Avatar

James Cameron's epic sci-fi fantasy film released in 2009.

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Avatar... beating out Titanic

  • Mar 25, 2011
Rating:
+3
The long awaited James Cameron film Avatar hit theaters this past weekend. While opening weekend raked in an estimated $77 million in domestic ticket sales and an additional $159 million in ticket sales in 106 countries overseas -- excluding Japan and China who are still to come. This weekend Avatar did reach the #9 spot for All Time Worldwide Opening Records and the #2 spot for Top December Opening Weekend Records. However, some reports have come in saying that the blizzard that hit the east coast caused ticket sales to take a hit, but my Saturday experience at the theater proved otherwise.

I remember being bombarded by phone calls last week with several people asking me if it was worth going to see Avatar in theaters. I had heard mixed reviews regarding the film, with people commenting that it will be strictly eye candy with no substance in storyline and I felt compelled to share what I had heard. Even as I received a handful of calls on opening day from my father asking if it was something that he would understand, I still felt the need to share the mixed feelings I had quickly developed over the weeks leading up to its release. I was surprised that later in the day I had a voicemail waiting for me, practically screaming at me, that I had to go see the film this weekend. My father, who is of the older movie go-er generation, does not see eye to eye with me when it comes to movies as he is interested in the more intellectual and "family fun" style of films where as I enjoy blood, guts and insane amounts of action. To hear that he thought the movie was "awesome" and actually ended up using the word about a dozen times in a conversation that followed, I felt compelled to go out this opening weekend to see if it was really as good as he though. So Saturday morning, making plans with my movie date for the evening, I purchased tickets online to avoid at least one line and then ventured out into the first blizzard of the season.

Arriving at the theater 45 minutes before showtime, I stood in line feeling like a complete film geek, excited just to see what the film would look like since I had little expectations for there being a good storyline. My date for the evening seemed less than excited, standing in line in a bit of a stooper and neutral to everything that was going on. After finding seats in what was a much smaller screen that I was expecting the trailer began to roll. Unfortunately none of the trailers really stuck out, but once advised to put on our 3D glasses I sat in aw and awaiting what was about to happen.

With a running time of 2 hours and 40 minutes, I never once felt a lull or dramatic drop in the pace of the film. It held and captivated my attention for the entire screening and watching in 'RealD' you truly do get an experience unlike any other. I have watched plenty of other 3D shows and films with the classic red and blue glasses that give you such a horrible headache you seriously wonder why you ever bother to watch anything in 3D, but the translucent RealD glasses give you the 3rd dimension without the pain. From the opening scene straight through to the end, I fought the urge to reach out and "touch" the beautiful world of Pandora that James Cameron introduced us to. The world of Pandora is a beautiful place both in theory, vision and story, and no matter how fantastic the fantasy level became everything remained grounded in reality. From the space crafts the humans use travel in to the alien planet, to the military vehicles and weapons, to the plants, creatures and people of Pandora each element hints are reality. Nothing strayed too far from the line of what "could be".

As for the story, I was surprised by the level of depth it held. It was not your basic sci-fi/fantasy story, and it left me considering what under lying statements Mr. Cameron was making about our current standing globally. The story was thought provoking and left me thinking about social and political commentary that could be picked up and hinted at in some aspect or another. The film is visually out of this world, and the story will hold your attention for the entire running time. By the time you are ready to walk out of the theater, you will not feel like you have been sitting through a 3 hr film, unless you just downed a large coke.

If you are an Aliens fan, see if you catch the homage James Camera slips in. See if you can find the "Titanic moment". This film is a must see. Even if you do not enjoy the story, I guarentee that you will not be disappointed by the visual effects. Although, as my movie date said, the Na'vi's skin may be a little distracting, but all in all the film is worth the sitting time. You will love Sam Worthington's performance, both in the flesh and CGI. You will enjoy the grace and beauty of Zoe Saldana as her dance background adds to the Na'vi. Her movements are truly those of a trained ballerina and it made watching her leaping through the trees and during battle that much more amazing. The Na'vi, in their looks, movements, beliefs, and soul truly are amazing characters. Even the wonderful Sigourney Weaver will amaze you with the heart and soul of her character. Michelle Rodriguez players her typical "badass" self. She is just as much a fighter as she is in every other role she has played and it's fun to watch her keeping up with the "big boys" when it comes to a gun fight. Stephen Lang is that guy you will recognize but may not recall his name at the end of the film, but his performance as Colonel Miles Quaritch is everything you could ever want. And Joel Moore just makes you love him even more with each character he plays in his blooming career.

So if you want a film that will pull you right into the story and picture, check out Avatar.

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March 25, 2011
I really liked this film as well and gave it a 5. Good personal story in the review, that's great. I did not see it in 3D but in regular mode. I think the criticism I've heard about it not being "original" is just a load of nonsense. Familiar plots can have different nuances. I understand that the DVD has an extended storyline that adds more backstory to the main character. I loved Titanic too, but the boat sank at the end (joking). Thanks.
March 25, 2011
I also noted references to other sci fi stories I've read that were never shown on TV or movies -- you would have to have read books to get them, specifically the communicating with the dragon creatures was right out of Anne McCaffery's Dragonrider series.
 
