"..a bardy view!"


AvatarI must have been distracted in 2009 because I missed the movie event of the year: Avatar.

It was shown on the UK's Channel 4 last Easter, and I missed it then as well, but I have one of those digital dubries which can record TV programmes (no it's not a VHS recorder) and it's been sitting on the device just waiting for me to pounce.

So the other day I watched it. Actually I watched it over two days, because after the first hour I fell asleep and didn't return to it until I was more alert.

Anyway James Cameron the multi-blockbusting movie director utilized capture-image technology which enhances real actor expression and movement and transposes them to computer generated characters. Which is important when the principle dramatis personae are 10ft tall blue people with highly active ears and tails. And even more significant because the real actors are deposited into an avator ie a cloned shell of a Na'vi.

The Na'vi are a race of humanoids who are in tune with nature. They live on Pandora, a moon orbiting some gas giant similar to Jupiter, except that this place is somewhere in Alpha Centauri.

The year is mid 22nd century, and we humans on Earth have exhausted our resources, and Pandora has a valuable mineral called Unobtainium (I kid you not!). It takes five years for a space-craft to travel there, and the occupants are in suspended animation throughout. Soon after landing some chap comes along, opens their pods and says "Shake a leg guys -you must be hungry!" This is an indication of the rich dialogue to come.

At over three hours long, not a single surprise unfolded because it would be hard not to anticipate the outcome. Think of any movie or book that nodded a wink to indigenous people being exploited by the nasty western Europeans and the USA. Think of any conflict in recent times, Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam et al, and think of any issue which destroyed native culture – native indians (Americans) by the drive of the expansion of the United States, the destruction of the Mayan and Aztecs civilizations by the nasty Spanish Conquistadors, the thoroughly despicable English and their empire, and the hunger of capitalists and big business to destroy the environment for money. Pandora is the Amazon Rainforest.

Anyway, the hero is a war veteran confined to a wheelchair, who, through the science of technology can bond with his Na'vi avatar (or is that Avi navator – or even Na'vi aviator –see I'm confused already), and like all good Hollywood heroes sees the error of his ways, and takes sides with the oppressed and violated tribes.

It probably helped that he was romantically enamoured to one particular ladette. Quite gorgeous if you like tall blue women with pointed ears and tails, a tendency to roar when displeased, and exposing teeth which Dracula would envy. Then again – aren't we all?

The bottom line is that it was very entertaining, provided you are preferred to leave your brain in neutral. Spectacular would be an understatement, but…and it's a big but…it is laced with subliminal and opaque messages.

Cameron is pitching his politics to the wrong audience, and attempting to educate in a Disneyesque simplistic fashion. There were times watching it that I though Al Gore was the director. I felt that I was being assaulted with an ecological hammer, which left me with a headache – thump…thump..relentless. Yes I get the message, but give me something original!

The originality was the method of delivery, but the message itself was patronising, juvenile and amateur.

Apparently it's the biggest grossing movie of all time. Why?

There are even two sequels planned – talk about exploitation!

Actors have been replaced by electronic sensors! Only their voices are recorded.

Well, it took me three years to see Avatar. If this is my pattern I will be writing about Avatar II in 2016, which is when Avatar III will be released according to the Hollywood moguls.

Pandora's box? Pandora's box office more like!


May 12, 2012 - Posted by | Arts, Conservation, Culture, Europe, Humour, Science | , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Beats me how you could follow any of it to be quite honest. Then again, I’m a bit slow, I onliest could ever follow spaghetti Westerns, and only after much deep thinking. Git the hell outta Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaadge (Dodge), I think?


    Comment by Spook Moor | May 12, 2012 | Reply

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