24 December 2009

Avatar (review)

Director: James Cameron
Starring: Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana
Grade: A

This movie is highly recommended.

I think I've seen this plot or something similar before. But I'm pretty sure this is the way that plot is supposed to play out. Man gets an opportunity for a new life. Same man is used to gain inside information on native species. The native species is the biggest obstacle standing between the human company and their goals. Man has no reason to say no --- until he falls in love with the native species.

I knew the ending early on. I mean, he has nothing to live for on Earth, right? Of course the story will play out as it does. Then again, I'm starting to predict movies as they go on now. Disappointing as it is, I find it fun. Whatever doesn't fulfill my expectations gets a few brownie points. So I am jumping for joy that the ending is not the happily-ever-after-for-everyone ending. People die. And because people died I wasn't sure if more people will die. Then I was on the edge of my seat wondering if they will live or die . . . and then I sighed with the outcome.

One of the notable features of this movie is the women characters. I probably wouldn't have noticed unless I read an article in USA Today that my friend pointed out a few mornings ago. Now that I think about it, any woman featured in the movie was not going to let someone rescue her. Trudy, the pilot, is a go getter who won't take orders she doesn't like. We first meet Dr. Grace demanding a cigarette, and she exits murmuring something about taking samples. She's also very confrontational. And then there's Neytiri. She helps lead the battle against the humans, shows Jake the ropes about her people, and murders the Annoyingly Determined Bastard. I like her too.

This movie is riddled with special effects, but it's not bad. You get so lost in them that you forget what you're looking at is entirely made up. And they're so detailed you can't even pretend they're not real! James Cameron spent four (almost five) years working on the plants and world of Pandora. That is dedication to be respected, people.

James Cameron pushed technology for this movie. Although most of the movie is computer animated, he had help from the real people. He built the set and placed censors and cameras at nearly every point. The actors were dressed in suits with the same censors attached in more places than recommended (as in, instead of three censors on an arm, they had ten). So when they filmed the scenes, adding the CGI would be easier and more detailed than ever before. And it's done so seamlessly you don't even remember it's not real! I think I said that before. A linguist was hired to work on the native language, and the actors had to break normal human habits while working (like nodding your head to say yes and other small things like that). It's great!

I feel like I've seen this kind of plot before. But this is that plot done right. Go see it. You'll like it.

1 comment:

  1. I completely agree!! This movie was absolutely amazing! The CGI, if you can even call this new level of animation CGI, was absolutely breathtaking!! My friends and I left the theatre wishing we could have a blue person to link up with :D


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