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Avatar

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

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Epic Brilliance Not Seen Before

  • May 10, 2010
Rating:
+4
I went into this film with not much expectation if I'm honest. Even though it was a massive success in the box office and with critics, I just couldn't see myself enjoying it, but I must say I loved every minute. The special effects are really something astonishing in creating the world of Pandora, the Na'vi and everything else in between, but the story itself, although brilliant seemed fairly cliché and could have offered so much more had Cameron spent a little more time putting the story together. Although this is the result of over 15 years of work by Cameron, I just felt that, in the end, the story could have been so much better when you consider the immensity of the special effects and acting quality provided.

The story focuses around Corporal Jake Sully, a crippled ex-marine called in to take part in the Avatar program as a replacement for his twin brother. This program puts him in the body of a Na'vi which are the native sapient humanoids of the Earth-like moon of the planet Polyphemus, Pandora. The human military are on this planet to mine a rare but valuable mineral called unobtanium and it is Jake's and the other members of the Avatar team to try and convince the Na'vi to leave their village to allow the humans to mine for the mineral. However, the Na'vi's relationship with nature is much more than just living side by side, their is a connection that humans cannot understand until they become one of them and Jake finds out the hard way, that his native species aren't the moral beings he thought they were.

One thing I will say first of all is that this certainly a piece of artistic imagination with the creation of a whole new world and new species and have a great detail of information surrounding the creatures, plants and planet of this film. The character distinction between the Na'vi and Humans is something a little too familiar that some, more politically minded people, may find a tad uncomfortable as it's a blatant and tough reflection of the imperialists invading the native countries of a so-called savage race. Consider the British invasion and colonisation of America and the pillaging of the land of the native Americans, or even the British Empire as a whole and its war with the native African Zulu tribes. Up until even the 1930s we were still calling the native African tribes savages and using this rhetoric as a way of taking their land in the name of democracy and freedom. Perhaps I'm looking too much into it, but I found this to be a stark finger pointing at those who hold such opinions and may even be applied to the current "war" in Afghanistan and Iraq as many would question the real motives of being in these countries.

The acting is splendid to say the least. Sam Rockwell does brilliantly as the main protagonist of the film in both his human and Na'vi form. Sigourney Weaver also plays an excellent hard ass scientist role and makes the film that little bit more entertaining. The Na'vi characters such as Zoe Saldana as Neytiri are brilliantly done and were created through a motion capture technique which is why the movement and behaviour of these creatures comes across so well on screen. By far though, the best character in this movie is the main antagonist Colonel Miles Quaritch played by Stephen Lang. He's the stereotypical army man; loyal to his code and his country and has total disregard for all those who associate themselves with the "enemy". He's cruel and sadistic and by far the most entertaining of all the cast.

The planet is beautiful and the characters complex and interesting. However, I only wish that the story was the same as it felt so shallow and typical, but it was enjoyable nonetheless. Watch it, you'll love it.
Epic Brilliance Not Seen Before Epic Brilliance Not Seen Before Epic Brilliance Not Seen Before Epic Brilliance Not Seen Before

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November 17, 2010
I kept thinking of Pocahontas and Fern Gully when I watched this, still it was a good movie, great review.
 
May 20, 2010
I so COMPLETELY agree with the statement you made at the end of the first paragraph. I was WOW'd by the visual magic of the movie and disappointed with the story itself. I felt like Cameron cheated me out of the complete experience this movie could have been by giving the story short shrift. I felt walking out of that movie the way I felt reading my favorite book of last year--it was an amazing book but the ending didn't live up to the majesty of the rest. In the case of Avatar, the story didn't live up to the visual framework built for it. Nice job, Steveo.
 
May 10, 2010
wonderful review, Steveo! I can't really elaborate why I really liked this movie..is it the subtle commentaries? is it the methodical references to mythology or the establishment of a belief? science vs. nature? Granted it was a formula movie but it was something that did what it meant to do very effectively! Thanks for posting this review in our community!
February 08, 2011
Hi, Steveo, I just wanted to say congratulations for your nomination!
 
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More Avatar (2009 film) reviews
review by . March 09, 2010
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review by . January 30, 2010
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review by . November 12, 2010
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review by . February 21, 2011
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review by . December 29, 2009
Avatar: relegates Lord of the Rings to 'old hat'
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review by . December 21, 2009
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review by . December 18, 2009
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review by . December 18, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
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Steven Stewart ()
Currently studying Law at University, my main interests revolve around Politics. I read quite a lot and love learning about History. Not just the history of a specific time, place and person, but I'm … 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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