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Avatar

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

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Great Ride & Groundbreaking Movie!

  • Mar 1, 2010
Rating:
+5
Well, here goes nothing.  I've not really done movie reviews before, and honestly am intimidated to a degree by the major film buffs who are incredibly adept at breaking down plots, themes, and drawing parallels to other films.  This is simply my totally novice, average schmo-ette attempt to share my thoughts ... so please be kind : )

My main take-aways:
  • This will be the Star Wars for my young daughter's generation.
  • I wanted to BECOME one of the native Na'vi people.  You just want to fly right into the film and never leave.  This is just what a great entertaining blockbuster movie should do, right?
  • I wasn't bored for one second of this long film, in fact it flew by and I loved every minute of it.
  • There were a few hokey / typical lines, but they were so far outweighed by the immersive visual experience that it was totally inconsequential. 
  • The themes of love and hope resonate and are delightful.  They're also heavily contrasted by the shame of the human race's propensety toward our shameless superiority complex and greed. 

Put plainly, I thought Avatar was everything a movie should be.  It felt like a ride. Just pure entertainment.  I'd heard the plot was predictable, and it was.  But it really didn't matter.  I was reminded of the first time I saw the Matrix.  The experience of your eyes, ears, and mind taking in material that you've never seen before is pretty rare and unique in this life. Particularly for those of us without the luxury to travel the world. So, from that perspective this movie was firing on all cylanders, imo. 

I'm not a huge sci-fi buff or fan for that matter, and I'm sure there are some very consistent themes and visuals from within the genre.  But for me, I found myself with my mouth gaping open TWICE during this film. Thank god those giant 3D glasses prevented anyone from having the peripheral vision to witness my gawking : )

Most compelling moment:
The scene where the entire race of natives are physcially linked together, surrounding the tree of life.  I was left really struck with wonderment at how much of our potential we waste, by not working together in concert.  To join collective energy and power like that ... well, I can't even comprehend what good we could be capable of.  Left me considering why exactly we're so bent on plugging along on our isolated and independent paths, rather than as a united, intertwined people.

Tip
See this in IMAX 3D!!  It's still in theaters as of the last week of Feb, and I imagine will remain for a bit longer.  It really is the only way it was intended to be seen, and you're sort of forgoing a major part of the experience to see it any other way.
Great Ride & Groundbreaking Movie! Great Ride & Groundbreaking Movie!

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November 17, 2010
This was an EXCELLENT review, very well done. Love the Star wars for the next gen comment, great review.
November 18, 2010
wow, thanks for the compliment!! : ) I must have been really out of the loop, because I only recently learned this is planned as a trilogy. can't wait for the next!
 
March 01, 2010
Great job on your first movie review! Props for tackling this film in a write-up. I am still waiting until I watch it again before putting my thoughts down. Hope to read more movie reviews in the near future!
March 01, 2010
Thanks! I think the key for me will to do more reviews right after I see films. Being a working mom, my life is crazy full and a lot of the details (names, examples, etc) fly right out of my head shortly after taking in a movie. It'll make for a better review, and also help me recall what I thought : ) Reminds me that my mother in law keeps a book journal with just a brief paragraph jotted down for everything she reads. So great over many years to help remember what you've read and what you thought. Lunch can really serve that for people, in an even better way that also benefits others, huh?! Very cool.
March 01, 2010
Yeah, oftentimes writing the review after seeing the movie helps you remember the details. Other times, I watch a movie multiple times, especially if I am conflicted about the rating. Sometimes I do wait to write a review if I need to let the film "sink in," so to speak. I like what your mother-in-law does with the notes. I try to do that with movies, books, and shows I am going to review. :D
March 02, 2010
Yup, same here. I'm sure part of it is attributed to my mood at the time as well.
 
March 01, 2010
Well, you know I am a film buff and don't be intimidated because I won't jump on your review,,,because it is really great for someone who hasn't reviewed a movie before! (better than my early ones honestly) You justified your points well, you were direct and you even criticized it a bit. Balanced review, that comes from your feelings...and it's not just a summary! Bravo!

