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[personal profile] indecision
OH MY GOD I JUST WENT TO SEE AVATAR.

after being browbeat for ages by certain peoples who shall remain nameless.

it's so hilarious i couldn't even find it in myself to be remotely offended. IT'S ACTUALLY CALLED UNOBTANIUM. LIKE, REALLY I THOUGHT IT WAS AN INTERNET PRANK, BUT NO.

i got up at ten am to watch this! PANTS. PANTS I SAY!

can't they just re-screen titanic? now that was entertainment.

cm

Date: 2010-02-26 09:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mumblemutter.livejournal.com
!!! what, omg i didn't mean you! your frowny face makes me sad what did i dooo?

um, possibly watching something at ten am+my inability to wear glasses without getting a headache+the 3D not really working=me cranky and just wanting to go home?

Date: 2010-02-26 10:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mumblemutter.livejournal.com
oh okay i just went back and i saw your post - i'm glad you enjoyed it! just for me, re: learning about what's going on in the world right now, hrm. i kind of think that if you're the type of person already inclined to care about that you would? but if you weren't then it would likely be an excellent movie to feel guilty about over what happened to indigenous people centuries ago rather than considering that it's happening right now? possibly i'm missing the parallels though because i'm really behind on current events?

(i'm also having a really cranky day, as i said. i watched wolfman as well, and spent the whole time wishing it were over. i feel it is not a terrible movie, and yet.)

*stealth hug*

Date: 2010-02-26 02:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] anansie-s.livejournal.com
Haha no no I'm sorry I didn't mean to make you upset. Although stealth hugs are cool.

The story does have big flaws for sure, IMO mostly related to the white honky saviour you guys mention below. I just loved the earth philosophy stuff so much that I overlooked that for a while. And hee, I saw it in regular old 2D *is a luddite and does not approve of these new fangled inventions*
Edited Date: 2010-02-26 04:03 pm (UTC)

Date: 2010-02-26 05:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mumblemutter.livejournal.com
And hee, I saw it in regular old 2D *is a luddite and does not approve of these new fangled inventions*

i feel i should have watched it in 2D as well!

re: the white honky savior. i mean at this point it's like, every hollywood movie ever there is really not much to say about it that hasn't been said before. and i mean, from an outsider's perspective, if i watch a chinese movie i'd expect a chinese person to save the world, even if is IS sci-fi, we all need to insert ourselves into the narrative in order for it to make sense, so you go ahead and do that, james cameron.

i do wish the movie had taken a more creative approach to the ending though, without resorting to the typical hollywood final battle. too many deaths on both sides for a movie purportedly about loving the earth and all its creatures? hollywood blockbusters take death far too lightly - to me the na'vi culture is irrevocably changed for the worse due to what happened to them, and it's better than being wiped off/chased off their land? but it's not a cause for celebration in any way. but then again, the na'vi were given to killing all sky-people who happened to wander by as a general rule, so i guess they're not an entirely peaceful culture? just in certain ways.

Date: 2010-02-26 06:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] anansie-s.livejournal.com
Mm, yeah. It's just that given the message I felt they were trying to convey at the core, they could have cut back on the white-guy machismo and had him as a lens, but not their ultimate saviour. It still would have worked.

And yeah I agree fully about taking the deaths and the destruction much, much too lightly. The destruction of their home was horrendous and yep, not something a community like that could ever recover from. Also I really disliked the fact that the marine dude's nemesis (the guy who was going to become the next chief, I suppose, after whatsername's father died) had to die (presumably leaving that leadership position open for guess who!)

the na'vi were given to killing all sky-people who happened to wander by as a general rule, so i guess they're not an entirely peaceful culture? just in certain ways.

I suppose so, it depends on what 'peaceful' means. A hunter/gatherer culture *can't* be 'peaceful' according to the modern/industrial definition of that word. But I think that it's pretty rational, within a world-view in which nature balances itself, to kill alien species who come in as aggressive predators who destroy important and sacred things. So. If it had been any other way it would have been so offensive in terms of idealising indigenous cultures as peaceful( ie clueless/kind of stupid).

Date: 2010-02-26 07:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mumblemutter.livejournal.com
Also I really disliked the fact that the marine dude's nemesis (the guy who was going to become the next chief, I suppose, after whatsername's father died) had to die (presumably leaving that leadership position open for guess who!)

oh seriously! and ahaha he was such a stereotypical like, warrior dude who had to be taken down a notch in the face of the clearly more superior outsider. i mean, again i feel it's funny more than anything else, you can count the cliches as you watch! i literally LOLed when i found out she was the chief's daughter! <3

i agree about the hunter/gatherer culture being capable of violence as well - with regards to the na'vi: yes. but i guess i don't really look as a culture practising non-killing as a general rule as clueless/stupid? vulnerability/being unwilling to fight back is not a sign of weakness unless you look at it from the point of view from an aggressor. but you're right, that's not how the na'vi were portrayed, so it makes sense in that context.

