Sunday, 23 August 2009
As anyone who spends any time reading about upcoming films will know, James Cameron's current project Avatar has been getting hyped up like nothing we've ever seen before.
This year, the man who brought us Terminator, Aliens, the Abyss and Titanic is working on Avatar. Judging by the word that's been going around the internet, this film is the closest we're ever going to get to the Second Coming, or a cure for cancer, featuring some unbelievable groundbreaking technology that creates mindblowing photorealistic CGI the likes of which has never been seen before. Also, it's been filmed specifically to be shown in 3D.
It hasn't helped then, that every single website or journalist who has written about previews has been talking this film up as 'one that lives up to the hype'. IGN has recently been talking about how the visuals and effects are simply unbelievable and seamlessly blur the boundaries between live action and animation. (Although they now seem to be attempting to rewrite history: "I'm still underwhelmed")
However it is about this time that we remember how moron hacks hoping to set a 'meme' were also talking up the new Harry Potter film as a dark masterpiece comparable to the Dark Knight. Yeah you wish losers.
Sadly this looks like it could be another example of letting hype get the better of us. First off I'll begin by saying that I personally was very disappointed with the trailer. Anyone expecting a sci-fi masterpiece along the lines of Cameron's earlier works can forget it. The trailer opens with 'from the maker of Titanic', which frankly I think says it all about the audience this is aimed at. The look of the film is definitely of a more 'Disney-esque' style, full of cartoon elves dancing around and riding dragons.
If that's your sort of thing, then you lead a very very sad life, but that's your call.
But this is irrelevant. What ultimately disappoints about the trailer is that we can see how wide of the mark all these claims of stunning photo-realistic graphics really were. The graphics are good, for sure, but they don't look any better than other sci-fi films in recent years, certainly not as good as Star Trek, or as good as District 9 (filmed with a tenth the budget by the way). It really doesn't even look any more photo realistic than the Final Fantasy film, made some 10 years ago.
So forget all the crap you read about 'blurring the lines between reality and computer graphics', forget all the baloney about this being 'the biggest technological leap of the decade', this is just shaping up to be a bog standard cartoon about magic elves, plus one real guy thrown in for fun. Go watch the trailer, bits of it even remind me of 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit'.
Before you all attack me as a 'hater' I BADLY want this film to be good, and I was really looking forward to it. However, there is simply no doubt that the film depicted in this trailer is nothing like what we'd been led to expect, and suddenly the biggest film of the decade just looks like another by the numbers animated movie.