The holiday movie season is behind us, and a historic one it has turned out to be. Attendance records were smashed and box-office grosses surged to new heights, all without a Martin Lawrence vehicle in theaters! Now that the haze of 3-D graphics and the greasy sheen of incredibly expensive partially-hydrogenated butter-flavor popcorn topping has receded, we are afforded a blessed moment of solace to reflect on the kaleidoscopic maelstrom of images that have been beamed relentlessly into our retinas and inner minds over the past weeks.
This week saw millions of Americans flocking to theaters to take part in a singular communal event: witnessing an earth shattering visual spectacle that would revolutionize how we watch movies. Of course, you already know what I'm talking about. Unless you've been living under a rock you've already sat, wide-eyed and jaw agape and let the transformative power of Alvin and the Chimpmunks: The Squeaquel wash over you. I'll get to my official review in just a moment, but first up, an scrappy indie pic that it is limited release now: The Avatar.
The Avatar is a new film from the visionary director Kirk Cameron, the genius behind The Titantic, several episodes of Growing Pains, and the uber-hot Left Behind film series, which were screen adaptations of the Fundamentalist Christian pamphlets about the Rapture and the impossibility of Dinosaurs that you can find in most Greyhound stations.
His new blockbuster was made using a host of new movie-magic technologies, including "The C.G.I." which is a process in which a movie is put into a computer, which can have amazing results, including turning many of the characters blue.
The special effects wizards also developed something called "Motion Capture" where real people are filmed and then digitized. And here's an Animal Blanco exclusive: raw footage from the set of The Avatar. Here are the human actors portraying the Na'vi people before their "motion" was "captured". This scene is one of their tribal ceremonies.
This powerful technology was heightened by the work of art director Lisa Frank, who brought the same whimsy and rainbow color palate to the film's creatures and environments that have made her Unicorn pencil cases so legendary.
But it's not all flying dragons and hot, hot blue alien sex. There is an amazing message here about imperialism, ancient wisdom, and the need all primitive tribal people have for a civilized white man to come sleep with their women and save them by teaching them how to use guns. This is a message every child deserves to hear.
And speaking of children, they are going to LOVE the Squeakquel! This movie has everything- crudely blended animation and live-action, awkward attempts at "urban" humor (i.e. watered down black culture being parroted by an animated, ostensibly white anthropomorphic chipmunk), respected comedians like David Cross and Amy Poehler gingerly dipping their toes into the fetid open latrine of career-killing family film roles, an awesome tagline ("Get Munk'd"), and best of all, the greatest actor of our time, Sir Jason Lee. Honestly, looking at this man's film role choices is like getting a preview of the Critereon collection of tomorrow. Maybe Lee's drive for greatness can be attributed to the fact that he is a Scientologist, as they are always admonishing their converts to strive for personal glory and self-realization. He certainly has done that by scoring a role in this, the mother of all event movies.
And speaking of mothers, yours is squarely in the demographic of It's Complicated.
I don't know about you but I am scandalized and offended by this poster and by this film's whole concept. The picture up there is bad enough: Alec Baldwin's smug, post-coital reverie and Meryl Streep's embarrassed dishevelment just forces you to wonder want kind of messy aftermath lies beneath that typeface-covered duvet.
But, as it turns out, that is what the film is all about: hardcore gratuitous middle-aged sex.
I mean, I enjoy pornography as much as anyone, but mature porn (or granny porn) is just not a subgenre that I think should be seeing the light of day in such a mainstream forum. Couldn't they just find some preternaturally sexual teenagers looking to make a buck like other pornographers?
No. Instead we have to sit through Baldwin banging Streep for 90 minutes. Doggystyle in the dining room. Streep riding Baldwin in the pantry. Then, back to the bedroom-- uh oh, who's that peeking in the window? Steve Martin, that's who, and he brought K-Y. Now what you've got on your hands is hot-pressed Streep panini. Is this really what people want to see when they go out for a nice night at the Multiplex? That famously prolific Baldwin spunk flying all over the screen? Meryl Streep, an Oscar winner, a goddamn national treasure, being vigorously sodomized by a man who's next film is Cheaper by the Dozen 3?
I think it's an outrage, and I'm boycotting it, along with every other movie in wide release this holiday season, including The Sherlock Homes, so that I can wrap up this round-up and rest up.. for next year! See you at the movies theater!