Release Chat – Avatar

In which Stewart looks at the consumer media with the intense gaze of a robot detective in a murderama.

There’s only one release worth speaking about this week and that’s Avatar (Or James Cameron’s Avatar to give it the correct media title).

When ‘A-Day’ happened, and the trailer was released for public consumption, it’s fair to say it polarised opinion. It had been shrouded in mystery up to that point and – I think – a lot of the audience didn’t know what to expect.

However, when the man behind Terminator 2 claims to have re-written the book on special effects, it’s bound to send expectations through the roof.

Unfortunately, a lot has changed since Cameron’s last film, Titanic, was released and naysayers now have a massive worldwide channel on which to register their ‘thoughts’, condemning the film based upon three minutes of footage.

But let’s face it, like anything which has a steamroller of hype behind it – there was nothing which could have been revealed that would have pleased the doubters. I’m sure if they were to see the trailer for T2, were it to be released today, they would have been equally as underwhelmed.

I honestly don’t see how anyone could react like that. What we saw, in my opinion, was actually a spectacular yet very traditional vision of an alien world mixed with other classical sci-fi themes (Mech suits, floating islands, strange fauna). Nothing from the trailer seemed wholly new. Rather it offered a montage of the best bits from other examples in the genre, blended together – with some subtlety – to create a familiar yet fantastical tone. This is no bad thing, because if they’d gone out of their way to create something, the likes of which you’d never seen before, then it may have got in the way of the more important elements of the film – i.e. the storytelling.

The story is something that, from the trailer, we can’t make any assumptions about!

For example, there’s no collection of clips that you could string together to summarise The Godfather, which would even remotely suggest that it’s the greatest movie of all time (I think this is the official trailer, in case you’re curious).

We have the gist, and we have the style, but the Avatar trailer featured little dialogue, and only hints of the complex character interactions that the source material is bound to give rise to. Personally can’t wait to experience it.

It’s out this Friday.

And that’s it. That was 2009!

-Stew (@Chicknstu)