I Have a Theory

Posted: February 2, 2010 in Action Movies, Jeff Holland, Threat Quality
Tags: , , ,

See, the goggles tell you I'm SINISTER. The goatee doesn't hurt, either.

It is a truly vile, evil theory, and if I’m right, I am quite impressed.

Now, as is well known in certain circles, I am what is generally referred to as an “evil genius.” One might even use the term “diabolical miscreant” but I don’t want to put words in anyone’s mouth (…yet! Moo-hoo-ha-ha-haaa). Point is, yo, over here: supervillain. Henchmen, complicated machinery (see this Thursday’s post!), all of that jazz. I gots it.

In fact, “Threat Quality Press” is merely a shell corporation for my real sinister endeavors. (Yes, just like the Mars Corp. backed Cobra. They got the idea from me, I swear.) I reveal all this so you know I have what the commoners who will soon be GROUND BENEATH MY POINTY EVIL BOOT-HEELS WOOO-HOO-HAAAA (sorry, habit) refer to as “cred.”

Now, before I begin unraveling my diabolical theory, congratulations are in order. So, from one evil genius to another: James Cameron? I salute you, sir.

I realized what has been happening – under my very (sinister) nose – the other night. My cohorts and I had been watching the new Star Trek movie on the creation known as Blu-Ray (and no, I don’t care about the lens flares or the fact that Star Fleet’s ranking system seems to consist entirely of “Whoever calls dibs on the chair gets to be captain,” it’s ENJOYABLE, DAMMIT).

Cohort Kevin pointed out that Blu-Ray is, in fact, so crisp in its visual clarity that you can actually see Zachary Quinto’s chin-acne. He did so with some distain for Quinto’s chin-acne.

It was not the first time I’d noticed certain…flaws…on actors’ faces, made more apparent by the advent of HD television and the subsequent movie viewing options. Put frankly, actors are not as pretty as they had been before we could see them as they are: Mere Human Beings With Sometimes Ruddy Skin Complexions.

Put bluntly: They are revealed as hideous monstrosities, to be shunned from the light of day itself.

Actors! Our Beautiful People! No longer beautiful enough for reality! No matter how many slatherings of foundation their makeup departments increasingly apply, ultimately technology will persist in making them no longer Ideal Beings.

They will have been made useless. Even older actors not afflicted with vanity issues will lose work, as audiences find themselves less captivated by James Cromwell’s masterful performances, so distracted will they be by the deep, astonishing natural skin-mazes that his wrinkles form.

So if actors can no longer portray heightened visions of attractiveness, where will we turn? Some kind of…non-human actor?

Oh, if only some director had been working for years to perfect the flawless beauty of a non-human actor. And, as a special bonus to that director – particularly if he has a reputation as something of a tyrant to his on-screen performers (or, okay, just Kate Winslet)?

That’s when it dawned on me: This whole Avatar business of James Cameron’s…wasn’t about “advancing movie technology” at all – or at least, not in the way the movie-going audiences understood.

Avatar was a firing pistol, starting a race to see who could perfect computer-generated actors. And it is a race in which James Cameron already has a considerable lead. Especially since he also had the starter pistol. Look, it’s not a perfect metaphor.

(Meanwhile George Lucas is a distant second, since he was only dimly aware that movies needed actors in the first place.)

In short: Avatar may look beautiful and revolutionary now, but don’t be fooled. Think ahead. Think like a Cameron. In 20 years, it will look much more like the first talkie, or the first color film. An early look at the first years in which actors’ physical presence was no longer needed on screen.

To which I say again: From one mad genius to another…well played, Cameron.

Well played…for now.

  1. V.I.P. Referee says:

    The goggles are FANTASTIC! Terrifyingly evil genius, but also extraordinarily stylish. Three D’s of charismatic evil: Dazzle, distract, and deflect (or is that last one “devour”? I forget).

    Like all evil geniuses, James Cameron certainly knows the power of a strong sense of style. He’s designed a portrait of our future, reclaimed tragedies of our past, showed us he could be really awesome in a little submarine and soon…soon he will re-build the world as he would like it be. This must be what happens when artists learn how to command technical gadgetry. Instead of applying it to boring tasks, they get all crazy creative with it.

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