Thoughts on Avatar

What follows is the stream of consciousness I wrote down on my recent watch of Avatar. I hadn’t seen the movie at all for around a year after it came out, primarily because I knew it wasn’t to my tastes and I refused to pay money to see a film I knew I wasn’t really going to enjoy. However, it became free for me to watch it, so I opted to see if I could at least figure out what all the fuss was about. I sat down, with TextEdit opened, and wrote down my reactions in real-time. Yes, I knew I wasn’t going to like it, but I was unprepared for just how much this movie annoyed and infuriated me. Read on to see my slow descent into madness.

But, do bear in mind, since this was written in real-time through the movie, I only had time to correct some of the more glaring typos and such, so a bunch may have slipped through. Try to ignore them.

It Begins:

Two and a half hours? This movie is two and a half hours?!? Fuck me.

Okay….Pretentious opening narration. Wonderful. I’m already regretting this. Okay….Joke about alcohol or something, I guess it’s supposed to be relatable? Just came across as forced, but whatever.

What the fuck is with the lighting? Everything looks like it’s the wrong colour. Is this supposed to be other wordily or some shit? It just looks weird. You’d think with all the money Cameron wasted on this thing he could have paid someone to colour correct it.

“Since your genome is identical to his”…You fail biology forever, movie.

Pandora so far looks like a cross between a quarry and a level from Halo 1.

In fact, now that I think about it, everything I’ve seen of this movie gives me a vaguely “Halo Ripoff” video game feeling…Microsoft, you might have grounds to sue. Just saying. It’s made quite a lot of money (for…some reason) so, you know…Might be worth thinking about.

Lemme get this straight, not only does the military not pay to repair its soldier’s wrecked spine even though such a thing is apparently possible, the human race has also apparently failed to improve on wheelchairs in any way. Indeed, they haven’t even given this pleb a motorised wheelchair. Why? What part of this makes sense?

Oh hey, cliched “grizzled military guy”. Wow James, you’re such an innovator in this industry.

…Wait…

Stop saying Pandora you hack, we know where we are. Lazy exposition is lazy. Oh hey, here’s Norm, (AUDIBLE COMMA) Spellman with more lazy exposition. I’m gonna call Norm AUDIBLE COMMA Spellman “Expo” from now on.

Why is nobody horrified or appalled at this? THis whole Avatar programme sounds at least as evil and insidious as openly attacking the Na’vi.

“Looks like you”. No, it doesn’t. It looks like a giant Cat-Smurf.

Wow, the far future and yet this prick is unfamiliar with a Video Log. Am I to understand it that whilst in the future we have failed to iterate on the wheelchair, we have so fundamentally changed human expression (WITHOUT losing the ability to speak English) that a video log is an alien concept to this retard?

Okay, font used for these subtitles wins the Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings Elvish Subtitles Award for Jarringly Out of Place Subtitles font.

Oh and here’s Sigourney “I’ll do anything James Cameron Says Because I Seem To Have Forgotten He’s Not The Only Reason I’m a Success” Weaver.

TWIN BROTHERS DO NOT HAVE THE SAME GENOME YOU FRIGGING MORONS. Lady, you’re a scientist, POINT THAT OUT TO THIS PLEB AND YOUR PROBLEM IS SOLVED.

Unobtabium. I knew he was gonna say it, but somehow I had always fooled myself into believing people were playing a massive joke on me. James, I know that’s supposed to be an inside joke, but dude…That’s the laziest, stupidest inside joke I have ever heard. You know the “suspension of disbelief”? The thing that made me believe that Liquid Alloy dude in Terminator 2, the last good movie you ever made? Yeah, you just ruined mine for this movie’s entire premise.

Unobtanium. UNBELIEVABLE. It’s like he went to TVTropes.Org and decided he just wanted to piss off everyone who ever loved that website.

Wow, this guy who is I guess the hero…He has made literally no impression on me. Arnie this prick is not.

Also, he’s doing a very bad job hiding his accent. It’s not so much that I can hear that he’s an Oz, as it is I can tell his dialogue is stilted and inexplicably gruff. Either that, or he’s a shit actor. I could go either way on this.

