Don’t go see Avatar

All I keep reading on facebook is “have you seen Avatar ? It’s soo good. ” “OMG you gotta go see Avatar, it’s even better in 3-D, truly a great film with a great message to reflect on.” Enough already puez, geez, I get it, it’s a good movie that is exploiting what other movies have done in the past and sensationalized issues about race, nature, militarism and all that good stuff. I haven’t seen the film, so I won’t go into detail about how the movie goes into ” ‘white’ people guilt or how ‘white’ people see racial identity’ ” and all that mumbo jumbo like other people are jumping on. Which I find interesting to read and they do make a point every now and then. No, I am boycotting this movie, at least until it comes out on DVD or cable tv because I have seen other movies do WAY better with less, making the same statements about nature, human relations and some of the other topics people loved in Avatar.

I bring to your attention the works of Hayao Miyazaki. It’s hard to express the passion and love I have for all of his works, mostly because I grew up on some of them and they were my first forays into anime, which it still going strong today. I can go on and on about how all of his movies say more with their endearing characters, beautiful hand drawn scenes that to me will always surpass what ever computer technology can create. These are movies that are from the heart, made with passion and created to astonish and amaze the audience. These movies really do tug at the heart strings and can make almost anyone shed a little tear. Not only that, but these movies are perfect for kids as well. Even his current release, “Ponyo,” which didn’t do great at the box office was nothing short of amazing and captivating. I loved that movie !!! So if you haven’t seen the movie yet, save your money and go rent some of his movies and if you have seen it, then go rent some of his movies anyway. You’ll thank me for it later.

18 thoughts on “Don’t go see Avatar

  1. i didn’t want to see star wars when it came out because of hollywood hype and i won’t see avatar because of the same hype and besides i didn’t like titanic. way over rated.

  2. isnt the hype behind this movie not the storyline, but the visual effects, CGI and what not? 300 million spent mostly on effects on such. i haven’t watched it yet. thou i am curious to.

  3. I saw it with my grandkids and dug it, besides the spectacular 3-D and special effects I liked the story and am wondering why so far there’s no outcry from the right wing military industrial reactionaries and apologists.
    The story is basically about manifest destiny and the conquering of another culture for the sake of money and power. The conquistadors this time around are Corporate robber barons who use the US Military as mercenary’s to destroy a native culture who are in their way. Instead of gold or oil it’s an expensive mineral. It seems that the planet earth in this story has been ravaged and is unlivable, so the native peoples are to be relocated, re-educated or destroyed on the spot.
    Sound familiar que no?

  4. I’m thinking about taking my boy to see it,although Im not excited about the extra 3d price. One thing I think about regarding about these movies about colonizing martians is why have they not made a big film about the conquest of this hemisphere.

  5. my son just saw it and said the same thing as don quixote said, white man comes to the rescue and saves the uncivilized natives. gimme a break. but what do you expect from hollywood? remember apocalypto? another distorted travesty.

  6. @dq – technically, gold and oil are expensive minerals.

    Is it really “The Last White Samurai Who Danced With Wolves?”

  7. Random, I understand why you may not want to contribute to Avatar’s creators’ profits, but I also think we need to actually see it in order to criticize it. So maybe, as you suggest, you can see it once it’s on DVD (and then maybe you can get a pirata copy and contribute to a local family’s income).

    I couldn’t wait that long, though, and I saw it. As Don Quixote says, its intended message is anti-imperialist, which is cool—and uncommon in Hollywood movies. However, as Ruben Guevara points out, the story itself perpetuates the historical Eurocentric view that people of color are unable to speak or act for themselves.

    Of course, as required by Hollywood law (apparently), the hero in the movie is the white man who defects from the conqueror’s side, gains acceptance among the wild natives, and leads them in the struggle to save the world. They are not able to see what he sees—they do not have a worldly vision or mind like he—and so only he is capable of being an effective organizer and leader.

