Tuesday, December 29, 2009


Yesterday Dave and I went to see "Avatar," James Cameron's latest movie extravaganza. It's pretty spectacular, though a bit too "shoot-'em-up" for my taste. The sequences at the beginning, when the main character first learns about his new home planet, are really beautiful, with brilliant phosphorescent plants and wild creatures. I would have been happy with a gentler plot that explores that world more thoroughly. But the movie, in a quest for dramatic tension (I suppose), devolves instead into a war story with humans (and especially Marines) being the stereotypical bad guys. I don't disagree that humans mess things up, and I'm certainly suspect of the military and its motives, but this all seems a little shallow and, well, easy. Still, it's worth seeing, just for the incredible digital effects.

It struck me that twenty or thirty years ago this kind of movie would have been animated. This production really does take moviemaking to a whole new level!

(Photo: Harlem, November 2009)


  1. My son is dying to see Avatar. We have very different taste. Sounds like the kind of movie I might walk out of. About as far away from a Zen experience as one could get!

  2. Actually there are some very Buddhist messages in the movie, like the idea of all living things being connected, being one.

    But in the sense that the characters live an alternate reality in a manufactured body, yeah, that's pretty delusional, I suppose! There's lots of violence, too...

  3. So glad to read your review. Sounds like another platform from which we can hate our species. For heaven's sake. Don't we despise ourselves enough already?

  4. I thought of you as I was watching it, Reya -- I knew you'd be discouraged by that. But on the other hand, the main character is human and he's a hero, so I guess there are a few good, "enlightened" members of our species, too!

  5. I have seen the Avatar preview and it doesn't seem like my cup of tea.

    That said, isn't technology amazing?