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Posted on 8/28/11 01:50 PM
Well, it's finally here. The 300 million dollar alien-western space epic Avatar finally hit theaters last night. The verdict? SEE THIS MOVIE!
I was definitely excited going in. I had read some early reviews and liked what I heard. The most notable quote that I read was "this generation's Star Wars." That is absolutely 100% true. As soon as I saw the shot where the ship initially lands on Pandora I knew that I was in for something unreal. While some may say that the beginning of the movie is relatively slow, as soon as Jake enters the Avatar for the first time, which is about 20 minutes in, the movie picks you up and brings you on an incredible journey that even your imagination never thought was possible.
As I'm sure you've heard, it tells the story of Jake, a marine who's confined to a wheelchair. Jake's brother is some super intelligent scientist who pilots a mentally controlled body called an Avatar. The Avatar's are made from human DNA, and DNA of the native people, The Na'vi, 12-foot-tall blue humanoids with tails. It is the job of the Avatar pilots to interact with the Natives and get them to move from their home so the United States can farm an element hidden within their planets crust, which is worth big bucks. Unfortunately Jake's brother dies and he is asked to pilot his brother's Avatar. From there the plot develops into what many think is a boring cliché. Yes, this movie is Pocahontas with aliens. This factor alone merited many reviewers to mark it down in score. I however, am a firm believer that the story is perfect for what Cameroun wanted to accomplish. Complain about the liberal biases all you want, the plot is a basic but beautiful tale about love and nature. In choosing a basic plot, Cameron wasn't trying to throw too much at you at once. The idea was to immerse you in this majestic and imaginative world. Could this be done with a more complex and original plot? Maybe, but I think that by using an easy plot, Cameron was able to envelop the viewers without them having to think too hard about what was going on. To put it bluntly, he knew most Americans would be too stupid to understand the incredible visuals mixed with a complex plot, *crosses fingers for a perfect Avatar 2.*
One the most interesting aspects of Avatar is the 3-D. I have seen 3-D done well in one other movie, and that was Coraline. Having said that, I can say that Avatar has perfected the use of 3-D in feature films. From the very first shot of the movie when I saw water droplets (or something similar) floating in zero-gravity, I was convinced that this was the way this movie was meant to be seen. The particle effects: leaves, bugs, splinters, just look so incredibly beautiful, I can't elaborate much more than that, you'll just have to see for yourself. While there are definitely shots that you can tell were meant to show off the 3-D, in no way were you ever pulled out of the experience.
The scenes where Jake and the native he falls in love with, Neytiri, travel through the lush jungles and floating mountains of Pandora are some of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen in a movie. I am 100% serious when I say this, I was almost brought to tears with the spectacle of some of this scenery; it's that damn good. The Na'vi's view on nature is so beautiful and enticing that you literally feel connected to every living thing on Pandora. I won't give away too much, but the saddest part of the movie involves the death of a something that you probably wouldn't give much thought to normally.
Avatar is a spectacle. While it is not perfect, Cameron definitely kept his promise, this movie has single-handedly changed the film industry. I don't think I can ever watch another movie with computer animated effects. This makes Transformers look like a visual joke, which it was. I was completely pulled into this imaginative world from start to finish. To explain just what exactly I was feeling as I sat in the crowded theater would be impossible. I know this isn't really something that should be said in a review, but you really just have to experience this movie to understand what my mind and soul was going through. My friend said "it's not really CG, it's like James Cameroun went to Pandora and filmed a movie." Couldn't have said it any better myself. If you see one movie this year, see Avatar, it will be all you can think about until the sequel is released.