Avatar

Director: James Cameron

2009

I’ve been a bit slack lately when it comes to posting on here but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been watching movies. On the contrary I have watched loads but just not any that were in the book. So to herald my return to the blogosphere I thought I’d start with a potentially controversial blog about James Cameron’s magnum opus … Avatar.

Jonathan Penner says “Cameron uses state-of-the-art film technologies to submerge his audience in the flora and fauna of a new world; much as King Kong had done in 1933, Star Wars had in 1977, and Jurassic Park had in 1993. And like those films, Avatar, hailed as a game changer, a masterwork, and a box-office record breaker, will remain beloved, but will someday, no doubt, look antiquated.” (931, 1001 Movies You Must Watch Before You Die) I have to say that I am one of the few people who was not only unimpressed with Avatar but actually detested the film!

While the story may be one that has been told numerous times I don’t think that Cameron’s take on it is an outstanding contribution as so many other people do. I also do not see Pandora as this beautiful utopia – the discord between the Na’vi negate the supposed utopia. The one redeeming factor is the brilliant performance by Sam Worthington but even then that is not enough to inspire multiple viewings on my part.

The CG (which is the most major element of the film) is not as spectacular as everyone is making it out to be. I will admit that the ‘flora’ element is stunning but it doesn’t seem entirely real to me. And the Na’vi are nowhere near realistic enough. Now I can hear some of you saying “How can you expect enormous blue creatures with tails to be realistic?” Well I watch a lot of sci-fi and fantasy films and television and I have seen much more believable ‘aliens’ than the Na’vi. Sure it may be technically brilliant but in terms of its use as a narrative tool I find it somewhat lacking.

I didn’t connect with a single character in the entire film which to me smacks of style over substance … something that is so unlike Cameron. I was also completely unable to ‘suspend my disbelief’ which to me personally is the mark of a bad film and I have to admit my main problem with a film that the vast majority of the cinema going population appear to be enraptured with.

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