Avatar (2009)

Release date: December 16, 2009
Director: James Cameron
Screenplay by: James Cameron
Cast: Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Lang, Michelle Rodriguez, Giovanni Ribisi

So I recently had the displeasure of enduring James Cameron’s preachy, unoriginal, over-indulgent sci-fi brain rapist, Avatar. I’d like to shake the hand of the netizen who named it Avatar: The Last Samurai of the Ferngully Who Dances With Wolves.

This is a movie about the evils of corporate greed… that cost 200 million dollars to make and has a promotion partnership with McDonalds, of all places. This is a movie that glorifies the triumph of a technology-free existence… that’s about seventy percent CG. But beyond the ideological inconsistencies, let’s look at the film-making.

The villains were poorly defined. The only thing that fleshed out their motivations was this generation’s mass delusion that anyone who wants money or war is inherently evil. And let me clue you in on something. Truman did not giggle fiendishly after Hiroshima and Nagasaki alright? Don’t get me wrong, I love Japan, but Google Nanking 1937 before you fold your next paper crane. We fought for a reason, and the villains in this film should have had a reason too.

In the movie the Na’vi had something that the humans wanted, inventively named unobtainium, so they blindly and ignorantly rain their tyrannical terror over the innocent blue townsfolk, but there were no active attempts to trade with the Na’vi in this whole film. Jake comments that the human race had nothing that the Na’vi could ever want, since the Na’vi were so ‘enlightened.’ Bullshit. Like the Na’vi had no use for our helicopters? Our communication gadgets? Or even our weapons, surely to God they could have used a bow and arrow upgrade.

But no… they had harmony! You know who else had harmony? The Borg.

I don’t understand why our culture geeks out about its latest iPhone apps, shares its ideas across oceans with resources like YouTube, and still propagates this idea that we’d all be better off frolicking in the forest in loincloths. Human beings have done great things. My computer, my car, and my air-conditioned home are all amazing, and I applaud the technological innovation involved. And I’m sick of Hollywood using resources created by the very people they condemn to spread these guilt-mongering messages.

Yes, the movie looked great. But my sister put it best when she said it was like getting yelled at by a beautiful, desperately stupid girl for three hours. She might be good for a one night stand, but are you really gonna call her again?

Rating: ★★☆☆☆ 

by Lindsay Penn of Linzer Dinzer

14 Responses

  1. Camiele White says:

    FUCKING BRILLIANT REVIEW!!!! Finally! Someone who got it! I couldn’t have summed it up better if I was your sister, because that’s exactly how I felt. Completely unoriginal (love the title alternative, by the way), obvious, cheesy, and simple. A pretty movie with no plot or character development to speak of…and yet the Academy wanted to give this sequinced piece of droll the Best Picture nod? You stay classy, Hollywood!

    • amy says:

      @Camiele White, don’t forget the Globes named it BP. LOL

      • Camiele White says:

        @amy, Of course they did, you know what, GAAH!!! Whatever! It’s obvious that it doesn’t matter what people who are looking for a story care about. If it’s pretty and makes people go “goo-goo, ga-ga” and spend loads of their cashes…it’s all relative. Profit, my friends. It’s all about profit. No use bitching about it, I suppose. Doesn’t stop it from being upsetting, but there’s no sense in going on about it, right? :)

    • Rodrigo says:

      @Camiele White, They still gave BP to Hurt Locker instead of Inglourious Basterds. :(

      • Camiele White says:

        @Rodrigo, To be honest, I think that was to spite James Cameron. After all, it was his ex who directed that film (right?). And I also believe that Quentin Terrintino (spelling?) is something of a pariah in Hollywood. They gave him a nod (just like they gave Heath Ledger the Award for Dark Knight when he died without actually nominating the film for anything else, or they gave Chris Nolan nods for everything EXCEPT BP for Inception) just to say, “Yeah, we’re cutting edge and appreciate the out of the box” without actually having to recognise it with an actual statue.

        Side Note: On the subject of the Dark Knight, everyone knows that film would’ve been all but publicly snubbed by the Academy had Heath not died before nominations were handed out. They don’t recognise superhero films, no matter how cerebral and innovative. If Heath were still alive, he wouldn’t have been nominated, let alone won the Best Supporting award. Call me cynical or jaded, but that’s the truth. Hence why Inglorious Basterds was never gonna win and Avatar got nominated in the first place. Tis the way of the world, I suppose. :(

        • Rodrigo says:

          @Camiele White, Everyone during Oscar hype was like Bigelow vs Cameron and Hurt Locker vs Avatar as well. Not exactly appealing for me. And Tarantino got robbed again at the Oscars because the kind of movies he does aren’t publicly friendly. And for Ledger if he was alive… he could have easily obtained a nomination based on massive buzz and campaigning for him and he could have delivered a Golden Globes speech, but winning it, not really.

          As far as Avatar goes, I actually wouldn’t give it a low star rating (it’s not like it features Paris Hilton dating and fucking with Seth Rogen while hanging around with Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus), but what pissed me off the most was that a sequel will take place and the media hype surrounding Avatar (this one raged me hard), but that’s expected when you have a very expensive film.

  2. Camiele says:

    @Rodrigo, You make a great point. It’s not like the movie was a remake of “Surfboard Ninjas”; however, you’re right, the hype and lack of actual substance delivered just made it so difficult to stomach that in an industry that attempts to pride itself on bringing exquisite storytelling and art to the masses and recognising original talent and film making, a movie like Avatar could be thought of as some sort of miracle of film. It’s really disgusting to me. But, whatever :(

    • amy says:

      @Camiele, to be honest – I did think the use of 3D in Avatar was pretty good. Only seen it that one time, but the shot of the general on the rear-view mirror was strikingly use to mirror us.

      But I wouldn’t watch it again… xD I recall I gave it a whole extra star for the camera use. LOL

      • Camiele says:

        @amy, I agree that it’s brilliant VISUALLY. But, it’s sort of like a man with an expensive car –overcompensation for what’s lacking.

  3. Juan Barquin says:

    Huh, I feel like this review is – dare I say it – too brutal? I’m not a fan of Cameron’s latest endeavors with this film, but one can’t deny the technical advances that he’s made over the last decade – especially with this one. And the 3D technology is fantastic, one of the few times that it has actually been used properly! As for being indulgent, I’m pretty sure every director deserves that right at least once in his life. As long as he enjoys making what he’s making, why not let him indulge himself in something he loves?

    Sure, it’s got a story that’s been reused time and time again and it’s overly preachy about the ecosystem, but it’s not a BAD movie. Visually stunning? Yes. Mediocre story? Yes. Enjoyable? Yes. Would I watch it again? I probably will eventually honestly.

    Avatar may be one of the most overhyped and overrated movies in existence, but hype and a mediocre story do not make a bad movie.

    • Rodrigo says:

      @Juan Barquin, I agree with you for the most part. Avatar isn’t the greatest film of all-time as its fans would say and the massive hype is annoying, but it’s not a bad film as a whole by any means thanks to Cameron, who also directed one of my favorite films of all-time (Terminator 2: Judgment Day).

      And I also think Avatar was doomed to be overhyped because with the massive budget it had, it had to be a profittable film. They succeeded heavily thanks to the 3D ticket prices and the massive promotion of the film.

      Not sure if I’d watch it again sometime soon.

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