To Cuss or Not to Cuss
I have a predicament. As I write, I often wrestle with the question, “Should my character cuss or not?” Now, let me be clear; I can not stand cussing for cussing’s sake. I hate reading a story or watching a movie where the F bomb is used so much, it makes the German air raids of WWII look tame. Nor can I stand when it is used as a shock factor or when it is just thrown in. To show you what I’m talking about, let me pick on the movie,Hitch.
First, Hitch is one of my favorite movies. Anytime it is on TV, I will park my butt and watch it. Last night, I did just that. As I was watching it, the scene where Hitch is talking to Sara Melas, his love interest for the first time, came up.
They are at a bar, and Hitch is walking over to Sarah, drink in hand, to hit on her when along comes another guy. This other guy starts to spout cheesy one liners like, “You look very much like my next girlfriend.” Hitch then comes and “rescues” her by acting like her boyfriend. What’s next is a very funny and witty dialog.
Their conversation is mainly about guys trying to pick up girls, all the time it is winking at their exact situation. Hitch is listing all the tell-tale signs she is giving off that she is not interested. He then makes the re-mark, “And if that doesn’t work, there’s always the f*** off sign on your forehead.” Now on TV, obviously he does not say the F word; he says “buzz off”. It’s still a funny scene! Here is my point. Adding the F word did nothing to enhance the story or the comedic value of the conversation. It is equally as funny with him saying the word “buzz”.
This goes for a lot of things. A co-worker of mine let me borrow a cd of the comedian, Lewis Black. As I listened to it on the 15 minute drive home, every time he swore I would repeat the same joke in my head without the cussing and it was just as funny.
However, I am not entirely opposed to cussing. Some movies and stories need it. Could you imagine Saving Private Ryan, Aliens, or The Shawshank Redemption without cussing? Some people would prefer it that way, but if you are making a movie, or writing a story about WWII or prison life, it would be very unrealistic if no one had a potty mouth.
The above is the easy part for me. The hard part is when it pertains to my own characters. As a Christian, I want my writing to be clean, but I want it to be realistic. The question I get asked the most is, “Who is your audience?” My answer depends on what I am writing. As of now, Alone is geared towards a horror/suspense audience, not a Christian one. However, when I write a scene where cussing would fit, I wrestle with putting it in or not.
For instance, at the beginning of the story, we find the main characters, Stephen and Beth Scranton, getting stuck in a traffic jam on the interstate. In real life, there would be some swearing. However, I find writing, “He swore out loud”, instead of the actual cuss word still moves the story along.
Maybe I just answered my own question. If the story can survive without cussing, then why add it? But if cussing is integral to keeping the realism of the story flowing, maybe it should not be left out. Or if cussing would happen in a real life situation, maybe I should leave it in? Maybe there is no right answer.
To cuss or not to cuss? Hell, I don’t know.
Posted on May 18th, 2008 by admin
Going to the Movies Should be Fun!
I am writing this blog with great anticipation for the new Indiana Jones movie that starts this weekend. It is hard to believe it has been nearly 20 years since I last saw Dr. Jones saving the world, whip in one hand and beautiful girl on the other. I have had an interesting history in trying to watch these movies.
When Raiders of the Lost Ark came out, my mother would not let me or my brother see it because of the scary ending when the ark was opened. She also wouldn’t let us seeTemple of Doom due to the heart being ripped out of that guy’s chest. (Remember, kali-ma…kali-ma…KALI-MA!) So when The Last Crusade came out, I was very excited. I was a mature eighth grader and knew my mom would not object to me seeing this one. I was only 14 when I was finally able to go on the big screen adventure with Indy.
No here it is, I’m 33 and can’t wait to go to the movies this weekend to romp on another unknown adventure with the man in the hat. Why do I like the Indiana Jones movies? Because they make going to the movies fun. At the heart of it all is good story telling. It hearkens back to the day of the serials of the 30’s and 40’s.
Serials were twenty minute chapter plays that were shown to warm up the audience before the feature presentation. The end of each was a cliffhanger that was not resolved until next week.
Think about the names of the Indiana Jones movies:
- Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark
- Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
- Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
- Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
It reminds me of such serials as The Adventures of Red Flyer, the Adventures of the Flying Cadets, or the Adventures of Batman and Robin. You see back then movies were fun. All that has changed. Now we get fifteen to twenty minutes of commercials that lead to a lackluster feature presentation.
