Saturday, December 19, 2009

Avatar; the True Power of Love

First off, I am giving a spoiler alert for those of you who have not seen the movie Avatar. I don't know how much I may reveal. So if you want to see the movie first without being spoiled, leave now. If not, continue reading.

If I were to describe Avatar in one sentence, I would say it is an awesome Sci-fi version of Pocahontas where John Smith joins the Native Americans, and with Grandmother Willow, they push the English back to sea.

But awesomeness is not limited to a sentence. It fails to do awesomeness justice. To set the setting, humans have reached another planet that sustains life; Pandora. Like the "new world", this world is used as a mining center, to make a company rich. Probably because the air is toxic to humans, there is never any plans mentioned to colonize the planet, just mine it for all it is worth, serving the stockholder first. However the natives, the Na'vi don't like them mining. They are protective of the plants and worship the planet essentially as a god, being people of the earth, rangers, trackers, at harmony with their environment. So naturally most humans think the Na'vi are tree hugging pagans and thus feel justified in bringing arms to force the Na'vi to move so they can take the resources wanted. Such technology used are mechanical walker suits that remind me of a cross between the firepower in Zion from the Matrix and the mechanical walkers of Starcraft.

Now as for the Na'vi, they're blue humanoids who have biological USB ports at the end of their ponytails. Seriously. The Na'vi, the horse creatures and some sort of large bird creatures, and other creatures too probably, have at the end of their ponytail thing strands of nerves so that when they intertwine, they form a sort of partnership; they become one creature. They can feel the creature's strength, its' heartbeat, and can direct the creature with thoughts. You want to go forward, the creature goes forward.

But not only that, all plant life, particularly the trees, act as nerve cells of the planet. They are literally connected and electricity sort of flows through them, like brain synapses. It is like Sid Mier's Alpha Centauri game, where the planet is literally alive and has a form of intelligence. Or in technology terms, the planet is an archaic network hub that stores memories, feelings, voices. There are "Prayer Trees" that act as the router that the Na'vi can intertwine their ponytail nerves to and can literally hear memories, hear voices, can access somewhat the information stored by Eywa, the name given for the the archaic intelligence that the planet Pandora possesses. Which, as I said above, shows my geekiness in that I am reminded of the game Alpha Centauri by Sid Meir. In that game, the planet is alive, it directs it's animals, everything lives in a balance. There is that similarity that I saw.

And then there is the cgi animation, where everything is believe, awe inspiring and looks like it was shot in an actual jungle. The animation and graphics are awesome and well done. The Na'vi look realistic, not like a Jar-Jar Binks puppet, showing every movement of muscle, every little thing that does not at one instant fail to destroy the illusion.

So the story? Jake Sully is a paralyzed ex-marine who gets an offer; the opportunity to go to Pandora and use an Avatar, a genetically enhanced Na'vi like body custom taylored to the genetic code of a person. Basically uplinking your nervous system and brain patterns to the Avatar, to better study the planet and get to know the Na'vi better. Sully gets this offer because his twin brother, the scientist, died.

So the story is about Jake, how this marine gets to know the Na'vi and has to decide between obeying like a good obedient soldier, or do what's right. Who must sacrifice all he knows for love, or give it up.

Avatar is very well made, well produced and has an excellent story. It is worth seeing a few times, as the imagery, the symbolism, and adventure are all real, vivid and connects with the viewer. You will enjoy this movie, and I for one want to see it again.

Oh, and Alexandria, you may want throw Sam Worthington onto your Monster Hott Guy's list, and maybe onto some other things as well. ;)


Alexandria said... Especially the whole 'USB ponytail' thing.

Dude, he is not a hottness monster. He is okay but no hottness monster status.

You on the other hand....

Sam, The Nanti-SARRMM said...

Well, it's not a USB cord thing, they just have a sort of growth/stalk at the back of their heads that resembles a ponytail, with natural filaments/fibers that connect with horse and bird creatures. And some trees.

I just chose to phrase it that way. It'd be as if we developed the technology to access information on the computer, but without a type of "monitor" to know what it is we are viewing, or how to see all the information that we do now with a computer.

Ghost Lilly said...

Usb connections out of there pony tails?!?!?!? odd way of putting it... and all the creatures on the planet had them cause remember when the chick rode that cat like thing. It had one too!

amanda leeann said...

i saw this last night! which is why i asked for the link today.

i thought it was good! i saw a lot of symbolism in that 'pandora has something the us wants, so we offer schools & roads to make it okay that we take it' - this worries me about our country, that we may or may not know when to stop.

i lol'd at your 'usb port' description - very accurate =]

i saw it in imax 3D, and personally, i don't think it will be nearly as good once it's only on dvd. the graphics are such a huge part of this movie.