30 Day Film Challenge: Day 2

Your Least Favorite Movie

Avatar literally gives me insomnia.

In the weeks, months after I saw Avatar just thinking about it threw me into a tizzy. This is the only movie that makes me so angry I want to throw things. It isn’t so much Avatar that aggravates me but everything it represents as a movie for the industry. I am so happy that the 3D hype is dying down. Maybe I can actually sleep through the night now.

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The Return of my Avatar-Induced Insomnia

At 2 AM I found myself in a familiar place – wide awake and thinking about Avatar.

This is how Avatar makes me feel

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.

Happy Earth Day! Avatar Gets A Release Date

Mark your calendars. Avatar has a release date and it is April 22 – Earth Day. For director James Cameron this date makes perfect sense because of the film’s “Save the Planet” message. But there is a catch. Avatar will only be available in 2D. The small screen certainly won’t benefit Avatar and having seen it in 2D, I can tell you that Avatar in 2D is easily one of the worst movies ever made.

How do you think Avatar will fare on DVD? Will it break DVD sales records as well?

And in case you haven’t seen this interview with James Cameron, he answers questions about Avatar and the future of 3D.

“The Hurt Locker” reigns over the BAFTAs

Like every other award show leading up to the Oscars, the BAFTAs are seen as a predictor for th March 7 telecast. The winners were announced tonight in London.

The Hurt Locker, Avatar, and An Education each received eight nominations. But it was ultimtely The Hurt Locker‘s night. The Iraq War thriller received six prizes: picture, director, original screenplay, editing, cinematography and sound.

Upon accepting her directing prize, Kathryn Bigelow said:

“What an honour. Especially to be in this room filled with so many incredibly talented people that I have admired and been inspired by for decades. I think the secret of directing is collaboration, and I was so, so lucky to have a wonderful cast and crew. Jeremy Renner is so incredibly talented, and a cinematographer who is a visual poet, and my incredible editors. This is really amazing and humbling and deeply moving, and I think we all felt a real responsibility to honour the men and women in the field and to honour a screenplay and a screenwriter who risked his life to capture the chaos and tragedy of war. I would like to dedicate this to never abandoning the resolution to find peace.”

Meanwhile, Fish Tank, a film that is one of my absolute favorites was named the Best British Film. Director Andrea Arnold said:

“This is really a great honour. Thank you to BAFTA and the jury; it really means a lot to be supported by your homies. I had this weird dream last night that I was on a campsite and trying to put a tent, and every time I found a nice place somebody else came and put up their tent and it felt really significant but I’m not sure why. Thank you to all the people who worked hard on this, and, er, God save the Queen and thank you.”

Also surprisingly, Jacques Audiard “A Prophet” beat out Michael Haneke’s “The White Ribbon” for the “Best Film Not in the English Language.

Audiard said in his acceptance speech: “I’m going to try to say this quickly. This is the second time that BAFTA has awarded me this prize. I’m afraid that you’ll think I’m tired of it. I don’t want that to be the case; I’d like you to keep giving it to me regularly. I want to thank Optimum; if I have another son I will call him Optimum. If I have a daughter, I’ll call her BAFTA.”

Christophe Waltz and Mo’Nique continued their winning streaks in the supporting actor and actress categories. While Carey Mulligan and Colin Firth won Best Actress and Actor respectively. Are Mulligan’s and Firth’s wins a surpise over the other favorites? Maybe. This is the BAFTAs so they were more likely to win here than at any American award show.

And uh, Bella Swan Kristen Stewart won something. She beat out former Skins star Nicholas Hoult so I’m not taking this one well.

In other BAFTA news, Prince William has been named its new president, continuing a long royal tradition.

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