James Cameron revolutionizing movie-making? I'd rather watch a cadaver, ta

The day after seeing Avatar in 9-D at the cinema, I watched Up on DVD at a friend's house. The smallness of the screen, the non-surrounding sound, the lack of silly spectacles (except my own): none of this mattered. Up has something Avatar doesn't - humanity - and is a thousand times better for that reason. The characters in Up are multi-dimensional, full of humour, sadness, hope, joy, fear; all the human emotions and traits that no special-effects goggles can replace. The film looks lovely, but, more importantly, it also feels lovely.

The same applies to Wall-E, another Pixar movie in which you get lost in the story and stop thinking about the visuals. Without any human characters to begin with, indeed without any recognizable dialogue, Wall-E still manages to take hold of you and doesn't let go. Robots and cockroaches are all you need if you've got a gift for telling stories, as Pixar have.

Whatever James Cameron might say, Avatar isn't founded on a story but a cliche. All it has to grab you with are its images, which, though spectacular, are simply not worth 160 minutes of your time. The fuss being made by the press about it being the future of movies completely misses the point of film-making. Lauding Avatar is like applauding an undertaker who uses new technology to make a body in a coffin look beautiful and naturalistic. Who cares what it looks like? It's still a corpse! It might appear wonderful, but it's dead inside, and no quantity of gadgetry or trickery can disguise the fact, at least not to anyone with an ounce of sense.
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