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I took my siblings and a friend out to see Avatar (to disambiguate, the James Cameron version) at the huge local IMAX. It wasn’t a bad film, but I think the storyline and set of characters was chosen to be as “safe” as possible while relying on the visuals to carry the movie. People are right when they point out that it closely parallels a lot of other stories and movies. That said, it’s a step up from some of the horrible CGI-centric movies that have been foisted upon the public. There were some things which bothered me…

  • We don’t know how many alien races humanity has encountered, but they seem strangely blasé if the Na’vi are the first, and they may well be the first if the setting is our close neighbor system of Alpha Centauri.
  • All the other biology on Pandora seems to favor a split front-limb and an extra set of eyes and two “neural cords”. Why would the Na’vi be such an exception? Surely there’s nothing too weird in their genome, or the scientists working on the hybridization project (to make the eponymous avatars) would’ve picked up on it, right?
  • The explanation for the giant floating landmasses is that they are riddled with the precious ore that humanity wants to mine…  So why hasn’t erosion turned them into nearly-pure deposits which can be freely carted away or broken apart? It seems strange to want to get at the buried stuff when some of it has gone through the trouble of jumping into the air for you.
  • Why is a trans-atmospheric shuttle being flown at the snail’s pace of <=100mph as a bomber, especially when it’s already in clear-sky visual sight of its target?
  • The mining corporation can get satellite IR shots of the area, so what’s stopping them from dropping a few hypervelocity steel beams from orbit? Heck, pick something nonmagnetic if that’s an issue, I’m sure they’ve got some scrap boulders.

It turns out that the leaked “Scriptment” for the movie–while divergent from the final movie–explains some aspects. For example, the floating mountains were originally meant to be “The Motherlode” that was to be mined, rather than the ground beneath the sacred tree.

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  1. MrAnger says

    I think that avatar was a technical exercise one that the director wanted to make and one that will reinvigorate the movie industry to set new hight.