Avatar, James Cameron (2009)

I’ll leave it to a graduate student in subaltern studies to write the paper on this movie’s obnoxious and relentless assertion of the noble savage myth. I’ll just note that it’s unbelievably dull, and its half-assed attempt to address the problem of our country’s criminal negligence in underserving war veterans is shallow, cheap, exploitative, and offensive. I have liked James Cameron, particularly for his use of strong female characters. Here he literally turns the film’s women into cartoons. A debacle.


  1. Let me just say this about that. When Cameron was building the Titanic in Mexico for elebenty zillion dollars and everyone was whispering “Heaven's Gate,” I said to myself, Well, let's wait and see. And that movie was, we all have to admit, pretty awesome. This time around we heard a similar narrative. The whole 3D immersion experience of Avatar, which Cameron reportedly had to INVENT NEW KINDS OF CAMERAS to achieve, was supposed either to be a total frivolous waste or to reconfigure our idea of cinema entirely. In the event, it's neither. It's lovely fun, yes, to see the mechanical warriors come running toward you, but that doesn't make up for the underlying lack of originality, i.e., those are the same kind of mechanical warrior thingies we saw in Star Wars, Alien, Terminator, Robocop, and any number of other, older, more innovative action pictures. You can't just slap a coat of 3D paint on an old jalopy and call it The Car of the Future.

    I know a lot of movie people are counting on 3D to cause the kind of great leaps forward caused by sound and color, but I haven't seen it happen yet, and I certainly don't see it in Avatar.

  2. I gave it a shot, but left after the first 30 minutes. True, I had pneumonia, but it takes more than a little infection to get me to walk out on a movie. Ditto on the 3D; whole lotta hype for whole lotta not much. I did think the guy playing the marine was super cute.

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