I finally got to see Avatar today (I clearly fail at being a film journalist because I waited for so many weeks. Please don’t tell anybody).
I wasn’t quite as impressed as I thought I would be; obviously the FX are impressive and it’s utterly beautiful in places, and I loved the Na’vi very much. But there wasn’t a single surprise in the entire film – I’d seen everything before, whether in a fantasy novel, a computer game or a less well-budgeted movie. It was derivative and bland, but somehow those three hours still sped by and I enjoyed myself, so I’ll forgive it its sins. And I suppose what I should remember is that there are generations of younger people who won’t have seen any of it before, so I should just pretend it’s fresh and go away and feel old all by myself.
And anyway, I heard a Wilhelm Scream at one point. It gets points for that.
One thing that seriously annoyed me, however, was James Horner’s score. While the vast majority of it was as competent and evocative as you’d expect from a man who’s been composing music for some of Hollywood’s greatest films for four decades, every now and then I’d hear a refrain from Star Trek III: The Search For Spock, coupled with a frighteningly similar piece of music from Aliens, or, indeed, any number of the many, many films Horner’s soundtracked which contain bits he’s plagiarised from himself.
Please, James, hear this plea: you’re great, you really are, BUT PLEASE STOP USING THOSE BLOODY HORNS PLAYING THOSE SAME BLOODY NOTES. We’re onto you. Just write something new, okay?