I had some.
#2. “But its very name implies that it will be difficult, nay, impossible, to obtain!”
Even if you know that the rich vein of MacGuffin ore located in the planet is called “unobtainium” – which, yeah, not Cameron’s word, it’s a long-standing nerd joke, whatever – the first time Giovanni Ribisi leans over a mystical floating space rock and pronounces the word with deep, Ribisian seriousness, the merriment is irresistible.
#3. The Ultimate Intimacy.
Okay, so, what the mystical tribal people of (blue) color do instead of sex is to stick their exposed nerve clusters (they have them in their hair!) together and connect to each other’s nervous systems. That doesn’t seem all that exciting to me – although maybe it would if the nerve system you were connecting to were being stimulated by some extremely pleasurable activity, like, say, actually screwing – but they are hippies and mostly I’m just glad they’re not blowing bong hits into each others’ mouths and talking about their deep spiritual connection to the trees. Well: not talking about that more than usual. Talking about the deep spiritual connection to the trees is foreplay, as it turns out. But you know about the nerve-clusters-equals-fucktimes thing, yes? It’s on the Internet; it will be on the DVD; James Cameron has made it explicitly clear by this point that, when you directly access another entity’s nerve clusters with your nerve clusters, you are in fact engaged in fucking.
So, imagine my surprise when, about an hour in, our hero does it to a horse.
#4. My excuse for the drinking.
It went as follows: “What?! It’s gonna be a space movie, with some pretty aliens, and some dragons, and some explosions. I just need to see it, I don’t need to think about it. It’s not like there’s gonna be subtitles. Unless the aliens turn out to have their own special Elvish Klingon imaginary language that the dorks can all speak to each other at summer camp.” Ha ha, WHOOPS. Or, as the Na’vi would say, GRFLDSHAAAAAAGN’UH-OH.
#5. The Dragonriders of Perndora.
So, do you remember The Dragonriders of Pern? You know, that science-fiction book series? This is deep dork territory we are talking about; even knowing the name of the series singles you out as a current or former sad child who has trouble finding people to sit with in the cafeteria. But, among young dorks of a certain era, The Dragonriders of Pern was actually a really big deal. There are these special telepathic dragons, and they have to “choose” you, and once your dragon has “chosen” you are mated to it for life, and you belong to a special dragon-centric warrior society, and also there’s a weird dick-measuring internal hierarchy of dragons where having the biggest and rarest and most impressively colored dragon makes you, like, King of the People Who Also Have Dragons. Truly, Pern is a unique and mystical world of dorkchantment.
So, anyway, guess which books James Cameron’s been reading?
Although, to give him credit, he did invent the bit where you have to battle your dragon for the right to stick your weiner nervous system into its special bonding orifice. That was fun.
#6. Mystical tribal religion dance party!
The most sacred activity these people share is gathering around Ye Olde Spirit Tree and, basically, doing Pilates at it. Maybe, if things get really spiritual, they wind up doing the Wave. Who knows, you guys? Theology is complicated like that!
#7. “You may now choose your woman.”
Is there a single white-straight-dude fantasy of being abducted into an perpetually-topless mystical tribal people of (blue) color society where the WSD doesn’t get invited to “choose his woman?” Basically, this movie seems very much like some guy – let us call him, for legal reasons, “Phlames Phlameron” – sat down and was like, “well, I like Star Wars. And I like masturbating to old copies of National Geographic. If only there were some way for me to combine these interests!”
#8. When they say “choose your woman,” they’re not fucking around.
So, I am sorry to keep going back to the sex thing, but the second that our hero, Jake, finally gets around to doing it with Space Zoe Saldana, she utters the words – with no small amount of seriousness, might I add – “we are mated for life now.” The VERY MOMENT HE GETS IT IN, she says this. Ladies: do you date dudes? Do any of these dudes like Avatar? Do you think that, at any point, you might have sex with a dude who likes Avatar? Because, if so, you need to say this shit during sex. I know I’m going to. I’ll adopt the deep, tranquil, stalkerly tones of mystical communion, give him the zonked-out blue-person googly-eye, all of it. Just to see how quickly he flies screaming out of the apartment, and whether he bothers to put on pants.
#9. VENN. AHH. ZWAYYY. LA.
You guys, I was totally sad when I heard that Billy Zane was not going to be in this movie. I mean, of course I was! Who was going to be my ridiculous cartoon villain if the Zane didn’t show up? That’s what I was thinking. Little did I know, however, that this movie offers two – yes, two – Billy Zanes for the price of one. First, we have Billiani Zanebisi, who is playing the Chief Executive Officer in Charge of Being Incredibly Evil All the Time for Whatever Reason, who has a deep and murderous connection to the Sharper Image floating-rock paperweight on his desk, conveyed to us through Zanebisi’s patented “naturalistic” style of acting, which is to say everything twelve times and enunciate it really weirdly. (“Naaauh. Nah, nah, nahnahnah!” “So, um… ‘now,’ sir?”) And then! As if this weren’t enough! We have Corporal Zane, of the United Airborne Being Incredibly Evil All the Time Division! And he is, if possible, even more ridiculous! The scene in which he pronounces the name of a certain South American country as if it were four separate words, each one of which makes him want to vomit, before proceeding to climb into a gigantic mecha suit and rant against “limp-dicked science majors,” will uplift and delight you, and also haunt your dreams.
#10. I am immune to awe, beauty, and magic.
Well, sort of! Avatar really did look like a Lisa Frank binder had sex with a mid-’80s sci-fi paperback cover and their baby threw up on your face, which was great. And my eyes really were zipping all over the screen trying to catch the details, and I honestly was amazed by how many (fluorescent!) details there were, and how seamless it all looked. And I will probably see it in IMAX, if I get the chance! Because we were seated too close to the screen, as it turns out, so a lot of the 3-D effects just looked blurry and hurt my eyes. But also, when I see it in IMAX, I will still laugh when that one dude screws a horse. Because, yes, I am dead inside, but I submit to you that nothing is going to make that less than redonk.