Tuesday, December 29, 2009

James Cameron’s Avatar | The Most Original Movie With The Least Original Story

The motion picture Avatar was such an enormously plugged movie that you might think after it you might as well die and save yourself the disappointment of watching any other films/sunsets/your fist child being born, because nothing will compare to the singular visual experience that is Avatar. Well, no. What this movie is though is among the best of 09’ and by far the most original… in a way. You see, so many freaking movies these days are based on other – that is financially proven, stories whether it be a comic book or TV series. The only way you can get a movie made these days is if you have some help from Marvel or Gene Rodenberry. That is what makes Avatar a pure and original film, it went from James Cameron’s brain to the big screen, plus a few decades in between, but for all intents and purposes THE FILM is original. On the other hand though, the story is very familiar. The movie plays out much like Dances With Wolves, lest Kevin Costner. Not to mention in Dances With Wolves, the back drop as beautiful as it was, can not compare to the magical world of Pandora. Every thing in this world is new, or a slight variation on what we have on Earth, most of the beasts of burden on Pandora are six legged, or dragons. The thing which makes the planet interesting to experience is its unpredictability. So much though has gone into the interactions of characters and the surrounding plants and animals, it is astonishing to watch on its own. The fact is anything on Pandora is more interesting than anything on Earth, in terms of visual aesthetics.
The Art of Avatar: James Cameron's Epic Adventure

The Na'vi are the race of humanoids that live on Pandora. They look like a mixture of cats and people, if they had the skin of blue dolphin. The weird thing is they are kind of sexy in a beastiality kind of way. They have large eyes, small wastes and are 10 feet tall. It’s important to note that this description is the same as that of a supermodel and don’t think Cameron did know that. The wonderful thing about this new technique used to make this film allows you to forget that you are watching manufactured images. Cameron used head mounted cameras to capture the expressions of the actors while they played out each scene, really bringing to life the digitally rendered avatars. You can really see emotion in the facial expressions and most importantly the intensity of the eyes. The connection the Na’vi have with nature doesn’t seem to get preachy either. The eco-fighter undertones of the story are superfluous. The go green or good home mentality is more of a story mover than a weepy ballad for the Greenpeace type. The film may be set on the distant moon of Pandora but the story is as earthbound as the come. It’s the classic story of boy occupy’s the mind of an alien avatar (body), and then meets alien girl who he then falls in love with… the oldest story in the book. In all seriousness though, the story as simple as it is allows for the world in which it is told, to tell a story of its own. So, in actuality the film shares its time telling a story of adventure and romance while allowing the audience to experience the other, grander overall story with is the world of Pandora.

What of the 3D? Well, as impressive a feet Avatar is, the 3D element is hardly a key part of the experience. Having spent the extra coin to see the film in 3D I can say that after the hour it takes for your eyes to adjust to the effect it goes mostly unnoticed aside from a few exceptional sense where the barrel of a gun seems to leave the screen entirely and during a scene where the ash and embers which rain from the sky seem to be peppering in rest of the theater. However, all of the hype surrounding the films release in 3D seems to have just been a ploy to get asses in the seats. If anything the avid moviegoer should be exited about seeing Avatar in theater in an IMAX or digital HD theater, so they can see every detail of the world so carefully created by Cameron. It looks unlike anything you have seen on the big screen before.

Most importantly, Avatar has one of the greatest action sequences of recent years. Dragons versus Helicopter Gunships… need I say more.

Well do I? Leave a Comment!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Top 20 Best Movies Of The Decade

There Will Be Blood1. There Will Be Blood

No Country for Old Men [Blu-ray]2. No Country for Old Men

A History of Violence [Blu-ray]3. A History of Violence

District 9 [Blu-ray]4. District 9

Lost in Translation5. Lost In Translation

Donnie Darko [Blu-ray]6. Donnie Darko

High Fidelity
7. High Fidelity

The Dark Knight (Widescreen Single-Disc Edition)8. The Dark Knight

Kill Bill - Volume One [Blu-ray]
9. Kill Bill

Star Trek (Single-Disc Edition)10. Star Trek

X2: X-Men United [Blu-ray]11. X-2

Gladiator (Sapphire Series) [Blu-ray]12. Gladiator

Black Hawk Down [Blu-ray]
13. Blackhawk Down

The Bourne Identity (Widescreen Extended Edition)
14. Bourne Identity

Superbad (2-Disc Unrated Extended Edition) [Blu-ray]
15. Superbad

Half Nelson
16. Half Nelson

Thank You for Smoking (Full Screen Edition)
17. Thank You for Smoking

18. Sunshine

Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind (Widescreen Edition)19. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

300 [Blu-ray]
20. 300

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Brittany Murphy Dies At 32

It was recently announced that actress Brittany Murphy has died from a cardiac arrest at age 32. People can speculate as to why this happened, but as it stands it seems she has died from cardiac arrest. Brittany was reported to have been fired from her last film project and on account of that had been the but end of many late night talk show hosts since then. It is a shame that she passed away, especially around the Holiday season. Condolences all around to her family, friends and fans.