I was reading an article on Yahoo Movies about the screening of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull at this years Cannes Film Festival. The article talked all about the critics mixed reviews. To be honest, I couldn’t shiv a git (as my paw-paw would say) what the critics think. For some critics, going to the movies shouldn’t be fun; it should be “enlightening”.
I have been of the mindset that if the critics hate a movie, I’m going to love it, and if they love it, the movie is going to suck. I remember when the list of best picture nominee’s for this years Academy Awards came out, I had not heard of ANY of them. (Incidentally, most of those movies barely made a splash at the box office which furthers my theory that the more a movie sucks, the more the critics will like it.) Anywhoo, I must move on.
As I read the article, Harrison Ford said something that I have never heard a Hollywoodactor say in regards to what the critics thought of the film. Listen to what he said. “I’m not afraid at all. I expect to have the whip turned on me,” Ford told reporters after the screening. “It’s not unusual for something that is popular to be disdained by some people, and I fully expect it. But, he said: “I work for the people who pay to get in. They are my customers, and my focus is on providing the best experience I can for those people.”
That is what I strive for in my writing. I want my stories to be fun. I want them to be an escape from the redundancy of every day life. I want them to be entertaining and captivating. I want them to be a real page turner. (HA!)
And that is why Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is going to be a huge hit. Because people like me and you are going to line up in the sunshine to escape into a dark theater and go on a two and a half hour adventure. For a couple of hours we will no longer be defined by our 9-5 jobs. We are going to be along side Indiana Jones step by step, fighting the bad guys, swinging on a whip, rescuing the damsel in distress, and in the end, saving the world. For a couple of hours we will go into the mouth of danger and fight our way out, we will risk our lives for the good of mankind, and at the end of the movie, we will walk back out into the sunlight as victorious, conquering heroes.
So thank you Mr. Spielberg, Mr. Lucas and Mr. Ford for keeping the movies fun. Thank you for providing an escape, as briefly as it may be, from the twenty four hour news channels and the head ache of another election year. Thank you for doing what you do best; entertain us.
And to the rest of you reading this insignificant blog, I hope to see you at the movies this weekend. I’ll save you a seat, you bring the popcorn. And despite what some critics may be saying, I know it’s going to be one helluva ride.
Posted on May 20th, 2008 by admin
Movies for your Mind
When was the last time you went on an adventure? When was the last time you explored a new world? When was the last time you crept through a haunted house? When was the last time you were at Hogwarts? When was the last time Tom Clancy took you on a military adventure? Or when you sat in a court room with John Grisham? Or allowed Stephen King to scare the beegeebies out of you? When was the last time you read a good book?
The economy sucks. It seems that the twenty four hour news channels can’t stop talking about how bad it is, and our politicians can’t stop bailing out companies and people who have made bad financial decisions.
Everyday seems to be doom and gloom.
Where is the bright side in all of this? We are all making cut backs in our personal spending habits, which in my opinion, is the best thing for us as Americans. We are spoiled and that is one of the reasons we are in this mess. When the market started to dip almost two years ago, we still spent money (i.e. credit cards/buying houses we couldn’t afford) with reckless abandon. Though prices were going up on essentials like food and gas, we still bought the SUV’s, trucks, big screen TV’s, etc.
Now that we are in a real crunch, Americans are starting to cut back, (hence the drop in gas prices) and I believe this to be a good thing.
So, how does reading fall into this? Simple, reading is very inexpensive and in most cases free. (If you have a good library near by.) How much are you paying for cable? That much, huh? And if you’re like me, you have 300+ channels of nothing. Come on, admit it. How many times have you flipped through every single channel only to complain that there is nothing on worth watching?
There is nothing I love more than the smell of coffee at Barnes and Noble or Books-a-Million, and browsing through their bargain books. I have found some great reads that way. Some great books I have found are:
100 Hair-Raising Little Horror Stories
100 Ghastly Little Ghost Stories
Cell-by Stephen King
Adventure!-This is a book on real life adventurerers, great read.
The Bunnicula Collection
Twilight Zone-The Original Stories
A Stephen King Collection: Carrie, ‘Salem’s Lot, and The Shinning.
All of these books were under $10.
Not only can reading save you money, it will make you more intelligent. Reading is like a work out for you brain. You don’t have to buy fiction. Why don’t you read up on that hobby that you would like to attempt. Or read up on an historical figure. Find out how Dr. Robert Ballard found theTitanic, or see exactly what Sherman was thinking when he burned Atlanta.
