Friday Recommends, movies

Friday Recommends With Mixed Feelings: Avatar

I will rain 3-D down on you like Colonel Quaritch dropping bombs on Hometree.


James Cameron knows how to make movies. Aliens, Terminator (and T2), even True Lies — these are flicks we will stop doing whatever it is we’re doing and watch if we flip past them on a Sunday afternoon.

Avatar is not such a film. We will probably never watch it again. And yet we absolutely do not regret seeing it once.

That said, we would advise you to see it if and only if you’re willing to plunk down the extra change required for a 3-D and/or IMAX experience. Otherwise, go rent some combination of the following movies — Aliens (get Terminator and Titanic while you’re at it), FernGully, Pocahontas, Dances With Wolves, The New World, Apocalypto and Surrogates — then imagine genetically enhanced members of the Blue Man Group in place of the regular actors. You’ll have pretty much the same experience.

James Cameron: No other filmmaker today will make you temporarily forget you’re watching ten foot tall cat people embrace inner peace by resorting to vengeful and bloodthirsty tribal warfare. We guess he’ll be happy with that on his tombstone.


11 thoughts on “Friday Recommends With Mixed Feelings: Avatar

  1. You forgot the battle of Endor. Come on champ! Replace AT-STs with mechs and ewoks with the blue man group and it’s the same climax as Jedi.

    If after ten minutes you do not want to leave (the coolness of what they can do wears off that fast) and if you do not verbally abuse that tender-hearted soul sitting next to you continually through this movie about how terrible it is then you obviously are watching a different movie than I did. Cause that shit was terrible – it’s up there with Howard the Duck.

    1. I get that you didn’t like Avatar, but you lost me with the Howard the Duck comment.

      Waitaminute…are you saying Howard the Duck is Bad?

  2. have you seen district 9? its like a grittier version of avatar (in the sense that you have a military force wanting to move aliens off their land for resources) if you can get past the grotesque gun battles, thick afrikaaner acents, and the white guilt.

  3. John Gilkes, ladies and gentlemen!

    We have not seen District 9 yet, though it’s high on our list. I’m sure I’ll like it more than Avatar.

  4. District 9 on the other hand would be at the top of the best movies I saw last year – compare the two costs of District 9 ($30 m) and Avatar ($250 m) – Avatar may look cool but District 9 looks better and it cost a hell of a lot less. By the by – the storytelling is grade A fantastic.

  5. just saw avatar and here are some thoughts:

    -like you both, I was glad to see it on the big screen with 3d, but I do not plan on watching it again outside of when its on HBO and I catch 15 minutes. Between the cost of going to a 3d screening and the dizziness I felt afterwards, I won’t be able to get another big screen viewing in, nor was the story good enough to see it in a watered down normal film state. It just isn’t good enough to warrent multiple viewings.

    -The movie really lacked subtlety and the elbow-in-the-side-we’re-making-references-here names for things, like Augustine, unobtainium, and the “shock and awe” references really took me out of the movie. I like bridging science and faith, the quest for alternative fuels, and hating Bush as much as the next guy, but all of those things seemed cheap.

    -Some of my friends from church referred to this movie as excruciatingly pagen. Don’t argee, (SPOILER) being born again and junk were big elements of this movie, even though the blues prayed to a tree and talked about energy. Besides how was that end battle different from the trees throwing rocks at a tower in the lord of the rings?

    -Liked all the references to Aliens in this movie: from the marine ships to the music in that final battle. And the Colonel was a fun baddie.

  6. All excellent points. We concur.

    Matthew Leathers (not a fan) offers his rather amusing take here.

    We especially liked the image of a gibbon pulling plot devices out of a bag, not least because that almost perfectly describes it.

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