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"Hey! I Want A Flying Lizard!"

By Guest Blogger, Mary Schmidt, Marketing Troubleshooter

Toruk_roaring I finally got around to seeing Avatar (in 3D!) yesterday afternoon (That's the protagonist, Jake Sully, riding a big, bad boy "Leonopteryx").  

The movie has stirred up seemingly every interest group in the world; people are projecting their issues - large and small - on it.  Um, folks, it's a movie, with a story that's (happened) and been told thousands of times. (As for the "eco-terrorism" plot criticism - Oh, Puh-lease. Raise your hand if you really think totally trashing the environment to the detriment of all is a good idea. Think not? Good, let's move on.) 

Some hard-core sci-fi geeks have even dismissed Avatar as a "chick flick."  Well, yes, if you like chicks who fly helicopters, guns blazin', into the face of fiery death; tame flying lizards; and bring down heavy artillery with one well-placed arrow. (Hmm...maybe on second thought - that's exactly why the male geeks don't like it.  The chicks aren't crying and throwing their Double D, size 0 bodies at the heroes to be saved...;-)

Aside from the sheer wonder of the alien world James Cameron painstakingly created - I loved the women characters. Say what you will about Cameron but he gives us "ladies" some kick ass roles. And, any movie that has Sigourney Weaver in it, I'm there.  In Avatar, she plays a scientist that - although she doesn't go all Aliens on us - is fearless and stands for what she believes.  The helicopter pilot is a babe - but believable as a tough fighter. The female lead, Neytiri (an A cup, at best - thank you Mr. Cameron), fights shoulder to shoulder with Jake Sully (and saves him more than once.)  The Na'vi high priestess may be spiritual, but she's also prepared to slit your throat.

I'm happy to add Avatar to my list of top "chick flicks" right along with Cameron's Terminator and Aliens. (Titanic, not so much - the gooey adolescent love story was a distraction to the truly fascinating reality.) I'll be buying the DVD when available and shelving right next to Mama Mia (another top chick flick)

So - once again - note to PR agencies who grab my contact info, assuming that I'm anxiously awaiting their missives on "women's issues" - you should read this post before sending me something like this: 

Contrary to what many Americans are told, we do not have the best healthcare or healthcare system in the world. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), our system is rated 37th: lower than most European countries.

For women this statistic is particularly terrifying. When it comes to our personal health, we Ladies don't question our doctors' opinions; and second opinions? Who would go through that twice?!

Ladies? "Don't question"?? Tell this to Neytiri...or - for that matter - middle-aged, nonathletic me. I might get a wee bit terrified when faced with a flying lizard...but a doctor?  Heh.


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Love your review - so much so that I want to really see Avatar now. I love strong female characters, and think Sigourney Weaver makes for incredibly strong characters, even when they're supposed to be weak (think Copycat). I agree that Cameron's respect for women shines through...therefore I respect his work. Could also be why he's so successful? Hmm? Wonder when the other industries will catch up? As for not questioning doctors - won't happen here...I go in with questions, add questions during my time with the doc and sometimes call the office with additional questions. My body, my responsibility.

Yvonne DiVita

Well, Mary - interesting point of view. I have not seen Avatar yet but I can relate to what you're saying about women in movies and the roles we are "allowed" to play.

I do, however, object to the term "chick flick"...what's that? A movie women like? We like lots of movies...does that make them chick flicks? Sex and the City was, supposedly, a major chick flick and I wouldn't be caught dead at it. The TV show turned me off completely.

And, I LOVED Titanic, which is, I guess, a chick flick. There was a certain majesty about it - and romance is a winner with me, usually.

I also loved Hannibal Lector - not a chick flick. I also loved UP! the cartoon - a kid's movie.

Anyway, I love the way your mind works, and I know you don't begrudge me my different mindset. To the PR firms that pitch you stupid pitches, I know you pretty much hit the delete button, as do I.

When it comes to healthcare - truth is, America is not the best, and I could tell you some stories to prove that. Still, women DO SO question their doctors; but only strong women. Most women just believe their doctor is always right. Sadly.

Sorry for the long note...should have made this a blog post! Keep up the great writing - I love reading your posts.

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