Sunday, December 20, 2009

Apparently, Avatar sucks, bad

On Twitter last night, this new big-budget sci-fi flick was slagged mercilessly. Left Coast Rebel links to Debbie Schlussel's review:
Clocking in at nearly three hours, "Avatar" is an incredible waste of time. It's essentially a remake of "Dances With Wolves" and every other movie where we evil Americans terrorize the indigenous natives, kill them, take their land, and are just all around imperialistically wicked and inhumane. Oh, and we're destroying the environment, clearing precious giant trees and natural landscapes and killing rare animals and their habitats, in order to invade and harvest valuable substances under the ground. . . .
Smurf-like natives made to look like overgrown American Indians, complete with warpaint, mohawks, and long ponytails (that have computer-like USB cable tendrils in them, which can communicate with nature–ludicrous). Does that sound like earth-shattering stuff to you? They looked like Jar Jar Binks with arrowheads. . . .
"Jar Jar Binks? Ewwwwww. Read the whole thing. Meanwhile the much-hyped 3-D effects evidently underwhelm, as Ann Althouse quotes her 26-year-old son's iChat commentary:
just trying to look at the 3d and get it to look right was pretty much the entire experience of it. . . .
it never reaches the point of looking like reality, and looks less real than 2d. . . .
My inner English teacher wants to reply to Althouse's kid: "What's with the non-capitalizing?" Has technology rendered capitalization obsolete?

Never mind that, though. There was never a chance I'd go see something like Avatar -- I have a generalized aversion to science fiction -- but anyone tempted to pay money to see it, or to send their kids to see it, is hereby warned.

Update: (Smitty) House of Eratosthenes has a lengthy list of crap we don't want to see in movies.


  1. "What's with the non-capitalizing?"

    You have teens. Can this be new to you? My teens don't even text complete words. Reading a message from them is like deciphering WWII codes. We "older" folks just aren't cool enough to realize hitting the shift key and typing out an entire word takes up too much time. IFKWIMAIKTYD! ;)

  2. Pfffft. See, I told you. I screwed up the IYK... Old & uncool.

  3. Stacy:

    It'll be 30 degrees below in hell before I watch Avatar, but if you have not seen District 9, then you have missed a really, really good film. Yes it is Science Fiction, but in terms of inventiveness, plot and sheer good storytelling, it is not a movie to miss.


  4. if we already reached an age when you can't be marveled by the screen when watching Avatar then There is nothing in this world that will make us wonder or hope or marvel, that part is crazy to me! To deny the beauty and work that went into these images is ridiculous.

    Now; if you're not a fan of sci-fi: yes do not go see this, and I understand that. This is on the same level as Star Wars, in every sense of the word.

    I think people complaining about the script, where it tooks things from, predictability, are going to the movies to find something wrong with it, if that is the case i say: stay home. Its about the way all the bits and pieces and archetypes were combined, everything has been done in movies before, but never put together quite this way, Cameron is an amazing architect and Avatar is proof.

  5. @Anonymous,
    Really? So you're saying that characters, acting, conflict and plot are all passé? Nothing but sitting back and enjoying the Collectivist programming (in both IT and entertainment senses) will do?

    You stand rejected. Get bent.

  6. I saw it. There were several times when I just burst out laughing and my wife had to hit me, the absolute ridiculousness of it was just overwhelming. It was so predictable, you know how it was going to end the first 30 minutes into and the rest was just fullfilling the plot dots that you knew were coming. The dumbest part was when they were defending themselves from these hairless wolf things and then killing them, then apologizing to a dead carcass for killing them before they ate your face off. Absolute pap. Wait till the dvd comes out.

  7. Never mind that, though. There was never a chance I'd go see something like Avatar -- I have a generalized aversion to science fiction -- but anyone tempted to pay money to see it, or to send their kids to see it, is hereby warned.

    I have not seen District 9, but I definitely will when it goes to DVD. SF definitely works when it is well done--Bladerunner is a 10 ten movie of all times. Hell, Alien is a great movie too.

    And I want to see a properly done (true to the source material) version of The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress.

    And BTW, OT, but rumor has it Patterico is having a nervous breakdown.

  8. Comment by serr8d on 12/20 @ 2:33 am #

    Patterico is on “vacation”. I left a comment there just minutes ago…

    Patterico, you’ve become a crazy out-of-control blogger. How long before you become a crazy out-of-control Deputy District Attorney? How soon before your bloggy madness spills over into your personal and professional life?

    This is what happens when a stressful job causes mental overload. You’ve blown a breaker, it’s obvious to anyone who knows you.

    Do a poll, ask your readers (and co-bloggers) “Am I out of line here? Do I seem crazy? Should I continue this?”

    Where’s Karl’s opinion? I haven’t seen him weigh in. You respect him; ask him if he thinks you’re losing your grip. I’ll bet he’ll answer honestly.

    Personally, I give you six months until you completely melt down to complete unsustainability. You need some help, man.

    Stop the MADNESS!


    Patterico is on vacation and he isn't able to watch his blog as closely during those times. That leaves me in charge and I don't tolerate comments that attack him in his day job. Thus, your comments will go into moderation until I can review and decide whether to release them, or until I'm convinced you can comment appropriately, or until Patterico returns.

    -- DRJ]

    Comment by serr8d — 12/19/2009 @ 10:57 pm

    Vacation didn’t stop him from spamming PW today.

    But a vacation! I heartily approve.

