Avatar on Blue Ray: Don’t believe the hype!

by Dan - first posted November 28, 2010

It’s all ready on Blue Ray but I still have a beef with this film that is escalated when people run defend the so called ‘honest’ success of this movie. Some people I know that sniff glue say Avatar is a trough (important) in the film industry and film history. It’s like 2001 Space Odyssey; a perfect film for it’s time and place. I think this statement is true if one is so easily impressed and fall into the marketed mental vacuum that film presents.

I would really honestly die a happy man if I never saw Avatar again. It wasn’t riveting, timeless or had a lasting impact for me personally. It was just a curiously impressive light show of crap. It has it’s momentary pleasures but I wasn’t happy with it.  That movie is a complete and utter simple retooling of the Pocahontas syndrome narrative that tries to draw sympathy to the seeming authentic lifestyle of the exploited native population of another planet. This is designed to play on peoples fears on current environmental issues. Therefore it creates an artificial hysteria for what was little more that a fucking light show of which such anticipated technology should be used to make better movies. I can already picture a fat middle aged American dude saying to his son in the movie theater, “See boy…we should live like natives”.

This film plays on that environmental sentiment yet I have feeling it won’t be as timeless as other contemporary issue films. The Cold War had Dr. Strangelove, Vietnam had Apocalypse Now and environmentalism will still have an in An Inconvenient Truth… On top of that easily uncreative scheme to predictably toy with peoples imagination and emotions as a marketer would, the art direction of Avatar is a direct regurgitation of every National Geographic issue I’ve ever read. I like art and design…I see that Cameron thinks he easily awed audiences with his cookie cutter creations in his hatchet job of a film. The Navii look like blue South African natives, I had more fun watching a humanoid amphibious alien jump around the screen such as Jar Jar Binks. Furthermore, the so called whimsical animals are just your standard terrestrial animals with extra legs as seen by a person on acid. I can do that myself on a walk through a park on a Sunday morning. The ‘jackels’ in the ‘jungle’ in the Avatar sound and look just like jackals in the earthly jungle and the rhino looks and sounds like a rhino. Totally uninspired. They still retain the standard phonics of a wildebeest I watch on Discovery. I’m sorry… actually wait, I’m not sorry; I’d totally slap James Cameron with a D on his creativity when it comes to making an unseen fucking world.

Floating Chunks of rock…yep – stolen from magic cards. I would know, I “used” to play them, sadly. So too must have Cameron’s obliviously artistically bereaved art department that must have played ’em on coffee breaks. “Man check out these cards, let’s make Pandora look like that shit….ok done and done”. George Lucas can kick Cameron’s ass creatively and in a bar fight. His Star Wars universe is by far the more imaginative and curious universe in science fiction with things that blew your mind like star destroyers that black out the sun and space slugs that eat space ships. It stood the test of time and and sold lots of toys.

A good place to hide our creativity

As far as Pandora syndrome goes… It’ sad to think people cry over a make-believe place created by middle aged “artist” that could be trumped by the imagination of six year old. And the fact that people can’t see the beauty in their own world and have to escape to one that can be sold as Hasbro toys is fucking sad.  So yes, I wouldn’t spend anymore more money on the that shitty enterprise. Avatar is a novelty film that was an astronomical success due to hype of wolrld affairs and technology, however at its core it’s a simplistic, brain fart of an experiment. Time will show that it won’t stand up to other better movies…