Finally got around to seeing Avatar the other night.   (For the record, it’s not that I never see movies when they’re still in the theater, but when it started costing me about the same to own them on DVD as it would to hit the theater, my priorities started to shift.)

Avatar definitely had its moments, none of them subtle, but the appeal of Avatar isn’t in subtlety, but in its distinct lack of subtlety; packed with in-your-face moments (both visually and philosophically), Avatar really satisfies.  The good guys are the ones with the white hats . . . pardon me, I meant the ones with blue skins (either naturally or by association), so you never get bogged down wondering who you’re supposed to be rooting for, and there’s never any real doubt that Nature and bows and arrows will triumph in the end against heartless Science and Greed (this may have something to do with the fact that at one point, the best Science can do is give a man in a mechanized battle suit a giant knife so he can go mano-a-mano).  And as alien planets go, Pandora is remarkably familiar looking when it’s not going for the “wonder shot” showcasing some quirky alien marvel, so don’t worry about getting lost.  Even if you don’t recognize those things on the screen are thinly disguised horses, rest assured the narrator will call them horses several times to remind you . . . just in case.

I know, I know.  It sound like I’m running the movie down (which I am, but only a little bit, I swear), but speaking as someone who going into the movie already believed, for instance, that life is more important than the money to be made from rocks and pebbles dug out of the ground, I figure I’m obligated to make it clear when an idea I agree with is hammered against my skull to the point where I found myself wishing for some sort of protective helmet.  (I also would have liked to see a bit more reluctance on the part of the troops to open fire on what was, for all intents and purposes, an unarmed village of civilians, but if I start on that point I’ll be here all day!)

Bottom line, I had fun with this movie, and, in the end, that’s what counts.

But between you and me (and my cynicism is definitely showing here), I hope there’s never a sequel to Avatar, because I already know the plot to that one.  Some years later, taking into account the time it’ll take for forces and equipment to be mobilized, the space marines return, nuke Pandora from orbit, and resume mining operations.

It’s the only way to be sure, after all.

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