Monday, December 19, 2022

Red in the Desert, Blue on the Screen

I’d laugh at poor Kari Lake, in her quest to overturn her disastrous loss in the Arizona governor’s election, if it wasn’t so scary. Now she wants the county election officials, who dared to count all the legal votes, to be arrested and jailed. And tortured, killed, and tortured some more, probably.

I guess it’s a good thing that she doesn’t exactly have the standing to call for anything and have it stick. She’s just one more sore loser, sorely losing.

Yes, I’m sure it’s a massive county-wide plot that switches thousands of votes but leaves no tracks, witnesses, or evidence, that causes Republicans to lose elections. It’s certainly not running right-wing nut jobs, not the general toxicity of the Republican Party, not calls to build a wall around the southern border, cut Social Security and Medicare, force women to give birth against their will, ban same-sex and interracial marriages, ignore the effects of climate change which beat us over the head every single day or dismiss proven medical practices at the cost of over a million lives. It’s gotta be an unfair advantage, right? How else could such a winning position lose?

It would be nice if Republican leadership would do a little soul-searching and maybe come up with some programs or issues that would draw people to their side. But there’s not much you can realistically flog when your primary purpose is to further enrich the richest among us and cater to the religious wingnuts that promise you their votes. Anything that the public might vote for and benefit from would cost money, and that’s not good for Big Business.

I do think that most of Lake’s histrionics are merely for show. She knows that she lost, but it’s good for her brand to be seen fighting the Deep State or whatever she calls honest civil servants who do their job correctly. What she’s really fighting for is a seat at a Fox “News” desk, or maybe a seat on the Trump 2024 ticket.

That’s assuming, of course, that he’s not legally prevented from running on account of being convicted of the charges the January 6th committee just recommended to the Justice Department today. No, I’m not holding my breath on that. Even though the evidence, as presented over the last 6 months, has been clear and compelling, the well-connected always seem to be able to walk away from whatever they’ve done, whereas any one of us would have been breaking rocks by now.

I propose we do with Lake the same as one does with a toddler having a tantrum… Ignore her. Let her wail into the vacuum. She and her idiot supporters can have a big holler-off amongst themselves we’ll just go on about the business of trying to keep the power in the hands of the People and rich thumbs off the scales of justice. She doesn’t matter.

Movie Night

I got out to the movies on Friday for just the second time this year and went to see Avatar-The Way of Water. I loved it.

Now, I’m not what you would call a movie connoisseur. I like big, noisy, action movies, monster movies… stuff with visual spectacle. That’s what gets me to the theater. Talky dramas or comedies, I’m happy to see at home on TV, but some movies really need to be seen on a movie screen, in 3-D.

I never saw the original Avatar in the theater. From the initial trailers, it just seemed too weird. But eventually, I heard enough good things about it that I bought the Blu-Ray when it came out, and then kicked myself repeatedly for having missed the opportunity to see it on the big screen. I was sure not to make the same mistake with the sequel, so I was out there on opening day.

In a nutshell, the movie is about the family of the two main characters we met in the original movie, Jake, the human-turned-Na’vi, and Neytiri, the native who teaches him the ways of their world, as they fall in and out and back into love. Years have gone by and they have a family now, two teenage sons, a small daughter, and an adopted teenage daughter, who is a clone of Sigourney Weaver’s avatar from the first movie. The humans who they defeated in the first movie have returned, with a goal to subdue the natives and use the planet to permanently house the people of Earth. The main antagonist, who had been previously killed by Neytiri, has been made into a Na’vi, along with some of his old soldiers, and he has been given his old memories. He has a personal vendetta against Jake and Neytiri, so his crew seeks to wipe them out, as a way to cow the Na’vi into accepting their presence. To keep from bringing terror and violence to their jungle community, the family travels to take refuge with another tribe of Na’vi who are sea-going people. I guess they thought it was better to reign fire on strangers.

The sea people take in the family and teach them the “Way of Water,” like how to ride various sea creatures (similar to the way they rode the air creatures in the original) and hold their breath for long periods of time. It basically mirrors the onset of the relationship between Jake and Neytiri. Eventually, the bad guys find them and much battling ensues.

