Saturday, December 19, 2009
Nog Sees Avatar!
Well, the first question one must answer about Avatar is this: Did it fuck your eyeballs? (as the fanboys have been saying for about a year regarding its visual majesty). Well, yes, it's amazing to look at. There's a lot of detail in every frame, from the spacecraft interiors to the landscapes of Pandora to the many creatures, and the 3D-depth enhances these aspects without calling undue attention to itself (rarely does shit fly out of the screen at you). Still, amazing as it all looks, visual majesty alone only takes you so far, and you're ultimately left with a none-too-subtle tale of American imperialism with a none-too-subtle environmental message. The film's primary visual and philosophical cues seem to come from Native-American culture (you can't watch the Na'Vis on their horse-creatures with their bow and arrows and not think of Native-Americans), and Cameron combines this with contemporary military lingo from the "war on terror" (shock and awe, pre-emptive strikes), which I guess is meant to suggest a sort of cyclical view of history with the oppressors constantly seeking to displace/eliminate other cultures to get what they desire (in this case, something called "unobtanium," which sounds ridiculous as all hell but is apparently an actual scientific term). Silly as it sounds, this could work, maybe, if one truly cares about the characters, feels the love story, gets caught up in the action scenes. But I was only sporadically involved, enjoying the look of the film but caring very little about what was actually going on and looking forward to Piranha 3D, whose pre-Avatar trailer promises good old-fashioned sex-and-gore 3D exploitation in which a school of piranhas will fly directly into your face!