Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

My girlfriend kind of wanted to see Red Cliff during its two week run at the Ken Cinema. It didn’t look appealing to me. But a few of my movie buff friends were telling me how great it was, so I’m bummed I missed it.

Now there’s a Japanese film from 1950 playing there. It’s supposedly a classic. A friend and I went to see that, and I was bored to tears. It makes me sort of glad I let Red Cliff slip by.

I was pleasantly surprised by the DeNiro movie “Everybody’s Fine”. Sure, it’s predictable and you’ve seen most of these stories before. But it was a fun and emotional film.

On the predictable front…Avatar borrows from so many movies. There’s a little Jurassic Park here, a touch of District 9 there. A love story that is part Pocahontas; a save-the-environment story that’s part Dances with Wolves. And lots and lots of “Battle for Terra” in this.

I was at a party at James Cameron’s mansion in Malibu about a year ago. At one point he took a handful of us into his private movie theatre and showed clips of 3D films he made. I yelled out “Let’s see some Avatar.” He laughed and told me it was top secret.

Well, he’s been on every show pushing it now. Who can blame him? It’s the most expensive movie ever made.

And it’s worth every penny.

As much as it pained me to see that loser Michelle Rodriquez, she played her part well.

My favorite performance was from an actor I barely knew anything about – Stephen Lang – who played the war-happy Colonel.

Sure, the story is a bit cheesy at times. The script could’ve been tightened up.

But this is the best experience I’ve had at a movie in years. It reminded me of being a kid and seeing Star Wars in the theatre for the first time. And probably what it was like a few years before that when people saw 2001 in theatres; or King Kong going back to the 30s.

So, I can deal with one dimensional characters, when I’m seeing this 3D stuff that is simply amazing.

I would’ve been a guy working on the film that would’ve ruined it. I would’ve said to Cameron “Can’t we just have one of the aliens arrows come at the screen, to make the audience flinch?”

There’s none of that. But your jaw will drop to the floor at these visuals (watch out for the crushed Milk Duds and sticky soda that’s probably been there since the Clinton administration).

It baffles me that Hellboy II, which was an awful film, got 92% good reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and this is in the low-80s; because even if you hated every bit of dialogue, or the storyline…the visuals alone make it worth it. And the story does work for me. I was into the romance between the lead characters; the story about a Marine that loses his legs and might get new ones, etc.

To call this film magical…is perhaps the best adjective I could think of. I’m sure the critics that didn’t like it will talk about how formula and pedestrian a few aspects of the script are. And I immediately think about how Forrest Gump only got about 75% good reviews from critics across the country.

I recently had a fight with a military friend that tried pushing the lame movie “Brothers” on everyone. I told her, and a few of my friends, to instead see “The Messenger.” I offered everyone a money back guarantee.

I would do the same with Avatar, but one theatre was charging $19 a ticket. Ouch!

Comments
11

Wow, Josh....have to admit that after I saw it, I didn't think your reviews would be so nice? I immediately stated that I thought the movie was visually stunning..and I'm glad we agree on that...and the story too...hokey, pulled from others, been done before, predictable...whatever term you use, its there. But overall, I thought the movie was worth seeing. As little as I go to the theater, its nice to know that my money wasn't wasted on Avatar.

Dec. 23, 2009

Avatar is more bulls for the sheeple. Baaaaaaaa! Baaaaaa! I'm a HUGE fan of Miami Vice. I saw the big screen version twice last year when it hit the theaters. The only reason I bothered to see it on the big screen was because I'm a fan of Michael Mann. Hollywood just flat out sucks right now. There hasn't been a movie advertised since Miami Vice that made me say, "OOOOOOOH! I HAVE to pay $40 to see that!!!". Overpriced and I can't smoke. F you and the horse you rode in on! I'm not so impatient that I can't wait for it to hit the Blockbuster 3 for $20 bargain bin in a year. I have a life and it doesn't include wasting time, money and energy to look like one of the cool kids...

Dec. 24, 2009

Avatar is just putting the advanced animated computer gaming experience on a big screen for the masses. It seems spectacular now, but 3D will be commonplace in a few years.

Avatar is just selling the sizzle, not the steak.

Where have the real movies with real actors gone?

Dec. 24, 2009

I don't buy that, Ponzi.

I thought when Tarantino did Pulp Fiction, that that would be the new way movies were made. Because, every storyline has been done before: the underdog athlete, boy meets girl/loses girl, etc. Yet, Pulp Fiction (even though someone recently bugged me about how anyone can like a director that "borrows" from so many other movies) was interesting because of the dialogue between the actors while doing these various crazy things (overdosing, killing someone, throwing a fight, etc). Yet, we saw a few similar style approaches in movies, but it didn't become the norm. And I don't think what we saw in Avatar will become the norm. It'll be too expensive, and not worth it. Especially when a movie like Paranormal Activity, can be made for $18,000 and make millions and millions.

Dec. 24, 2009

Keep in mind that 3-D has been around since the 50's. It's more played out than an El Cajon whore. Hollywood has truly bitten the hand that's fed it and unfortunetely for the rest of humanity, the younger generation is too stupid to realize it.

Dec. 24, 2009

Oh my PistolPete! ;-) I think one could be the most jaded movie mofo out there and Josh does a pretty accurate AND good review here, but I think this movie deserves to be seen by everyone in the proper 3D environment. And that's my nerdy opinion. ;-)

Dec. 25, 2009

Pete, go see the movie and then comment.

Dec. 25, 2009

i love that you piped up that way to Cameron. Touche'!

Dec. 26, 2009

Whenever something is presented in 3-d, that's coded geekspeak for:This movie sucks donkey c*** and you should stay away.

Dec. 26, 2009

This isn't 3D like that, Pete. It's not some cheesy thing that has asteroids hurling toward the screen, and you squirm in your seat.

Hey...I got a group of friends and family going tonight.

If you want to join us, and you don't like it, I'll give you the $20 back for your ticket.

Dec. 26, 2009

Pete I agree that most of what Hollywood puts out is crap for the idiots, and Ponzi I agree I hate the computer generated special effects that don't even look real, usually in a movie with plot holes big enough to drive a(computer annimated)truck through. This is neither. James Cameron is better than that. Look at the movies he's responsible for. Aliens. Terminator. The Abyss. Titanic. This guy is a perfectionist, and he makes good movies, and believe me, Avatar (despite it's story weaknesses) is like nothing you've experienced before. You have to see it in the theater.

Dec. 28, 2009

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close