OK, that was maybe a bit too alliterative for its own good. But I find it intriguing that such a robust theme is running through mainstream pop culture, and at the same time that the implications and consequences of surrogate warfare are being served up in daily doses of current affairs. Think coerced and unwitting suicide bombers, private military and security contractors, reliance on local militias in Iraq and Afghanistan. Think robotics in war, remote battlefield participation via drones and mechanoid substitutes for flesh and bone combat. You get the picture.
Trailers have been hard to come by so far (see the Visual Stream section here at CTlab for a couple of tasters pulled from YouTube). Michael Conroy, on the 15 minute 3D trailer that previewed in theatres on 21 August, writes:
The clips flitted from a battle command room, to a frantic forest chase scene, to lush magical glades and soaring, floating mountains between which dragons soared majestically in their hundreds. It’s impossible to describe in words the sheer beauty of Cameron’s realisation of his hybrid world of science fiction and fantasy, but as you observe the sheer scale, magnificence and care that has gone into the creatures and settings, you realise you’re experiencing a perfect moment of fantasy indulgence. You realise that yes, this is what science fiction and fantasy should look like. You may have had the same feeling when you first saw a lightsabre drawn, or those wondrous first moments of magic in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Cameron’s boyhood fascination with fiction really shows, but to me the world feels like some sort of beautiful merging of The Legend of Zelda, Halo and Bioshock. I was utterly awestruck by the majesty of the world presented, for the first time since Peter Jacksons’ interpretation of The Lord Of The Rings.
Interesting, too, that these are all science fiction movies. A cathartic genre?