Monday, 18 January 2010

Avatar - a visual feast with little drama

I've saw Avatar in 3d about 3 weeks ago. I put on the funny specs and sat down to be absolutely astounded by the visual feast presented to me. This was not 3d that came out at me but 3d that pulled me in. Yet, halfway through the film I began to get annoyed at the limitations to my feast imposed by the screen - I literally wanted to step into the window that the screen had become. And as it's a long film I found the hardware on my face a bit heavy especially as it sat on top of my own glasses.
3 weeks on I have not been tempted to see the film again - once the amazingness of 3d wore off, it doesn't stand up as a story for me. There were very few points that were new instead just a rehash of the "we are one with the world" message. I felt no empathy with Jake Sully and didn't really learn much about the Na'vi. My usability head also kept getting in the way as I wanted to know how he coped with the interface of living in another very different body especially as he had to switch over to his own so frequently. I assume things would smell, taste and feel different and wanted to know how that affected his perception, personality and movements.
Contrast this to one of my all time favourites "A man called horse" made 40 years ago, starring the talented Richard Harris. In that film, you got an essence of how the man changed and a real view of the life the Sioux lived - though I don't know how accurate it was, it felt very real to me.
3d is in it's early days. Tot will be able to see Avatar in 10 years time and I hope by then we will get both the depth in vision and in drama. I also hope they figure out a way for us to watch 3d without needed any special eye furniture.

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