Um... apologies in advance... apparently a certain movie REALLY hits one/ several of my hot buttons... sorry... very sorry...
I don't get out much. At least, I haven't recently.
**!!Brief interjection to point out that this may change now that I've
!!!! FINISHED BOOK THE THIRD !!!!
It's almost a real-really-real trilogy, kids!!**
Right. So. Where was I? Oh yeah - didn't get out to many movies in the last year.
Saw Avatar. Umm.... how do I put this.... HATED IT. I was SO bored.
Sure, it was pretty. It was shiny to look at. It was a technological acheivement. And I would have opened up a vein for a single moment of original dialogue or an unexpected plot twist. Just one. ONE.
Or a character I cared about or found interesting. Maybe, y'know, a villain that had more depth than a card-board stand-up video game ad display.
"I see you?" That's great. Now please, get your creepy ear/tail/hair out of my creepy ear/tail/hair.
Not only was Avatar a predictable, uninspired dumping ground cobbled together out of the stolen plots of every other movie James Cameron has ever seen - including his own!! - it just plain made no sense. Er - in my opinion.
Honestly though, why does a giant robot suit need to carry around a giant robot bowie knife??? 'Cause it looks cool? Not a good enough reason.
I found the whole 'noble savage' trope uninspired and lazy in its employment here. Why does it take the "white" guy to figure out how to tame the dragon? You know - that thing we all knew he was going to do as soon as the giant dragon/great leader plot point was introduced in the clunkerific info-dump of a scene designed to let us all know an hour before it happened that this is EXACTLY what was going to happen?
I think it would have been much more interesting story-telling if JakeSully had failed miserably in his attempt at dragon-surfing and needed the cranky blue guy's help. (Of course, I think it would have been more interesting if he'd gotten eaten by the dragon. Or plummeted to his death. So never mind.)
I miss Ripley. Seriously - how did Sigourney Weaver go from that, to this, where she displays all the charm and acting subtlety of a giant redwood in hiking boots? And why is her Avatar wearing hiking boots again??? To differentiate her visually? That's called poor character design. Also, what exactly makes her character so sooper-speshul that she gets to have the care-bear sparkle-tree healing attempt, but not any of the grievously wounded natives - who actually have a vested belief in said tree?
Why are all of the mammals on the planet based on a six-limbed genetic model... except the mostly (but never completely for some reason, although they don't seem particularly shy) naked blue people... who are bi-peds? Is it because JakeSully would never have had any sympathy for the Na'vi (or hots for the Na'vette) if they'd looked like the aliens in District 9 (which I didn't see, but really wish I had - mostly I wish I'd seen it instead of Avatar).
The creepy ear/tail/hair thing really is creepy. And makes NO physiological or biological sense whatsoever.
"Unobtainium"? Seriously? You're actually naming your macguffin after... a macguffin? And not ironically? And the stuff is SO rare that your company CEO has a random chunk of it floating above his desk like a paperweight???
Oh, I could go on. But I won't. Oh wait, I already did. Sorry. And I don't mean to suggest that those who enjoyed Avatar shouldn't have. I just think that maybe I saw a different Avatar than everyone else. The "gag" Avatar. Which strikes me as unfair. :-(
And DON'T get me started on this bloody 3-D crappola. What a crock. I don't want gimmicks. Especially ones that hurt my delicate proboscis and give me a scorching headache at the twenty-minute mark. Whatever happened to plain old storytelling? Would Raiders of the Lost Ark have gained anything by being shot in 3-D? No. No. No.
Oh, look. I got all rant-y and off-topic. That never happens.
(Er - just a heads-up - I'll probably hate Alice in Wonderland, too.)
Um... okay. Back on track, then: movies I saw recently that I liked.
Star Trek. More fun than a barrel of space monkeys, pitch-perfect, witty, straddled the line between respect for the source and not getting precious with it, imaginative stoytelling, great performances, awesome design, great score, fun fun fun.
Strangely enough, Zoe Saldana - who Star Trek shares with Avatar - was the only thing I half-liked about Avatar. She managed to do that hissy thing without coming across as a complete dork. Which, as any voice actor knows, can be tricky.
Up. Aside from a bit of drag around the middle, a thoroughly delightful movie. And, like Star Trek, had a prologue that had me weeping before the opening credits. 3-D crappola not an issue - saw this one on DVD, didn't miss the pop-up bookery for a second.
Other than that? Well... a couple of weeks ago, John sat me down and made me watch To Kill A Mockingbird - which, I am ashamed to say, I had never seen. And there is nothing for me to say about it other than it is a Perfect Movie. That is all.
So. Yeah... I'm gonna give the Oscars a miss this year. 'Cause if Avatar - by some catastrophic confluence of universally bad judgement wins best pic - I'm gonna have to find a new planet to live on.
Maybe one with nekkid blue people and glowy plants trying to eat my face.
Or maybe not.