Sunday, January 17, 2010

Avatar and no end

I was foolish enough to enter a discussion about the movie “Avatar” in my favourite forum. I have decided to drop out of it now – because especially one of the others who participate in it doesn’t seem to understand that it’s a difference between saying a movie has a weak story and lots of CGI and saying ‘CGI is evil’ as a rule.

I do like CGI and am fascinated by the many options for filmmakers. But I don’t like a movie that neglects the story for other factors (not just CGI, but also lots of mindless action sequences or famous actors). That’s my point of view which doesn’t seem to get through to this other fellow.

What I don’t like is hyping a movie with a weak, transparent story. It will lead to more movies of that kind – that’s what the past tells us. “Avatar” is such a case. It does have great graphics and overwhelming effects. But the story is obvious and transparent and the message is ancient as humanity. It is, basically, “Pocahontas” with lots of technology and without the good music from the Disney movie:

I do understand why some people might think it’s great. At a first look, the movie is interesting. There’s really a lot of effects and the story seems political. But what’s political about a message we’ve had over and over again in the past? ‘It’s wrong to fight a war against a seemingly weaker society for resources’ – especially when they could probably be obtained from other places, too. But that has happened oodles of times in the past. It was, perhaps, done to the Neanderthals. It surely was done to the Indians in America. It was done over and over again by European empires in Africa and South America. That doesn’t make it right, but it doesn’t make a great and novel message for mankind, either.

The characters a one-dimensional, too. They fit with stereotypes and nothing they do is really surprising. The soldier who was turned into one of the aliens decides to fight for his ‘new’ world? Shocking, we’ve never seen that before. The ‘chieftain’s’ daughter falls for the stranger, even though her parents are against it, and helps him? I’ve never heard of that happening in the past. The seemingly weaker people win the war in the end? Has never happened before, has it? (Ewoks? I know no Ewoks…)

Still, as far as I am concerned, the discussion is over. I won’t enter into it again, I’ve got better things to write about. Check “Writer’s Blog” for a post about the “Royal Doll Orchestra” and Zombie-dolls.

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