Tuesday, 12 January 2010


We went to see Avatar (2009) in 3D last week. Amid supreme levels of media and cinematic hype, great fanfare about its massive budget (the figure $400 million is frequently thrown about), and knowing that much of its production was done in Wellington, I was happy to check it out. Bear in mind that I'm not really a sci-fi/action film kind of person; it's the 3D and special effects that got me to the theatre.

Avatar is an exquisitely made theatrical experience. From start to finish, the 3D special effects are spectacular. With so much happening on screen, and considering that 60% of it is computer generated, I can see why it took so long (and so much money) for this movie to be made. I'd speculate that even after several viewings there will be new details to take in each time, especially during the fast-moving scenes.

Make no mistake, this is a very long movie to sit through. At 162 minutes (and with a questionable back), I had many moments of wriggling and stretching within the confines of my seat. Also, as a glasses-wearing person, having two pairs fighting for prime position on my nose for almost three hours, while trying to focus on the screen, was somewhat tiresome. (Mental note: wear contacts next time I see a movie in 3D.) However, Avatar is one of those movies that you simply have to see in a cinema as it was intended to be viewed - don't wait for it to come out on DVD.

I was quite taken aback to read this article today asking: Is Avatar a racist film?. The plot (without giving too much away) is far from original: good vs bad, triumph over evil, progress vs history and the ultimate question of whether anyone has the right to invade someone else's sacred homeland to fulfill their own greed. But racist? That's a stretch of the imagination for me. Once you get over the sight of the Na'vi characters being phenomenally tall, thin and blue, there's not much more to it.

Have you seen Avatar? What did you think of it?


Kellee said...

I saw it last week and absolutely loved it. I am generally sceptical of movies that EVERYONE tells you to watch or rates as the best movie ever, & instead I love finding hidden gems in the bottom of the pile at the video store. I decided to give hype a chance & am now one of those people :) Great great movie!!

Donna said...

I haven't seen it yet, but everyone keeps talking about it's only good if you watch it in 3-D, IMAX. I can't wait to see it, I think I might do that with mom when I go home this coming week.

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Genki said...

I just saw it last weekend actually and I liked it despite not seeing it in 3D(boo for Dar not being able to do 3D cinema - it must be stunning like that).

Racist - I wouldn't have said so. In what sense what is suggesting that? I did think the blue people were obviously heavily modelled on Native Americans but there's hardly any harm in that is there?

Blogger In Middle-earth said...

Kia ora Café Chick!

I took the whole family to see AVATAR only a few days after its release - at The Empire, of course - and we all agreed that it was a gripping movie. It being nearly 3 hours long, I have to say that I didn't notice this when viewing.

I did notice that Weta Workshop were large in the credits, however, as were other talented groups from New Zealand! Yay!

Catchya later