Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Why I can't see AVATAR

I still haven’t seen AVATAR. I’ve heard mixed reviews but the general consensus among my jaded circle of friends is that it’s basically a B-Western but the effects are extraordinary. And you must see it in 3-D.

Uh, that poses a problem for me.

Normally I can’t see in 3-D. Whatever the medical name is my eyes just won’t make that buy. In PC terms I guess I’m optic trickery challenged. This has scarred me for life. I’ve never gotten over the crushing disappointment of not being able to fully appreciate Michael Jackson in CAPTAIN EO at Disneyland.

So I guess I could see AVATAR in old fashioned 2-D (oh why couldn’t there have been that option for EO?). If it was showing on a big enough screen I still might catch the gist. Blue people are supposed to be coming right at me at this moment, right? Oooh, yes, I could see where that would be thrilling.

But my problem extends beyond that. I had minor eye surgery recently and although it was a complete success the surgery left me with an inflamed cornea. This is a temporary condition, corrected by time and six thousand eye drops applied in five thousand different schedules. I have to take one now but can’t remember which. So for the moment things are a lot blurrier on the left side of my world than my right. Hopefully this will clear up within a few weeks but in the meantime, do you know of any theater showing AVATAR in 1-D?

Oh well, even if I miss the theatrical release, I’m sure I can eventually catch it on my iPhone.

Now if James Cameron’s technical wizards could just devise 3-D audio. You don these special headphones in selected theaters and the dialogue suddenly sounds real. That process would work for me.

By the way, you’re welcome to leave comments that you had the same cornea thing and you’re now perfectly fine. But I will delete any comment that scares me. Thank you.

43 comments:

Papageiena said...

I saw it in 3-D. You're not going to miss a lot if you see it in 2-D. The only 3-D movie I've seen since the trend started that really used it well was 'Coraline'.

Dave Hackel said...

I have the exact same problem with traditional red/blue 3D. Nothing changes except that everything looks red and blue. Captain EO, on the other hand, worked just fine. I'm guessing that we don't have 20/20 vision between us.

emily said...

Well, I tried Apple's new IPad. It doesn't seem very absorbent, and it makes me walk funny. Thanks a lot Mr. Jobs.

Barefoot Billy Aloha said...

Ken sees more with his ears than most of us do with our eyes...

Jake said...

I had eye surgery to correct what is termed traumatic cataracts in both eyes (here's a life lesson, never lead with your head)... One eye is now 20/15, the other didn't take, some I'm left with what is known as natural myopia--one eye for close up, the other for far away.

But I still can't see around corners of buildings. Go figure. And more importantly, I don't need to see Avatar either. It''s been done already: Dances with Wolves meets Ferngully.

Hope your eyes will see for miles.

Orel said...

(Insert obligatory umpire joke here.)

Diogo said...

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Avatar is a really bad movie, no matter what D you see it in. It's pretty pictures linked together for 3 hours, supported by a very very thin basic story, the oldest story in the history of film actually. But who am I to judge? It made (and makes) piles of money, as did Titanic, so I guess there's a mass audience that loves it, and I don't think its is just for the goofy glasses you get to wear.

Rose said...

I'll spoil you a little and reveal that at no time are there blue people coming "at you" during Avatar. The depth is almost entirely behind the screen. That's why it's good 3D.

Anyway, I'm not sure about the 1D experience, but you could always close your eyes and get the full no-D effect!

Anonymous said...

Actually, you've seen Avatar a thousand time and heard every lame line. The 3-D is average, not as compelling as the 2-D effects in Star Wars I. Not an original scene, line of dialog or plot in the entire three hour long, long movie. Said it before too, how does Cameron get away with it.

Wayne said...

I can't see 3d well in real life but I can see 3D fine with the new polarized tech.

One test. Go to a video game place like Fry's and check out the Nvidia Ge Force 3D gaming glasses on a Viewsonic monitor. It's amazing.

Alan Coil said...

Ken, I, too, suggest you try the new 3-D process after your eye heals. I don't see 3-D very well with the red/blue process, but the new process works much better.

I have to agree with others here that Avatar as a movie is not very good, but the visual aspect of the 3-D makes the experience more enjoyable.

denzdenizens said...

Well then,you'll be most happy to hear about the new line of 3-D TV's coming out...and yes,glasses will be required.Thanks,Mr.Cameron!

J said...

