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  #46  
Old 12-02-2010, 10:49 PM
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Originally Posted by joeylovesgaia View Post
But my point (and the reason I put in the other section) is that people were rooting for the RDA. Not everyone, but many. If Cameron meant this story as more than entertainment (and he clearly did), if he meant to change people's minds with this, then he screwed up. What looks evil to a liberal looks justifiable, even honorable, to a conservative. And with the scene in SE showing that the attack on Hometree was provoked, well...civilian targets have been bombed before, and the casualties accepted as a cost of war.

Now to anyone who was following the Na'vi, sympathizing with the Na'vi, the loss of Hometree is felt as a holocaust, a horror. But to boys who idolized Quaritch, loved all the cool hardware, and felt bored (and maybe grossed out) by this "unity of people and nature" thing, it was a victorious battle.

James, you failed. You should have made Quaritch, Selfridge, and the RDA more of a clear villain if you wanted to convert people. You should have screen-tested this movie to conservatives, and tweaked it until they agreed that the RDA was in the wrong. You should have shown the true horrors that empires inflict on the innocent. Slavery and rape, even macho hardasses understand that these are wrong.
I'm having trouble seeing how this is related to the topic of the thread in any way shape or form...
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  #47  
Old 12-02-2010, 11:26 PM
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Quaritch is kick ass. And that too, is a fact.
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  #48  
Old 12-02-2010, 11:40 PM
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Thanks for this, Patrice Marie! I've read similar things, but I've been unable to find them. So, thank you for finding and posting!
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  #49  
Old 12-03-2010, 12:11 AM
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Originally Posted by joeylovesgaia View Post

James, you failed. You should have made Quaritch, Selfridge, and the RDA more of a clear villain if you wanted to convert people.
I doubt his primary goal was to "convert people." In fact, I'm pretty sure his main goal was to "tell a good story."

I am amused by your argument, given that it is one of the only times I've ever seen Avatar accused of being "not black-and-white ENOUGH." If anything, I think the added nuance from the CE scenes makes the story more thought-provoking and compelling, not less. In the real world, evil acts are often committed by people who *think* their actions are justified. When a storyteller can effectively convey that moral ambiguity, it makes the villainy more frightening, because we wonder whether we ourselves might do such terrible things under the circumstances.

Making the villains even more over-the-top would not have made the movie any more effective at "converting" people. It would only make the story sh*ttier and less believable. It would stop being horrifying and just start becoming laughable.
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Selected writings:

You came back
How do you make up after you've done the unforgivable? Jake and Neytiri have a conversation in the wake of Hometree's destruction, during their first real moment alone following his return as Toruk Makto.

The Last Train Home
Fourteen years after the war, a lone spaceship appears in the sky. The former members of the Avatar program watch its approach – expecting the worst, fearing for their adopted home. Then the ship lands. And suddenly, nothing makes sense anymore.

Five seconds too late
This is a different kind of Jake/Neytiri romance, the story that would've unfolded had she been delayed for just five seconds while trying to reach him following the fight with Quaritch.
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  #50  
Old 12-03-2010, 12:37 AM
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Originally Posted by electrosphere11 View Post
Quaritch is kick ass. And that too, is a fact.
^ lol win
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  #51  
Old 12-03-2010, 01:27 AM
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Is he kick ass? Yes.
Did I "" when he got it in the chest? Also yes.
Would I do the same if I got the chance? Hell yes.

That's the thing about Quaritch, he's both awesome, and at the same time someone you'd give anything to take a swing at.
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  #52  
Old 12-03-2010, 02:57 AM
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I really don't consider him 'awesome' at all, even if I DON'T consider all the bad things he did. He just doesn't fit the definition.

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You could say that the allied forces against the Nazis was all based on an "outside force" when guns, tanks, and bombs were only used by people "pressing buttons" by that analogy.

