NOTE: I had to post the following column. This is either someone who has hate for James Cameron and science fiction films or one of the most perverted minds in journalism. If it was simply a tongue-in-cheek statement, then I could give him the benefit of doubt. But, frankly, I truly believe this columnist has serious issues...Lon
sfgate - by Mark Morford - Some say the greatness of "Avatar" lies in its lush visual grandeur, the sheer madhouse spectacle, the revolutionary eye candy that only $300 million in computer graphics and 10 pounds of psilocybin mushrooms can buy.
Others have pointed out how the story itself is terribly thin and actually rather stupid, the dialogue is all sorts of corny, and the entire thing's pretty much a direct rip-off of "Dances with Wolves" (all true, by the way; I've seen it), but none of that really matters when the special effects are so awesome and brain-drenching that you might as well tear off part of your id and toss it in a blender when the movie starts to roll.
To which we can all effortlessly scoff: bulls--t.
Let's just say it outright: This is a movie about alien porn. It's about the great, timeless, hypererotic white man fantasy of the Other. Inhabiting it, having sex with it, becoming it, moving inside it, running and leaping and fighting and taking spectacular risks just before falling into a bed of florid vines with your significant -- and incredibly hot -- alien companion to fondle her tail as the planet smiles in happy bioluminescent munificence all around you.
Let me be clear. I don't mean "hot" in the typical sci-fi sense. The Na'vi are not cheeseball pneumatic fantasy creations, the males all bloated, vein-popping muscle-bound meatheads and the females sporting Volkswagen-sized breasts and giant firedragon swords and asses from here to Lara Croft. They are not the generic, infantile, 10-year-old boy-lost-at-Comic-Con kind of hot. Not completely, anyway.
No, this is adult hot. Kinky hot. Exoticism wrapped in virile prowess slipped into a giant sheath of sexy blue lizardleather. It would appear that James Cameron and his nefarious crew of kinkhounds probed every nook and cranny and orifice of Freud's extraterrestrial fantasy handbook to invent the dreamiest blue lustcreature imaginable. Yes, this is a movie about fetishism.
Let's start with the obvious. The Na'vi are 10 feet tall. They are like every godlike basketball player, Amazon warrior and magical stiltwalker. Did you know nearly every human on the planet wishes and dreams he/she could be taller so as to be more dominant and godlike and reach the top shelf at Pottery Barn with ease? Well, they don't. I just made that up. But I bet it's not far off.
The amazing thing is, despite their tremendous height, the Na'vi are not gangly or slow or heavy. They have no dexterity issues or joint pain. They are not constantly bumping into things with their gawky six-foot limbs. They are phenomenally graceful and fluid. There is no wasted motion. They have zero body fat. They move like featherweight gazelles when they should move like lumbering gibbons. Mmm, tasty.
Let's talk about those tails. Oh, honey. Did you know animal tail fetishism is one of the biggest sexual fetishes in all of fetishdom? Well it's not. Or rather, it might be. I really have no idea. I just made that up, too. But it sure sounds right, doesn't it? A tinge of bestiality? A hint of exotic animal play? Face it: on the right kind of creature, tails are sexy as hell. Just ask a mermaid. Catwoman. The devil. I mean, come on.
What about those catlike eyes? Wide set, twice as wide as normal humans. And they're huge. Japanese anime huge, and bright yellow/green. Like moonstones. Like sea creatures. Like Japanese anima sea creature catpeople from the moon. Did you know large eyes and dilated pupils trigger a nurturing and protective instinct in humans? True. Do you know when you add that to sexual kink, it's downright perversion-ready combustible? Doubly true. You ever seen any hentai? You ever read "Bondage Fairies"? Oh my God.
Of course, the Na'vi are deep blue. They are not red. Red would have been too angry and perhaps sparked protests from Native Americans. Yellow is too creepy and urinary. Green too slimy and frog-like. Black too flagrantly racist. Purple too fairy princess. But everyone likes blue. It's sky, it's oceanic, it's blueberry pie. Blue is downright dreamy. Wet dreamy.
And the Na'vi sparkle. Or rather, they have bioluminescent spots that light up and dance and look all magical and nightlighty and tasty. Do you know what else sparkles? Another creature we've excessively fetishized like drunk cheerleaders on meth lately? That's right: vapid teen vampires. Mmm, suck me now, sparkling blue bioluminescent anime sea creature Amazon basketball player moonlike catperson of my dreams.
But wait, there's more. What about the ears? Oh, hell yes. Riding high, small and pointy, just like we like 'em. Just like ... an elf. Did you know elf porn is the second most popular fetish in America? Well it's not. I just made that up, too. But it might be. I mean holy hell, do you know how many fantasies were spawned by the Elfin robe-wearers in "Lord of the Rings," with their high pointy ears and their Orlando Bloom/Liv Tyler immortal hotness? Elfin! High, pointy ears! Done.
What else? Oh right. The African thing. I mean, obviously. Tribal. Dreadlocks. Full lips, long, sloping, wide noses, neck beads and loincloths and running through the jungle at top speed, barefoot, never cut or bruised or tripping over some damnable branch like a dumb lumpy white person. The exotic African (racist?) connection is strong and obvious, except for when it's something else, like maybe Maori or Native American warrior, with the ponytails and the tribal markings and the fierce eyes. Baby, the Na'vi have it all.
But wait, we haven't hit the best part yet. Because in this movie, you don't merely get to fantasize about the Other from afar or even just indulge in interspecies sex. You get to literally become one of them. You enter into their bodies and actually move and hunt and breathe and fight and screw and kiss and talk like them, fuse your DNA to theirs forever and ever. It's just like "Cocoon," only far less creepy and geriatric Steve Gutenbergian!
Behold, the ultimate in guilty colonialist fetish fantasy epic porn filmmaking, ever. Flawed, broken white man can, with his righteous modern technology, fuse his DNA with super-hot exotic sexually flawless alien species and become the Other and save the world and then score the hot chick from "Star Trek."
Dude. Mr. Cameron sir. Just stop your silly overblown movie right there. You don't even have to have them fight the bad guys or run from monsters or stage ridiculous epic battle sequences. What's the point? Just have a lame white dude become a giant gorgeous blue sexhotsuckerbeast Na'vi, and film him walking down the street and ordering a latte from Starbucks. Watch humanity share one giant, collective Lacanian psychospiritual orgasm. Perfect.
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