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Old 16th September 2010, 05:09 PM   #241 (permalink)
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Re: Avatar (2009)

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I want to live in a world where J-Wo's dad is quoted on DVD covers.
Don't encourage him!
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Old 8th October 2010, 04:24 AM   #242 (permalink)
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I'm watching it tonight. I'm middle aged, so I've seen many movies, although in recent years I have watched only a few. I should do a review of "The Wolfman" later on, but I should watch it again. I did watch it once but here is Avatar finally. It looks like it is a bit of a long one. I'll give my review late tonight/early next morning. Why not. This was a popular film. That should mean something, so I am hopeful.

Let me know what you think of it, as well.

Review to come shortly: ...
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Old 8th October 2010, 06:45 AM   #243 (permalink)
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Re: Avatar

Threads merged.
Before beginning a new thread -
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This was a popular film.
Popular enough to have a 13 page thread. A little difficult to miss it.
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Old 8th October 2010, 09:43 AM   #244 (permalink)
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Re: Avatar (2009)

I watched it and there were some neat creatures, than the conflict took place during the rest of the movie. The love story aspect was decent and probably the best part of the movie. There was some inviting environments where at least to some degree it created empathy between the characters and the audience, but the battle was lacking in rationale and it seemed more like a device of criticism.
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Old 8th October 2010, 04:11 PM   #245 (permalink)
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Re: Avatar (2009)

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but the battle was lacking in rationale and it seemed more like a device of criticism.
Sorry, I don't understand what you mean here - can you elucidate?
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Old 8th October 2010, 05:03 PM   #246 (permalink)
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Re: Avatar (2009)

My main gripe with the final battle (putting aside the diabolical dialogue) is more of a criticism in the storytelling.

The destruction of the tree represented an incalculable loss to the smurfs and by far the greatest tragedy the race has likely ever known. This is followed by a feast of special effects (big whoop) and an essentially minor victory against the invading forces.

If Pandora is so economically valuable, the humans would return with twice the numbers in a short time, glass the planet and take whatever they want. End of story. If Cameron did this for the inevitable sequel, then the film would have a real message (even if hordes of crying children leaving the cinemas might reduce the box office a touch ).
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Old 8th October 2010, 05:13 PM   #247 (permalink)
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Re: Avatar (2009)

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The destruction of the tree represented an incalculable loss to the smurfs and by far the greatest tragedy the race has likely ever known. This is followed by a feast of special effects (big whoop) and an essentially minor victory against the invading forces.
Not that I want to enter an argument on the side of James Cameron's plotting, but I thought that the second tree (tree of souls?) was actually more important, though not as big. The big tree was their home, the tree of souls was the main religious site.
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Old 8th October 2010, 09:42 PM   #248 (permalink)
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Re: Avatar (2009)

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Sorry, I don't understand what you mean here - can you elucidate?
There didn't seem to be much intention heading towards mining the planet, and if they were going to fight the natives and they had that much fire power, why bother with espionage? Furthermore, it didn't appear that the natives were interested in natural resources, so there could have been some treaty made. The movie did not make much sense but there were some neat sections of the movie, but it could be equated with a B movie, yet it sold well which is scary, and so I would have to basically call this a horror.
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Old 8th October 2010, 11:06 PM   #249 (permalink)
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Re: Avatar (2009)

Tinsel, could you really miss the point of his film? I thought it was heavily underlined with a black marker. This was clearly an environmental film. The Unobtainium that the miners wanted was what made Pandora special and kept the mountains flying in the air. The Pandorans were tree-hugging sustainable greenies, in touch with the natural energy of life. The Earth men were corporate greed personified, only motivated by acquisition, and raping the land for profit. Imagine Rio Tinto Zinc versus Madagascan natives, or the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge natives.

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...so I would have to basically call this a horror.
A Horror? The only horror was in the length of the film.
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Old 8th October 2010, 11:18 PM   #250 (permalink)
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Re: Avatar (2009)

Try reading "The Shadow Over Innsmouth" written by H.P. Lovecraft and than think about how this movie should have gone. It should have been about rumors and myths that were dispelled by an investigation rather than about seeing a healthy culture destroyed.

Nobody much has the ability to care for some small population on the other side of the planet much less back in history, but at least in the movies you have the chance to sit back and observe, and perhaps think a little bit.