Date: 2010-02-26 10:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] miss-miso.livejournal.com
Ah, you see, I made the same disparaging comment about the unobtanium thing to a friend of mine (whose secret geekery surpasses even my own), and she rather haughtily told me it's an old sci-fi in joke that has apparently been bandied about for years in fiction and movies. My response to that was: IT STILL SOUNDS COMPLETELY LAME. And the nerds who've been laughing at this hilarious 'joke' for years? Lamer than most.

That said, I enjoyed Avatar much more than I thought I would. I went in with low-ish expectations, which always helps, I think (the reverse was true with Scorcese's latest, Shutter Island - very disappointing). Yes, the story was trite. Yes, the dialogue was often terrible, as was the acting (I have never, ever seen Sigourney Weaver sleepwalk through a role like that). But, my god, the CGI was beautiful, and the scenes with the indigenous people were respectful and engaging. Oh, and I loved all the pretty little fluorescing plants and creatures! So cute. Their concept of god/earth mother I thought was really elegant too.

(Pity they had to be rescued by a white male American marine in the end rather than taking agency themselves. Kind of undermined the message a bit, I thought.)

OMG, Johnny Weir is on next! He's doing some commentary with the Australian sports team every night on tv, and I adore him. Gotta go!

Date: 2010-02-26 10:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mumblemutter.livejournal.com
oh i see! well it's still lame! i mean there's in-jokes but your movie is otherwise supposed to be taken a hundred percent seriously what was i supposed to think?

i think i had many issues with the CGI because, as i mentioned to anansi, i get headaches from wearing glasses, so like, ten minutes into the movie and i kept slipping them off and then squinting at the screen and then giving up and putting them on again and it really blew my enjoyment of it. that said, zoe saldana is always radiant, even when covered in blue CGI and the creatures were really lovely!

(the "what these people need is a honky!" trope is just, yeah i kind of like, it's funny to me at this point, i don't even know.)

Date: 2010-02-26 12:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] miss-miso.livejournal.com
Yeah, I could take or leave the 3-D thing, to be honest. I don't quite see what it adds? I think the seamless CGI was what made the story of the Na'vi so believable, rather than any of the attempts to draw the audience in to the jungle scenery and battle action through the magic of 3-D. And oh dear, if it was blurry for you most of the time then no wonder you had little patience for the movie itself! I think Avatar kind of polarises people anyway (except for namby-pamby fence-sitters like myself). It was the subject of two wildly dissimilar reviews in our national newspaper, in fact: one that was your typical five star gushy thing, and the second...well. It contained this sentence:

Worst of all, the film cutely peddles the virtues of eco-friendly indigenous wisdom but Cameron - a little like George W. Bush, really - can't resist the temptation to spend the last third of the movie blowing shit up.

The New Zealand Herald, ladies and gentlemen! You stay classy, Aotearoa.

Date: 2010-02-26 01:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mumblemutter.livejournal.com
it's entirely my fault because i know about the glasses thing and i didn't think it would be too bad (um, a lot of things give me headaches, i just kind of barrel through it sometimes), but then the glasses combined with the bright screen combined with the earliness of the morning pretty much guaranteed disaster i don't know what i was thinking! *is pathetic*

ahahaha, my favorite review of the movie so far has been this, mostly because it is hysterical. WE ARE MATED FOR LIFE NOW.

Date: 2010-02-26 11:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] miss-miso.livejournal.com
OMG, that review! Haha, that's the best thing I've read in ages. I'm so sending it to that sci-fi nerd friend of mine.

(also: were you taking the piss about Titanic? Please tell me you were taking the piss.)

Date: 2010-02-26 11:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mumblemutter.livejournal.com
(also: were you taking the piss about Titanic? Please tell me you were taking the piss.)

i will never take the piss about titanic! don't judge my unreserved love for that movie!

Date: 2010-02-26 02:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] anansie-s.livejournal.com
and the scenes with the indigenous people were respectful and engaging. Oh, and I loved all the pretty little fluorescing plants and creatures! So cute. Their concept of god/earth mother I thought was really elegant too.

I loved all this stuff too (although I read a critique that complained that the indigenous people were made to act as if they had a bit of a hive-mind at times. I don't know if I agree or not).

The white male American marine savior was my big issue too but perhaps I'm sort of a defeatist about it (was telling J. while watching it that wouldn't it be so cool if the marine had been a woman instead and if he/she had just helped out during the final battle/died, instead of the cheesy dragon/bird business etc, and she reminded me that this is the same complaint I have about almost every movie about Africa) because it's one of those things I've almost come to accept -- mainstream audiences need to see things through a perspective they can identify with as their own, in order to care. Apparently.

And the nerds who've been laughing at this hilarious 'joke' for years? Lamer than most.

Hee. *blush* OK, I didn't even know it was a pre-existing joke. My brother and I thought it was funny (if a bit too literal) because we thought it was an anti-capitalism joke. I guess we're lamer than most, or even worse.

JW is so cute!

