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Thursday, July 8, 2010

AVATAR (2009)

Without IMAX, 3-D or state-of-the-art sound; shorn of the hype & news of record-setting grosses; after the pre-sold WOW factor has dimmed; what’s it like to see James Cameron’s AVATAR plain? Pretty un-wow . . . in fact, shockingly un-wow. There’s nothing particularly wrong using the tried-and-true Cavalry vs Indians allegory nor in its DANCING WITH WOLVES/’90 meets TOP GUN/’86 formula, but has such a celebrated film ever gone so stale so fast? You could amuse yourself with a philosophical debate: ‘Which came first, the miserable acting or the miserable dialogue?' Or, perhaps contemplate on why all the native men look like Eric Roberts and the native woman like Eartha Kitt. Discuss. Why not reflect on how a tale celebrating indigenous people still demands a white male Marine to bring them all to the promised land? What’s less expected is how crabbed & unclear the staging looks. (At least, without 3-D to sort out the planes of action.) Or that Cameron would bring out Sigourney Weaver’s mothballed giant robot suit from ALIENS/’86 for the climax. And damned if our hero isn’t left with a mean case of blue balls at the end of the pic.

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