Sync Log: Avatar



No one accused James Cameron of excessive originality with the screenplay to Avatar. But excessive originality is Hollywood-speak for "box office poison." Americans in particular are suspicious of new ideas when it comes to their entertainments, which Cameron seemed to acknowledge when he stated that he felt an original plot for the film would have "confused" the audience. Ideologues continue to assault the film (including Ray Kurzweil, depressingly) but I still like my interpretation of the the Na'vi as a post-technolgical culture, who've developed the ultimate in wetware networking with their planetary mainframe, Eywa.

This particular episode of The New Outer Limits should catch the eye of Avatar fans, since the basic elements of the blockbuster are firmly in place: a military/corporate expedition to a primitive planet in order to extract much-needed resources for a dying Earth, a conflict between a gung-ho military man and a bleeding heart female scientist, and giant, seemingly-primitive aliens. I'm sure it all comes from an old Robert A. Heinlein or Ray Bradbury short story whose title escapes me. But it's the ending of this episode here that fascinates me, and hopefully will do so for you.

Bonus: Vancouver junkies like myself will get a good fix of the primeval forests of British Columbia, well familiar to X-Files and Stargate fans.

And as luck would have it, I woke up chewing over ideas for this post, the episode's compelling connections to Avatar, as well as the implications of alien contact and the rest.

Then I opened my email and this little missive was at the top of the queue...

How about that?

But my question is this- why the hell are they soliciting for an Avatar DVD when the film is still in the Top 5?

NOTE: An interest in sci-fi films! Priceless. It should say "As someone who watches nothing but sci-fi films..."

12 comments:

  1. "why the hell are they soliciting for an Avatar DVD when the film is still in the Top 5?"

    It's because they have recently announced the details for the home release. Nothing personal, just marketing. ;)

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20100316/film_nm/us_avatar

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  2. Chris,
    the youtube video displays the message
    "video contains content from mgm, who has blocked it in your country on copyright grounds."

    It seems Canada cannot view that video on youtube.

    What episode were you referencing?
    With that info I'm sure I could find one that is working.

    ~SE~

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  3. Hi Chris,

    Been a while for me to the site. Have been away, out of the country. I won't get into now but plan to do a post on the experience. So now I am back for awhile.

    To comment on your question...
    "But my question is this- why the hell are they soliciting for an Avatar DVD when the film is still in the Top 5?"

    1) DVD/BlueRay realeases were committed by the movie houses and distribution months ago, if not even years ago. Dates are set and money is to be made even though it's still in theaters world wide.
    See...it's people like me he wants. I always wait till the DVD or BlueRay comes out. I even bought a BD Player just a few months. The Elite want me to rent or buys the DVD realease because I never go to theaters so now I'll see it and he'll makes more money. I'm sure there are millions that do the same thing.

    2) Realease the DVD/BD and more people will see it, the revenues go up and it may even get people to see it in the theater who haven't yet, just to see it on Big Screen after seeing it on DVD.

    3) The kids will watch it endlessly at home. Which they can't afford to do in the theater. Therefore kids will be brainwashed to buy the the franchised shit...like dolls, toys, vids, games, series...etc. You know the drill.

    Need I say more. I'm sure I missed serveral other good reasons but it all comes down to just..."ONE" it's called "MONEY", more specifically..."OTHER PEOPLES MONEY"!

    Enjoy! - DS888

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  4. Christopher,
    Speaking of Vancouver - you might want to check this out:

    http://www.hplusmagazine.com/articles/energy/big-bang-small-company

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  5. Nice. I liked the sudden shift at the ending. An interesting characteristic of many Outer Limits episodes. I did like the point about technology vs. intelligence. Just because someone lacks excessive material science/toys does not mean that they are "primitive", unintelligent or lower in advancement. Need and desire originating in the mind is what drives our technological endeavors (generally speaking). That's why I see shamanism or say the individuation process as a form of "inner" technology just as powerful, if not more so, than the newest Mac Pro tower...

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  6. Hi Chris,

    It just occurred to me that yes assaults on James Cameron's Avatar are unwarranted because all you have to do is take a look at what seemed to be a conventional story line in his movie Titanic as well.

    Gee, we all knew the story of the sinking of the ship and Cameron played that straight without all the conspiracy theories about the Titanic really being the Olympic and that it was deliberately scuttled, etc. Rather, Cameron took the circumventing storyline of romance and a fight for life and made a gem of a movie that is still treasured.

    I think that he did the same with Avatar. Yes, bad corporate invaders on native people is typical but again the surrounding story of a people beyond anything we could have ever imagined is where Cameron finds gold with the audience. Any detractors will be sorely embarrassed as passing years will continue to expose the genius of James Cameron and Avatar.

