In fifty years, Avatar will be fucking hilarious. Of course, by then, James Cameron will have died thinking he upgraded Ben-Hur and the majority of his dweeb brood won’t be able to admit they’re wrong because those geezers will be too old to figure out the new-fangled ways people’ll be using to communicate. If there’s any justice in the hereafter, Mystery Science Theater 3000 will unexpectedly return to mock and verbally humiliate this ill-conceived, beautiful piece of excrement shit out of technology’s pixel hole. It’s one thing for a movie to be awful, abysmal even; Avatar is MST3K bad, an effects-driven, horribly-dialogued debacle drunk on its own self-perceived awesomeness. Tacky and heartless, it’s an indulgent Paris Fashion Week accessory, repackaged at 8.99 for the TJ Max Outlet. Your mom may just be disappointed, but I’m mad too. Mad James Cameron would waste his time on such pointless, soulless imitation art. At least the big stupid guffaws of generations’ tomorrow will bring me big stupid guffaws of comfort as I outlive every last one of you ignorant fucking sheep.
Now that sixty percent of this essay’s readers have navigated back to their lolcats homepage, the remaining forty percent are either a) totally drinking my Kool Aid b) accruing more bile for future hatemails c) waiting it out to hear my support statements for this wild thesis. That means in order to please everyone I must now blaze through a facts-driven diatribe, laying out with unequivocal certainty the scientific facts behind why Avatar will be giggled at by your no-good, lousy great-great grand children. There should be swears too, you know, for the hatemail crowd.
But first, an analogy. There’s a politics test over at OK Cupid which places you on a political spectrum atop some of the most influential movers and shakers of the last five hundred years. To avoid the normal trappings and biases, the test replaces political buzzwords and loaded questions with hypothetical statements to respond to using answers ranging from strongly agree to strongly disagree. One of the questions contains the following: one day a computer will write the greatest novel ever. Watching Avatar is like watching James Cameron resoundingly check strongly agree to the above statement, humorous since the film’s hollow shell of a premise seems to be unencumbered technology’s ruin of natural beauty.
Avatar is a nude painting done by an artist who’s never touched a woman. It’s relationship advice from the girl who married her first boyfriend. It’s life--from the Aspergers perspective. People interact with each other. They make decisions. Reasons behind these head-scratchers exist; they’re just not for us to know. Here now are a few questions James Cameron has me wondering about…
Yes, these are some of the things I think about when I go to see movies. I guess for me, seeing a film has always been about ideas. Because you see, the great movies, hell, even the pretty good movies, they’ve got at least one fucking idea. At least one. At some point, maybe just for thirty seconds, the director shows you something never attempted before. He fucking goes for it. He makes Joseph Gordon-Levitt dance to Hall & Oates. He makes a lonely secret admirer cry watching a tape of a bag delicately blowing in the air. He makes a fucking villain assassinate people with his hat. But never---ever---under any circumstances does he take good ideas from other movies and color over them with pretty new crayon.
As my esteemed boss Josh Tyler pointed out, Avatar is an amalgamized version of many of the better epics you’ve seen. It’s part Return Of The Jedi, part Pocahontas, written with the help of some horrible brainstorming session with unoriginal morons shouting out unoriginal notions of what they think a great original movie would contain. Aliens! Let’s put in some aliens. And they should like live in a tree. But what to call the tree? It’s gotta sound sacred. Let’s write down sacred tree and change it later. There should be a love story too. We should have our main character, let’s just call him Jake Skully as a joke right now, he should fall in love with one of the aliens. Ohhh. Overcoming the obstacles. People like that shit too. Let’s make Jake Skully a cripple. Count it!
James Cameron’s Avatar is without question the most visually stunning piece of shit I have ever seen. It’s effects are breathtaking. Really. For now. But in ten years? What about in fifty? Technology hurdles forward faster than death and taxes. It never ceases. The wheel, running water, the Snuggie. Think about how borderline frightening Jurassic Park was on the big screen. Now it’s just pretty sweet. Jaws? I’m like eighty percent sure I could fight off that fin-ed-fucker with my bare hands. Beauty is fickle, sometimes fleeting. Wine ages. Handsome lead actors delicately gray. And the shiny rock progressively grows less fucking shiny. There’s a reason why Romeo & Juliet will be relevant in five hundred years and The Dukes Of Hazzard will be a footnote on a hillbilly’s ass. Want a little life lesson: there will always be a bigger douche bag out there thinking about jumping a more gaudily-painted car over a larger lake.
After the shininess fades, after it’s just Jurassic Park-level cool, what will Avatar have left? Shoddy dialogue. An almost shameful script. A few underdeveloped main characters. A sacred tree. Story is what matters. We all remember Janet Leigh in the shower, we remember The Dude fretting about his rug that really tied the room together. We remember George Bailey cooing about the generosity of others. We remember them because of some intangible humanity we spot. We smile with Andy Dufresne as he crawls his way through shit. We scowl with a Grinchy sneer as the Grinch tricks little Cindy Lou Who. They touch our emotions and cradle our hopes with a sense of wonderment, a sympathy for characters we can relate to.
In fifty years, Avatar will be fucking hilarious, a lifeless, brainless waste of time with yesterday’s graphics. You should get on board with this opinion now. Gay marriage too. Just a little friendly advice. That way in fifty years you won’t feel like a fucking moron.
Enthusiastic about Clue, case-of-the-week mysteries, the NBA and cookies at Disney World. Less enthusiastic about the pricing structure of cable, loud noises and Tuesdays.
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