Well that “Hey guys” sounded both badly acted AND Australian…So I think it’s both.

This guy is not endearing, he’s a precocious asshole.

And he’s hideous! HOLY JUMPING CRAP! THESE THINGS ARE DISGUSTING! I thought someone said they designed these things specifically so that they were aesthetically pleasing? I recall hearing JC didn’t okay the design till every castmember said they’d tap a Na’vi? Are these castmembers the people with the worst taste in the universe or something? Every one of these Na’vi is horrendous to look at.

“Don’t play with that, you’ll go blind”? Okay, so there’s one good joke.

Incidentally, Sigourney Weaver as a giant Cat-Smurf is just wrong.

Oh hey, generic “tough-girl military type”. “Hi, I’m James Cameron and I am not a sexist. Just ignore, you know, the entire plot of my appalling Oscar-bait flick ‘Titanic'”.

I find the scars on this Space Marine Cliche guy incredibly stupid, distracting and unnecessary.

LET ME GET THIS STRAIGHT. They have GIANT MECHS. They have HALF-ALIEN SEMI-CLONES WE CAN CONTROL BY REMOTE. But they DO NOT have a way for this dipshit to WALK, or at least a more efficient way for him to move around than manually pushing two wheels?

Congratulations movie, you are officially a broken universe.

I’m sorry, really, BLUE people? This is stupid. Teddy bears can be blue. Birds can be blue. Tiny little freaks who live in toadstools can be blue, but giant freaking cat people? THEY SHOULD NOT BE BLUE.

Eye Candy of a Space Jungle I guess? See, maybe it’s because I happen to be one of the apparently few people who actually thinks earth is pretty great, but I don’t find this that impressive.

Oh hey, look, E-Ink. Colour E-Ink. We already have that technology you know folks, it’s just taking an inexplicably long time to come to market…They should really get on with it, they’d make a fortune off of idiots by making phoney Avatar technology.

HAHAHAHAHAAHAHHHHAHAAAAAA! Are you kidding me?! A Hammerhead Shark crossed with a rhino?! You’re serious!? The only thing more ridiculous than that is this – is his name Jake? The crippled guy. Him. His mid-nineties trash-talking is at least twice as ridiculous both in and out of context. I’ve heard more convincing smack-talk and use of the word “bitch” from 12 year olds on Xbox LIVE.

Man we are way deep in uncanny valley here. There’s something about this CGI world which is just slightly less than photorealistic and it’s making me slightly uncomfortable. Everything has a falsely textured appearance, and the edges are just slightly too soft.

Oh for crissakes, there’s two more hours of this crap.

Oh hello obvious love interest….You’re…Um…Hideous. And having seen the actress that plays you, they must have gone to some considerable effort to make the Na’vi ugly, because apparently they’re supposed to look like the people who play them and Zoe Saldana is anything but ugly.

Okay, I know this is an alien atmosphere, but I have seen more convincing fire in video games. And quite frankly, I’m giving a “You Fail Physics Forever” badge to those flames because they just don’t behave believably, or consistently.

“I’m TOUGH. You can tell be cause I said ‘God-Damned’. Did you know you can’t say that on TV? It’s true. But this is a movie. So I can say it. And I did, because I’m badass Space Marine. Yeahhhhhhh”.

I find this Na’v language annoying and off-putting. And no, I do not buy into the idea that me thinking that is xenophobic, these are fictional monsters with a a culture cynically stolen from real ethnic groups. If anyone was being racist, it was the filmmakers in exploiting cultures like that. And for what? to make an appallingly heavy-handed message which nobody who saw this movie actually needed to hear and a few billion dollars.

Assholes.

This sequence with Jake and whatsername played by Zoe Saldana is a good indication of why this lost out on the Best Picture Oscar. For one, it’s awkwardly written. For another, it’s a cartoon. A jumped up cartoon with ideas well above its station, but a cartoon nonetheless. personally, it being a cartoon doesn’t bother me, I love Disney Cartoons, and Disney Pixar cartoons. It does bug me that they pretend it ISN’T a cartoon, because it clearly is. However, my point was that the Academy never gives the best Picture to a cartoon, even if they should (Wall-E says ‘hi’). Speaking of, if Toy Sotry 3 doesn’t get it, the Academy can go to hell.

