Thursday, September 3, 2009


The trailer for Jim Cameron's upcoming epic Avatar went online a little while ago, and after watching it maybe a half dozen times, I still don't know what to think. It's a mostly dialogue-free teaser to be sure, so it's probably not the best introduction to the film, but I was still expecting... more. But that's only to be expected since the hype created by Cameron and the studio said it would be the most technically advanced achievement in movie history to date.

And maybe it will be. I certainly have faith in Jim Cameron, both as a storyteller and as a special effects pioneer. Afterall, he was the man whose Terminator 2 dazzled the world with some of the first CG effects a full 2 years before Jurassic Park. And he has proven to be a master of the science fiction/action genre with such films as Terminator and the Abyss.

But still... it looks like World of Warcraft, only not quite as cool. Maybe it will be amazing in 3-D -- and all firsthand accounts attest to that fact -- and maybe I'll even see it in 3-D, which would be something special because it's an "advance" in recent filmmaking that has overextended its welcome, in my opinion. I can't remember what film I saw recently, but when my girlfriend and I purchased tickets, we were given a choice of 5 or 6 dollars for the regular showing or over 10 dollars (!) for the 3-D version. Thanks, but no thanks. We'll be Luddites and stick with the regular version. First of all, I wear glasses so having to wear 3-D glasses over those is annoying. Second of all... come on. I don't need to pay double the price just to see some crap shot into my face over and over again.

And don't get me started on the recent popularity of showing blockbuster movies in Imax theatres. Those aren't just ten dollars, they're about 14 dollars. I saw Speed Racer in Imax because I was at the Minnesota Zoo and figured I may as well see something on their Imax sceen as long as I was there. It was definitely a cool experience and the movie looked and sounded great, but it wasn't worth 14 dollars. And I even liked the movie. The thing about Imax is that the best seat in the house is about 10 times better than the best seat in a regular theatre, but the worst seat in the house is about 1,000 times worse than the worst seat in a regular theatre. There are about twenty good seats in an Imax theatre, but all of the others have crazy distortion where the picture looks warped and you have to crane your neck to see anything.

But we were talking about Avatar. I think it looks cool. I'll see it.