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Avatar and Sherlock Holmes

25 Dec

2 new movies that I watched. My review, and the obvious precaution of spoiler alert.

1. Avatar
I watched this movie in 3D (alas, the IMAX 3D tickets were quickly sold out, so the standard 3D would have to do). Pretty impressive visuals. This movie is a showcase of how far CGI technology in cinema has become. It’s just amazing the way they portrayed Pandora’s colorful and lush jungle environment. The 3D effects are not being overdone either (although there are few obvious scenes that are there simply for the 3D effects). It’s definitely a visual treat.

As for the story, well, if you saw the trailer, you already know the story. It’s the typical “soldier went undercover to gain information on the opposing party, fell in love with a girl of the opposing party, and decided to defend them” story with a scifi background. It’s also portrayed the action of invading another culture/country (or in this case, planet) to gain their resources for profit (sounds familiar?). It’s a very interesting portrayal of current world issues with a sci-fi twist. Other than that, nothing special. Guy falls in love with the girl, girl falls in love with the guy, girl thinks guy betrayed her, guy makes a com-back, war, the good guys won, the end. The movie itself is pretty long, a bit more than 2 and 1/2 hour. It pays though, as the pacing of the movie seems pretty good, not overly rushed.

The sci-fi part itself is, unfortunately, not well explored. Pandora planet is apparently a giant mesh network, where information can be transferred to and from, this includes brain signals. Heck, how did they make the avatars to begin with? What happened to earth? (Jake said that the “sky people’s” home were no longer green or something). When Jake found out that Na’vi can transfer a mind into another body, why didn’t he do it right away, thus not having to worry the enemy getting into his real body? And wasn’t that chick turned into a zombie in Resident Evil? LOL.

Anyway, impressive visuals, pretty cool watching it in 3D, so so story and acting, surprised to see Sigourney Weaver in it. Pretty entertaining, but nothing to write about the story. To be honest, I’m tired of sci-fi movies that portrays the future and/or technology as bad. This is why I like Star Trek, which seems to be the only sci-fi franchise that portrays us, humans on earth, turning for the better in the future (watch any Start Trek episode/movie, and you won’t see a muscly jock military soldier gungho with machine guns).

2. Sherlock Holmes
This movie was a quite a surprise for me. I like detective stories. When I saw the trailer, I was prepared to be disappointed as the trailer seems to show this new Sherlock Holmes as an action movie filled with Holmes fighting, not the image I have with Sherlock Holmes the great detective. In short, I’m afraid for a too dumbed down “Sherlock Holmes” movie. Well, the movie turned out to be very good. Sure, the fightings are in there, but Sherlock Holmes is still Sherlock Holmes, paying attention to details and deducing things from observations. Also, during his fights, he fought using his brain, planning his attacks from a science/medical point of view. Not too shabby. I’m sure the action and jokes are there to appease the mainstream audience, but they don’t dumb down Holmes’ detective skills. However, they also seems to hope the audience already know about Sherlock Holmes stories/characters (I have no idea who Irene Adler was), which may be a good thing so no time is wasted in the movie explaining the back story or whatnot.

In short, an extremely entertaining movie. This movie also setup for sequels as it introduces Professor Moriarty in the end, Holmes’ well-known nemesis. My only gripe with this movie is that the person sitting next to me in the theater smelled awful.

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Posted by on December 25, 2009 in 2009, avatar, movie, sherlock holmes

 

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