“Neytiri calls me skxawng. It means “moron.“-James Cameron, Avatar
(My) Wine Thoughts: Mmmm so much acid. I don’t know if I just don’t like Cabs or if I don’t like this one. I feel like this needs to be paired with some really fatty food to cut the acid and Vivino.com agrees with me and suggests lamb or beef. This is the kind of wine that would give me
a stomach ache. Thankfully I’ve experienced this enough to recognize and desist. Note: I’m not even drinking it, I’m still recovering from pneumonia so this was a taste and spit for me. 1 Stars
(My) Movie Thoughts: So I’m going to just start this out and say that this is another Will choice. Will is a big fan of Avatar….In fact, Will owns the director’s cut, the extended cut etc. I remember when this came out and there was so much hype. The special effects, James Cameron, blah, blah, blah. I think I made a point of not seeing it because I hate mindless sci-fi action movies, it was 2009 and I was at university and going through my French New-Wave film phase. Watching it, I could definitely appreciate the technology and “artistry” that went into it. I can also appreciate the whole eco-love/respect aspect of it and that the main character is disabled (yay for disabled characters seen as powerful), but its faults are many. It has the problematic white male savior thing going on that I can’t stand. I think what makes that even worse for me is that Jake is just so dang dull and I can’t care or relate to dull characters. Another thing, as far as plot goes this is a blatant Pocahontas/Ferngully rip-off. Will can talk about the weird hair-genitalia thing… I won’t get into that. I’ll summarize the plot and those of you that have seen FernGully can relate to my frustration on how similar the two are…In a futuristic dystopia, mediocre (personality of a paper plate), white dude Zak –um I mean Jake, is a paraplegic, all American ex-marine who takes over his recently deceased twin brother’s job for an evil corporation. Said corporation is hellbent on mining a precious metal from another planet at any cost. The planet is home to the Na’vi people who have a healthy relationship with nature and are the opposite of the evil corp. I.e. not soulless capitalist pigs. Jake “goes native” falls in love with a Na’vi woman Crysta- I mean Neytiri, who teaches him that the Na’vi people are in fact doing things the correct way and the corporation is evil (duh Jake). Jake tells Neytiri that he’s a jerk who is playing the Na’vi people, is temporarily exiled and the Na’vi people attempt to fight the corporation. They lose because of their “primitive” weapons and lack of military knowledge (ughhhh this is not always the case, native people DO actually overthrow colonialists see the demise of Captain James Cook ). The Na’vi people (with Jake as their leader ::eye roll::) fight the corporation and win (surprise, surprise). Jake ends up happily ever after in his avatar body with Neytiri at his side. How is this not Ferngully? Seriously… How did James Cameron not get sued for ripping off a much better film/idea? Could it be that the same production company that put out one put out the other? That 20th Century Fox would cannibalize itself for profit makes me so sad. 2 Stars
(My) Comparison: I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that both were not my taste, both didn’t wow me and both require something else to make them enjoyable. I needed a rack of lamb to enjoy the cab and a lobotomy to enjoy Avatar.
(My) My Weekly Winner: I’m going to default to Avatar because I couldn’t handle how acidic the wine was, but really go watch FernGully instead of Avatar. I don’t care if you don’t like animated movies. It has so much more heart and soul than Avatar and you can’t deny it. Not to mention Robin William’s voices the lovable Batty and Tim Curry is the voice of the epic villain, Hexus. C’mon watch it! You know you want to!
(W’s) Wine Thoughts: First red wine of the blog! Woohoo! Funny how long it took us to get to a red wine on a wine blog. Even Funnier that it took us so long to drink a red wine that just happens to be the most commonly planted and popular wine on the planet! According to winefolly.com there are about 720,000 acres planted worldwide! Oddly enough this week’s choice seems to be fairly varietal atypical. Meaning it doesn’t have many of the Cabernet Sauvignon hallmarks: black pepper, green peppercorn, bell pepper, cedar and chocolate. Hmm, very suspicious. Are we even drinking a Cab at all I wonder?… It’s almost as if it’s disguising itself as something it’s not. Almost as if it’s trying to gain my trust and trick me into joining it in a subversive campaign against my own government! Only to have it turncoat and subsequently fall in love with me and my silly native ways.
*Will takes a sniff* Wow this wine smells like vanilla. Honestly, I know this is going to sound weird to our readers who aren’t from the midwest originally but this wine honestly smells like a midwest thanksgiving dinner. Vanilla extract, cranberry sauce from a can, canned black olives and…I cannot express this enough but it STINKS like canned black olives. Whoa. There are some light pie spices and a very specific whiff of Dr. Pepper. This wine would probably be lovely on a cold November night in Wisconsin.
