Avatar Dances with Space Wolves in 3D

Avatar 3D

I’ve finally seen it. By now everyone must have seen it. Or maybe not, it’s still showing in the cinema near you.In 3D. And 2D if you don’t want to see it in 3D. If you don’t, please tell me why? I didn’t think the 3D was that special though. I’m sure 3D will soon be the industry standard, let’s hope so.

James Cameron somehow always manages to make sure people are anxious to see his latest film. While a good thing, the high expectations may put some pressure on a film maker. Or so I would’ve thought. Who knows, right? For once, even mentioning the director seems a bit silly as you all will know who he is and what he’s done.

If you’ll have a look at the end credits of Avatar, you’ll see that he didn’t do it all by himself though, he had to involve a number of people from pretty much all over the world and to me it looks like he pretty much used everyone he could get. It’s like watching the end credits of The Lord of the Rings Trilogy or something. If not more.

Amazing look and feel, amazingly realistic characters and the whole world where the film is set, brilliant machines, weapons, everything. There’s been lots of comments about the plot being somewhat disappointing, but I thought it’s not quite right to say that. A story may be simple but that doesn’t mean it’s bad. A story might be the same one told million times before but that doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with it, does it? I’ve seen simpler stories than Avatar and I’ve seen more original stories than Avatar, and I’ve seen pretty similar stories to this one before as well, and probably told better too. But I thought that in this world, with these characters (did you actually see the character Colonel Miles Quaritch? – he’s like he’s straight out of Sin City or Small Soldiers or G.I Joe or something), the acting and the story fit together perfectly. If you saw Sigorney Weaver’s first scene, that should be enough. It’s more or less the same as with Titanic – the acting and dialogue are just silly, but it all somehow fits (I still wouldn’t watch that one again, apart from maybe the ship sinking). OK, I’ve mentioned Titanic, but I don’t really need to start talking about the references to earlier James Cameron films – like Sigorney Weaver being in the film (or a few other more obvious things).

It’s a shame Zoe Saldana can only really be heard, while less of Sam Worthington would have been enough. It’s an OK and truly beautiful film. I wasn’t carried away let alone blown away (you don’t have to keep telling yourself “it’s only a movie, it’s only a movie”), but it was enjoyable and one of those films you don’t mind being a bit long, could keep on watching it all day really, if I had enough popcorn. Who knows, maybe there’ll be a TV series coming, Jakesully’s Chronicles or something. With James Cameron, absolutely anything is possible… At least on screen.

I’m not sure James Cameron really cares about Oscars. I’m sure he’s got his share of awards already, including an Oscar or two. Regardless, he’s in it this year, with an Oscar nomination in various categories, along with Hurt Locker (also with 9 Oscar nominations, Precious, Inglorious Basterds and the rest.

Hurt Locker

Now here’s a film I somehow knew was going to be good. And I watched it without knowing who’s in it, who’s directed it or anything. And then of course at the end it says Kathryn Bigelow. Nice. And the next review will be the ex-husband James Cameron‘s Avatar. So that’s how it is, a small family business over there in Hollywood. Well maybe these two aren’t exactly the Hollywood film maker type. Kathryn is not the kind of person to get stuck to one type of film, there’s Point Break and Strange Days (and about a dozen other films) and then there’s Hurt Locker. Well there’s two film makers with their films both having loads of Oscar nominations as well, but who will get the most Oscars? Oscar here, Oscar there, who cares. A precious little prize it is…

Imdb had some funny information saying the film was to star Colin Farrell, Willem Dafoe and Charlize Theron. While they’re all great, I’m glad it didn’t because the cast is just great. It works perfectly and I don’t remember any of them from any previous films either. Most of the actors appear to have a strong TV background, there’s even Evangeline Lilly from Lost.

Great script, amazing acting and powerful emotions at work here. Not quite as simple as a jack-in-a-box.

Hurt Locker
Jeremy Renner and Anthony Mackie keep the story together and the rest while ok, are just helping to move the story forwards. But Jeremy Renner is the star of this one. Anthony Mackie is one busy actor as well, but if you don’t know him too much, check out The Manchurian Candidate (Jonathan Demme’s and Denzel Washington’s version) and Million Dollar Baby. After Hurt Locker he was also in Eagle Eye and Notorious (playing Tupac Shakur). Jeremy Renner did one episode of House M.D. and The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford and 28 Weeks Later, and he also played Jeffrey Dahmer in Dahmer – I haven’t seen that and it might be unwatchable as most films about real serial killers are.

Enough facts and background, it’s pretty pointless anyway. As usual, not much to say about the story, I’m afraid the picture already says too much. Beautifully shot and directed, though I hear they wasted enough film on this one. Documentary style, they say. Locations look authentic, but then again, it’s actually right next door to Iraq. Best war film of the decade. Now then, go and watch Hurt Locker.

And bear in mind either Hurt Locker or Avatar will get loads of Oscars…

Ben Stiller’s Platoon

Tropic Thunder

I’m not a huge fan of Ben Stiller,  I  don’t think he’s a very reliable director or a versatile actor and find he most of the time looks fairly annoying. Nevertheless he’s usually perfect for the roles he plays. I’m a bigger fan his father, Jerry Stiller really.

I have to say Tropic Thunder is Ben Stiller’s best to date. Action packed and clever comedy. Spoof is the word I suppose. Obviously a spoof of war films. But not quite to the extent that Hot Shots and the likes go. But that’s a good thing; there’s a bit of originality left. Most of all I was amazed to see Tom Cruise‘s face too. I didn’t know he’s in this movie and then he turns up and goes on to deliver probably one of his best on screen performances ever. Jack Black, Robert Downey Jr. and Brandon T. Jackson have decent roles to act as well, while Downey’s one is probably the one most talked about. And he even has an Oscar nomination for the role.

So, this was ok. Almost funny at points. And so it should, it’s a comedy after all.  I just wish Tom Cruise’s part was bigger.