Date: 2010-02-26 06:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mumblemutter.livejournal.com
The white male American marine savior was my big issue too but perhaps I'm sort of a defeatist about it (was telling J. while watching it that wouldn't it be so cool if the marine had been a woman instead and if he/she had just helped out during the final battle/died, instead of the cheesy dragon/bird business etc, and she reminded me that this is the same complaint I have about almost every movie about Africa) because it's one of those things I've almost come to accept -- mainstream audiences need to see things through a perspective they can identify with as their own, in order to care. Apparently.

i think also a lot of times hollywood execs probably just aren't willing to pump money into a movie unless you can get an american actor (usually white and male) to star in it, so they'll likely get their money back. that plus our natural inclination to want to insert ourselves into the narrative equals, well. the movies of today.

Date: 2010-02-26 06:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] anansie-s.livejournal.com
Yeah. This is the problem. I guess I've realised that I hoped that people would take a certain something from the film but that didn't happen. I think I was going on in my post about the film about this but I'm absolutely sure that they were working from current real-world parallels, re: the effects of large-scale mining, displacement, etc. And I wish that they'd made those connections more explicit with some sort of mention, even at the end, of those RL examples. But as you say, it comes down to the Hollywood execs and they probably wouldn't have allowed that. Just as the 'hero' being Sigourney Weaver instead wouldn't have been allowed.

I don't think we necessarily have a natural inclination to want to insert ourselves into narratives. To some extent, sure -- enough to make the story understandable. But I don't think it's innate or all that important -- I think that requirement exists more in the minds of those who create these things aiming for a broad appeal (ie in the global North) and it's an easy trick for them to pull, so that they don't have to do the harder work of making difference understandable. (Instead, it's that tired old trope of the white person finding 'themselves' or finding the good in themselves through contact with people more simple than they are).

Date: 2010-02-26 07:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mumblemutter.livejournal.com
Just as the 'hero' being Sigourney Weaver instead wouldn't have been allowed.

that would have been awesome though - ripley! i very often feel they should do what they did with the alien series. write the role for a man and then cast a woman. it throws up far more interesting movies than the usual stuff that comes up.

i don't think we necessarily have a natural inclination to want to insert ourselves into narratives.

maybe i should have said james cameron? but yeah - i feel they think it's made money for them so far, so why should they even bother to change things up!

Date: 2010-02-26 07:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] anansie-s.livejournal.com
i very often feel they should do what they did with the alien series. write the role for a man and then cast a woman. it throws up far more interesting movies than the usual stuff that comes up.

IS THAT WHAT HAPPENED?

Sorry for yelling but wow, I did not know that! That is amazing! And makes me so happy! And yes I agree. Partly as an experiment -- maybe everyone/we all should do this sort of gender switch at the end point of writing/creating a story -- so as to see what kind of gender crap we assume while writing a character as male or female. I love that.

Also I feel that had Sigourney Weaver's character had the lead role (and the love story with the hot chick, rawr), things would have turned out a lot better for the Navi because she *understood* the nature of their divinity and wouldn't have messed around playing native instead of figuring out how to prevent anything bad from happening.

Date: 2010-02-26 07:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mumblemutter.livejournal.com
THAT'S TOTALLY WHAT HAPPENED!

also capslock is always welcome in the house of all caps, hello. and by "welcome" we mean "we encourage it constantly so we don't feel so alone in our yelling ways".

Partly as an experiment -- maybe everyone/we all should do this sort of gender switch at the end point of writing/creating a story -- so as to see what kind of gender crap we assume while writing a character as male or female. I love that.

oh wow that's totally interesting as a concept, yes. i'd like to see it done omg!

(haa although i gotta say when it comes to fandom? sometimes the things that happen to these boys in fic? like, i switch it around so that it's a girl and it instantly gets horribly creepy/wrong/unforgivable - i mean not anyone's fic i've read in particular in the heroes fandom? but other fandoms.)

(and the love story with the hot chick, rawr)

yes, um omg yes. divinity yes (i agree with everything you said!), OMG HOT. i now feel the world needs that.

Date: 2010-02-26 01:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] elsmoka.livejournal.com
LOL. Yes, the story has serious flaws, as do dialogues. BUT PANDOR WAS SO PRETTY. Everything was so beautiful and vibrant and all that.

I really enjoyed it! :D

UNOBTANIUM, YES!! LULZ!

Date: 2010-02-26 05:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mumblemutter.livejournal.com
i wish i could have enjoyed pandora better! mostly i was like *squint squint my head hurts squint* boo! maybe i'll catch it on DVD.

Date: 2010-02-26 09:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] elsmoka.livejournal.com
I had been a 3D-virgin before Avatar. And I was impressed. :)
I love 3D and would watch every movie in it!! :D

Date: 2010-02-26 06:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kodomo.livejournal.com
Haha I must be the last person on earth who hasn't seen this yet.

Date: 2010-02-26 07:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mumblemutter.livejournal.com
oh ahh it's only on nowadays at horrid hours and like, mostly in town or whatever, if you planned to catch it. but hey, just wait for the DVD if not!

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