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Avatar – I loved it… SURPRISE!

March 15, 2010

I’ve heard from many friends and reviews that the effects were spectacular but the story tanked.

Pffffffttttt!  I think it rocked.

One blogster who shall remain nameless likened it to Pocahontas (presumably Disney’s).  I can’t agree.  Pocahontas was a politically correct message pasted shamelessly and artlessly onto an existing story-from-history (with so many licenses taken it bares no resemblance to the real story).

In Avatar, the environmentalist message was organic to the story, and as wacko as the conspiracy enviro-gurus are, stewardship of our world is a good message.  Every time we mess with the environment, we discover everything is linked, so we should probably heed the warning.

I love a story that winks at itself, turns in on itself, and crafts an intricate, detailed world.  This delivered in spades.  From the wink-wink-nudge-nudge of the 2001 and Aliens fusion (topped with Sigorny Weaver delivering the “wink”), this movie had me.  Casting a wide net, Cameron delivered verisimilitude by incorporating elements from Christianity, Islam, Native American, and computers.  He incorporated classic sci-fi elements from putting them on a moon (allowing beautiful skyscapes), parallel evolution (not the bother to me that it is to some); non-human sizes handled consistently, and just plain fun stuff.

Some things I didn’t like; the blue people had red blood… don’t think blue things can be iron based; don’t like making Marines bad guys; perhaps a bit too black and white; a few other things here and there.

But did the moralizing bother me?  No.  What we did to the Indians was reprehensible and we need reminders.  Is it analogous to the war on terror?  No.  Not even remotely.  The goals are different, the enemy is different, and while there are some parallels, they don’t hold up.  But does it ask us to look at our present situation with fresh eyes?  It does, and I applaud that.  My perception is unchanged, but I welcome the prompt to regularly re-examine it.

And I want one of those bird things. 🙂

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