Avatar Sucked and James Cameron Should Kill Himself

Avatar works by two basic premises – It’s not racism if they’re blue and no-one remembers Heinlein.

Basically it’s like a Japanese videogame. It’s beautiful, it’s got wonderful imagry, you can get lost in the film. The foreign culture lends it alien wonderment. But ultimately, the plot paints itself into a corner, and there’s precious little plot to begin with so it has to end with a hail mary pass where suddenly this magical tree can do soul-tranfers as to let our human antihero become a blue tribal idiot.

If you’re saying “This sounds like Stranger in a Strange Land“, you’re right. It is SiaSL, but instead of being born in a foreign culture and coming to earth, Jake Sully is a human who never feels at home on Earth and then goes to Pandora where he meets and alien cast and finally understands people. He’s disgusted by how people have “lost touch with nature” and love the blue’s treehugging faggotry and then the movie ends with the blues having a huge war on humans. Great – so all the beauty and whatnot he fell in love with and the movie ends with him picking up a spear. Suddenly there’s powered armor, nuclear weapons and if you’re saying “I saw this when it was called Starship Troopers and it still sucked” you would be correct. To add to this, Sigourney Weaver washes up playing the same role she played in the Alien series (a doctor – a series of video logs) and basically you could rip out all her dialog, plunk it down in Alien 4 and not notice anything amiss.

Now, don’t get me wrong – there’s a ton of great imagry in there. Cameron probably watched the garden in Coraline about 100 times and then some kind of shangri-la generic crap to figure out how Pandora looked. The problem is that he wanted to make a movie like The Thin Red Line (still one of my favorites) but the problem is he’s not willing to go into the madness that is war. He wants his actors to be squeaky clean and he wants there to be some deep moral message against a beautiful backdrop. The problem is that he’s not willing to make his people bleed. Yes, the “bad guy” warmonger gets killed. Yes the hotshot pilot gets shot down (you’re not sure if she’s KIA or just out of the fight). The blue guys have their “betrothed” warrior get killed so Cameron won’t have to deal with a weird lovetriangle. And finally, when he’s rained fairly generic and nonsensical destruction down on a generic, beautiful and nondescript planet, he has the chance to really say something about the cost of violence, war and greed but instead of killing Jake Sully, we suddenly find out there’s a tree which can move his soul into a new body (conveniently supplied by a soulless avatar used as a meat spacesuit so there’s no cost to that either) and we realize that there’s no sacrafice anywhere except in the backdrop – the very nature the blues are supposedly fighting for in the first place.

This movie borrowed much from much greater works, and all of it was wasted.

Update: Global Politician calls it “Dances With Wolves in Space” and I think he’s spot on.

Christmas Wrap Up

The star of the show was baby Jesus, I mean Alex. We had probably 40 people over in total, all of whom wanted to hold or help with Alex. Which is nice, but he then didn’t sleep the last two days due to overstimulation. Wonderful.

The fried turkey was a huge hit, I barely got a piece myself. The ham was a standard affair and probably would have been even more popular if we had fried it too.

Presents – my parents got me some pants, which is nice because I’ve got long legs and a short middle and pants are somewhat tough to come by. I usually ended up walking on the cuffs. Plus parenthood hasn’t been kind to my middle. Also got stupid amounts of chocolate and cookies, which is probably the last thing I needed since my wife also baked stupid amounts of cookies. We’ve got a fairly high end mixer I’m slowly warming up to, which I’ve used to make delicious breads, but Kelly employs it like a fiend. Hand made bread + butter = heaven.

Got a new coffee maker, with a clock on it. I think next year (when this one breaks – the life expectancy of a coffee maker around here is measured in months) I will try to get a coffee maker that roasts, grinds and brews up coffee. Then again maybe I’ll stick to the basics since we’re hard on equipment. Kelly got a scone kit, which is good stuff although I have a terrible time only having sweets for breakfast. I got a monkey bread kit with the recipe for monkey bread which is TOP NOTCH. Also people got me coffee, huge bags of coffee.

We had a big old Christmas fire in the fireplace, nothing like wood warms the bones quite as well. Supposedly the days are getting longer and brighter but you couldn’t tell me that this morning.

Mille Bornes

I love Mille Bornes. I was tickled pink when there was a port of it in the BSD-console games package.

Problem is there’s a bug where you sometimes need a go card and sometimes do not need a go card. When don’t you need a go card? When you get hit with a hazard like out of gas, and immediately play the remedy (gas), the game will let you play a distance card like nothing happened.

Normally this would be a funny oversight, but the computer abuses it too.

You know your game is well written when the computer abuses the bugs too.

Modern Warfare 2 Patches

It was the Right Thing to do in buying Modern Warfare 2. You get real good at a loadout and then the game changes it up. Either something unlocked (a game mode, an attachment, etc) or the game gives you something in terms of perks or ranks.

The sad part is there’s some semi-annoying glitches out there. The original was the javelin missile glitch where a player could hit themselves with the missile and walk around with the unspawned missile attached to them. If you kill this player you get blown up. While it does nothing for their K/D ratio, it was really annoying to have someone suicide bomb your defense. They patched this with the last update, and it’s now hilarious to spectate someone trying to do it. The other patch fixes the care package – it no longer kills you if it falls on you and can’t be used as a bridge anymore.

The newest problem pissing me off is the Public Private Match. You choose a game mode, you go to enter with friends and you end up sucked into someone elses game mode where it’s totally different. Also it’s FFA rules despite being a “team game” and you gain XP killing teammates. The upside is when you’re sucked in, you can choose “END MATCH” and kick everyone out which I find hilarious since it’s fairly tempramental to start these things. If you select END MATCH and you’re on the winning team, you gain a ton of XP. If you’re on the losing team, you still gain some XP, but either way you’ve gotten the XP playing for all of two seconds.