You see, whenever you read, it’s like discovering a brand new world. I like to think of books as movies for your mind.
I have always loved books. I remember being a kid and going to the book fair at school. I remember when Mrs. Holland, my second grade teacher, read us “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. I remember “choose-your-own-adventure books. (And I remember peeking ahead to see what the outcome was. It doesn’t count if you keep you finger on the page, right?)
My wife and I cut back on our cable several months ago, and are seriously thinking of ditching it all together. Plus, now having a baby, I find I do not have as much time to watch TV like I used to. Whenever Ginny is sleeping, whether it is a nap or night-night, I find myself trying to take advantage of the down time. I have thoroughly enjoyed my evenings after Ginny goes to bed. I go down stairs, brew a nice cup of tea, and settle in on the couch with a book. Right now I am reading, “The Best of H.P. Lovecraft: Bloodcurdling Tales of Horror and the Macabre”.
In closing, I would like to encourage everyone to take some time out the rest of the year and devote it to reading. Take an hour a day, turn off the TV and computer, and sit down with a good book. Give up the number 1 meal at McDonalds for a few days and use that money to buy a new book. Or find that old library card (or go get one if you don’t have one) and go visit the creepy old librarian.
Save money. Discover something new. Read.
Why I Smoke a Pipe
In honor of the American Cancer Society’s 33rd annual “Great American Smokeout” that occurred on November 20th, I thought I would share with you the very first blog I ever wrote, entitled Why I Smoke a Pipe. This is not a blog in defense of pipe smoking. Though in this day and age we see more and more animoisty agains tobacco users, I have never had a conviction on what I consider a joy. This is merely a blog to let others know why I choose to partake in such a noble tradition as pipe smoking. I hope you enjoy!
This is my very first blog. In fact I have never even read a blog. They have never interested me, probably because everyone has an opinion and I really don’t have the time (nor do I care) to read everyone’s thoughts on life, liberty, and beer nuts. That is unitl I came to the conclusion that what I say matters and that everyone on the web will listen with eager ears to every word I type. So, since I have the whole world anticipating the words of wisdom I am about to impart, let me begin.
I smoke a pipe because I like it. I am not a pipe expert and, more than likely, I’m probably doing it all wrong. (where are you supposed to put the tobacco in this thing?!) When I was a child, my dad smoked a pipe. He would sit out on the back deck in the evening and fill the night air with the aroma of cherry tobacco. He also used to smoke cigarettes and I could not stand the smell of them, but I would anticipate every waft of cherry tobacco.
I smoke a pipe because it is relaxing. I sit out on our back porch, usually in the evening, and enjoy the close of the day. There is a world of difference between smoking a pipe and smoking any other form of tobacco. Smoking a pipe takes time. There is an art to smoking a pipe. You have to pack it a certain way (there is nothing like the feel of fresh, loose tobacco pinched between your fingers, leaving your finger tips with it’s intoxicating scent), light it a certain way, and puff it a certain way. You have to slow down to smoke a pipe, a typical bowl can last anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. So smoking a pipe acutally makes you pause and reflect. That is why I like to smoke in the evenings. Plus, there is nothing like feeling the warmth of the bowl nestled in your palm on a brisk autumn day.
I smoke a pipe because of the rich heritage that is associated with pipe smokers of old. Those of us who are avid pipe smokers know all to well the names of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Alexander Graham Bell, Mark Twain, Albert Einstein, General George S. Patton, General MacArthur (with his corn cob pipe), and who could forget Popeye or Santa?
I smoke a pipe because it takes me back to a more noble time. A time before fastfood. A time before TV. A time before blogs. It takes me back to a time when you walked to the store. A time when people would actually read books, and when you would sit in your yard and listen to the day coming to an end while the smoke from ones pipe would melt into the dusk.
I smoke a pipe because it reminds me of my great-grandfather whom I have never met. The only picture I have ever seen of him (pictured above) is him sitting in his rocking chair, surrounded by his family with his eyes closed and pipe in hand. The perfect picture of pipe contentment.
I smoke a pipe because it just pisses off all the wackos trying to eliminate smoking.
And last but not least, I smoke a pipe because because I can. (Or, in reality, because my wife lets me.)
