I just saw Avatar.
I don't get it. The love, the hype, the awards, the billions and billions of dollars spent both creating and seeing it.
Was it beautiful? Yes, the film was lovely to look at. I thought the phosphorescent trees and floating astral jellyfish were stunning. Those scenes reminded me of the Electrical Light Parade I saw in Disney World when I was 12, sitting on the curb at Main Street, watching the shimmering floats go by as the sky turned to the deepest shades of blue. Looking back, experiencing that glow, that glimmer, that magic was far more impressive in real life.
Did it get a message across? Sure. I get that nature and spirit and energy need to be respected and that big business, corporate greed and war mongers stomp all over them. But The Lorax, by Dr. Seuss told that story much more powerfully. And in much less time I might add.
Did it need to be THAT violent? Sadly, yes. These days a movie isn't a MOVIE unless there's so much blowing up, carnage and destruction, your head is throbbing by the closing credits.
Did it pull from other classic (and not so classic) stories? Of course. There are no true original ideas out there but during one of the many we're-about-to-be-destroyed scenes, I kept waiting for Violet from The Incredibles, to thrown down a kick-ass force field.
Was I the only one who felt like the final battle between Jake and the psycho Marine was a replay of Ironman and Kurt Russell?
Was anyone else waiting for them to mention The Force?
I never made it through Aliens (too much of a coward), but I felt like Sigourney Weaver much have been having a super scifi flashback. If not to that, then at least to Galaxy Quest. Her shirt-tearing as she was ripped from her incubator was quite reminiscent of Gwen's shredded catsuit.
The main character who's agot nothing to live for so he just jumps into everything with a sly grin and boundless bravery? I could swear that the new James Kirk played that remarkably well in the Star Trek remake.
The glowing tendrils reminded me of ET. Or Cocoon.
The flying reptile/dragon choosing its partner? Eragon anyone?
The giant tree? I think they have one at Disney's Animal Kingdom.
Jake lying in the forest floor, unconscious, as the bull dozers moved in? I just saw that clip in the new Michael Jackson film.
I could go on and on. In fact, I was so busy thinking of what this movie reminded me of, I had trouble paying attention to the actual movie. It almost became a game, to see what characters, plot twists, scenes I recognized from somewhere else.
But, back to this movie. I sometimes feel like, as a society, we've become numb to violence, outrage, being shocked, because there is such horror in the real world that we don't need to imagine it. It's all there to see. For real. So filmmakers need to ramp it up even more, to get our attention. And our money.
I don't want violence on steroids. Messages so transparently disguised as a story there's no thinking involved to figure out what's next. Entertainment so saturated with destruction I feel sick to my stomach and slightly slimy just for having watched it.
I eschewed Hollywood blockbusters years ago and found watching Avatar was akin to having fallen off the wagon. Next time I'll know better.