Avatar is sort of a perfect method of escapism. Never before in cinema has a manufactured world been presented in such photorealistic, vivid clarity. It's completely believable. It is as if people leave the film disappointed that this fantastic world doesn't actually exist, and that they devalue their own world as a result.
Scott Adams wrote:
For those of you who only watched the 'old' Star Trek, the holodeck can create simulated worlds that look and feel just like the real thing. The characters on Star Trek use the holodeck for recreation during breaks from work. This is somewhat unrealistic. If I had a holodeck, I'd close the door and never come out until I died of exhaustion. It would be hard to convince me I should be anywhere but in the holodeck, getting my oil massage from Cindy Crawford and her simulated twin sister.
Holodecks would be very addicting. If there weren't enough holodecks to go around, I'd get the names of all the people who had reservations ahead of me and beam them into concrete walls. I'd feel tense about it, but that's exactly why I'd need a massage.
I'm afraid the holodeck will be society's last invention.
Graphics were pretty.
Movie was facepalm predictable tripe.
I'm still waiting for the sequel to Titanic.
Chip Dapper wrote:
Oh hey! Avatar won a Golden Globe for 'Best Drama.'
The judges or whoever votes must set their drama barometer's top-end at daytime soaps as this is THE ONLY POSSIBLE WAY AVATAR COULD HAVE WON SUCH A CATEGORY.
When you look at Star Wars and Jaws specifically, (and when I say Star Wars I obviously mean the original trilogy), what elevates them to timelessness is the human drama. Jaws as a technical achievement is cool and all, but everyone knows the best scene is under the deck with all the guys drinking together, and the reveal about the USS Indianapolis. If you don't care about the man being eaten by the giant mechanical shark, it really does not matter what the visual effect delivers, its all in the set up, the human drama.
In Star Wars you really feel invested in those characters, sure, the visuals were astounding, but unless you care about Luke, Leia, Han, Chewie, even the droids you don't go back to that film just to watch things blow up. You can lop someones hand off and destroy his perception of the world two seconds later, or freeze a guy alive, but none of it matters unless the audience is invested, unless they care about the characters, and at one time, Lucas understood this and thats why I whip out one of the original trilogy DVD's every few months to watch them again and again.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, take the transformers, do you really give a damn about Sam and his tramp? Nope, things go bang, they look impressive as hell, and I would even say you got your nine bucks worth at the theater, but ultimately, its not a film your going to pop in thirty years from now and marvel at it as an achievement just for its technical aspects, because frankly, the only compelling characters in the whole story are the non human ones, and perhaps the Mom and Dad added for comic relief. Watching a film to see things go bang works for the first playback, but unless there is a compelling story, you can't call it timeless.
I have not seen Avatar, but I know Cameron is a filmmaker that "gets it". Take Terminator 2, a film decorated for its technical achievement in visual effects at the time, now about 20 years later T2 is still, every bit as good as the first time you watched it because you care about the Connor's. You want them to survive, its even sad when the smelt Arnold at the end. In other words, visual effects are one thing, but they alone can't make a film "timeless", a great story with human drama and characters that you actually care about is what you return for.
Grimnoc, I saw the film on Sat and I respectfully disagree.
I thought it was brilliant. The visuals and 3D asside, Avatar tells a fantasy story in a way that keeps it connected to modern humanity. Its a hard balance to obtain but they did it. Sure, its not the traditional independently made, over acted, "search for the human condition", kind of film, but why should it be snubbed because its not? Aren't you tired of these self important actors and critics telling you what makes a quality film? The people have spoken on this one, and Avatar is the peoples choice.
Straight up, we got to the end of the film, five weeks after its initial release, packed theater, and people applauded, and it did not feel cheesy that they did, it just felt like genuine appreciation and it was nice to be a part of it. This film connects with the average movie goer, why should it carry any less weight for award because one or two critics think a film about a absurdly handsome middle aged guy who seems to be missing his own life "up in the air" is the more traditional kind of film that "has to be made" and rewarded to compensate for its lack of commercial success.... Don't get me wrong, I enjoy that kind of flim too, but it should not be exclusive to every accolade.
Would we say Peter Jackson did not deserve his Oscar for Return of the King? The first fantasy film ever to win best picture, in the rich history of cinema not once had a fantasy film won prior to that? That to me is where the press and self important critics sometimes miss the mark. There is a wider appeal to cinema than deep character studies, and the "search for the human condition" bullshit. Sometimes an audience just wants to be entertained, and Avatar is one damn entertaining film, while still maintaining some value thematically. I believe Avatar will be worthy of every accolade it earns.
Chip Dapper wrote:
Cliff, I'll agree that a film's value is not determined by the depth at which it explores the human soul, or whatnot. However, the problem I see with Avatar being considered worthy of these awards is that it literally offers us nothing in the way of valuable character interactions, which are essential to any drama. The characters of Avatar are each ripped directly from innumerable action/adventure/epic war films from the last two decades, and as characterizations do about as good a job as cardboard cut-outs.
Now, if the film were nominated for other awards (Best Epic Action Movie, Best Box Office Rankings, Best Unintentional Comedy, Best Mindless Piece of Eye-Candy, as examples) I would certainly not protest. But these "deep character studies" and the "search for the human condition" type of "bullshit," are actually major components of drama as a genre, as drama is inherently a genre which is almost entirely focused upon its characters first, and characters' surroundings only after.
As a side note, Up in the Air actually was a worth-while drama which at no point was preachy, douche-bag-ish, or ham-fisted. Well acted, well directed, and written with at least a bit of creativity behind the author's pen.
There it is, the paradigm for what is worthy of praise has been shaped by past awards shows so much that we might figure the only way an "Epic Action Movie" should be considered is if it gets its own sub genre category. Seriously, no way is it possible that the best epic action movie could also be the best film anyone has seen all year?
Chip Dapper wrote:
By no means am I saying that an Epic Action Movie can't be the best film of the year. It rarely if ever happens, but it is possible. The point I meant to make was that Avatar is not a drama, and the dramatic tid-bits of the film which do exist are lack-luster when compared to a strongly-stated and well-executed drama, ie Up in the Air.
I mean no douche-baggery.
Seriously, no way is it possible that the best epic action movie could also be the best film anyone has seen all year?