Monday, June 7, 2010

Movie Review Monday!

So, I'm trying this new thing called "Movie Review Monday" where, every Monday, I review a new movie. I figured that, since I watch so many movies and television shows, I may as well put in my two cents worth, get a penny for my thoughts, and end up at least a penny richer. :3

These reviews will be pre-done and scheduled to roll out every Monday at 12:01AM, so long as I have one written up.

So, this week's movie review is...

Walt Disney's Pocahontas  with blue cat-people
James Cameron's Avatar

There are plenty of good points and bad points about this movie, so I will neither recommend or hate this movie. I thought it was okay; the visuals were very pretty, but the story itself and the lack of actual and original character development was a bit distracting.

Here's Avatar in a nutshell:
Humans go to a planet to find a very valuable mineral. It isn't really stated why they need this, and if it was, it was only in passing to the point where you can't remember it after the movie's over. Humans find out that the Na'vi, the native humanoid race, is living on the biggest deposit of said mineral. The military gets involved and decides that diplomacy isn't the answer, though they haven't given their scientific team enough time to really test the theory. Said science team seems only interested in learning about the Na'vi instead of getting them to move, anyway. A crippled man ends up on the science team after the mysterious, only briefly explained death of his brother and he ends up taking his place. Said crippled man gets an amazing second chance at walking via the Avatar Program, goes to visit the Na'vi, and ends up falling in love with the chief's daughter. He spends months learning their ways and finally becomes part of the tribe after a mysterious vision/sign from the Na'vi's main diety. The military decides things are taking too long and go to burn the whole place down. Crippled man switches sides and gives the military, who has guns and rockets, an epic ass-whooping with nothing but bows and arrows. Literally. Crippled man an Na'vi win, crippled man gets a permanent body change, love saves the day. Roll credits.

In all honesty, I've seen this entire outline before, and I'm not the first one to say that this mirrors several movies; Pocahontas, Dances with Wolves, and Ferngully to name a few. The visuals were striking, but there were many times that you just had to sigh, shake your head, and wonder where you'd seen a particular scene or set of lines before. It's a good movie, a good story, but too rehashed and a little too unbelievable (despite the fact that furry blue cat-people is highly unbelievable as it is).

Visual:  10 - This movie looks absolutely amazing. The colors, the scene direction, and the simple fact that over 90% of this movie was CGed and it still looks real is great.
Acting:  10 - The acting was great. I think that Sigourney Weaver's character was great in the first ten minutes, but when she stopped being the cigarette-addicted bitch ten minutes in and became the nurturing know-it-all about the Na'vi, it kinda sucked. But her acting on both parts was great.
Story/Backstory:  5 - The story is great, but unoriginal. I guess that the best form of flattery is mockery imitation, but that still doesn't change the fact that this movie is nothing but Pocahontas with blue cats instead of Native Americans and the pig-headed American military instead of English settlers. As for the backstory, there isn't much of one to talk about. I had to wiki a lot of things after the movie to get some clear answers on things; the Na'vi queue and the differences between those of the Avatar's, for instance, is that the Na'vi queue is actually attached to the back of their head, whereas the Avatar's queues are attached to the base of their skull, though there is no other difference or explanation regarding this "neural queue" and no other information is given about it in the movie aside from the Avatar/Na'vi controlling his/her "bonded" mount.
Soundtrack:  10 - AMAZING! The music to this movie is great. I haven't really seen a movie that I didn't like the score or soundtrack. Then again, it would have to be the sound of giraffes mating for me to really give anything less than a ten.
Character/Character Development:  5 - I have a lot to say about this one. The Na'vi were poorly represented, as you only really got to know the main female lead. Everyone else was just thrown in for a little flavor. The society of the Na'vi closely reflected a mixture between various Haitian and Native American traditions and religious practices, but it seems as if they only did this to show a stark contrast between that and traditions and religious practices of the average American. Now, the reason this actually got a decent rating, is that it is unspoken that the Na'vi have a great social and religious connection with their planet and all forms of life on it. The smallest flower is giving the greatest respect. While this is not an uncommon theme in movies containing Native American cultures, it is still something that is painfully evident in each Na'vi character, no matter how small their role. The main female lead, Neytiri, is obviously torn between her duty to her people and how her heart feels about the main male lead, Jake. This, however, it also not an uncommon theme in movies like Pocahontas.
Overall:   8 - Because this movie is so visually groundbreaking and stunning, I would say that this would be a good flick to see in 3-D or Blu-Ray, if only because it is so amazing to look at. The story is great, if you can ignore some rehashed story of man meets girl of different world/religion/etc., they fall in love, he fights against his own people for their love, and they all live Happily Ever After. This movie is only visually refreshing in it's originality of character physical design, but a little drab on the story. It's also a bit lengthy, so getting your five-year-old to sit through it would probably be a drag.

Do you have a movie you'd like for me to see? Leave a snide remark comment and let me know! :D


  1. Yup, refuse to see it. Being contrary.

    I vote for Cartman when he said it was "Dances with Wolves" with Smurfs.

    Oh, a few things? The content warning.....get rid of it. It may turn off some of your future followers. And the iPod, Love it....but can you program it to only play when the reader wants it to play. It is annoying to just start playing whenever the page loads, it makes navigating the site a bit daunting to have to always scroll back to the top of the page to turn off the iPod.

    Just MY 2 cents.

  2. Yeah, I guess you have a point, there, Sissy, when it comes to the iPods. I think I'm going to change those once I get home. I guess I should just warn people that some of the stuff on them might be NSFW/NSFC.

    I guess when you see the warning, people might think there's porn on here. O.O;;

  3. I am so glad to be right, kid! Yeah, the very first thing that pops into my head with a warning is that I am going to see boobies and pee pees.

    I do love the makeover, though. Let's get together the next time you are off of work.