Last night, the Shah and I (being the only people in the entire universe who had not experienced it) went to see Avatar. I have to admit to being fairly ambivalent about it before we got there as I suffer from that classic English cynical mistrust of anything that has so many superlatives heaped upon it. It couldn’t be that good, surely? This was despite TD’s assurances that it is the “best film ever – I cried and cried”.
The Shah was concerned for an entirely different reason. Moi, being a Real Mummy (see previous post dated 25 /1/2010) as opposed to a Model Mummy, am inclined to fall fast asleep once I am in a comfortable seat in a warm, dark room.....and what is a cinema but a warm, dark room with comfortable seating? Unfortunately, the resulting snoring can be a little disruptive for my fellow viewers and somewhat embarrassing for the Shah, so he was on red alert all night, periodically digging me in the ribs if I hadn’t moved for a few minutes.
However, he needn’t have worried. The volume, for one thing, was designed not to let anyone drop off for an instant. And I have to admit that the whole film was incredibly clever – the special effects were jaw-dropping and it was just so visually lush – the gorgeous colours of the glow in the dark forest, the hideousness of the various sabre-toothed monsters – the action scenes really couldn’t be faulted.
The only one, teeny, weeny little moan that both of us had was the lack of humour. As someone whose life is predicated on humour (the most fun you can have with your clothes on) I get a little hacked off with anything that appears to take itself too seriously....and Avatar was just one of those things. In fact, the Shah and I were in complete unity in wishing it hadn’t been quite so, well, worthy. James Cameron could perhaps have introduced a little bit of wit by paying homage to films that have gone before – and, before I go on, what is it with the way people have taken to pronouncing the word “homage”? Long gone is the English “homij” and now everyone seems to call it “ho-marge” or, worse, “o-marge” . WTF? You’re not French – get over yourselves.
Anyway, I digress.....I have some suggestions for James Cameron as to how he could not only improve his scripts; he could prove his green credentials by recycling some of them. There are many excerpts which could be moved from movie to movie and no one would notice. Or care.
For example:- In Avatar, every time Jake Sully has to leave the Na’vi and return to base, he could say the immortal line “I’ll be back” obviously from James Cameron’s Terminator series of films. There’s a line in True Lies where one character says to another “have you ever killed anyone?” and the reply is “yeah but they were all bad” ideal for one of the American baddies in Avatar, I’d have thought. What about Titanic? Surely one of JC’s biggest grossing movies? Remember the scene where Jake – sorry – Jack – says to Rose “Where to Miss?” and Rose replies “To the stars!”. Hello! We’re talking aliens and distant planets – geddit? And talk of Aliens brings me neatly to Sigourney Weaver. Why not pay homage to that groundbreaking film by having something burst out of Sig’s stomach – or hey – even better – why not have Sig burst out of her own stomach when she is in Avatar mode? Hell yes! I’m on a roll here!
When Jake Sully is persuading some Velociraptor-type creature to let him hop on board for the ride, the Shah and I were sniggering “You can be my wing man – No – You can be MY wing man” to each other – spot the movie reference there if you can remember that far back! Similarly, JC could also have substituted “Thank you for coming back to me,” from Brief Encounter for the soppy bit (the bit that made TD cry and cry) where the Na’vi and the human Jake go “I see you...” to each other. Unfortunately, by the time we reached that bit, I’d had just about enough of this tosh and leaned over to the Shah to whisper “I keel you,” in the manner of Achmed, the dead terrorist. The Shah’s unfortunate snorting brought on a few dirty looks from the row in front.
But finally – How about honouring one of my favourite ever British films? Yep – The Full Monty. Just think how good it would have been if the American soldiers had leaned out of their helicopters and screamed that famous line at Sigourney Weaver’s Avatar – OOH-AH AVATAR – HAS TO WEAR A GIRLY BRA!