The newness of the Droid has worn off, and the need to document every discovery has fallen off as well. That’s why I was pleased when Mike Arrington called the movie Avatar the iPhone of Movies. That gave me an excuse to write a new post for the Droidie blog.
I went to Avatar last night with Cori, a new Droid user — and I hope to recruit her to write for this blog. She likes violent noisy action movies, which is probably why she likes the Droid. But Arrington’s point is that the movie is a game-changer for the movie business, as the iPhone was a game-changer in the mobile device business. I’m not an expert on movies, maybe he is, but I kind of see his point.
He said the movie shouldn’t be judged by the plot — he conceded that the plot was pretty boring — rather it should be judged by the virtuality that it creates. Ahhh. Interesting. I hadn’t considered that.
It is a wonderful movie that way. They achieve suspension of disbelief in a complicated world, rendered in 3D. We saw it in an IMAX theater. I explained it to my mother that my uncle, who has been gone for only six years, wouldn’t understand what we saw in this movie, that’s how much progress has been made. He would also love my Droid or an iPhone, because it’s like carrying a library full of encyclopedias with you everywhere you go. Probably more like the Droid because its Verizon connection actually works most places you try to use it. Which is another reason I think Arrington might be right about Avatar being an iPhone, but not in a positive way.
The iPhone is the phone of dropped connections, 3G that doesn’t work, and every third word inaudible. Lots of “Wait a minute say that again.” I lost the suspension of disbelief in the movie when the characters broke out of jail (we didn’t even know they were in jail!) only to be assaulted by the evil security chief who couldn’t shoot straight enough to hit them even though they weren’t moving. It was at this point that I leaned over to my companion and said “This movie just started to suck.” And it continued to suck until almost the end when the two lovers joined up in a very interesting and creative way (no spoilers).
No doubt whoever owns the technology that Cameron used to make this movie will rent it out so that other movies will be made with it. They will remake old movies. Why bother inventing new plots or characters or new ideas when you can just rehash a mishmash of old ones with new special effects? Well, I care and hope they bother. I am much more enthralled with an intricate movie with great characters and acting I saw a few days before Avatar. Its special effects were limited to using real airplanes instead of mockups. Wait that isn’t a special effect!
That said the world of Avatar is appealing, sexy, vibrant and itself interesting, as the iPhone was two years ago. But the plot of the iPhone never developed because the reason you have all that sexy appealing vibrance is so you can make a call, or send a text, look up a fact, or plot a map, and the iPhone fails to deliver. And the reason you go to a movie is to fall into a story deeply, to feel the suspension of disbelief, and ultimately, like the iPhone, Avatar sucked at that purpose.
What I can’t wait to see is an original story that uses the virtual reality techniques of Avatar. The Matrix of this layer of technology.