Tobacco

At Least Her Avatar Doesn't Smoke

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Anti-smoking activist Stanton Glantz thought Avatar was "a great movie," except for the one detail that moved him to launch a publicity campaign against it: Grace Augustine, the environmental scientist played by Sigourney Weaver, has a cigarette habit. "This is like someone just put a bunch of plutonium in the water supply," Glantz tells The New York Times, with his usual sense of proportion. In addition to rousing the ire of Glantz's Smoke Free Movies project, Avatar, which is rated PG-13, earned a "black lung" from Scenesmoking.org. In response, director James Cameron says he considers smoking "a filthy habit" and does not view Weaver's character as "an aspirational role model" for teenagers:

She's rude, she swears, she drinks, she smokes. Also, from a character perspective, we were showing that Grace doesn't care about her human body, only her avatar body, which again is a negative comment about people in our real world living too much in their avatars, meaning online and in video games….

I don't believe in the dogmatic idea that no one in a movie should smoke. Movies should reflect reality. If it's O.K. for people to lie, cheat, steal and kill in PG-13 movies, why impose an inconsistent morality when it comes to smoking? I do agree that young role-model characters should not smoke in movies, especially in a way which suggests that it makes them cooler or more accepted by their peers.

Cameron is a bit too defensive, I think, but he is right to reject the notion that art should not only be didactic but that it should impart the lessons endorsed by the reigning ideology—in this case, "public health," which elevates the minimization of morbidity and mortality above all other values. The expectation that everyone who is not in the pocket of Big Tobacco will toe the official line is one of the creepiest aspects of the contemporary anti-smoking movement, as exemplified by Glantz.

I criticized the campaign for smoke-free movies in a 2003 column and discussed Glantz's wild claims about the impact of cinematic smoking in a 2005 column. Last month Peter Suderman raised some non-tobacco-related objections to Avatar.

NEXT: The Future's Not What It Used To Be

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  1. Anti-smoking activist Stanton Glantz thought Avatar was “a great movie,” except for the one detail that moved him to launch a publicity campaign against it: Grace Augustine, the environmental scientist played by Sigourney Weaver, has a cigarette habit.

    Ok, so the movie contained all the leftist cliches possible except vegetarianism AND antismoking.

    Well, two out of 1,000 ain’t bad.

    1. LOL: James Cameron’s Avatar is Disney’s Pochontas:

      http://www.slashfilm.com/2010/…..pochontas/

      1. Pocahontas is way better as it does not end happily ever after.

  2. It’s only a movie. It’s only a movie. It’s only a movie. It’s only a movie. It’s only a movie. It’s only a movie. It’s only a movie. It’s only a movie. It’s only a movie.

    1. Exactly, as long as you enjoy it that’s all that matters. For me it was fun.

      1. Yep. Piss-poor story and characters, little more than “Indians in Space.” But one helluva spectacular ride.

        Has anyone suggested yet to Stanton Glantz to go stick his head up his ass?

        1. Like telling the Pope to turn Catholic, JW.

  3. everyone who is not in the pocket of Big Tobacco will toe the official line

    This phrase seems familiar to me, but not quite right somehow…

    1. Actually, meine Dame, “toe the line” is the correct spelling of that idiom. It’s not “tow the line,” if that’s what you were thinking.

      1. It’s actually “tow the lion”.

      2. No dude, it’s “tow the lion”.

          1. Roar, someone called?

            1. +1.

              I like that toe the line becomes Tow the Lion as in pull a large hairy beast which now becomes a large hairy beast named Tow.

              1. Whoa, thanks for explaining that difficult concept!

          2. Buy me a coke?

        1. “Tao the lime”…you mean I’ve been saying it wrong all these years?

