Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Reduced Expectations

James Cameron has never seen The Incredibles.

PLAYBOY: So Saldana’s character was specifically designed to appeal to guys’ ids?
CAMERON: And they won’t be able to control themselves. They will have actual lust for a character that consists of pixels of ones and zeros.

Unfortunately, no one was jumping up from their seats to hump the screen at my showing of James Cameron's latest epic, but it was amusing to see the heads of four male attendees go left and right in the hope of catching a glimpse of alien sideboob. So kudos on that one, Jim.

If you've seen the trailer for Avatar (google it, I'll wait), you've probably kind of got an idea what the movie is about. In fact, if you try to fill in the blanks for the remainder of the movie, it's very likely you've come retardedly close to the actual story.

Nothing in Avatar surprises, but plenty of it dazzles like a disco mutant. It's extremely pretty to look at (catching a 3D-showing is pretty much a must) with its space horses and superpterodactyls and Tokyo Drift neon trees and confusingly androgynous butts, but if you're looking to be somewhat challenged: this is not the droid you're looking for. Go see Crank II or something.

The actors are all serviceable enough, with Stephen Lang and Zoë Saldana as standouts as the man-boobed Colonel Quaritch and the side-boobed Na'vi princess Neytiri. Both of them act like the cartoons their characters pretty much are. Lang is introduced pumping iron, decrying the faggotizing low gravity of Pandora. Throughout the movie, he gets set on fire, breathes the toxic planet's atmosphere without a mask for about a full minute and says things like "PAPA DRAGON OUT". He is in the military. Just so you know.

Strangely enough, Saldana is the only Na'vi who does things like hiss and growl like the panther woman she looks like, while the other members of the tribe generally just act stoic/offended/condescending to the monstrous alien in their midst.

That monstrous alien is paraplegic marine Jake Sully, portrayed by inexplicable movie star Sam Worthington. It's not that Worthington is bad by any means, but he hasn't played anything but grimngritty manly men (and 2010's Clash of the Titans doesn't seem to change that). Lighten up, Sam! You're no Arnold who can get away with that stuff because of a funny accent and a ton of cheesy oneliners -- something this silly as hell movie actually was in dire need of.

I suppose Michelle Rodriguez' "You ain't the only one with bullets, bitch!" was a valiant attempt which some people may actually deem awesome, but then again, I was never much of a fan of the confoundingly popular "Get away from her you bitch" either. In perhaps the only gamechanging aspect of the entire film, Rodriguez plays a character that is likeable from start to finish. Perhaps for the next installment of the Avatar franchise, Cameron should get his script doctored by the people behind 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand. I'd love to hear a marine threaten a proud Na'vi warrior with "I'ma kill ya whole generation, muthafucka!". Surely, the MPAA will show some leniency for the sake of poetry?

In the end, I came out thinking I'd seen an alright movie that I probably would have thought amazing, were I still twelve. This is a sign. I should stop wasting my time on such cinematic trifles. I should recalibrate my tastes towards insightf--

lol guess not