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AVATAR the movie


M1A1TC

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Whenever there are 'elite' (using the word in the broad layman's sense) Caucasian-looking soldiers on the good-guy side in a sci-fi context, they're always called marines, whether the army they're part of is a more-or-less direct descendant of the US military (United Nations Space Command Marines in Halo, United States Colonial Marines in Aliens; the Mobile Infantry in Starship Troopers, while not called marines, are quite marine-like in their ethos, espirit de corps, and tactical capabilities) or is so far in the future as to be only the vaguest vestige of any 20th-century 'Terran' military (Space Marines in Warhammer 40,000). It's almost a sci-fi convention (albeit a second-tier one). It dates at least as far back as 1937 with the "Galactic Marines" in E.E. Smith's Lensman series.

Besides, nations other than the US call their 'elite' ship-borne infantry "marines" too, right?

You mean that the main hero could be russian spetsnaz or something? Have you seen the movie?

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Well, saw the movie last night in 3D and was pretty impressed. I too also thought the movie was a littl too dark with the glasses. Looked like the sunglasses were dimming the vibrancy of the movie, but guess I got use to it after awhile. Found myself periodically taking the glasses off to renew that "wow kool 3D" grin when putting them back on.

The overall story is nothing original though. No real surprises either, very predictable movie. Nevertheless it's still a very solid movie, a great intro to the new digital 3D format.

Now having said that, have they made the porn version yet? We all know whenever a movie is such a huge commercial success the porn industry tries to get in on it. :D

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You mean that the main hero could be russian spetsnaz or something? Have you seen the movie?

No. That's why I specified that I was using "elite" in the broad layman's sense of the word; i.e, not referring to actually elite troops like special forces and such. Besides, are Spetsnaz troops called "marines"?

No, I haven't seen Avatar. But I don't need to have seen it, since I was merely pointing out that "marines" are to be found throughout sci-fi whenever there are well-armed, well-trained, and Caucasian-looking soldiers on the good-guy side of the story.

On a similar-ish note, I wouldn't be surprised if the bad-guy colonel were played by a British actor. Then again, maybe Hollywood may be starting to get over the bad-guys-are-played-by-fellows-with-foreign-accents thing.

At the risk of sounding like a conspiracy theorist: My observations have led me to the conclusion that no movie gets made -- or, rather, receives sufficient funding -- without an axe to grind. I surmise that if the "green" movement had never come into being and had not built up the policy-shaping momentum that it has in the past couple years, Avatar (insofar as the work on the film began way back in the mid 1990s) would not have received sufficient funding.

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Besides, nations other than the US call their 'elite' ship-borne infantry "marines" too, right?

Usually they're referred to as sea infantry or naval infantry. Examples:

Spanish: Infantería de Marina (1537)

French: Troupes de marine (1622)

Russian: Morskaya Pekhota (1705)

Quite logical: infantry troops stationed on ships.

Meanwhile, British: Royal Marines (1664). Marine what? Mammals? Sorry, human isn't one, we're landlubbers by nature. They're not even required to be members of the royal family. Clearly the name was only meant for confusion!

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...

and i dont think AVATAR got a too strong political message. i mean you can see it as a political message but only if "you" think yourself thats what the US is really doing.

if you dont think that, its just a plot evolving around total exploitation of nature, not more not less. if you want to see something you will find it, sometimes more easy as in avatar or not so easy, but if you look hard enough you will find.

That pretty much sums it up for me too.

In the movie, there were a lot of characters involved in the mission to go to Pandora and the whole thing was arranged by a corporation, not the military. Still, there are some viewers who are focusing on Marines being painted in a bad light. I even heard today that there are some who are calling on all military personnel to boycott the movie. Pfft.

Of course some of the main characters in the movie are ex-military, otherwise the invasion wouldn't be believable. Also, the 'hero' of a Hollywood blockbuster of this kind can't be a pencil-pusher - that's not very sexy. As you said, if you look hard enough, you'll find something.

anyways i think the local military commander was a little overdone. the acting was fine and all that, sure he was told to "overact" it that way and it was deliberate, but well that was the most annoying thing for me in avatar. this character could have been so much better if he didnt acted like in a comic book film remake, and actually noone else did, only the marines commander was like this.

I couldn't agree more. They really emphasized his character as the protagonist. Again, it's more appealing to do that rather than to make a faceless corporation the protagonist.

For me, the movie stressed the importance of caring for our planet. Throughout the entire movie there was a huge focus on how the Na'vi treated their planet with respect. And, of course, the reason for humans being on their planet was that Earth was dying. It really has little to do with the military, in my opinion.