If you liked the original, I think you’ll like this one too. It has the same pros and cons: It’s still a jaw-dropping visual masterpiece made with considerable expertise. But there are some clunky plot points and it’s way too long, clocking in at three hours and change.

For example, I found the family dynamic among the main family to be trite and unimaginative. There’s a rebellious younger son who pushes back against his older brother, who is charged with protecting him. They each get in trouble with their parents for things that they did or didn’t do. And oftentimes, it seemed like a Three’s Company episode in that a couple of lines of dialogue could have cleared up a whole lot of strife and misunderstanding.

I think they should have given Neytiri more to do. All they had for her was to wail with sadness, holler in anger, and hunt down bad guys like she was a giant, blue Rambo. She was the most interesting part of the original story. This time, she seemed to be mostly window dressing, which is a shame when you have an actor as deft as Zoe Saldana.

As for the Sigourney clone, I never saw any reason why that was so. The story could have been exactly the same without that twist. Maybe it was just a way to keep Sigourney’s name on the movie poster. Or perhaps it will pay off in the next sequel.

Ah yes, the sequels. I had forgotten that there are expected to be a couple more sequels. But then when they somehow failed to fully dispose of the bad guy at the end of the movie, I remembered, “Oh yeah, they’ll probably need him for Round Three.

Probably the most alarming scene is where the bad guys attack a massive sea beast that is essentially a tricked-out, battle-armored whale, in a scene that in real life, Greenpeace would have tried to stop. The “whales” get revenge though, so wait for it.

But that scene is a powerful reminder of what seems to be writer/director Jim Cameron’s primary philosophy; that mankind destroys everything it encounters, especially if there’s a buck to be made. In other words, we’re the reason we can’t have anything nice.

All in all, I thought the good outweighed the bad. It’s an amazing bit of filmmaking, one you just can’t get over that they’re able to do so convincingly. And it’s great to see in 3-D, with all kinds of things flitting about your face as you watch.

And because this is a 3-hour movie, if you go, be careful with the drinks.  You’ll want to keep the bathroom breaks to a minimum. In retrospect, there are good times to duck away, but on first viewing, you won’t know where they’ll be.


As this is my last post before Christmas, let me take a second to wish you a tremendous holiday season. I hope it brings you peace, joy, and family togetherness. That’s my “reason for the season.”


Margaret (Peggy or Peg too) said...

Merry Christmas to you and your family Tony!

bluzdude said...

Happy Christmas to you and the Big Guy!

Friendly Neighborhood Spiderwoman said...

This is what I mean when I say nurses and other 'regular' people get fired from their jobs based on comments they make on social media. But people like Kari, MTG, tRump, et al get away with saying and doing the absolute MOST - zero consequences.

Burns me up.

If you say Avatar II was as good as the first one - I will check it out.

Lucky loves his gift lol - thanks, one for Wallace will be headed over soon...

bluzdude said...

The Big Dub will be looking forward to it. Merry Christmas!

Infidel753 said...

What she’s really fighting for is a seat at a Fox “News” desk, or maybe a seat on the Trump 2024 ticket

I strongly suspect it's the latter. Her original lawsuit was full of material arguing that the 2020 election was rigged -- which is irrelevant to her supposed focus on the 2022 election she lost, but is well calculated to attract Trump's attention and approval. If he runs again, she could hope to be his running mate. If he loses, or if his campaign is derailed by him ending up in the hoosegow, she could still become a Sarah-Palin-like wingnut celebrity, and milk that for money and attention for the next decade. So this lawsuit is a good gamble for her even if she loses.

bluzdude said...

I'm not sure she realizes that while TFG wants a running mate that will feverishly support him at all costs, he does not want to be overshadowed or have the spotlight redirected away from him. She has the devotion down pat; she may need to take submissive toadying lessons from Mike Pence.

Infidel753 said...

she may need to take submissive toadying lessons from Mike Pence

And no better instructor than Pence could be imagined, for mastering that particular skill.

bluzdude said...

Kari will have to remember that even with being the toadiest of toadies, the second she lets her devotion slip, even if it's just to stay within the law, TFG will be just fine with watching her be killed.