Not that in H.P. any myth was absolved, but in that case the myths had a bases but it was a similar concept related to entering into the unknown place and the idea that myths persist in order to explain.
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Old 9th October 2010, 02:18 AM   #251 (permalink)
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Re: Avatar (2009)

I am willing to add that all movies are now written this same way. It has to do with the type of people making movies now. The movies of the previous generation no longer exist. Now we have this. There appears to be an audience for it so I can say nothing, but I am watching a lot less of them for good reason.
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Old 9th October 2010, 08:42 AM   #252 (permalink)
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Re: Avatar (2009)

That comparison with 'The Shadow Over Innsmouth' is an interesting one, but my impression was that Jake Sully, as a paraplegic, saw his transformation as a release, rather than something to be fearful of. At the end of the day, he could always return to being human again, but he began to like it.

I agree that there are no deep and meaningful messages to be found in this film, and that it is really rather shallow. While there are people who say their religion is Jedi and they follow the ways of the Force, or who think the 'Matrix' holds some great startlingly new philosophical arguments, I don't think you are ever going to find the meaning of life within a Hollywood blockbuster.

I do think there are often too many films that are essentially the same thing, but I disagree that the standards of storytelling have declined though.
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Old 9th October 2010, 09:02 AM   #253 (permalink)
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Re: Avatar (2009)

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There didn't seem to be much intention heading towards mining the planet
Apart from setting up a huge mining operation for Unobtainium, a unique anti-gravity element only found on this planet, and destroying an entire tree-city because it was on top of the richest lode...

Quote:
and if they were going to fight the natives and they had that much fire power, why bother with espionage?
It wasn't originally espionage - the anthropologist wanted to find out more about the natives with a view to dealing more fairly with them, the mining company top honchos were quite ready just to blow them away - but if there was a cheaper way of getting what they wanted...

Quote:
Furthermore, it didn't appear that the natives were interested in natural resources, so there could have been some treaty made.
Whyinhell should they make a treaty that would destroy the ecology of their own world? It's their planet, and I'm sure they didn't invite them in.

Would you be happy for, say, a Chinese company to land in Canada, start an operation to strip-mine BC and Alberta, and then offer you a treaty that meant all the inhabitants had to move out?
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Old 9th October 2010, 12:11 PM   #254 (permalink)
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Re: Avatar (2009)

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It wasn't originally espionage - the anthropologist wanted to find out more about the natives with a view to dealing more fairly with them, the mining company top honchos were quite ready just to blow them away - but if there was a cheaper way of getting what they wanted...
I disagree. If you follow the movie's dialogue, you can see that the corporation greatly fears bad publicity. In a dialogue between the head honcho and the scientist, it is implied that an outright attack on the Na'vi would cause a PR backlash on Earth*.

The attack came because Colonel Badass hijacked the whole operation. Selfridge tried to avoid this outcome for the longest time, while faced with the prospect of declining profits. Jake Sully's "You don't want this kind of blood on your hands" is an accurate statement. Recall that Sully was given yet another chance to solve the crisis diplomatically. When this too failed, Selfridge's pressured will was so malleable he fell victim to Quaritch's jingoism with ease: By acting swiftly, exploiting the Earth-Pandora communication time-lapse, Selfridge could solve the problem once and for all, and worry about consequences later.

I think there's a development within Quaritch as well, as the movie progresses. At first, he was satisfied with the infiltration scheme, it giving him the sense of influence and control he wanted, but he grew impatient as Jake Sully dawdled around in the Na'vi settlement. Quaritch is much more of a driving force than the corporation.


* Which also challenges the alleged "all humans are evil" message of the movie. Quaritch is the only person in the movie who needs to be evil for this plot to work out.
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Old 1st December 2010, 06:47 PM   #255 (permalink)
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Re: Avatar (2009)

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* Which also challenges the alleged "all humans are evil" message of the movie. Quaritch is the only person in the movie who needs to be evil for this plot to work out.
The movie's message wasn't really "all humans are evil." It was "blind corporate acquisition is evil." Cameron makes clear in the DVD's extra material that he was commenting on the process whereby powerful organizations/governments encroach on indigenous people, forcing them from their homes in order to rape the local area of whatever resource they desire in the most immediately cost-effective way possible.

The game of "blind corporate acquisition" doesn't even require evil people. It only requires people in power who are willing to do the corporations' bidding, no matter who gets stepped on. Always, they can provide some rationale for their actions: This is what I'm paid for; I have to satisfy my bosses/the stakeholders; We need this material for the good of Mankind or whatever; If I don't do it, they'll get someone else who will; The natives can live elsewhere just as easily; The natives are stupid, give them some beads and they're happy; etc. It's usually a sign of obtuseness, ignorance, or greed, but not necessarily evil.

And after all, who thinks of themselves as "evil"? Even Quaritch can justify his actions (It gets the job done, and I can go home rich). That's all you need to make a story like this work.
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