At 2 AM I found myself in a familiar place – wide awake and thinking about Avatar.
From about mid-January to until May I spent many sleepless nights pacing back and forth in my claustrophobic dorm room, ranting about James Cameron’s 3-D-palooza. Before you think I’m completely crazy, and you have good reason to because what completely sane person spends months hung up on one movie, in my defense I was completely focused on my senior thesis at the time. When you’re endlessly researching and writing about American identity and Neorealism, it is fairly easy to be sidetracked and, in my case, irrationally distressed by a movie that is the polar opposite of a Neorealist film.
Eventually, I moved on. I completed my thesis and the media craze surrounding Avatar died down. I didn’t have to blog about Avatar winning Oscars it didn’t deserve and I didn’t to worry about Avatar haunting my existence. (Except for one disastrous night this summer when Avatar was playing in a nearby park. Attempting to sleep while the sounds of the Na’vi are blasting is torture. But I digress.)
Then yesterday, Cameron had to announce that his next projects will be Avatar 2 and Avatar 3, scheduled for December 2014 and December 2015.
Considering how Cameron rails against anything other than native 3-D, that is movies that tack 3D effects on at the last minute to attract audiences rather than developing a film as a 3-D film from the start. (I like to imagine Cameron sitting through a screening of Eclipse and complaining about the special effects. Cameron probably loves the story since he can’t recognize a bad story even if it was right in front of him on a green screen for three hours.)
With the announcement, my absolute hatred of Avatar and all those feelings I successfully pushed aside months ago came flying back. I couldn’t sleep. I just kept thinking about Avatar and what story Cameron would push out. A civil war between the Na’vi? More of a terribly written, uninteresting love story? The possibilities are endless.
It is one thing to take the masterful technology, which is what 3D is and use it to make an interesting, thoughtful film that is not all about the sparkly things in front of your eyes. But that is exactly what Avatar does. The movie uses the guise of 3-D as a way mask the fact that what it doesn’t really have anything else going for it. This makes me cringe.
As long Pandora exists and is going to be revisited twice more, I don’t think I’ll ever sleep comfortably again.