Tag Archives: twilight reviews

Avatar. One word: Blah.

In 900+ words:

If you want to make a film completely based on visual effects and decide the story isn’t important, don’t take yourself too seriously.

I watched “Avatar” in 2D, so maybe I wasn’t able to get all of its beauty. But if the movie is completely ruined for you if you don’t watch it in 3D… Then, it’s the movie’s fault, not yours.

I was never overly impressed by Cameron’s work. Sure, “Terminator” was good, but “Titanic” was… Well, “Titanic”. “Avatar” suffers heavily from the Titanic-like problems, but it takes them to different levels. Just for the record, my main problem with “Titanic” wasn’t cheap story, Leo DiCaprio or even (even!) Seline Dion. It’s the fact a tragedy- a real life tragedy- was used for romantic intentions and cheesy emotions. Making Titanic tragedy into a date movie was a bit disrespectful, to say the least.

“Avatar” suffers from the same problems, with a few additional ones. It doesn’t treat its (supposedly deep and profound) message with respect. Is it wrong to invade other cultures, kill people and take their land? Is it wrong to destroy environment? Is it wrong to spread military terror on others? Yes, yes and yes. The mere idea we need James Cameron, of all people, to inform us about it is insulting.

A very Noble Savage problem

But even more, the way he treats all these issues is offensive. The guy obviously never heard of Noble Savage stereotype, or the fact is a harmful one. Sure, it does show you criticize wrongdoings of your culture, but you are still unable to understand other cultures or really respect them. Seeing them as “exotic others” doesn’t change your superiority complex, nor the belief those cultures need you in some way (true, problems on Pandora started only after humans Americans came, but Na’vi were also unable to defend and free themselves- they needed a help of a person coming from our western culture).

Competent marine that he is, Jack Sully learns all there is to know about Na’vi in 3 months and becomes not only a skilled warrior, but one of the best in their history. He becomes their leader and gets the hottest chick as a bonus. In other words: natives are pure and close to nature, but the good guy of our (western) culture is still better than them and they need his help to survive. Not a good message.

History for dummies

The other huge problem is Cameron’s need to dumb everything down to the point one wonders if “Avatar” is actually aimed at 8 year old kids. New flash, kids!: destroying nature is wrong. Invading other cultures is wrong. But if there are other cultures in danger, it is OUR job to help them, because we are superior and they are unable to defend themselves. They need us, kids.

In this aspect, “Avatar” reads way too much like Paulo Coelho, Dan Brown or good ol’ Stephenie Meyer. Just like Coelho is good for those who never understood philosophy, Stephenie Meyer for those who don’t like vampire stories and Dan Brown for those who don’t have any education in art history/history/anything at all (example: people who didn’t find blatantly obvious that “an ancient word of wisdom, 5 letters” is Sofia)- “Avatar” is for those who never thought about colonization and history (not even on Disney “Pocahontas” level). To the rest of us, it’s simply insulting to watch such a predictable story.

But it’s not about the story!

No shit?!? So, what is it about, then? Visual effects? If it’s really about it, then fine. Honestly, if Cameron meant this to be Pocahontas/Dancing with Wolves in space, I am fine with it. But “Avatar” simply takes itself way too seriously.

I don’t personally have anything against people who believe they are great and responsible for major achievements. If you’re good, be aware of it all you like- nobody likes false modesty anyway. But you have to have something actually great to back up your feeling of self importance. “Avatar” isn’t that great, James Cameron. In fact, apart from visual effects, it’s not great at all- it’s below mediocre. It’s predictable, it’s childlike in a bad way, it’s insulting both to non-western cultures AND your audience (for estimating their intelligence and education as pretty low).

Random annoying things

  • Even with all the beautiful visual effects, the world building itself is weak. Humans still look like humans, horses like horses and wolves like wolves- only blue. And there isn’t any hint that it’s intentional analogy.
  • Pandora is Jupiter painted blue. Just take a look: here. It even has the Great Red (well, in this case Blue) spot. I mean, WTF?!?!? They couldn’t even make an original planet design?
  • It’s so predictable that is insulting.
  • Those poor noble savages wouldn’t be able to do anything without the compassionate marine Jack.
  • This wasn’t aimed at kids. If it were, it would, perhaps, make some sense.
  • It’s a box office hit and got so many Oscar nominations. And it deserves only one.
  • People like it. People actually like it! They like it so much that I really wonder if I was giving humans way too much credit when it comes to education, intelligence or a taste.
  • And the good things…

    • Visual effects. Convincing, almost realistic. CGI will (hopefully) never be the same again.
    • USB hair.
    • Sam Worthington’s voice. He does have such a beautiful, deep voice. Too bad he can’t act.

    Interesting links

Dva do

(Read the post’s title as: 2do)

Ok, I had a lot of work to do these days. Both online and offline. I still have to think about several papers I must write, and I am not quite sure about the subjects, yet. Have to think of something semi-interesting at least.

Ugly weather. Grrrr…
It really hard for me to think with the weather like this. It’s really, REALLY cold, and it was sunny just 3 days ago. Ugh! Sometimes, I hate autumn. Well, not autumn itself, but the coooold weather. Sure, my allergies are under control now, and I often get nostalgic during these months… Which is both a good and a bad thing. Getting way too nostalgic and emotional is not good, because I can easily become depressed. I can’t think when I’m in a cranky mood (who can?) and that makes me useless.

Article for Site glamour contest
Other than that, I found some time to write an article for “Site Glamour contest”. I chose a pretty generic topic, I am afraid, but that’s the only one I could write about. After all, I don’t know anything about two of the subjects, and the last one could get too personal.

Twilight rants will become “Spittings”
Oh, and I am so proud (in a lolwut way) my “Twilight” rants are getting popular, so I’ve decided to move them to “Spittings” and give them a section of their own. I’ll polish my reviews and add a few additional rants. First have to read “Breaking Dawn”, though. I’m lazy. I read the first part (Bella) and, while it wasn’t as boring as the previous novels, it sure looked horrible and even more resembled a fanfiction written by a 12 year old. Oh, well.

Promoting abstinence?
But at least I think I understand why these crappy books became so popular… It’s really easy to please teenage audience, that’s for sure; all you have to do is write about a hot guy. But an ugly reason behind “Twilight” success was the fact publishers (or whoever is guilty) thought those novels promote abstinence and therefore are safe for young American girls to read. Ok, I admit, I am not a particular fan of abstinence programs and I do not think they work, but in any case, these books are not “safe” for kids to read. First of all, those books don’t promote abstinence; if nothing, they show teenagers get sexually frustrated and therefore marry at the age of 18 just to have sex. Second of all, abstinence or not, these novels promote many bad and unhealthy things, such as abusive relationships, obsessive and controlling behavior, child neglecting and selfishness. Not to mention pedophilia.

Now, I am sure Meyer herself didn’t want to promote all those bizarre things; she is simply a really untalented writer who doesn’t know how to make a point even when she wants. But still, what were editors/publishers/parents thinking???