8 February 2010


Finally watched The Hurt Locker [ 4/5 | IMDB | Rotten Tomatoes ] a week or so ago and after seeing Avatar while we were in Vegas for Xmas. It's tough to compare the two films and no one would ever try if they hadn't been fated to go up against each other for awards--with Avatar winning the first round at the Golden Globes. Not having seen Hurt Locker at the time, I was angrier that the virtuosic Inglourious Basterds [ 5/5 | IMDB | Rotten Tomatoes ] lost to Avatar.

What to say? With Avatar cf. The Hurt Locker, I was looking for any simple manifestation of masculine and feminine themes. What we first get is a reversal: with Mr. Cameron's Gaia-heavy world contrasting Ms. Bigelow's bomb-laden Iraq; and then a deeper alignment: Avatar is actually not a movie but a high-tech gadget fetishized by geeks and Hurt Locker an elegy to the debasement of the human spirit when confronted by an endless war. Yet ultimately it's simple-minded to play gender games with these flicks, as comparisons become forced when so simplified.

I continue to be shocked at the celluloidoclasm that Avatar is wreaking on cinema history, and it continues to be difficult not to hate it for others' overblown praise. The best comparison is to look at Avatar like the iPhone (or iPad) or Lady Gaga: the fanatics tend to create anti-fanatics, when all that's needed is simple criticism.

[ posted by sstrader on 8 February 2010 at 10:38:29 PM in Cinema ]