Avatar Hate

I haven’t posted in a while, so just for the hell of it, I’ll ask this question: what’s with all of the hate on the film Avatar? Personally, I thought it was awesome, but I’ve heard so many people say that they couldn’t even make it through the film, or that it was the worst movie of the year, etc. I could certainly see not being as enamored of it as 95% of the top critics on Rotten Tomatoes, but to proclaim that it was an awful film–to me–just reflects a certain ignorance about filmmaking.

I’ve never heard a compelling reason for why Avatar sucked. It’s always something dumb like, “Oh, it’s like somebody played World of Warcraft and made a movie out of it,” or “The Na’vi look like smurfs.” I don’t even really consider the complaint that it’s a transparent voice for simplistic tree-hugger philosophy a real complaint. It has nothing to do with story.

I’m sure there are some qualified film critics out there who can speak to why Avatar isn’t as good of a film as the majority of film reviewers have claimed, but by and large, most of the people hating on it seem to be doing so merely to be different. Except…it doesn’t make them different at all, because everybody else in the world who wants to be considered an independent thinker is also hating on it.

Doesn’t anybody watch movies anymore to be entertained instead of watching them simply to be able to express themselves by having a contrary opinion?

Not even saying here that you have to love it, but at least acknowledge that as a work of cinema, it has some redeeming qualities. I realize there’s a bit of irony here, since I’ve hated a lot on one of the most acclaimed movies of 2010, but even there, I tried to be fair and acknowledge that it was entertaining, despite the issues I had with the narrative.

8 Replies to “Avatar Hate”

  1. I hear you. A lot.

    Honestly, I haven’t seen the entire thing of Avatar yet, but I liked what I saw. THe only reason I avoided the theater was because of the 3-d, I have a motion sickness thing, maybe I’ve told you about this.

    But I agree with what you’ve written. I’m all for literacy, free expression, and jeez, even intellectual banter about films, but I think you’re right, there are some viewers out there who just hate, just to hate or complain, or to I don’t know, one-up everyone with hating and complaining.

    I’ve tried to get better about this myself, because clearly, many of the films I like are not what the rest of society would deem masterpieces. . . I’ve started saying “this was not for me” instead of “this was made for idiots who don’t care about plot,” but now, more than ever, I see films to be entertained. WHY GO, otherwise? Sometimes I think people seriously need to lighten up.

    1. I guess it’s the extreme dislike for the film that bothers me. If nothing else, you should be able to turn off your brain and be entertained by Avatar, because it’s ridiculously entertaining. James Cameron is almost incapable of making films that aren’t ridiculously entertaining.

  2. I think some people just like to hate on whatever is popular, and since Avatar is pretty much the most popular movie around, it’s going to get its fair share of hate. I don’t think Jim Cameron is losing any sleep over it, so neither should you. But I’ll agree that it’s annoying when people hate something using reasoning that is demonstrably stupid, such as the canard that they Na’vi look like Smurfs, etc. They do look like the Nightelves from WoW, however. 😉

    I was fairly critical of this film when it came out over on my blog (plug plug plug!), but I still admitted that, for all its flaws, structural problems, and flat out out missteps in the development of the story, it’s still a fantastically entertaining movie. I think it’s a kind of dumb movie with a cliched, trite story, but I still own the Blu Ray and rewatch it all the time because it’s a lot of fun, is stunningly beautiful (especially in HD), and Stephen Lang’s scenery-chewing performance as Colonel Quaritch made for one of the most awesomely bad-ass villains ever. Seriously, there is no movie that wouldn’t be better for an appearance by that character. He’s too cool.

    So… yeah. I can understand why some people don’t like the film, since I understand and agree much of the criticisms leveled against it. But I also understand why some people love it, since I understand and agree with much of the praise given to it. You know… it’s just a movie, and a really cool on at that.

    1. Yeah, I didn’t have a problem with your review, even though I might not have agreed with everything in it.

      You know, on this topic, the other thing that bothers me is how all of these Star Wars fans despise the prequel movies and don’t even like to talk about them. Hey, they had their problems–I’ll be the first to admit that–but they’re Star Wars! There was still a lot of good stuff in there.

  3. I think the biggest complaint I heard was that teh storyw as basically just a retelling of Pocahontas(sp?).

    I usually reply with, what film have you seen lately that was truly original and not somewhat derived from another work in the past 50-60 years?

    I think the biggest thing that people miss is how deep the story of the main character really is. The complaints I’ve seen and that you’ve listed are all about things that are on the surface of the film, ignoring the fact that its the story of a man who can’t use his legs getting the chance to use them again and then in the end (spoiler alert) choosing to be something completely different from his former self in order to walk again. Love story? Yeah, perhaps; but I doubt his love for a hot alien was the largest selling point for being a giant alien with super strength and speed when your former self was crippled from the waist down. I think I just went on a tangent, sorry.

    Everyone is a film critic these days, and that is the biggest unfortunate downside to the internet and subsequent blogs. Nobody watches a movie just to watch a movie anymore. They don’t go in with the blissfully ignorant outlook of a film-goer. Instead they are watching it so they can post about how much they loved/hated it on their Facebook or write it down into their blog.

    No one is more guilty of being part of the blogsphere than me, but I can honestly say that as a huge film buff, I go into every movie expecting the best and it is very hard to disappoint me. I’m pretty easy to please when it comes to film, and while it wasn’t the best film ever or even the best science fiction ever; it certainly was a grade A experience.

      1. I’ll tell you the weird thing about this comment: the very day that you posted this, a few of my sites got attacked by a malicious script injection. (Don’t worry–it’s nothing that was effective.) So now I’m wondering who I pissed off.

    1. Oh, right–that it rips off Pocahontas! I forgot about that one!

      “Everyone is a film critic these days, and that is the biggest unfortunate downside to the internet and subsequent blogs.”

      True. I recognize the irony here: that I, myself, am a very amateur critic of films complaining about other amateur critics. But I suppose I’m comfortable with that irony. I do often try not to portray my opinions as facts, and I’m fully open to differences of opinion, but I tend to dislike meaningless opinions that aren’t based upon anything but a one-liner.

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