Tag Archive for 'Avatar'

82nd Academy Awards Retrospective

During the week running up to the Academy Awards, from all the buzz by everyone about The Hurt Locker, I predicted it to win Best Picture. Even though I still wanted Up In The Air to win because that was my personal favorite out of the 10 films. My original Academy Award for Best Picture of 2009 prediction…

All the Inglourious Basterds who were Blind Sided by Avatar’s visuals are not A Serious Man and should grow Up and get An Education or should be thrown into The Hurt Locker inside District 9 because the Best Picture of 2009 is still Up In The Air because the honor is very Precious: Based On The Novel Push by Sapphire.

As for the show itself, the 82nd Academy Awards honoring the best films of 2009 was held last night. Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin co-hosted the awards. The duo were mainly funny when they roasted celebrates at the start of the show. During last years 61st Primetime Emmy Awards, Tina Fey and Steve Martin presented an award and that is when I wished for the two to host together in the near future. I guess Tina Fey’s 30 Rock co-star Alec Baldwin is the next best choice. After hosting the last years Emmys and having a dance number on his own show, everyone’s favorite Neil Patrick Harris opened this years Academy Awards with a dance number.

As for the awards themselves, I am very happy of the winners. Everyone won an award that deserved it. Up won for Best Animated Feature. Christoph Waltz won Best Supporting Actor for Inglourious Basterds. Like I said in my review, his character is an instant classic and his evilness over shadowed even Hitler. Mo’Nique won for Precious: Based On the Novel Push By Sapphire. Simply one of the most stomach turning roles I have ever watched. Jeff Bridges won Best Actor for Crazy Heart. I have yet to view the film, but his praise for the role and his winning has inspired me to watch it. Sandra Bullock won Best Actress for The Blind Side. It was not my favorite film of the year, but she deserved the award. Kathryn Bigelow won Best Director for The Hurt Locker. And Finally, The Hurt Locker won Best Picture. I think it deserved to win even though it might have not been my top choice for Best Film of the year. I did think it was much stronger than the majority of the 10. I am happy that it beat out Avatar for both Best Director and for Best Picture. Many people thought Avatar might win Best Picture, which I felt was a much weaker film. Avatar ended up only winning three out of its nine nominations. Avatar won the awards it deserved because all three awards were specifically about its visuals, which is the only substance the film has.

I noticed many connections between the 10 Best Picture nominees.

There were many films about war.

• Avatar
• District 9
• The Hurt Locker
• Inglourious Basterds

Spoiler Alert, two different films featured the exact same twist ending.

• Up In The Air
• An Education

A rarity in Hollywood, there were films that focused on Jewish people.

• Inglourious Basterds
• An Education
• A Serious Man

Two films were about young poor African American children wishing for a better life.

• The Blind Side
• Precious: Based On The Novel Push By Sapphire.

There were many films that had elements about Education.

• Precious: Based On The Novel Push By Sapphire
• The Blind Side
• An Education, blatantly by the title alone.
• Up featured a boy who is trying to get an education by earning merit badges.

Avatar and District 9 were basically the exact same film, hitting many of the same beats.

• They both were about Man versus Aliens.
• The main character is a man that ends up turning into an alien.
• The main character as an alien turns on man because they become evil.
• The final climactic scene features the main character fighting the main villain, with one in a giant robot suit.

All 10 films feature a sex scene.

• Avatar featured the Na’vi aliens having weird pony tail sex.
• The Blind Side featured, well, Sandra Bollock’s character had kids somehow.
• District 9 featured a fake Photoshopped image of the main character have sex with an alien.
• An Education, Spoiler Alert, they have sex.
• The Hurt Locker did not have a sex scene, but featured Evangeline Lilly, who is sexy enough.
• Inglourious Baserds features a two second long sex scene.
• Precious, well, lets just say no one is looking forward to that scene again.
• A Serious Man, featured a dream sequence where the main character has sex.
• Up featured a sad miscarriage at the beginning. The baby had to be created somehow.
• Up In The Air featured Vera Farmiga’s naked body.

All 10 films dealt with xenophobia.

• Once Again Inglourious Basterds, An Education, A Serious Man, all focused on xenophobia of Jewish people.
• Avatar and District 9 focus on Man being xenophobia agents Aliens.
• The Blind Side and Precious had elements of xenophobia of African Americans.
• The Hurt Locker featured elements of xenopobia of Iraqis.
• Up In the Air featured only white people except for a single African American, who of course rapped.
• Up, all old people are of course racist, and it was clear that original the old man was upset that the little fat asian kid joined him on his adventure.

