WHEN: December 19, 2014, 8:05 pm. (Week 51, December 14-20.)
WHERE: In my apartment in Portland, ME.
FORMAT: DVD on a 19” AOC LED computer monitor; digital download on an iPhone 3.
PHYSICAL AND MENTAL STATE: Tired.
THE FLOATING MOUNTAINS OF PANDORA:
In the landscape of James Cameron’s Pandora, the floating mountains are one of the most prominent features. I’ve never really given two shits about them. They’re mountains, they float, they’re pretty, fuck it. But, a number of times when watching with friends this year, they have commented that the mountains are stupid and make very little sense. Surprisingly, I disagree.
Lo and behold: an element of Avatar that I don’t hate.
Why don’t I dislike these wonky sky-rocks? Well, it all starts with the world’s worst paperweight.
So, the entire reason humans are on Pandora is apparently because we need a bunch of this special new substance, Unobtanium (for trains, maybe?). Naturally, the resident corporate douche has a chunk of it on his desk. Introduced well before the floating mountains, and heralded as a valuable Pandoran resource, it was my immediate assumption that this little gray rock accounted for the mountains’ otherwise unaccountable suspension. Because, really, on a world where every animal has a USB cable sticking out of its head, I’m gonna go ahead and accept that something about the moon’s magnetic field causes unobtanium and any mountains full of it to rise into the air and stay there.
When put in the same frame as cat-people riding mind-raped dragons,
the floating mountains don’t seem so silly anymore.
BUT WHAT ABOUT THOSE STUPID VINES?:
To be honest, I had a problem with these convenient vines connecting all the rocks for quite some time. Why didn’t the rocks float away before this Pandoran ivy could snag them? How did it anchor them down? What’s even going on?
But what if the little rocks broke off because of the vines? Maybe this type of plant snakes its way into cracks in the mountain, slowly encircling and eroding chunks of unobtanium-rich rock till they eventually break away and float upward. By the time the chunk is pried loose, the vine has a firm enough grip on it that as it starts rising upwards, like the world’s heaviest balloon, it is safely tethered in place. If this seems ridiculously far-fetched, please take a moment to remember that plants kick ass.
So there. I’ve said my piece. This particular aspect of Avatar totally checks out, and I take no issue with it whatsoever.