A friend recently went to see Avatar in 3D at an IMAX cinema, and reported that it was “quite flabbergastingly impressive”, and “if this is the future technology of film-making, then I like it”. The nearest IMAX cinema to me is over two hours away, so I couldn’t see myself making the effort to go to that. However, a quick search showed that there was a 3D cinema located in nearby Winterswijk, so last night I went to see Avatar for myself.
I totally agree that the film is an extremely impressive technical achievement, and visually stunning, but this is James Cameron that we are talking about, so it’s about as subtle as being bashed over the head with a lead pipe.
That’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy it, I did, but it’s not a ‘great’ film, in the sense of being a Citizen Kane or a 2001; at least in my view. The baddies are bad and the goodies are good – there’s no place for any moral ambiguity in Cameron’s films. And the allegories are up there in neon; the parallels with the European conquest of the Native Americans, or the second Iraq war – one character even utters the phrase ‘shock and awe’ for heaven’s sake, just in case anyone missed the point.
And it has a happy ending – it’s clearly not real life… Still, as good escapist entertainment, it’s a fine film, and will probably set the bar for films to come in the same way as the original Star Wars did.
There was also a 3D trailer for Tim Burton’s Alice – and I’ll definitely be going to see that in 3D. I’ll also be seeing it in Winterswijk. The cinema is bijou, the 3D auditorium has only 150 seats and it looks ever so slightly tired. But the staff are friendly, the sound system is good, the screen is big enough, and the 3D effect is excellent…