Avatar: Simply the Movie of the Year

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James Cameron has already been crowned “King of the World”, now it looks like he’s set his sights on becoming “King of the Universe”.

Directing his first film since 1997’s Titantic, Cameron makes his triumphant return to the big screen with the sci-fi action adventure film Avatar.  Cameron is perhaps best known for his use of cutting edge SFX in creating some of the biggest blockbusters of all time.

Avatar continues his trend of creating movies with mass appeal that transcend demographics. This film should solidify his position as one of the foremost auteurs of his generation.The film combines elements of classic science-fiction with a “Dances With Wolves” soldier-goes-native  plot.  In the year 2154, paraplegic soldier Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) is given a new lease on life when he replaces his recently deceased twin brother on a dangerous mission to Pandora, a habitable moon orbiting a gas giant in the Alpha Centurai system.

Jake is an “avatar driver”,  his consciousness is transferred into an “Avatar”: a body constructed from both Human and Pandoran native DNA, as part of an anthropological study of the indigenous Na’vi. In his new hybrid body, Jake stumbles upon one of the native Na’vi: the exotic hunter Neytiri (Zoe Saldaña), who teaches him how to survive on Pandora.  Jake  eventually finds himself in the center of a bloody conflict between an evil corporation looking to plunder Pandora for resources and the Na’vi, who only want to protect their homeland.

Overall, the plot could have been a little more complex, with much of iit following pretty standard Sci-Fi conventions.  While the film’s space-epic storyline is only about status-quo, what this movie is really about is the  breathtaking special effects.  The film’s entrancing visuals make the 162 minute run time go by pretty fast.

Over 60% of the film is computer generated imagery, and the rest was shot with Cameron’s 3D Fusion Camera. Watching the film in digital 3D is quite simply a joy, and is easily worth whatever extra it costs to see the 3D version.  The world of Pandora is brought to life right before your eyes,  and nothing quite like it has ever been seen before.  Avatar is really a whole different breed of film, Cameron hasn't just made a movie here, he’s created a whole new world.

Again, it seems like Cameron has put together the movie of the year.
Avatar is simply must-see holiday movie material, it looks likely to push film making into the next decade, and be every bit as influential as Cameron’s past films have been.

Take some final advice from Jake Sully: once you go blue, you don’t go back.

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  • CA3

    CA3 Dec 28, 2009 at 12:39am

    To even think of disagreeing with the beauty of the wondrous visual effects in this film leaves one ripe for questioning as to ones vision status and artistic competence. You'd have to be stupid to not find the world of Pandora, where Avatar takes place, as anything less than beautiful and the nearly seamless interaction between the CG everything with the actors. However, given the fact that James Cameron made it one of the highlights in promoting this flick that the script was shelved ten years ago due to visual effect limitations, from the very start you'll find small things that slowly add up that leave you to feel that this script should have been given some serious revisions given the numerous advances we've made since it's drafting.

  • Eric Lindberg

    Eric Lindberg Jan 2, 2010 at 2:56am

    I saw Avatar tonight. Overall, pretty impressive. Amazing visuals, epic scope, fascinating alien world, etc. The only thing that bugged me was that the plot seemed very familiar. Essentially, this felt like a big budget sci-fi remake of Ferngully. We had the naive human living among the mystical native people, falling in love with his female guide, and learning to respect nature before his human friends arrive to destroy it.

    Granted, these are common themes in environmental stories but to this child of the 90s, this was basically Ferngully with giant blue people. Still enjoyable but very familiar.

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