Wednesday, 20 January 2010

My first full-length 3D film experience

Well, yesterday finally got round to seeing 'Avatar'. If it hadn't been for the novelty of 3D I probably wouldn't have bothered. My previous experience of 3D had been for some film I'm pretty sure was in the early 1980s when you were supposed to put on your spectacles for only those times in which a certain character wore a mask, I think. I can't for the life of me remember what that film was but it must surely have been some sort of horror film.
Anyway, if I'd seen 'Avatar' in 'flat-screen' format I doubt very much if I'd have stayed until the end. Found the first third of it mildly interesting, the next hour or more deadly boring with all its predictable romantic cliches (outright hostility turns to grudging admiration which turns to 'love', in turn changing to perceived betrayal and then finally to 'saviour' mode.) , though the film did perk up a bit towards the end, with the stock 'baddie' getting his just deserts of course. But all through, as Larry Ohio mentioned, I found the over-use of 'this-is-what-you-must-think' music so objectionable. As for the 3D itself, yes, it was sporadically impressive but I'd honestly expected to be even more impressed than I was. On getting my 'specs' at admission I said that I didn't expect to be using them again for a long time but was told that they are expecting up to 18 releases in 3D later in this year alone so I'd better keep them safely.
By the way, why do so many films, even those set at some future date, simply have to feature at least one heavy smoker. It's almost as though the film-makers are 'making a point' - perhaps cocking a snook at goody-goodies like me, though what people do in private OR do with other adults without deleteriously affecting non-participants I couldn't care less about. But it seems to me that even in contemporary settings the number of characters on film who smoke is a higher proportion than in real life. Anyway, so much for that. I'll now make an exit on that little peeve.

11 comments:

  1. I'm with you on this. We saw it last night in 3-D and I just wasn't impressed. I didn't hate it, but it wasn't anything I hadn't seen a hundred times before.

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  2. I thought the 3D aspect of the movie was for the most part so subtle I didn't even notice it. I'd like to see the film in 2D for comparison. The only time the 3D was "in your face" I thought was at the end when one of the guys was shot with arrows. Arrows sticking out of a body is an old trick going back to Jason from Friday the Thirteenth. Perhaps that's the movie you saw back in the 80s?

    I agree the storyline was predictable and the 3D was not earth-shattering. However the CGI was spectacular. Those jungle predators looked completely real to you, didn't they? I couldn't tell for a second they were animated.

    CGI technology is advancing so rapidly it won't be long before the main characters will be animated and they'll be no reason to hire actors at all except for the voice work. That's unfortunate (and dangerous from a law enforcement and justice system perspective), but at the same time it is really cool.

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  3. Thanks for your comment, Sean. I see it won the 'Best Film' award at the Golden Globes. Well, it was the 5th film I've seen (at the cinema) so far this year, and each of the other four was far superior entertainment in my books.
    Thanks to you too, Larry. That part-3D film from the 80s wasn't 'Friday the 13th'. I'm going through my 'register' for the period but can't yet identify it. Obviously sunk without trace.
    I completely share your feelings re CGI - and, d'you know what? I just don't find it as 'exciting' as previously-constructed Special Effects. A sort of 'detachment' occurs so that I at least am no longer astonished because I know that nowadays they can show any damn thing they want!

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  4. Your reason for going to see "Avatar" was the same reason that prompted me to go except I spent the extra money and saw it in IMAX and 3D. Best picture of the year? Baloney! I have seen far, far better. I guess that critics and the majority of the moviegoing public and I are not on the same wavelength. One movie that the critics have been unkind to and is doing dismally at the boxoffice is "Nine." I saw it and call me weird, but I loved it. To me, Day-Lewis can do no wrong since I saw his wonderful interpretation of Cecil in "Room With A View." Kate Hudson surprised me in this with her rendition of "Cinema Italiano" - perky and retro. All in all, a wonderful evening at the cinema. When this is released on dvd, I am going to add it to my collection. The movie you mentioned rings a distant bell, and that's all I have on my mind right now- what is the title? Anyone who recalls it, please end the suspense and let us know.

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  5. Paul, you are not alone. I too loved 'Nine' - a lot, despite all that smoking. ;-). Daniel D-L is such a phenomenon. In every single film he's been in, whenever he's on screen one can't take one's eyes off him, having the same dominating presence and chameleon-like quality that Meryl S has. But I really liked 'Nine' because of the musical numbers too. True, I can't now recall a single 'tune' now but it was all so compellingly filmed (in 'Chicago' style, another film I loved)- and with such a cast! (I actually saw Sophia Loren in the flesh on that visit to NYC way back when. There was a small crowd waiting outside a plush hotel entrance so I joined them, not knowing what was happening - and out she comes and into a taxi, but not so quickly that we couldn't admiringly look at her. She did smile and acknowledge our applause. I could actually easily have touched her. (Missed the chance. Drat!)
    The nominations for the British cinema awards (BAFTAs) have just been announced this morning - and guess what? 'Avatar' in the running for 'Best Film' again! Well, blow me down! Who the hell decides on what films get nominated, anyway? ('Nine' doesn't get a look in, of course.)
    Now for that 3-D film from the 1980s. I've found that there was indeed a 3-D version of 'Friday the 13th Part 3' (1982) which is around the right time. But it appears to be entirely in that format whereas although I did see the film I'm sure what I saw was only in 2D. The film I remember was definitely only partly in 3D. There was an announcement before the film started to tell you when to put the glasses on. I'm not dreaming 'cos after seeing it I kidded to an office colleague that I kept forgetting to wear them - and she believed me and told everyone else. So what I'm thinking of was definitely only partly in 3-D. The mystery continues.

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  6. I am so delighted that you share my opinion of Day-Lewis. I would just like to make one more point: Many critics have compared Day-Lewis' performance with Antonio Banderas's performance on Broadway, who gave the character a different spin, almost humerous. While I enjoyed the stage show, I was not as impressed as I was with the movie. The character was undergoing a breakdown, so, to me, humor has no place here. D-L is a great interpretor of characters-almost infallible. So, who the hell are these people who decide how a role should be played? Why do their opinions affect the boxoffice? As to the smoking, well it was very much a part of the 60's culture. I have to admit that I got a big laugh during the hotel scene when the doctor was present and Guido opens his mouth and releases all that smoke. Also, if you want to see the musical number again, just go to YouTube and type in "nine" and they should come up.

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  7. Ok, I'm officially jealous. I think everyone has now seen Avatar and knows what they liked and disliked, meanwhile, we won't see it for many months, and even then it won't be in 3D. Such is life!

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  8. I don't think seeing it in 2D will make a significant difference, Kyle, though I admit 3D does give it an extra (much-needed) 'something'. But then I purposely didn't see 'Cloudy ....Meatballs' despite having very good reviews here.

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  9. Hi Ray, I nominated you for the Kreativ Blogger award (and accompanying meme). Come to my blog to check it out.

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  10. 成功多屬於那些很快做出決定,卻又不輕易變更的人。而失敗也經常屬於那些很難做出決定,卻又經常變更的人 ....................................................

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  11. ???????? - but thanks anyway!

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