Why are these subtitles in Yellow? It’s really annoying.

ARGH! This guy is the most hideous Na’vi yet! And he’s all shiny, like an unfinished effect or something. He looks out of place amidst the just-slightly-too-soft-focused-and-textured rest of the movie.

Well info individual Na’vi are ugly, a crowd of them just looks preposterous. I can’t look at this crowd without sniggering.

“Me Big Chief Na’vi. Zoe Saldana go-em fetch’s firewood”.

Yes, I’m suggesting that the design of the Na’vi Chief is incredibly racist against Native Americans, an yes I’m aware it’s not a new opinion and no I don’t care. It’s jarring and annoying.

I don’t get it though, are the Na’vi supposed to be African, Aborigine or Native American? Did the filmmakers just rip off all three of those cultures and combine them? I can’y decide if that’s better or worse. I feel like it’s worse.

Why is this moron continuing to speak english to every Na’vi he meets when to our knowledge, only a few seem to speak it? Which in and of itself is a minor miracle, very few creatures possess the vocal chords etc. necessary to reproduce human speech. That’s why Chewbacca in Star Wars may be able to understand Basic, but doesn’t even bother trying to speak it – and vice versa for Han Solo with the Wookie language.

Oh please stop saying Unobtanium.

You know, I’m going to be controversial here and say the Na’vi are at least as much to blame for the shit that goes down later in this movie. All the humans want is to get at the…Let’s call it the Oil. Thats what it’s clearly supposed to be. SYMBOLISM!!!!!111!!!!11!OMG!!WTF!!1BBQ!!1one!! Anyway, if the Na’vi would just stop being so stubborn about the superiority of their culture (Which is, itself, xenophobic. In fact, the Na’vi are at least ten times as xenophobic as the humans, who are going out of their way to be gracious, when it’s been made clear they could wipe the Na’vi out of they felt like it) and let the humans grab the oil and go, there’d be no problem.

The humans have no interest in staying, they’d have to either become Avatars (Expensive) or wear masks (Inconvenient).

Uh-huh. She’s teaching him their ways, the others dismiss him as being incapable of learning. Xenophobia. Like I said.

You know, I liked Expo much better in Dodgeball (Yeah, I just figured out that’s where I recognised him from). Anyway, I see he’s, once again, expositing. Lazy writing is lazy.

You know, I still don’t fully understand what happens to the Avatars when they’re not being controlled…I mean they just seem to be able to dump them anywhere, asleep. Isn’t that dangerous? Even if they pick a “safe” place to sleep, it’s an inhospitable jungle. Anything could happen!

The Na’vi doesn’t choose the weird pterodactyl thing, the weird pterodactyl thing chooses the wizard…Wait, this is bleeding into the various other fantasy universes James is ripping off.

Hah. She calls him moron. Accurate.

Horses with extra legs. I’d like to speak to a biologist about the feasibility of that.

Okay, come on, I have to be missing something. I’m an hour into this, and I still have no idea what people find so captivating about this crap. Is my capacity to be impressed simply by “the shiny!” really that much lower than the general populous’s? I find that hard to believe, I’m a Mac and iPhone user.

Tribal tattoo on his arm? This guy is such a douchebag.

Training montages without kickass music suck.

Mystical energy which flows through all living things? You’re ripping off Star Wars. You’re ripping off a series which itself consists almost entirely of borrowed ideas. You sir, are a hack, James Cameron.

Okay, I find the whole “clean kill” thing, and the mystic crap and all this BS and the way he’s started buying into it incredibly annoying and it’s one of the many thing which makes me fundamentally dislike the Na’vi. They’re bigots. They despise anyone who doesn’t buy into their religion. And what really annoys me about this is the fact the movie expects me to side with them, to the point of even implying that their religion is technically truth. FUCK THIS MOVIE. Stop talking down to me, I’m NOT a racist, I’m a supporter of Hope not Hate. Quit cramming “primitive cultures are really superior” white liberal guilt down my throat.

