My thoughts on James Cameron’s Avatar are fairly complicated. I typcially love going to movies. I love the experience, I love the popcorn. I love walking out talking about what we saw, what we thought, what we liked, what we loved, hated etc…
I don’t even complain about the prices. I go to be entertained. Luckily for us (Danielle and myself) we were able to go see Avatar and eat popcorn and drink soda for free (thank you for your Christmas gifts).
So we went to see Avatar with an open mind and a full wallet.
I have taken enough film classes, thank you Dr. Daly, to know what I am watching and to look at film with a critical eye. I take the same approach to books and TV, and tend to annoy people who watch with me because I see beyond the story and ask too many questions for my own good.
I suspended my critical mind while enjoying Avatar. And that is exactly what I did. I enjoyed it. We did not see it in 3D, and there was a group of teenagers who talked through most of the film (which got us another set of free passes, that we promptly used to see Sherlock Holmes for free, and loved.)
I have read a lot of reviews that come down on both sides of the “What did you think of Avatar” argument. And I can see the truth in much of what is being said both in support, and against the film.
Did the story lack originality? Absolutely.
Did Cameron rip off most, if not all of what was in the film? No doubt about it
Did I still enjoy it and its message? Yes
That being said, I just read This… which states pretty clearly all of the films short-comings.
For more on the Roger Dean rip offs check out This…
And if you have seen the film, I think it is safe to say that you will be stunned by how much was lifted from other people’s work.
Was it a Fern Gully Rip off? Yes
I watched some James Cameron’s Aliens last night and was reminded that it is one of my favorite SyFy films, regardless of how much he lifted from other peoples work. The same can be said for Resident Evil which lifted so much from Aliens that it is borderline criminal. Take some time to check out Michelle Rodriguez’ character and compare her to the character of Vazquez in Aliens. Actually I bet if you set the two films up on TVs next to each other and start them simulaneously, they even match up time-wise.
My point is, there is very little originality out there.
I can’t find it now, but there is an old episode from Star Trek, where Kirk finds himself trapped in a world where he realizes that he can control his environment with his mind just in time to defeat his enemies, and the gun appears in his hand. (Once again, thank you Dr. Daly)
Watching it, I realized, even something that upon first look seems so original, such as The Matrix ripped off its most basic premise.
What is the point of all of this? I guess my point is that although I know Avatar was ripped off from so man places I cannot even begin to name them, I still enjoyed it.
I don’t look for every movie I watch, or book I read to change the way that I view the world around me. I think I have a pretty good view of the world as is. I read books (Currently Mistborn which is one of my favorites and needs to be checked out, and may be coming to a theater near you, or so says Drew)or watch movies, I read them, or watch them, to be entertained. I read them or watch them to have my imagination ignited. Avatar did this.