Sorry, I have to step in: Christopher is right; Eli is wrong. And by the way, Sherlock Holmes is kind of awesome.

Annual Seattle Erotic Art Festival and Halloween party returns to Seattle Center October 29 –31!
A weekend of art, performance, readings, & more! Festival ends at Seattle's sexiest Halloween party.

Avatar is supremely silly. It goes on forever and although it stars a sexy Australian, it isn't sexy in the least. (You like to watch blue cat people, um, kneel on each other? I don't.) Its subtext curdled in the time it took to add the bells and whistles and floating seed-pods: the Iraq war critique, particularly, is too simple-minded for the close of 2009. But I must concede that noble savagery never stays out of style.


I think it says something that at the end, instead of yearning to commune with my ecosystem or go snorkeling or something, I found myself very concerned about the fate of the first dragon-thing Jake bonded his braid-encased brainstem to. Don't the dragons and Na'vis pair off for life? How does Jake's dragon feel being spurned for a fancy red behemoth? Jake ditches Earth and his adorable paraplegic body pretty eagerly too. Basically, there's a whiff of desperation about Avatar's brand of escapism that I found off-putting. Hollywood is escapist; science fiction is escapist. But Avatar combines that tendency with a sort of environmental nihilism; I got the feeling that James Cameron wishes we were all dead, or at least that he didn't have to entertain us anymore.

Sherlock Holmes, meanwhile, is the gayest thing I've seen since in a multiplex since Brokeback Mountain. (I think it's actually gayer than A Single Man, which, like Avatar, is less about sex than pretty scenery and grave sentiment.) The dialogue in Sherlock has the cadence and erotic overtones of a screwball comedy, and although there's a hot lady to distract the easily distracted, Robert Downey Jr.'s acting and some choice blocking make it clear that she's a disappointed fag hag, not a love interest.


Support The Stranger

But here again, Sherlock Holmes opts for a celebratory mood: Rachel McAdams is appreciated for her cunning, if not her beauty. I can't say as much for the moony, drunken Julianne Moore in A Single Man.

Sherlock's steampunk aesthetic may be superfluous, but it's more fashionable than the early '90s dolphin vibe I got from Avatar. And who doesn't want their action scenes to take place on half-constructed bridges and cavernous shipbuilding warehouses? Iron crunches better than trees.