So what does everyone think of the Avatar trailer?
It’s so weird to me to see it actually existing now, not that it’s particulary great or anything, but just because I think I first heard of this project what… ten years ago? It’s easily one of those Chinese Democracys of cinema.
And we all know how well Chinese Democracy turned out.
Maybe perhaps because of this trailer being released in the past week, or maybe just because certain strands and tendrils of the future are bending that way, I’ve been seeing lots of bits and pieces about augmented reality popping up in the various weird shit I read on the interwebs lately. Maybe it’s just a coincidence, right? There tends to be no more powerful thing that coincidences.
The really real world of augmented reality.
Maybe it’s just me, but I guess I expected more from the trailer for James Cameron’s long awaited film. I expected things that it obviously couldn’t really live up to, since it’s been talked about and speculated about so much in the past decade. What’ll be interesting is to see what it really is when it comes to life in this reality.
But one of the things that gets me is that the trailer really favors what looks like simple CGI effects work, not terribly dissimilar from things we’ve seen in the past 5 or so years. The Na’vi creatures, in trailer form, don’t strike me as spectacular creations at all. I’d much rather just look at Zoe Saldana in one of those outfits as she is. Actual look-wise, I get the same vibe from the tall, blue alien race/tribe that I got from seeing the Hulk in Ang Lee’s 2003 film (which, I don’t care what anyone says, is still a fine movie, especially if you chop off the last half an hour).
But then there’s a real story somewhere in Avatar, with real actors like Sigourney Weaver and Michelle Rodriguez (is it me or is Ana Lucia the only character you haven’t heard about returning for Lost‘s final season?) and Giovanni Ribisi, which I’m not sure I’m all that interested in. If you know nothing of Avatar, I’ll spare you, but it’s essentially The Last Samurai or Dances With Wolves in outer space.
Also, apropos of nothing really, I find Giovanni Ribisi ridiculous. I don’t know why, but I just can’t help it. He’s good with comedic roles, but I can never take him seriously in dramatic roles. Maybe he’s just too good at what he does (which is shit like co-starring in the Gone In Sixty Seconds remake with Nic Cage and that episode of The X-Files, “D.P.O.“). Anyway, that picture below gives me a total Airplane! vibe.
Anticipation for Avatar is a mixed bag, certainly. On one hand, I like a lot of the projects that James Cameron has unleashed in the past, or been involved in, such as the career of his ex-wife Kathryn Bigelow or producing Soderbergh’s Solaris remake. He hasn’t put his face out there in a while, but the man is a pillar of the cinema, and someone who actually cares about pushing the technology of moviemaking forward, augmenting the reality for creators (even if it does involve rising movie ticket prices). But I still get a negative vibe from him, you know, as a person.
What can I say? The guy seems like a dick. Right?
But then again, I don’t have to like him (and doesn’t he look like somebody’s uptight dad from an 80s teen flick?). I always enjoyed True Lies, but it took me years to see it as a parody of sexism and not just a fun spy parody that also happened to be sexist. I could be wrong though in my interpretation. James Cameron may have actually intended it to be sexist and that all women are “biscuits.”
Eh, Avatar, whatever. I want it to be good. I’m hoping that it plays out like a nice counterpart to something like Where The Wild Things Are, with Spike Jonze’s take on the Maurice Sendak book being something for the kid in all of us…
…And Avatar being something for the adult in all of us who’s worried about the environment and indigenous peoples and fucking weirdly hot alien girls.
“Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.”
-Phillip K. Dick, from “How To Build A Reality That Doesn’t Fall Apart Two Days Later.”