I watched Avatar twice - first in 2D, later, in Imax 3-D because everyone told me that I *had* to. I honestly don't think the movie is heaps better in 3-D, which actually gave me one of my worst migraines in recent memory. In fact, I swore off 3D movies after that experience. 2D is good enough for Avatar, I should think. :)

D. McEwan said...

Just take some LSD and watch The Smurfs. You might even end up hallucinating something better.

jbryant said...

emily: MadTV actually did a sketch about an Apple iPad long before the real thing came along, and they had the same take on it you did. You can find it on youtube - just search for "Apple I-Pad."

blogward said...

I'm going to buy two iPads and play Avatar on both at once, holding one up to each eye.

Ken, keep up the drops. I can only imagine what a hilarious script you'd make out of this.

WV: deracibl = what you feel like when the neighbours play loud music.

emily said...

good grief.

solsticedawn said...

I'm 3D challenged, too. The eye doctor tried testing my 3D vision for years and then gave up.

Ironically, my dad, a professional photographer, is HUGE into 3D. Yet his daughter can't see/appreciate what he sees.

That said, I saw Avatar with my entire family in 3D. I had to be there when Dad saw it, even though I'm in my 40s. I enjoyed the effects, and it did seem to have more "depth" than the average movie.

My recommendation - see it on the biggest screen you can. It's visually STUNNING; the plot is a story told 1000 times before. If you wait to watch it at home, you'll never bother.

Oh, and I'm one of those people that can't watch hand-held camera on a big screen. Vertigo, nausea, you name it. This movie didn't bother me in that regard.

MILMF said...

im following you.. follow me back!

blogward said...

James Cameron's new project is a remake of the Grand Canyon. Also visually stunning with a lot of depth.

Paloma said...

Ive seen it both in 3-D and 2-D. Really, you dont miss much if you cant see it in 3-D. its not that "spectacular".

The Curmudgeon said...

The old red/blue glasses never worked for me either -- but I saw Avatar in 3-D (with different glasses from the old cardboard frames) and thought it was fabulous.

But a B-Western?

It's really Halliburton vs. the Noble Savages -- cliched in every sense and still fabulous because of the effects. Think "Star Wars." The first three movies were so amazing that no one cared about the leaden acting and wooden dialog. Hopefully James Cameron won't do a George Lucas and think that the Avatar-going public will be interested in a prequel on how Halliburton recruited burned out vets on a depleted Earth. At least there wouldn't be a Jar Jar Binks in such a saga....

Anonymous said...

You'd figure that with the two (unadjusted) highest grossing pictures of all time that Mr Cameron would be able to afford a writer... but apparently not...



vw: Shemb. The forgotten stooge

Anonymous said...

I am a sick person. I have not seen ET, I have not seen Titanic.. the more a movie is hyped up, the less I am interested in seeing it. And I become an incredible pain-in-the-ass about it too, telling all and sundry how I will not succumb to the Hollywood machine (BTW I waited in line for an iPhone. That's a different hype isn't it?). So I have not and will not see Avatar, until I'm sold old I can use that as currency.

Mike in SLO said...

Avatar? Ho-hum. Boring, boring, and really poorly written. Visually stunning? I suppose it was pretty, but I couldn't get over the lameness of the story. I really wanted to love it too, as the right-wing seems to think its some kind of liberal propaganda. If that's liberal propaganda no wonder were always losing the message war to the Republicans!

I have a real good suggestion for you, Ken. Just don't see it! You'll enjoy it a lot more that way.

Thank God for this site, because I was beginning to think I was the only one who wasn't impressed with that pedestrian piece o' crap.

Anonymous said...

I saw Avatar in 3D and really didn't get much from the depth of field--I thought "Up" made much better use of the 3D. As a movie, Avatar is an amazing technical achievement, and a few of the flying-through-the-trees scenes are great filmmaking. But it's a lousy, badly-written, cliched movie. Remember the scene in Titanic where Kate & Leo practice spitting off the side of the boat? The whole movie is written at that level. 1D villians, idealized natives, tons of stupid blow-it-up, shoot-everything-in-sight war scenes. You should see it in 2D on a big screen, just to appreciate the technical stuff that worked really well, and the scope of the movie. But it's a clunker overall.

JT said...

I had the cornia surgery last year. My penis got bigger. That should terrify you.

AlaskaRay said...

I loved Avatar even though I went in with very low expectations because of all the superhype leading up to its release. I don't think the 3D made a huge difference (and it wasn't distracting). The story is simple but entertaining and the pace is very good. It will probably be the only 3D movie that will sell me the 2D DVD when it's released. Even so, you should see it the first time on a big screen.