Btw, if someone does say you got it wrong or you need to give detail and justify why and what made you like a movie, take it as something you can learn from. When you write from your heart and you're sincere in your intentions, you will NEVER have to be intimidated and you can always back up your own opinion. I look forward for the next movie review!
March 01, 2010
Well, that means a ton from you Woo!! J.R. encouraged me to just get over it and throw out my thoughts... like I just said to Scotman, I agree that there's value to each person's heartfelt perspective. I'm going to take those points of being balanced and direct into account for any future movie reviews I do. I find them helpful when I'm on the reader's side, so I'm glad they came through in my review. Thx!
 
1
More Avatar (2009 film) reviews
review by . March 09, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
test
   I was waiting to write this review for a while because I had only seen it in 3D. I was utterly amazed because it was the first 3D movie I had ever seen. I wanted to go straight home and write a review giving it a +5 rating. Upon talking with others who had seen the movie and reading various criticisms and analyzes of the film, I began to doubt my initial reaction. Was I letting the CGI effects and the 3D elements hype the movie to a level it didn't deserve? So, I was determined …
review by . February 23, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
James Cameron, it seems to me, creates wonderful dishware in which to place the most nourishing and satisfying of those things we humans crave. All those J. Cameron-imprinted tureens and goblets took rare imagination and meticulous craftsmanship to make. Just one piece can cost a Wall Street banker's annual bonus. They boggle. But look inside that tureen and there ain't no vichyssoise. Take Avatar.       This is one of the most beautiful movies you'll ever hope …
review by . January 30, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Fly me to the moon
              It’s when Adventure meets Art,  you’ve got the human spirit all throughout this film. The good, the bad.   Learning is a way of life. Innocence is inherent. Trust in the invisible and the unknown. The spirit within each living thing. Every day is an adventure. Entertainment at its summit!   A Dreamland. A Wonderful World. A Stunning Visual. An Incredible Imagination. A World beyond words …
review by . April 19, 2011
   "Frank, when's this gonna stop?"   "You should already know that."      And I smelt, as it were, the stench of CGI: One of the four beasts saying: "Best ever." And I saw. And behold, a blue alien.      There's a 3-D gimmick goin' 'round takin' names. An' he decides who to free and who to blame. Everybody won't be treated all the same. There'll be a golden ladder reaching down. …
review by . November 12, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
*** out of ****   James Cameron knows how to build hype. He also knows how to spend money very well. “Avatar” is the result of how Cameron spends his time and money, being a technical masterpiece but none the less a terribly familiar trip. Sure, it’s very engaging. Sure, it looks pretty. But when watching it, I noticed that everything Cameron shows or does is something that has been done before. Some of his choices often result in “Avatar” being very predictable …
review by . February 21, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Thats Right I Didn't like this movie
Avatar is your basic outsider/broken dude finds himself in a place he dosent belong/fit in. And after being there a while he finds himself and he's a new man. Avatar felt like a play it safe movie to me. It was predictable and we've literally seen movies like this a thousand times. The 3-D in my opinion didnt really add anything to the film. So after all that why am I giving this movie a 3 and a half? Because Avatar is one of the most awe-inspiring movies Ive seen in a long time. I loved …
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 21, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
4 ½ + Stars: Absorbing Fantasy Adventure and Thought-Povoking Themes Make This a Blockbuster!
             Let’s get one thing out of the way, James Cameron’s “AVATAR” is the most expensive film ever made; with a staggering budget of $ 230 million (there’s a rumor that they ended up spending $ 260 mil), expectations for the film is very high. Cameron had impressed me with “Aliens”, “The Abyss”, Terminator and T2: Judgment Day” but I decided to keep my expectations low. He won …
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 18, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
It's been years since James Cameron released a film.  The last movie we got from James Cameron was the mega-huge blockbuster Titanic way back in 1997.  When you make the biggest grossing film ever, you normally have to follow that up with something big.  For James Cameron it's Avatar.  An idea he's been tinkering with for over a decade (since before he even released Titanic, in fact).  This is the time when Cameron's film could finally be done.  When he first got the …
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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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