Avatar ★★★★

AVATAR is one of those films that I never really was that crazy about watching. The whole CGI overkill just never appealed to me and I had kept postponing watching it and then kind of lost sight of it which is actually no surprise as even though this is still the most successful movie of all times, it didn't really leave much of a cultural imprint. Yes, I do know one person with an Avatar tattoo but by and large it is not much discussed anymore. And it sure as hell doesn't seem to have influenced either geek or mainstream culture. No-one goes around knowingly quoting lines of film. No "Khaaaaaannnn!!!!!", no "May the Force be with you", no "We will always have Paris."

Despite its undisputed financial success it kind of has fizzled away in the public consciousness.

Lately though I have spent some time reading up about JOHN CARTER, a film I really love, that came out at roughly the same time but totally bombed at the box office. And one of the authors I was reading pointed out the similarities between AVATAR and Edgar Rice Burroughs' Barsoom novels and how JOHN CARTER was criticised for ripping off AVATAR when even John Cameron admitted how much he was influenced in his vision by ERB and if anything it was the other way round.

So I finally had to watch it just to at least scratch this itch. And yes, I did overall enjoy this way more than I initially thought I would.

It still is, however, a film of two halves. The CGI is nowhere as realistic as advertised. Those scenes come across like an overblown cut scene from a computer game and as enjoyable as they are they really are lacking in dramatic performances which becomes painfully obvious when the scenes cut from CGI to human actors with their skin pores and proper expressions.

I feel it probably would have served the film better if it had either been a fully blown animated movie (which it is for a large chunk) or a proper feature film with occasional CGI effects.

As it is it's enjoyable fluff. Nothing wrong with that. But still surprising how this was the one raking in all the money when a much superior film like JOHN CARTER left behind empty cinemas.

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