did there. 🙂
I agree. For the sake of time I’m sure things were cut out of the movie. I can’t remember the scene now but James Cameron said there was a scene cut out in the middle due to the pacing of the movie.
I watched Lord of the Rings in the theater (all 3) and I hated the first one in the beginning. I thought it ended abruptly and I wasn’t sure where the story was headed. It wasn’t until I got the whole story that I loved it. Also, they had the extended cuts on dvd where each movie was 4 HOURS!!! Those told more of the story and I loved the movies even more. I’m not a HUGE movie guy. There are tons of movies I haven’t seen. But I do like interesting stories, characters, and places. Supposedly James has enough story to fill 2 more movies.. so I’m sure this will be a trilogy. There was also the bit about the “aliens” (or humans) having to return to their dying planet. Was this unobtainium suppose to be something that was suppose to restore our planet? Is that why we would kill for it?
SPOILER: I liked the fact that you had Jake as the warrior and hunter, but when Neytiri meets the REAL Jake.. he turns out to be a cripple in a wheelchair. That was an optimistic underlying theme. For one to great things with their limitations. I like those kind of stories. But I see your dislikes.
On a side note. I didn’t know you did so much writing. I’ll have to read some of your other articles when I get a minute. I admire your ability to express yourself and entertain.
I saw it the other day in 3D and was blown away by the effects like most people and I agree with Tony. Neytiri is one of the most interesting characters I have seen in a while. The movie set out what it is supposed to do. Entertain you for 2+ hours. Nothing more nothing less. I liked it.
I think it sounds too long to sit through a remade story, but I’ll see it on blue ray when it comes out for the CGI. I like that 😉
I guess I will really be missing out on something that no one can agree on by not bothering to see this movie until it’s on Netflix.
I think you hit the nail on the head. Couldn’t agree more. I was disappointed, considering Cameron is responsible for what I consider to be possibly the greatest sci-fi movie ever made–Aliens. I was hoping for more of that, and less of what I got.
I found your analysis poignant. Although, there was no mention of pantheism or what an avatar actually is, the movie isn’t great. In the Hindu tradition, as well as most Protestant traditions (Weslism, Calvanism, etc), an Avatar is something that a god or demigod (because in Hinduism all things come from Brahman, thus pantheism) use to incarnate themselves (e.g. in Christianity, Jesus). Albeit, I enjoy the Wizard of Oz-ish structure of making the person who uses the Avatar a crippled person (e.g. a dirty old Carney in the Wizard of Oz behind the curtain pulling the levers), but it is a bit played out. As for pulling other fanboy favorites such as LOTR and StarWars into the argument, I find that distasteful and inappropriate, firstly because the LOTR should be read, not watched, and secondly, Lucas may or may not have been on peyote when he did the prequels. All in all I critique your critique with 5 out of 5 stars :D.