Teens, Feminist Politics, and “Avatar”

Last week, my kid and I decided to catch a matinee of James Cameron’s much anticipated Avatar. The trailers made it look interesting, and I really loved his last big hit (Titanic). As an added bonus, it looked like a good bet for entertaining someone of the 16 year-old techno-geek set. I figured I’d be amused for a couple of hours at worst and, at best, I’d be impressed with the animation/special effects. And, I thought, I might (just might) find something interesting to discuss with my angsty emotional roller-coaster riding/hormonal distant teenager.

Before the actual movie started, I laid even odds that the most exciting part of the entire experience would be my first glimpse of the theatrical preview of the latest Johnny Depp/Tim Burton endeavor—Alice in Wonderland. It hits theaters just in time to celebrate my next birthday in March. Squeeee! Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter + Tim Burton = automatic cinematic masterpiece. But I digress.

It turns out that, even though the aforementioned preview of Depp/Burton goodness was awesome (as expected), Avatar itself was nothing short of amazing. Despite some fairly obvious flaws as well as some problematic plot themes/elements, it is a beautiful film, both as an epic story and as a technical marvel. In my mind, it was worth every bit of the $10/each I paid for us to see it—and I’m a wait for the DVD (cheap) sort of girl. [Read more...]