Hmmm…Weird pterodactyl’s who choose the wizard…Is this the part with the flesh USB Port…Yes. That’s ind of gross. There’s a presumably unintentional sexual undertone and it’s freakishly unsettling.

This entire culture is stupid and pointlessly dangerous and complex. In what way is this superior? They were openly cheering on the idea that he might die completing this entirely pointless task to prove his worth. What a fucking awful message to send kids James. “Unless your proving yourself through incredibly dangerous unnecessary risks, you’re mot a real man, and any worthy culture knows that”. FUCK YOU.

THIS IS JUST SHOWY. This whole pterodactyl sequence is 3D Eye Candy. And I ain’t watching this crap in 3D unless I can do so on the 3DS. So this is entirely pointless to me right now. I hate pointlessness in any movie, let alone a movie which is OVER TWO AND A HALF FREAKING HOURS IN LENGTH.

Oh hey very brief scene consisting entirely of exposit….Oh, it’s gone. Back to the showy cartoon nonsense.

Bored now.

Not even halfway.

Sigh.

This movie’s pacing is really inconsistent. It was racing along for the first forty-five minutes or so and now it’s dragging along like a broken down train.

Oh goodie, a mercy mission. How exciting. I’m convinced they actually made this movie with the idea that we sit and watch this mercy mission be successfully completed, because this totally is an independent arthouse flick, and not glossy, shiny, mainstream, populist schlock.

Waitaminute…This is Avatar. Sorry, I was fantasising I was watching a different movie. Replace that description with its opposites.

Sorry James, it’s gonna take more than glowy tentacle porn to win me over on this movie.

Blech. These Cat-Smurfs have totally the wrong bone structure in their faces to pull off human emotions like amusement and desire.

AND HOLY FREAKING GOD CAT-SMURF SEX SCENE. EWWW. EWWWWWW. This is wrong, wrong on so many levels. Gross. Dude is a fucking xenophile. Sick dude. Don’t fuck creatures of another species, inexplicable half-alien clone which you inhabit by remote or no. It’s still YOU in the re being aroused you sick creep.

Oh look, the exact thing I said about this whole leave them sleeping where ever they drop malarky has come to pass.

Yeah…Ummm..I find it hard to believe that they wouldn’t know where the Avatars were at all times, or at least be able to identify them immediately, in case they themselves destroyed the damn things in exactly this way.

Oh hey, his Ozzie accent came back. I get it, he can’t emote and maintain his gruff American Marine voice at the same time. Ergo, poor casting.

I’m curious, what DOES happen if you interrupt a link in progress? Does the Avatar die, or the human or…What? I’m unclear here. Cos from what I understand of this movie’s plot going in, Jake goes back into his Avatar and goes native…So that means both he and it survive…So…Like…What’s the danger?

Electro-chemical communication between the trees? It’s a global network? Pseudo environmental crap! Hooray, I feel like I’m watching Fern Gully!

Wait, that’s a bad thing…

A deal can’t be made because the Na’vi refuse to move. It’s “move or die” and they’re not moving. Where is the problem exactly? They were given a freaking choice. I mean, I’m not saying the humans aren’t wrong to kill them, or aren’t incredibly greedy, I’m just saying the damn Na’vi are being pigheaded and doing little to nothing to help their own cause. If the humans are irredeemably evil, which seems to be the movie’s message, then the real message about the Na’vi is that they are idiots. Total fucking stupid savages. I think the message they WANT to send is that the Na’vi are noble and proud or some shit, but that’s real not what comes across at all. They’re just stupid.

Take Love interest’s angry reaction to Jake telling them:

A) You have to move on
B) I was sent here by them to learn your ways and convince you to move.

She, and the rest of the Cat-Smurfs are surprised and outraged by this news. WHICH WAS ENTIRELY OBVIOUS TO ANYONE WITH HALF A BRAIN. What the hell did they THINK he was doing there, sight-seeing?! Besides, he’s now CLEARLY trying to help. WHY ARE YOU SHOOTING HTE MESSENGER YOU SAVAGE FUCKING MORONS?!

These things are assholes, stupid fucking assholes. WHY should I sympathise with a people who SO CLEARLY want to die, or are otherwise too racist to accept help to prevent it.

