Written November 6, 2010 at 9:55 pm
Just watched AVATAR on HBO. Much better than I anticipated. Usually I don't care much about special effects, but I was impressed by the world Cameron created, esp. the flora & fauna.
The contrast between two ways of life was striking, but since I don't like nature, or primitive clan social organization, I can't identify with the Nav'i.
There are some aspects of the plot line, & esp. the final battle, I don't find convincing. I don't believe the Nav'i could have won.
Thematically, the fact that the two worlds of technology & virtually unmediated relationship to nature (except for minimal technology like knives & bows & arrows) never are synthesized into a more comprehensive picture, is a failing of the movie, which ends up romanticizing the primitive, a singularly unimaginative resolution of the conflict. It's like high tech "Dances with Wolves".
Exploration of the world of Pandora remains the most interesting thing about the film, more interesting to me than the actual conflict that drives it, which is quite formulaic. The concept of the Avatar is decently handled. I imagine the Nav'i language will be of interest to conlangers.