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Charlie Michaels
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I just saw it yesterday, and I loved it. I'd like to hear your thoughts about it.

If you don't know much about the movie, the basic plot is about a US marine named Jake who is sent to the ecologically wondrous world of Pandora in an "Iraq" sort of mission; the US declares war and depicts the inhabitants as "savages" in an attempt to extract the resources of the land. Jake is put in an "avatar" body; he puts his human body in a machine from which he enters a dreamlike state where he can control a Na'vi body (the local inhabitants of the planet). 

In his avatar body, Jake infiltrates a Na'vi village and gains the trust of the people, all the while his mission is to gain enough information so the amazing village-in-tree can be destroyed. Its a story of the backwardness of humanity, but also our ability to change, and and love the majesty of life.

In beginning, Jake says "once a marine, always a marine" and I was thinking great, just another action movie filled with air-head marines. But Jake really ends up changing from a marine ready to do his duty into a defender of life and beauty.

Man, some of this movie really hit me hard. One of the great themes of this movie is that there is no wealth, but in life. Sure, we can be powerful and conquer other nations, subjugate them, extract their resources, but what does that accomplish? It would make us an empire, and all empires fail for the reason that its not the natural order of things. No amount of destruction can bring a feeling of satisfaction, no amount of power can make a man feel secure. When will we learn?

As Mollison said "The Forest is our greatest teacher… If you lose the universities, you lose nothing. If you lose the forest, you lose everything."

I think people should realize that by saving the forests, we are not saving the Earth. The Earth doesn't need to be saved. It has been through millions of years of evolution, and greater catastrophes than we can even imagine, it will recover once again. Instead, by saving the forests, we are saving humanity's place on this Earth.

So overall I thought it was a great movie, and I'd like to discuss the themes I brought up or any others you found in the movie.
 
Robert Ray
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Easy Chuck not all Marines or ex-Marines are air heads .
I saw the movie and noticed a lot of the same parallels that you have mentioned.
Exploitation/greed is something that is certainly driving many of our problems today and were illustrated in the story line.
 
                    
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I have this habit of avoiding big hype movies for years, then finally seeing them at home and being like "why did I wait so long?"  haha.  Reading this made me want to see it.  Still waiting for netflix though. 
 
jacque greenleaf
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I saw it in 3D at an omnimax and was blown away. Not by the story, which is completely predictable and one-dimensional, but by the visual gorgeousity of it all. Spring for the big-screen, turn off your script and science critic, and feast your rods and cones. It really is spectacular.
 
                    
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Eh, yeah, I dunno, I feel like I've seen pretty movies (sorry that's just my jaded rods and cones speaking), and the cost of one big screen movie for one person is more than we pay for an entire month of net flix.  We just don't have that much money allocated for entertainment.  Especially since it would be me, my partner, and his kid going.  That's suddenly more like four months of netflix, yaknowhatimsayin? 
 
paul wheaton
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I think this is one movie where it is worth paying the extra at the big screen. 

The sheer art of it is spectacular. 

I thought the story was pretty standard issue and predictable.  I like the imagination of the creatures and the growies. 

I saw it in 2D.  The last time I saw something in 3D I thought the 3D element was ..... taking something out of it for me.

 
jeremiah bailey
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I've seen this one twice, once in 2d. My wife and I liked it so much that we went back and saw it in 3d IMAX. I'm with jacqueg. The storyline was blasé. But coupled with the outstanding imagery, this movie rocked our world. I'm also with Paul. Definitely worth seeing on the big screen. 2D is great, but alot of the forest scenes were just downright spectacular in 3d.

There were some elements of the storyline that I really liked. Like how the Na'vi are so in tune with the planet and the other life that they are not only connected with it spiritually, but physically with "the bond." The planet has a its own synaptic network connecting all life and matter as one. At the same time every being is very unique and individual.
 
Valerie Dawnstar
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Location: North Central New York
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mrchuck wrote:
Instead, by saving the forests, we are saving humanity's place on this Earth.

Exactly.
Saw it in 3D but no IMAX. Spectacular. My son went to an IMAX and said it was fantastic!
I really liked the sacred tree's seeds floating around.  They seemed to float all over the theatre.  And those spinning lizards!  What a hoot!  Of course, I felt a real affinity for the Na'vi but you were supposed to.  I wanted to fly on one of those dragons - my favorite part but it made hubby dizzy.      I felt the real hero was the lady marine - I forget her name.  They couldn't have gotten into the floaty mountains without her.  And the stuff about them being able to connect with their planet - I felt that was dumbed down for the muggles among us.  We don't really need to attach our pony-tails to the earth to feel it. 
 
tel jetson
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I enjoyed watching the movie, but I can't give it unqualified praise.  the blue folks and glowing plants looked cartoon-ish to me, despite the $400 million spent to make them convincing.  the plants that didn't glow, including the home tree looked a lot better to my eye, as did the weird geologic formations like the floating mountains and the stone arches around that sacred tree.

quite apart from the visual impact, I know there are a lot of indigenous folks and folks of color who have been seriously offended by, among other things, the composite of stereotypes that the Na'vi represent and the white savior mythology that features prominently in the story.  placing intellectual characters in opposition to experiential characters also seemed like a pretty cheap trope.

so I guess I would echo what others have said: very impressive visually, lackluster to bad otherwise.  the price tag to make the thing is pretty ridiculous, too, but far be it from me to get between anybody and their money.
 
Seth Pogue
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So many people rip on Hollywood as promoting babylon/whitebread mindless consumerism/idol worship etc.

Let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Films like Avatar and many others serve to expand mass consciosness in a way no other tool/medium can.  I am grateful beyond measure for this movie.
 
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