The allies didn't win WWII, guns did.
Ignoring the fact that that's getting close to a nazi analogy, I wouldn't put it quite that way, but yes, we did win against an economically and logistically superior enemy with defensive positions which the US and Britain made the attack on, succeeding primarily due to British technological innovations from radar to amphibious tanks . If the technology level had been equal, WW2 would have goner a lot differently and while the Allies may have still won, it would have taken a lot more time, effort and lives.
But either way, the people USING the technology on either side didn't develop it and had relatively little understanding of it other than how to use it
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  #53  
Old 12-03-2010, 05:30 AM
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He was on fire jumped out of a falling aircraft and STILL looking for a fight.


That's reaching maximum levels of badassery. He is also the image for the "Colonel Badass" trope on TVtropes.
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  #54  
Old 12-03-2010, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Human No More View Post
Ignoring the fact that that's getting close to a nazi analogy, I wouldn't put it quite that way, but yes, we did win against an economically and logistically superior enemy with defensive positions which the US and Britain made the attack on, succeeding primarily due to British technological innovations from radar to amphibious tanks . If the technology level had been equal, WW2 would have goner a lot differently and while the Allies may have still won, it would have taken a lot more time, effort and lives.
But either way, the people USING the technology on either side didn't develop it and had relatively little understanding of it other than how to use it
...So you're saying that because of the tactics used, the allied forces won against the Germans? That's what I've been saying all along.

Tactics are controlled decisions made that deploy forces to win a conflict. The U.S. used them and won. The British used them and won. The RDA used them and won. The Na'vi used them and lost. Eywa used them and won. The battle between the Na'vi and the RDA was won by the RDA. The battle between Eywa and the RDA was a different battle with a different enemy, and a different set of tactics.

Last edited by Woodsprite; 12-03-2010 at 10:14 AM.
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  #55  
Old 12-03-2010, 10:31 AM
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...well, in WWII and the Nazis, let us not forget the entire Eastern Front here. I'm sure the fact that the Nazis were also attempting to conquer the Soviet Union (lacking, among other things, winter uniforms during one of the coldest winters on record) AT THE SAME TIME as the other front contributed to how the war spun out.

Sorry, I know, OT. But everyone forgets about the Eastern Front, and it deeply annoys me. It wasn't only the Western Allies who won, after all. And it wasn't just tactics that won the day.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodsprite View Post
Tactics are controlled decisions made that deploy forces to win a conflict... The RDA used them and won. The Na'vi used them and lost. Eywa used them and won. The battle between the Na'vi and the RDA was won by the RDA. The battle between Eywa and the RDA was a different battle with a different enemy, and a different set of tactics.
Yes. This. So very, very much this. I was actually very impressed that Cameron actually had the Na'vi losing before he pulled his literal deus ex machina - cultures like the Na'vi don't tend to go well when faced with disciplined military. It's why the Romans were able to conquer an empire. Of course, then Eywa came and saved the day, but like Woodsprite said, that's really a separate battle with a different enemy.

Be interesting if Jake the former Marine went 'okay, well, THAT'S not happening again' and set about training the Na'vi how to actually fight against machine guns.
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  #56  
Old 12-03-2010, 12:26 PM
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Quite a few opinions that I want to vent out.

I have different feelings for Quaritch in and out of the film. When I look at his actions out of context, he is an image of badass and toughness. However, beyond Quaritch's pure physical and tactical virtues (I'm not even so sure about the latter), how a person like him got the rank of Colonel is beyond me. Something is wrong with his mind; he's looking for a fight when there doesn't need to be one. I don't view him or his subordinates and troopers as Marines, but as mercenaries, Blackwater style. Sure, the defense contractors of the RDA have military background, but that doesn't mean their behaviorism and actions reflect military culture. Thus, I don't consider the mercenaries as Marines or soldiers. Despite the fact that people may stereotype Marines and soldiers as "idiot puppets with guns", the military doesn't train its personnel to be murderers.

Regarding the hand-to-hand combat skills, we humans have very developed martial arts that seems to be absent from the Na'vi culture. This is a snippet of a post I made on AF a few days ago.