They’re racists, they’re idiots or they’re both. Sure, the humans are racists and for the most part irredeemably evil (Incidentally, this many irredeemably evil characters? Bad writing James), but the Na’vi are hardly blameless.

Oh look, a token “I didn’t sign up for this shit” AWOL move.

Lazy writing.

You know, call me crazy, but these graphics really aren’t all THAT impressive. Sure they look great, possibly the best CGI to date in film, but they’re not SO MUCH better than other films recently. For the most part, excellent, but they’re incredibly uneven. Frequently I’m finding that the foreground looks almost real, but the background looks almost painted, or vice versa. It kinda breaks the suspension of disbelief.

Na’vi crying does not prompt sympathy from me. It’s just an incredibly annoying noise. And Love Interest anger is petty, and again, sounds annoying.

Turning don the colour on this sequence didn’t make it more dramatic James, it just made it look pretentious – and the shamelessly self-aggrandising dialogue did nothing to alter that perception.

Fifty Minutes left. How is it possible that the climax of this movie takes fifty minutes? Is James that and at directing?

Man, you’d think they’d have some kind of remote shut down for these Pelicans…Wait, this isn’t Halo…Sure looks like it…Anyway, you’d think they’d have remote shutdowns to prevent the expensive flying machines from being stolen like this…That kind of technology exists TODAY for crissakes, they have it in CARS.

“I don’t believe in fairy tales”. You’re in one, lady.

Now Jake just sounds British. This dialogue is dubbed, how can this possibly be the best take?

Hmm…WHile we’ve got time. I want to ponder why Sci-Fi universes always perceive other worlds as being mono-climactic and mono-cultural, when the only planet we know of with sentient life, earth, is the exact opposite.

In this context: why are all the Na’vi racist, xenophobic religious fundamentalists with an inexplicable technophobia?

Here comes the white man! The white man will save us!

For a movie dripping in white liberal guilt, this thing’s incredibly racist…The Na’vi can’t save themselves, and Jake makes a better Na’vi than the Na’vi.

Also, fuck the apostrophe in Na’vi. What the fuck is it for? What does it represent?

Spiritual crap. How incredibly offensive to those of use who are happily secular humanist.

SHE WAS SHOT. WE CAN HEAL BULLET WOUNDS NOW. They do not need to magic of some jumped up force knockoff to heal her. What a load of fucking bullshit.

…Haha, it didn’t even work. Awesome. I’m really loving this. Stupid Na’vi-loving prick. If you’d spent more time using medical science and less hauling her to a fucking prayer tree maybe you’d have been more successful at saving here you dick.

JAKE. You are NOT a Na’vi. I’m sorry, doesn’t anyone else find this sick? He has appropriated the cultural heritage of another race, indeed another species, as his own. It’s theft, horrible disgraceful theft. And not only that, it’s a terrible, awful betrayal of mankind. This guy is no hero, he’s an asshole. He has literally no redeeming qualities.

Good CGI on that water there though. Kinda pretty. That being said…WE HAVE WATER. ON EARTH. LOTS of it.

Wow, this movie seems to be implying that the soldiers sent into foreign territories collectively, uniformly, unquestionably support the thinking behind a given conflict. That is outrageously offensive to the military, who may do their duty, but that doesn’t mean they like it. Not every soldier sent to Iraq was in favour of Bush and Blair’s Oil-loving Islamophobic bullshit you know James.

STOP CALLING THEM SKY PEOPLE JAKE. They’re HUMANS. AND SO THE FUCK ARE YOU, ASSHOLE. You’re a fucking racist – against your own fucking people. There is nothing about you which is not evil and contemptible you detestable little shit.

Yeah…This movie sucks. Up to a point, I was of the opinion that it was merely “not good”, and that it was worthy of being hated purely based on the fact that a movie this expensive and successful ought to at least be good, and arguably ought to be mind-blowingly awesome. But at this stage, it has dramatically exceeded my expectations for sulkiness, and I knew going in it was unlikely I’d enjoy it. But I find myself hating every insipid, moronic, awful, offensive moment of it. This movie is an abomination. This movie sucks on a scale I haven’t experienced since Hulk. The Room may be incompetently made, but at least that movie just sucks. This movie sucks OFFENSIVELY. And unlike The Room, this was a vastly over-budgeted event film from a name director which went on to huge success.

