Read on below to see my additional comments.....
Well, almost everyone I know has been to see Avatar by now, James Cameron's new 'masterpiece' of futuristic, psychedelic, action-packed movie magic madness. So I can safely write about it without blowing any surprises for readers, (I hope) If you haven't seen it yet, I won't really give any of the story away here, so don't be afraid to read this...
I hesitate to say how much I really enjoyed this film because, well, it seems really fashionable for writers to be professional critics, and expose whatever flaws a movie might have. This film has plenty of flaws. What film doesn't? If you've tried directing a big budget blockbuster film lately, you know just how difficult it really is to even begin to approach 'perfection'. Something tells me, not many who read this will have directed any big budget films lately. He he....sure!
I love this movie.
And I've heard every conceivable bit of criticism you could possibly throw at it. But it's beautiful, it's even visionary. Regardless of the countless subtle ways it may have been improved, regardless of the occasional corny moments, or lame attempts at humor when it really didn't need it....
It's gorgeous, and flawlessly put together from a technical standpoint. I cannot remember one single scene that really stood out as far as anything not quite working. The character animation, the special effects animation, and the compositing is all so beautifully done, that it was easy for me to completely abandon my critical animation artist side, and just let go, fall in, and enjoy the ride.
This is just the beginning of this report....I have alot more to say about this film, stay posted!
Now I have actually seen this movie twice, as an incredible number of other people have done. I can hardly believe how many people I have spoken to are going back for seconds and even third viewings. Pretty phenomenal reaction to this film. Seems folks can't get enough!
Myself, I went to see AVATAR first in regular old-fashioned 2D mode. I wanted to watch it first as a regular movie, without the added distraction of the 3D glasses and effects. And that first viewing was extremely satisfying. I liked it far more than I expected to, and I was ready to go see it in 3D as soon as possible....
So I just got back from the 3D screening, and I actually have to say, I enjoyed it more without the 3D effect. Although the 3D is certainly fun, I still found it somewhat of a strain. It was distracting. It had many glorious moments, but overall it took me OUT of the story more, it really did. Surely everyone won't agree, but I urge you to watch it in 2D and see what you think. Something about the 3D glasses makes me feel like my eyes are straining a little bit, especially when there is a cut to a new scene, I found my eyes had to readjust for a few moments, and that distracted me severely a couple of times.
So I certainly can see cinema going more and more frequently with 3D, it is SO MUCH better than it used to be, and hopefully it will continue to get better. I am hoping to someday go to a 3D film and not feel that subtle eye strain. Only then will the 3D effect work 100% for me.
Back to the film itself.
You know, I am hearing so many people complain that the story is contrived, the whole 'Tree of Souls' thing is corny, they say, and the whole 'Save the Rainforest' idea has been done.
But this is our story people! The story of so called modern man, conquering the 'New World'. That is our legacy, that is who we are here in the new world, and if we don't learn from history, we are doomed to repeat it. Telling this tale over and over, it is something that desperately needs to be done, lest we 'progress' ourselves right in to extinction! The idea that the 'undeveloped' countries of the world were inhabited by 'savages' that we needed to teach how to be 'civilized'. Folks, there is nothing civilized about what we have done all over the world, to indigenous peoples, and to nature itself. Civilizations who understand the delicate balance of nature around the globe, have been slaughtered and laid to waste, their history, culture and languages destroyed. They are the civilized ones! WE are the savages. No amount of technology and so called progress can mask the fact that we are ignorant, destructive savages, completely out of touch with what is really important in this miraculous journey we know as our lives.....
And we need to learn that. Now.
We are like lost babies, just like she says in Avatar....like stupid stumbling babies, with big guns to protect our fragile, misguided egos. We are an absolute mess, with all our glorious technology, we are just becoming more and more depressed, more and more disconnected from Life, Love and Truth. The more we surround ourselves with consumer gadgets and toys, the less we are able to wake up to the call of the wild.
Somewhere perhaps, in our futures, there is a place for technology and Love to work together, but technology without spiritual wisdom is a frightening dead end road, that is swallowing our souls. We all need to connect with the 'Tree of Souls' or we we will eventually see the beauty and magic of our natural world taken away from us and extinguished from our ability to perceive it, in a nightmare of darkness.
I see a film with a story like this as a clarion call for mankind to wake the hell up. Exploitation of resources and billions spent on developing bigger better weapons to protect us from ourselves.....in our hearts and souls, we know where it will take us. Reformat your hard drives into the tree of souls people. Unplug the iPod and listen to the wind.....
James Cameron is just trying to remind us that the alarm clock is going off, and it's time to wake up!