I find it absurd that Jill Alphonso, a small time critic who writes Viewpoint articles for “my paper” has the nerve to say some of the things she does in her review of James Cameron and Avatar’s performance at the Academy Awards. She takes an arrogant tone that would lead you to believe she’s the ultimate authority on creating a good movie. Her personal dislike of James Cameron, as well as her inferiority complex when it comes to white men, shines through in her review.
My first issue with her article is that she seems to draw some deep meaning from the fact that James Cameron lost out on some awards to his ex-wife, as if the fact she were his ex-wife was what caused her to win rather than him.
“It was a snub, all right. And it speaks a lot when Cameron’s victor was his former wife, Kathryn Bigelow…”
(this quote and all others in this article) via my paper, Tuesday March 9, 2010
It speaks a lot? The implication is that the outcome of the awards ceremony has something to do with their previous marriage and current relationship, and perhaps some wild feminist idea that a woman will come out on top. In reality, Kathryn Bigelow simply produced a decent a movie that was worthy of award during the same year that her ex-husband did. Jill Alphonso seems to want to drum up the girl-power concept to increase the sensationalism of her review.
She even takes the time to spell out why Avatar most likely did not win the more prestigious awards later in the same review, contradicting her previous statements. According to her, Avatar is a big budget sci-fi movie, and sci-fi movies, like Star Wars and ET, rarely get highly awarded, regardless of how well they sell or how high public opinion is of them.
That makes a lot more sense than saying Avatar didn’t win because the competing film was helmed by Jame’s Cameron’s ex-wife, doesn’t it?
“And, yes, Avatar is a movie that is hard to ignore. … But here’s the truth – the film lacks critical clout.”
Maybe I’m missing something. Did Jill go to a film and art school? Does she have a degree? As people are fond of asking in Singapore, is she certified to make that sort of broad and authoritative statement?
Avatar’s storyline isn’t the most complex in the world, but it doesn’t have to be. The worth of the story is in the message and how well it’s delivered, and I think James Cameron did a damn good job with that. The story is inspiring and set the world on fire with gossip, positive reviews, and was able to be used as a tool to bring focus to real world issues, like a tribe in India whose sacred mountain is being mined out.
The Hurt Locker on the other hand, while good, was an over-dramatization that lacked anything but a quick action rush for me. I spent 8 years in the US Army and I could see faults in the film that made me realize it wasn’t very genuine. It appeals to the masses in the US right now because it’s about soldiers, and anyone who doesn’t support the soldiers in the US is deemed un-American. Plus it’s about war and action, two categories that always do well. Anyone that’s spent any time in the Army will know that the sequence of events depicted would not have taken place.
First of all, when ‘SSG James’ went on his first mission and ignored Standard Operating Procedure, placing his life and the lives of his team in danger, he would’ve been seriously reprimanded, sent for psychiatric evaluation and possibly reassigned.
Second, if he managed to talk past the first blunder, his personal vendetta of a side mission that resulted in ‘SPC Owen’ getting shot and almost abducted (beheaded on video) would’ve caused him to face punitive action under the Uniform Code of Military Justice due to negligence and dereliction of duty among other things. The end result would’ve been that ‘SSG James’ would’ve lost rank and, in all likelihood, would have been removed from that EOD unit.
So, while good and fun to watch, the movie is just unbelievable for me. That’s not to say that 7 foot tall aliens that have sex using tentacles in their braids are more believable but to imply that The Hurt Locker had more ‘critical clout’ is ludicrous. Jill wouldn’t know that though.
“And let’s face it, its plot of a white man saving the natives is thin, and some lines are corny (“I see you” taking the cake).”
Jill, Jill, Jill. Would it have been better if it were an Asian man? Or a Black man? Perhaps a Filipino man, so you would feel less threatened? Why would the race of the hero in a future-set story make it less believable? I hate to take this off on a tangent, but why is that in Singapore events always seem to have more or less weight based on the race and nationality of the perpetrator?
Also, ‘I see you’ is a pretty deep phrase. If you’d paid attention you’d know that. It’s not just about literally seeing the person you’re approaching. It’s an affirmation of brotherhood, understanding, and inclusion in the Na’vi culture. Just because that culture doesn’t really exist doesn’t make the statement less deep or less meaningful, especially in regards to the storyline.
Jill, “the losses are telling”. Do some more research before you start making such broad, biased statements. No award, or lack thereof, will change the fact that Avatar is a science fiction masterpiece, the highest grossing film of all time, or that James Cameron directed the two highest grossing films of all time. ”Weep,” Jill.