Top 10 Reasons ‘Avatar’ Will be the Next ‘Independence Day’

11/12/2009 Posted by Admin

By our guest blogger, Gavin Stone.

Okay folks, it’s time to actually look at the movie on everyone’s mind – James Cameron’s "Avatar." The promotional juggernaut over at Fox is in full swing for this movie and its release date is looming on the horizon. Still, what should we expect from this movie? I will tell you what I expect. I expect another "Independence Day." That was a fun movie the first time you saw it, but it just got so ludicrous that by the end, you felt cheated. Everyone will flock to see "Avatar," but they ultimately will be disappointed. "Avatar" may look all good and shiny on the surface, but what does it really contain that will make it a blockbuster that will last? I think we all may be in for a disappointment and here is why I think "Avatar" may not be all it is cracked up to be.

1- Relying on too much hype
Let’s face it--there isn’t anyone out there who hasn’t heard of this movie in some form or fashion. The little movie that’s been made over the course of a few years with so much secrecy is bound to be on quite a few people’s lips. It is my opinion that this is purposeful hype meant to draw more attention to the movie because the studio has sunk a lot of money into it and they may be afraid that it will not be what everyone else is expecting to see. I mean, they even had an "Avatar" day a few months back where you could go see a scene from the movie! Who does this? What is the purpose? The purpose is to create a hype. Any movie relying on such a heavy hype train has issues, and it can never meet up to any expectations.

2- It’s being pushed hardcore to kids
To date, I have seen about 50 commercials for this movie on the Cartoon Network. Compared to the one I have seen on regular non-children’s TV, that is a sure sign that this is a kids movie. Or at least they are targeting the younger market. Which makes sense since they are about to flood the market with toys from the movie. Where is there a problem in this? Well, when you pitch this awesome grown-up movie that really is secretly a kids movie something will backfire. Didn’t anyone learn from "Coyote Ugly," the movie pitched to guys that was secretly a chick flick? I know I don’t want to go into the theater expecting a hardcore action fest only to be treated to a family-friendly affair.

3- The Navi are like cute cat creatures
Why is it that the friendly aliens in movies look kinda cute? I guess my problem is not that they are cats, but that they are just far too cute. Where is the alien-ness in them? They look like werecats? Heck, they should just call the planet Pandora something more fitting--like Thundara--instead. And did I mention cute? It’s like a Don Bluth film--no matter how awesome the idea is, it will get ruined by the overly cute character designs. To me, when I think of jungle dwelling aliens, I think a little more rugged and primitive. Something with menace to them. The only thing menacing about the Navi is that they may still have some kitty litter under their claws.

4- The story is clichéd
Come on, guy goes to infiltrate the enemy only to become one with them. Is this honestly the best Cameron could do? Where are the surprises? How will we all feel going into a movie only to already know all about it? Again, another product of the hype--the story is out. Where is the great storytelling from "Aliens" or "Titanic"? The idea of "Avatar" screams something original but is presented as lackluster. I bet they are hoping the effects will cover it all up.

5- The 3-D will be too much
Yes, 3-D may be the future of cinema, but too few theaters are equipped with the proper technology to show 3-D movies. When a movie is made specifically for 3-D, something gets lost in a traditional 2-D showing. There’s that ‘wow’ factor that just doesn’t come across. Not enough movies use 3-D as a way to draw you into the movie; instead, it's more like being on a theme park ride. "Avatar" may be that former type of movie that uses the 3-D to bring you deeper into the story, but what about all of those folks who can’t see it that way? Their experience of the movie may not be as good as those who see it the way it was meant to be seen. This will cause poor word of mouth, and since there are more 2-D screens in the world than 3-D screens, that’s a lot of word of mouths!

6- The details of the movie will be lost on screens not digital-ready
Like 3-D, the sheer amount of detail in this movie will be lost on a regular screen shot with a standard projector. What a waste. Most people more than likely will not realize this, but those who see it in the best format possible will have a much better viewing experience. On the downside, they may also be over-loaded sensory wise--so much to take in in such little time. I feel very much that the visual elements of this movie are crucial to the experience since so much time has been spent to make the world of Pandora.

7- People have weapons, cats have animals
I will never understand how the Ewoks won Endor with some sticks and stones. I have a feeling I will have that same reaction here. You can tell that the Navi only have "organic" weapons like sticks and wild beasts. Do they really think they will be able to put up a fight against heavily armed and dangerous humans?

8- The studio is banking on James Cameron’s name too much
Don't get me wrong, I love James Cameron. He is one of my favorite directors. Yet if a movie cannot fly on its own merit, without having to be associated with a director, then there is something wrong with the movie. They are expecting you to go, “Oh, the guy who made Titanic?” when they show you the title of the movie, “James Cameron’s Avatar."  As such, we are all supposed to instantly think this must be good. Not a good sign. But it works! People just look at it through rose-colored glasses. I know this, I have done it too on occasion.

9- It missed its original release date by a long shot
Did you know this movie was supposed to come out last year? I guess it just wasn’t ready. Why? Well, when most movies miss their release date, it is because they need some more work. In short, the movie sucked. Time to rework it to make it less an abomination. Could this be the reason the original launch date was missed?

10- It is a better summer movie
Christmas is not a time for big ol’ blockbusters. It is a time when people feel the need to see happy, feel-good movies. More people spend time at home in the winter, and December is, quite frankly, the biggest, most busy month of them all. Yeah, the holiday movie season is pretty big, but look at the fare presented every year! It's all about family movies, movies related to the holidays, and happy-go-lucky good times movies. There is a reason studios schedule their best blockbusters for the summer--there is a better crowd then.

Do you agree?  Let Stone know!

Below is the trailer for "Avatar."

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  1. Anonymous said...

    Looks like you were very, very wrong.