Ray

Tom Quigley said...

D. McEwan said...

Just take some LSD and watch The Smurfs. You might even end up hallucinating something better....

Best suggestion I've probably heard about this movie yet, Doug... Now if someone could just tell me how (and why) to enjoy TITANIC...

Kate said...

My husband has the same issue -- he has CP, and although his vision is 100% corrected by glasses, he doesn't have binocular sight, and probably never will.

I looked ALL OVER for a 2D screening and couldn't find one. Finally, I cracked and saw it by myself in 3D. Walking out, I thought about taking my fella to see it when we could find a 2D screening, and it dawned on me: It's not really worth his time. I mean, it was a fun afternoon and everything, but so is a trip to Disneyland.

So no, you're not missing out. Head down to Anaheim and ride Space Mountain three times in a row and you'll be basically even with the rest of Los Angeles.

Cap'n Bob Napier said...

All of this reminds me of the SNL bit that starts, "And now, Sandy Duncan for View-Master..."

l.a.guy said...

I've received a secret link to the budget for Avatar.

Eve said...

Hey Ken - my daughter had three eye surgeries, and went to a 3D vision specialist at UCLA, who himself does not have 3D vision! Ironic, or malpractice, you decide. Anyway, what "they" tell me is that you don't really need 3D vision, that distance perception is 85% other factors (size, color saturation, etc etc). And my kids saw Avatar both in 3D and 2D and loved it equally (they also loved its sister movie, Pocahontas).

Anonymous said...

It's playing everywhere in 1D. The "dialogue".

Kevin said...

unobtainium... lol. not to give away the story but how about suggesting fixes that would make the movie watchabe.

1. cut the other guy scientist.
2. mak a love triangle with the wheelchair guy and blue chick and teacher doc.
3. have the general killthe girl in the end.
4. have he tree of life come alive and toss the mining camp off planet.
5. cut 45minutes off the movie
6. add sex scenes.
7. let humans get mutated by the mineral like in dune.
8. add cuts to life back home wih adicts to mineral/ druggies, zombies, etc.
9. let the doctor live and she hooks up with a mutated general.
10. just watch the prawn movie insead. okay add swearing.

Anonymous said...

You didn't miss anything. I didn't feel much for it and neither did anyone I know. And I can make a spot in my heart for silly but captivating movies... even Titanic.

I also hate 3D. It "works" for me but I've never seen a 3D movie that was also an A+ storywise. They're always inferior to excellent 2D movies.

I have to wear the goggles over my glasses and it's like I lose the perimeter of the entire screen.

Anonymous said...

Another thing -- they say a story is as only as good as it's villain and that's exactly how this movie screwed up.

It's not Stephen Lang's fault. He stole Public Enemies with about 5 minutes of screen time.

Anonymous said...

how can you not see in 3D? is it just the 3d movies, or in real life too, like no depth perception? can you hit a baseball with a bat?

Anonymous said...

Mandobob from Denver sez...

Interesting comment concerning the B Western. I haven't seen AVATAR (maybe I won't..I haven't yet decided) and in no way would consider myself a Cameron fan but other than the original TERMINATOR, his other films I've seen (like ALIENS) seem to have that "B" movie quality as well. (No I haven't seen TITANIC). He strikes me as a good imitator, but not a real new idea type of writer/director.

Anonymous said...

I thought the effects were good, but the writing and story were horrible. I found it to be preachy and hokey.

Anonymous said...

The avatar movie is the same story we've seen a billion times. "Hero" starts out on the bad side. He goes undercover pretending to be a good guy. He then decides he likes the good guy side better, but then the good guys find out that he lied to them about being a good guy and he's really a bad guy. they don't think they could trust him and he has to prove himself by going against the bad guys. BORING! I mean c'mon, how many times has this story been done?

David K. M. Klaus said...

I regret that I have only been able to see the Moe/Larry/Joe Besser 3-D Three Stooges comedies from the fifties in 2-D.

How can I live without seeing Larry Fine throw a knife along a wire connected to the camera "straight out of the screen" at me?

Sebastian said...

I know I said this here before but I can't see 3D either - not at the cinema, not in real life either. My right eye only has 40% vision and you know what? You need two good eyes to get stereoscopic images in your head.

On the plus side what you guys are trying to establish with those ugly glasses isn't necessary for me - I perceive any movie as if were the real world - except for the problem that the camera isn't mounted in my skull and offering views I'd never experience.

But other than that I've been enjoying my 2D life without paying extra for over three decades now ;-)