Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A to B Back and Forth Review: Avatar, Part II

Yesterday, Kozy and I started with our analysis of Avatar, posting Part I of our back and forth conversation. So yeah, read that first. Today we conclude with Part II.


Hiya Brad. I see you!

Yet another reason to go to I-MAX: No commercials! The movie just started right up. So we're even in agreement about Jaws 3-D? I guess we won't have the opportunity for an e-mail scuffle this week, but let me see if I can find one by raising some other points that came to mind.

You asked about our friend Zoe Saldana. I gotta say that if nobody got an acting nomination for Titanic, and Andy Serkis was shut out as Gollum, I feel pretty certain that Zoe ain't going to get one for this movie. At the same time I feel compelled to mention that as hot as she was in Star Trek, she may have been even more attractive here, even in CGI form. I'm sure this was helped by her role in the story. Her attempts to teach Jake the Na'vi language were very reminiscent of my Spanish profesora here (who at times can be just as strict with me). Who knew being repeatedly corrected could be so romantic? Apparently Cameron filmed a more explicit love scene, but it was removed to keep the rating intact. I assume it will be on the DVD.
Yes, Zoe even looks good when it's not her.

But then again, I can't imagine watching this film on my flatscreen. People often talk about movies you "have to see in the theaters." I often think this is applied incorrectly. I have a kickass stereo and a great TV. Sometimes it's more about the fact that you are held captive and can't be distracted by anything. Lost in Translation is a great example. Everyone I know who saw this movie in the theater loved it, and everyone who saw it on video had an opinion that ranged between "meh" and "nah." But in this case? Without the 3-D, on a (by comparison) tiny screen, we're going to lose all that wonderful detail. Because of that I can see this movie being played on screens for years to come. There's no reason for it to leave the I-MAX because it's only taking the place of bad dinosaur reenactments. I know I'm going to see it there again, possibly soon.

A long time ago - way before Titanic came out, my brother mentioned to me that James Cameron always makes the most expensive movie ever made and then it always becomes the highest grossing picture of all time. It's hard to believe, but Aliens only cost 18.5 million dollars, but things skyrocketed from there. The Abyss cost 65 million, Terminator 2, over 100 million, True Lies, 110 million, and Titanic 200 million. Aside from The Abyss, all of these were smashing successes in the box office and beyond. And Avatar of course follows that trend. I'm sure when he presented this idea to the studio, they were skeptical. I would have been. But his track record gave him the opportunity. For that, we can all be grateful.

This may seem like a weird comment, but whenever I see a truly remarkable film, I often think of Gene Siskel. I didn't often find myself agreeing with the man, but he was passionate about film (and the Bulls!) until the day he died. I have no idea if he would have liked Avatar or not, but I sure as hell know he would have wanted to see it. It just makes me feel lucky that we can, even living in random parts of the world. As you said, this is a global experience, and we should appreciate it.

OK, I'm gonna go back to struggling with my Spanish. If only I had an Argentine avatar I could send out to do my grocery shopping. He would have a Euro-mullet and an 8 o'clock shadow, but would at least he wouldn't have to ask the lady working at the checkout to repeat even the simplest questions two or three times. Hey, if you had a Dutch one, he'd be tall enough to hang with the Na'vi!
My Spanish teacher hates when I post this picture. But I bet you don't.



Hey Reed,

I really like your idea of creating my Dutch Avatar! He could spend his time brushing aside his long blonde hair, hot-rodding scooters, smoking Marlboro’s till his lungs bleed and wearing those 28/48 jeans that have been sitting in my closet for years. And of course, most importantly, he would translate the monthly packet of pension papers I receive from ASR.
One option for the prototype Bradvatar.

I agree this is definitely a film to see in the theatre. Something I plan to do again sometime very soon at my local I-MAX. To truly experience a movie you really need to be distraction free. As you know all too well, I am notorious for watching movies at home in up to four sittings. Watch for a bit, go for a run and then start it back up! That’s been my calling card. For Avatar this would greatly deteriorate the experience.

Avatar should continue playing for years to come. As I said before, this is more than just a movie. This is an amusement park ride brought directly to you. And I totally agree with you that bad dinosaur reenactments will do little to knock Avatar from IMAX theatres.

Of course the potential fallout from this type of massive success will be tons and tons of imitators for years to come. As we both know, like cougars, when studio execs smell blood, they pounce. And the prospect of increased revenue from 3D and I-MAX has to have them foaming wildly at the mouth.This means we may get resurrected franchises, with titles like, Speed IV: In Your Face.
No, Brad! Don't give them any ideas. Look what you've done!

The only thing that could have enhanced my Avatar experience is if we had gotten to see it together while I was in Buenos Aires. Years later, this is a movie that I will recite details on ‘where I was’ when I first experienced it; kind of like watching OJ’s freeway pursuit, only this one lives up to the hype. What a great time!

Until next time, tot ziens!

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