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AVATAR - The online computery journal thingy of a turtle

Dec. 21st, 2009

08:19 pm - AVATAR

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I loved and hated this movie. The animation was so good I forgot I was watching animation. The worldbuilding pulled me right in... which explains the "hated" part.

Basically... this movie is saying: "Gee, aren't war and imperialism terrible? Look, we'll show you, graphically and violently. Here's a beautiful indigenous culture of tall blue arboreal catpeople who are literally in tune with nature. Now here come the bulldozers and gunships to blast its very core, the gigantic Home Tree, to smithereens! Look at all the blue people you've come to side with, running away terrified and crying out in anguish! Remember 9/11? Kinda like that, except the terrorists are Marines. Now don't you want to see that musclebound macho leatherneck jarhead asshole in charge of the operation get shot up with arrows? Oh, he will, but not before more interminable scenes of him drinking coffee while ordering his goons to tear up more bits of the sentient-world-tree countryside."

I think I'll go see Princess & Frog again tomorrow. Much more my speed.

Comments:

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From:athelind
Date:December 22nd, 2009 03:31 am (UTC)
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Now think of the LAST major SF movie to combine James Cameron, Sigourney Weaver, and Marines. Musclebound Macho Leatherneck Etc. would have been the HEROIC GUY YOU ROOT FOR in that one, without ANY change in his dialogue or characterization.

That's right. This was Aliens from the POV of the Xenomorphs.
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From:kinkyturtle
Date:December 22nd, 2009 06:02 am (UTC)
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Oh yeah!
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From:yakko
Date:December 22nd, 2009 05:33 am (UTC)
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I was really hoping Corporate Guy would get his ass handed to him somehow, but true to life, comeuppance never seems to visit those who deserve it most. >:o(
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From:kinkyturtle
Date:December 22nd, 2009 05:48 am (UTC)
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I like to think he peed his pants at least once at some point. :}
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From:palabrajot
Date:December 22nd, 2009 08:26 am (UTC)
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I dunno, maybe I was just in the right mood for this movie, but I kind of felt that the Colonel was played with sufficient restraint for the role. Even some of the piss-and-vinegar infantrymen could stand in for a few people I've known, military and otherwise.
As to its anti-imperialist overtones, well, they're just as easy for me to buy into, in the face of some truly vulgar history.
Not that Avatar was without cliche. I just got the impression that most of the security forces were shown as simply doing a dirty job, which is why I confess to a guilty but honest laugh of vindication when the huge bundle of explosives rolled back into the plane's cargo bay and smished the poor bastard who was trying to drop it on the target below.

Anyway, now I'm rambling on a matter of taste. Sorry it didn't hit home for you!
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From:kinkyturtle
Date:December 22nd, 2009 08:46 am (UTC)
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Yeah, I guess it's just not on my wavelength. :}
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From:kinkyturtle
Date:December 22nd, 2009 09:13 am (UTC)
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I think it was a case of "I knew there was going to be fighting, but DAMN, this is 9/11 here!"
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From:palabrajot
Date:December 22nd, 2009 07:07 pm (UTC)
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I admit it's a cynical movie, crafted for a cynical chapter of the world. I do take a little pleasure in knowing that it's obviously a mainstream furry movie, and given the numbers it seems to be drawing in, there's bound to be at least one uptight and cynical twentysomething who will still have nothing to do with those queer furries, but is already working on some elaborate Na'vi fanfic with gay Werewolf crossover potential. ^.^

Not that there's anything wrong with that!
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From:nefaria
Date:December 22nd, 2009 03:37 pm (UTC)
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A lot of reviewers had the same major issue with the story that you did. Putting a message in a movie is one thing, beating the audience over the head with a sledgehammer about it is something else. I think I'll wait until it comes out on DVD.
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From:palabrajot
Date:December 22nd, 2009 07:08 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, a lot of people who haven't seen the movie have some surprisingly strong opinions about it. ^.^
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From:nefaria
Date:December 22nd, 2009 08:30 pm (UTC)
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I said reviewers, people who have actually seen the movie. And it's not always necessary to experience something first-hand in order to decide whether you like it or not.
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From:palabrajot
Date:December 22nd, 2009 09:48 pm (UTC)
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I concede that it's possible to form an opinion on something without having tried it; people do it all the time. But I could spend the better part of an afternoon deconstructing Avatar's philosophies and politics and end up with a stack of dry specs which would amount to me opting out of the movie, as I don't like being preached at either, and I don't care for oversimplification of complex issues.
As it happens, though, my decision to check it out was entirely uninformed and impulsive, and I was treated to a grand cinematic experience which by the time I exited the theater, left me feeling displaced in ways I haven't felt in a movie experience since I was a child. And I think you do yourself a disservice by waiting for it to come out on DVD.
But if that's worth nothing, I can say Ebert liked it, and he's a jaded old mofo like me. ^.^
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From:timmowarner
Date:December 22nd, 2009 07:18 pm (UTC)
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I loved almost the entirety of Avatar, but yeah, there was more than once that I thought to myself "This is REALLY heavy handed."

But the characters really did it for me. I thought they were all terrific and believable.

Edited at 2009-12-22 07:18 pm (UTC)
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From:octan
Date:December 22nd, 2009 07:55 pm (UTC)
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I've heard it described as "a remake of FernGully." Sounds like that's putting it lightly.
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From:wbwolf
Date:December 22nd, 2009 09:13 pm (UTC)
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Does this mean there's an annoying bat voiced by Robin Williams somewhere in the film?
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From:kinkyturtle
Date:December 22nd, 2009 10:43 pm (UTC)
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Actually, now that I think about it, the setting and characters in this movie are sort of like Ferngully... if you take all the "annoying" out of that movie and replace it with "totally AWESOME".

...Now stick a 9/11-scale event in the middle of it, and you've got Avatar.
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From:hartree
Date:December 28th, 2009 12:33 am (UTC)

My belated take on it:

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Finally saw it. Was visually beautiful and great popcorn fantasy. You just have to shrug and let go of the ham-handed preaching.

I'll probably go see it in the theater at least once more.

Great in some ways, flawed in others, lots of food for thought. (I've got the long version in my own journal.)
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From:kinkyturtle
Date:December 28th, 2009 01:59 am (UTC)

Re: My belated take on it:

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I probably wouldn't mind seeing it again, now that I know what to expect.
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