My Friend Ray . . . Saw Avatar

Well, Tracy fell asleep ten minutes in, but I made it through all three hours of Avatar: the most spectacularly overrated film, I mean mild diversion, in history. I enjoyed some of the visuals, the floating islands were clever and nicely drawn, and I suppose there were a few other moments where briefly I was held, as promised, with childlike wonder. Very few, very briefly. At some point, about ten or twenty minutes in, I realized the movie was doomed to fail me. What went wrong? I struggle to understand. Perhaps it was, I don’t know, just that soooo many many many many things bugged me, and so many things were bad? There’s bad dialogue, of course, (it’s Cameron). Actual lines, really!: “You’re not in Kansas anymore”, and “Time to get out of Dodge”. Plus lots of pantheistic, darkness-lightness-goodness badness-the earth sings the boogie woogie in your bloodstream, earthsong claptrap ala Madame Blavatsky meets Iron Eyes Cody. A horrible, horrible soundtrack, the music written by, who else?, the maestro himself, since Mr Kontrol apparently couldnt bear to farm anything out except maybe the catering. One endures lots of the bombastic, stereotype Hallelujah choruses that apparently can’t be escaped when building a Hollywood blockbuster, and terrible “alien” campfire songs, and at the end, just when you’re thinking, ends are merciful, arent’ they?, there’s a really awful, schmaltzy hollywood song like you always hear at movie’s end, except this one’s penned by, you know, and no way is it long enough to complement the endless scroll of contributors, so leading to more bad orchestral music until you finally reach the thank yous and discover that some of the flick, the green screen only apparently, was filmed in New Zealand. The “characters?”: Black and/ white, 100% good can’t do wrong versus 100% bad can’t do good characters. Worse, why o why spend billions of dollars making a calvary vs Injuns flick?! That’s what it is. They’re 10 foot tall, blue, emaciated Indians, and though cleverly disguised with Groucho glasses and Whoopi Goldberg do’s, are still unmistakably worldly and unalienish, definitely humanoid, though tall and very thin, like Giacametti statues dipped in grape juice, sporting around with bows and arrows, who sing like low rent Injuns, and war whoop just like injuns, and speak an “alien” lingo that sounds all the world to me like Choctaw as spoken by a Russian Jew. And once again, the white guy saves the day. White is patiently tutored by the People’s best English speaking teacher, Tall Thin Blue Chick Who Can’t Act Worth Shit, coaching him with every one of the People’s pantheon of Pandora hugging skills, so that one day, in say decades to come, he may deign to become a low level, minimum wage practitioner of Peopleness, but in maybe twenty minutes screentime, tops, he not only masters the skills, filling his sash with People merit badges, but he ends up being way better at Peopleness than any other People in People history, riding bareback with long hair flying behind him the fierce, winged dragon thing that nobody has approached much less ridden like a toy horsie before. Thus he leads the People into battle, but since the People are tripping on themselves like Timmy in a well, he must singlehandedly defeat the 100% bad, racist, xenophobic, definitely not tree hugging, hunky armed Marines, and send them back to Kansas where they arent anymore. He must, and does. Ah, the white savior, delivering the People from the darkest shade of Whiteness on the White paint chip chart. Ironic! Clearly, the People couldn’t have managed it on their own.

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