Saturday, 3 October 2009

Bad Hype: AVATAR

Let’s see reader...

I hope your all enjoying my Lets watch series, I'll be doing all 26 episodes of Guin Saga, but before I’m done I might add another one... But looking at my options I kinda shudder just thinking of watching them. I mean you probably can’t tell from my posts but Guin Saga is actually one of the smarter anime’s that have aired recently... Which is kinda depressing. So many plot holes and silly things...

I’ll tell you what riled me up recently, have you heard of the new film avatar?

Now normally I wouldn’t pay it any mind. I have a troubling relationship with films coming out in the cinema, in that I am too lazy/ don’t have the time/ don’t have the money to go see them. But I wanted to talk about this one because the director has basically said it’s going to blow us away. He’s saying this is going to be like the best thing ever. So I figured if he’s so confident I may as well look up what its actually about.

Suffice it to say I’m not impressed.

Now it could very well be a good film, it’s set in sci-fi and appears to have some good ideas behind it. Maybe it will be one of those great films? But there’s something I can’t let go. I think I read somewhere that this is supposed to be a new story, original even.... And then I read what it was about:

(Wtf? It wants me to contact the server just so I can copy some text? Oh it’s on f***er)

“In the epic action adventure fantasy AVATAR, James Cameron, the director of Titanic, takes us to a spectacular new world beyond our imagination. On the distant moon Pandora, a reluctant hero embarks on a journey of redemption, discovery and unexpected love – as he leads a heroic battle to save a civilization.

The story’s protagonist, Jake Sully, is an ex-Marine who was wounded and paralyzed from the waist down in combat on Earth. In order to participate in the Avatar program, which will give him a healthy body, Jake agrees to travel to Pandora, a lush rainforest environment filled with incredible life forms- some beautiful, many terrifying. Pandora is also the home to the Na’vi, a humanoid race that lives at what we consider to be a primate level, but they are actually much more evolved than humans. Ten feet tall and blue skinned, the Na’vi live harmoniously within their unspoiled world. But as humans encroach on Pandora in search of valuable minerals, the Na’vi’s very existence is threatened- and their warrior abilities unleashed.

Jake has unwittingly been recruited to become part of this encroachment. Since humans are unable to breath the air on Pandora, they have created genetically-bred human-Na’vi hybrids known as Avatars. The Avatars are living, breathing bodies in the real world, controlled by a human driver through a technology that links the driver’s mind to the Avatar body. On Pandora, through his Avatar body, Jake can be whole once again. Moreover, he falls in love with a young Na’vi women, Neytiri, whose beauty is matched by her ferocity in battle.

As Jake slides deeper into becoming one of her clan, he finds himself caught between the military-industrial forces of earth, and the Na’vi – forcing him to choose sides in an epic battle that will decide the fate of an entire world.

Conceived 14 years ago and over four years in the making, AVATAR breaks new ground in delivering a fully immersive, emotional story and reinvents the movie going experience.”

(That’s word for word mtherf***ers, try to stop me from copying your text will ya... I mean, there’s nothing stopping me from just reading it and writing it down lol)

There are a few things that... enrage me about this but let’s cover the biggest one, now there saying their breaking new ground with this? Really? Ok, look at this next synopsis:

Captain Nathan Algren is a man adrift. The battles he once fought now seem distant and futile. Once he risked his life for honor and country, but, in the years since the Civil War, the world has changed. Pragmatism has replaced courage, self-interest has taken the place of sacrifice and honor is nowhere to be found, especially out West where his role in the Indian Campaigns ended in disillusionment and sorrow.

Somewhere on the unforgiving plains near the banks of the Washita River, Algren lost his soul.

A universe away, another soldier sees his way of life about to disintegrate. He is Katsumoto, the last leader of an ancient line of warriors, the venerated Samurai, who dedicated their lives to serving emperor and country. Just as the modern way encroached upon the American West, cornering and condemning the Native American, it also engulfed traditional Japan. The telegraph lines and railroads that brought progress now threaten those values and codes by which the Samurai have lived and died for centuries.

But Katsumoto will not go without a fight.

The paths of these two warriors converge when the young Emperor of Japan, wooed by American interests who covet the growing Japanese market, hires Algren to train Japan’s first modern, conscript army. But as the Emperor’s advisors attempt to eradicate the Samurai in preparation for a more Westernized and trade-friendly government, Algren finds himself unexpectedly impressed and influenced by his encounters with the Samurai. Their powerful convictions remind him of the man he once was.

