The Ultimate Fan's Guide to Avatar, James Cameron's Epic Movie (Unauthorized)by Kevin Patrick Mahoney
Kevin Patrick Mahoney explores how Avatar has reached this pinnacle of success. The film has not
Avatar is the most successful movie of all time, surpassing the record held by James Cameron's previous monster hit, Titanic. It is also the most expensive movie ever. With its adoption of modern 3D techniques, Avatar is arguably the most spectacular film of all time.
Kevin Patrick Mahoney explores how Avatar has reached this pinnacle of success. The film has not been universally praised; some critics have pointed to an overly simple plot and dialogue. However, Kevin reveals that there are many complex themes that lie behind such apparent simplicity. This book begins with an in-depth review of events as they happen on screen, including the many scenes deleted from the film, and then proceeds to explore some of the most interesting themes in more depth. Kevin examines how James Cameron has adapted Joseph Campbell's theory of the Hero's Journey in Avatar. The Na'vi's planet, Pandora, is very paradisiacal, so this book discusses how it's related to the Biblical Garden of Eden. In addition to this, Kevin dissects Avatar's rather confused politics, the controversial depiction of the US Marine Corps, and the accusations of racism that have hurled at the film. Since Jake Sully is introduced to us in a wheelchair, Kevin examines the representation of disabled people in Avatar and other science fiction dramas. Some of Avatar's subtle depictions of sexuality seemed to be mainly directed at adolescent boys, so this book also dissects some of the more 'blue' aspects of the movie. Moreover, Kevin Patrick Mahoney reveals how Avatar relates to James Cameron's previous blockbuster movies.
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For instance, did you know that Neytiri's sister Silwanin was killed by the soldiers at Grace's school, an incident in which Grace herself was shot? Or that Norm and Trudy were in love? Kevin Patrick Mahoney provides a very close reading of James Cameron's original script, and reveals many details such as this that were not included in the finished movie. However, his very intelligent reading goes well beyond this, as he conclusively proves that James Cameron has very much adopted Joseph Campbell's theory of the Hero's Journey for this story (that's why it seems so familiar to us - as the Hero's Journey is beloved of filmmakers such as George Lucas). Kevin also discusses James Cameron's rather confused politics in the script, and all those references to the Iraq War. Kevin has evidently done his homework very well, for he reveals just how related Avatar is to James Cameron's previous films, even Titanic. Indeed, if you'd been watching James Cameron's films quite casually, then you'd think that his views of the Marine Corps had practically been reversed since Aliens, yet Kevin shows why this is not so. Since it's Eywa and Neytiri that save the day, Kevin takes a look at Neytiri as a feminist icon. The book also examines Science Fiction's history when depicting disability, which has tended to be very negative, and so shows how Avatar is very much the exception to the rule. This book doesn't shy away from some of the controversy surrounding Avatar, as the accusations of racism that have been levelled at the film are fully debated. It also fully explores the rather strange and contradictory biology of the Na'vi, especially with regards to their mating practices. In short, this book is a real eye-opener to all the events in Avatar, which very much proves that James Cameron's apparently simple script is much more complex than it first appears.