The evidence continues to pile up that the film the world is waiting to see will, in fact, be the next Phantom Menace. And now, adding to the evidence: an exclusive Defamer eyewitness testimony of Avatar's looming hideousness.
Among the latest twigs on the bonfire:
- This piece describing how director James Cameron employed a USC linguistics professor "to create an entire functioning language for the tribe of 10-foot-tall blue aliens who inhabit Pandora, the setting for the film's conflict." Which is all well and good that the Na'vi tribe got a functioning language, but raises the question why couldn't Cameron have commissioned a functioning language for the film's humans? Wasn't there any linguistics professor available who could put the kibosh on lines such as "We're not in Kansas anymore. We're on Pandora," whose moldy, phoned-in essences threaten to murder the mother tongue from which their ancestors descended?
- Then there is this interactive trailer, built around a full Avatar for-download desktop suite which includes direct links to the film's Twitter and Flickr feeds, links to buy tickets and a version of the mind-bendingly boring official trailer which one can stop to watch profiles of the characters, featuring the actors talking about their on-screen roles. If after watching the trailer any interest you had in the film hasn't been drained from your lifeforce, these clips will take care of that; the actors' dead-serious earnest quotes about the world of Avatar tell us perhaps all we need to know about how the Cameron sledgehammer touch will play itself out in this movie.
Watched closely in fact, the words of Sam Worthington explaining in a bleary, Aussie drawl what happens when his character gets to inhabit a fake alien body: "Even though I'm nine foot tall and blue, it's got my personality. It's got my soul," could clearly be taken as a warning cry to unwitting audiences. Likewise, it would take a very cold, hard soul not to feel for the pain of Sigourney Weaver as she recites like a war prisoner reading from cue cards, the scientific basic of the future Army's avatar program.
- And finally Defamer received this communique from a real live entertainment worker who has seen a "fairly large glimpse" of the film. Our tipster, who wishes to remain anonymous, files this report:
I watch a lot of movies, and am especially obsessed with watching horrible films with inflated budgets. I was delighted to find that Avatar didn't disappoint in the absolutely horrible fetishizing of azure humanoids that James Cameron has obviously been drawing on the back covers of his notebooks since middle school and secretly getting off to in the gym locker room. The new technology they've been using to eliminate the headaches and sickness conducive to old 3D tech has not been used properly in the action scenes throughout Avatar. The problem is with cutting in between 3D focal points and perspective - the mind cannot adjust to it without a buffer - thus, Avatar is literally vomit inducing.
But the movie itself, the story/acting/tone are alienating and weird. Of course there are very beautiful moments, with great editing/sound/art direction, but overall it's a horrible piece of shit. The entirety of the Hollywood marketing machine is behind it, however, so it's going to make a boatload (eh I could slip a Titanic ref. whatever) of money.
The final point our tipster makes is perhaps the most pertinent; even if Avatar is the most dreadful thing Hollywood has released since Saw 6, its grosses will be effected not at all. Cameron will surely provide enough razzle-dazzle to wow the crowds into their seats. And as Titantic showed, interminable hours of ludicrous ham-fisted dramatics followed by a bunch of people getting killed is not a bad formula for box office glory.