"When faced with a problem you do not understand,
do any part of it you do understand; then look at it again."
~(Robert A. Heinlein - "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress")

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Saturday, December 26, 2009

"Avatar" -- I want to see it AGAIN!

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There I go, violating common sense, and Lord knows how many rules of reporting and reviewing, by putting the bottom line, not just at the top, but in the very title of this review.

So, sue me! This is how I felt like presenting it.

I've NEVER written a movie review before (as will be painfully obvious from reading this), but I'm going to speak my piece anyway.

I've seen a number of attacks on this movie (several from bloggers on my "Blogs I Like" list) accusing James Cameron of making an anti-American, pro-environmentalist, way too PC movie, with little or no originality to it..

I beg to differ.

I don't recall any countries named in the movie; the soldiers depicted are mercenaries hired by a corporation (in this future, corporations appear to be at the top of the food chain). The lead is supposed to be an ex-marine, but lots of countries have marines and it is not specified which one he is from.

Many of the plot points are not necessarily comments on our current situation, but can be found in classic science-fiction going back more than half a century.

The idea of a warrior, sent to live among a people, deciding he'd rather be a part of them is NOT a ripoff of "Dances With Wolves", but is a very human story that likely predates writing and could well be part of sagas passed down from one generation to another by word of mouth.

The one thing you could convict Cameron on is lack of originality in the story.

BUT, to the best of my recollection, he has never claimed the ideas to be original. I think he has even said that himself in interviews.

What I think counts is how well it is done, and here, he really shines.

By not tapping into the $20,000,000.00 club for his actors, you get people that are more believable as their characters, instead of trying to get past that you are looking at George Clooney, Matt Damon or Tom Cruise.

I decided to go all the way and see it in IMAX 3D. This is probably the best 3D work I've seen to date; it is used, not as a gimmick (I don't recall any cheap tricks of throwing thing at you just to make you duck), but as an integral part of the story, to heighten the feeling of reality.

I'm going to cut this off, here, for further reflection on what I've seen.

Is this the best movie of the year? No, probably not even close.

Is it the best science-fiction movie of this year?
THAT will take some more consideration; at the moment, I'm inclined towards "District 9" for that honor.

Well then, is it any damned good at all? HELL YES!!!

WHY more consideration? I can see one similarity with Titanic; during the approximately nine months it was in theaters in Houston, I saw it quite a few times. Each viewing seemed to disclose things I hadn't noticed before.

My first impression is, "Pretty Damned Good".
My gut feeling is that repeat viewings will only add to that.

See it for yourself.

(Note added Sunday morning: This is a good example of how NOT to post anything.  I was in WAY too much of a hurry to put something up, with ideas only half-formed, and boy does that show! That's why it cuts off so abruptly;  I didn't know where to go next.  I stand by what is in there, but, it's sadly incomplete and I well know it.  I hope to do better next time.)
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1 comment:

Charles said...

Hmm you have convinced me. I will go see this. Sounds like the sort of thing I would enjoy. Cheers Paul.

Charles

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