Season’s Greetings, folks! Hope everyone out there is enjoying the holidays and having a safe and wonderful time. Here are some recent updates for all of you:
- I recently moved to upstate NY (Oneonta, NY to be exact) with my girlfriend, Carol. It was a big change for this city boy, but I’m adjusting to suburban life a bit better than anticipated (alcohol and Nintendo Wii come in handy). As a result, this will effect some of my convention plans next year. I was originally planning to hit MOCCA 2010, but now that’s up in the air. I’ll keep you all posted…
- I was recently reviewed/interviewed over at Fandomania.com by Kelly Melcher. Kelly was kind enough to showcase Tails for their weekly webcomic column. We discussed a multitude of topics ranging from the comic’s origins to the comic’s future. I guess there are a few spoilers here and there. Go give it a read.
- I’m almost done with Chapter 9, which caps off the 2nd large storyarc of Tails. It’s a great feeling to bring this next chapter to a close. I can’t say much about it now, but I think you’ll all be pleasantly surprised/shocked/delighted when the time comes to read it.
- Saw Avatar last week and needless to say, I walked away happy. Not deliriously happy like when I walked away from Up and Inglorious Basterds, but I think Cameron did a good job. I think the preemptive backlash Avatar received has been unfair to say the least. Yes, it was over-hyped (as it needs to be to earn back that 1/2 billion budget) and yes, it’s Dances with Wolves in Space (which only marginalizes the story but misses the whole point), but Cameron delivers an enjoyable cheez-fest epic adventure with some of the best visuals since Jackson’s King Kong. The theater around Oneonta had a small screen, but the 3D and CGI were still superb, so I can only imagine what the IMAX experience would be like.
Everyone is complaining about the cheezy dialog and predictable plot. First off, the dialog was terse and a tad lack-luster, but it was nowhere as cheezy as people implied. (Sure, it had a few melodramatic moments here and there, but what movie doesn’t?) If anything, given the situation, a lot of the actors did a great job delivering the dialog. I mean, come on, you’re dealing with a story about 10 foot blue cat people! The fact that the actors can play it straight and pull you into the story is an achievement. And the predictable plot? Yeah, no shit — it’s intentionally predictable, it’s a formula. In fact, it’s better that way, because it doesn’t distract from the visual story-telling. The plot and story are appropriate for this film and I doubt James Cameron thinks his screenplay is great either.
You may be asking me how I can forgive Avatar for its missteps and still walk away enjoying the film? Well, the same way I can forgive Star Wars: A New Hope — which also had a mediocre, lack-luster screenplay. Think I’m joking? Go watch Kurt Russell’s reading for the role of Han Solo, if you haven’t already. It’s clear that Harrison Ford saved Star Wars; he took ‘cheezy’ dialog and made it ‘cool’. He injected the film with its much needed charisma, charm and accessibility. Yeah, sure, you have the great music, the cool lightsaber battles and the universal themes, but Star Wars gave you just a little something extra when Harrison Ford was on the screen. I know that pointing out the faults in Lucas’ films doesn’t excuse Cameron, but I still think it’s a valid point to make.
I think if we really stood back and watched our favorite action-adventure films from our childhood with a more objective eye, we’d make a lot of the same criticisms that everyone is making about Avatar today. Try reading some comics you loved as a child and I’m sure you’ll cringe just a little. I guess what I’m trying to say is (I’ll have to bring this rant to a close sometime), Avatar may not be Cameron’s best film, but it’s a good film in its own right (and not just on visual merit). And when it comes to films like his, which are essentially romantic films, we have to surrender ourselves just a little, just like you did as a child. I’m not saying you have to dumb yourself down, but try not to be so jaded. There’s a kid watching Avatar right now who’s experiencing the film the same way you experienced Raiders of the Lost Ark.
And hey, at least Avatar’s not a Star Wars prequel (ba-zing!)
- The NY Knicks are back on a winning streak! Go KNICKS!!
Happy Holidays, everyone!