    2. Yeah, I was referring to the 2008(?) H&R meme.

  4. Soon it will be objectionable for anyone in the movies or TV to eat fatty foods. “Man vs. Food” beware!

    1. God, I wish that was far-fetched.
      We live in a time in which satire has become impossible.

    2. Why stop there?
      The use of fat actors should be banned.
      After all, they didn’t get fat from exercising.

  5. I look forward to the re-re-re-release of Avatar, where the cigarettes will be replaced by walkie-talkies. And the entire cast will be replaced by Wookies.

    1. No ewoks? Bummer.

  6. Chris Dodd (D-Wall Street Banksters) is not running for re-election this year, he has announced. Unfortunately, that might make it more difficult for Peter Schiff to win the general election, should he take the Republican primary.

    Richard Blumenthal, the Connecticut attorney general, says he will run on the Democratic ticket, and being that Connecticut votes heavily Democratic, it will be tough for Peter. Furthermore, the only Republicans that have come from Connecticut in the past few decades have been hardcore statists, which means that there is almost no constituency for liberty in that state. I wish Peter the best, but the hill has become a bit more steep for him.

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/blog/lewrw/archives/46504.html

    1. There’s already a thread about that.

  7. In addition to rousing the ire of Glantz’s Smoke Free Movies project, Avatar, which is rated PG-13, earned a “black lung” from smokesense.org.

    If the coal miners from the 1940s were alive to read that, they’d be rolling in their graves.

    1. They’d clawing at the lids to their coffins.

    2. There was mining in the movie, too. Well, potential mining at least.

  8. To respond with anything more hedged than “See this ass, bitches? Eat it,” is to “endorse the reigning ideology” that a world of official concerns and issues, minutely and endlessly addressed, at all times, in all things, by all, always, is what constitutes society.

  9. My comment upon seeing the movie was that it was like StarCraft invaded a fantasy role-playing MMPORG.

    The human evil-space-militarists were obviously just as much their own kind of fantasy universe as the Pandorans.
    They just came from a different combat commando FPS universe than a MMPORG.

    The whole gainan enviro-freak thing is not serious at all. It’s the story line to a video game. The real meaning of the film is about losing yourself in alternate realities created by fantasy gaming.

    They’re fucking flying dragons for fuck sake, people. That’s a dead giveaway.

    1. Also, aren’t the Na’vi a little too much like night elves?

      1. yeah, they are very night-elfish. But there aren’t any Orcs or Mideaval humans involved, so I couldn’t say it was WarCraft III.

    2. I should add… Weaver smokes because that’s just what the characters in combat-commando-scifi computer games DO. They aren’t futuristic Americans, they’re the Terrans from StarCraft. Or rather, they are futuristic Americans as envisioned by combat FPS video games of the past decade.

      1. But apparently the “Americans” in the film are complete psychotic morons. And the film pretty much revels in their grizzly deaths. The whole thing looks like a liberal revenge fantasy against the evil military industrial complex.

        1. Snuffatar

        2. Dude, that’s because the Terrans in StarCraft, and pretty much every other futuristic combat commando game are complete psychotic morons.

          You’re entirely missing my point. They are portrayed that way because they are video game characters lifted out of the whole sci-fi combat FPS genre. That’s the style.

          1. That is a crazy premise to make a movie. The chances of any individual unit in starcraft surviving the scenario is just above zero kelvin. They are just mindless cannon fodder. Fun to send out to kill shit with, but not too interesting to watch on screen.

            1. And yet the film has made over a billion dollars already. Granted, these are 2009/2010 dollars, so that’s really like forty bucks. But that’s still not bad.

              1. Is that world wide? It has made 367 in the US. It is not surprising it is doing well overseas. Simple dialog, big graphics, and is basically a US soldier snuff film.

          2. I’m really surprised Blizzard hasn’t sued Cameron for ripping them off.

            It’s obvious that Avatar is space marines vs. night elves.

