Monday, December 21, 2009

Almost At the End of 2009

It's almost Christmas, which means it's almost New Year's, which means everybody and their mom putting up end-of-year lists. Of course I can't miss out on that, so my annual lists for movies and music should be up soon, perhaps in a week or so. I'm still trying to get through some movies left on the must see list (located to the rightside of this blog) before I finalize the top 10.

One interesting little twist to the end of 2009 is that, since it's the end of the decade, the Internet is filling up with best-of-the-decade lists as well. I would love to get in on that. I really would. But the thought of it makes my brain hurt. I can't even remember what I liked in 2005, let alone the whole decade. So no decade list from me. Cue the smallest violin in the world.

Saw AVATAR over the weekend, in 3D, but not in IMAX. I was impressed with the visuals, I mean, it cost over $200 million (reportedly, the rumors say it's actually lot more than that) so it better be damn good to look at. The 3D was used well, not in a over-the-top-bullet-coming-straight-at-you sort of way, but in a more subtle fashion, giving the things on the screen more depth and dimension. The story is cliché and predictable. The characters aren't very interesting, especially the main guy, Jake Sully, who was very bland, but I think that may have been intentional. The movie has been described as DANCES WITH WOLVES in space, and it's kinda accurate. Diana said it's like FERNGULLY; I haven't seen it so I can't say I agree with her, but she's probably right. So when you take away the visuals and the 3D technology behind the movie, what's left? In my opinion, not much. I think in about 5 years when other filmmakers catch up on the technology and 3D becomes more widely used, AVATAR won't be remembered too fondly.

Mr. Cameron, please start hiring writers. I know you're a perfectionist and you like to be in control of everything (believe me, I can relate), but maybe you should think about getting some talented writers (they're out there, I think) to put all of your awesome ideas into something... less cliché, less predictable, less cringe-worthy ("I'm the king of the world", really?)... I mean I'm still trying to wrap my head around how Kyle Reese is John Connor's father (time travel plots do that to me, generally). You're a visual artist and your attention to detail is admirable, so please keep that going behind the director's chair, and let the writers do their job. Thank you.


- jaded film geek wishing he had a fraction of your talent

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