Sunday, January 03, 2010


I finally got a chance to see Avatar. Man, it's good to have James Cameron back!

I'm a bit dismayed by all of the "forget the story, watch it for the visuals" reviews the movie's been getting. The visuals certainly are great, as Cameron continues to push the technology of filmmaking forward, but it's also great storytelling. It's the story, in fact, that gives the visuals their resonance.

Of course maybe I just like the story because it's laced through with some of my favorite themes: the perils of corporate greed and military fear, the beauty and wonder of the natural world, standing up for what's right, etc. In fact, all of Cameron's films are filled with themes such as these; they're basically message films with mass-market appeal. As an activist myself, I love that combination. After all, it's easy to make a message film nobody wants to see, and plenty people make meaningless mass-market movies; it's hard to get both right in the same movie.

So go see Avatar, and enjoy the visuals, but don't forget the story!



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