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Monday, December 14, 2009

Why Avatar Will Suck, and Everyone Will See It Anyway

It's coming, and everyone has been waiting for it. The big secret is out. We have a good idea what Avatar is all about, we've got a glimpse of the amazing CGI, and a little taste of all the actors of this soon-to-be blockbuster. Everyone will probably see Avatar, and though it probably won't beat out the big boys in sales, it will still do damn well.

But it's going to suck something awful. Why?

Point One -- Lots of Pretty, But No Substance
Nobody will deny that Avatar takes the cake for pulling out all the stops for its CGI. From the world to the characters, Avatar is showing us everything that CGI has to offer. But there's the problem. Like many other action flicks that do damn well in the box office, but still suck, Avatar is destined to failure. It will be a CGI-laden suckfest that will make Transformers 2 look like the greatest film in the world. Everything is going to be overly saturated with computer-animated characters and landscapes and whatever story is supposed to be there will get lost under the endless waves of action and flashy bits. Look at Transformers 2 and tell me that movie had a consistent and coherent plot; it was one CGI orgy after another, and no matter how amazing it looked, it couldn't make up for what was missing: the substance (characters, story, etc.). Avatar has already fallen into this modern film-making trap by having one of the biggest budgets for a mainstream film in history.

Point Two -- There's Nothing Let to See, and We've Seen It Before
Have you seen the trailer? If you have, then tell me what is the point in seeing the movie? The trailer has pretty much told us everything we need to know: mankind has figured out how to go to this other planet (where is irrelevant, so whether it's in another star system or in an alternate universe doesn't need to be said) and they're selling off land like hotcakes. The only problem is that the weird-looking natives are messing with the evil corporation's plans. In comes muscular, wood-faced man who is magically turned into one of the alien critters and sent out to get info and make sure the evil corporation can get what it wants. But, oh no, he realizes he's not supposed to do that and must help the natives instead, because they're all nice and he has a human heart, and other things we've seen a dozen times before in films that didn't need such high budgets to get the job done (Christ, Disney has done at least four or five of these). That's all in the trailer. And because we know the good guy is going to win, there's no point seeing the movie. We've seen the good bits, we know what's going to happen, and whatever surprises were left are, more or less, meaningless (likely because there won't be any).
Point Three -- Wood People
If you've seen the trailer, then you have a good idea how one-dimensional the characters already are and the level of wooden acting we're expected to see. It all feels like a really contrived, cardboard-flavored action movie that will have little to say about its genre or its plot. The dialogue is stiff, the facial expresses look too obviously acted out, and the only thing covering up what will doom this movie to being remembered only for how much money it pulls in are the pretty bits that flutter about in the trailer. Blue people and pretty landscapes! Yippee! You have to hand it to the marketing people for making sure this one doesn't easily expose itself to the public for what it most likely is: crap.

But, despite all that, I'll probably see it anyway. Why? Because Hollywood is an infectious virus that slowly consumes your soul. You can fight it and be that weird guy who never goes to the movies, or be eaten alive while being injected with dizzy, drug-like contentment. It's inevitable: see it or explode.

What do you think? Will Avatar be good or bad?

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  1. I've been more than inclined to agree with you, but the review that compared seeing Avatar to seeing Star Wars for the first time has made me open my mind a bit. But I mostly still think it will be really terrible. Plus: jim cameron, wtf where's bill paxton?

  2. Comparing the experience one has had to seeing a movie in the 70s to seeing a movie now does not bode well. By modern standards, Star Wars is hardly the amazing flick it was when it first came out. Still amazing, but it wouldn't get the play it did then today precisely because the market has changed.

    That, and if his comparisons are way off the mark, I'll be pissed off. Comparing Avatar to Star Wars is like comparing the impact of Star Wars to the impact of the first movie ever made...totally not the same...

    But I'll still likely see it...

  3. I'm looking forward to it. Visually it looks amazing -- except for the blue aliens. I wish they weren't blue.

    -- Nick
    from City of Kik

  4. Well, it was either blue or green. I suspect they'll try to make their blueness logical in the film (something to do with the locale or some such).