Posted on November 23rd, 2008 by admin
Barack Obama is now the 44th President of the United States of America. What does that mean? It means, that he is now our President. No matter what your political viewpoint, no matter how you voted, he is now my President and yours. The office of the President goes deeper than skin tone. The office of the President goes deeper than religious perspective. The office of the President goes deeper than Republican or Democrat. The office of the President is a symbol. What is that symbol? It is of a tattered star spangled banner, still flying with pride in the midst of certain defeat. It is a symbol of our founding fathers signing a death warrant, “The Declaration of Independence”. It is a symbol of young men storming the beaches of Normandy. It is a symbol of fire fighters, hoisting another tattered star spangled banner above the smoldering rubble of the World Trade Center. It is a symbol to immigrants, that you can make it in America. It is a symbol of people in churches, synagogues, mosques, and other worship centers, worshipping without fear of retaliation. It is a symbol of protestors outside of the White House. The right of the people to assemble peacfully. It is a symbol of an eagle, flying high and proud over fruited plains and majestic purple mountains.
I hope you will join me in lifting our 44th President in prayer. By supporting him when he does what is right, and holding him accountable if he makes a mistake. This is not a matter of “right” and “left”, but about RIGHT and WRONG. He is our President, like it or not. And the right thing to do is to support him. He is a symbol of the greatest country the world has ever known, The United States of America. May God bless our land.
Posted on January 20th, 2009 by admin
What Happened to my MTV?!
I was flipping through the channels a few days ago and landed on Skid Row’s music video, “18 and Life”. I stopped to groove to that classic hair metal ballad and noticed that it was being shown on VH-1 Classic. Ahhh, the music video. It’ was like having a private concert in your own living room. There was a time when music videos were cool. A time when you would sit in front of the TV for hours hoping that your favorite band would be played next. So, I flipped over to MTV to see what was on, and wasn’t surprised to see some IQ dissolving, brain mushing, “reality” TV show. It made me ask, “What happened to my MTV?
Remember, “I want my MTV!” back in the 80’s? Do you remember how jealous you were to know that every other kid on the block had their MTV, but you didn’t have yours? I used to get my MTV fix over at my grandparents. I would go to their house on Saturdays to cut the grass. It would take me all day to cut their small yard, simply because I would take several “breaks” during the day to watch MTV.
24/7 of nothing but music videos. What happened? When did MTV loose their focus? MTV used to be about discovering music. It was a vehicle for new bands to propel themselves to stardom. It was a TV channel that shoved music up the @$$ of corporate America. Now MTV is corporate America, run by suits with gray (or no) hair that could not tell you what the current top video is, but they sure as hell could tell you what Karley did on her sweet 16. I mean, they do have a TV show about it.
I went to their website to see what their current line up is. Here are just some of the shows. (Quotes are taken from MTV.com, those are not my words.)
Bromance: “For those of you living under a rock, a bromance is an intense brotherly bond that makes two buddies become virtually inseparable. And Brody is Lauren Conrad’s on-again, off-again love interest and the seminal party boy on The Hills, and he’s looking for that one special guy to join his elite entourage. In case you’re having trouble putting two and two together … Brody + Bromance = A whole new level of reality TV.”
Engaged and Underage: “Ah, to be young and in love — holding hands, passing notes in class, sharing a first kiss and planning a wedding. Who cares if people think it’s too soon to get married! Find out what it’s like to be Engaged and Underage.”
Paris Hiltons My New BFF: “Paris Hilton is a woman who needs no introduction, but she’d probably want one anyway. As America’s #1 “it” girl, Paris and her entourage make headlines almost daily — from parties at the hottest clubs to whirlwind weekend getaways to lavish shopping sprees. Rolling with Paris’ inner circle is a pleasure normally reserved for A-list celebrity friends like Nicole Richie and Britney Spears, but Paris has decided that she wants a new BFF — and Paris Hilton always gets what she wants.With the celebutante at the helm, Paris Hilton’s My New BFF is sure to be a reality show unlike any other. In it, Paris wields ultimate power. Her whim becomes law with a simple text message to her 18 potential new BFFs, and heaven help them if it’s a frowny face. From her secluded VIP control room, Paris keeps a close eye on the contestants while making all the catty comments she wants. And if the wannabe BFFs aren’t keeping her entertained, a simple “I’m bored” sent via text will whip everyone into a frenzy.”