District 9

I went a very long time without watching District 9. I was lucky enough to not be spoiled by the film’s plot during that time. When I finally watched the film, I was genuinely surprised at the direction the film went. I am a bit saddened that I saw Avatar before District 9 because both films have a lot of the same plot points. I do think District 9 was stronger than Avatar, but I believe if I had watched District 9 before Avatar, I would have enjoyed it even more.

District 9 is an adaptation of the short film Alive In Joburg. The feature film is in a documentary style and set in 2010. The film opens with humans talking about how an alien ship suddenly appeared over Johannesburg, South Africa back in 1982. The alien ship just sat idle for an extended period of time until the humans sent a team to investigate. They found the aliens in a weak state. The humans removed all the aliens from the ship and brought them down to the city below. The aliens were suppose to live among the humans in Johannesburg, but very quickly, racial conflicts arose. The aliens were forced into a government controlled camp called District 9. The documentary style continues with the human interviewees talking how the aliens are now going to be removed from District 9 and forced into a new camp. An under prepared human, played by Sharlto Copley, was put in charge of the team that would move the aliens.

After a few scenes of the team trying to force the aliens to move, something goes wrong unexpectedly. This is when the film has a dramatic shift in its story and its tone. Before, the film was a documentary with talking heads and now it becomes a hand held action drama with Sharlto Copley character trying to fix the mistake he made. I did enjoy the direction the film went, but it was unexpected, and not what I assumed the film would be about. I believe I would have enjoyed the film even more if it were all in the documentary style and a story that would have fit that style.

This film is far from the normal action packed alien Sci-fi movie. The main theme of District 9 was xenophobia. The entire film was a metaphor for the Aparthid in South Africa. I would put District 9 in the middle of my list of favorite films out of the 10 Best Picture Nominees Of 2009. The production of the film had a very low budget but still managed to produce amazing visuals. I am, once again, saddened that Avatar’s revolutionary visuals and technique overshadows District 9, especially since District 9 used a fraction of the budget that Avatar did.

District 9 was directed by Neill Blomkamp and produced by Peter Jackson. The two were originally teaming up to create a Halo movie, but they created District 9 instead. I am very happy this deeper and more thoughtful film was created instead of a weaker, geared towards frat boys, video game movie.

Avatar

Avatar is a film that only a few people might have heard of. It has gone under the radar for far too long. Everyone must know that Avatar is easily the greatest film of all time, if not greatest thing of all time.

In all seriousness, James Cameron’s Avatar is just another mediocre blockbuster movie that is now the highest grossing film of all time.

The story of Avatar deals with humans invading the planet Pandora for its resources but the native humanoid alien race, The Na’vi, are unhappy with the humans. The humans created a handful Na’vis that they can control with their minds and inhabit the body of with the help of machines. One human in his Na’vi avatar body goes rouge and gets involved with the native Na’vi culture. He struggles with being a human in a Na’vi body as the struggles between the humans and the native Na’vi worsen.

The story conflict of Avatar is simple, Man VS Animal. You may try to find a more complex conflict of it being Man, with the motivation of Greed and with the help of Machines VS Animal, with the motivation of Faith and with the help of Nature. However, Avatar’s basic story helped it become so successful. It is so generic that the story could be a metaphor for many different real world conflicts from the past and present and from round the world. This is appealing and relatable to many people and cultures around the world.

I did enjoy Avatar and had more fun during the viewing of it than many of the other 10 best picture nominees of 2009. But that is the problem with Avatar, it was just a movie experience that was made for you to have fun while watching it. Once the last frame of Avatar is shown, the experience is finished and you do not think about the movie itself again. You might think about the amazing visuals, but not about the story or the characters or about the film as a whole. All the other best picture nominees are long lasting deep films and have made me think about the story and characters weeks later. Many of them were depressing with characters struggling through real world situations. Since the others nominees were depressing, that is the only reason why I can say I had more fun viewing Avatar but it did not make me think or care about the film like the other depressing films did. The only thing Avatar has going for itself is the visual 3D roller coaster ride for your eyes.  The visuals might be amazing, but that does not make a good movie. The music was just as bad as the visuals were good. The story and characters were undeveloped and there was too much Papyrus.

Avatar is a movie made to be a movie. It will be nothing more than just a movie. It is an experience meant to be had in theaters with 3D glasses on, like I did with my friend Michelle Fischer. I would recommend anyone to experience Avatar this way, but I could not recommend Avatar as a simple home viewing. Because of that, Avatar fails at being something more and is just a simple short term experience.