|On Avatar and its review
||[Dec. 20th, 2009|11:58 pm]
V. E. "Veltzeh" Lehkonen
I went to watch Avatar today. It was a movie about how humans come to exploit blue humanoids called navi on their home planet Pandora. I liked it, and while I admit it could've been done a little better, it was quite fine as it was. For once I thought 3 h 45 min wasn't enough to tell the story (though, granted, I mostly wanted more technobabble about how things work).
An issue of more discussion would be another review I read – after seeing the movie. It was in Aamulehti (Finnish morning newspaper) and said how "digitally produced images that are estranged from realism feel just as natural to the young people who've spent their youths at the computer as real, comforting people's faces in films feel to the older people". That statement felt wrong to me, but I don't think I can say much more about it without some actual research. I like both real faces and the digital ones, though of course the situation depends. If something is supposed to be very alien and non-humanoid but still has to be played by a human, it just doesn't work. And humans don't have to be digitally rendered. Anyway, I'm probably just missing something from that review statement.
I got stuck on the mention about realism, though. Whatever I've read and heard, everybody always says how we young ones should realize that movies and such are FICTION. They are NOT REAL (and you can't just shoot people like that). Well, to me, that's been pretty obvious. Then suddenly, in comes how movies, and especially sci-fi ones, are supposedly allegories of the present day. That was really emphasized in the Avatar review in Aamulehti. So who's saying what's real now? That all fictional but still allegory probably makes sense, but mostly it just feels like cheating to me at this point.
I'm not really getting why all/most/best sci-fi should be allegories of present day anyway. I do understand it's a way of telling the story in another way than it happened in real life, but... I'm just not really seeing the point in emphasizing sci-fi's allegoriness. It could be done in a regular, non-sci-fi film just as well, even if differently, I bet.
Yet another thing was how close game-making and movie-making have become. The reasoning was that they're both just coding on the computer. WTF? I don't even know that much about 3D stuff, but I'm pretty sure they still need humans for body movements, though they can just record that and then use it endlessly. The story, plot, dialogue and such need to be discussed among people; I don't think those plot generators work quite that well yet. An artist has to draw stuff for the coders, because even though I'm a coder and an artist, that doesn't mean every other coder is. And I don't even do computer generated stuff like that.
Okay, rant done. It was still a quite good movie. Maybe less Hollywood would've been nice. I'm just not sure.