Tuesday, January 18, 2011

"A Small World To Live On, A Big Universe To Die In"

If we Earthoids had interstellar travel, and we could afford it (or I was able to afford it), I'd do it in a heartbeat. And being, I think, a fairly realistic individual, the title of this essay would be my motto, my credo, my weltanschauung. It's a paraphrase of being a citizen of Portugal during their age of maritime exploration, and I like it. It provides just the right amount of deadpan humor coupled with a healthy respect for a wonderfully, fantastically, amazingly deadly beautiful world - world, hell, existence - we live in.

In other words, the title is a lot better than my first choice, which was "Avatar Really Did Suck". Yes, dearies. I saw the movie Avatar over the weekend. I checked it out for free from the library, and boy did it suck.

Now, what exactly sucked about it? Granted, special effects fantastic. Didn't get the whole immersive 3-D experience on the small TV screen, but didn't need to. I got it. Why, then did I think it sucked? Oh, two things. Plot and characters. The movie could have used both.

Now, there are some fairly intelligent critiques of the movie out there. Here's an in-depth one that may be a bit too nitpicky, a little too geeky, but makes a lot of valid points: "6 Reasons Avatar Sucked", if you want to read it. Like I say, intelligent critiques of the movie exist.

This ain't gonna be one of them.

More My Kind of Cat Woman
So, the movie was boring, okay? About an hour into the movie, I'm looking at my watch, thinking "Geez, this is a long movie! I wonder when Jake is gonna bone the big blue cat woman with the nice boobs?" The big blue smurfy looking cat woman with nice boobs. You think Cameron has some weird fetish going on? Likes the Furry subculture or a variant thereupon? Or maybe one of those weird German diaper fetishes?  Fantasizes about some big momma changing out the load in his pants? Cleaning the soilage from between his hairy buttcheeks?

Okay, sorry about that.

So, Cameron does the usual things to manipulate your emotions. Boy meets girl. Boy does girl. Boy turns out to have always been a dick. Girl forgives him. Boy kills one-dimensional evil (pronounced eee-vill) villian in protracted fights where the movie is going to use every action convolution to make it seem that it's not entirely certain that the good guys are gonna win. Yawn.

No really, I yawned during the big climactic action scene. Maybe I should have gone for the immersive 3-D experience. Maybe that would helped.

Okay, picking of nits. I am always willing to suspend disbelief for a movie. That is, after all, the central premise of any fictive experience. And I also recognize that Avatar was not science fiction. It was an action movie posing as space fantasy. It was fantasy. And as fantasy, they only restriction placed upon the movie is that it be internally consistent. Not credible, but consistent. Well, no, the other restriction is that it also be entertaining as well.

So, let's present the scenario. Humanity develops space travel. Not just any kind of space travel. Travel between the stars, which, I don't care how fantastically magical you get, is super-expensive and energy hungry. Which means humanity has not only harnessed energies vaster than anything today, but  has learned to live and thrive without need of a planet. Which means they can live basically any freaking where in the universe without despoiling a single fucking planet. So upon discovering a planet with the most precious thing of all, life, alien life, intelligent life, humanity hires a bunch of half-wits to fucking strip mine the shit out of it. Is this something we can reasonably expect? No, it is an implausible plot device, a very bad jury rigging to generate some drama. It.. it sucks as a plot. I... I've run out of all enthusiasm now to continue about just how fucking stupid this all is. It... it just sucks. Period.  

Now, I'm sure there are people out there who freaking loved this movie, and if they ever read this essay, will say, in a very sour, kind of annoyingly nasal vice, "Well, I suppose you could have done better. Why don't YOU create a billion-dollar-profit movie blockbuster".

The only logical response to that is...

Hey, I don't have to be a world class chef to know when my hamburger tastes like shit.

1 comment:

  1. Well, I liked it. It was predictable yes, even contrived a bit in places but then it was a classic hero's tale and I happen to like those.