            1. Blizzard has to be careful, otherwise Games Workshop will sue them for stealing the Space Marines in the 1st place.

              1. And the heinlein estate will sue them for stealing the powered body armor idea from Starship Troopers.

          3. I don’t know that it’s fair to paint Starcraft with the same message brush as Elves in Space.

            Yeah, the Terrans are rednecks, and yeah the Space Marines are often technologically “rehabilitated” lunatics and criminals. But it was the Protoss who started the game off by eradicating whole Terran colonies — not for crimes against the environment or imperialism or whatever; just because there were Zerg on their planets. If there’s a message about the evil of “collateral damage” thinking, then it’s the wise benevolent aliens that are the villains, not the Space Hicks. (Not to mention the wise benevolent aliens live in a caste-based society and are governed by a rigid, dogmatic quasi-theocratic ideology).

            The Terran campaign starts out as a revolution against a despotic government, but ends with the leader of the revolution betraying his close friends, allying with opportunistic members of the despotic government, seizing absolute power and implementing something even worse than what came before. The Terran campaign’s message is about the dark side of hope and change.

            The “good guys” in the Protoss campaign, meanwhile, are really the Dark Templars and the Protoss that end up trying to reconcile with them. The Dark Templars were expelled from Protoss society because they rejected the new teachings for fear they would lose their individuality.

            The antagonistic humans in the expansion are basically a libertarian’s dystopian view of the future UN — from starcraft.wikia.com:

            “The United Powers League… succeeded the defunct United Nations and took on the mantle as the defender of humanity… The UPL sought to enforce conformity in the name of “enlightened socialism”. Fascist tactics destroyed ethnic separation and racism. English was imposed as the primary language while other languages were banned. Unitariate Commissions began banning religions in 2231[2] and religion fell under an official ban… While not a religious organization, the UPL embraced the philosophy of “the divinity of mankind”, scholars arguing that genetic alteration, cyber technology and the use of psychoactive drugs led to the degeneration of the human species… which led to launch of Project Purification… a campaign of mass genocide in which over 400 million people were eradicated.”

            Does the evil of the UPL (later UED) sound more like jingoistic hicks, or Progressive Intellectuals with Big Ideas about the Greater Good?

            Fact is, the Space Marines are the least of three evils — Raynor is essentially the everyman hero whose changing alliances (from colonist to revolution to Tassadar’s Protoss to Zeratul’s dark templars) are supposed to indicate the current “good guys”. And the good guys are usually good because they’re honorable and individualist in their ethics. Hell, even Kerrigan is a magnificent bastard(ess) because of her vaguely Byronic personality. The bad guys, the hive-mind Zerg, the dogmatic Enclave, the eugenic UED, the despotic Confederacy and Terran Dominion, are all hierarchical, strongly governed, and/or collectivist entities (the irony of the player essentially being an ur-dictator in all campaigns notwithstanding).

            Starcraft is about as close to a libertarian message game as we can get (no, Bioshock doesn’t count).

            1. Hey, all I was trying to say is that the behavior of the humans in Avatar are representative of sci-fi space militarists in all sorts of other video games of the past decade. StarCraft being the most obvious. Powered body armor included.

      2. Considering that most Americans (and probably an even greater percentage of international moviegoers) have never heard of StarCraft, I don’t think that’s the intended message, or the one that will be received.

        1. Korea on the other hand….

        2. Okay, well pick scifi combat commando game of choice. Halo 3 maybe?

    3. An unfortunate collision of high fantasy tropes and Space Marines sounds more like Warhammer 40k (although technically Starcraft ripped off Warhammer, so…)

  10. Can we get a Spoiler Alert here? Now I’m totally not going to be surprised when I see Weaver light one up.

      1. Cameron is no hack like Welles. I saw that coming a mile away.

      2. Its a sled.

        Neatly executed. It took me several seconds to get that.

        Cute.

    1. Seriously, there shouldn’t be spoiler alerts for Avatar.

      Nothing in there will surprise you. Nothing. But it will delight the hell out of the kid in you.

      1. Let me out! Let me out!

        /muffled screams.

