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PostPosted: 25 Dec 2009, 21:33 
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James Cameron
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Storyline: 7.5
Suspense: 7
Humor: 6
Originality: 5
Overall: 6.375

Rated: PG-13

Comments:
Initial Reaction:
Methinks James Cameron's been playing a lil too much 40k. Seriously, the movie basically WAS proto-Imperium of Man. And I'm not even into 40k. We have powerarmour with chainsawblade machine guns being operated a by business-military conglomerate hellbent on taking everything for a planet which has been stripped bare of any and all natural resources, reduced to a ecumenopolis for a burgeoning population.

Alright, so plotwise, it was decent. I wouldn't rate it super high, but it certainly wasn't bad either. However, the premise was, as TV Troped would tell us: "Older than radio." Forced conversion and/or relocation of an indigenous population because they are viewed as "primitive" or "savage" and because their most sacred land just so happens to be smack-dab on top of the most valued thing in the galaxy (conveniently named "unobtanium," sound familiar?). It was the Chinese's mentality, it was the Mongol's mentality, it was the Portuguese's mentality, and certainly the Spanish's, British's, and American's mentality. Need I go on? Still, I suppose in this aspect it does make a powerful statement about the human nature to essentially not change. People were inherently bad then, are now, and will be in 2154 apparently.

Special effects? They were quite good. I'm not going to say flawless, because, well, they weren't. But they were very good. They did tend to stand a more prominent role, but managed to come close to Michael Bay's Special Effects Dominated movies without actually reaching the mark. It tread a fine line, but I'm willing to give it the benefit of the doubt.

The main character was very very likeable, and was also very very stupid. When you're being tested to see if your brain can handle being live-streamed to another brain in TWO ways without killing you, it would probably do you well to listen to the nice and pleasant doctors who asked nicely but firmly for you to stay on the cot. Also, literally everything on the planet's a frikkin' alien species! What kind of moron reaches out and touches everything he possibly can? Even the sentient species, who are armed, while he is not. I'm also curious as to just how expensive those avatar bodies were, seeing as they waved Jake Sully through with absolutely no training, no mental aptitude tests, and very little background research. Seems to me that they'd have to be worth Pandora's entire cache of unobtanium if they were willing to risk him shooting the thing through the foot because he couldn't figure out how to work the new features, or go berserk because of the "weirding-out syndrome." And if you think I'm making that last part up, look up some information on patients in real life who have received limb transplants. Your brain does crazy stuff when things are attached to it that it didn't grow up with. Combine this with the fact that Jake obviously had some desperation-level issue with the loss of his legs, and you've got a serious problem on your hands.

However, I did say the main character was likeable. And that he was. Despite his above-average stupidity level (And for a marine too! Fo' shame James Cameron. How do you explain his making it through Venezuela with only a bullet lodged in his spine?), he was generally normal. He spoke slang, did not learn at super-speed, and was definitely not overly logical. He had flaws. When considering the points of the preceding paragraph, it seems he would have developed more serious psychoses, but dismissing that, what he did develop was an addiction to the second life he began living--and that's completely understandable. It was better in nearly all aspects than his former one. It's the same thing we see with WoW and Second Life internet addictions. And yet, he wasn't T-totally insane. That's comforting.

I have to say the most interesting thing was the science though. Now, this too was not flawless--far from it. The powerarmour for instance, was a load of crap. It wouldn't have operated. I won't go into this unless someone asks, but trust me, it just wouldn't have. The floating mountains? Also crap. Any amount of magnetism that could pull that off would be doing all kinds of weird crap to the magnetic shield of the planet (is that why everything was phosphorescent?), and the heliplanes would never EVER have flown there. Period.

The Na'vi were a tad disappointing. Take every group of people that's been stereotyped as savage/primitive and smush them together. Now give them loads of growth hormone and paint them blue. You have now created a Na'vi.

The biology? This was the interesting part. Ok, so basically the entire planet is one gigantic living body. Every brain operating on the planet, plant, animal or Na'vi (No, that's not a LoZ reference, even if they were blue, did fly, stated the obvious from time to time, and would occasionally make annoying noise--oh my god...) make up the one larger planet-brain. This is cool. Got that? Now, what makes it cooler is this: Alright, so if the entire planet is the body, that means the animals are like the free-moving cells and proteins within the body. Free moving cells and proteins come in a few varieties, but some of the most prevalent proteins are antibodies, and some of the most prevalent free cells are phagocytes. Hormones sometimes help direct these agents of the immune system. Hormones are ultimately directed by the Autonomic Nervous System in the brain and spinal cord. Those earlier words, "antibodies" and "phagocytes," words are code for "search" and "destroy," respectively. Now we enter our Prototype-model for the Imperium of Man, The RDA Corporation, and their airships and powerarmoured ground units. Hey guess what guys, you are BACTERIUM and VIRUSES. Do you know what happens to bacterium and viruses in a body? They are attacked and destroyed with everything in the entire body. That means that those humans are being attacked by the entire planet. Wow. Nice job guys. Nice job.

All things considered, this movie was the most clichéd movie that I actually liked. And I liked it quite a bit. It's a nice balance between slow and fast, cheesy and serious, deep and shallow, and anything else one could ask for. If you're looking for an action ride, then this is a must see. It's satisfaction lies in it's broadness, there's really something for everyone to enjoy, even if each area isn't explored as deeply as it could have been.

Also, I can't end without saying this, though I don't know if non-Kentuckians will get it or not:
Pandora: Where being one of the Blue People is a good thing.



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PostPosted: 04 Jan 2010, 00:58 
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With a more solid conclusion edited in, I think this would be fine.



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PostPosted: 05 Jan 2010, 10:40 
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Edit'd. Short, but one at least exists now. Let me know if it still needs more.



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