Sunday, 23 October 2011

First with the review on this one

I finally watched Avatar with the kids.

Who knew how long that film is? Why didn't anyone warn me?

Well, you'll visit my online diary for these up-to-the-minute arts reviews, so I can say this about Avatar. Impressive animation. Pretty plants. Uninspiring script. Formula music. The story? Irritating. Partly because it was simplistic and partly because it was so American.

Is this how to get an American audience to empathise with indigenous people facing corporate greed? Paint your threatened but feisty characters blue, give them tails, and make the girls and all society conform to a male fantasy involving muscles and domination.

The only children we ever saw were at that point when the blue people were sad escaping refugees. And no pregnant or elderly blueies walking about either.

But I did like some sequences. The community singing. And the sequence when, after the death of her father, the princess told the lead male to shove off, nevercomeback, etc. etc. But he has a growl and makes a plan! He turns up with a big red motor and her heart softens! I liked that bit because it is so male. Doesn't your man only need to turn up in a powerful new car after being a bastard for you to forgive him?

In truth, I resented the whole two-faced dishonest package. Here is an industry encouraging the cinema audience to say oooh how terrible! Destruction of the rainforest must be stopped! But buy a corporate burger on the way in; we got plenty of someone else's land to rip up yet.

I still stayed the course, and watched to the end.

Basically because I have a half-formed idea I would like to watch more films with the kids, and even instigate some sort of 'movie night', where we all cuddle up on the sofa, spill popcorn and bond.

Secretly it is because I want to veer the offspring ultimately to an educated and critical approach to film, via Metropolis, The Birth of a Nation, and Battleship Potemkin, and we got to start somewhere.

But as usual with these ideas, the 'movie night' failed at the starting blocks. Only Shark agreed to watch it with me, and that was out of pity. She said she'd already seen Avatar on an aeroplane. Her verdict was 'could do better on the plot' and 'too many boys waving machine guns'.

Squirrel watched bits of it, but was irritatingly like your grandmother, asking What is she doing? Who is he? What is he saying?

Tiger came in at the very weary end and said 'What is this you are watching? Humph. Looks to me like two men fighting without their vests.'


Nora said...

I haven't seen Avatar, but you said mostly what my Ex said about it, so I felt no need to go see it. American influence in movies is devastating and it's only growing worse. Why do our kids have to grow up with their values? We do have to counteract these. Hollywood can't lead the way.

Allie said...

Indeed. I liked the woman with the helicopter who got killed (no surprises there) but it didn't look like paradise to me - all that swinging round and no-one ever sat down and drank tea. No same-sex relationships in evidence in that world either. And the ending was just... Pah!

Big mamma frog said...

Well that's saved me a few quid getting it from Blockbusters.

I'm more of a Japanese anime sort of person, me. The sort where you don't really understand the plot, but the weirdness keeps you watching anyway. Give me 'My Neighbour Totoro' over Hollywood crass any day. (Though being female and shallow I'll make the exception for the occasional Hollywood hunk in a vest doing action stuff)

MadameSmokinGun said...

I saw a flying battle scene on my bruv-in-law's ludicrously huge flatscreen in his 'home cinema' a couple of months ago - it went on forever.... Looked v impressive but.... no bum jokes or custard pies - I'll stick with my Carry Ons me - I know my level.

Grit said...

any film recommendations folks? i keep going for the oldies - i just picked up david lean's oliver twist at the sad cat shop for $5 and will foist that on the gritlets shortly. but i really think i need to update my film repertoire.