Tags: bad poser art

Dupree

"AVA-TA-ARRR!!"



I can't help it--from the very first moment I became aware of James Cameron's 'This Will Change the Way You See Movies' SF epic (I think I stumbled onto the trailer while looking for porn on Youtube)I've kept thinking of Ralph Bakshi's 'This Will Change Your Mind About the Wisdom of a Free Jazz Soundtrack on an Animated Vaughn Bode/Tolkienesque Fantasy' epic WIZARDS. Specifically that moment where the President (or whatever he is) keeps screaming the good wizard's name trying to get his attention. And yes, the good wizard's name is...

Anyway,the wife & I finally ventured out of the compound the other night and saw it...not in 3D, but a reasonably big screen, anyway. I was a bit leery, partially, I'll admit, because of Nick Mamatas' damning-yet-so-ho-ho-funny blog-review (I can't find the link...demmit). Even so, I have to admit I had a good time. Am I a bad person? I mean, they spent so much money on this thing, when people are like starving, and, and it's really not in any way original, it's just a head-on collision between THE WORD FOR WORLD IS FOREST and A MAN CALLED HORSE with some old-fashioned Alan Burt Akers/Lin Carter Sword 'n' Planet sprinkled in for good measure...

Okay, look...it's PRODUCT, people. Like hamburgers...oh, that's right, you don't EAT hamburgers. Let's try this again...

Yes, the story's been done before in actual SF books (most recently Tim Zahn's THE MANTA'S GIFT, I think) since the 50s. So? Look at the commercials for this thing...the ones linked to commercial tie-ins like "projector phones" and (yes) hamburgers...who are they aimed at? Not SF fans, though most people would automatically assume that's the case ("Oh, you SF fans," they'll titter). Heck, the Sci Fi Channel (or "Syfy" or whatever the hell it calls itself these days) isn't even really aimed at SF people, just couch-potatoes who like vampire movies and paranormal "reality" shows. No, those commercials are aimed at people who (judging by the actors chosen and the writing) never read a book or used their imagination once in their lives.

Think about that. Never. Once. In Their LIVES. No Tolkien, no Burroughs, they have NO idea who Lovecraft was, they think TREASURE ISLAND is some kinda franchise-concept Disney came up with in the 50s to kill time until Johnny Depp came along. They've never imagined what it would be like to, say, fly a dragon. Even their GIRLFRIENDS never heard of Anne McAffrey...now imagine hitting someone like that with the flight sequences in AVATAR.

After remembering the Ralph Bakshi movie back when I saw the trailer, my first thought was, "This is gonna do great, 'cause those CGI panther-people make it look like those Poser covers the e-Romance publishers keep putting on their books." True. And the storyline, with its amiably PC yet still ass-kicking imagery goes right along with that. The point is that it does it WELL. The story hits all the sweet spots, and doesn't stop for a moment to let you think, "Have they found and despoiled other planets besides Pandora? Cause they don't talk about them, but if this is the first inhabited planet they've found you'd think they'd be more excited..." And so on.

And besides, when John Q. Public comes home after a hard day's work, he doesn't wanna think, he wants to be entertained, etc. etc.

So there you go. Leave AVATAR alone. Or as John Lydon put it in another context, "Enjoy or Die."