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I wonder if George Lucas went into Avatar thinking, “Heh, I’ll see Jimmy Cameron’s new movie. I’m sure it’ll be good for a laugh, but we ALL know who the reigning champ of 100% wooden digital characters is.” Oh, Georgie Georgie Georgie, you fat necked lummox. If Cameron can create CG characters with realistic human emotions and less than ridiculous accents, then why can’t you? Maybe he’ll teach a class at a community college next year and you can enroll. The funny thing is that Cameron waited nearly 12 years until technology caught up with his vision, so Avatar could look the way he saw it in his head. Lucas, on the other hand, made 2 awesome movies (and a third crappy one), then waited 20 years until technology caught up to his vision to digitally ruin them with pointless bullshit.
I’m trying to save my full on Avatar review for the next HE Podcast, but let’s just say I was thoroughly entertained and impressed. [UPDATE! The Podcast is posted and we talk about Avatar for nearly half the show.] A lot of people are complaining that the story and writing take a back seat to the visuals, but else do you expect? James Cameron already used three of the dimensions making the movie beautiful, so of course there’s only one dimension left for everything else. Seriously, if you leave that movie and find yourself complaining rather than drooling for more you might as well sign up for the junior executive program at FOX because your heart has probably been replaced by a hate-filled pineapple.
I could very easily rant for pages and pages about how visually stunning the 3D was, how lifelike the motion captured performances were or how engrossed I was in the fictional world that Jame Cameron created but I’d rather just say this: the reason I know Avatar was well deserving of my (and your) entertainment time and money was that I left the theater asking questions. What are the far reaching implications of this characters actions? How will the final outcome affect Earth? How will it affect those already in transit to the planet (since it’s a 6 year ride)? Are there other inhabited worlds? Was the end really THE END? The list goes on and on. I don’t often find my curiosity so peaked over fiction without substance. Take from that what you will, but at least ignore the hype and approach Avatar with an open (if not childlike) mind.