      2. I hate the kid in me. He was gristly.

        1. He was unpleasant to eat? I’m willing to believe that.

        2. That was your pancreas, Sug. :::shakes head:::

      3. When I was a kid I would have rooted for the stupid little blue bastards to be killed. I doubt Avatar will make the kid in my smile.

        1. Your last name is McCain, isn’t it?

        2. Reminds me of my childhood reaction to Smurfs. Maybe I wasn’t typical though — I did bite off my sister’s stuffed bunny’s ears after watching Watership Down.

        3. Oh John, they blow lots and lots of things up. Things go boom!

      4. Filthy Critic gave the review that’s keeping me out of the theater: “I heart Ferngully”

        I never saw Ferngully as a kid, and I’m not interested now.

        1. I had to watch fern gully in elemetary school… it was part of me Massachusetts progressive education along with the late 80s -early 90’s experiement with “whole language.”

          Looking back on elementary school i now realize how much of it was green propeganda from Earth Day being mad ea big event to science class being dominated by the water cycle and polution to “diversity” being taught as a virtue (keep in mind diversity only applied to the color of your skin not diversity of though or the individual)

          1. In retrospect, my late 80s-early 90s elementary education was definitely all about environmental responsibility. Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle was our pledge of allegiance.

            1. Is that like Stop, Drop, and Roll?

          2. What I got out of FernGully: a new word “bodacious” and weirdly thinking Tim Curry as black goo was somehow sexy.

    2. Snape kills Dumbledore

  11. “which again is a negative comment about people in our real world living too much in their avatars, meaning online and in video games….”

    But the main character, the good guy, becomes an avatar forever. How is that a “negative comment” on living too much as an avatar? Cameron is obviously backtracking here, all for the sake of seeming PC about smoking. Fuck Glantz, fuck Cameron, fuck PC Hollywood.

    1. Yes, that’s interesting.
      I think cameron is being a bit toungue-in-cheek about it.

      But you know the main character is a guy in a hweelchair paralyzed, who is able to walk again through his avatar.

      1. I don’t think it’s possible to be tongue-in-cheek about a movie that is an amalgamation of just about every crowd-pleasing blockbuster ever made.

      2. Another reason why this movie is retarded: They have technology advanced enough to send people light years through space to live through avatars but they can even treat paralysis with anything more than a wheelchair?

        1. They had a treatment but it was too expensive. Apparently, Obamacare never got through.

          1. Because of capitalism and corporations of course.

          2. No heller it is BECAUSE Obamacare got through… you know the rationing and death panels were in effect.

            1. Ummm no, in the Avatar universe there would be no Obamacare because humanity is taken over by evil capitalism. Only unobtainium stolen from the peaceful natives can pay for his expensive medical operation back home on Earth(tm).

    2. “Fuck Glantz”

      That’s glans.

      1. Thanks for the coerrection.

    3. And none of the bad guys had avatars, either. Cameron is definitely backtracking, but it’s probably due more to the criticism of Avatar as a thinly-veiled leftist screed than to the smoking concerns.

    4. But the main character, the good guy, becomes an avatar forever.

      Wow, there’s no way I would have guessed that twist ending from the random portions of the trailer that I’ve seen. The movie is ruined for me now.

      1. Good. I just saved you $18-$10, a few hours, and a headache from watching 3D stuff fly at you. Also, I saved you from watching a movie you’ve already see before, except in little bits and pieces of other, orginal movies.

    5. Yeah, he’s not technically an avatar at the end — he’s fully Na’vi, with no machine intermediaries between his human body and his Na’vi body.

      Though I’m wondering about several things related to that [SPOILERS AHEAD!]…how did the Na’vi know how to transfer the spirit from a human body into a Na’vi avatar body, when avatars were unknown to them until the humans came (and given their relations with humans, it’s doubtful they would have wanted to do this before).

      Also, how are the humans who were permitted to stay on Pandora going to keep supplied with human-edible food and oxygen, which the Na’vi do not have the technology to produce?

