Saturday, March 6, 2010

Oh, Avatar...

I may be the last person in America to do so, but this weekend, I finally saw Avatar. While I admit, it was not horrible, if they announce it as Best Picture Sunday, I'll be scratching my head.

For the most part, the movie was very visually dynamic and stunning, but most of the special effect shots made me feel like James Cameron had a new toy he wanted to show off and/or play with. That's evident in the fact that the movie is about an hour too long, a number I got from Disney having told this story 15 years ago in 90 minutes.

This brings me to my problems, the first of which being the lack of original story. Someone in old Hollywood once said that there are only 7 storylines, but at least they usually change enough that I don't blatantly notice I'm watching the same thing (c'mon Mr. Cameron-a tree where you can speak to your ancestors? Just go ahead and name it Grandmother Willow).

The second of my problems is that people are claiming these effects to be ground-breaking, when in reality, WETA and ILM, who collaborated on the effects in the film, simply recycled things they had already used before. Motion-capture animation? WETA debuted that flawlessly 6 years ago in “The Lord of the Rings.” Completely CGI backgrounds and digital worlds? ILM did that for George Lucas 5 years ago in “Star Wars III.”

If Avatar is the wave of the future, which we will be told by whether or not The Academy embraces it Sunday night, Hollywood won’t be happy and I will worry about the movies of the future. I have never heard an actor talk about enjoying working entirely in front of blue/green screens (they actually find it incredibly annoying). If this becomes the norm, you won't have to act, because you'll have an Avatar that can do it for you. I don't literally mean a blue alien, but some sort of corresponding CGI character that looks like an actor and all they have to do is provide a voice.

There will be no more character acting, no more chemistry, no more reality to movies. In reality, you won't even have to act, because a computer will help you out (a reason why animated films never became a norm). As someone who loves movies, that's a scary proposition.

No comments:

Post a Comment