Normally this time of year, I’d be reviewing a bunch of weird holiday movies. This year I’m going to do something a little different. To commemorate the premier of the movie that James Cameron has been working on since before I was born (maybe it just feels that way), I will do a series of Movies the “Avatar” Trailer Reminded People Of.
We’re starting with one of the more obvious ones: “Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within”. Years and years ago, we were promised that this movie was going to have the most amazing, realistic animation we’d ever seen. (Sound familiar?) And so a lot of people were very disappointed when the film turned out to be the world’s longest “Final Fantasy” cut scene.
And then there’s the rumor that the film’s creators intended the lead character to star in several movies after this. Um…
The Best Parts:
1 minutes in – Oooh pretty!
5 minutes in – This is where I get to start playing! Wait…
7 minutes in – “Aw, crap. Where’s my Keyblade?”
11 minutes in – Product placement! In an animated film yet!
12 minutes in – 42
15 minutes in – I’m to understand my surgery went just like this.
19 minutes in – This is about the only obvious connection to the “Final Fantasy” franchise.
24 minutes in – “Your theory is totally ridiculous! In this world of bubble cities and space ghosts and glowy force fields and space cannons!”
35 minutes in – SPACE GHOST DRAGON!!!
37 minutes in – Finally, a science fiction film that remembers that, technically, amino acids are living things too.
54 minutes in – Well, at least you recognize your own assclownish behavior.
57 minutes in – A whole lot of upsetting things happen all at once.
1 hour, 4 minutes in – “Oh, will you please shut up and get back to work?!?”
1 hour, 5 minutes in – “Oh… Now I feel bad.” <:(
1 hour, 11 minutes in – Finally a science fiction film that remembers there’s a lack of gravity in space.
1 hour, 14 minutes in – “No problem, I brought my PS2!”
1 hour, 17 minutes in – It just occurred to me that the meteor itself would have caused at least as much trauma as the Phantoms and probably more.
1 hour, 20 minutes in – Well, that was painful and dumb.
1 hour, 24 minutes in – “WEEEEEE!!!”
1 hour, 28 minutes in – “All right! Now to fulfill my destiny!”
1 hour, 35 minutes in – “I have the POWEEEER!!!!!”
1 hour, 36 minutes in – Sparklies!
We are going to see a lot of sparkles and glowy stuff in the coming weeks.
1 hour, 37 minutes in – “When you walk away / you don’t hear me say / PLEEEEEEEEASE!!!”
Things I Learned from this Movie:
* – If nothing else, I learned that the world is not ready for a movie starring (at the time) really realistic animated human characters.
Things That Can Save Any Movie:
Cool Creatures? The alien designs are pretty awesome. Only problem is, it’s hard to get a good look at them, because they’re all glowy.
Good Soundtrack? It was made by the people behind “Final Fantasy” after all.
Hot Guys? Um… I didn’t get much of an Uncanny Valley vibe from these characters, but your opinion may be different.
Pretty Scenery? Once again, it’s by the “Final Fantasy” team.
Nifty Animation/Effects/Art Direction? See immediately above.
Drinking Game Potential? Drink when you see translucent glowy things.
Head Movie Potential? I forgot to mention that the space ghosts have a taste for the souls of Earthlings. The scenes showing them eating are pretty visceral. In so many words, probably not.
Jordan with a sword twice as long as he is tall, riding a Chocobo across a pretty, pretty landscape.
A Square Film released in 2001 by Columbia Pictures. Written by Al Reinert and Jeff Vintar and directed by Hironobu Sakaguchi.
The just-recognizable-enough-to-be-distracting voice talents of Ming-Na, Alec Baldwin, Donald Sutherland, James Woods, Ving Rhames, and Steve Buscemi
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