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  (Source: 20th Century Fox)
Nothing can seem to stop worldwide audiences' love of Cameron's sci-fi epic

While some may criticize it as unoriginal for parallels to past movies and literature, James Cameron's latest masterpiece, Avatar is a smash hit among critics and moviegoers alike. 

Fueled by strong sales of more expensive 3D movie tickets and fueled by a viral marketing campaign online and off, Avatar proved a triumph in a hit or miss market that's seen even veterans like Harrison Ford recently deliver painful flops.  If Avatar has one problem it's that it's having a hard time keeping up with international demand, as the film quickly raked in over $1B USD within only three weeks of its December 10, 2009 release.

From a tech and science standpoint Avatar is landmark success for 3D animation, marking the first time audiences have embraced (for the most part) emotive human-like 3D characters alongside living ones in a drama flick.  The animation pushes the boundaries of current work, as does the xenobiology featured in the film (Avatar hired a team of experienced biologists to help develop the flora and fauna of the fictional world of Na'vi).

Now Avatar is about to make history as it is expected today to become the highest grossing film ever, sinking the Titanic's record total of $1.843B USD.  What is particularly impressive is how quickly Avatar pulled in the total, reaching $1.841B USD over the weekend, after only six weeks in theaters, and less than that in some foreign markets. 

In many countries, Avatar has become the top grossing U.S. film in their history, and even among their total top grossing films -- a remarkable achievement in countries with strong film industries like France.  Internationally the film has earned $1.288B USD, despite getting a bumped from China's standard theaters for a new Chow Yun Fat epic about the Chinese philosopher Confucius (Avatar continues to play in around 900 of China's 3D theaters).

Even as Avatar rolls towards the epic mark of becoming the first movie to break $2B USD, Cameron has announced that two sequels are in the works.  Considering Fox may have spent more than $300M USD on the film, that's great news for the 3D animation industry.

With its success, Avatar has drawn some backlash.  The U.S. Marine Corps disliked the unflattering depiction of the mercenary marine army whose leadership was corrupted by greed and bloodlust.  Others loved Avatar so much that they reported depression and suicidal thoughts out of regret they could not live in the movie's fantasy world.  And still others have complained of the film being too similar to past work, varying from Pocahontas (first popularized to the masses by the 19th century burlesque The Gentle Savage) to Braveheart.

Critics, for the most part, have been deaf to such criticism.  They rewarded Avatar with awards for Best Motion Picture and Best Director and the 2010 Golden Globe Awards.



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RE: I believe it
By whiskerwill on 1/25/2010 6:05:42 PM , Rating: 2
Why don't you try reading actual historical documents? Start with something like Hakluyts Voyages, which contains accounts of the first English contact with Native Americans. For several of the tribes encountered, their very request of the Europeans was for weapons of metal...to help them finish off some neighboring tribe. In another case, the Indians they encountered (on islands off the coast of Va. IIRC) pretended to befriend the Europeans...as a pretense to allow them slay everyone in their sleep that evening.

Roll forward all the way up to the time of Sitting Bull, the great 19th century symbol for Indian rights...and a man who originally became known for killing neighboring Crow Indians, while on war parties trying to expand into their lands. The list goes on and on.

Were Europeans harsh on the Indians? Not nearly as harsh as they were on themselves. Had Europeans not arrived, we'd still be a group of illiterate savages raping, plundering killing each other as fast as possible. What "happened" to the Indians was civilization...and a damn good thing it did, too.

To throw you a bone, there are admittedly many sad tales to be told against the Europeans, particularly in cases like the Cherokee, who did try to play by the white man's rules, and still suffered as a result. But even they were better treated than they would have been if conquered by some other native tribe.


RE: I believe it
By Belard on 1/25/2010 11:49:29 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah!

Just like the blacks were so lucky to have been slaves in America. (Boondocks on AS just did a parody ep on this)

Humans suck in general.


RE: I believe it
By whiskerwill on 1/26/2010 12:15:39 AM , Rating: 2
Those blacks who were slaves were not 'lucky', but their descendants certainly are. Which is why you see so few wanting to emigrate to Africa, but millions of Africans still trying to flee their own continent.

I recently met a young gentleman from the Gold Coast. He arrived in the US by stowing away on a deadheading cargo ship...he spent four days on a tiny shelf inches above the ocean, and only feet from a massive propeller that would have diced him in a second had he fallen off. Eventually he managed to attract the attention of the crew, who brought him aboard the ship proper. Why not ask him if he'd have preferred to have been born here instead, even if it meant his great-great grandfather would have been a slave?

And let us not forget that nearly all those blacks sold into slavery were those captured not by Europeans, but by neighboring tribes in Africa itself. Had they not been sold, most would have either been killed or spent a lifetime in slavery on their own continent.

While not condoning slavery in any way, shape, or form, that fact does help put into perspective those mental infants who consider slavery to be nothing but a European exploitation of other races. For that matter, the very word slave itself derives from the word "Slav". Why? Because so many Europeans of Slavic descent were made into slaves, that the term eventually came to denote bondage.

Pretty much every person on the planet is not only descended from ancestors who kept slaves, and other ancestors who were slaves. Try to remember that when you're crying about past injustices that one one alive had any part in.


RE: I believe it
By delphinus100 on 1/26/2010 4:14:56 AM , Rating: 2
Many Africans today (and other immigrants, historically) do indeed vote with their feet, there's no denying that...

Which doesn't change the fact that most African-Americans are not descended from people who chose to come here, and for most of the time since, have not been allowed to forget their second-class status, long after abolition. Slavery, at the time, was not seen as a finite condition.

There are more ethical ways to encourage immigration, if that was the idea.


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