God, I love starting fights! I’ve already got one brewing on one internet platform, might as well bring it here too.
OK, it’s not like I’m saying it wasn’t entertaining. It was. For sure. I guess. Or something. Yes, that’s it: it was…certainly something.
Before we even got to the theater I was thinking: “This is not going to work out so well. I can tell. I like movies with long slow steady shots, preferably where the women are wearing complicated underwear under their complicated dresses, preferably speaking with English accents, preferably set about a hundred years ago, preferably with Cate Blanchett.” I knew what I was getting into, so I guess I have only myself to blame.
By the time the previews ended (and my long-shot-used-to-eyes were already crying out in pain from the constant barrage of images) I knew things were going to go just like, well, how they went. I had an escape plan: Sherlock Holmes started 20 minutes after Avatar. If I couldn’t take the sci-fi, I could escape at least to English accents. But when the time came to escape, I was trapped in a wall of bodies on either side, and Jacob had the popcorn anyway (and the supremely trashy theater had the coveted vegan fake butter, so I could not leave without the popcorn). I decided to go with the flow and see a boy movie. And I’m not saying I hated it, let’s be clear. I had more than a few eye-rolling moments, but I kinda sorta gave myself up to it, as much as a smart person can when seeing such a simplistic popcorn flick.
Basically: I went out on a limb because everyone else wanted to see it. I saw a boy movie, and, as expected, it turned me into a hissing, spitting essentialist girlie girl.
Here’s the good thing I’ll say: at its root, it has a nice, happy tree-huggery message: lets be kind to Mother Earth. If you’re incredibly stupid and this is what you take from the movie, I am thankful this message is there. I just wish people weren’t, you know. So incredibly fucking stupid.
One more good thing: Jacob mentioned someone commenting on some article about the movie on HuffPo who pointed out that it was a good critique of how, under capitalism, the corporate state must be maintained at all times with military force. Good on ya for that one, Cameron, but that’s the only pass you’ll get from me.
What I realized about halfway through is that most (argh, standard disclaimer about how this isn’t true in all cases, blah blah) dudes are stupid. Not exactly a new revelation, but work with me here, I’m making a point: stupid people are happy to see the same movie again and again and again. They like it. Change the setting from a dusty western to a futuristic world, change the skin color of the girls the main character fucks, throw in an onslaught of giant weaponry, and their minds will be blown as if it was the first time.
Extra points if you make (most of) the women “healers” and gentle-voiced, doe-eyed creatures—oh, and if you want to be “edgy,” make sure some—just some!! No need to go crazy!—of them have mad bow-and-arrow skills. You’re really smashing some paradigms then. Oh, and racism? No way! I mean, the gentle earth-loving tribes are a hilariously offensive mix of African-American and Native American facial features, but how could anyone call the movie racist? They are the good guys! Wait, what’s that? They would never have prevailed without the weaponry, know-how, and aw-shucks good-guyism of the main white dude?
My god. AMERICANS! You blow my fucking mind, you know that?
Oh, and you know what else? Fucking ableism.
Update, after another half-hour of thought and conversation: Poor James Cameron. You know what? I think he tried very hard to make a movie not just idiots would like. The problem is that even as he is, on the surface, condemning the intense militarism, etc, he can’t stop himself from jizzing all over it either. It thrills him to no end how big his guns are. It’s so trite that I can’t believe I’m even writing it, but it’s just another dude leading with his fuckin’ cock. Spare me, please.