Jan. 18th, 2010 11:01 pm
williamjm: (Default)
[personal profile] williamjm
Somewhat belatedly I went to see Avatar at the cinema yesterday. I'd been meaning to see it for a while, since many people had said they were at least partially impressed by it, but various things (mostly weather-related) meant I hadn't been able to go see it until yesterday. There was an extra unanticipated delay as the tickets for the 5 o'clock showing were sold out (a bit unusual for a film that's been out for 5 weeks, which may be an indication of how popular it is) so we bought tickets for the 7:30 showing and went back to the cinema then.

I thought the film was visually stunning, whilst the CGI bits weren't perfect all the time at their best they were excellent with some spectacular alien scenery. James Cameron obviously hasn't forgotten how to direct a good action scene, there aren't exactly a shortage of CGI-heavy action scenes in recent films but the best scenes in Avatar put most other recent efforts to shame. The 3D effects were impressive as well (although having to wear the polarised glasses over my own glasses was a little bit uncomfortable as it kept feeling as if they were about to fall off), I hadn't seen a film in 3D before but I was impressed with it, although I'm not sure if the format will be quite so beneficial for films without quite as much eye candy as Avatar (and no matter how many dimensions they used the trailer they showed for Piranha 3D would still look abominable). I thought it was good that the 3D wasn't really used in a gimmicky way, there wasn't much in the way of stuff really coming out of the screen, there was nothing like the pre-film chocolate advert with the giant wooden head that zoomed out into (apparently) the middle of the cinema.

The film has had quite a bit of criticism for the cliched and predictable plotting, I certainly wouldn't argue that it wasn't cliched, but I mostly expect that from special effects-heavy Hollywood blockbusters so I didn't really mind that aspect of it. What I did think was a bit disappointing was the execution of some of the plot, just because something is cliched and familiar doesn't mean it can't be done well, for most of the film I thought the script was fairly reasonable but towards the end some of the non-exploding bits of the film seemed a bit rushed as what should have been big dramatic moments in the main character's story arc were dealt with very quickly. The bit where all the Na'vi start dancing to pray to Enya Eywa was extremely cheesy as well.

Overall, it was far from being a perfect film but certainly a very enjoyable one.

On a vaguely related note, I saw a trailer for Clash of the Titans which left me wondering a couple of things, whether Sam Worthington now has to be in every single blockbuster (probably an improvement on the situation a few years ago of Orlando Bloom being in every blockbuster) and whether the scene at the end of the trailer with Liam Neeson as a Greek God roaring "Unleash the Kraken" followed by the appearance of an absolutely massive CGI kraken is possibly even more over-the-top than the end of the recent A-Team trailer with the tank emerging from a blown-up cargo plane and trying to shoot down jetplanes while falling through the air on parachutes?
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