Archive for District 9

Avatar

Posted in Kids with tags , , on December 25, 2009 by xi'an

Given that the cinema in the small town where we go skiing always has a very diverse program, I ended up seeing Avatar with my kids yesterday. (Despite the three afternoon sessions, the hall was packed.) Everyone seemed excited about the film, especially for the special effects that made the planet Pandora where the story takes place so real. I quite agree with the quality of the landscape rendering, as well as with the imaginative fauna and flora that live on the planet. The idea of a connected ecosystem that make the whole planet like a single aspen grove is a very good idea (if directly inspired by this unique feature of aspens). I find the scenario of Avatar very poor, however. The notion of a mining planet with the local inhabitants rebelling against the desecration of their planet is a direct transposition of the settlers-versus-indigenous scenario. There is not an inch of subtlety in the characters: the good guys and the bad guys are clearly identified from the start! The Marines are strangely disobedient for soldiers. The locals are all very nice and full of qualities but they nonetheless need a Marine from Earth to lead them to victory. The end is in particular completely unrealistic. A battle with bows and arrows (and dragons) versus spatial technology does not seem to offer a wide range of possible outcomes! The man-to-man fight concluding the battle is truly ludicrous: the three main characters meeting in a final fight, with again bow and arrow triumphing of a military robot… This movie reminded me of the recent District 9, in particular because the final fight has many common features, except that the scenario choices made in District 9 led to a much better movie. So I completely agree with the analysis of Avatar recently given by Le Monde, namely that the special effects killed the focus of the director and made this movie a good entertainment rather than a masterpiece.

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