Saw Avatar This Evening
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Saw Avatar today. It was amazing. First movie I've seen in a Japanese theater in 10+ years.

Was worth the wait.

Amazing on all levels. Some complain that the basic story concept is not original, and that's true, but that doesn't mean that a well-told story is not well told. The original Star Wars somehow managed to get past the “just another good vs. evil story” gauntlet, and Avatar gets by the “Just another Dances With Wolves” gauntlet for me.

The last movie that I saw more than once in a theater was Top Gun in 1986. I'll definitely be looking to see Avatar on the big screen again.

I just wish Japanese subtitling was better. The non-English parts of a Hollywood movie (that are subtitled in English when shown in America) are shown in Japan only in Japanese, way over at the far side of the screen, using a very weird and (for me) difficult-to-read font. Like subtitles anywhere, they fly by at faster than the speed of sound. (The speed that they appear is inversely proportional to your skill in reading the language.) So, I think missed some of the more subtle points of the plot along the way.

Still, it was totally amazing.


All 7 comments so far, oldest first...

Hi !
Happy new Year to you and your Familly.

Going to see too In 3-4 hour here in Switzerland. I read so much about it, about story not as good as it could be, about 3d Glasses not good for peoples who already have glasses, and so on…
So I will see and maybe post a little critic in my Blog.

— comment by Fred Klee on January 2nd, 2010 at 12:30am JST (7 years, 11 months ago) comment permalink

I guess I’m living in a dark corner of the UK or maybe I just haven’t been paying attention. All I’ve heard about Avatar is the hype surrounding it. Before writing this I checked out the trailer in full HD just in case I had missed something, but plot aside, it looks like another CGI movie from James Cameron.

Don’t get me too wrong, Terminator 2 was the first and only movie I’ve seen more than once in a theater so I know Cameron isn’t going to make a SciFi B-movie… but the hype for Avatar had led me to believe that the CGI is so realistic that you’d think it was real (well… real old school effects like makeup and models). Maybe it translates better visually, if not linguistically, on a giant screen.

There was CG? 🙂

Let’s just say that this was no modern Star Wars, that offers nothing whatsoever but impressive graphics. The graphics allowed the story to be told, but are not the story. Seeing it in 3D was fun, but that wasn’t the story. The story was the story, and was told well. That’s what makes a good movie. —Jeffrey

— comment by JasonP on January 2nd, 2010 at 2:33am JST (7 years, 11 months ago) comment permalink

AVATAR 3D – Well it was interesting but . . . with very nice imagery but not the ground breaking leap it’s touted to be. The storyline is trite, and the characters are only moderately developed. When you consider films like Final Fantasy from 2001, which was beautifully rendered and completely computer generated, even the voices. No human morphing, voiceovers or anything like that, totally CGI. (also with a trite storyline unfortunately) I was expecting a real generational improvement from Avatar, but while it was entertaining and visually spectacular I was expecting better. Final Fantasy was a box office bomb, Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within a computer animated science fiction film by Hironobu Sakaguchi, the creator of the Final Fantasy series of role-playing games. It was released on July 11, 2001. The story follows scientists Aki Ross and Doctor Sid in their efforts to free Earth from a mysterious and deadly alien race known as the Phantoms, which has driven surviving humanity into “barrier cities”.

I think you don’t know what “trite” means. —Jeffrey

— comment by Wayne on January 2nd, 2010 at 5:22am JST (7 years, 11 months ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeffrey –

I know that this is a little off subject, but I saw a documentary this morning to start off the New Year and it made me think of you. You are the only person that I know and identify with in Japan. The movie is called “The Cove.” It is an environmental movie made by the man who founded “Flipper.” The movie centers around the city of Taiji, Japan and the subject matter is the capturing, selling and killing of dolphins during their period of migration. The website for the movie is thecovemovie.com. Just thought that you might find this interesting – I am not sending this to shed light on this subject matter – I just am interested to know if this place is close to you, and have you ever heard of this?

I thoroughly enjoy reading your blog every day and a huge thanks for the Smugmug/ Lightroom Plugin. I finally sent my contribution a few weeks ago.

Thanks for all that you do and Happy New Year to you and your family!

Chad

— comment by Chad on January 2nd, 2010 at 12:46pm JST (7 years, 11 months ago) comment permalink

BTW – I saw Avatar this past Wednesday in an IMAX theater in 3D and I agree – It was incredible and I am planning to see it a second time. 1st movie I saw in 3D, since the red and blue glasses, and I was blown away!

— comment by Chad on January 2nd, 2010 at 12:49pm JST (7 years, 11 months ago) comment permalink

Dang,
It came here in Amami but it wasn’t 3D. I saw it regular. It was an amazing movie. I have my bit of qualms about the story but it was told very nicely. I enjoyed watching. Maybe I’ll have to take a trip up to the mainland just to see it in 3D. lol
Earnie

The 3D thing is a nifty gimmick, but is not what makes the movie. The 3D effect wasn’t even as good as the one in Honey, I Shrunk the Kids we saw at Tokyo Disneyland, though to be fair that had some actual physical effects thrown in. Anyway, relatively speaking, the 3D aspect of Avatar is not that big a deal, even though that’s why I initially wanted to go. —Jeffrey

— comment by Earnest Barr on January 4th, 2010 at 9:22pm JST (7 years, 11 months ago) comment permalink

Jeff,
I also went to see Avatar over my enjoyable winter break! I LOVED IT! I saw it in 3D and can’t wait to see it in 3D and IMAX because I figure that would be the closet thing next to actually visiting Pandora. 😉
Happy New Year!
Natalie

— comment by Natalie on January 5th, 2010 at 8:43am JST (7 years, 11 months ago) comment permalink
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