People love to hate "Avatar". Whatever their reasons for hating it I could care less because for me movies are not about hitting lofty goals and predetermined expectations. They are about having fun, seeing cool stuff and enjoying myself. I am not snooty enough to try to tear this movie down over criticism based on depth, plot, or even political undertones. It's a movie. I see it for what I want to see in it.
I remember coming out of a showing of "5th Element" and some dude complaining about the lack of plot and story and really just wanting to turn around and bark something to the tune of, "If you wanted plot you should have seen 'The English Patient'". I mean come out it was a movie about a guy in a flying cab trying to stop an evil planet from destroying the Earth with the help of half naked genetic super weapon and an androgynous media star.
Avatar is like that too. The plot's not deep and the characters aren't bubbling pools of stunning characterization. It is cool visuals, fancy toys, neat monsters and a lot of action. Sure it has some thinly veiled political and social comments made in the movie, but is that all that new for science fiction?
Anyhow, rant over. Let's have a look at one of the most griped about bits from the movie - Unobtainium.
Now, I am not an expert on the movie, but it seems to me that these reactions are a bit knee-jerk. From my recollection, the actual word "Unobtainium" is only used once in the entire movie and that is during the angry tirade by some corporate VP with a point to make. If you think about it, there is nothing in the entire movie to lead you to believe that the mineral's actual name is Unobtainium.
Isn't it just as likely that this jerk of a corporate stooge is just hand-waving the real name of the mineral because he can't be bothered to use it's real name. How often do you use the technical name for everything in your job? Seriously, I know I don't!
Somewhere this thing has a real name. Maybe it's something like "pyrolitic carbon"? Check this blog post out for a look at the relation between pyrolitic carbon and Unobtainium.