I guess I’m just not the bleating type, a least when it comes to some things. Like flocking to popular culture events. What’s wrong with me that I cannot join in the chorus of hosannas spewing from every corner of the globe when an artistic endeavour takes front and center stage in the collective conscious? Sometimes I feel like Egon…I collect spores, molds and fungus… just an oddball amongst the masses.
Case in point. I watched Avatar this weekend…I was not impressed. Sure the effects were outstanding but after the first thirty minutes Cameron has pretty much blown his technical wad. Once the wonder of that dissipates there is little left but a tired old story (science/native american culture/buddhism vs. the war machine), stereotypical characters and a message begging for peace only to, once again, have the climax come down to who uses their weaponry in the most lethal manner. CGI and technology aside (and here again the mixed message – an anti-technology film created by serious cutting edge technology) there wasn’t much to the film that hasn’t been done before. I’ve heard the Avatar faithful cry: “Oh you’ve got to see it in 3 D.” No thanks. No matter how many techno tricks are employed it can’t make up for lackluster story and characters.
Next case…The Shack. To be fair I’m not finished with the book yet…but it is a struggle. The writing is so pedestrian. No style, no craftsmanship. It’s like reading a newspaper account. Spoiler Alert – skip this next bit if you want…. And for my money, the cheapest way to manipulate your reader’s emotions is put a child in peril. I know where the book is going…a Shamanic quest for the Dad…but so far I could care less. Here again, the characters have no depth. The author’s prose lacks the rhythm and craft to make me care about the internal struggles of the characters. It all lies there like wet newspaper. As I said I’m not finished and if my view changes I’ll be certain to eat these words, publically.
In the meantime….have some foodporn…