OBJECTIVE: Watch Avatar once per every week of 2014.
WHEN: December 26, 2014, 6:05 pm. (Week 52, December 14-20.)
WHERE: In my apartment in Portland, ME.
FORMAT: DVD on a 19” AOC LED computer monitor.
PHYSICAL AND MENTAL STATE: Ready to be done with Avatar.
This is it, my 52nd viewing of Avatar this year, and probably the last time I will ever watch it. I’ve pointed out plot holes, terrible subtext, and frequently just wallowed in exhausted misery, but there is still a lot that I haven’t said. So, for this final viewing of Avatar, I would like to share all those little things I’ve noticed, that were never significant enough to warrant their own article. So here they are, 33 odd little observations about this awful film:
1) I find it kind of offensive that our first introduction to the Marines in this movie shows them mocking someone who was injured in the line of duty. All of the members of our military that I know would have nothing but respect for someone who has made that kind of sacrifice. To show them being so callous right off the bat seems like a bit of a disservice. But this is a movie about big blue cats, so whatever.
Maybe these two are just real assholes, and the rest are super cool. Who knows?
2) I wondered for a while if having Colonel Quaritch give his big opening speech in front of an window shaped like an American flag was meant as an homage to Patton. After viewing Patton, however, I concluded that the characters have little else in common.
3) Every time Quaritch says, “You’ve got to obey the rules… Pandora rules,” my brain replaces “Pandora” with “cider house.” It’s entirely unfunny; it isn’t even a joke. But my brain thinks it every single time.
4) I wonder if Sigourney Weaver’s first appearance, rising up out of the bio-bed, is a tiny reference to the opening scene in Alien, where the crew (Weaver included) are seen waking up from their cryo chambers.
Eh, maybe not.
5) When Selfridge uses the phrase “win the hearts and minds,” there’s a pentagon on the screen. Because the war on terror. Farrrrrrrrrrrt. I’d totally be up for a poignant satire on America’s foreign policy, but Avatar doesn’t do much more than throw a few buzzwords at us, as if to scream, “GET IT!?!”
I got it.
6) There is a scene where Jake says, “kiss the darkest part of my lily white…” and is then cut off. I can only assume the final word would have been “ass,” but I don’t know. As far as I can tell, this isn’t really a phrase people use. Is it future-slang? Maybe?
7) I really like to imagine that when Stanford found out that one of their Alums had made it into the avatar program, they proudly shipped her an XXXL shirt.
Seriously, that shirt has got to be huge!
8) I never really found a way to bring it up organically in an article, but I’ve decided that the gas giant Pandora orbits around should be called Blupiter.
I mean, really, this seems like a no-brainer.
9) Ever since I saw this video, I can’t see Quaritch prepping his mech suit without thinking he’s jerking it off.
10) Did they specially make a gun big enough for a Na’vi just for Jake? Someone I mentioned that to suggested that maybe it was a gun for one of the mechs, but I question whether their big metal fingers would be dexterous enough to fire it.
Guess I’ll never know.
11) Every time the movie goes into slow motion, I feel like I’m watching a video game cutscene. I don’t much care for it.
12) The shitty jackals are totally just Houndooms with six legs.
Should have brought an Ultra Ball, Jake.
13) Every time those floopy jellyfish things land on Jake, I imagine that they’re really parasites coming to suck his blood. Or at the very least give him a bad rash. Because I hate him.
Seriously, I want this to end with Jake being covered in painful welts.
14) Moat’s name should really be spelled Mo’at if they want it to read the way it sounds. As is, it looks like she’s a wet circle protecting a castle.
15) I truly hate that Jake retells his “Warrior of the Jarhead clan” story to Colonel Quaritch. It’s a really shitty joke, and the movie should be ashamed that it tries to get away with using it twice.
16) Oh, hey, there’s the pentagon again. This time they’re talking about stealing the Na’vi’s natural resources. Wooo.
17) When Selfridge says “Look at all that cheddar!” I pretend that he is literally looking at a giant block of cheese. Every. Goddamn. Week. I am so glad I never have to watch this movie ever again.
Though, admittedly, part of the problem here is my inability to prevent my brain from making terrible puns.
18) The horses make the same noise as the raptors from Jurassic Park. It bugs me every time. I mean, really, do they have to remind me that I could be watching a better movie every week?
19) I kind of hate that on one occasion Neytiri is shown making a car alarm noise with her mouth, but we never see her or any other Na’vi do it ever again.
20) So, throughout the movie there are a ton of shots of the weird neck-breathing holes that the animals on Pandora have. There are also a bunch of shots of similarly positioned vents on the humans’ vehicles. I feel like the movie is trying to make some kind of half-baked point, but I really can’t sort out what it is.
Or I could just be seeing things after all this Avatar exposure.
21) When she finally gets to visit the village again, Augustine corners a bunch of Na’vi girls and immediately praises them on how pretty they are, as opposed to maybe complimenting their aptitude. Way to introduce human gender stereotypes to kids on a whole other planet, Doc.
Praise them on their hunting skills or something.
22) I’ve talked about Duckface Goat before, but I really want to point it out again. I really can’t get over what a shitty-looking animal it is.
Fuck off, Duckface Goat.
23) Why don’t any of the Banshees attack Jake from the sky while he’s trying to brain-rape them? They can fly! Why the hell would they fight exclusively from the ground?
Fly, you fool!
24) I get that Jake’s video logs are an exposition dispensing device, but they seem kind of redundant in a movie where we get to hear the protagonist’s thoughts anyway. Hell, the movie opens with him talking directly to the audience. Why muddy those waters?
25) I do like this shot of Jake’s emaciated legs. Good job, movie.
You win the atrophy trophy.
26) What are they smearing on Jake’s face? Jizz? Bird shit? Something else?
27) Is making Tsaheylu in the Tree of Voices grove the Na’vi equivalent of fucking in a graveyard?
28) How is Neytiri’s bracken necklace staying upright enough to cover her nipple? Did she glue it in place?
Pandora’s gravity isn’t that low.
29) “You need to wake up, Parker.” “No, you need to wake up.” That’s some world-class dialogue, guys. Tip top.
30) I hate that there is a character whose catchphrase is, “Ye’ha baby get some!” He says it at least twice.
I also hate that I know this character’s name. It’s Wainfleet.
31) That is a huge stick that Eytukan is impaled on. Like, comically large. As a result, I can never take his death scene even remotely seriously.
It’s just stupid big!
32) Why do the Na’vi drag Augustine’s body away with them when they leave the wreckage of Home Tree? I mean, just minutes ago they were stringing her up on that creepy bone thingy. Eh, whatever.
33) In a tragic cultural misunderstanding, the final time Jake says, “I see you,” he’s actually asking Neytiri to take him to an Intensive Care Unit.
And that is all I have to say about this film. Goodbye, Avatar. I saw you.