Thursday, March 11, 2010

Thoughts on Avatar

So I finally saw Avatar. I wasn't surprised my much, partically because I waited so long that general plot points have seeped into the general consciousness and, well, what happens isn't all that surprising. It's even less surprising to people who like the way Cameron directs and have seen all of his previous movies (OK, not the one about pirhana). Avatar is just another James Cameron movie -- spectacle and well-directed action sequences and quick pace and intense characters on all sides. Nobody looks for deep meaning in Terminator 2 or True Lies or even The Abyss (my favorite), for that matter. Theorize away on how the Nav'i are like today's iPod generation or how the portrait of the armed forces aligns with the post-Iraq experience, but don't get too bent out of shape, because at its heart it's about the whirl and creation, not the screenplay or the underlying themes.

I did like the portrayal of scientists (almost ingratiating at times) and thought the way 20th-century labware kept looking the same several centuries later was kind of funny. I don't think Kimax bottles will still be in use that far in the future, but hey, who knows? The world itself was superficially and anatomically interesting and a good example of what people can come up with when they spend a lot of time on it. I do wonder if such creatures could actually develop and how. I'm more convinced of convergence than divergence, but that's my own philosophical blinders talking. (They do still bleed red, which means iron is still used for oxygen transport -- convergence!!)

Some local preacher has gone on record calling this movie "satanic." I think he misspoke, he MUST have meant it was "stoic" in the ancient Greek sense. (All life is connected, seek balance in all things, etc.) On Mars Hill, Paul spoke to and challenged both stoic and epicurean philosophers. He didn't call them satanic, he found what they agreed on and then brought the Jewish messiah into it. If you're going to name your church Mars Hill you should emulate Paul in this, I'd think. Ok, I'll get off the soapbox now.

One last thing: you've got floating mountains. A.) How? B.) Why don't you use THEM as weapons in the final fight scene? I was waiting and waiting for a mountain to squish a helicopter and it never happened. James Cameron, you know where my blog is if you want advice for your next movie.

4 comments:

Patrick said...

floating mountains: i thought magnetism from unobtainium...

BenMc said...

That would explain the jamming of the instruments as well. And it would increase the helicopter-squishing potential. I'd be for it.

Another thing: perhaps unobtainium can be used to explain the flying creatures which are probably too big to actually fly (much less with a human rider). But if they can float like the rocks then you have a nice coherent explanation.


Trust the chemist to want to study unobtainium ...

Eric said...

I'm sure I'll get around to seeing it at some point.

As far as the armed forces portrayal, Cameron hasn't help his case with remarks he's given at various viewings.

DerekW said...

A quick comment on your blog, seems to me (having only seen the trailer online a moment ago), that the movie is more about the culture of avatars in games such as WoW and Final fantasy that satisfy our need to escape to a world where we have extraordinary powers (like walking). Wondering why we have that need (as a sometimes player of WoW myself :). Do we really want to make a difference but feel it is futile in our complex world? Can we capitalize on that somehow? Looking forward to your blog on that one ;).