Thursday, 30 December 2010

Movie night

Yesterday evening, once Jasmine was asleep, we all sat down together and watched a video of the hugely successful film 'Avatar'. It certainly is an amazing production, a testimony to what modern technologies can achieve in the field of visual art. The story is an interesting piece of science fantasy fiction, as long as you suspend disbelief, and pay scant attention to the known laws of physics. Two hours and forty minutes of a superior kind of cartoon movie is quite a lot to take, however. A good half hour of battle scenes could have been usefully edited out as they contributed little to the story. As ever, the bottom line is redemption by violence, albeit on an alien world which humans are attempting to colonise.

There are few new story ideas in the script. Most have appeared already in other films, either in sci-fi or the real world, about colonisation and the rape of natural resources. Even the unique selling point that gives the movie its title 'Avatar' with human minds controlling  artificially created clones of an alien humanoid species, in order to learn about and engage in their world appeared decades ago as I was reminded on the plane coming out here, watching a couple of episodes of 'V' back to back in an attempt to induce sleep. So basically there was little new to think about or discuss, apart from the shortcomings of the story line and its presentation. Although I found the film impressive in its conception, it was uninspiring and no more than entertaining as an exercise in showing what can be achieved by computer graphic animation. I preferred the movie of 'Lord of the Rings'.

Watching a film late gave us a shortened morning, but by midday I was queuing for an afternoon ski pass, and then for equipment hire. By one John and I were on the lift together, and we managed an excellent three hours of skiing. For much of the time it snowed lightly, although the sun was visible in and out of the clouds drifting across the piste. The temperature was minus twelve, and it was an effort to stay warm, despite being decently clad. Any time we skied really fast the wind chill factor numbed face and hands, but it was worth it. We both found the confidence to ski in the powder and rough bits along the piste edges as well as try every piste except the really bumpy steep black runs. A real treat. Rachel's jammin' down the Hoodoos Bar again tonight.

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