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More Avatar (2009 film) reviews
review by . January 24, 2011
Too good Too good Too good Too good Too good Too good Too good Too good Too good Too good Too good Too good Too good Too good Too good Too good Too good Too good Too good Too good Too good   Too good Too good Too good Too good Too good Too good Too good Too good Too good Too good Too good Too good Too good Too good Too good Too good Too good Too good Too good  
review by . December 29, 2009
Avatar: relegates Lord of the Rings to 'old hat'
 I bow to our friend, who prefaced his astonished and profound appreciation of the Avatar movie with "It drives me nuts.." (that they have to include the dominator thing.....) "But...."      The conversation that ensued resulted in all 8 of us (4 couples) going to IMax for the experience (that one couple's second viewing). We came out of there with 'sea legs' and we're still re-orienting.      It's significant in my little Universe …
review by . December 18, 2009
The Greatest Science Fiction Epic of All Time!
James Cameron has outdone himself!  He may have actually outdone the whole entire film industry.  Never in my life have I seen a film so brilliant and beautiful that it made me rethink the whole way in which I look at film.  Avatar is what movies are all about; transporting you into the film and making you feel as if you're really there.  Mr. Cameron has accomplished that with they way in which he has revolutionized the 3D genre of filmmaking.  Avatar isn't just another …
review by . December 19, 2009
Watching Avatar is in every way as impressive as when you first saw the dirty spaceships in Star Wars or - I would imagine - seeing color or hearing sound on celluloid for the first time. It's not so much that you haven't see 3D before - previously, it's always felt like its purpose is to continually poke you in the eye with objects - but this time, it immerses the viewer in a way that breaks down the barrier between where the edges of the film stop and the audience sits.      …
review by . January 23, 2010
First of all, it is stunningly beautiful.  The computer genius it took to produce will being helping everyday technology along for years to come. My daughter the biology major and I both were awed and intrigued by the detail of the plant life. The face painter in me saw some beautiful paintwork in the detailing of the avatar that can be traced back to early 2000’s and the rise of some awesome body and face painting artists in Europe. Looking at the faces of  of the Na’Vi tribe …
review by . December 20, 2009
Breathing New Life into Occupied Territory
If you've seen Dances with Wolves, The Last Samurai, Glory, 10,000 BC or any movie where an indigenous population is roused to rebellion with the help of a sympathetic white defector who might also represent the enemy then you haven't seen Avatar. I say "haven't" because where James Cameron's imagination soars is that he's taken this highly treaded theme and turned it into a work of science-fiction. If it's been done before in this genre, I haven't seen it.      I don't …
review by . January 12, 2010
posted in MovieSucktastic
 Is “Not Bad” good enough?      That’s really the question when it comes to assessing the quality of Avatar, James Cameron’s first film in over a decade. His first major theatrical release since Titanic, it has been obvious for a long time that Cameron and the studios had every intention of making Avatar as much of a blockbuster epic as its Oscar-winning Leonardo DiCaprio-starring predecessor.    After two successful …
review by . January 05, 2010
AVATAR is no TITANIC
   Okay, I know I'm going to get a lot of opposing opinions but this is my opinion of Avatar.   I don't normally do movie reviews but felt compelled to do so in the case of the new movie "Avatar" which my wife and I recently drove twenty miles from our home to watch. Some theaters around the country show the movie in 3D (with the glasses) but that isn't available in our area. First, let me clarify that this movie was created by the very talented and successful producer/director …
review by . January 04, 2010
Simply put James Cameron's "Avatar" is terrible.  The story is one cliche after another, with plot elements that all worked better in previous movies.  Basically this film is "Dances With Wolves" with substantially better graphics but with a story that is a mere shadow of Kevin Costner's touching and powerful Academy Award winning film.  Everything is telegraphed well in advance, from the total lack of subtelty in the foreshadowing of the Toruk to …
review by . December 21, 2009
The late 2009 big buzz in movies is a scifi action film called AVATAR.  The plot is the classic big guy against the little guy, underdog theme.  It is reminiscent of how Native Americans are portrayed as being victims of European expansionism.  An "avatar" is a character controlled by another person, much like any video game you might play -- the character you control is an avatar.  It follows your commands, but when you stop telling it what to do, it does nothing.  …
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Hannah aka Angry Penguin ()
Ranked #4
I am a film fanatic, constantly watching films new and old. When not watching movies I'm reading YA lit or sci-fi/fantasy novels, or working on completing my own book.      If … more
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Wiki

Avatar is a 2009 American science fiction epic film written and directed by James Cameron and starring Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Michelle Rodriguez and Stephen Lang. The film is set in the year 2154, when humans are mining a precious mineral called unobtanium on Pandora, a lush moon of a gas giant in the Alpha Centauri star system. The expansion of the mining colony threatens the continued existence of a local tribe of Na'vi—a sentient humanoid species indigenous to Pandora. The film's title refers to the genetically engineered Na'vi and human hybrid bodies used by several human characters to interact with the natives of Pandora.


Development on Avatar began in 1994, when Cameron wrote an 80-page scriptment for the film. Filming was supposed to take place after the completion of Cameron's 1997 film Titanic, for a planned release in 1999, but according to Cameron, the necessary technology was not yet available to achieve his vision of the film. Work on the language for the film's extraterrestrial beings began in summer 2005, and Cameron began developing the screenplay and fictional universe in early 2006.

Avatar was officially budgeted at US$237 million. Other estimates put the cost between $280 million and $310 million for production, and at $150 million for promotion. The film was released for traditional two-dimensional projectors, as well as in 3-D, using the RealD 3D, Dolby 3D, XpanD 3D and IMAX 3D formats, and also in ...

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Details

Director: James Cameron
Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama, Fantasy, Sci-Fi
Release Date: December 18, 2009
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Screen Writer: James Cameron
Runtime: 162 minutes
Studio: 20th Century Fox
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