    I have to admit that I went over to Facebook/Caprica and was saddened to see the masses missing a lot of obvious and not so obvious points from tonight's episode. They really need to check out the Secret Sun for Caprica updates!

    Chris, what are the writers of Caprica doing? Is this or is this not a pre-quel? I think that needs to be decided. To me it's more like a side-quel.

    Who is going to even believe that the fate of 12 worlds depended on the raging hormones of a rebellious teenager? The Greystones are definitely showing signs of "insanity" that did seep into the Cylons who flubbed "The Plan"!

    Oh! I get it! This is a retelling of the Gnostic Demiurge!

    How many times has the "mother" called the machine "Zoe" creation a "monster"? Yep, adolescent Zoe wrapped in a "cloud" of metal and directing creation from her "blind" point of view. Therefore, all of the Cylons were flawed and of course their society collapsed with the insanity at the end BSG.

    Thanks, Chris,
    SoapFan

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  7. We are interrupting this program to announce the publication of Carl Jung's "The Red Book"

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/20/magazine/20jung-t.html?_r=1


    which can be found on line and free

    http://justinfinity.tumblr.com/post/393324846/daily-ebook-carl-jung-liber-novus-the-red-book


    Be warned: he names names..

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  8. Luna- I bet the theater owners are taking it personally...

    Strange- Damn it. It's "Relativity Theory" from the Fourth Season. Try YouTube Canada.

    D*888- Welcome back! Where'd you go?

    Joe- Cool link. Cheers.

    Ryan- Exactly. Which is why the Singularity thing will fail. It ignores the human half of the equation.

    Soapie- Gah! I haven't seen the latest episode yet! Don't spoil it! As to FB, didn't someone once say the masses are asses?

    Eric- Bonus! Thanks for the linkery.

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  9. I must say i have no love for Titanic and Avatar. My reaction to both was, "meh, what's the big deal?"
    At least the CGI of Avatar made it watchable. Titanic was simply excruciating.
    And Celine Dion? really??

    I love Caprica though...does this mean i'm being indoctrinated into mormonism?

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  10. "Nice. I liked the sudden shift at the ending. An interesting characteristic of many Outer Limits episodes. I did like the point about technology vs. intelligence. Just because someone lacks excessive material science/toys does not mean that they are "primitive", unintelligent or lower in advancement. Need and desire originating in the mind is what drives our technological endeavors (generally speaking). That's why I see shamanism or say the individuation process as a form of "inner" technology just as powerful, if not more so, than the newest Mac Pro tower..."

    There's an old saying -- illiterates invented literacy. The essential idea is that technological advancement has come at the price of physiological capacity. If you've know true illiterates, people who never learned to read as opposed to those who've lost the ability by not reading after they've learned how (called second-level illiteracy), these are impressively "present" people with amazingly detailed memories. They have to remember because they can't write it down.

    On the other hand, there are stories of illiterates learning to read when they are in old age -- a sign of exceptional intellectual capacity.

    In that sense, "primitives" who've learned how to prosper without technology possibly are capable of realizing greater individual and social potential than those who've grown up with it.

    I just saw 2001 again, and other than seeing the obvious refs to Homer's Odyssey (HAL obviously now IS the Cyclops -- one eye and single-minded -- David "Bowman"...Penelope's test for her suitors was the ability to string and use Odysseus' famous bow) there is also a strange recurrence of a "birthday" theme as Floyd sends his daughter a video happy birthday over the vidphone in the Moon section and later Frank Poole receives a birthday video from his parents foreshadowing David Bowman's rebirth as the starchild where he gives up the womb of technology and recaptures the ultimate and frightening potential of his humanity.

    An Odyssey, after all, is a long journey home, and when Odysseus comes back he kills the suitors - his genetic competition.

    What is Bowman's plan for Earth, do you think?

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  11. "There's an old saying -- illiterates invented literacy. The essential idea is that technological advancement has come at the price of physiological capacity. If you've know true illiterates, people who never learned to read as opposed to those who've lost the ability by not reading after they've learned how (called second-level illiteracy), these are impressively "present" people with amazingly detailed memories. They have to remember because they can't write it down."

    I agree. I can recognize my own loss of memorization due to increased technology dependence. Since I don't have to remember phone numbers anymore, I can only recall a few. Those few are phone numbers from over 15 years ago. I can even remember my childhood phone number from over 25 years ago! I don't even know 5 phone numbers now. Many people can't even do basic math to calculate tips at restaurants without calculators.

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  12. Not just math -- imagine how hard it would be to remember information without google and wiki for quick reference.

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