Entertainment Friday Smackdown Movies

Lucy Furr’s Friday Smackdown

Hello Dear Reader! Are we all happy little campers because it’s Friday at last? I know I am. It’s only been a three day week for me, but somehow the shorter weeks are even worse than the normal ones. Guess it’s because all the sh*t is condensed. Anyway I’m a bit hung over and slightly on edge (don’t ask, it’s a woman thing) so I thought this week’s Smackdown might as well be contentious.

I’ve decided that a whole District 9 versus Avatar thing is in order.

So here goes nothing or everything or something…

This movie SUCKS

This movie ROCKS

I know I’m not going to get away with just saying that Avatar sucks with you lot, so I’ll explain myself a little. I’ll admit that the CGI and 3Dness of Avatar was awesome, and for the first 40 minutes of the movie I was like a hillbilly at a gun show – all excited and drooling into my popcorn. However my powers of higher reasoning kicked in pretty soon and I realised that the very beautiful pictures didn’t make up for the ailing story line. It has been put much more succinctly by others before me, but Avatar is just Pocahontas in space. Big bad colonisers invade and destroy, the forbidden love that overcomes all, the resolution that allows for the natives to live on peacefully in the end. I also don’t really buy Cameron’s whole “we’re doing it to save the planet” thing – I wonder how big Avatar’s carbon foot print is? How many air miles the cast travelled to promote the film? What the cost is to the environment of producing and shipping millions of DVDs and Blu-Rays? Wouldn’t it have been a more powerful message if Cameron had spent that half billion dollars making a movie that really was all about saving our Earth, not some imaginary planet that exists in the future? I know someone is going to smack me down with the whole art for art’s sake argument in relation to Avatar, and it may be true in other forms, but I’ve always felt that cinema owes us more than just pretty pictures.

District 9 may not have matched Avatar’s CGI awesomeness, but then it only had a fraction of the budget. The beauty of D9 was all in the story, the story and the fact that it was set in South Africa! Yay hooray for SA! The gritty oily depressing plight of a race of prawns stranded indefinitely in grim and dusty Johannesburg meant the story lead your emotions on an insane roller coaster ride the entire length of the film. The character development was excellent and Wikus will always be one of my favourite movie heros. And then there’s the sub-text, D9 can be viewed on many levels ranging from straight up alien skop skiet en donner to the underlying filth of apartheid and xenophobia depending on how you’re feeling.

Well that’s my opinion anyway. What do you think?

8 replies on “Lucy Furr’s Friday Smackdown”

Hello NURSE! :doctor:

I agree, Avatar was good for the 1st 15 min, then the 3D got on my nerves, and i got bored with the story line, also it was REALLY predictable. (if you have watched Pocahontas)

As for D9, now that had me on the edge of my seat for the whole movie, and it had multiple ways of viewing the movie.

First of all, I did not realise “Friday Smackdown” is a regular feature, so kudos on that.

Yes I agree, but I did feel D9 was like ‘Alien Nation” set in Jozies rather than LA. However D9 did have a much better story than Avatar did, but less money. I think I liked Avatar for the spectical that it was. I knew other worldly and gunfire were to be had, but I remember sitting in IMAX and looking at the CGI environments and actors that they took so long to create. The story wasnt important.

I personally think that if Avatar had come out in the early 2000’s, it would have faired very differently in the box-office than it did.

I know you need to have a sucker and a rocker, but perhaps saying Avatar sucked is a tad harsh. Granted the story wasn’t original but that in itself isn’t new – Hollywood is scraping the bottom of the barrel more and more. This is clearly evident when you find out that Space Invaders and Asteroids could be made into movies.

Yes the story was predictable but sometimes I don’t mind knowing the ending in advance. Less time spent on thinking, more time spent on drooling into my bag of chips (I don’t do popcorn). Weak plot aside, Avatar’s 3D tech is mighty fine and a lot of industry players must be pleased that it did so well in the box office. Not only will more 3D movies get greenlit, but it’ll give TV manufacturers more ammo to push their “3D is the future” agenda.

Oh, and when the blu-ray was released on Earth Day, I believe Fox Entertainment launched an initiative to plant one million trees by the end of the year.

Anyways, enough of those blue cat people. District 9 was utterly fantastic, it had me hooked from the beginning to the end – emotive characters, gritty special effects, and a really good story even if you didn’t know the political subtext to it. Macross mentioned the “Alien Nation” link but I haven’t watched that so I can’t comment there. In any case, I’ve ordered the blu-ray for R113 (score!) and am really looking forward to seeing it again.

You’re in a very chatty mood today dear.
Oh and my bad on not researching the whole what James is doing to save the planet bit. Can’t wait to watch D9 on blu-ray either – those b*stards at customs/the PO better keep their hands to themselves.

avatar was the biggest load of tripe, and d9 was trying awfully hard to not make a statement. both movies dealt with fairly pertinent & noble issues whilst in the same breath totally skewing their respective messages.

it’s like trying to tell some one who’s knee deep is some online gaming action the merits of basic hygiene… an utterly pointless exercise. avatar and d9 fall into the same trap, the message is lost in a plethora of cgi eye candy (300 got it right, simple message, simple story, kickass butchery).
maybe it’s just me but if i see guns, boobs, explosions, swearing and so on, i become totally disinterested in the message and more involved in the actual story (f.u. avatar for almost 3 hours and still have a shite ending).

but i do think d9 fared much better than avatar… i was still conscious when it ended
plus fokk’n prawns rock compared to blue fogs ;)

Thanks @easy – you totally hit the nail on the head with your statement that “both movies dealt with fairly pertinent & noble issues whilst in the same breath totally skewing their respective messages”. I agree that neither film achieved what they sort of hinted at that they might. I just had to pick one that rocked, and that one was D9. Oh and another thing about Avatar that really annoyed me was that the animals had six legs and gills in their necks/chests and other stupid unlikely shit – wasn’t the fact that the dominant species was blue and tailed enough? Talk about over emphasizing “otherness”. Back on Earth the fact that someone speaks a different language, worships a god different to yours or has a different colour skin is usually enough to make them “other”/exotic/suspicious/dangerous.