    Also fulfilling Hollywood’s requirement of a heterosexual romance subplot, repeating the fortune of past European conquerors and catering to the classic white-male sexual fantasy, the hero in the story is crucially assisted by a talented and bilingual native woman whom he then marries (think Malinche and Pocahontas).

    Very importantly, too, throughout the movie, the portrayal of that planet’s inhabitants perfectly matches many “good” white people’s extremely fetishized, and therefore offensive, views of indigenous peoples around the world.

    Finally, people with physical disabilities watching this movie will have good reason to feel offended as well. One of the side themes in the story is how the hero is a disabled man who gets around in a wheelchair and who would do anything, even trade his human body for an avatar, to become able-bodied again. The ending is supposed to be a happy one partly because he becomes, indeed, permanently freed from his wheelchair. The message here, intended or not, is that having disabilities makes you a wretched and pitiful being, that it’s something with which disabled persons mustn’t be able to ever reconcile.

  8. One of the great scenes in Spirited Away is when a “stink spirit” visits the bathhouse. He’s a smelly overflowing mound of shit that wants a bath. The owner of the bathhouse essentially wants him to get in and out as quickly as possible. The heroine of the story, Chihiro, is tasked with taking care of the guy.

    She starts the bath and stink spirit does not get any cleaner. She falls into the bath and discovers an old bike stuck inside of him. She manages to pull it out and all this crap comes flying out of him. When the “stink spirit” emerges we discover he was actually a river spirit. He flies away.

    As for Avatar, I have no problem with the film.

  9. If you are a fan of the motion picture spectrum, subscribe to revolutionary thought, practice subsistence living, and/or walk the “Red Road”, Avatar is a film that would greatly appeal to you as it does to me, a modern O.G. Xicano, who recognizes his Indigenous Heritage and Native Culture from the East Los Rez. There are not to many flicks that touch upon several of the beliefs and thoughts of life that I follow. Av is one of them. Ya’ll should check it out and then comment on it. Comparisons to Dances with Wolves is fair(and I liked that film too).

  10. I’m the father of a six year old boy, and we see just about every kids movie that comes out. Ponyo was the best one out of all the ones I saw this year – and I had never heard of Miyazaki until I saw that flick…

    And yeah, we skipped Avatar…

  11. Michael in LA, did you check out the other Miyazaki films? I would start with Spirited Away, which actually has a decent dub if your kid can’t handle subtitles yet. Then I would check out My Neighbor Totoro, which on Roger Ebert’s list of his “Great Movies.”

  12. Thanks Rob, the films message, indeed has the fascist right wing’s panty’s all in a knot.

    I liked the columnist’s description of the reactionary, but not surprising wail about Avatar

    “if I were trying to get to the bottom of conservative complaints with “Avatar,” I’d offer three more key reasons why the film has set the right’s hair on fire:”


  13. I am a huge fan of both directors / creators and follow all of their work ,, so You have to understand that there is a difference … Miyazaki is an awesome ARTIST that loves to produce fantasy for CHILDREN, and no one can match his artistry or imagination. Cameron is a TECH GEEK that loves sci-fi and action , and has advanced the movie industries TECHNOLOGY in everyone of his films , and no one can match his tenacity for tech (or chase/actions sequences for that matter).

    Now, Cameron did say he does want you to feel in the film, and I never take any film personally OR never am shocked by any type of film… but for that reason, I respect your decision not to want to see the film since you FEEL that it is about white imperialism. But since I am a techy, I did go see it for its great Technical achievements,, and boy did it deliver , just like all of Cameron’s works. This would not be a film I would take my younger nephews to see though,,, unlike Miyazaki where I can take the entire familia !
    And I like it that way,, keep me entertained with violence.

    BTW > I don’t see your gripe on Apocalypto ,,, since ‘white man’ did give us treasures that we never saw before which in turn helped us help them overtake us… hell,, now we have fellow Mexicans in mexico that care more about the drugs than our own people… but im sure that’s a longer story.

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