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Avatired of Racial (and other) Cliches

For starters, BMNB wants his money back. All $28 of it, not including what he spent on popcorn and soda (another $12.50).

You see, we went to see "Avatar" to see what the big deal was about. At the end, BMNB just shook his head and said, "I want my money back." I responded, "Hell, I want my time back. I can't get back the time I just wasted on this movie."

If you're just counting the visual effects, Avatar is a major accomplishment indeed, although I don't think the 3D glasses we paid for were necessary to fully appreciate it.

But if you went in hopes of an intelligent, compelling plot, you will have left, as BMNB and I did, feeling like you got jerked around. I was insulted.

Every tired-ass racial and film cliche you could think of was in there -- cowboys versus Indians, noble savages at one with the land versus the evil corporate raiders, the objective, frozen scientist who becomes an advocate for the subjects she's studying, the gung-ho paramilitary types going in to decimate the seemingly ignorant indigenous people who are in the way of profit and progress, the bad-ass woman with weapons, the more-hubris-than-intelligence white guy seeking acceptance from the natives by trying to prove his bona fides to them, and a Pocahontas-type love story to boot thrown on top of this cinematic dung heap. To add to this cesspool of a plot, as if James Cameron could just once allow you to forget his work on the Terminator series and "True Lies," these two-dimensional characters are allowed to pop off trite one-liners a la Arnold Schwarzenegger's "Ahl bee bahck" line from one of those tired-ass Terminator flicks.

It was like "Dances With Wolves" meets "Star Wars" meets "Birth of a Nation."

If you are a thinking person of color -- hell, if you're a thinking person, period -- do not waste your money on this movie. Wait for it to come out on Blu ray or DVD or, better yet, to your local library so you don't spend any money renting it. But do not reward this cinematic shit heap with your hard-earned dollars. Do not, I tell you; do not.

What worries me is that this film is now the biggest earning film of all time, and no one seems to question the racial cliches in it because it champions the environment. Can't we have an intelligent and entertaining film that also champions the environment?

And why the blue people gotta have tails?


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