AvatarOkay, so call me sappy; I like the movie Avatar.  The target market is twelve year old boys and twenty-something guys who can't get dates.  Still.  The writer/director James Cameron knows archetypal images.  Big, super agile, bold people flying on colorful dragons through clouds of floating mountains.  Fights against big bad corporations led by selfish, smug, superficial, sarcastic yuppies.  (Too bad that one didn't get skewered.  I can always hope he buys it in a sequel.)  A love story.  Fantastic visuals.  The bad guy getting two arrows to the heart in the end from a total babe, blue, yes, nine feet tall, yes, but still a babe.  What more can I guy ask for?

Yeah, the plot is totally predictable, but it's 'sposed to be.  Here it is: a good hearted soldier is sent into the woods to ask the Vietnamese/Native Americans/Africans/whatever to leave so white guys can live in their homes or at least destroy them.  He falls in love with someone like Pocahontas and goes native.  He leads a successful fight, pitting courage and scrappiness against industrial warfare weapons, and wins.  Of course they are gracious victors, sending the whites back to where they came from rather than eating them, enslaving them, or just killing them which is what the corporate types planned to do.  The male leadership of the indigenous are killed in the war leaving the top spot - and the girl - open for the good hearted soldier.  That plot was cut and pasted from any of dozens of other adventure movies.  It's a formula that works every time with twelve year old boys and twenty-something guys who can't get dates.  And me too.

Nine monthsI watched this movie because I often like movies with Hugh Grant and I always like movies featuring Marianne Moore.  Not this one.  I was hoping for a romantic comedy.  This movie was too dumb to be either romantic or a comedy.  It was too unrealistic to be amusing, not that I mind surrealism.  But a pratfall grade wrestling match between the two fathers in one delivery room?  And Hugh Grant has the acting range of a teaspoon.  Can he play anybody but Hugh Grant?  There are a lot of good movies out there.  There are closets to clean, socks to sort, and toilets to clean.  Skip this one.

Two stars out of five.  (Two?  Have you seen Amoro Bandito?  Or Rocky XII?)