Posted: April 27, 2010 (01:38 AM)
I rented the Blu-ray tonight to see if my theory that the movie would become irrelevant without the aid of digitial 3D was accurate.
...Eh. It's still kind of a fun movie, and it looks effing gorgeous in high definition. The writing's still generic and bland and the characters are underdeveloped, but it doesn't completely pull the movie down. I still think a movie can work as sheer spectacle (keep in mind that film is the collaboration of numerous elements, many of which are purely visual). See, Cameron is a much better director than he is a writer; he should be handling other people's scripts. He's got the budget and the skills, and everything in Avatar that isn't related to the screenplay is superb. (This was true for Titanic, too, albeit to a lesser extent. It sucked as a love story, which it mostly was, but once he got down to business it was a damn cool disaster movie, enough to put Roland Emmerich to shame.)
Point is, we can berate Avatar for not living up to expectations and for having a generic, predictable story, but where grandiosity is concerned, the movie delivers. It's great to know that even without grade-A screenwriting skills, Cameron still has an eye for scale and can film a terrific action sequence when he wants to. Compare this to Michael Bay, whose Transformers 2 had horrible dialog... and was also a shitty, poorly shot, unconvincing action movie.
I feel sorry for anyone who didn't catch Avatar in 3D, since so much of the appeal is visual, but still: Go into it without towering expectations and enjoy it for what it is.
MEANWHILE: Cameron is penning an Avatar novel. This is a very stupid idea.
Posted: April 27, 2010 (09:47 AM)
Cameron and "penning a novel." Thank you. You've blown my circuitry.
Posted: April 27, 2010 (01:19 PM)
James Cameron has the wrong idea. He should pen an Avatar picture book… with pop-up drawings!
Posted: April 27, 2010 (03:49 PM)
Just finished watching it myself on DVD. It gets a meh rating of meh. HOWEVER! The film didn;t feel as long as it was, so it gets some merit.
Posted: April 27, 2010 (05:26 PM)
I saw it in theaters and already forgot all about the movie. I just remember blue people running around and lots of pretty scenery!
Posted: April 27, 2010 (07:54 PM)
Mike, you definitely make a good point about Cameron's directing. Avatar is definitely beautifully shot, which is what makes it an enjoyable watch in spite of the terrible writing. Like I said in my previous blog entry, it is an enjoyable movie, whereas Transformers 2 was a pain to sit through by comparison. I think though the reason why Tarantino is one of my favorite filmmakers is because the man knows how to write and direct really well, while Cameron is usually (he did write T2 along with someone else and I like that movie a lot) suited better for purely directing.
Posted: April 27, 2010 (09:25 PM)
this to Michael Bay, whose Transformers 2 had horrible dialog... and was also a shitty, poorly shot, unconvincing action movie.
Good god, don't remind me. I was trying to forgot all about those idiot twin robots and their psuedo-Eubonic talk. And people think Jar Jar Binks is annoying.
Too many other inconsistencies as well. It certainly is unconvincing.
Posted: April 27, 2010 (09:51 PM)
I'm pretty sure Cameron also wrote Aliens in addition to directing it, and of course I need not remind anyone that Aliens was awesome. So he's had his bright spots, certainly.
Tarantino is a good guy to bring up, because at his best (note that I didn't like Kill Bill) he really understands the language of film better than pretty much any current filmmaker out there. He's got an eye for exciting visuals and an ear for convincing dialog, and he understands the value of a good performance, too. He surrounds himself with talented actors and has no qualm about letting them take over for lengthy periods of time. (See: Christoph Waltz's scene at the beginning of Basterds, or the tavern sequence.)
Posted: April 27, 2010 (11:55 PM)
"Aliens" was awesome, but the dialogue was pretty damn cheesy at times. ("You don't see them fucking each other over for a goddamn percentage.")