Quote:
I don't think muscle mass equates to greater strength. Again, regarding someone's comment of the Iknimaya, I agree in the observation that none of the Na'vi were panting like Jake, which may indicate they may have greater endurance. The reason he won the fist fight was probably due to his martial arts experience from the Marine Corps (MCMAP, if you're curious). I agree with the statements that his greater muscle mass is the result of hybrid DNA.
For future references, please don't call the RDA defense contractors as "Marines". They may have military background, perhaps from the Marine Corps, but I don't think the USMC would foster such savagery and callousness into all of its personnel. As someone who enlisting in the Marine Corps, I feel uncomfortable that people refer to the mercenaries as Marines when they clearly aren't. (Jake himself referred to them as hired guns)
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  #57  
Old 12-03-2010, 12:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AC130StandingBy View Post
Quite a few opinions that I want to vent out.

I have different feelings for Quaritch in and out of the film. When I look at his actions out of context, he is an image of badass and toughness. However, beyond Quaritch's pure physical and tactical virtues (I'm not even so sure about the latter), how a person like him got the rank of Colonel is beyond me. Something is wrong with his mind; he's looking for a fight when there doesn't need to be one. I don't view him or his subordinates and troopers as Marines, but as mercenaries, Blackwater style. Sure, the defense contractors of the RDA have military background, but that doesn't mean their behaviorism and actions reflect military culture. Thus, I don't consider the mercenaries as Marines or soldiers. Despite the fact that people may stereotype Marines and soldiers as "idiot puppets with guns", the military doesn't train its personnel to be murderers.

Regarding the hand-to-hand combat skills, we humans have very developed martial arts that seems to be absent from the Na'vi culture. This is a snippet of a post I made on AF a few days ago.



For future references, please don't call the RDA defense contractors as "Marines". They may have military background, perhaps from the Marine Corps, but I don't think the USMC would foster such savagery and callousness into all of its personnel. As someone who enlisting in the Marine Corps, I feel uncomfortable that people refer to the mercenaries as Marines when they clearly aren't. (Jake himself referred to them as hired guns)

With all due respect, the United States Marine Corps aren't the only Marines on the planet, and by no means does 'Marines' always mean 'USMC'. I am sorry that you take offence to this, but it is a common term for soldiers who have a naval/science-fiction space-ship slant to them. The Marines in Aliens weren't USMC, either, but they were still Marines. We in Avatar fandom wouldn't have taken to calling the RDA Marines just on a whim, but it's part of who they are. They are SPACE Marines. And regardless of whether you regard them as 'proper Marines', they are clearly still soldiers. Soldiers are professional, and the Marines hired by the RDA for their own private army (which is, let us not forget, bound by the UN NOT to have any nukes, so they clearly are professional enough to do battle with other professional armies) are...well, professional.

In addition, mercenaries, by and large, ARE soldiers. It's part of the definition of them - they are soldiers who do not work (or do not OPENLY, depending on the circumstances) for a government. In a lot of ways, they can be more professional then the your average nineteen-year-old private. They are also still military, they just aren't GOVERNMENT military. Blackwater isn't the only PSC around - indeed, in my book on soldiers-for-hire, there is even a comment from British Special Forces that PSCs keep stealing their guys.

As for Jake's comments...well, he did say that. He was also rambling into a microphone, clearly awkward about doing so, and later on he gives Grace and Norm the run-down on tactics on taking things that don't belong to you - where else would he have learned why people go to war except in his time in the USMC? That doesn't gel with his comments of "back on Earth, these guys were...fighting for freedom". Given one set is him rambling, clearly awkward and trying to make a point, and the other comment was mad when he was bitter and angry and not trying to prove anything, I'm inclined to ignore his comments in his first video-log (I could, after all, refer to governmental soldiers as nothing more than guns hired by the government, but I won't, as I try not to disrespect the actual men and women who fight). Just because he is the narrator doesn't mean he's a RELIABLE one.
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  #58  
Old 12-03-2010, 03:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodsprite View Post
...So you're saying that because of the tactics used, the allied forces won against the Germans? That's what I've been saying all along.

