Some Quick Thoughts About “Avatar” Written Ten Minutes Before Bed
I have to admit that my expectations for this film were low for the simple reason that James Cameron makes shitty movies. His only great film is “Terminator.” Everything after that has been mildly okay to outright shitty – I’m looking at you, “Titanic.” It seems to me he’s a guy who has never heard a single thing that’s ever come out of anybody’s mouth. If he had, he wouldn’t write such crappy dialogue.
Of course a James Cameron movie isn’t about dialogue or storytelling. It’s about technology. His films are basically Sony concept stores splashed across thousands of movie screens. And while I appreciate that he spent twelve years developing the technology that would allow him to make ultra-realistic blue tree people, he might have been better served working on the story, which to my jaundiced eye was just a New Agey cowboys and Indians shoot-em-up.
And for all the hullabaloo about the visuals, I couldn’t get that excited about them. The problem may be James Cameron himself. Ever since Robert Patrick turned into liquid metal in “T2,” my attitude about moviemaking has been “Ok, now we can do anything, so tell me a good story.” Visual effects should serve a story, not be the story. Plus, the Blue People, or Blue Ewoks or whatever they were, didn’t look that great. I never believed they existed: their movements were too herky-jerky and I always felt distracted whenever they cut back to the real people, who looked like, well, real people.
The whole thing was like “True Lies” meets “The Lion King.” All in all, it sucked. Not as bad as “Titanic,” which might be the most successful worst movie ever made, but it’s not that far behind. Life need not be a technological wonderland. It’s far more interesting and entertaining when it’s just life. The film may be rated PG-13, but that shouldn’t mean that it operates on the intellectual level of a thirteen year old. Nature is good. People are bad. The military is bad. Scientists are good. Technology is a tool best wielded by those who understand its awesome power for good. People like movie directors.