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Avatar

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

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The next century of cinema has finally started

  • Dec 19, 2009
  • by
Rating:
+5
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.

The first time I saw Terminator 2: 3D at Universal Studios, there was a major hint that James Cameron was ahead of his game with this technology. There's no comparison here, however, since it's clear that ever since Titanic he's been busy at work perfectly the technique. I've seen several 3D movies and often find there's enormous color distortion, it gives me a headache after an hour or so, and the frame rate isn't sufficient to maintain smoothness on a large screen during fast movement. None of these problems is in Avatar, which is the first genuinely perfect and flawless rendering of a 3D world I've ever seen.

I'm surprised so many critics have harped on about the plot and acting (though there are many Cameron haters out there). The same people who laud Casablanca or Vertigo, despite their flimsy setups, 3-Act structures, and signaled plot devices, criticize anyone else who uses classic storytelling, which lets face it has worked since the dawn of time. The plot draws broad strokes of good and evil characters and doesn't waste any time in getting the story set up: within 10 minutes, we've already got our feet wet on Pandora. For those who criticize the acting, they obviously have no understanding of performance capture technology - I think it's a miracle that the actors managed to seamlessly convey their roles into entirely CG characters while acting against nothing more than a green screen. (Sigourney Weaver steals the show, by the way.)

Avatar is nothing less than a complete reinvention of the way film is going to work in the future. We all left the theater breathless, exhilarated, and chatting feverishly about what just happened in a way that hasn't happened in years. The colors are like nothing you've ever seen before - the film is actually beautiful and mesmorizing, and you find yourself looking around each shot at the incredible detail that fills every frame. I can see every other filmmaker is going to be scrambling to catch up now, much like when Terminator 2 gave us the liquid metal villain and Titanic gave us tension in a story we already knew the ending of.

So there it is. Go and see it for yourselves because it's first cinematic experience of a generation. If you're a Cameron hater, put that aside when you put the 3D glasses on, and soak up a new world that heralds the late beginning of this century's revolution in the movie theater. I hope the Oscars recognize this giant leap into the celluloid future.

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December 21, 2009
Great write up! I fully intend on seeing this again in 3D next week! Cameron is one guy who knows his stuff and how to use a huge budget.
 
December 19, 2009
Very comprehensive review and right on point! I just saw Avatar--as James says it is "breathless, exhilarating and feverish"!
December 19, 2009
Thanks Mrs Me.... everyone, meet Wendy - otherwise known as Mrs James B.
 
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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 . March 01, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Great Ride & Groundbreaking Movie!
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 …
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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