Tactics are controlled decisions made that deploy forces to win a conflict. The U.S. used them and won. The British used them and won. The RDA used them and won. The Na'vi used them and lost. Eywa used them and won. The battle between the Na'vi and the RDA was won by the RDA. The battle between Eywa and the RDA was a different battle with a different enemy, and a different set of tactics.
The RDA were never fighting the Na'vi specifically, they were fighting everything on Pandora. In case you forgot in your rush to apologism, their ACTUAL target was the Tree Of Souls. That's central to ALL life on Pandora.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AC130StandingBy View Post
Regarding the hand-to-hand combat skills, we humans have very developed martial arts that seems to be absent from the Na'vi culture. This is a snippet of a post I made on AF a few days ago.
Yet it is stated many times that the Na'vi ARE ~4x stronger than humans.

Quote:
For future references, please don't call the RDA defense contractors as "Marines". They may have military background, perhaps from the Marine Corps, but I don't think the USMC would foster such savagery and callousness into all of its personnel. As someone who enlisting in the Marine Corps, I feel uncomfortable that people refer to the mercenaries as Marines when they clearly aren't. (Jake himself referred to them as hired guns)
They look the same and act the same, they seem like marines to me. I'm not saying every single marine is an unbalanced psychopath who does it to legally kill people, but nobody can say that nobody there ISN'T that either. In the end though, it takes a certain kind of person to willingly want to kill others, people who have families, friends, children, hopes, dreams, just as people on the other side do.
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  #59  
Old 12-03-2010, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Human No More View Post
The RDA were never fighting the Na'vi specifically, they were fighting everything on Pandora. In case you forgot in your rush to apologism, their ACTUAL target was the Tree Of Souls. That's central to ALL life on Pandora.
As far as I understood it, their target was the Tree of Souls for the simple reason that destroying it would severely damage the Na'vi culture - remember, leading up to the attack, the RDA don't believe in any connection of the trees or Eywa. As I saw it, the Na'vi were the prime target, and the rest of the creatures were just dangerous hazards, not opponents.

Also...um, where did you get that the Tree of Souls was central to ALL life? I certainly didn't pick that up - I thought it was important only in that one area.
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  #60  
Old 12-03-2010, 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Ashen Key View Post
With all due respect, the United States Marine Corps aren't the only Marines on the planet, and by no means does 'Marines' always mean 'USMC'. I am sorry that you take offence to this, but it is a common term for soldiers who have a naval/science-fiction space-ship slant to them. The Marines in Aliens weren't USMC, either, but they were still Marines. We in Avatar fandom wouldn't have taken to calling the RDA Marines just on a whim, but it's part of who they are. They are SPACE Marines. And regardless of whether you regard them as 'proper Marines', they are clearly still soldiers. Soldiers are professional, and the Marines hired by the RDA for their own private army (which is, let us not forget, bound by the UN NOT to have any nukes, so they clearly are professional enough to do battle with other professional armies) are...well, professional.
Well said. Just for reference, the US is NOT the only country on Earth with 'Marines' of some kind either,just because so many Americans tend to have a US-centric viewpoint which makes them think that everything is referring to them (as I said above, there is not even a MENTION of America, apart from the tiny detail of Selfridge's flag, which, as I said before, I doubt most people even noticed).

Quote:
In addition, mercenaries, by and large, ARE soldiers. It's part of the definition of them - they are soldiers who do not work (or do not OPENLY, depending on the circumstances) for a government. In a lot of ways, they can be more professional then the your average nineteen-year-old private. They are also still military, they just aren't GOVERNMENT military. Blackwater isn't the only PSC around - indeed, in my book on soldiers-for-hire, there is even a comment from British Special Forces that PSCs keep stealing their guys.
Yes. Many private companies primarily or exclusively hire people who are formerly from national militaries, but they still count as armies. In many historical pre-WW1 wars, large proportions of 'armies' (and in some cases almost the entirety of some) were mercenaries. They do the same job, just without as much of a national allegiance and usually for more money. The concept of a professional military (as opposed to mercenaries, conscripts, or both and with the exception of the actual command structure) only dates back to the early 20th century.
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