Avatar, The Movie: Mind Blowing Eye Candy

by on December 29, 2009 · 15 comments

in Culture, Environment

avatar film

The family & I headed out to Mission Valley this weekend to catch James Cameron’s latest film, Avatar. We’d seen the previews last month during a 3-D showing of another film (A Christmas Carol) that’d left me wondering if the higher ticket prices ($14.50!) for Hollywood’s latest techo-babble could ever match the hype.

After sitting through all 2 hours and 45 minutes of Avatar, the answer would seem to be yes, at least for this film. Cameron effectively uses the medium to draw the audience into an artificial reality that goes far beyond the usual visual gimmicks employed in 3-D films. Early scenes in the movie are so sensorial that the brain is sometimes tricked into making the viewer experience mild motion sickness. (This passes quickly.) The overwhelming visual imagery will leave the synapses snapping well after the movie ends, however. For several hours after leaving the theater, we all noticed continuing echoes on our perceptions, not unlike the feeling one gets after extended periods of sailing.

avatar-cameronThe storyline (no spoilers here) centers on a future society in which the trickle down tenants of free-market corporatism have triumphed. Space exploration is simply another avenue for corporate profiteering, and the hapless alien race inhabiting the planet Pandora happens to be standing in the way of some mighty fine “natural resources”, ripe for plundering. This techo-corporate futuristic vision draws upon the hopes and dreams of a shattered populace—with Earth’s environment having been largely destroyed—for its shock-troops.

Having said that, the plot is predictable and shallow in the ways Hollywood has mastered over the years. We were entertained, sometimes appalled, but mostly lead to the conclusion that there could be nothing as people that we should think about actually doing to avert this potential reality. A Poul Anderson short story “Call Me Joe” seems to be—although Cameron denies this—the basis for the central character, but fans of “Dancing With Wolves” or of the Ewoks of the Star Wars tree forests on the planet Endora will also find aspects of their fave story-lines woven throughout Avatar.

The movie depicts our descendants as detestable and totally corrupt people bent on the complete destruction of nature. It’s no small irony here that Cameron uses theatrical technology of the latest and greatest kind to depict the eventual defeat of America’s techno-industrial complex by the spears and arrows of the simple blue space aliens. (Come on, you knew the “good guys” were gonna win, didn’t ya?)

avatar- bugIt was a bizarre moment in entertainment history watching an American audience clap for the defeat of our future selves. No doubt foreign audiences will also clap, but with a clearer notion of what they are clapping for than zombified domestic audiences.

Go see Avatar for the eye-candy. And recognize that our perverse relationship with technology and our planet is a big part of the problem that we face in the future, even as you are being wowed.

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar jettyboy December 29, 2009 at 9:08 am

Seems to me the plot was an after thought on this one. The tech was the star. I actually sat mesmerized through most if the movie. As a big tech fan this movie blew my fucking mind. The person I was with actually thought the blue people were actual actors until I explained how they did it. Go to a matinee so the price is reasonable, but if you like sci-fi this is the best in years. (special effects wise).

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avatar Frank Gormlie December 29, 2009 at 10:09 am

I know where you got your avatar!!!

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avatar OB Joe December 29, 2009 at 11:52 am

Sounds like you don’t have to be on drugs to enjoy this si-fi. A rousing endorsement from all so far.

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avatar Shawn Conrad December 30, 2009 at 8:00 am

WTF does this have to do with OB and community issues? This rag is going downhill. Are we getting an update on Tiger Woods and Brittany Murphy tomorrow?

Please refrain from this blogging this garbage. Articles like this are why I do not read main stream media.

Don’t praise immaterial things that have more money than impoverished nations.

I really thought our reporters had more dignity than posting mainstream blabber about multibillion dollar cartoons. Grow up, thanks!

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avatar doug porter December 30, 2009 at 9:36 am

now you’ve really pissed me off: expect daily postings on Britney Spears and Paris Hilton.

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avatar Shawn Conrad December 30, 2009 at 10:52 am

Post video

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avatar lane tobias December 30, 2009 at 9:19 am

i plan on seeing this as a film buff, but i think it is important to note that the cost of this movie could easily balance the city operating budgets of California’s biggest cities….not including Hollywood of course :)

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avatar mr fresh December 30, 2009 at 10:09 am

X17 reports that Tiger Woods is attending rehab in Arizona. A source tells the web site that Woods’ “handlers” compelled him to enter rehab because “they feel that if he blames his cheating on addiction, the public will forgive him.” While the source does not specify what addiction Woods would be seeking treatment for, X17 finds it “obvious” that sex addiction would be at the top of the list.

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avatar Shawn Conrad December 30, 2009 at 10:53 am

I think he is a-dick-ted

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avatar Mary December 30, 2009 at 12:00 pm

Just a note on the cost of movies – the South Bay Drive In in IB is showing Avatar as well. It’s not fancy 3D Imax style, but it is $7 per adult and $1 per child. PLUS you can bring booze and your own snacks, and talk whenever you feel like it. You may even get a little action, depending on who you bring :) Everybody wins.

http://www.southbaydrivein.com/

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avatar Shawn Conrad December 30, 2009 at 12:19 pm

Put the kids in the trunk and save a little $$.

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avatar lane tobias December 31, 2009 at 1:44 pm

As a response to Shawn Conrad’s comment about the motives of posting a review of a mainstream movie, I offer this article about Avatar’s complex, but fairly obvious connection, to “white guilt”. Its interesting. and thought provoking.

http://io9.com/5422666/when-will-white-people-stop-making-movies-like-avatar

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avatar Shawn Conrad January 3, 2010 at 10:42 am

Down with white people and their movie making.

More film like “I’m Gonna Get You Sucka”, thanks!

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avatar Danny Morales December 31, 2009 at 5:43 pm

“Thnx 4D link lane. Now eye know Y LisanOB is so tik’d at Frank. Avatar’s sausage eatn cracker from east county come to lead the O’Bceans…come to think of it *|* like Moses’ bettrn Frank’s anyway.”- U. Wun Dum Pouc

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avatar Sunshine January 3, 2010 at 8:10 pm

Hey Sean, here’s a vid worth watching….G rated, of course, and quite happy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVxe5NIABsI

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