Thursday, January 21, 2010

My Thoughts On Avatar

I have been directed to many blogs, editorials and news articles regarding James Cameron's Avatar and the controversy thereof. I have decided that it is absolutely, positively, and incontrovertibly necessary for me to give my in-depth impression of the film.

Ooh, ooh, lookit the 3D! Wow, an alien world! It's so shiny and immersive! Those animals are kewl and realistic looking! Man, it would be neato to have an avatar... dude, Jake is learning all this stuff and getting better and better and oops he fell that is HILARIOUS! OMG FLYING O_O This is fun and awesome and ACTION! Wow, what a fight! Fun and shiny and... story? There's a story? I didn't notice; I was too busy having fun visiting Pandora.

Those are my highly intellectual thoughts on the subject. I hope you have found it enlightening.

14 comments:

  1. My personal thoughts are that the movie's strong points are in its subtleties. So all those folks trying so hard to see more than it is, and keep complaining about the "deepness", are not allowing the thing to "flow in" as it should, and therefore missing more than half its value. And no, that value is not only the (breathtaking) visuals.

    So, yeah. Your approach sounds more productive and cool to me.

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  2. And don't forget the wonderful message that white people are better at EVERYTHING than EVERYONE ELSE. Good message.

    Looked good, though.

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  3. *****SPOILERS******
    *****SPOILERS******
    *****SPOILERS******

    I'll concede that I do find the concept of the foreigner coming in and being better at things than the natives a valid source of annoyance. At the same time, the story is told from the perspective of that person as we explore it through him. If the story had been from the perspective of the natives, it would have been less immersive for the audience.

    The main character may have been white, but would it really have been any better if he'd been any other ethnicity? We don't have a "giant blue kitty person" ethnicity. In addition, the military was a whole mess of white people taken down by the Na'vi and the animals of the planet. Jake was an exception. You could have put any number of other white people from this movie in his place and they would have failed miserably. This movie doesn't give me a "yay white people" impression.

    I will agree that the complaint about "foreigner comes in and fixes everything" aspect of the movie is valid, but trying to make it about ethnicity seems forced and unnecessary. It's also worth pointing out that the foreigner in question is fighting to fix a problem his own people caused.

    *****SPOILERS******
    *****SPOILERS******
    Did I mention...
    *****SPOILERS******?

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  4. Wow, there are several grammar errors in my comment... yay rushed posting! ^^;

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  5. I am not aren't a grammar police. =)
    Lol. but seriously, I at least TRY to make my grammar as readable as possible, Whilst typing swiftly. Frankly I didn't notice most of your grammar errors.

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  6. I know, I'm not typically so sensitive to such things, but this movie got utterly demolished on my forums, for being "Yay white people! Boo cripples!" and it was hard to see it any other way. YES, it's not strictly about 'white people', as much as it is Civilized Mankind vs Noble Savages, but it's similar to a Spaniard in South America surviving his conquitador's being wiped out, then joining the indians, and being better at their religious practices than they are. It's a trope that rubs me the wrong way.

    Giant blue alien kitties are still cool.

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  7. Uhh...didn't Jake start out as utterly, completely dumb at *everything* the Na'vi could do practically in their sleep?

    Honestly, I loved it for the "oohpretty!" and Sigourney Weaver. All else is secondary.

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  8. Funny who would have thought that a Marine recon specialist, who has served in several wars on earth (and we are known for those), would be better at war than peacefull natives who likely haven't engaged in large scale warfare since the last Maktor rode into battle.

    For me it is a story about this man who recognises in the Na'vi a chance for better life.

    *****SPOILERS******
    *****SPOILERS******
    *****SPOILERS******

    THE ENDING Below

    *****SPOILERS***********SPOILERS***********SPOILERS******
    *****SPOILERS***********SPOILERS***********SPOILERS******
    *****SPOILERS***********SPOILERS***********SPOILERS******
    Besides didn't the planet save itself in the end?
    *****SPOILERS***********SPOILERS***********SPOILERS******
    *****SPOILERS***********SPOILERS***********SPOILERS******
    *****SPOILERS***********SPOILERS***********SPOILERS******


    You may resume reading.

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  9. I think people here are more hopeful and positive than me. :(

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  10. ..............WOW.....................
    I didn't expect you to condense it all into a short little editorial. Good Job.

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  11. It is a bit odd that nearly every human in the movie is white. On the other hand, the only fully mobile white men in the movie (besides Norm) are the thoroughly despicable villains. I'd say that's an ambiguous message if it is one at all.

    Personally, I didn't think the racial differences were as important as the cultural ones. The Na'vi actually seem to be better at everything except technology; the humans are too good at technology, at the expense of everything else. The Na'vi know what to do; the humans know how to do it. Neither one is enough on its own. Jake achieves what he does because he learns to function as both. Unlike everyone else in the movie, he's willing to admit his ignorance and learn from anyone who will teach him, no matter who or what species they are. Because he learns from both sides, he's able to do things neither one could have imagined. In contrast, nearly every failure and loss in the story is due to arrogance and overconfidence - the various characters' certainties that they are the strongest, or the smartest, or the most justified. Jake's advantage is not his own strength, but his ability to see the strengths of others and learn from them. He becomes the strongest by admitting that he's the weakest. If the movie has a message about who is "best" at anything, I think this is it. The best people are the ones who know that they're not.

    That being said, I'll admit that I had to watch the movie twice before my thoughts went beyond "Sparkly! Floating rocks! Whoosh!"

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  12. It's Dances with wolves IN SPAAAAAAAAAACEEEEEEEE!

    Oooo shiny pretty pretty!

    Sorry. Still debating on buying it or not. Don't want to snob because a generally heavy handed feeling story. but... just.... the visuals. RRrrrr It's like with crysis. Utterly hashed story and layout, but overwhelmed by 'OMFG PRETTY!'

    I won't complain at camron's success since it looks like he spent one hell of a time trying to take us on a tour of a physically impossible setting. The story is just an excuse for the tour.

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  13. Personally, I'm holding off on buying it because the initial DVD release has no extras. It's just the movie, and a version with extras will be released later this same year.

    Given that the extras are why I would be interested in having it on DVD in the first place, I'm going to pass until later, and possibly even then because ultimately the effects boil down to "we threw money at it".

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  14. Hey Dan, have you seen the Red Letter Media review of Avatar? That's the same guy who made a 70-minute long review of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.

    Just google for "avatar redlettermedia" (without the quotation marks)- it's hilarious.

    Or just check out his YouTube channel. :P
    http://www.youtube.com/user/RedLetterMedia

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