*Will takes a sip* Being a Cabernet Sauvignon I really expected a higher tannin structure, or a rougher mouth feel. It’s very viscous, chewy almost, kind of gooey. In terms of flavor? Vanilla Dr. Pepper, poured over plumbs and a cinnabon, blended on the highest setting. I really don’t know how I feel about consuming this. 2 stars
(W’s) Movie Thoughts: The deepest of satisfactions sometimes stem from the deepest of betrayals. I won’t say that I lured my partner into 178 minutes of my guiltiest of pleasures but I also wouldn’t say that I didn’t lie to her when I told her we weren’t watching the Extended Collectors Edition of James Cameron’s Avatar (2009). There exist 3 versions of this film. All of them spanning no less than almost 3 hours. And all of them, in order, measure as: Perfect,
Perfecter, Perfectest. In short: Lt. John Dunbar befriends the local natives and falls in love with a local woman named, Stands With a Fist (Mary Mcdonnell). Upon discovering their mutual plight, he rescinds his support and his role in the United States military and…Oh wait that’s the plot to Dances With Wolves (1990). In short: In 17th century Virginia, John Smith falls in love with Pocahontas an Algonquin princess, much to the chagrin of his colonialist overlords…ahh shit that’s the plot to Pocahontas (1995). In short: A prince, down on his luck, falls in love with a beautiful nomadic woman who he totally bangs in the desert. Then he leads her people to victory against the bad guys and some giant worms…DAMNIT that’s the plot of Dune (1984). In short: Jake Sully, after years of incarceration on the seat of a wheel chair, gains the ability to walk again and finds freedom in an alien world. All thanks to what must be a fat, overspent military budget. Jake agrees to fill the shoes of his dead twin brother on a military project that blasts his consciousness into the body of a betty crocker easy bake blue alien clone. Jake then follows the cliche path of 30 years worth of writing and falls for the local tail…No joke here. The aliens on Pandora (the alien planet) literally have sex with their pony tails. They also use said pony tails to create a neural link with any animal unlucky enough to be within a Willow Smith hair whipping distance.
Though this film has about 178 minutes of problems, innovation isn’t one of them. This is the most successful film of all time. In terms of worldwide gross that is. The film used so many new techniques it’s no wonder Avatar took home the Oscars for Cinematography, Visual Effects and Art Direction. Unfortunately it wasn’t a total clean sweep that year for James Cameron because the Oscar for Most Animal Sex went to Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009). Better luck next time with Avatar 2, 3, 4 and 5 (scheduled for release in 2018, 2020, 2022 and 2023 respectively…no I am not joking and yes I am already waiting in line). 3.9 stars
(W’s) Comparison: Can you say, “oversaturation”?
From the explosive ridiculousness that is James Cameron’s Avatar (all 178 minutes of it) to this weird atypical Cabernet Sauvignon that tastes like vanilla extract, this whole experience has been very overwhelming. With crops in nearly every growing region on the planet Cabernet Sauvignon is truly the king of grapes (a close second with about 600,000 acres planted worldwide is the very unpopular Merlot). And Grossing two billion seven hundred eighty seven million nine hundred sixty five thousand eighty seven dollars, Avatar is truly the king of movies…However when you share a top 5 list with Jurassic World (2015), a movie in which Chris Pratt teaches Velociraptors to dance, how can you expect anyone to take you seriously?
(W’s) Weekly Winner: Cabernet Sauvignon. While wine may be temporary, the pro attrition, colonialist, industrialized military complex machine seems to be forever. And that’s a problem.
But you love Avatar, you might say. I do. You’re right. But I also love justice, freedom of choice and freedom of speech. Tune in next week when we watch Batman Begins and drink Vodka!
The weekly winner is neither!
Francis Ford Coppola King Kong Cabernet Sauvignon 2014, California
Avatar. Dir. James Cameron. 20th Century Fox, 2009. Film.
FernGully: The Last Rainforest. 20th Century Fox, 1992. Film.
Fantastic Mr Fox. Dir. Wes Anderson.20th Century Fox, 2009. Film.
Dances With Wolves. Dir. Kevin Costner. Orion Pictures, 1990. Film.
Pocahontas. Dir. Mike Gabriel. Erica Goldberg, Disney, 1995. Film
Dune. Dir. David Lynch. Universal Studios, 1981. Film.