James Cameron and Avatar

Joyce and I saw Avatar today.

Avatar was entertaining, yet disappointing. James Cameron spent ten years writing and developing the story. It had the makings of a great novel, on the scale of Lord of The Rings, or perhaps Dune. It was very much like Dances With Wolves — an outsider, against all odds, bonds with an indigenous tribe, and is forced to make loyalty decisions pitted against his conscience and his own people/country. James Cameron ruined the plot with political correctness in not one, but two ways. First, he made the obvious yet banal connection with the “evil” corporation verses the “true” and “pure” Rain Forest and the “noble savage”, making the Rain Forest a living character in the story. Second, he connected the “noble” terrorists with the uncivilized imperialists. Regardless of political leanings, I think any of these themes can make for a good story, but mixing the three in the way he did, while ignoring more important threads running through the story, he made it predictable and banal. In a nutshell, Hollywood ruined what could have been great. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the movie, yet it was what I expected. I still recommend seeing it, though I will probably not purchase the DVD.

One thought on “James Cameron and Avatar”

  1. You bring up many good points. To me, the film just reminded me of the Pocahontas stories. Another issue I took up with the film was it’s level of predictability, everything that happened was seen a mile away. I also enjoyed the movie, but like many people, mainly for the advances in technology that are going to come from Fox’s and Cameron’s investments. For his film he had to create one-of-a-kind equipment to film the movie with and these instruments will be traveling the country for demonstration and education purposes. I will shortly be deciding whether or not to get my degree in Digital Arts and Animation, and I could only hope to be lucky enough to be in the area of where his camera’s will be showing. They are in fact a limited item at this point in time. The film was a good watch but I’m not sure if I’ll actually be purchasing it or not, knowing Cameron’s work, he’ll release another copy with measly extras later anyway.

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