I can’t bear to write anymore. This leads me to a very important question. WHAT THE HELL? Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t MTV stand for MUSIC TELEVISION? MTV should change their name to SRSTWRYBLTV. (Stoopid Reality Shows That Will Rot Your Brain Literally TV)
I know, I know, it just doesn’t flow right. I mean, can you imagine this generation saying, “I want my SRSTWRYBLTV!” Now, I am not bitter. I stopped watchingMTV a long time ago, when I was about 23. That’s when I grew out of it. And quite honestly, the music of today sucks, so chances are I wouldn’t watch MTV if all they showed were music videos.
So what’s the point of this blog? I can’t remember. I think I’m going to go see what’s on TV.
Posted on February 3rd, 2009 by admin
Of Presidents and Hobbits
Hey everyone. I know it’s been a while, but here is another blog. You will need to go to this link.
This is a PDF file and I have yet to figure out how to post it to my website. Let me know how you like the lay out. Thanks and God bless!
Six Reasons Why Saw is Quite Possibly the Best Darn Horror Franchise Ever!
I have a few questions for movie critics. First, how do you become one? I have never heard of someone going to college and getting a degree in “Why my opinion is better than yours.” Second, why should I listen to you? What makes you so much better at watching a movie than me? People like Roger Ebert amaze me. It must be nice getting paid to sit around watching movies all day, and then write about why you hated (or liked it).
Really, what’s the story? I have learned that the more weird, boring, political, or just plain dumb a movie is; the critics are going to like it. If it is a popcorn flick, well then, may God damn it to the lowest regions of hell. Pretty much whatever I like, the critics are going to hate (and vise versa).
The recent sacrifice to the critic gods is Saw VI.Entertainment Weekly gave it a D-, while Roger Ebert didn’t even think it was worth his time. Now, I don’t claim to be a movie critic, in the snobbish self-centered way that critics like to elevate themselves. No, I’m just an average schmo that likes movies, especially horror movies. So I wanted to take a moment and tell you 6 reasons why I think the Saw franchise is quite possibly the best horror franchise yet.
6. No “Can Not be Killed”, Undead, Supernatural Serial Killer Here. That’s right. Saw does not rely on this typical formula. Jason Voorhees, Freddy Krueger, and Michael Myers have all been stabbed, burned, decapitated, impaled, shot, drowned and left for dead. But, as sure as the sun will rise, they are back from the dead for the next sequel no matter what.
5. A Sympathetic Villain. John Kramer, aka Jigsaw, is one of the few “villains” that I like. Seriously, he’s the kind of guy I would love to meet, have dinner with and talk too. Why is that? He is smart, calm and down right likeable. In each Sawmovie, we learn a little bit more about who John Kramer is, and what his life was like. Each movie I find myself sympathizing with him a little more.
4. The Killer is not a Killer. Saw I was brilliant in its setup of Jigsaw. Jigsaw has actually never killed anyone. Each person involved in a game is there by their own doing. Some are drug addicts who are killing themselves slowly. Others have turned their back on the most important thing in their lives; their family. Some are rapist, murderers, dead beat dads, and so on. The victims are not his victims, but are victims of themselves and their actions. Each person has the chance of redemption, with a harmless escape from most of the traps possible.
3. Special Effects. I am a fan of gore and any fan of gore will not be disappointed in the Saw movies. The special effects are top notch, with at least 99% of them being real, not CGI. Anyone with the right software can create savage brutality with the click of a mouse. Saw takes the high road with real fake blood and guts!
2. What a Twist! Each movie has a special twist. The writers have you thinking one thing, and then punch you in the gut with something completely different! During each Saw film, I find myself thinking I have it figured out, and taking pride in the fact that the writers didn’t trick me, only to have my head spinning during the last ten minutes of the film. (And to do that six times in a row is frickin’ amazing!)
1. The Story. The Saw franchise is one incredible story. Anyone can write a slasher flick based on the following formula:
1. Create freaky looking undead serial killer.
2. Serial killer goes on murderous rampage killing horny, drunk/drug taking teenagers.
3. Kill each victim in a horrific way.
4. Serial Killer is killed in horrific way.
5. Serial killer comes back from the dead.
6. For subsequint sequels, start at step 2 and repeat.
Each Saw movie builds on the last. Each character is well written and thought out. The writers always leave a little something in the movie that is not explained, that is critical to the plot development of the next movie. Most of the time it is something minor that you may not notice until it comes up in a major way in one of the proceeding films. Saw is a thinking person’s horror movie, with blood and guts thrown in.
