Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Yes, we all want to live on Pandora, as Na'vi, in communion with all living things, full of confidence and humility as we interact with all that intersects our lives. Elongated, elegant, sinewy, sensual, dragon-taming blue creatures with poison-tipped arrows making quick, humane kills? Why not?

My more earth-bound response to the movie: My eyes felt cold as I watched in relatively glorious three-dimensions. I don't know that the extra dimension did anything to enhance my viewing experience, though the panaromas of Pandora and the flora and fauna looked...uh...out of this world. A magical place, certainly. Could the movie have succeeded in plain old two dimensions? Yeah. In fact, in terms of composition, I'd argue that the audience in our three-dimension-ready specs was spoon-fed where to look even more than in a stodgy old two-dimensional endeavor. (The audio, too, offered more heavy-handed spatial thuds: Off-screen sounds behind us didn't necessarily lead to consistent entrances and exits, be the noise-maker bug, magic seed or chunk of capitalist metal.)

Oh, but these are quibbles, as are any complaints about the derivative script, the lack of surprises plot-wise, the hackneyed characters, the violence. (Are we really like that? Don't answer!) The overarching beauty of the idea of a world out there that beats ours and our petty ways by a factor too great truly to comprehend makes Avatar worth watching, absorbing. Commune with that. Then figure out how to treat Earth, just a little, as if it shared the magic of Pandora. Because it still does.

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