Environment

Avatar's Cardboard Cutouts

Collide-a-ScapeBy Keith KloorJan 9, 2010 1:03 PM

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It's the 21st century and we're still getting simplistic, cliched depictions of natives in Hollywood movies like Avatar. How is it possible that people are enthralled with this one-dimensional, sci-fi clunker? I succumbed to the hype last night, mainly because I wanted to see what a $260 million dollar movie looks like. Aside from the special effects, what's the big deal? The dialogue alone was unbearably cheesy. The plot was dull and predictable. I suppose anyone who romanticizes Nature and Native Americans will buy into the movie's schmaltz. But if you're looking for an antidote to that, read David Brooks' column on Avatar. He nails it. Also, David Price in Counterpunch makes a nice connection between the movie's anthropological angle and the Pentagon's controversial Human Terrain program. Avatar does share some similaries to the much more engrossing and smartly made District 9 (especially the forced eviction theme). Now that movie stayed with me for weeks afterward.

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