Rob's Soapbox Archives

January 4th, 2010


For God’s sake.

Our society has hit a new apex of stupidity and its’ name is Avatar, the movie.

Full disclosure; I didn’t get this film from the beginning and by “the beginning,” I mean one year ago during the Super Bowl when the first commercial aired hyping this behemoth. For 11 months following, we were told that the director of the biggest grossing box office movie of all time, “Titanic,” had done it again. James Cameron, we were promised, had ushered in the 21st century’s equivalent of George Lucas’s “Star Wars,” by doing things with computers, actors and animation that will revolutionize cinema.

Then came the trailers and the commercials and I thought I was watching a preview for “South Park meets the Smurfs.”

Alas, I decided that I must maintain my intellectual and cultural credibility and I subjected myself to the movie that seems destined to smash worldwide box office records. After all, modesty aside, I have made a career of balancing an interest in politics and finance with a passion for sports and pop culture. In other words, as the #1 talk radio show, we have to maintain our “hipness” to maintain our stature. “Avatar,” is, if nothing else, a moment in pop culture history that must be reported on, so even though I didn’t find the commercials visually appealing, nor did I have the slightest clue what the storyline was, I downed a shot of some of the finest aged Anejo tequila known to mankind, cleared my head and committed myself to an objective experience of surveying the Avatar landscape.

I am a gifted man when it comes to words; I rarely find myself speechless, dumbfounded or without the vocabulary needed to express my deepest thoughts and emotions.

Avatar is my intellectual kryptonite.

I am at a loss as to how best describe how stunningly awful this picture is. There are no adjectives available to even begin to piece together an explanation of how utterly, blitheringly, monstrously horrendous this entire film is. Trust me, I spent days with a thesaurus trying to find synonyms for atrocious and couldn’t find harsh enough words.

Only one thing related to this movie has been more disappointing and pathetic than the actual film and that has been the predictable praise heaped upon it in the aftermath of its opening. Yet again, our culture has proven what a bunch of soulless, mindless, thoughtless, pride-less drones we have become; after being indoctrinated with a full year of being told that  we would be witness to the next great moment in cinematic mastery, we are incapable as a society of refuting what is so glaringly obvious; the movie stinks. This movie is not just bad, it is worse than bad and on every level conceivable, yet reams of people from critics to Facebook wonks are tripping over themselves to serenade all of us with their undying devotion to all things Avatar.

The film is about blue people that live in a tree. No really, it is. The blue people represent every form of life that evil Americans have ever wronged, from Native Americans to women to the handicapped to all people of color. Just for good measure, the blue people worship and/or communicate with Mother Nature, which America also hates. Predictably, the Americans in the movie, transparently portrayed by inhabitants of the planet Pandora (as in “open Pandora’s box”…one of the movie’s myriad unintelligent, lazy clichés), want to rape the blue people and their beloved earth mother, all in the name of…wait for it….no really, can you guess? That’s right! GREED at the hands of an evil corporation.

I mean, really, must I continue explaining this juvenile plot? An episode of “Captain Planet” has more credibility than this drivel.

Long story (and Jesus Christ was it long) short, the evil Pandoran/American spy who infiltrates the blue people predictably becomes sympathetic to their cause, turns against America Pandora, talks to animals and saves the Earth, er, I mean Pandora, from the destruction at the hands of evil corporations who are pursuing some glorious chemical called Unobtanium or some such crap. It’s irrelevant, nerds, so don’t write me and tell me I got the name of the stupid mineral wrong.

Throughout the three hour film we are treated to the blue people’s own made up language, which becomes farcical at best within the first few minutes that the tree people first appear with their ten foot frames and silly tails.

Regular readers of mine will no doubt conclude at this point that I am angry at the plot of this damn movie, which I am, but that is far from the true source of my deepest inner rage. The plot is horrendous, written by a child of no more than 7, and completely, obviously, insultingly a condemnation of America in no uncertain terms. Even if the film’s conclusion wasn’t that America should be destroyed I would find the putrid writing and acting that accompanied the moronic storyline to be intolerable.

But I have come to expect no less from Hollywood. They have long hated our country and have made zillions of films confirming such; they’re just getting smarter about it now.

Along the way, the overwhelming majority of films with a clear anti-American slant have failed miserably at the box office; occasionally, filmmakers find creative ways to spew their propaganda such as in “The American President,” with Michael Douglas, a widely loved film of the early 1990s which was nothing more than a two hour commercial espousing the views and policies of Marx, Stalin and Lenin, complete with the movie’s apex scene when the President of the United States declares that he’s going to go door-to-door in America and take away our handguns; A chilling scene that gives most people goose-bumps for all of the wrong reasons.

Truth be told, I love the “American President,” because I choose to look past its’ ideology and enjoy it for its’ slick acting and intelligent writing. I wanted to do the same with Avatar, until I realized, about 90 seconds in, how idiotic the film was. But Hollywood got super smart with this one by “sprucing up” the visual effects to the point that millions of sheep-like Americans will herd themselves into theaters, find themselves awed at the visual stimulation, and only days later wonder why they have a burning inclination to torch an American Flag. Propaganda is an insidious thing.

And this brings me to my true outrage.

In the end, I am not upset that Avatar is one of the worst written films ever.

In the end, I am not angry that the film is overtly anti-American, for no movie can take away my love of country.

In the end, I am not disappointed that millions of Americans are too naïve, too ignorant, or just too stupid to recognize the true message of Avatar.

In the end, I am not even annoyed that the movie is a painfully long, terribly “acted” and portrayed story of galactically stupid proportions.

No, in the end my outrage is more basic, and is targeted directly at the very carrot they used to dangle before our eyes for 12 full months before bashing us over our heads with their stick of stupidity. I am most angry at this film’s visual failings. Not only is Avatar not a groundbreaking, state of the art leap forward, it is a failure on the level of “New Coke.” Those of you who whined aloud about the ridiculously phony monkey scene in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of my Ass must laugh uproariously in the theater at the pterodactyls in Avatar, let alone the blue people and their God damned tree house.

This film is phony, fake and ridiculous looking on a scale that is to be mocked and never again tried. PS3 games are far more realistic, yet not sold as such. I kept waiting for the blue people to team up with the Mario Brothers, hop on some giant ostriches and fly around jousting with the Lunatic from “Hitman.”

One other note; enough with 3-D. It doesn’t work; it never has. The only thing I felt was “coming at me” during Avatar was a stroke.

Save your letters and your calls; I already know how wrong I am. I get it; you were told that you had to worship this movie and that it would be the next great thing and you refuse to believe otherwise. I am clearly out of touch and you are right. Good for you. I have seen and read all of the blog posts, reviews, audience scores, facebook messages and everything else declaring this masterpiece the future of American movie going.

Thank God…that means I won’t have to waste my time seeing movies anymore.