Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Written by James Cameron
Directed by James Cameron
Starring Richard Taylor, Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Giovanni Ribisi, Stephen Lang and boozey mcalcoholicstienez (my spell check is saying i spelled that incorrectly)
Once upon a time there was a director. He made some interesting movies about aliens and mining. He made some interesting movies about a dystopia. He made a cool movie about a submarine and an annoying movie about a boat which caused him to become something of a conservationist/activist (as well as extremlier richer). Many of these were quite successful which allowed him the time to watch a movie about Native Americans and a movie about Middle Earth, and probably some other ones too.
Having learned a fair amount about making people want to see his movies, he reviewed his experiences and proclivities and built a list of fodders for the masses. These items would be difficult to manufacture but he took the time to ensure that such construction would be possible; and if there were some minor mistakes in that process the consumers wouldn't notice; their taste buds would be overloaded by the other saccharines.
The next step was to design a package, but again drawing on the experiences of other financially successful filmmakers he learned that one could render feces both rigid and tasteless at a very low cost, especially when consumers expected it to contain gold.
i'm taking precious time out of my precious little free time aka nap time to write this. just thought you should know. i don't understand the hype of this movie at all. it didn't even make our low standards to be put on the netflix queue, but since it was such a phenomenal we, or i, decided it was worth watching. WRONG! it was pretty, but after the first, i don't know, 20 minutes it just became extremely gratuitous. LOOK WHAT WE CAN DO WITH OUR TECHNOLOGY! yeah, that doesn't make a good movie, especially when it's just shy of three hours. you would think in three hours they could come up with a story with focus, and character development. apparently not. the love story was not the focus, the war story was not the focus, him acclimating to the navi lifestyle and community was not the focus it was like a mash up of these three themes that left us with only a third of a movie. wait. the number three keeps popping up here. is this movie really about jesus? plus it's a plot we've seen nine quatrilliones times before. it was a thinly veiled white man's burden movie with blue as the skin tone instead of red. they had three hours and they still couldn't even rip off dances with wolves right. i was waiting for the small pox blankets to come up.
also i don't know how any of the actors could say "unobtainium" without laughing hysterically. i know we couldn't not laugh every time it was uttered. maybe that goes to their caliber of acting.... dear james cameron, you want us to believe how creative you are to come up with a planet and all it's ecosystem and stuff, but you can't come up with a better term than "unobtainium"!?! did you call j.k. rowling for that gem?
my last comment will go to the fact that i am not scientifically knowledgeable, however, i could smell the bullshit science from down the street. i suppose it goes back to the creativity argument. once again i am reminded of the smoking in space issue from "thank you for smoking" "we'll just have a line like oh, i'm glad we came up with the ____ that allows us to smoke in space." short cuts were abound in this movie, and very obvious. the other term we will forevermore be using to honor this movie will be "naturally occuring carbon fiber"
crap. after reading moster's review i remembered all those plot questions i had. i won't bother telling all of them (because i'm sure i couldn't recall all of them) but the one that pops out from the end of the movie is: if the navi could transfer his consciousness to the avatar using their magical pink glow tree, why is it they didn't do this before the final battle? because then you wouldn't have to worry about his fragile little cripple human body when bad g.i. joe guy wears his gear from "aliens" and stumbles across the mobile home science lab in that last fight scene. that is the only reason. and this is why this movie sucked. i'm not stupid cameron. don't treat me like i am. you obviously used all of your creativity in the eighties like all the other hacks i associate you with (speilberg, and lucas) and now you can only pull things from your old movies, ripping yourself off. your current you is the ninth generation of inbred bunnies. it's a good thing you've made all that money so someone can chew and swallow your food for you. i'm not sure, otherwise, you could do it yourself. fuck you.
I'd like to think that I can set my expectations aside when I finally sit down to watch something. I've written more than once about pleasant surprises and long before this blog I was able to admit that (e.g.) Zoolander was far more entertaining that I would ever have thought. If anything Avatar was less than I expected.
I expected it to be nothing more than "Dances with Aliens," but that's not fair to Costner. His film was allowed to develop naturally and slowly. His character built a relationship of trust with the natives and we learned about them along with him. This guy's an outsider, then he's not. Then he is, then he's a full-fledged member of the tribe. Then he's an outcast then he's a superstar. In addition to the love interest (such as it is) there's the obligatory dicktail-swinging rival, but there are no scenes which show the motivation behind that guy's changing attitudes. Nothing allows us to share the characters' emotional investments in their fates because practically every time we see them they're doing some fantastical, beautiful thing but not ACTUALLY HAVING A CONVERSATION. If anyone was responsible for designing the culture behind the characters they should be pissed; it would all have been deleted to make room for the rainbows. But I'm too cynical to believe that this mystical wonderful society is any deeper than pretty visuals and ten cent buzzwords.
The story of the actual humans is no less shallow than the story of the aliens. We know why they're there, but again there's little connection between scenes and the editors do a poor job of showing the passage of time. In one scene he gets four weeks, and the next scene is the bulldozers. Sigourney is on board with what he's doing then she's distracting him from those same bulldozers even though she flew him to the super remote location to get away from the corporate types. Then she's helping him to run away. The colonel dude is nothing more than a strawman moustache-twirler. And the pilot who lost him in the first place (because conveniently nobody bothered to brief him on the local fauna even though the entire rest of the team had obviously been briefed) all of a sudden joins their team. Why? Why does it matter?
Considering all that it should come as no surprise that we're supposed to simply ignore the utter lack of sense in the technology. The definition of the avatar thing goes through changes as necessary for the plot. His first scene using the thing is just preposterous as is the strange vortex which prevents all communication and scanning activities except for the extremely complex bidirectional link required between human and avatar regardless of the location of either.
This was a very pretty movie, and as frustrating as it is that it began a trend which has extended all the way to TVs I imagine that it would make good use of 3D. But all that beauty wasn't nearly enough to obfuscate the fact that Avatar is not the IMPORTANT FILM it wants to fool you into believing it is.The visuals should be about the movie, not the other way around.
With even a little more thought this could have been Fantasia. It wasn't even Fantasia 2000.