      1. ::cracks knuckles::

        Well, Tulpa, the Tree of Life, as with every other living thing on the planet of Pandora, is connected through electric impulses. From my primitive understanding of casting human brains into avatar bodies, I believe the electric signals of the brain constitute that brain (and therefore the personhood of the human-avatar in question). That packet of electric signals must be constantly sent to the avatar in order to keep the connection going. When hotTerminatorGuy is at the Tree of Life (the nerve center of all electric signals, I presume), it’s tendrils (also full of electric impulses) fully captured the electric brain fully and imprinted it into the Na’vi body.

        /BS

  12. I don’t believe in the dogmatic idea that no one in a movie should smoke. Movies should reflect reality.

    Spoken without even a hint of irony.

    1. REFLECT reality. Like the image of the sky in an oil streaked puddle.

    2. Movies should reflect the reality of blue-skinned aliens on beautiful, Gaia-esque planets.

  13. I find it somewhat amusing that a movie that contains some of the most obvious racist colonial trope as this movie is liked at all by the left. I guess the enviornmental message dwarfs the fact that the blue kitties are completely lost without the help of one good white male. Oh and the smoking is bad too I guess.
    Personally I think its a movie with neat effects and a juvenile story line. Which is good enough for entertainment I enjoyed my time in the theater. However, the left love to look “deeper” into these things, so its kind of fun to not see them look deeper to the obvious problem with this film.

    1. “the blue kitties are completely lost without the help of one good white male.”

      That is pretty much how lefties see the world and minorities in particular.

    2. Yeah, I noticed that too. The one white male hero arrives to save the day, flying the biggest fucking dragon of all, thereby fulfilling tribal prophecy. Whereupon he is worshipped practically as a God.

      People, this is *exactly* the narrative of a fantasy role playing game. It’s so entirely superficial I can’t see how anyone takes it seriously, in either a positive or negative way.

      1. That is a good point. And pretty pathetic statement about the movie. Video games can get away with lame or ridiculous plots because you are playing them as opposed to watching them. A movie with a video game plot is pretty low.

        1. The movie is called ‘Avatar’ for a reason.

          Because it’s about video games.

          The main character displaces his personality into an alternate body in a fantasy universe.

          They fly dragons and ride dinosaurs.

          The humans have giant steel powered body armor suits and fly space ships.

          Like I said, it’s as if StarCraft invaded the Night Elves home town. Or some equivalent fantasy RPG universe.

          1. It is even lame for the video game. No one would play a video game like that and chose to play the blue things. You would play the humans and slaughter the blue things.

            1. What? The blue things get to fly dragons and mind-meld with a tree.
              That sounds like WAY more fun.

              1. To each his own, but I would rather hunt varmints.

    3. That’s not a fair characterization. [SPOILERS AHEAD!] The “blue kitties” saved the white male’s life the first night in the forest, and only after they had taught him their peace-loving, harmonious-with-nature ways was he able to find the inner strength to fight against the eeeeevil humans. A blue one also saved him at the end.

      1. yeah, but it’s still about the white mans mental journey.

        The blue kitties are never expected to expand their minds and learn to understand the ways and culture of the white people. they are assumed to be too primitive to grasp the concept that the other side might have something of value to teach them too.

    4. Another reason why Pocahontas is the better movie, even though the two are similar. The actual member of the native tribe saves the day.

  14. I think there’s a valid concern here. Children watching Avatar in 3D are going to see Ripley seemingly puffing on a cig right next to them in the theater. And we all know that virtual secondhand smoke is exactly as dangerous as the real thing.

    1. Win

    2. And we all know that virtual secondhand smoke is exactly as dangerous as the real thing.

      Actually this is true.

  15. “I find it somewhat amusing that a movie that contains some of the most obvious racist colonial trope as this movie is liked at all by the left.”

    The soft speakers on NPR this morning called it the most derivative unoriginal movie they had ever seen, and warned that it didn’t really say or mean anything.

