Monday, March 13, 2023

Avatar (2009)

We're back after an unplanned month off (sorry!) and checking out the suddenly-sequeled 2009 cgi spectacle "Avatar"! Written and directed by our old pal James Cameron and starring Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana, Avatar famously leans style over substance, but that doesn't mean it can't have both, does it? As of the writing of this episode note, Avatar remains the highest grossing film of all time, was seen by pretty much everyone in the world, and is about... um. I guess it's Ferngully? But also Pocahontas. But all the characters you care about are giant skinny blue people. It's um. It's actually pretty strange. Have you seen it?

Float along with the manatees as they ask some of the less-frequently-examined questions of the film, like: are the avatars just alien men in black? What puts something in the uncanny valley? And, if you can make hybrid avatars of alien species on a planet with giant butterfly dragons, why choose the blue people? Also, book recommendations, discussions of caricatures and tropes, and several very contrived excuses to talk about Jason Momoa. Happy listening!

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

The NeverEnding Story (1984)

New episode is up!

We're going back to the 80's for another movie with puppets with 1984's cult classic The NeverEnding Story, directed by Wolfgang Petersen and based (contentiously) on the book by Michael Ende. Famously one of the most expensive movies ever made outside of the US at the time, The NeverEnding Story features one of the most overtly fantastical settings of any movie ever, and the youngest cast of any movie the manatees have seen to date. But does it hold up?

The manatees face the truly challenging questions this movie poses, such as: Which fictional world would actually be possible to survive in? Which horrible puppet monster would make the best husband? And of course, just how old is Law and Order actually? Float along with us to find out the answers to these and so many other definitely relevant questions.