magicalmartha: (I reject your captaincy)
[personal profile] magicalmartha
I liked it, I really did.  I just...didn't love it.  After a whole lot of thought, I've decided that stunning visuals (and it really was stunning - I was blown away by how the film looked) can't make up for poor direction and bad acting.

I thought the story was ok - it was a familiar story that's been told to me better in older things.  I was basically watching Dune with better graphics ad more stuff to ride.  The predictability didn't really bother me, since the whole thing was so obviously a morality play.  The ending was more severe than I was expecting; ejecting the whole human race from Pandora made sense story-wise, but it was a "whoa" moment.  I was only actually disappointed by a couple things: when Sully leaps onto the giant tiger-bird, I wanted to see the dominance battle.  I mean, it's this huge deal and only five people have ever done it, and all I get is an abrupt fade-to-black?  Lame.  I also wanted the planet to get into the fight sooner.  I spent the whole first half of the movie hearing about how badass Pandora is, and how everything on it wants to kill you and eat you and possibly wear your skin, and it takes literally the eleventh hour to get their butts into gear.  I'm just saying that I wanted more to convince me that the habitat was dangerous than one mob scene (Sully vs. Lizard-dogs).

The acting blew nearly across the board.  The one huge exception to this was Zoe Saldana, who I thought was fabulous.  She was the only character who had depth, who was more interesting than just "oh that blue chick."  The way she owned the animalistic behaviors, and when she was keening over the Chief's dead body - she really threw herself into the personality and it showed.  Sam Worthington was much more interesting (and, ironically, did a better acting job) as his avatar then as the marine.  Sigourney Weaver was half-hearted at best, which was sad because I KNOW she's a better actress then that

In general, the scenes with the Na'vi were universally more interesting than anything with humans in it.  The first hour or so of the film I wasn't really invested - it wasn't until the audience got to spend more time with the Na'vi in the forest that I really got into it.  I found the main conceit of the movie, the whole interconnectedness of the planet and all its creatures, to be minorly trite but easy to take in a stride, especially because some really cool stuff depends on it to make any sense at all (I thought the Tree of Souls and the Tree of Voices were AWESOME and lovely).  I didn't give two shits about Giovanni Ribisi or the Bad Cop Marine, outside of their Two-Dimensional-Villain character status. 

In summary, it's worth seeing on the big screen, but I don't think this is going to revolutionize science fiction film.  I thought Star Trek and District 9 were both better films by far, and frankly I'm a little annoyed that the general consensus is that Avatar's existence is going to knock both of those films out of the Oscar race, and lord knows I'm a big proponent of summer films getting recognition.  But I guess we'll see.

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