I’ve been hiding from most people these days.
Not from the usual retreat into my hermitage as I’m generally wont to do – oh no. I’ve become somewhat of a pariah.
Here’s the thing – I didn’t like Avatar.
Maybe you’ve heard of it? From the man that gave us the 90’s cutting edge Terminator 2, Avatar is James Cameron’s latest technological magnum opus.
I should pause here, in case you haven’t seen the film, and as they say on the Internets: Spoiler Alert!
Is it a pretty movie? Absolutely. This film is the next step in modern 3-D. Admittedly, there is some delight to be had flapping your hands at floating blossoms hovering in an alien landscape.
Plus, when you get down to brass tacks, I’m a sucker for advances in technology. So if the movie studios want to crank out some three dimensions, I’m all for it.
Unfortunately for Mr. Cameron, I judge a film not just on the pretty pictures, but also the storytelling, characters and acting. (I guess I’m a little koo-koo that way.)
All of those qualities were non-existent in Avatar. Plus, the themes explored in Avatar had already been covered very recently. And in a far more thought-provoking and intelligent way at that.
(District 9, anyone?)
The only thing missing to make Avatar, “Fern Gully in space” was a wacky bat.
When I try to explain this to people, I’m on the receiving end of many a hairy eyeball, with exclamations of: “Just enjoy it for what it was!” or “It’s mindless entertainment!” and my personal favourite: “But the CGI is amazing!”
I can only repeat this so many times: “Pretty pictures do not a film make!”
We’ve been suckered down this “latest advancements in computer generated imagery” road before. Allow me to summarize this point in two words: Jar-Jar Binks.
So now, because I have the gall to enjoy film based on all its creative angles, I get pegged as a cynic.
To be perfectly honest, as an audience member — for whatever type of entertainment — I hop into that seat with good expectations. I was the one who made the conscious choice to check that something out. I spent the money. My plan was to be entertained. We’re talking about the best of intentions here – really!
So, if I walk out not liking it, I feel completely fine with bitching about it.
I actually can’t get back the hours I spent watching The Phantom Menace, but I can sure vent my frustrations in lieu of a refund.
This is the fun in consuming any creative work. Art’s inherent subjectivity is what lends to some of the best conversation … or so I’d like to think.
And if it makes any difference to the new James Cameron fans, I will always have a soft spot in my heart for Aliens.
Can I come outside now?