    1. When you make a liberal revenge fantasy and have lost NPR.

    2. When you make a liberal revenge fantasy and have lost NPR.

      1. Posted twice, but still a sentence fragment.

    3. That’s just because they havn’t played enough video games to recognize it as one of them.

      1. I think we’ve all got your point about video games by now Hazel. Really.

  16. What I don’t get is how Cameron could have spent 15 years of his life trying to get such an obviously unoriginal and stupid movie made. This movie looks like something the studios threw together with six different screen writers in a few months and then foisted on the public not a fifteen year labor of love by an allegedly serious director.

    1. C’mon. I know its not Shakespheare but cut us some slack.

    2. I don’t think it was the script that took 15 years — it was piecing together the visuals and the equipment necessary to put them on screen.

      1. True enough. But you would think at some point during those 15 years Cameron would have tried to fix a few of the holes in the plot.

        1. Mothers are always the last to see the flaws in their children.

        2. He only added the plot because the executives kept bitching. The first draft of the movie was called “Three Hours of Fucking Awesome CGI Special Effects in Space (in 3D!!!)”. It just so happened that Pocahontas was the last thing he had watched, so…

    3. It was Dances with Smurfs, in 3-D.

      1. Pocahantas Dances with Smurfs, in 3D

  17. Glantz’s textbook is pretty good. He seems to be pretty much a wanker though. Tr?s bay area.

  18. It should be noted that there was MUCH more to the movie, but it was cut to fit the time alloted.

    1. It should be noted that there was MUCH more to the movie, but it was cut so that future DVD releases can be used to milk the “director’s cut” market. Fixed it for you.

      1. Oh is that it? I guess all the morally complex, interesting and unique angels to the story took too long to develop so there was only enough time for the simple, trite, and predictable stuff.

        1. I think you give Cameron too much credit. If there were interesting and unique angles to the story, why not put them in in the first place?

          1. sarcasm

            John’s head

            1. In his defense, I meant my sarcastic response to be to Kroneborge’s post, not John’s reply to Kroneborge’s post, but somehow I got hit the wrong one which made it kind of confusing. Damn threaded comments!

    2. How would you know this?

      1. Read about it in a Cameron interview. He said when he first wrote the script it was basically a novel, and he had to cut it down to get it to an acceptable movie length.

        1. One wonders why he didn’t go the trilogy route then. Of course, it’s quite possible that the stuff that got cut was just as trite and worthless as the stuff that made it into the film.

  19. “If it’s O.K. for people to lie, cheat, steal and kill in PG-13 movies, why impose an inconsistent morality when it comes to smoking?”

    Ugh. I understand what he’s saying, but I hate the implication that smoking is immoral. Just because something’s unhealthy doesn’t mean it’s “wrong,” per se.

    1. It happened when the definition of immoral became “things I don’t like.”

      1. Hey, I like that definition. It makes the left and most government actions immoral.

        Of course, I can usually give a more reasoned explanation than “I don’t like it”.

  20. “This is like someone just put a bunch of plutonium in the water supply,” Glantz tells The New York Times

    cowabunga, dude!

  21. Cameron’s fifteen years was taken up mostly by a) playing, and b) inventing and developing new technology & techniques to allow him to even get his (lame) story to the screen at all. I definitely agree that the film’s story is wonky, but it is the most astoundingly beautiful film I’ve ever seen – and the absolute best motion stereography I’ve seen.

  22. Hiro Protagonist is not amused.

    1. Another story full of leftist tripe. But less enjoyable.

  23. People always have wondered what kind of movie Ed Wood would have made if he had been given infinite resources. Well, now we know.

    1. Except Ed Wood’s version would have given Jake Sully a female avatar.

      1. Wearing a pink angora sweater.

  24. For me there is a disconnect between population control nuts also being smoking nazis. The anti-tobacco hype offered by liars like Henry Waxman has just about driven me to the point of believing cigarettes must actually be good for you.

