Saturday, February 20, 2010

AVATAR - The Movie

As recent subscribers to Netflix, we've seen more movies in the last three months than in all of last year. But we do like movies and I think we're caught up. But with all the hype going around, we decided not to wait for the DVD but go to see AVATAR in the theatre. In 3-D at the IMAX. What a waste of $22.

In all honesty, I have to admit that, according to the polls, 82% of viewers liked the film. But you and I both know that movies these days are made for teenagers. That's why they open on Fridays: 'cause the kids have a big allowance and no school the next day. Plus they go two or three times. But again, to be fair, perhaps most adults liked it too. I'm just not one of them. What can I say? I write romance and mystery novels, not science fiction or fantasy, and that's plainly what AVATAR is. So shoot me.

We went early, stood in a long line and got seats right in the center. It was quite dark, as if filmed in green and brown, and I didn't see much difference between seeing it with or without the special glasses. As we left the building, my husband said the right word for the experience: ordeal. Like me, he wanted it to be over long before it was. In my opinion, when the audience starts thinking it should be over, it's too long. I don't care how many awards it gets, 162 minutes requires more romance and/or mystery and a whole lot less weirdness, constant action and violence. Even as science fiction, this is no STAR WARS, which I liked.

I especially hated the natives having tails. What was that all about? I doubt that--if humans mated with natives--they'd have tails. Unless they used them (and they didn't in this film) I believe appendages tend to disappear. I also didn't find the blue people attractive or worthy of my sympathy. Some say the film is a metaphor for what conquering people (us) do to indigenous people in foreign lands. However, although they're right, and I don't condone what we did to the Indians or what the British and Dutch did in South Africa, we didn't do it with gigantic military weapons. And all to get a mineral called "unobtanium." Now, that I loved!

The Internet is full of reviews of the film, and, just to show I'm not the only person who wasn't starstruck by the computer wizardry, here are some of their comments:

"If you like graphics and special effects, you'll love it."

"Adjectives like beautiful and breathtaking have been thrown at it, but I'll add a third B, Boring."

"...everything about the story, the setting, the dialog, and the parts that aren't purely visual, is awful."

"DANCES WITH WOLVES in outer space."

"...doing the Funky Chicken with aliens."

"Enough toys to please all the kids in the audience."

"A big, dumb movie built to make money... it resists serious criticism. You might as well analyze a beach ball."

"...overlong, dramatically two-dimensional, smug and simplistic."

And my favorite: "Like staring at the world's most expensive screen-saver."