    I wonder if it was forced on him? An intervention by family or coworkers?

    About damned time.

  9. Twittering Avatar:

    @allahpundit "The opening soundtrack is a weird version of Woody Guthrie's 'This Land Is Your Land.'" | Sharon Jones!

    30 minutes ago from web in reply to allahpundit @allahpundit I recommend it.

    31 minutes ago from web in reply to allahpundit RT @EdMorrissey: My review of Avatar Entertaining but very predictable. || If by "entertaining" you mean "soul-sucking."

    about 11 hours ago from web @allahpundit I dunno... wouldn't you have given it a better review in utero?
    about 11 hours ago from web in reply to allahpundit

  10. I saw the film last night and couldnt possibly disagree with your review more. The movie was revolutionary and instead of focusing on one person's review, I would instead opt to look at how people reviewed the movie on, where over 12,000 reviews have already rated it among the best movies of all time.

  11. "They looked like Jar Jar Binks with arrowheads..." Now that's funny! I don't care who you are!

  12. Sounds like another anti-american guilt trip to me.

    Why would I pay money to be made to feel guilty?

    Some people would I suppose. There's a clinical name for that kind of people.

  13. Meanwhile SEK has some comments on Peyton Manning, Avatar, and racism today (oh joy):

    For decades, coaches and scouts wished they could find a black body with a white brain in it. ("If only someone could find a way to stuff Peyton Manning's brain into JaMarcus Russell's body!") The essentialist logic at play there is obvious: black people are more athletic than white, and white people are smarter than black. No matter how descriptive such these people thought they were being, in truth they were creating the conditions they claimed to describe: black quarterbacks were increasingly valued for raw athleticism, white athletes for their pocket presence and tactical acumen. That's an expectations game based on racist expectations ... and it works according to the same logic behind the narrative of Avatar.

  14. What Smitty said to the nth power.

  15. To agree with some posters above, District 9 is a great movie, and is sort of the anti-Avatar this year.

  16. This movie kicked ass. I dont see how anyone could see this and not like it in some way. I guess those of you who though it was awful have no souls, and you can go die.

  17. I have a good feeling that the people on hear that are really feeling this movie are some of the biggest nerds that have a really poor sense of what is considered an impressive film with a real and thought through plot. The focus of this movie was the visuals and I wanted to barf after the first 30 minutes. The entire film was just an obvious play on colonists versus native americans and barely made any sense. Waste of time for most non-nerdy people.

  18. "Dances with Smurfs" and "USB nature cables". Brilliant.

    I struggled through this movie, I really did. I had moments where I just had to admire the brilliant animation and abhor the god-awful, regurgitated,plot, flat characters, and infantile dialogue all at once. It was the most painfully conflicted I've felt watching any film in a long time - and that takes something special. Did George Lucas write the script?

    But seriously, I almost vomited with rage when I read Ebert's review implicitly comparing this self-indulgent pap with Star Wars(1977). The dialogue is terrible, it's like it was written for 5 year olds with attention deficit disorder, the plot is pathetically derivative, the acting is one the whole lame, and the characters only partially developed at best.

    This movie is an almost 3-hour insult to your intelligence, if only you have the capacity to realize it.

    I'd rather watch Transformers. At least it has Megan Fox.

    RE:12,000 IMDB user reviews
    Yeah, 12,000 people can definitely be wrong.

  19. I've seen porno's with better storylines than this movie. Think of what they could do with the same CGI tho................

  20. In a porno? That's one venue I think is safe from CGI..

    People, normal people, prefer seeing the real thing(s).

    On another note, I've just watched a second time and enjoyed it far more - I don't have anything better to say for it; I just knew what to expect this time.

    I wonder what the sequel will be about? You know there's going to be one.. possibly and MMMORP too.

  21. Avatar 3D looked neat. That's everything good I have to say about it. It was Pocahontas in space. The ironically two-dimensional, stereotypical, predictable characters, amateurish, predictable plot, and inane, implausible actions by the humans made this movie a joke. I almost fell asleep but kept being awakened by some people chuckling around me.

  22. While I agree that Avatar is the stupidest thing since pet rocks, it's definitely not science fiction.

  23. Thank god for the last bastion of sanity here.

  24. Sorry, but does anyone else have any great ideas for a film that could please most of the people who have posted here? First of all the person who made this post should never have in the first place, what you did was basically take someone else's thoughts and agreed with it while having no knowledge of the film it self.
    Yes, the plot may be similar to other movies such as pocahantus or dancing with the wolves or anything else people are comparing it to. And yes, this plot was an audience pleaser, but for anyone who watched it, how else could it have ended and still given the viewers that same surreal feeling? The technology used and the visuals in the movie were amazing, and the plot was just great in my opinion. The connections some people are making here are ridiculous, use your brains and see the originality of the movie instead of trying to pick out the few parts that are similar to other movies.
    Anyone who has seen this movie and gives it such a bad rating obviously just wants to go to the movies to critizise and find plot flaws. Anyone who has seen this has their own oppinion but don't go and tell others not to see it just becuase you have a stick up your ass and want to be different. I suggest being different and disagreeing with most of society in a different way, because there are many injustices in this world that need more people to stop following others and have a mind of their own.
    As for Avatar, it is a brilliant movie and should be seen by everyone just to revel the beauty of imagination and storytelling. I didn't think anyone would be so ignorant to write a post about a movie they haven't even seen.
    Apprently, your review sucks, bad.