    1. Yes. And the anti-smoking ads before movies make me wish I was cool enough to smoke.

  25. LOL: James Cameron’s Avatar is Disney’s Pochontas:

    https://reason.com/blog/2010/01…..nt_1516929

    1. Too funny!

  26. Sigourney smoking was one of the few plot elements I give Cameron props for. Takes balls these days to make protagonists smokers in movies.

    As far as everything else, I wish egotistical directors like Cameron and Lucas would focus on their groundbreaking technology and let actual writers do the writing.

    1. But I agree with A.G. Pym above. The plot was kind of beside the point.

      1. Which is why the movie will be forgotten in a matter of months. The technology will progress and become more widely used and Avatar won’t look so spectacular to future movie goers. It will just be a cheap looking movie with a dumb plot. Seriously, who watches Who Framed Roger Rabbit or The Abyss anymore?

        1. I disagree. I think Avatar is more groundbreaking like the Matrix (though not quite as good). I think it will change the way movies are made for a long time.

          Plus, I just enjoyed it. Predicatable story, sure. But that means my head won’t hurt from knew thoughts, lol

          1. Certainly the Matrix proves you don’t have to have a coherent plot to be influential.

            1. Hey, the Matrix was coherent. Very Nietzscheian.

            2. Plus it gave me hope that the real world wasn’t actually run by liberals, but by human-harvesting machines.

              1. The difference being? Actually, I would call the Republicans human-harvesting machines. There was a meeting of them here a month ago and all the couples wanted separate beds (NO JOKE).

        2. “Who Framed Roger Rabbit or The Abyss anymore?”

          Tony.

    2. Sigourney smoking was one of the few plot elements I give Cameron props for.

      Character element not plot element. If her smoking was a plot element she would have used a zipo to kill an enemy or stuck a lit cigarette in a someone eye or she would have gotten cancer…anyway you get the idea.

  27. Bitter babes who smoke, gotta love em

  28. Seriously, where did I come from? Kinda snuck up on everybody, yeah? And vomited.

    1. Yeah, Cameron could’ve just put me at the end. Nobody would’ve noticed.

    2. I would’ve been awesome for the final battle scene!

  29. Once again…Avatar is not a left wing movie with left wing themes.

    1. Wrong. It is anti-capitalism, anti-corporations, anti-war, and environmentalist. Any left wing themes missing?

      1. Just vegetarianism – oh, and (getting back to the article) anti-smoking zealotry.

      2. Queers.

      3. Wrong it is pro property rights pro free labor markets and pro liberty and pro religion informed morality and pro gun rights and pro local government.

        plus we got the smoking example.

        You need to stop reading the nut jobs at “Big Hollywood” without a critical eye.

        1. oh yeah the story of the ex-marine is very pro-individual.

          Also the sexual liberty of the his love interest was as well.

          1. Oh yeah i forgot anti-authoritarian, and pro-meritocracy.

            1. Since I didn’t see any actual governments in this movie, just a corporation, I hesitate to call it anti-authority. Meritocracy? Where are you pulling these out of? Oh I know, your ass.

          2. Dude, just because there is a hero in the story does not mean the movie is individualist. Sexual liberty (bi-racial/bi-cultural in the movie) is a left wing theme. Good job proving my point.

            1. Sexual liberty (bi-racial/bi-cultural in the movie) is a left wing theme.

              WTF? You sound like an idiot, so please prove your point. Sexual liberty, like any liberty, is an individualist and freedom-loving theme. You might as well say sexual illiberty is a right-wing theme. I would say both sides consider only some sexual events to be correct.

        2. “pro property rights pro free labor markets and pro liberty and pro religion informed morality and pro gun rights and pro local government”

          Could you site any real examples of these views actually being fed to the audience? The destruction of the home tree was not about property rights, it was about the destruction of nature for money. Just because you one side using force on other side doesn’t mean that there is any pro-liberty message here either. It was definitely pro-spiritualism, but not pro-morality-based-on-religion. And definitely not pro-local government. The pandorans didn’t have govs, just a chief and priestess. The smoking doesn’t represent any kind of pro-smoking message. Good job, buddy. You sure convinced me there are no left wing themes in this movie.

