I watched Avatar for the first time last night, on DVD. I didn’t want to see it in 3D because I tend to get bad headaches when I watch such films.
My first thought was that it was brilliant, but a qualified brilliant.
Now I’ve had a few hours to think about it I realise that although it is brilliant, it’s brilliant in the way that Finding Nemo is brilliant or Monsters Inc. is brilliant. To me it feels like a kids’ film. That didn’t stop me enjoying it tremendously, but I don’t think it will go down on my list of favourite films. The Incredibles, for instance, is a much better film in many ways.
The blue people didn’t quite feel real enough for me throughout, or the world they lived in – particularly with the floating mountains – and I felt constantly reminded that they were CG. As soon as we saw Jake wake up in the body of his avatar the first time it looked completely pasted onto the background. Jar-Jar Binks was handled much better than this in a visual sense. I thought the Sigourney Weaver (Grace) avatar looked out of place, even when she was amidst the other blue people and no other humans were around.
If we hadn’t seen real humans at all or they’d been stylised in the same way the Pandora natives were, then I think the whole thing would have held together better.
I would like to say that the creation of the film by all those talented individuals who modelled, animated, rendered everything is a marvel and I have a lot of respect for the work that went into making it look so good.