Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A Quick Comment on Avatar

Someone directed my attention to Conor Friedersdorf's Avatar review/critique of other reviews. As most of Conor's writing that I have read, it is a well-written piece and worth a read if you're into movie reviews that delve into cultural commentary. That said, I think he--and other reviewers I respect--tend to read way WAY too much into Hollywood blockbusters.

My two cents on Conor's review, thus engaging myself in the over-hyped Avatar circle-jerk:

I think most of the commentary for and against the film give the film too much credit. I saw it, and I enjoyed it insofar as it was a nice escape with eye candy for awhile. But the story wasn’t compelling at all, regardless of what political or moral message you try take away from it.

The movie was riddled with cliche after cliche and, since we’re talking about intellectual laziness, how on Cameron’s Blue Earth something so insultingly unsubtle as “unobtainium” made it through so many edits to the final product shows the vacuousness of the filmmakers and the process. I felt repeatedly insulted by the hit-you-over-the-head messaging, ranging from the aforementioned “unobtainium” to the saran wrap transparency of the pre-attack speech by the strike force leader. Add the predictable deaths and the god awful attempts at foreshadowing (e.g., the circles around the tree) and you have a pile of shit.

A visually stunning sparkly blue pile of shit in 3-D, but it is what it is. I don’t regret seeing it, but there is such a thing in reading too much into a Hollywood blockbuster.

UPDATE: for some reason this post is getting traffic today. But if you're a sci-fi nerd like I am not, you know that 'unobtainium' is a trope in the genre. I stand by my critique of the film despite my ignorance of unobtainium. thx, mgmt. 

No comments: