Avatar – A Review

December 20, 2009

Hating James Cameron is like hating He-Man. They’re both easy to ridicule, as they stand (respectively) in front of Castle Grayskull/the Oscar podium, bellowing “I have the power!” and parading their shortcomings for all to see. Both have a small boy’s adoration of physical strength: a certainty that size is preferable to subtlety. And they both seem drawn to strong women (Linda Hamilton/Teela). You can’t hate either of them properly – despite this litany of foibles – because they mean only to entertain. James Cameron’s new movie, Avatar, is a big, subtlety-free, Master-of-the-Universe freak-out, but it’s also visually astonishing to behold.

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Terminator Salvation – A Review

June 8, 2009

We wouldn’t win a war against the machines. Most of us struggle with spreadsheets. Humans, at a bare minimum, need: food, shelter, sex and shoes. Machines just need a plug. And therein lies my basic problem with Terminator Salvation; no matter how sexy the human resistance might be, you’d have to bet on the robots. Like the Terminator franchise, they can multiply ad-infinitum. They don’t need motivation to fight, or an explanation as to why they do things. I picture the resistance: bursting for a piss, unsure whose side the lights are on in the toilets. That’s not a battle I’d want to fight.

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Titanic – A Review

February 28, 2009

Someday they’ll make a movie about the making of Titanic; an epic story of love and disaster, with an ice-berg called James Cameron and two plucky leads named Kate and Leo. Audiences will gasp at the scale of hubris involved in making a two hundred million dollar movie – and thrill to watch Kate and Leo battle ice-berg Cameron… braving PCP in the clam chowder, sub-zero waters and the shoot to end all careers! The movie will have a happy ending; Kate and Leo survive. But what will future audiences make of us – their forebears – will they grasp why we loved this movie so?

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