‘Avatar: The Way of Water’ Review: Big Blue Marvel – The New York Times

“Way back in 2009, “Avatar” arrived on screens as a plausible and exciting vision of the movie future. Thirteen years later, “Avatar: The Way of Water” — the first of several long-awaited sequels directed by James Cameron — brings with it a ripple of nostalgia.

The throwback sensation may hit you even before the picture starts, as you unfold your 3-D glasses. When was the last time you put on a pair of those? Even the anticipation of seeing something genuinely new at the multiplex feels like an artifact of an earlier time, before streaming and the Marvel Universe took over.

The first “Avatar” fused Cameron’s faith in technological progress with his commitments to the primal pleasures of old-fashioned storytelling and the visceral delights of big-screen action. The 3-D effects and intricately rendered digital landscapes — the trees and flowers of the moon Pandora and the way creatures and machines swooped and barreled through them — felt like the beginning of something, the opening of a fresh horizon of imaginative possibility.”

David Lindsay: I took my family to Avatar, the way of water, on Christmas day in the afternoon. Kathleen and I loved this film, as we did the first Avatar. My son and daughter both liked it very much, but thought it was too long, or way too long.

I liked it way more that AO Scott, who gives it something like a 7, I give it a 9/10. I would have given it a 10, if it had only had an intermission, since it runs 3 hours and 12 minutes, with over 25 minutes? of previews.

I want my tennis buddy from Exxon Mobil to see Avatar 1, followed by this sequel, #2, to learn a little of the religious philosohy called deep ecolgy. Deep ecologist, like the aliens on the magical moon-planet, in this movie, do not see themselves as more spiritual than other species, but equals to all ofther forms of life, in an intricate web of sustainable, and not polluting, existence in harmony with nature. Both films are many things: including good stories, and a call to a return to a sustainable way of life, that would protect our wonderful life and delicate ecology from dying.

The best show about international relations on television right now is on — wait for it — Syfy. – The Washington Post

Daniel Drezner, Tufts University, Fletcher School of International Relations.

“. . .There is one political show I have enjoyed recently, however. It’s about international relations. Well, sort of. It’s more about interplanetary relations. It’s Syfy’s “The Expanse”:

The basic set-up of “The Expanse” is that it takes place 200 years from now in a world in which interplanetary travel is pretty easy. Mankind has colonized Earth’s moon, Mars, the asteroid belt and some of the outer moons, such as Ganymede. Earth is run by the United Nations. It controls the moon and a large, albeit aging, fleet. It is still the most powerful actor in the solar system, but appears to be on the decline. Mars is independent, with newer spaceships, a very cohesive culture, and an ambitious plan to terraform its own planet.  Both Earth and Mars view the residents living beyond Mars’ orbit — the “Belters” — as close to subhuman. The Belters work in the extractive sectors to send resources back to Earth and Mars. There is a loose-knit politico-military group, the Outer Planets Alliance (OPA), trying to organize this fractious population. And then events are set in motion.

“The Expanse” pulls off a few world-building gambits that make it pretty nifty to watch. It’s not as funny as “Firefly,” but like that show, it successfully resets the domain of politics from a planet to a solar system but no further. Also like “Firefly,” the space of “The Expanse” feels genuinely lived-in. The economics and identities that are guide the actors are well-structured.”

Currently, you can only stream The Expanse (for free) on Amazon Prime Video.Dec 22, 2020

Source: The best show about international relations on television right now is on — wait for it — Syfy. – The Washington Post