Thrust now into harsh and unfamiliar territory, with his life and perhaps more important, his soul, in the balance, the troubled American soldier finds himself at the center of a violent and epic struggle between two eras and two worlds, with only his sense of honor to guide him.

That is the plot of the Last Samurai, now if we take the Sci-Fi out of AVATAR... Huh, that looks awfully similar? Look all I’m saying is this is not an original plot, everyone trying to come up with a story will have stumbled over this plot before, I did like 8 years ago. Now I will admit original stories are pretty impossible, my favourite quote is “Originality is merely how well the author hides his sources” and AVATAR fails pretty epically at that.

Now let’s try and have some brief analysis at some points I noticed that I have a problem with.

(I almost made a Titanic joke here, very nearly, Heh)

Oh yes, beyond our imaginations. I dare you to say that to my face. I have no idea at the imaginary powers of others, but I get pretty riled up if someone thinks they can come up with something that will blow my mind (It does happen, but it’s pretty rare). This is something you tell little kids in bedtime stories because they haven’t lived long enough to grasp the true power of imagination, this is not something you throw at adults... it comes off as more insulting than anything else(You can probably ignore this one, when I get mad at something I’ll nitpick the hell out of it).

The Na’vi are more evolved than humans. Now this isn’t me being Xenophobic, but the wording strikes me as a misunderstanding at what evolved means. You can’t really be more evolved than something, this isn’t spore where you have DNA points, everything evolves at different rates and in different things and each is as complex as another (Regardless of mass). This stems from the human trait to assume it’s better than everything else, even going so far as to misuse the English language to translate it to one another. The only reason I can see they chose to say this is because they needed some sort of leveller between the Na’vi... Oh we have guns and shit but they can stand up to us cause their more “evolved”. See, I wouldn’t have gotten mad if they had just said something like ‘But the Na’vi are stronger than the humans thought” see, that could have many meanings I couldn’t guess at here... Paralyse your critics with English!

This next bit reminds me of Guin Saga actually, ‘Wait, so your plan is to invade a rainforest full of monsters we know nothing about, because we seem to have only just got here. Then you want us to wage a war with a people with an intimate knowledge of the surrounding geography. All so we can conquer a planet that kills you when you try to live on it’. I mean the whole “we need da resources” thing seems pretty weak... cause if it’s a military funded by an industry, why the hell wouldn’t they just bomb the Na’vi? Burn the forest to the ground? I’m pretty sure in the future industry will still not give a f*** about the rain forest.

Then we get to the bit about why this film is called AVATAR, the avatar thingies. What? Are you serious? Did gas masks suddenly become to expensive in the future? If you have space ships by now I’m pretty sure you have gotten past the whole running out of air problem. Did someone one day go “You know what guys... Let’s throw all this money into building these soldiers to fight these Monkey Ninjas... and then when there done they’ll be completely useless on any other planet” I mean, who hears that and considers it a good investment? I call bullshit if someone says were trying to stop human death. If that was the case how did he get injured in a war on earth? Did he fall on a pack of pencils? Oh and I’m only going to treat him like an idiot... I mean, when an army gives you a body and tells you what to do... You basically lose all right to object, I mean if he’s getting out of order they could just disconnect him right?

Now he might fall for the Na’vi girl because he’s a bit of a weirdo... But... My god... If this doesn’t have the greatest writing in the world I could never believe she would fall for him. Want to know why? Let’s say you’re walking down the street, doing a little shopping, when this guy appears in front of you and asks you out. The man in front of you is wearing the flesh of your dead brother. I hope someone notices what an abomination these avatar body things are, if I were a Na’vi I’d fly into a blood rage at the sight of these monsters. Not only are they trying to kill us and strip our world bear of its beauty, but there also stealing who we are! That’s right up there with putting their very souls on the line. It is gonna have to the greatest romance plot ever if they want to pull this off believably.

I do want to see it, just to see how it plays out. If it only becomes a mindless action film were all used to I think I’d be happy... Cause if they actually try to pull all this off I can only imagine failure at different levels.

Let this be a lesson for you... Do you not tell me you have the greatest thing ever, because I will only tell you why it’s stupid and why you’re so ugly (Psst, it’s because you’re not me).

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