So I had the chance to watch Avatar during the first week it was out about 2 months ago, and overall I really enjoyed the movie. James Cameron only makes a movie every decade or so now, and while I tend to avoid Hollywood blockbusters it’s always interesting to see his stuff as they always employ cutting edge movie technology. Regardless of whether you’ll like the story or not, you walk into his movies knowing that it’s going to be a visual experience, especially when it’s playing in an IMAX theater. While I think it could have been better had Cameron hired someone else with better skills to write the dialogue, overall I can’t say I have much to complain about the movie.
While I was in the office kitchen one morning about a month ago a coworker walked by and asked if I had seen Avatar. He had just watched it the night before and was very impressed by it. So we spent a few minutes chatting it up about the story, characters, visual effects, IMAX, etc., and towards the end of our conversation we had this sort of awkward exhange:
Me: So, I was going to ask you… uhh, well, it’s kind of a strange question but… uhh, this may sound CRAZY but… (couple seconds of silence)… well here it goes… is it weird to find the female avatar attractive???
Coworker: No! I was thinking the same thing during the movie! I mean, the characters were very true to life… she’s athletic and… uhh, uhh so yeah… I can see why you’re asking about it. It’s not that weird… I guess.
Needless to say, the conversation ended abruptly right there and we immediately returned back to work.
Okay as weird as that exchange was I swear that I’m not a sicko! Not into any of that sick stuff at all. Seriously! If anything, it was a testament to how good the movie and it’s effects were that the audience could identify themselves with characters that weren’t even human. Besides, I know it’s not just me and my coworker that might have left the theater feeling a bit weird, as even Roger Ebert acknowleged it in his movie review. Here’s an excerpt from his review:
“…The Na’vi are embodied through motion capture techniques, convincingly. They look like specific, persuasive individuals, yet sidestep the eerie Uncanny Valley effect. And Cameron and his artists succeed at the difficult challenge of making Neytiri a blue-skinned giantess with golden eyes and a long, supple tail, and yet–I’ll be damned. Sexy.”
Phewwww!!! THANK YOU EBERT! You’re the MAN!!! Thank you so much for putting this out there for all to read! So glad (and relieved) I’m not not the only one. Although could it just be me, my coworker, and Ebert that thinks like this??? Yikes!!
Haha… well in all honestly I think it’s cool that as adults we can acknowledge this and laugh about it (and at ourselves). However, I do wonder how this may affect younger moviegoers who will basically grow up adoring this movie as one by which all other sci-fi flicks will be judged by. When I grew up, I had Star Wars with Princess Leia. This generation of kids will have Avatar with Neytiri. Hmm, James Cameron may wow his audiences every 10 years or so, but he may also be mentally scarring an entire generation of youth in the process…