I checked out Avatar last night with my dad, and I couldn’t be happier about it. I walked into it with mixed emotions. After hearing all the hype, I wanted to either love it and be able to get fully into it, or to be able to criticize it effectively. I was really left no option at all except to fall head-over-heels in love with it.
As much as I’d like to be a rare nay-sayer on this one, it’s just not there. This movie was amazing. What blows my mind the most I think is that the movie didn’t take a new approach to writing, as did Momento, or even action really. It was just a plain good action movie. They didn’t have to have crazy plot twists or anything to make a great movie, they just took the classic action template, and did it better than anyone before them.
Of course to mention Avatar without talking about the visuals would be wrong. There have been stacks of articles and blog posts about how Avatar was filmed, but to be honest I am glad I didn’t read any before seeing it. To see something as realistic as that was and have no knowledge of technology capable of creating that just made the movie that much more magical. The integration of live action and CGI (or whatever it was) was so seamless that it simply felt real. I saw it in 3D (which I highly recommend) and besides having amazing CGI, the scenes with humans in them felt like I could have reached out and touched them.
Despite having great visuals and a perfectly executed plot, what sealed the deal for Avatar in my eyes was the character development. Forty minutes into it, I was feeling indifferent about the movie. The visuals were great, for sure, but nothing had really jumped out and hooked me in. Somewhere along the way, as the lead character is running though the (beautiful) forest with the female lead, I found myself smiling. I realized then that I was proud of this guy. This alien-looking guy who I could barely identify with at all had earned a place in my heart, which needless to say isn’t very easy when you’re a 9-foot-tall blue (male) alien on a planet six lightyears away.
If you finished up that last paragraph and cringed at the sound of Sci-Fi, don’t. I don’t like Sci-Fi movies either, but Avatar brings it in a way that the only thing you can really do is sit back and watch in awe.
I know they’re fictional, but you should get ready for the zombies to come anyways. This isn’t a psychotic, creepy thing, but a lesson in practicality. I’ve been watching zombie movies for the last two days and I’ve noticed that the humans in them always come very prepared. Granted, I would probably be well-prepared too if I lived in a world in which 90% of the former population was now a brain-eating, bloody, mess. As I watched, though, it made me think – most of the equipment these people carry is very useful stuff.
My suggestion for you, and I’m not kidding, is that you prepare for the zombies to come. I’m not saying board your windows and re-collect your Y2K food stash, but get your basic supplies and skills. Here’s five things I’ve noticed while watching zombie movies that I think should be carried into real life.
- Flashlight – Most households have a decent flashlight, so you’re probably already set on this front, but if not, go out to the hardware store and buy yourself a good flashlight. The zombie hunters use them to look for supplies and carry them all bas-ass -like under their guns. You may never get to do anything that badass, but if the power goes out, it’s always nice to be able to find the john without stubbing your toe.
- Knife – Even if you don’t live in the Bronx or East L.A. a knife is a good thing to own. Not to use on living things, but for those annoying situations that I’m sure you’ve been in where you say “If I only had a pocket knife.” It doesn’t take a genius to solve these problems, but somehow I still haven’t bought myself a pocket knife. Don’t go out and buy yourself something to rival Crocidile Dundee, but owning a good knife is always a good investment. You can open those annoying packages that everything comes in that usually take a small nuclear explosion to open, or you can cut off the slack when you tie your christmas tree to the top of the car.
- Lighter – Because batteries die, and flashlights aren’t hot. In the days before flashlights, lighter would have been number one on this list, but for the most part, flashlights have the light thing covered. But in case your batteries die or you find yourself wanting to light some candles, a lighter is definitely a good backup plan. Even when the power is on, few things feel as badass as pulling out a super-fly zippo when that random guy in the street asks you for a light. He’s usually not asking for a flashlight.
- Good Outdoor Gear – I’m not talking about that raincoat from American Eagle, I’m talking good, hardy, outdoor gear. Boots, heavy pants, and a good jacket, at the very least. You can’t always count on having a hotel when you’re not at home, so a tent, sleeping bag, and camping stove wouldn’t be a bad thing to add to the list either. Remember: Zombies are attracted to denser populations first.
- Gadgets – There is safety in numbers when the zombies come, but yelling for people isn’t always an attractive option, so having a cell phone as well as some Wi-Fi equipped device is a good idea. Also: electronics are only as good as their power source. It doesn’t hurt to have an extra battery handy for your stuff. How many horror movie deaths could have been solved simply by carrying an extra cell phone battery?
So obviously, until further notice, zombies don’t exist. That doesn’t mean you should disregard this list though. Those are all great items to have, and you won’t regret your purchase.
Plus, you never know.