Sunday, December 20, 2009

Avatar the Movie

I thought this was a great movie for multiple reasons. For starters, the Computer Animation was amazing. I really could not tell which parts were CG and which ones were actual camera-captured images. The jungle-planet Pandora looked suspiciously too much like the Amazon rain forest. The waterfalls looked almost exactly like the Angel Falls. In other words, this fils is pure visual candy all around. However, what I think made this movie interesting was the story line:

In the year 2154, the human race has a colony in a planet called Pandora. In this planet we have a mining operation run by some corporation and protected by an attachment of US Marines. The marines are there because of it's inhabitants, the novii


I started writing a description of the plot but found a much better written one on wikipedia, here's the link

***END OF EDIT****

Anyway, the one thing that stuck with me about this movie, is the fact that a US Marine turned against his own people. I believe that this is a taboo in the culture of the Corps. In a culture where loyalty is given such high value treason is the ultimate sin, literally punishable by death (when done in the face of the enemy, yep it's in the UCMJ) . In this movie Justice is placed on a higher pedestal than loyalty to a group, something that I cannot really disagree with. Still, turning against your own group is so against the Marine ethos that I was a bit disturbed.

I wonder how other marines feel about this movie.

This movie made me think about the things I learned in the Marines, Some of it I see it as necessary things that one must learn in order to survive in battles and win wars. Attention to detail and self-discipline are obvious ones. But the marines have a different code that I believe set them apart, The Marine Corps places an acute emphasis on leadership, down to the lowest enlisted man up the chain to the Commandant all marines are taught the traits of a leader. We are also taught that there's nothing a Marine can't accomplish given a plan and determination. I have been taking all that for grated but I think it's a powerful message. Many people take that and make it work for them outside in the real world. Others completely miss the point and think the Marines is some sort of gun club fraternity, well, it probably is, but I decided to take away the intangibles and utilize it to get ahead. I am no longer in the Corps, but I will alway think of myself as a marine, I am not your typical jarhead, that's for sure, but I am still a marine at heart until the day that I die.

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