31 December 2009

The Avatar Effect

Crikey, two comments, on topic on one of my posts. It must have been my crack about having no readers!

So in answer to the comments. Yeah, it was very pretty. But I'm one of those people who says "mmmm, pretty, but what does it *do*?" Also, while we're on the topic most reviews that swiftly descend into pontification on nature vs. tech begin by drooling verbally all over the visuals. It's pretty, I get it. But it's like someone blew umpteen million dollars on a script written by a pissy, horny, morbid fifteen year old boy. I'm sorry but that just starts to look like a waste of time from where I'm sitting.

I'm having yet another Mugatu moment as people debate the politics of this movie as if the whole thing weren't utterly ridiculous. What really burns me is that people have the nerve to criticise the story. As many have pointed out the story is an old one. That means that it should work, I think Cameron probably chose to do a rendition of this "Dances With Wolves" type story for precisely that reason.

When you get down to it the execution of the story was so ham-fisted it reached George Lucas levels of error. At one point I was actually wanting to get hold of a copy of the DVD when it comes out just to do a commentary that goes toe to toe with all the ridiculous BS in the script. That way at least you could get an attractive slide show to accompany a deconstruction of why the film suckety suck sucked.

Aside: Went to see Holmes despite reservations both grave and deep (in the end it was RD Jnr's current renaissance that convinced me) and it was awesome. The action sequences were far less obtrusive than I'd feared, the script was actually very... er... Sherlock Holmes-y to such an extent that it's one of the few films for which genuine spoilers exist so I'll shut up now.

Back to Avatar. If truth be told I really enjoyed the movie up to the moment where Colonel McScarryHead approached Mr. Avatar to propose a little military style double dealing.

For a lover of the narrative arts many movies are like slowly expiring disappointments. If the film gets off to a good start it doesn't necessarily mean it's going to get all the way to the finish line without breaking its ankle in a plot-hole pothole.

For me, that was the moment. You see, to identify with the protagonist in a movie I tend to listen to what the characters around him are saying and wonder if I'd ever react the same way. I was down with the Avatar right up until McScarryHead made his pitch because nothing I'd seen so far backed up the main character's reaction to the offer. The Colonel had never acted like he might not be a looney, Mr. Avatar had shown a love for legs but had never been given a reason to trust that McScarryHead could, in good faith, arrange an incredibly expensive spinal operation to restore the use of Mr. Avatar's legs.

I mean sure it was possible but I didn't feel it was any more probable than any of the other characters being able to wangle him a new set of knees. If we're going on pure spending power the Acme Corporate Greaseball character seemed to be the best connected for such purposes.

From there onwards I lost sympathy and it became a firework display.

Anyhow. I've been blogging more regularly for a month now. I think I'm hitting my stride. I think two or three a week might be the happy medium I've been striving for. I think staying away from X Factor and committing to the geek-athon might also be appropriate as people are commenting on the latter but seem not to care about the former (even though I get quite geeky about X Factor).

This blog, like all blog's exists to be a dialogue. That's my aim for it in 2010. See you all next year!

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