Hmm. I just don’t know. I’m usually pretty in touch with pop-culture type stuff, especially when it comes to super-hyped stuff, but I just have no idea about the upcoming movie Avatar. I mean, I know about it – it’s James Cameron’s huge vanity project, he’s been making it for years and years, it has graphics that are so sweet they’ll blow your mind and do your laundry, it’s going to change the way we watch films… etc… etc…
There also seems to be a massive fanboy contingent that has taken a huge interest in the movie, and every time there’s a new trailer, flame wars break out all over the internet. But I still… just… don’t get it? I mean, it looks pretty cool I guess, and I think that Cameron does sympathetic aliens well – I love the Abyss – and I’m all for whiz-bang effects in films, but why, exactly, are we all so excited about this film in particular?
From what I’ve seen so far, from the underwhelming debut trailer to the more recent one that Joe R. rightly points out is pretty much… Fern Gully with better graphics, it just doesn’t seem that amazing.
None of the usual boxes on the fanboy checklist are filled in – sure, it’s sci-fi, but it’s not based on some existing comic franchise, as far as I can tell, and it doesn’t star Nathan Fillion. Joss Whedon has nothing to do with it, either. In fact, the whole thing seems pretty derivative. The video game tie-in looks pretty standard, even though it’s being touted as some kind of big deal – perhaps this is because the central conceit of the film (paraplegic is inserted into 10-foot alien via brain transfer) is videogamey enough to stir interest? I mean, the Far Cry 2 engine is sweet and everything, but the game just sort of looks like Gears of War.
So, what am I missing? Don’t get me wrong, it looks pretty cool, but why is this movie going to be so. effing. great? Is it really just that it has rad special effects? Is that even enough to carry a film anymore?
I dunno. I want more. Please illuminate me as to what I am missing.