Spoiler Alert: If you haven't seen Avatar, see it before you read this. Expect to hate it so you can see it with low expectations. I did. Thank goodness.
We watched Avatar last night, at home on our 36" TV, sans 3D, HD or the IMAX® experience. I expected to yawn through it. Worse, I was pretty sure I'd actually dislike it. Intensely.
For starters, I don't like James Cameron. I can't think of a reason why other than that he appears to be an egomaniac. Why I would dislike a fellow egomaniac is beyond me. You'd think we'd try to stick together. I've thoroughly enjoyed his other movies: Titanic, The Terminator, The Abyss, Aliens and True Lies, which was filmed in the Florida Keys (some of my friends had bit parts) and proved he has a wicked sense of humor.
But Avatar. Could a movie survive such a buildup, then survive a rep for smashing all box
office records to date? Survive being called "Pocahontas with blue people"?
Besides, any movie that has to rely on gimmicks must not be very good
to begin with, right?
"It is hard to fill a cup that is already full." ~ Moat
Imagine my surprise when he had me at "When I was lying there in the VA hospital…" I was hooked from frame one. A good solid story told with an unbelievable imagination. The plants, the bugs, the people, the weapons, the animals, all fantastic, wondrously exotic. Whoa.
The animation was wicked good: expressions, attention to detail (Jake pulling at his new thong), movements, from batting at an angel to riding an Ikran, perfection. I was as thoroughly drawn into this as into any movie I've ever seen.
And I believed it. Even though it's complete fiction drawn with an imagination run amok, the action and characters still have to proceed along believable lines within the boundaries of the framework set forth. Avatar did not disappoint. I was afraid the moment would come when I'd have to throw up my hands and say, "That couldn't happen." Well, that didn't happen.
"When people are sitting on shit that you want, you make them your
enemies, and then you can justify taking it away from them!"
~ Jarhead Jake Sully
Maybe Avatar hooked me because it's such a solidly anti-war movie. If there's one thing I would change about U.S. politics today, I'd pull us out of all entanglements and bring our tribe home. Every single one.
As I was researching the movie, looking for quotes, photos, etc., I came across a few blog posts, comments and forums. Apparently, some people feel Cameron did a disservice to our troops, depicting our military as relishing the battle. But of course they do. They must. Otherwise, how could they stomach what they are doing over there? Is there a Colonel Quaritch commanding our troops? You betcha. Likely more than one. If colonels and sergeants couldn't muster a righteous enthusiasm in their soldiers, who'd get out of bed in the morning?
One of my favorite bits from the movie is the Omaticaya greeting: "I see you." Not like I see you standing in front of me, but I see into you, I understand you. I get you. Exquisite. What a concept. If the rest of us would take a moment to see each other, we'd live in peace.
And Happy Pi Day! I'm spending it watching Avatar. At least one more time.