Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Avatar: "Dances With Ewoks"

First of all, I went to see the movie with the family last night in 3D and it was great, a real trip -- immersive, enjoyable, beautiful, exciting and a lot of fun, go see it. I pretty much checked my brain at the door and just thought of it as an amusement park theme thrill ride, and it did extremely well at that level.

The blog title is a mostly tongue in cheek joke -- someone else on FB had mentioned the "Dances With Wolves" connection and when they were in the forest retreating, the Ewoks came to mind. There is some truth to the pangs of it being a really good ride, but it IS quite long for the volume of  insanely shallow plot while trotting out new effects. I think it leaves an "ontological hangover".

This isn't a movie that I'd worry about "spoilers" -- it is the all formula all the time, good vs evil, princess kisses frog, earth mother vs war god father, buddy bonding, technology vs nature, etc. with a blatant attempt at being a "Wizard of Oz" (color), Star Wars" (special effects), Toy Story (all computer generated imagery), etc  blockbuster that changes the industry for the digital / 3D technology. It may, but it seems a bit "tarted up" in trying.

My stream of consciousness:
  • Must we ALWAYS suspend tactical awareness in odd ways? Humans can't breath the air on the planet. Your forces have to break off close contact with the core human base because of strong difference of operational objectives/outlook. You are willing to "go native". You have a group of "natives" at your disposal. Take control of the air supply in some innovative way for gods sake! You only have to put up with pompous ass old marines for a max of 4 min if they won't negotiate on air issues!
  • I think "We're not in Kansas anymore" is a bit too much of a wishful reference to Wizard of Oz being the first film of the color eara -- 3D was interesting, but I think it is "always" going to be a high stakes tech two edged sword on the border of "immersive" vs "intrusive". It isn't color.
  • OK, so we quit paying attention to religion, philosophy and have ditched western culture for the "noble savage". How does a guy worth over $100 million spend $300+ million on popcorn munching entertainment that supposedly disses the war god Yahweh "man has dominion" material / technical model for the eco green nurturing earth mother mixed with Klingon warrior uses the force model with a straight face? Only in America circa early 21st century. Oh, and the main character makes this transition while inhabiting a bio-engineered amalgam of human and alien DNA linked up by some sort of MRI / wifi from the Star Trek school of technology. Maybe there is a meta humor statement here of this is what happens when any concept of "the good" or "the sacred" is forcefully removed from the Prometheus / Pandora / etc world of myth? I mean, he named the planet "Pandora" -- he must have SOME understanding of mythology. 
  • The witch goddess psuedo orgy pagan transfer of human to "golem" TWICE (attempted) was just a bit much. Yes, yes, we got it -- western civilization murdered mother earth. Father god = evil. Mother god = good. Mother god get angry, mother god kill just like daddy. Mother god better though -- use spears and arrows and have swaying tail and chanting at home rather than nasty polluting boy toys with smoke, fire, video games and enough comfort to drink your coffee while mass murdering. Those men are all alike -- and no doubt they would waste time watching football on Sunday rather than tending the flowers too!
I really don't need to be reminded "this is just entertainment", I did have fun DURING the film. Is there really any reason to go QUITE as far out on the "noble savage vs technology" theme?. MUST we have TOTAL boobs on the side of technology (the compound reminded me of Jurrasic Park)? Is it REALLY "all or nothing"? The Pandora planet is 100% nurturing for those that are adapted -- with luminescent plants for the night, giant leaves to enfold you in secure sleep, and lovely creatures for you to "plug in" in order to have all the high speed thrills and spills of your earthly atv, hang glider, mountain climb, etc.Come to mommy and you can have everything if you just "grow up" like mommy says is best. There there now, mommy can provide with just a few simple rituals of "joining". So much better than awful "separation".

Damn -- daddy threw us out of Eden. If ONLY we were lucky enough to have a mommy god,  it would have been so much better! At least we got to play with all our nature destroying daddy tech computers and build us one hell of an amusement film making mommy look nice while we are destroying the planet!