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Title: So I saw Avatar Posted: January 13, 2010 (07:17 PM)
My initial reaction was that I liked it "quite a bit." I was hesitant to say that I liked it "a lot," but felt that it deserved more than a simple "I liked it." Hope that's not too confusing. The more I think about it though, the more I like it.
I looked the movie up on wikipedia and saw something strange:
"Many have reported experiencing psychological depression and suicidal thoughts upon the realization that the lush and verdant world presented in the movie does not exist."
At first I thought this was ridiculous, and section to which this sentence belonged (titled "health effects") has been removed entirely between the time I checked the article last night and the time of the writing of this blog entry, less than 24 hours later.
Psychological depression and suicidal thoughts are probably exaggerations, but I would say that I felt a little sad, and that was indeed one of the reasons. I think the main reason I felt sad though actually had more to do with the plot formula the movie uses, which goes something like this: a character has a mediocre, unexciting and unsatisfying life; the character is, by circumstance or by providence, thrust into an entirely different life; this new life makes the character truly happy, which in turn makes the viewer/reader/player happy for the duration of the story; finally, this life is threatened by an outside force and must be fought for.
It's a really good formula, because when executed well enough, it can make you really invested in the characters, it appeals to many of our own desires to leave behind mediocre lives for more exciting ones, and because it can, at least temporarily, make us feel incredibly happy. Avatar certainly isn't the only work of fiction that uses this formula. Without thinking too hard about it, Harry Potter fits the formula too, and I'm sure there are plenty of other works of fiction that do as well.
On an entirely different matter, I just watched this trailer and am for some reason now very excited about FFXIII:
User: Masters Title: Posted: January 14, 2010 (07:49 AM)
I'm sure I'll be the last person to see it. But I'm very excited about it.
User: bloomer Title: Posted: January 14, 2010 (04:48 PM)
Did you see it in 3d?
I did think it was extraordinary, even after cynicism born from seeing the trailer 10+ times in the cinema in the preceding months. It was the combination of the technological newness it brought and how it was well used. I did find the animated character performances transparent in a way I hadn't before. The action sequence choreography was impeccable. The world was carefully realised, and I especially loved all the particles drifting about your head. And it was emotionally involving as well.
You better not get tired of any particular story models yet. You've got a ways to go in life and there's that theory that says there are only 7 basic stories anyway :)
User: radicaldreamer Title: Posted: January 15, 2010 (01:13 AM)
I saw it in 3D, but I feel like I stopped noticing the difference after 10 minutes, or I just got very used to it.
Got any more info on that theory or the seven stories? A link maybe?
User: bloomer Title: Posted: January 15, 2010 (07:32 AM)
I think it's older than Christopher Booker, but he did write a book about it. Then others wrote books about that book.
Here's a post on penguin books blog about one of the books about the book...
User: zippdementia Title: Posted: January 17, 2010 (01:59 PM)
I became depressed and suicidal after I realized how bad Sigourney Weaver's acting in Avatar was. And that we'd only just started the film and had 3 hours to go.
User: bloomer Title: Posted: January 18, 2010 (04:21 AM)
I had no problem with her acting - only that when she was converted into Avatar form, she was strange and repellant. She didn't fit in half as well as any of the other avatars.
User: zippdementia Title: Posted: January 18, 2010 (11:16 PM)
Go back and watch it some time. She uses the same monotone voice for the entire movie and says the lines like she just read them three minutes ago. She also has this weird thing where it looks like she doesn't want to move too much and all her movements are slow and cumbersome. Then, too, she keeps staring off screen or through people rather than talking to them like an actual human being.
And before you say anything about how actual people tend to be too uncomfortable to talk to people directly, remember that Sigourney Weaver's character is written to be one of the strongest communicators in the movie. So that argument doesn't cut it.
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