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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

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VjihaK7HfGs

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?