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Avatar was gorgeous. I knew the 3D was going to be good from the water droplets in vacuum. I was thrilled when, despite all the aerial sequences, I realized that there hadn't been a single vertical drop shot, nothing to induce freefalling vertigo mid-movie. For that, it is not only well-done, but considerate and accessible to a wider audience.

Two things threw me out of the movie along the way. The first was freezing cold hands. I know that 200 people (or so) in one movie theater generate a certain amount of heat, but not enough to counteract the air conditioning. Neither was it that the mall's heat wasn't working. If it hadn't been, it wouldn't've been open at all, since it was perhaps 5°F outside at the time.

The second was a line in the movie itself. I knew from reviews that the plot was generic and cliché but, after several months of training the main character to be fully one of "The People", it was a real blow when his life mentor told him that now that he was fully A Person, he would have his pick of females to mate with. For life. Just like how the Na'avi pair with their dragonalikes for life. I guess female Na'avi aren't really part of The People then?

Minor note: Interesting that we never see the Na'avi eating. We see them hunting meat, but not cooking or consuming it. There is native fruit and agricultural practices which work on this planet, but we only see them in use on the perimeters of the human's base camp. The main character eats one piece of fruit, and that given to him by a fellow human. If the main tribe cultivate fields, they are not within several miles of where they life.

P.S. The movie made me think of Miyazaki's work a lot - the association of environmentalism and the natural world fighting back with the clincher, floating mountains.


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 2nd, 2010 10:10 pm (UTC)
I think the second point is partly (maybe entirely) countered by his statement shortly after that, that the female must also choose him.
Overall, the Na'vi society is presented as quite egalitarian, even matriarchal (whether the, effectively, high priestess is ultimately in charge is unclear - she seems more of an eminence grise than an obvious leader).
Jan. 3rd, 2010 03:32 am (UTC)
Interesting. That's not at all how I'd interpreted his line. I read it as being "tribal custom dictates that the man chooses" and him responding that, in effect, he's a civilized human and humans give their mates a choice in the matter, unlike the native tribe. Otherwise it's a bit of a "As you know, Bob" line.

Especially since there was already that background info given by Weaver's character that she is destined to be partnered/mated with the young native male character. (I'm really not doing well on remembering character names right now!)
Jan. 2nd, 2010 11:10 pm (UTC)
Any chance this could go behind a cut? I haven't seen it yet and an accidental skim of this looks rather spoilery, even if it's not main spoilers :-) Thanks!
Jan. 3rd, 2010 03:34 am (UTC)
I tried to make this sufficiently vague and not much related to major plot points, other than ones that would be obvious from a trailer. But I can cut it.
(Deleted comment)
Jan. 3rd, 2010 03:33 am (UTC)
There's a chance that nicolai is right and I did misinterpret the line in the context of the film; but I doubt I'm going to see it again to find out.
Feb. 3rd, 2010 10:47 pm (UTC)
Having just seen the film, I have to agree with nicolai; the choosing is mutual - the scene under the tree makes it clear later.
Jan. 3rd, 2010 09:58 am (UTC)
Likewise put off by reported racism and sexism...
Jan. 3rd, 2010 05:56 am (UTC)
I haven't seen the movie yet, but I seldom think of any line of dialog as actually describing an sf world. I think of it as a line in the script that could easily be changed. Perhaps out of context, the context having been left on the cutting room floor. Perhaps a mistake that somehow didn't get corrected.

In a movie like this, or the original Star Wars, or other action special effects movies, I think of the pictures as being the reality, and the dialog very ephemeral.
Jan. 3rd, 2010 08:57 pm (UTC)
I agree. Don't get hung up on the dialogue. Each visual treat in this film tells a thousand words in itself!
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )