Saturday, February 13, 2010



(image above: screenshot from the movie Avatar)

Yesterday I had the privilege of finally going to see the movie Avatar with my Dad. We've both really wanted to see it for awhile and yesterday my Dad came home from work a little bit earlier so we could go to the movies together. The first time I heard of James Cameron's new movie was the night New Moon came out (which, by the way - was a pretty bad movie). You know how there are always a million previews before the movie actually starts? Yeah. I wasn't too convinced that was going to be a good movie. I mean c'mon - it all seemed a little Smurfy. I said, "After all the great movies, this is what he comes out with? Wow." I guess I was too quick to judge because after watching it I realized that I was totally and completely wrong. The director of Titanic, Aliens, and True Lies took his time (14 years) to finally release this movie. What gets me is that it took more money to make this movie than the Titanic which already costed $200m to make!

It was well worth the 160 minutes. Director Cameron takes you to a world of beauty, nature, soul, and love. It really shows you how greedy and evil humans can be. You have to go see this. Like, now!

Review by By Kirk Honeycutt
The protagonist, Jake Sully (Sam Worthington), is a disabled former Marine who takes his late twin brother's place in the avatar program, a sort of bone thrown to the scientific community by the corporation in hopes that the study of Pandora and its population might create a more peaceful planet.

Without any training, Jake suddenly must learn how to link his consciousness to an avatar, a remotely controlled biological body that mixes human DNA with that of the native population, the Na'vi. Since he is incautious and overly curious, he immediately rushes into the fresh air -- to a native -- to throw open Pandora's many boxes.

The center of life is a holy tree where tribal memories and the wisdom of their ancestors is theirs for the asking. This is what the humans want to strip mine.

Jake manages to get taken in by one tribe where a powerful, Amazonian named Neytiri (Zoe Saldana) takes him under her wing to teach him how to live in the forest, speak the language and honor the traditions of nature. Yes, they fall in love but Cameron has never been a sentimentalist: He makes it tough on his love birds.

They must overcome obstacles and learn each other's heart. The Na'vi have a saying, "I see you," which goes beyond the visual. It means I see into you and know your heart.

In his months with the Na'vi, Jake experiences their life as the "true world" and that inside his crippled body locked in a coffin-like transponding device, where he can control his avatar, is as the "dream." The switch to the other side is gradual for his body remains with the human colony while his consciousness is sometimes elsewhere.

He provides solid intelligence about the Na'vi defensive capabilities to Col. Miles Quaritch (Stephen Lang), the ramrod head of security for the mining consortium and the movie's villain. But as Jake comes to see things through Neytiri's eyes, he hopes to establish enough trust between the humans and the natives to negotiate a peace. But the corporation wants the land the Na'vi occupy for its valuable raw material so the Colonel sees no purpose in this.

The battle for Pandora occupies much of the final third of the film. The planet's animal life -- the creatures of the ground and air -- give battle along with the Na'vi, but they come up against projectiles, bombs and armor that seemingly will be their ruin.

In years of development and four years of production no detail in the pic is unimportant. Cameron's collaborators excel beginning with the actors. Whether in human shape or as natives, they all bring terrific vitality to their roles.

Mauro Fiore's cinematography is dazzling as it melts all the visual elements into a science-fiction whole. You believe in Pandora. Rick Carter and Robert Stromberg's design brings Cameron's screenplay to life with disarming ease.

James Horner's score never intrudes but subtly eggs the action on while the editing attributed to Cameron, Stephen Rivkin and John Refoua maintains a breathless pace that exhilarates rather than fatigues. Not a minute is wasted; there is no down time.

The only question is: How will Cameron ever top this?


P.S. Happy Chinese New Year! (:

P.P.S. Please go to the sidebar and cl!ck on my photography blog. I just uploaded new photos for Valentine's Day. Go check it out! ♥


Leona said...

I haven't watched Avatar :))
Happy Chinese New Year.
And Happy Valentines, too.

adriana said...

YES! Avatar is amazing and such an incredible movie! And I did not know it took him THAT long for him to finish this movie... WOW!


rosanguyen said...

I feel like I'm in that small part of the world in which they have never watched "Avatar" yet...

ambiguous_angel said...

i haven't watch Avatar yet:(
so many movie in my list that i want to watch,
so little time:(

Kay said...

Ahh I really want to see it, but I haven't gotten around to doing it yet :p
Happy valentine's day and chinese new year :D

Mauricem said...

Avatar was an awesome movie. I'm glad you liked it. Was that image from the concept drawings? It's pretty cool.

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