The Room was an independent turd crapped out by some idiot which went on to obscurity outside of that little pocket of the internet that delights in watching crap.

Yeah, that’s sensible. Send your Commanding Officer right into the heart of combat.

This combat sequence is pretty, but I find myself distracted by the fact that the Na’vi are predictably going to win, because they’re the designated good guys…Despite the fact there is no credible way that a few thousand giant blue targets with bows & arrows, spears and the odd sword or gun could possibly beat an army packing rockets, machine guns and heavily armoured flying machines.

Stupid bitch, your hopelessly outnumbered and impossibly outgunned, Do as he says.

Oh look, hammerheaded deus ex machina. I hate lazy writing, so very, very much. Alas, it seems I cannot escape it.

Okay, now here, I’m pissed, the way they’ve made the Na’vi victory credible is to make all that mystical crap work. Now, fair enough you get to define the rules of your own universe James, but the Na’vi are a parallel for real peoples, here on earth, and they’re not even SUBTLE parallels for them. So that the solution to their inevitable destruction is “their pseudo-religion is right and hates the evil sky people”, is fundamentally the same as declaring western culture flawed, incorrect and basically unreservedly evil.

You’re basically saying “Fuck you” to the entire audience you asshole.

Oh hey you know, this Mech thing is like straight out of Killzone 2! Well at least James is being multiplatform with the games he’s ripping off. I’m sure there’s even something in here they knocked off from Nintendo.

Why does a mech that size have a knife.

Yeah, I know that should be a question mark. But I’m not gonna use one. Know why? BECAUSE THERE’S NO ANSWER.

There is no credible answer for what that Mech has a knife in its “hand”. If it needs to clear undergrowth or some shit, strap a chainsaw to its arm. This is bullshit, plain and simple.

About time someone asked him that General Asshole. I’m not saying you’re not as much of a prick as he is, you’re both evil pricks, but it’s about time Jake got a “What the hell, hero?” from someone. Though, quite frankly, I think it would have been better coming from someone who wasn’t so unrelentingly and obviously a villain.

Yeah, see, Arrow in you. That’s why you shouldn’t have opened the canopy, even if you couldn’t see.

Oh, yay! I think jake is dead! Well at least both the unrelentingly evil leaders in this movie have died. That shows some awarene…SON OF A BITCH. She saved him. Well, shit.

Oh god, seeing him with her as a human only serves to drive home how disgusting and wrong everything about Jake is.

And here he is, calling humans “aliens”. That’s not okay Jake. YOU ARE A FUCKING HUMAN.

EWWWWWW. GIANT CAT-SMURF IS KISSING ACTUAL HUMAN. THAT IS FUCKING GROSS.

Oh wow. It’s over. Good lord. That is one of the worst, most offensively appalling movies I have ever seen. I mean, jeez, I knew I wasn’t going to like it, but fucking hell…I mean damn, I knew I wasn’t gonna like Twilight either, and I came away from that with my opinion entirely unchanged. It sucks. Here, I went in expecting a movie which in no way justified its cost and popularity, with some plot holes and some lazy writing. What I saw was so much worse. It’s more offensive, and more…Simply BAD than I ever imagined, in its every facet and moment. There was literally five minutes total of this that I didn’t find either bad, offensive, stupid or some combination of those. It’s about ten minutes of spectacular imagery wrapped in two and a half hours of broken universe, plotholes, broken aesops, racism and a heavy-handed message its own makers seem not to have actually taken to heart.

I hated this movie. hated hated hated this movie. Hated every insipid, audience-offending minute of it. This movie is awful. This is everything which is wrong with modern filmmaking, and James Cameron can go to hell.

I am not open to opposing arguments on this. This is one case where I am invoking “Your opinion is objectively wrong” on anyone who tries to convince me this is a good movie. You can tell me you like it, you can even tell me it’s your favourite thing ever, and give me reasons why. But I will not hear any argument against the fundamental message of this Blog: this movie sucks. It sucks OUT LOUD.

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