  5. Anonymous8:15 AM

    Why Avatar will not suck, why we'll go see it. KIDS!! Stop all this b-s pseudo-intellectual babble and become kids again.
    According to Perry, Jim should have had Bill Paxton. Why? What has he done lately or in the pasr few years? BOMBED OUT long ago, BABY!
    Judge a movie by not comparing it!
    I love taking the whole family to see a movie we can all watch. It's nearly Christmas, the season for a big blockbuster. We're going to see it in 3-D too. My kids are gonna love it. They're ages range from 8 to 42!

    Super-Daddy does it large! Not just the family. I've 10 kids amd 5 grandkids. We'll even go to an illegal rave for New Year. Suck on that, baby-babble pseudo.... Scrub all that! You've lost your mojo. Go find it! That's an order!!

  6. Anonymous: It's not pseudo-intellectual babble, for one. Avatar will likely be terrible. That's just the way it is. I want good movies, not crap. Sorry, but I've grown up and what works for kids these days doesn't work for me. At least when Star Wars came out, it had a coherent plot, with memorable characters, and emotion and all that is great about good movies. Avatar? It'll lack so much of what it is that makes a good movie.

    That said, your comment is mostly incomprehensible. If becoming a kid means I have to use phrases like "bombed out" or "baby" or "suck on that, baby-babble pseudo," then you can count me out.

  7. Rich character development and a coherent plot don't make a blockbuster: explosions and oneliners are what we -- the viewing public -- need.

    Jeesh! get with the program!

  8. Jeff: Which is why I said that everyone will see it anyway. But in 10 years, most people won't remember the movies from 2009 except as blank footnotes.

  9. Who wants a James Cameron movie without Bill Paxton? Not I!
    If avatar is as good and true lies and had paxton, you would not hear complaints from me!

  10. Perry: Paxton is a lot of fun, that's for sure. Do you have a particular favorite Paxton flick?

  11. A simple plan, twister, apollo 13, TRUE LIES, weird science, and his awesome directorial starring moment of 80s alternative music: fish heads.

  12. Oh, okay. Apollo 13 was good. He was also in Aliens :).

  13. Your first point is flawed. You cannot compare a Michael Bay movie to a James Cameron movie. Cameron's worst movie is far better than Bay's best.

    Your second point is very valid, but it's how movies are marketed today. It is a problem, but a studio problem that should not speak poorly of a film.

    Your third point is a 50/50 assumption. Again, it's James Cameron. He's not one of the best directors, but he is good, and his movies do have dynamic characters, and does get his actors to act.

    I'm going to go see it because it is the closest thing to an original idea there is in this genre. (Sci-fi / action)

  14. Pip: Which proves my point. It doesn't matter if it're still going to see it :P.

    That said, I don't think Cameron is that great. Titanic also sucked. The only thing good about Titanic were the special effects. Everything else was just over-dramatized nonsense.

  15. Pretty and lacking substance, you say this as though it's a bad thing?
    What I want in my movies - lot's of shiny not too much on the thinking. This just got bumped up the to see list. ;)

  16. someone out there has c ome to their senses!

  17. Hagelrat: I have no problem with shiny just as long as it makes sense and isn't half-assed. I want there to be a clear, consistent, moving plot, and good characters. I'm not saying Avatar has to be this decade's thinking man movie, just that it should be something more than a bunch of expensive CG skits.

    Perry: Hollywood hasn't come to its senses in at least a decade...

  18. Anonymous1:05 PM

    Couldn't agree more. Although I won't go see it. CGI and craptastic plot makes for zero interest.

  19. I hear you, friend.

  20. I have the good fortune of having seen it in 3D already (I'm 20 and took my little siblings for christmas). To be honest, it is brilliant. It's like you get transported to another galaxy. The storyline is good but not fantastic, a little more character development would have been nice. The 3d effects are phenomenal though, absolutely breathtaking. IMDB is already rating it as the 24th best movie of all time, 2 places in front of the matrix. Go see it, open your mind and find out for yourself. You can't win a martial arts game by just reading books.

  21. Richard: The problem is that for me, visuals don't make a movie. They enhance a movie, and can certainly ruin a movie, but if there isn't a good story and well-developed characters, it's just a CG orgy to me, and I don't want to pay money to see a tech demonstration. That said, I'll probably still see it, but it likely won't get a favorable review from me.

    Plus, I hate 3D. It's the stupidest damn thing to come to the movies in a long time. It's a gimmick.