Monday, September 6th, 2010

We watched Avatar Saturday night and, not surprisingly, it wasn’t anywhere near as good as everyone said it was going to be, and by “everyone” I mean every single person I’ve spoken to, in conversation or casually, while riding in an elevator or just filling up at the gas station, or even when greeting people while passing in the hallway. Really, it happened.

“Good morning!”

“It certainly is, after I finally got to see Avatar last night at the 3-D Imax theater! Finally, a movie that completely fills all the promises that film held since the medium was conceived a hundred thirty years ago! Now I can stop spending one-third of my disposable income on the ever-increasing cost of going to the movie mega-plex, because surely nothing can top that!”

Maybe it never happened exactly that way, but close enough.

There’s no way this movie could’ve lived up to the hype I heard when it was released in the theaters unless I’d managed to see it on a big screen in 3-D on the day it opened. It’s no small wonder I wasn’t as impressed as practically every other movie-watching person on the face of the earth. But even taking that into consideration – and please don’t go postal on me for this, okay? – What I saw was Dances With Wolves made into a 3-D cartoon action film. Is it too soon to say that? Maybe I should’ve waited.

But seriously, which movie does this summary describe: A soldier, wounded in the legs, no less, gets posted in a remote camp on the frontiers of his civilization, meets some of the locals and decides he likes hanging with them more than doing his military duties. He gets the princess to teach him their ways and, surprise, they fall in love. Everything is just hunky-dory at that point, but then the cavalry shows up in the third reel to remove the tribes and take over the land, and the solider fights back alongside the natives. Is this movie a) Avatar, b) Dances With Wolves, or c) both A and B? No points for guessing either of the first two.

I’m not saying it was a bad movie, just not very original. And as revolutionary as the technology that animated the characters was supposed to be, it still looked like a cartoon to me. I like cartoons, I even liked this one, but I don’t see what made this the greatest cartoon of all time.

Avatar | 9:29 pm CST
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