Keith N.'s Profile - Rotten Tomatoes

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Avatar (2009)
7 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

Fern Gully meets The Last Samurai. While this movie is visually stunning, I found myself bored at parts. The character development is great. The script is incredibly predictable and written by a sophomore in high school. I feel that most people raving about this film aren't looking much past the visual effects, which are amazing. I cannot stress that enough. As far as revolutionary goes, that is the only aspect in which it is. The script has been done before.

We learn a lot about Jake Sully and development of others is woven into the movie because Jake must learn about the Na'vi. Jake is an ex-marine filling in for his twin brother because he has identical DNA. This leaves the door wide open for character development that does not slow the movie down and actually helps it. I don't want to give away too much so I will leave it at that.

The actors are all amazing. Everyone gives incredible performances whether they are human, Na'vi, or both, even Michelle Rodriguez, who is most famous for being the worst female actor in The Fast and Furious. The people with the small roles don't seem to mind and are great as well.

The first half of the film is pretty much based on character development and letting the audience know that they are not in Kansas anymore. We see the 3D pushed to max and learn how everything works.

In the second half the conflicts arise because when push comes to shove you can't have both. Once diplomacy fails the only solution is blunt force.

I see why this movie is getting a lot of hype and good reviews, but it has been done before. Past the 3D, I wasn't impressed. I know Cameron wrote this 14 years ago but perhaps he waited too long. This movie is too similar to fern gully and The Last Samurai to be anything new. The script is just mundane and too simple. If I want to watch a wonderfully written action movie that has some romance in it I watch Braveheart. This movie is not worthy of all these 100% ratings because that would imply it is perfect or close to it and it is far from it. If you are deaf I could see you giving it 100%.

I know some people who are clamoring about a political message in the movie too. If you walk out of a movie and the first thing that comes to your mind is who the director voted for then get over yourself for three seconds and walk into an intersection. I will say Cameron (the guy who made ALIEN) does a good job at making it clear that the humans are the outsiders in this one. Something I felt was too downplayed was that the human settlers are not part of the US military in anyway. Jake says it once in the beginning that they are hired guns, or mercenaries. They work for a corporation there for a precious mineral and in no way receive orders from a supreme commander which explains their ruthlessness and disregard for morals. They answer to Giovani Ribisi who is nothing more than a pencil pusher who acts hard and appears hardly rattled by what he is doing for money.

Public Enemies
8 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes
½

This movie had everything going for it and Michael Mann screwed up another one. This has most of the same problems that Miami Vice had.

My first beef is the camera work. Mann used a lot of handheld cameras for scenes in this movie and it couldn't look worse. Handheld shots are cool in Children of Men, or Braveheart, or Saving Private Ryan, not crime dramas.

Another classic Mann mistake is that he has too many little things going on and not enough focus on something important. Only Heat and Collateral do a good job having several different subplots. Mann tries to make this a crime drama, suspense, romance, and action movie all in one and in the end, it is just a pile of nothing. I found myself forgetting who was who in the movie and why a person was even there because there is no character development, even with Depp and Bale. If the public loved Dillinger, build that up more. If he and Billie were really in love, build that up more. If the FBI and J. Edgar Hoover are revolutionizing crime fighting, make it more apparent. There is no connection to anything and there was no real emotion for a fan to develop for a character. At the end of Blow, a great Depp film, I felt so bad for the guy that I had to remind myself that he is a drug dealer and should be in prison. I was hoping that I would feel the same way about Dillinger in the end (if you think this is a spoiler you are either a moron or don't have a GED) but Mann blew it. He made very little effort to make Dillinger as lovable as he was said to be.

My other big beef is that not once do Depp and Bale both have their faces on camera. Mann did this in Heat with DeNiron and Pacino too. For all we know they could be the back of extras' heads. Mann does a good job with gun fights though and making sure all you can hear are the guns because in real life there is no rap or slow motion during a bank robbery.

I do have to agree with David Letterman. If you like muzzle flashes, this movie is a must for you.

I wish this movie could be removed from the earth and remade with the same cast under better direction because it could have been so much more.