omnibus omnia

“Avatar”: a quantitatively formulaic movie

In Animation, Criticism, Humor, Movies, Review, Satire, Science, Spoilers, Spoof on January 4, 2010 at 04:20

You can see the ending of James Cameron’s Avatar from miles away.  For the purpose of precision, however, it is necessary to determine from what exact distance you can see the ending.  To obtain this value with asymptotic certainty, independent of local frames of preference, we employ a formula derived from the Heisenberg-Rosen movie rating equation, thus:

[Spoiler warning]

Let 2r=the diameter of the embolism you get when you realize that the theme reproduces that of Abyss (that fascinating movie) down to the big bad militarists and the scientists willing to die for inter-species understanding;

Let f=the frequency of the shout you want to make when you see Ellen Ripley in a movie with aliens in it;

Let t=number of seconds into the film when you realize that it will reproduce the archetypes of the washed out soldier, the traitor to the cause, the disgusted turning-away of the woman loved, and the expiatory rescue (See Umberto Eco’s essay on Casablanca on the the mechanics of cliches/tropes dancing);

Let G=Gaea; and

Let c=speed of light in a vacuum,  at least 800 parsecs from the nearest planet-sized mass, barring dark matter (because absolutely nothing will linger 15 minutes after finishing the movie);

And we derive the formula* thus:


(2)                                                              !

(3)                                                                                       !

Which upon substitution yields the result: d=848,991,560 m or 848,991.56 km.  We therefore conclude that you can see the ending of Avatar from about 8.49 x 105** km (or 5.28 x 105** miles) away, corrected for blue shift (because the ending hurls itself at your face).

But don’t worry, the graphics are pretty enough that you’d stick with the movie to the end (albeit your mileage may vary).  So enjoy it if you’ll watch it, Dear Reader, and down with capitalism!

*In keeping with the ever-emerging novus ordo saeclorum we shall call the formula novum modum imperatoris.  Unfortunately, only a monk named Jorge of Burgos can see it.

**Actually, that’s 10 to the 5th power, but exponents don’t seem to appear on DePo.

(This faux review was originally posted as “528,000 miles: A reaction to “Avatar”” on epikeia.  All rights reserved.)


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