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Did anybody see it both in 2D and 3D?

I have decided to watch it once more, and I am torn between a traditional 2D show and a Real3D version. I *know* that I felt even the IMAX show was too dark, but on the other hand 2D I can have at home when the DVD comes out.

Do you have any input on this?

Best regards,

Thomm

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Well, I for one saw it in 2D (I had the choice of different cinemas, the other was 3D, but I just wasn't interested in the 3D glasses, thought they'd give me a headache) and the 2D version looked fine to me.

However, I knew how it was going to end after the first half hour, and also by then I knew who were the baddies and the goodies, too. All in all a simple story, just like a western.

And while I watched it I kept on thinking of westerns. I think it was those horses with the ant-eater heads that did it for starters. And then by the time there was the 'cattle stampede' in the battle scene (with those hammerhead rhino thingys) I was sold on the idea that this was just a big budget sci-fi western.

All in all a couple of hours of entertaining fun was Avatar, and if while watching it I thought of any 'themes' of any political import I tended to think of our Australian aborigines, North American Indians and all other indigenous people worldwide displaced by westerners in search of 'gold'. However, I still mostly thought of it as a western.

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My father saw Avatar some days ago. The guy is almost 70, and told me proudly that he kept dodging the missiles that flew out of the screen towards him!!!! This from the same guy who fell asleep when he took me to the cinema to watch "The Empire Strikes Back"!

No wonder that they are making a boatload of money!

Best regards,

Thomm

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Still haven't seen the film yet but I did watch a documentary about how they made the film using movement capture techniques that for once captured facial expressions and in turn converted all this real-time into digital. Very impressive and indicative of where cinema tech is headed. It does make me want to see the film when I can make time to do so.

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So I heard a bit on the news today that apparently there is a number of people who are suicidal after watching the movie, because they are heartbroken they cannot live the unspoiled lives of the Naavi in the movie.

Personally, I think these people are naive idiots. If they magically got their wish, lived in the forest, bowhunted for their food, and let "their mother" planet take care of them, I suspect the majority of these headcases would be dead within a month from illness and malnutrition.

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If they magically got their wish, lived in the forest, bowhunted for their food, and let "their mother" planet take care of them, I suspect the majority of these headcases would be dead within a month from illness and malnutrition.

Certainly. However, the survivors might constitute a stronger, healthier race. If they survive...

Michael

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Thought the visuals were amazing (watched in 3d), but the story sucked. I just thought it was insanely cheezy, and usually I have a pretty high tolerance for that (love Star Wars for example, the original trilogy that is)

Pretty surprised I didn't like the story more too since I usually like Cameron's movies a lot... Terminator 2 and Aliens are two of my favorite movies.

And yeah the political message kinda bugged me too, not because I don't agree with it--I do-- but because it always pisses me off when movies have overt political undertones to them. I remember 300 ticking me off about that too with the whole "fighting for democracy" spiel.

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Update: Avatar got Golden Globes for best drama and best director.

Best regards,

Thomm

Not having seen the film myself I'm hardly an authority, but all the reviews and comments I have read so far about the flimsy plot development do make me question the film's selection for the GG for drama...unless the GG is just another industry mechanism of mutual m@sturb@tion...NOH! TELL ME IT CAN'T BE SO!

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When they get preachy on any subject, not just politics, it's time to switch channels. It's like when a comedian says, "But seriously, folks...". No, that's not what I came here for.

Michael

Well I disagree about comedians, but then again I love political comedy. Might be because I'm a fairly left leaning libertarian and so usually agree with them :P

I've yet to see a right wing comedian, at least a funny one.

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Well I disagree about comedians...

Are you sure you got the reference? You see, back in, say, the 1950s it was not uncommon for a standup comedian on tv to get to a point near the end of his time slot to say, "But seriously, folks..." and then launch into a spiel for his favorite charity. This was probably well-intentioned and sincere, but it did tend to sour the event in my young mind.

Anyway, that was the point I was trying to get across.

BTW, I think I agree with you about no good right wing comedians, unless you want to make an exception for Churchill. But then, I suppose he should be classified more as a wit than a comedian.

Michael

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I got the DVD of Torchwood series 3 (Children of Earth) for Xmas. There is just no comparison with something as simplistic and moralistic as Avatar, despite both of them having their cheesy moments.

I think the test is whether the 3d was removed and the eye candy turned down just a little, would Avatar be as 'classic' as it has become?

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