Daily Archives: December 29, 2009

The brilliance, and ludicrousness, of “Avatar.” And the completely puzzling Urban Meyer

Sometimes you go see a movie and you are constantly listening to the two voices fighting in your head.

Voice No. 1 says: “Good God, this is amazing! Look at the colors, the scenery, the action sequences! This is quite possibly the greatest thing I’ve ever seen!”

Voice No. 2 then replies:  “This is the most un-believable story ever. There’s no way any of those last 15 things could’ve happened. How can I watch this?”

Now you know how I spent 2 hours and 42 minutes Monday night, as I sat with my 3-D glasses on and watched “Avatar,” James Cameron’s $300 million epic about a former Marine who’s disabled but goes to the future, befriends some natives, kicks some butt, and that’s not even 1/10th of what the movie’s about.

My brain was fighting itself all the time during the flick. First, the overall verdict: I thought it was great, a true step-forward in moviemaking. The animation and “motion capture” technology are so far above and beyond anything you’ve ever seen before; it makes a Pixar movie look like a Pictionary drawing. The color, the scenery, the everything, was just amazing. Some critics have said it was like watching “Star Wars” for the first time, and that sounds about right.

The acting was also great, with Sam Worthington, Sigourney Weaver and Stephen Lang (who, as the villain in the piece, was terrific despite being saddled with the most cliched lines I’ve ever seen) being particularly terrific. The movie pulls on your heartstrings, has two incredibly well-filmed action fight sequences, and really never drags.

But the story had so many gaps in logic, and so many times where you’re just like “Wait a second, how did that happen?” I’m not talking about general plot leaps, I’m talking about all kinds of specific points which just didn’t really seem possible.

Still, I walked out of the theater completely satisfied that I’d gotten my money’s worth (well, my Dad’s money’s worth; he bought the tickets). This is a movie that will stay with me for a long, long time.

**So I thought if I gave it a day or so I might better understand what the hell Florida football coach Urban Meyer said over the weekend, when he quit, then un-quit, in 24 hours.

Nope. I’m still wildly puzzled. Meyer, the 45-year-old coach at University of Florida, had had serious heart issues over the past few years, and after a hospital stay after the Gators’ last game, realized he was killing himself with this coaching thing.

So he wisely, on advice of his doctors who told him the stress could cause his premature death, resigned as UF coach on Saturday. He talked about how he wanted to be around for his family for a long time, and that this was the smart thing to do. And I was glad to see a coach putting his family first.

Only then on Sunday, Urban turns around and says he’s only taking a “leave of absence,” and that he plans to coach again, maybe next year.

Huh? Tell me exactly how his heart won’t be affected when he’s back on the sidelines. Is coaching going to suddenly be stress-free? Is he going to be miraculously cured? Did he just wake up Sunday morning, as I suspect, and realize he was the head coach at Florida, with two national titles under his belt, along with the worship of millions of fans, and maybe decide he wasn’t quite ready to walk away?

Whatever it was, it speaks to how disingenuous these coaches are. It’s about the football family first, not the real family. Which is very sad, if you ask me.

Anyway, here’s a great column by Florida Today’s Peter Kerasotis about the whole situation.