Spitzit’s House

Where serious topics come to relax

Movie Review – Avatar by James Cameron (Possible Mild Spoiler Alert)

I went and saw the highly anticipated James Cameron movie, Avatar, last weekend, and I have to say I was both impressed and disappointed at the same time.  I watched it in IMAX 3-D and the movie was a visual masterpiece, really spectacular.  However, as you start really getting into the story itself, I couldn’t help but think I have seen this before.

Was I having a wierd case of dejavu?  Not at all…I was just watching a very unoriginal story.  I have seen other reviews that discuss political undertones, and important messages, etc. in this movie, but that just wasn’t the case for me.   I turned to my wife in the middle of the movie and said “This is Dances With Wolves set on a different planet”.    Outsider befriends local natives, becomes one of the them, hooks up with chief’s daughter, has antagonistic relationship with the main warrior, but eventually wins his respect, and eventually the outsider’s own race of people rolls into town killing and pillaging everything in site, and outsider comes in to save the day.

The fact is that many parts of this movie reminded me of other movies such as Aliens (walking robotic machines controlled by a human driver), Return of the Jedi (battle in the jungle with local natives using their own knowledge of the environment to eventually defeat the technologically advanced enemy).    Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed the movie, but it was not as great as I expected which is too often the case.    I saw the highly regarded District 9 which sucked big time and qualifies as one of my biggest disappointments of the decade.

I do recommend Avatar if for nothing else, because it is visually awesome.  However, don’t expect to be blown away by an equally awesome story line.  There is nothing original or political about it other than the imperialistic nature of a race that intends to crush the peaceful nature-loving natives of a foreign land.

That is my critical opinion…and I am sticking with it.


December 24, 2009 Posted by | Movie Reviews | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Movie Review – Star Wars – The Clone Wars

Went and saw The Clone Wars movie last weekend. Let me preface this by stating that I am a huge Star Wars fan. I have seen every one of the Star Wars Movie episodes multiple times; and I own them all on DVD, so that I may continue to add to the insane number of times I have seen each of them.

I love them all…some better than others, but I have truly enjoyed every single one of them. It is important to note, though, that I am a Star Wars fan and NOT a Star Wars nerd. Therefore, I do not study or speak any of the alien languages in the movies; I do not dress up like my favorite SW character on Halloween; I do not own a Star Wars T-shirt, pajamas, or underwear; I do not have a collectible Light Saber; I do not have a shrine in my home to George Lucas, nor do I know where he lives; and I do not belong to any clubs or associations related to Star Wars…oh, and I have not read any of the books. Bottom line is I have watched the movies since I was a kid, loved them all and have introduced my own children to them.

Enter the most recent addition “The Clone Wars” which is set sometime between the 2nd and 3rd Episodes which was “The Attack of the Clones” and “Revenge of the Sith“. I am going to be very honest here…The first thing I noticed as this movie began is that the animation was not the rich vibrant animation that I expected and am accustomed to seeing in major motion pictures that I pay $8.00 or more per person to see. What I saw in this film was the stiff unnatural human movement that I am accustomed to seeing in made for TV animation.

The movie does start with some decent action sequences, and moves into what is a pretty mundane plot. the characters are pretty boring and the Hutt kid is reminiscent of some big mutant booger or grotesque Pokemon creature or something. Truth is, about 30 minutes into the movie…I fell asleep. Honest to God, I passed smooth out and for the rest of the movie, I only caught occasional sections of the movie as one of my kids would nudge me awake to catch another 5 to 10 minutes before the boredom would lull me back into a more compelling world of sleep. I have not walked out of or fallen asleep in a movie theater since the movie Dune in 1984.

Therefore, I can not truly give a full and accurate review of the movie due to the fact that I was not conscious for the majority of the movie, which should tell you something. In retrospect, I wish that I had waited for this one to come to DVD or cable, because my limited perception now is that this was a made for TV animation that was mistakenly thrown on a big screen. It was an animated film that I had high hopes for, so I took the chance, rolled the dice on the Lucas magic…and got let down. While it was a sleepy disappointment for me, my kids did watch the whole movie and thoroughly enjoyed it, which is really all that matters in the end anyway. They thoroughly enjoyed Zoom as well, which is another story.

That is just my opinion, and I am sticking with it.

August 28, 2008 Posted by | Movie Reviews | , , , , | Leave a comment