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“Avatar” Falls Far Short of Expectations

"Avatar" brings the imagined world of Pandora to life with stunning visual effects

"Avatar" brings the imagined world of Pandora to life with stunning visual effects

Last night, instead of checking out George Clooney in “Up in the Air,” I sat down in my local movie theater to see “Avatar.” Probably the most anticipated movie of the winter season, “Avatar” is the brain child of “Titanic” director James Cameron. Though the movie was advertised to death, “Avatar’s” plot was never revealed in the trailers. Instead, they focused on the cinematography and action scenes. Those were the only parts of the movie that were even remotely¬†interesting.

Over the first half of the movie, I lost interest very quickly. A combination of bad acting and terrible writing gave the movie dull vibe. Combined with a cast of unknown actors, there is almost no reason to continue watching as you pass the midway point. The unoriginal story line also contributes to this movies demise. Think “Matrix” meets capitalism, as the blue creatures in the story (called Na’vi) inhibit a planet that happens to be rich in minerals.

The greedy humans invade the planet in order mine it and make extreme amounts of money. With this weak and overdone story line there isn’t much saving “Avatar.” The only thing that helped this movie was the visual element. Cameron does an amazing job creating the world of Pandora with almost all visual effects. Very little in the movie is real, and was created entirely on computers. Towards the end, the final action sequence is also a solid bit of movie making.

Taking away the amazing visual aspect and action scenes, the movie is drawn out, boring and without a direction. If I had $10 to spend on a movie this holiday season, I would put it towards almost any other movie. Don’t waste your money, or three hours of your time seeing “Avatar.”

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5 Legacy Comments

  • Comment by Don C posted December 20, 2009 at 23:13

    Ill give you the fact that some of the dialogue was cheesy but bad acting and a cast of unknowns? c’mon. Sigourney Weaver, Giovanni Ribisi, Michelle Rodriguez are unknowns? Did you want to see Brad Bitt as Jake Sully? Because he couldn’t have made his legs that skinny.

    Unless you were watching the trailers on the Disney channel or on mute you should have caught the gist of the plot (which was no home run, but certainly solid).

  • Comment by thxcertified posted December 20, 2009 at 23:56

    ah! what are you talking about?! I couldn’t disagree more. First of all the cast has Academy award winning actress Sigourney Weaver as well as Lost star Michelle Rodriguez. As for the other actors, it’s refreshing to see some new talent on a major studio picture such as this one. Second of all this movie is phenomenal just based on the man power that went into it alone! James Cameron literally created new technology just for this movie, including a revolutionary and cutting edge new way to capture an actors detailed raw emotion, transferring it to digital seamlessly, and all without ever leaving a soundstage. The story was mediocre, I agree, but the creativity, artistic direction, and depth of the world that went into this movie makes up for any slow storyline.

    Honestly, I think you should stick to writing about music, and leave the the movies to the movie critics and people who know what they’re talking about.

  • Comment by Harris posted December 21, 2009 at 09:19

    I’ve been writing about movies almost as long as I’ve been writing about music. I don’t think that massive technological breakthroughs qualifies a movie as being great. Don’t get me wrong, I respect Cameron for all the work he did in this movie but by no means does that make it great.

    My comments about the cast were probably taken out of context. What I meant by that statement was that you couldn’t sink your teeth into any of the characters. For example, “Invictus” was good simply because of two great performances by two great actors. This movie lacked that feel.

    Finally, both comments above admit to some degree that the acting and plot were mediocre. That was my biggest issue. I didn’t hate it the movie, it just didn’t live up to the hype.

  • Comment by Jeremy posted December 21, 2009 at 09:46

    “Oz” in the late ’30s. “2001″ in the ’60s. “Star Wars” in the ’70s. “Avatar,” the future. If every filmmaker shot in 3D the way Cameron does from now on, it will revitalize moviegoing.

    I disagree with your statement that the acting was “mediocre.” Zoe Saldana, who plays the lead Na’vi character, whom you never see in human flesh, is one of the most amazing achievements in acting, because it’s so convincing. I would love to see Saldana be nominated for best actress, because of that. It won’t happen, because the Academy hates animation.

  • Comment by Greg posted December 21, 2009 at 19:01

    I thought that the dialogue was appropriate for each role given, if you take into consideration what the character was supposed to be then it was a great script. The acting i feel was also spot on in regards to the characters, the only one that was a tad bit off was giovanni ribisi, i felt he was trying to sell his character too much.
    The viewed the first half of the movie different than most, i saw it is a documentary into pandora and with that mind set it flew by. The only thing i will admit was that it was a wee bit predictable, but then again i wasnt expecting m.night so i was fine with it.