Is it too early to talk Avatar? Surely I must jest, the movie is everywhere! Almost. I’m kind of perplexed at the advertising behind this flick. With the release under two weeks away, one would think it would be all over the place, but mostly what we get are smiling blue furry face posters and “Sneak Previews” on cable channels. Very few other posters and very few regular TV spots, at least in my neck of the woods. On top of that, what are we being advertised? Top notch adventure? Amazing sci-fi? Nope. We’re being sold James Cameron (TERMINATOR! AND TERMINATOR 2! the commercial exclaims) and Computers. Who thinks the average movie going person gives a damn about the technology? Do you think telling someone this is the most amazing use of computers ever is going to put their ass in the seat? Well, it won’t. Especially if, looking at it, it looks good but not like anything that’s going to Olestra some shit out of my ass.
The problem with Avatar right now is arrogance. Arrogance and an uncanny similarity to a few scenes of the most recent live action Star Wars movies, which is not a good sign. Back to the arrogance. You want us to go see this movie based on James Cameron, a guy who hasn’t made a fictional film since 1997? Most kids probably know of him as the guy who directed Aquaman. That’s not to say James Cameron hasn’t done some fantastic work. Terminator 2 is one of the greatest films of all time. But just like Steven Spielberg, there comes a time when that name doesn’t mean as much. Take too much time off, make one too many mediocre films and your name can’t sell anymore. Maybe all the marine biologists are jerking themselves hard for this movie after Aliens of the Deep, but me, meh. Doesn’t matter which director you name on the poster if the movie doesn’t look appealing.
As for the “ground breaking technology” – this riled up a lot of fat nerd boys on the internet. Guys who had seen better. Though, admittedly, in defense of Avatar, they probably hadn’t seen better. Who are they to judge? The technological people are saying Avatar is the bees knees, so when some neckbeard tells me its not, I start to lean towards the expert opinion. But therein lies the rub. Technically this might be the most amazing thing ever done with a computer, after Amazon.com and porn. But most of us can’t see that. We just see cat people riding dragons fighting space marines. In that order. Cat people. Riding Dragons. Fighting. Space Marines. That’s my biggest problem. I’ve had this conversation with several people who aren’t psyched up to see this flick. I’m down to see it. I’m sure it will be entertaining. I don’t know how great it may or may not be, but I will definitely check it out. But you know what would make me check it out with a semi? Or get my friends amped to see it? All we need to do is rework the pitch. Follow me here. Space Marines Fighting Cat People Riding Dragons. See? All I did was rework what we should be seeing in the trailer.
I honestly don’t give much of a shit about blue cat people, but I love seeing Space Marines fuck shit up. I think most of us do. I think that most people, when they think of James Cameron, they want to think of True Lies, Terminator 2, mother fucking Aliens. They want Space Marines, or some other sort of fictional hero, ready to kick some ass all over the place. This entire debate can be settled with pictures. I present to you the follow image. On the left hand side, is the Avatar they’re advertising. On the right is the Avatar I think they should be advertising. Which would you rather see?
The choice is clear. Now while our own Neil Miller may just be right when he says (here) that the full brunt of the advertising is still to come, I can’t imagine they’ll radically change direction and start showing us awesome battles and fewer blue cat people. So until I’ve seen the movie (which may be fantastic for all I know) I’m going to obsess over awesome space marine action set pieces and use my flame throwing rocket launching machine gun sword arm to blow up my boiling point.
What do you think of Avatar’s advertising?