Tag Archives: 3d

#6 ‘Avatar’ (2009)

...Be vewy vewy quiet...

Cast:-

*Sam Worthington

*Zoe Saldana

*Sigourney Weaver

*Giovanni Ribisi

*Stephen Lang

Director: – James Cameron

 

Avatar, is a 2009 sci-fi adventure flick written and directed by the King of The World himself, Mr James Cameron. After an original treatment written back over 15 years ago, and at a time where Cameron believed film technology at the time would not be sufficient enough, he put it on the back-burner until a later time where further advancements had been made. It was finally produced and released in IMAX 3D around theaters in the winter of 2009 to an overwhelming array of acclaim. The highest opening weekend ever, worldwide.

Not bad at all.

A staggering $2,782,206,970 dollars in revenue from a near-mere $237 million dollar budget. No doubt at all, this was Jim’s gold standard. With widespread acclaim from movie-goers, and a re-release that has already made $9 million dollars at the box office – Who’s to say that this film isn’t anything but spectacular?

Me

Avatar is by no stretch a ‘bad’ film. It’s very much the opposite – Some stunning visuals (computers), nice looking alien characters (computers) and some breathtaking action sequences (computers). Ok, you see where I’m heading now… In seriousness, yeah it looks absolutely superb. Every last detail rendered has been carefully fine-tuned for maximised performance – Mr Cameron certainly had a dedicated team working on this puppy.

So, unless you’ve been under a rock the last two years – Essentially, Avatar tells the story of a Government military-run mining colony on a moon called ‘Pandora’, which is populated by the Na’avi, a native alien species. Main protagonist, Jake Sully (Sam Worthington), is a young paraplegic (I forget how.. If we was given exposition I missed it) chosen in lieu of his deceased brother by the military and finding house and home with the Na’avi after being tasked by ‘Military General stereotype’, portrayed by Stephen Lang, to infiltrate a Na’avi camp to learn more about them in preparation for a full-scale attack. The invasion is all in the name of retrieving a powerful element, known as ‘unobtanium’ – A precious mineral.

There’s not a lack of entertainment here with Avatar. It’s stylish, pretty focussed on what it sets out to achieve and delivers the all-too familiar ‘Cameron conclusion’. It does however do its best to bind together two kinds of movies together… You do start to question subconsciously if you’re watching a sci-fi action movie or a Disney film. All the same, the Computer-Generated landscape visuals are very realistic in their several bit-appearances (for obvious filler) in the film. But it’s the Pandora forests/plant life animations that are the letdown. Too ‘fantastical’ and… magical(?). It totally sets itself apart from most of the other sequences in the film, and I felt like it was comfortable being an ambiguously stylised cartoon, rather than creating a smart, more thoughtful film with substance. The action/sci-fi scenes are very cool and worthy of its futuristic setting – most notably Sigourney Weaver’s scenes in the research labs. But it is very much tarnished by some of the ominous CG sequences…Something which I personally despise in any film or television show.

I could go on about how much Avatar has ripped off ‘Dances With Wolves’ and ‘Pocahontas’ til I’m blue in the face (heh heh). But to be brutally honest, even if I hadn’t had seen those films previously – the story is still very basic, very predictable and very, very boring. The characteristics of the Na’avi are pretty shocking, border-line racist, with a hint of irony thrown in aswell. It’s an obvious political-bashing from James Cameron and maybe it would’ve found some resonance with me ten years ago – But life goes on. I guess all we can do now is wait for the expected sequels to reign our 2014 winter….

6/10


‘Disastrous to Prosperous’

Last year was undoubtedly one of the worst years in recent memory for films. The release of Avatar and the subsequent universal popularity it received, plus an ever-increasing development of films being shot/post-produced in 3D casted an enormous blue-hued shadow over the landscape of modern film-making. Turning our brains into mush and forever fecal-powerbombing the art form of motion picture.

So, where did it all go wrong in the past twelve months? Or should I say, what should happen in the next twelve months…

 

1. No more fucking SAW movies

If there’s one fucking thing that’s outstayed its welcome, it’s Saw.

Convoluted and ridiculously back and forth plots, stupid retarded scary puppet thing, unimaginable dumbness on all the actors to a degree, and boring, predictable drawn-out bullshit films as a whole.

Are people this stupid? Are you stupid? This franchise needs to die…. Just straight down the line, dead. No more fucking plot twists or dead characters getting resurrected for the fifteenth time.

Saw, suck my balls.

 

2. Give the fucking Coens a services to film award at the Oscars

Paul and Barry Chuckle. circa 1823

Yeah, do I really have to explain myself here..?… Oh

Blood Simple, True Grit, Big Lebowski, Fargo, No Country For Old Men….

Any questions?

 

3. Enforce retirement upon Johnny Depp

Last place in goatee contest

Look, this is going to get a few boos. But this guy is just fucking annoying me now. He does his job well I guess… Love him in Fear and Loathing. He’s just fucking everywhere though, he doesn’t take a day off! I mean does he have a wife? I wouldn’t marry him… What a bastard fella he would be!

“Yeah I’ll be off shooting tomorrow” ….

“What, again? Another 3 months?”…..

“Yeah sorry, well what can ya do? I’ve got millions in the bank, and I’m sexually frustrated”

Ever since the release of the first Pirates of the Caribbean, I swear to god - Depp is just the most sought after actor in Hollywood. Now I’m not saying that isn’t a good thing… Because obviously he loves to work SOOOOO fucking much. But… You know, give someone else a shot?? Please?? Contrary to what people say, you, and Brad Pitt for that matter – are showing your age.

