This?

Friday, August 21, 2009

The Biggest One

The New Trailer for James Cameron's Avatar. I'd embed it, but there's no YouTube version, yet.

Anyway, I think it looks kind of cartoony, and I don't really have any anticipation for it - not really 'getting' the greatness of Cameron, whose films I've always found bloated, mean-spirited and inauthentic. This looks like it could be all three of those things. But maybe that's just me. At any rate, I'm sure I'll end up seeing it in 3D Imax, just for the experience of it. Lord knows that Imax 3D has made me love films that I would have hated under any other circumstance, so at least I'm willing to meet Cameron halfway. The man does know what to do with technology...

D.

7 comments:

John said...

I can go along with "mean-spirited" and "bloated," but "inauthentic"? How so?

Dave Kopperman said...

That third is a criticism that doesn't apply equally to all his films, but when it does, ooooh.

Oddly, it seems to be the quality that separates the films of his that I like from the ones I don't: "True Lies" & "The Abyss" and big chunks of 'Titanic.'

By 'inauthentic,' I mean not the quality of the mise-en-scene, which is always extraordinarily high. His attention to detail is justly praised, and I can think of few directors who integrate FX better. I'm referring more to his scripts, which have just a ridiculously high bullshit factor. Anytime a human relationship is being presented on its own terms, his film just falls dead.

It's one thing to believe that we are where Cameron says we are; it's another thing entirely to believe that his characters are real people.

D.

John said...

Example?

RC said...

The entirety of 'True Lies' I hold as an example, specifics of that being thankfully gone from my mind. It held the 'Least Believable Husband & Wife Spy Film Award' up until 'Mr. & Mrs. Smith.'

I guess the specific arc that comes to mind is the framing sequence for 'Titanic,' with Bill Paxton's character - the one whose motivation Cameron should have gotten backwards and forwards, since he shared it - is just so, so flat. Nothing there, you know? The team member showing Rose - the Titanic survivor - how the ship sank? Huh?

For a guy who relies so much on exposition to make his complicated films work, you'd think he'd have found better ways to deliver it over his career. I'm prepared for some long, thuddingly scripted expository scenes in the opening of 'Avatar,' and I'll bet you are, too. But at least they'll be in 3D!

I don't think it's saying anything outrageous that Cameron, like other high-profile genre directors, could stand to bring in better writers. His characters are paper thin and his dialogue is, at best, workmanlike.

D.

John said...

Eh, you're stretching. His scripts are pretty solid. The chemistry between Arnie and Jamie Lee Curtis worked quite well, and there were lots of good moments between them.

The Bill Paxton scenes in Titanic were flat,you're right, but a nigh invisible blemish on the film as a whole.

It's just scary to think about the fact we saw (in our mid-twenties?) a film in which Jamie Lee Curtis served, in some sense, as the "hot" female lead.

RC said...

His Terminator scripts are really strong, which is why I've always been surprised by the weakness of the scripts for 'Abyss' and 'True Lies.' 'Titanic's' weaknesses I can actually forgive, a bit, since it's his first non-genre film, but it wasn't a particularly great script, either.

'True Lies,' I'll never get the love for. Even Arnold couldn't save it. I've rarely seen a film that filled me with such ennui, and that's not an exaggeration - that one film alone pretty much caused me to lose my love for summer action films.

D.

RC said...

I just noticed that the Avatar poster looks like you drew it!

D.

http://www.filmofilia.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/avatar_poster.jpg