      4. hmm, didn’t seem to be anti war, at least not with that much violence in it.

        1. The violence was initiated by the eeeeevil capitalist planetkilling humans. The smurfs were just defending themselves.

          1. So it supports a strong planetary defense.

  30. Also movies I see at movie theaters should have no smoking in them for the simple reason that seeing someone smoke makes me want to smoke.
    Which, being unable to smoke in a theater, hurts the overall viewing experience.

    1. This. I don’t see how anyone can stand it. I think the same effect is the purpose of anti-smoking commercials.

      And no beer either unless you’re at one of those fancy theaters.

      Home theater, people.

  31. You know what I really don’t get about Avatar?

    You spend $400 million on amazing special effects, yet the subtitles are in cheap MS Word Papyrus font.

  32. James Cameron stole my script!

  33. Speaking of movies, I watched almost the whole trailer for the Book of Eli thinking “Wow, that was quick. I wasn’t expecting to see a Fallout 3 movie for at least another year or two.”

    1. MIND MELD!

  34. Regarding that NPR comment posted above, I wonder if the Left Intelligentsia did not find the caricatures of all those lefty beliefs sort of insulting. I mean, it almost seemed like James Cameron was mocking the left through an obvious exaggeration of all lefty ideas about capitalists and the environment.

    Mind you, no capitalists in this Universe would have ever EVER freighted haul trucks, mining equipment, habitats, materials, food and people to a distant and harsh planet just to obtain a few rocks. Supposedly the rocks contained a very “valuable” mineral – what, Cameron never heard of substitutions? Doesn’t Cameron know that the REAL money comes from selling cheap stuff in great quantities? Why does he think people use OIL today instead of WHALE oil, even when whale oil is more “valuable”?

    Idiot.

    1. Yeah, I do sort of get a whiff of that from the whole fantasy RPG angle I have been reading it on. If the whole thing is an analogy for MMPORGs and video games in general, then hat he’s really saying is that the whole romantic noble savage stuff is just a big fantasy.

  35. I mean, it almost seemed like James Cameron was mocking the left through an obvious exaggeration of all lefty ideas about capitalists and the environment.

    You are confusing established sci-fi elements of a living planet with environmentalism, and what does Kelo in space have to do with capitalism?

    1. Gee, maybe it was the oft-repeated line that humans had “killed their mother” by our abuses of our own planet. That, coupled with the capitalist caricatures who are supposedly obsessed with profits, yet repeatedly overlook myriad opportunities to make profits AND avoid spending money on military action.

      And if you think Cameron intended this film to be about eminent domain, I’ve got a railroad yard in Brooklyn to sell you.

    2. corning, do you actually believe what comes out of your brain or are you just retarded?

      The movie was clearly environmentalist and anti-capitalist: “We must be one with nature, the humans are raping our planet for money, bla bla bla.”

  36. In response, director James Cameron says he considers smoking “a filthy habit” and does not view Weaver’s character as “an aspirational role model” for teenagers:

    She’s rude, she swears, she drinks, she smokes.

    Weaver’s character in Avatar is one of the good guys.

    And, I won’t Godwin the thread by naming a certain vegetarian, non-drinking, non-smoking sociopath of the early to mid-1900s.

      1. Good guess, but I think it could be any of a veritable plethora of progressives. Now, they were racists.

        1. I don’t recall Robert La Follette ever calling WEB DuBois a “negro communist”.

  37. I think the bad thing about this movie is there actually IS a good reason for the humans not to be digging up this planet. It has a unique and unusual ecosystem very unlike Earth’s. While I do believe Cameron is recycling the same old tropes of criticizing European colonialism, what the humans are doing here is a lot worse. Does it remind anyone of “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?” wherein the protagonist is too perfect to be criticized?

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