Friday, December 18, 2009

Sensawunda


Saw Avatar today. I wasn't planning on seeing it the first day, but my son took off from work to do some shopping, and so we went.

I wasn't planning to see it in 3D the first time -- expecting I might want to see it again -- but that was the theater that was available, so we donned the glasses.

"Wow" isn't enough. "OMG" isn't enough. "Motherfucker!" comes closer.

It was amazing. Every penny Cameron spent on it is up there on the screen.

Yeah, yeah, all the ribbedy-dibbety about the plot and dances with smurfs yadda-yadda, but let me tell you that I'm a sci fi guy to the core, I love having somebody smack me in the face with that sense of wonder, I love love stories, and I will flat out tell you, you ain't never, ever seen anything like this on a movie screen.

The bar for CGI has been raised up past Jupiter. The boys and girls at WETA down in NZ should be proud of themselves -- they did good.

It will melt your eyes and blow your sensawunda out through your ears, it will astound you. I just kept shaking my head and going, "Holy shit. Look at that! Holy shit."

Whatever you might think about Jim Cameron, nobody has ever made a movie to visually touch this one. Nobody.

Go see it.

12 comments:

Mike Byers said...

Absolutely right, man. We saw it last night and had the same reaction. Pam isn't that big on SF, but she liked it, too. Good stuff, and I sure would like to fly one of those critters.

redcode said...

Darn! I was supposed to see it yesterday too, but, we're snowed in!!!

I'm glad you saw it on the first day before they started expanding the television commercials.

Steve Perry said...

Doesn't matter what they put on the TV commercials -- unless you have an entire wall in your house covered with a screen, you need to see this in a theater. 3D is still a gimmick -- it works better here than in any other movie I've ever seen -- but it isn't necessary.

Dan Moran said...

Yeah -- I wasn't sure I was taking my young sons to see it, since I'd heard a fair amount about violence and so on --

Screw that. I saw it last night at 1:15, which is WAY WAY WAY past my damn bedtime ... and I'm probably taking the boys to see it Sunday evening.

Astonishing movie.

And, speaking as someone blind in one eye, no ... the 3D wasn't necessary. :-)

steve-vh said...

Saw it yesterday. my first time with 3d in a theater. I had a headache for two hours afterwards.
And I kept checking what it looked like without the glasses. Obviously the blur would have to be removed but I thought overall the image quality was much darker (duh, dark glasses) but I would have preferred it lighter still.

Great epic storyline. Reminded me of some of Foster's more recent works, especially Drowning World.

Jay said...

on a whim I decided to go see it and in 3D.
The visuals were astounding but I was turned off by a couple of things.
The music - James Horner's score sucked and I felt was interruptive at points.
The Mother Earth theme - I GET it, stop beating me with the 3D hammer.
I liked the (presumed) homage to the art of Stewart Cowley with some of the construction equipment - the giant digger/sweeper in particular brought up many images of the Terran Trade Authority. In a couple of scenes I half expected to see either Ahhhrnold or an Alien peaking out with the equipment reminding me of those flicks.
Overall, I left the film a bit disappointed with the story. Maybe I just have a higher expectation for the amount invested. The CGI was the best I have ever seen and a couple of times I had that "Look-what-my-computer-can-do" feeling, but was very impressed with the near realism. Jake's first walk was impressive and I appreciated the subtle detail in the "feather dusters" and their reaction to touch took me back to my salt water aquarium days.
I do recommend seeing it in a theater if one is going to see it.

Steve Perry said...

Jay --

Since the notion of Gaia was what the movie was all about, the tree-hugging stuff has to be there, in this case, literally. I don't think you can hit that note too hard.

This was not science fiction for fans, but for an audience who mostly doesn't know the genre and who need to have it explained.

Justin said...

The fates heard my skepticism -- my grumbling about why my instincts tell me this movie will blow. The fates sent hype and community and critical acclaim, and all were beaten back by my instincts.
Then the fates sent Steve Perry and his sun-bright recommendation.
The fates have won.

EvMick said...

I heard that it was:

Anti- American
Capitalist
Military
Human.

But that it was very pretty.

Steve Perry said...

You heard wrong, Mick. Only knee-jerk only-watch-Fox-news folks who don't take the time to think about what was there come up with that list.

Yeah, it could have been more "original," whatever that means these days, but before you make that call, see it.

EvMick said...

You mean it was pro capitalist, pro military, pro human, pro american?

Not watching fox news I wouldn't know.

Not having been to a movie in I don't know when I'm not sure If I'd know how to act.

When will it come out in betamax?

Steve Perry said...

A thing needs not be one or the other in such cases. The "military" in the movie are corporate mercenaries.

Pro or anti American? Might depend on how you define those -- the ones who came over on the wooden ships that landed at Plymouth Rock? Or those waiting on the beach?

The ones who wiped out all those waiting on the beach and as far as they could reach?

It is anti-greed, no doubt, and if some folks want to take umbrage at that and identify with the guys perfectly happy to commit genocide to make a profit? Fuck 'em.

I'm kind of anti that kind of human myself.