You see, Saw is not just a slasher flick. It is more like a mini series. Instead of 24 episodes a year, we get an hour and a half romp through twists and turns, characters and villains, and don’t forget the blood and guts. After each movie, I look forward to October. My only critique would be for the writers to end it soon with closure, and not drag it on and on and on, ala X Files.
So, what makes my review of this franchise different from the critical elite? Nothing except I’m a fan that knows what I like. It’s the “love of the game” that takes me back to the dark halls of the cinema, not a fat paycheck or self centered opinion. My thumbs were not made for judgment, only grabbing handfuls of popcorn in all of its buttery awesomeness.
Posted on November 2nd, 2009 by admin
So, have you heard about the latest James Cameron movie, Avatar? If you haven’t, then you either live in a monestary, or in your parents basement. No. Scratch that. If you live in your parents basement, then you were probably first in line, dressed like an alien smurf.
I have always liked James Cameron. With “Terminator 2″, “Aliens”, “The Abyss” and, of course, “Titanic” (keepin’ my man card, thank you!) as some of my favorite movies. So it was with a mixture of curiosity and a strong track record, that I decided to venture out into the, eh hem, dark abyss of the local movie theater.
Now, you may be asking yourself why my review of Avatar is worth reading. I mean, I’m no Roger Ebert. (Thank God!) But, I am someone who is a fan of movies. Plus, I’m just a regular schmo. And with a seventeen month old, and another baby coming in two weeks, I have to really want to see the movie if I’m willing to give up two and a half hours of my life. But, I digress.
I had to go into the theater with a somewhat open mind. I had read a little here and there about the movie, and some of what I read really got on my nerves. Roger Ebert, for one stated, ” It has a flat-out Green and anti-war message.” Not to mention the first time I saw the trailor, I thought, “Lord, here we go again…this is another green movement/look what the white man did to the indians movie.” And part of it was, but I will get into that later.
First, the good stuff. The special effects were AWESOME. I was fortunate enough to see it in 3D. And one thing Avatar did not do was rely on 3D as a gimmick. There was none of the standard, “Look, that branch is coming right at my face!” scenes that are typical of these movies. The 3D did not distract from the movie, but enhanced the experience. It was like looking through a window into another world.
The setting on Pandora was breath taking. I mean, how cool would it be to see floating mountains! Just like “Lord of the Rings” and “Dancing with Wolves”, the scenary was not just a back drop, but a supporting character.The CGI of the N’avi was the most real I have seen. It was the little things that made them real. The way the moved. Their facial expressions. Even their hair looked real. In close up shots, you could actually see individual strands of hair. I have often heard the phrase, “Craftsmanship is in the details.” My hats off to Cameron and his entire CG team for being master craftsmen.
Now, for the negative. I wouldn’t agree 100% with Mr. Ebert that “Avatar” is a green/antiwar movie. Especially when the climax of the movie has the natives fighting off the military in defense of their homeland. In fact, there are many pro-America dogmas in “Avatar”. Defending ones home. Having a strong family unit. Sacrifice and honor. And doing what is right, no matter how hard it might be.However, there is some green preaching in the movie. The N’avi are “at one” with their land. There is a harmony between all living creatures.(although everything on Pandora wants to eat you, and in turn you have to eat them to live.) The N’avi can literally plug themselves into everything on the planet to communicate and “download” their thoughts, feelings and what not. There is talk that the “sky people” (earthlings) have already destroyed their “mother” (earth) and want to do the same to Pandora. Also, Sully (the main character) plugs himself (literally) into a tree and pleads with “Mother Earth” to come to their defense in stopping the sky people. (I’m sure the wack-os on “Whale Wars” would love to see humpbacks beating the snot out of sailors!)
James Cameron makes no attempt to hide the fact that the main story of “Avatar” is the white-man relocating the indians. And he is very preachy about it (a colonel sipping coffee while giving orders to fire hundreds of rockets into the N’avi’s home.), and it really annoyed me. However, history repeats itself. And I am sure that if we found life on another planet that had something that we needed, we would do the same. Governments do the same thing to this day. All one has to do is read the headlines of the day to see this. And the fact remains that the sins of the father are passed to the son. And although generations die out, sin lives on.
In conclusion, despite some hippie doctrine (sitting around a tree, swaying side to side and singing “kum-ba-ya”), “Avatar” is a movie worth seeing. For me, the point of going to the movies is to escape from reality, and have myself whisked away to another world for an adventure of a life time. “Avatar” does just that.