AVATAR 3D at the Glasgow IMAX
Okay, I tried to avoid the hooplah and gobbets of studio PR that sloshed its way around the Meeja, puffing AVATAR as a B*I*G D*E*A*L, before heading off with SuperSusan to see the movie itself a few days ago (and thereby encountering a few of the chaps from the Glasgow Writers Circle, including the mightyJim Campbell and the equally mighty Barry Condon. Horns high, guys!)(whatever that means).
So yeah, once I got used to the big, 70s-Elton-John stylee 3d goggles, it was quite an interesting experience and after a while I forgot that I was, goshwow, watching a 3D movie. The scale and lush detail of the forest moon, Pandora, was vividly done and the implied ecology was tantalisingly involved (such that I sometimes felt as if I was seeing the sentient forest Segrana from my own book, Seeds Of Earth, made real, right up there on the screen, godammit!)
But ultimately it is the story which makes the difference between a very good movie and a great movie, and the AVATAR story was, shall we say, cut from some very familiar cloth. Its 2154 and we’re still seeing those same damn hoo-rah Yankee space marines – yawn. From a strictly story-telling point of view, its entirely possible that Amurrica would not still be in the ascendancy, were this kind of future to arrive, complete with interstellar travel. But anyway, clearly James Cameron knows the Hollywood templates back to front and chose the Evil corpo-fascists versus the Good humanoid sylvan aliens, while dropping in Resource War and Polluted Earth side narratives to gin it up a bit.
For me, however, the most important aspect of AVATAR is that, like Lucas’s prequel SWars trilogy, it dramatically widens the pallet of options available to film-makers of all kinds. There is talk of sequels to AVATAR, depending on its box office success, but I`m more interested in the films that will come after it.
How about a movie version of HYPERION, or Vinge’s FIRE UPON THE DEEP? Man, those would be astounding.
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