Her Most Memorable Films Were:
Cherry Falls
Just Married
Don't Say A Word
Boys Don't Cry
Sin City

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

2012 Is 2 Hours & A Half Long, And I Mean Long.

I don't want to ruin anything for the lucky people that haven’t seen 2012, but in it, there are not one, not two, but three sequences where the same group of people escape via a plan while the ground is crumbling away beneath them. THREE TIMES! I guess the film makers really liked the idea of people escaping from the earth swallowing them whole as their plan barely makes it off of the run way. The first time it happens in the film it is kind of interesting to look at the second time it was just kind of weird since they just did the same thing not 20 minutes earlier in the film. It was the third time that really struck me as lazy and almost insulting as a person watching the film. Sure the special effects are good but they are not so good that you would want to see the same one three times in a row. 2012 makes Armageddon look like a masterpiece. Nuff said.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Best Dark Christmas Movies

1. Gremlins

A man given a mysterious creature decides to give it to his son for Christmas, but it comes with instructions that must be abided to avoid disaster. A light horror movie that’s more funny than scary, especially now, Gremlins makes a very unorthodox Christmas movie as it features little monsters rampaging a town and killing a guy in a Santa costume.

2. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

A thief accidentally enters an audition for a movie while escaping the police and gets the part, so he is taken to Hollywood to learn his role from a detective, but when he stumbles on a murder, he and his detective buddy must solve it and avoid getting killed. Robert Downey Jr. and Val Kilmer star in this twisted film noir.

3. Die Hard

A New York Police officer visiting his wife at her Christmas office party must fight some so called Russian (or German?) terrorists when they take everyone at the party hostage. It’s Bruce Willis as John Mclain in the best action movie set on Christmas… ever. Obviously, this had to be mentioned. It’s already a staple of Christmas.

4. In Bruges

Two assassins hold up in Bruges after a job during the Christmas season. This is the latest and greatest one to come out, and it’s a bit of an indie movie, so not many people watch it. Colin Ferrell does not do a lot of great movies, and his performances have never been that good, but this is his best performance and best movie. He plays this moronic assassin dealing with a botched hit, and has an odd interest in midgets. It’s surprisingly good, dark, funny, and almost light-hearted in its own demented way.

5. Diner

A group of guys who have a tradition of meeting at their local diner to escape life sort out their issues on Christmas. Mickey Rourke is great in this movie and pulls one of the most iconic movie theatre moves in history.

6. The Ice Harvest

A mob lawyer and his friend are stuck during an ice storm on Christmas after stealing money from mobsters. Very dark movie starring John Cusack and Billy Bob Thorton. This one really does show a darker side to the season with its backwards Christmas in strip clubs followed by multiple bloody murders.

7. The Nightmare Before Christmas

An otherworldly person learns of the real world and Santa Claus and decides to take his place to wreak havoc on the world.

8. Batman Returns

Batman fights cat woman and penguin during Christmas and new years. This is the only superhero movie set during Christmas, and just so happens to be made by Tim Burton. There is a pattern here. He has made two movies that mix the Christmas theme with the dark, sort of Halloween, theme. Either he has a problem with Christmas or he likes the artistic juxtapose of the light and dark.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Twilight Saga: New Moon | Two hours of Nothing

While sitting through the two hours of the new Twilight movie you may find yourself asking this question to yourself: what the fuck is happening in this movie? In comparison to the overly silly first installment of this vampire film, the second will leave you longing for something to make fun of… wait scratch that, there were all of those bad jokes ranging from the retarded (yes retarded) ones about the Bella’s character being a Cougar, to the more apt yet still unfunny one about the vampire Edward being a cradle robber, since he is actually an old man, think pervy old man neighbor from Family Guy (mmmm). A perverted old man in a teenager’s body I can buy but not the one about Bella as a Cougar even in comparison to a teen wolf two years her junior.
The thing about this movie is that there is hardly any story to fill the two hours of the film’s run time. You can summarize the whole story in so many sentences. Vampire dude leaves Bella because it is not safe for her to be around vampires. Bella goes into an overly dramatic and over extended breakup pangs only to find a new man friend in the mechanically inclined teen wolf. The whole wolf boy thing is just a phase that Bella is going through and after an extended period of time she just gets back together with her vampire. When you hear about a movie about vampires and where wolves, you don’t expect those title points to be such a side note. The main event of the film consists of people gazing longingly and wolf man pecks. It’s pure school girl fantasy and an unhealthy fantasy at that; who cheers for a teenaged girl getting back together with an old man? It does not even seem like a movie, more like a collection chapters taken from Harlequin romance novels, out of sequence and painfully boring. Perhaps you need to be a lonely pail skinned teenaged girl to enjoy this movie. For the rest of us this it’s as good as an Ambient.