Sunday, February 7, 2010


The Filmfreak Mafia is all about the narrative in the film with the stars and special effects being secondary -- a distant second. It's films like Avatar that make the family's mission necessary. With all the hype and awards and buzz this film has been getting, you would think it was the final apocalypse. Frankly, it might as well be, since Avatar is the epitome of what is happening to filmmaking.

The plot of Avatar follows how corporate and military interests have become entangled to engage in what amounts to an imperialistic invasion of the Na'vi's home of Pandora in search for the latest and greatest power source. Through the assistance of a new technology to allow infiltration of the native's villages, a dedicated Marine falls in love with and begins to defend against his compatriots.

The story of Avatar was brilliantly told before in Pocahontas, Dances With Wolves and The Last Samurai. The major difference is that Avatar paints a future in which corporate greed is alive and well through the extensive use of CGI and other special effects. For those lucky enough, the film's already heavy handed special effects can be seen in 3D, with reports of South Korean theaters showing Avatar in 4D.

It's uncertain if James Cameron intended any parallels between the events of Avatar with certain current modern events. But even if it was intentional, the point appears to be missed through the multiple layers of special effects which serve as a distraction to the deeper implications to the story. In the end it's a very sad day for culture when slick special effects can carry a movie to awards for Best Picture.

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