Saturday, April 24, 2010

Avatar on the Small Screen



I wasn’t in any hurry to get Avatar on DVD, and apparently the producers figured that a lot of people had the same idea so they released it this week at incredibly low sales prices. That gave me a chance to put my suspicions to test on this movie.

Avatar was amazing as a cinematic experience. This is something that movie theaters have been after for decades. 3D has long been proposed as the salvation of movies. In the 50s it experienced popularity when theaters were competing with television. It didn’t work then because the technology was so flawed, but that is something people have been working on perfecting since the beginning of cinema. What James Cameron really achieved with Avatar is give people a reason to go back to theaters.

For years now, the film industry has relied on home video/DVD sales to stay alive. That does not help theater chains any, and theaters are where studios make a huge chunk of their dough. Now that Cameron reinvigorated 3D, everyone is jumping on the bandwagon, but that is a mistake. If a movie is not made specifically for 3D, converting it to 3D is nothing more than a gimmick. From the buzz so far, that process will not survive. Movies will have to be made for 3D. That raises issues for the up until now lucrative home video market.

Avatar is once again the place to look for the future. The DVD release is 2D. As a 2D movie, all the fears I have are realized. Stuff that looked great on a giant screen (and in 3D) now looks a little off and… animated. All those people arguing that Avatar should have been considered for best Animated Film were right. We now see just how much of a cartoon this film is. Unfortunately, reduced to a cartoon, all the story flaws now stand out. It is not terrible, but it is no longer as special.

More on Avatar:
Initial Thoughts
Analysis

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