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Avatar (2009)
6 years ago via Flixster

I'm not gonna say that this is the greatest movie ever made, that it's James Cameron's masterpiece, or that that it revolutionized the film industry, because it does not truly deserve that kind of acclaim. However, I'm also not going to say that this was an over-hyped, piece of trash that relied totally on visuals instead of substance, though the visuals are the only reason that this movie made this much, thanks to the over stimulated frat boy/bimbo demographic. One of the main criticisms that I most often hear about this film is that it is an unoriginal rip off of dances with wolves, and for the most part that's true, it's the classic storyline of "man against natives, man is captured/integrated into natives, main begins to identify with natives, man fights alongside natives." But that's all it is, a classic literary device that was inspired by the story of Pocahontas (not the Disney cartoon, the real girl you morons) and has been used before dances with wolves, Fern Gully or the last Samurai, all of which have since had this storyline in some shape or form, so you can't blame Avatar for being the only one to dip into the pool.

So, this begs the question: does a film have to be totally original to be a good movie? I would say that it does not, a film doesn't necessarily have to have a premise that is totally genuine to be enjoyable, a good movie is something that positively affects you on an emotional level, something that changes the way you look at things. And that's what Avatar did for me, it reached me on an emotional level, it brought me back to my childhood when I was read stories about courageous knights and cunning villains, about famous battles and love won; it definitely brought out the hopeless romantic in me. There were a few problems that I had with the film, such as some of the creatures looking too CGI and the fact that Trudy was killed off way to fast in the final battle, but those are flaws that don't totally detract from the overall feel of the film.

If you were to ask me why I love this film I really wouldn't know what to say, nothing stands out critically, in terms of acting, story or production (although Cameron's new technological ability to capture expressions was really good) besides being in 3-D. I can only say that Avatar was an experience that simply made me feel good, I can't make it any more basic than that, just the kind of satisfaction that you get from seeing a movie as child, and it's an experience that I won't soon forget.