Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Visiting Pandora on Earth

You probably already know that the movie Avatar has been a major commercial success.  It has now passed Titanic as the highest grossing film worldwide.  You can read more about it here.

You may have also heard about the people who were depressed after watching the movie because it wasn't real.  Some people apparently wanted to be able to live like the N'avi.  Read more about that here.

Those depressed people may not be able to visit Pandora, but they might be able to go China, where a mountain has been renamed in honor of the movie.  The Southern Sky Column in Zhangjiajie, Hunan Province, has now been renamed Avatar Hallelujah Mountain and local officials even claimed that the mountain was the inspiration for Pandora.  Tourists are even being offered tours of locations that allegedly inspired the film.  Read more about it here.


  1. I totally admit that I avoided the movie and hope to go my entire life without seeing it. It's a rebellious nature and also the characters are just ridiculous looking--how much freaking money was put into this thing??? Ugh! Well, anyways, I tend to go against the masses, so I won't be partaking of the imaginary world, but I do appreciate your giving me shortcuts to the background so I can know what people are talking about. I tried to watch "Lord of the Rings" but it was so infantile that I couldn't make it through the first episode. That won't make me popular, but I really really really don't get it. Some things just fall flat on me. It scares me when movies like the Star Wars series can make people go so bonkers. I suppose it's the fantasy element that gives them a group to relate with like the Twilight vampire versus werewolf tweens. I'd be curious if you saw it and what you thought. I think I'd trust your opinion. I probably still wouldn't see it--I'm boycotting, but I would like to know why the masses are so mesmerized.

  2. I did see it. A lot of people have compared the plot to Dances with Wolves and Pocahontas, but I've never seen either of those movies so it was still original to me. From what I've heard about Dances with Wolves and Pocahontas though, I can see how people would compare them to Avatar. Some people said the plot was predictable, and I wouldn't disagree with that. But a predictable story doesn't necessarily mean it's a bad story. If a story is good enough, it can be told again and again.

    It's an interesting departure from the sci-fi norm of advanced (technologically) aliens visiting earth. In Avatar, the humans are advanced technologically, and they are ones visiting another planet (technically, Pandora is a moon revolving around a gas giant) where the inhabitants are not advanced technologically. They are more spiritual, and are in tune with nature. There's definitely parallels drawn between Europeans colonizing lands on other continents. I guess you could also drawn parallels between the Chinese seizing Tibet.

    Oh, and the special effects are good too!

    Overall, I give it a thumbs up. But I like fantasy. I guess if that's not your thing, you might not like it.

  3. I loved avatar. & here's why: the fictional themes are epic, the story is human. & visually, it's a feast. The 3D is amazing. One of the criticisms is that the natives are saved by the "Americans." Not true. The "American" (invader) ultimately becomes one of the natives. So the movie is also about, bottom line, profound and permanent transformation.