Let’s vote to see which one’s gonna be first to play the ‘bumbling old man’ role in a Farrelly brothers comedy.

 

4. Hire assassins to maim or possibly murder Aaron Seltzer and Jason Friedberg

Mindrape...

After a number of years riding on the coattails (why?) of the Wayans team. These two cunts have found it increasingly necessary, and for some reason logical – To direct and script possibly the shittiest, most degrading, suicide-thought inducing ‘comedy’ films in the history of man. Yeah I went there.

They are the cause of the dumbing down of our society, they are going to single-handedly destroy all that is still good and pure of film-making.

Stop these men.

Stop them….. Please.

5. Minimalise post-production 3D conversion

FUUUCKK YOOOOOU

Yeah, this one’s a pretty major one for me. As I’ve noted before. It wouldn’t be fair to say boycott 3D altogether, because it CAN work and compliment a film if used correctly. However, due to budget constraints, studios have opted to convert their completed films into 3D, instead of using 3D cameras during photography – In turn, making those films extremely harsh on the eyes when watched with 3D glasses on.

It’s simply just a marketing commodity, and it’s beginning to stink like the webbing in between my toes. The vastness of ‘eye-rapes’ from the past year is astronomical and it just needs to be calmed down, soon. It’s not always about the visual, people. Use all other forms of media to tell your story, that’s what we’ve paid our money for. Not a migraine.

———————————————————————————

Take the power back everyone, and take heed.


“Icon-not”

 

Steve McQueen in The Great Escape, Robert De Niro in Taxi Driver, Christopher Reeve in Superman, Sigourney Weaver in Alien, Harrison Ford in Raiders Of The Lost Ark, Al Pacino in The Godfather….

We all refer to these as ‘iconic’ film roles. Portrayals of some of the greatest characters to grace the silver screen. Heroes, heroines, rebels, criminals, saviours. These characters have been embraced worldwide and have each become mainstays in cinematic history and popular culture for decades. It may be something like their clothes, their hair, their actions or even their speech - We, the audience, make a connection to that one vital part, and it’s forever embedded.

We call these portrayals ‘iconic’…. But is it the actor? Or the character itself? The real problem with this argument is that we all have attached those actors to those roles. Even after 30 years and ridiculous attempts at emulation, Sigourney Weaver is still synonymous with the ‘ass-kicking female lead’. It still remains to be seen of an actress who can pull off a similar role without inhabiting elements of Ellen Ripley. This is what frustrates me to the core – there’s no ‘suprise’ in cinema anymore. No original thought. As pointed out vivaciously by Mike Stoklasa of Red Letter Media in his Star Trek 2009 review, the overall majority of films from the last decade have been either remakes, re-imaginings of past films, as well as direct/indirect translations of fictional material released years prior. But it’s all about marketability – if you see something you recognise or like or love, you’re naturally going to want to see more of it. And that’s what I’m trying to point out here. We subconsciously feel safe seeing something or someone we vaguely recognise and we feel comfort in knowing to an extent what we are seeing and feeling. But that’s human nature and can really be applied to most situations. However, we also feel obligated to enjoy films starring iconic actors. Again, we feel ‘pre-satisfied’ and ‘safe’, because of their previous work, and high praise for it.

Isn’t there anything like it though? Harrison Ford putting on that hat? Christopher Reeve spinning retardly in that phone box?

I might be going slightly off in another tangent, but I think it’s food for thought. As sometimes we really do take for granted what these amazing actors have done for cinema and television today. Maybe there wouldn’t be a career for Michelle Rodriguez if it wasn’t for Vasquez… Maybe Samuel L Jackson would be a bank teller if it wasn’t for John Shaft. Films can and probably have changed your life one way or another. An unescapable effect.

But if all those defining, iconic roles that I listed above were not portrayed by those actors/actresses – Would they have honestly been as much a part of our lives as they are today? An often clichéd quote from directors we hear time and time again is – “he/she was the only person who could play the part.” If you really dug deep you’d find countless amounts of directors who have said something along similar lines. But who was the first choice to play Indy? Tom Selleck. Who was cast as Marty McFly initially? Eric Stoltz. You’d be hard-pressing trying to envision any other actor playing those parts, really wouldn’t you? Odd one eh?

But wait, it’s the same character, right? Just with another face, hair-do, voice. Could we honestly admit that the perception of that iconic character can ever be anything than what it was? I can’t attempt to answer the question, however it’s a mind-boggling one. Cinema has hit it’s crisis peak in my opinion, we don’t have that ‘one-man show’ anymore. And judging from a time where new releases are merely fecal matter (i.e Alvin And The Chipmunks, The Last Airbender, White Chicks) – Is there much point to finding that defining role for the 21st century?

That’s what I love about those iconic characters. We’re mentally configured to loving those characters just purely from the simplest of things – and it’s the way those simple things are presented that make the actors so tightly knitted to that character.

Could there ever have been another Ripley, RP McMurphy, Alex DeLarge, Han Solo or Michael Corleone???… The actors that portrayed those roles were masters of their art. They didn’t do it for a quick buck, they did it for us, the audience. Nothing like today. And that’s why they are considered icons, and you won’t find anyone close in Hollywood currently even attempting at best to prove otherwise.

Maybe I’m not seeing the bigger picture :/ . We all know what that is. Acting isn’t really about the acting anymore, nothing DEFINES iconic when I watch films today. In reality, it’s all business and it makes the world go round on its soon to be toppling axis.

Yep.


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