Tonight’s Oscars are as much about technology as they are good movies. Granted, movie-making has always been about embracing new technology—critics complained when movies first appeared, when they added sound, when they added color, etc.—but Avatar can be looked at as nothing more than a glorified tech demo. A win for Avatar tonight is a win for 3D technology, end of.
I write this not having seen any of the movies nominated for best picture. This year just seemed sort of “meh.” I did grab the movie Un Prophète, but the odds of me staying away from Napoleon: Total War long enough to closely watch it are pretty much non-existent. (Note: Napoleon: Total War is my Game of the Year so far. Unless Crysis 2 is as good as it looks, and unless Gran Turismo 5 actually comes out this year, which, well, the less said the better, it’ll probably stay that way. Worst constructed sentence ever.) But let’s put it this way: if Avatar was only a plain ol’ 2D movie, would it even have been nominated for the Oscar? Based on what I’ve read, no.
So, 3D. It’s going to be the savior of Hollywood, so they say. It makes going to the movie theater a fun experience, and discourages staying at home and watching, say, There Will Be Blood on Blu-ray on your 60-inch plasma. Well, until 3D TVs come down in price, but don’t expect that to happen too soon. Plus, based on what I saw at CES this past January (and having played Battlefield: Bad Company 2 in 3D last week), I’m going to say that your Avatar-like movie-going experiences are going to be unique enough that they’ll continue to be a draw, at least for a little while. Alice in Wonderland, also in 3D, did huge numbers this weekend, so there’s that.
But will it win, and should it win? The second point—should it win—is the more contentious question. It’s basically Pocahontas in Space (again, as I understand it), and if I wanted to see a movie that’s sorta based on Pocahontas, I’d see The New World again. (That reminds me to watch The Thin Red Line again soon. Now there’s a competent director.) Will it win? Is Avatar better than Hurt Locker? I’ve heard mixed things about Kathryn Bigelow’s film: some people love it, and others think it’s just OK. Precious? Inglorious Basterds? Neither of those are really the savior of Hollywood—how much money did James Cameron make everybody with his film?
One thing I do know: come 8pm tonight, I’ll probably be playing Napoleon: Total War and listening to Ron and Fez’s live Oscar coverage (there’s no way in hell I’m going to watch the actual Oscar ceremony) on Sirius XM satellite radio—maybe I’ll even join in on that Twitter party fun?
Oh, one more thing: FIFA stinks. That has nothing to do with anything, but whatever.