Alright, so here’s my review of Avatar. First, I’ll start by saying my expectations for this movie were high. Really high. I wanted epic. I wanted to be awed and I thought there was a good chance of that. Maybe that’s where I went wrong, but I thought (contrary to what seems like popular opinion on the internet) that it was a good movie. It wasn’t great.
I think the CG was really good and impressive. However, regardless of how good the CG was and how far ahead it was from any other CG flick, we’re (in my opinion) still not at the point where you can quite capture the emotion that a human can convey through pure CG. To me, Avatar was a display of the “uncanny valley“ in respect to emotion. I’ve seen comparisons between Zoe Saldana’s performance in Star Trek vs Avatar and I’d take the emotion she conveyed in the scene with Spock in the elevator over any scene with her in Avatar.
There were two things that ultimately led me to feel disappointed with Avatar. Character development and not quite nailing it when characters were supposed to be emoting. For a movie that was over 2.5 hours long, I would have liked to know and feel the characters more. Death scenes in Avatar? They were okay. Compare them to the death scenes in a Lord of the Rings. LoTR hands down.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the movie. I thought it was good. But, it wasn’t great and if it ends up “disrupting the movie industry,” I hope it doesn’t send the message that all people want is eye candy. I see movies primarily for a good story and a great one does that by establishing great characters. I think that’s where Avatar fell short and here’s my vote for more money/time spend on characters and story versus eye candy.
I saw Avatar at the Drafthouse. If you can, I would recommend making the most of its eye candy and seeing it in IMAX. I’ll probably try to catch it in IMAX at some point and see how well I enjoy it then. On a “regular size” digital 3D screen, I didn’t feel as immersed as I was led to believe I would. Again, that’s just me. =)