By Violet-Eyed Dragon 2 Comments
All right, so if you haven't heard, Avatar won the Golden Globe and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen got a Razzie. Now im not saying transformers is award worthy or anything (its not), but i just want to point out how screwy things are and how hypocritical people are being when this is being ridiculed and something like Avatar is being praised.
First complaint about Transformers the Second was that it was too crass and sexualized. Not to be self-righteous, but the amount of CGI'd Zoe Saldana back, rear end, and cleavage shown in Avatar far exceeded any little glimpses we got of Megan Fox and her female costars. True, Transformers dialogue was loaded with rude (and cringe-worthy) descriptions (such as "the industrial media sack" monologue). But really, what will have more of an effect--showing as much body as can pass in a PG-13 film, or saying the rude one-liner here and there? I'm sure male audiences were much more titilated by the former--and it certainly is objectifying a woman much more than a passing comment. Then again, Avatar didn't have a doggy sex scene like Transformer's--but at least that only lasted a couple seconds.
Second off is the fact that Transformers is loaded with profanity. All right, you can't argue that point--but Avatar isn't exactly pure in that genre either. According to Pluggedin.com, Transformers has "about 10 s-words" and " about 25 uses combined of d--n, a--hole, b--ch, (and) h---". Avatar has "about a dozen s-words" and "
roughly 20 other profanities ("h‑‑‑," "a‑‑," "b‑‑ch," "b‑‑tard," "p‑‑‑")." Transformers has more, but Avatar certainly has a lot.
The third complaint with Transformers is the fact that the mother takes pot. In fact a negative portrayal of marijuana like that is unlikely to cause somebody to go use it (though it is possible they will interpret it as proof than only old people are bothered by it, but maybe I'm splitting hairs).
The fourth complaint about Transformers is that it is racist. This was mostly because of the Twins, two foul-mouthed, illiterate, obviously black transformers Mudflap and Skids. In the film's favor, the two controversial aliens are heroes who many fans love. Then again, so were the crows in Dumbo. It is unclear whether the fact that the Twins are black is supposed to have anything to do with their erratic behavior--Transformers does have other black characters who are perfectly reasonable and intelligent. Then again, there is also a obnoxious, stupid guy with bad teeth who (happens?) to be black. Well, at least for me, it is unclear how racist this film is. What I will say is it isn't any more offensive than a certain stereotype in Avatar I will discuss in a minute.
Fifth complaint: poor character development. Well Avatar was almost as simplistic as this. The main character is just a plain stereotype for a Marine--he is this guy who is kind of feeling lost in the world and joins the military "for the hardships," a fact spelled out in the first ten minutes. And by spelled out I mean this quote: "I became a Marine for the hardships. All I needed was a single thing worth fighting for." That is the only character development we get on the main character in the entire film. He has no hidden gift--he isn't unusually smart, or unusually apathetic, or unusually prone to anger, or unusually anything. He is just those two words--an unsatisfied, stereo-typical Marine. His girlfriend isn't any different. She is a native--obsessed with the land, nervous of the outsider, proud of her heritage, but loving on the inside. She also looks gorgeous, because obviously nobody could ever enjoy a movie with a character who doesn't have a perfect body that is very exposed even though it takes place in a fictional universe where the aliens could look like ANYTHING. And then there are all the other Marines--you know, Americans. Evil, selfish pirates. They just go into another country to take everything knowing full well its wrong. The truth is far from this--these people volunteer to serve their country under grueling circumstances because they want to help people and do something right. Almost none of them would ever knowingly do anything to steel another's land or hurt innocent civilians--they are serving to stop that. Forget your personal belief on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars--the Marines aren't there for bad intentions. Even if all the worst liberal beliefs on this stuff is true, those brave men are trying to do the right thing in a twisted world where the World Trade Center and other civilian landmarks get attacked by misogynistic, facist extremists. This is FAR more offensive than an illiterate black person who swears in a universe with black people who are literate and everybody swears--this is insulting the very core that the United Nations is based on. When England and America and their ally's soldiers go into battle, they are leaving behind their loved ones to go to a scary situation to do what they think is right. It is incredibly arrogant for a rich director to mouth off about how awful all these brave men are--and it is incredibly insulting that people are acting like this movie is the best thing since sliced bread (or at least the Dark Knight). If there was one thing Transformers: the Fallen got right, it was that the soldiers were heroes.
P.S. Incidentally in the last presidential election most Iraqis didn't want US and UK forces to leave instantly, so the logic of the politics is messed up too.