Monday, December 19, 2022


Stan weighs in on James Cameron's AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER:

AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER left me in tears

Friday night, we saw James Cameron's AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER.

It's incredible.  If someone wants to knock it because the women don't do enough, I support that.  It's the story of Jake and what I'll call Jake Jr.  Women do very little and that includes Zoe Saldana's Neytiri.  There are way too many men with lines and actions scenes when you grasp how poorly Zoe is used.  And how passive Jake and Neytiri's daughters are when compared to their two sons.

Then there's Spider and his 'father.'  And then there are three boys in the water lands -- one of whom is the ruler of the new place Jake and Neytiri call home.  

They young males are always doing something -- active -- while the young women are always learning or emoting (or both) -- passive.   Then you've got Edie Falco wasted as well.  And why is it that the team of humans going in are all male except for one woman? 

So if someone wants to make that critique, they're right.  I won't disagree with them.  I'd also argue Jake doesn't get that much to do either.  Sam Worthington's character is almost as side lined for the first half of the film as Zoe's character is.

But what I liked was the look of it.  We're seeing it tomorrow with my nieces and nephews but in 3D.  It's amazing in 2D but I can't wait to see it in 3-D.

Jake Jr. is threatened with "an old fashioned spanking" by his father at one point because he is so adventurous.  Of course, his adventures always pay off.  

And it's one of those adventures that really made me love the film.  He's going out beyond the reef -- they're not supposed to -- to fit in at the new home and to make apologies to the ruler's son.  They prank him and leave him.  He's then attacked by some huge sea creature.

Payakan is the reason he lives.  He's another sea creature -- think a whale with multiple eyes.  He's a a "Tulkun."  Hope I spelled that right.  Where they've made their home, the Sully family, their new home, the people there are water people.  And the Tulkun are their brothers and sisters.  They swim with them.  They speak with them.  They sing with them.

Payakan doesn't get to swim or live with his other Tulkuns.  He's been black listed.  He caused death.

He saves Jake Jr. and they become friends.  No one believes Jake Jr. about the encounter.  For one thing, Tulkuns always travel in twos.  But it did happen and Jake Jr. goes to see Payakan and swim with him.  

 Payakan shows Jake Jr. what happened.  How his fellow Tulkuns were slaughtered and how Payakan was trying to help save them.  

When the ruler confronts Jake Jr. for interacting with Payakan, Jake Jr. tries to defend Payakan but it's no use.


And when the Tulkuns are in jeopardy, Jake Jr. risks his own life to get to Payakan and warn him what's coming.  And when Jake Jr. and his family are in danger, Payakan risks his own life to save them.


I really loved Payakin and I did cry throughout over the scenes with Payakin and Jake Jr.  There was so much humanity and emotion and power in those scenes. 


For me, that's where the film is at its best. 

I think everyone did a great job.  I wish the women had been more active.  But I do think it's a great film and I strongly recommend it. 


Going out with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot;" 

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