Tuesday, February 9, 2010

"Avatar" movie reveiw by Keith "The Space Geek" Lee

What James Cameron’s “Avatar” succeeds in creating is a world that illuminates with passion and strength. The landscapes are so lush and full of organic life that you can smell and taste the air. What he fails to do is create personalities and a story line you WANT to care about.

I didn’t even know this movie existed until about two months ago. Being a sci-fi fan, I was “GEEKED” when I saw the trailer. It looked smoother than anything I had seen in the past 10 or so years. CGI animation has taken over for plot in the past decade leaving little to be remembered. I was hopeful when I saw this preview, but I didn’t hold my breath.

First thing I’d like to say is that I don’t blame Mr. Cameron. He is just trying to make a buck like the rest of us. Apparently this is a project he has been thinking about since he was 12 years old. The 12 year old in me thanks you very much. But the adult in me says, “What the Hell! Dig deeper than that!” After all these years and with your social and environmental causes, the only answer to violence is… VIOLENCE! James, James… way too easy. Show us real conflict. Show us humanity. The moral I left with is that no matter how vast our universe and how advanced we become there is only the will of destruction at our finger tips. In a way James is telling us that Geronimo should have been angrier and killed more people in order to drive away the white man and preserve his land for his people. Genocide my not have happened in Rwanda if the people persecuted were more fearless and courageous fighters. Courage in my book is not at the end of a laser gun. I like to attach my laser beams to sharks… but that is another story.

At least there are no silly time travel scenarios to gum up the plot. The CGI world still needs work though. It is jerky and not as seamless as reviews would lead you to believe. It is like going deep sea diving and needing to give your body time to acclimate. It takes a good 45 minutes to lose yourself and forget you are just watching a high tech movie. But when you do, it comes alive! I think I have been enchanted by sci-fi for so many years because I always wanted to find a world like this. There is a lot that is dealt with regarding tribal heritage and right of passage that is missed in today’s culture. I still think there could have been more. The determination it takes to prove yourself to your peers and (most importantly) to yourself is something that gets the blood pumping. It’s a plot that is plain and simple and comes down to win or lose. We have lost that ambition in our own society but we are willing to pay $10.00 a ticket (or $15.00 in 3-D) to see it on the big screen.

The imagery is the real winner here. The character designs for the indigenous people, plant vegetation, and the vast creatures that inhabit this world are breathtaking. Is it really something we have not seen before? No, but somehow this new world feels fresh and exciting.

Bottom line is that I can’t tell you how to think. You should go to see “Avatar” and judge for yourself. James Cameron’s vision is not mine but then maybe my ideals are equally as foolish. Doubtful, but I’ll leave that open for debate. I enjoyed the film on many levels but I’m still looking for that “Gone with the Wind” in outer space. This is not it and quite frankly I still give a damn. My intellect left wanting more but the kid in me had a great ride. I would love to tell Mr. Cameron what to do with his thoughts on social justice, but the fact that this movie will end up in my DVD collection says more about me and less about his lack of depth than I’d like to admit.
You know (come to think about it) It’s a good thing for George Lucas that I didn’t see “Star Wars” for the first time in my late 30s because I would have chewed his ass out too.

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