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"Avatar" is the story of an ex-Marine who finds himself thrust into hostilities on an alien planet filled with exotic life forms.
As an Avatar, a human mind in an alien body, he finds himself torn between two worlds, in a desperate fight for his own survival and that of the indigenous people.
Now available on DVD and Blu-Ray
This is a very colourful movie. Pretty. Beautiful. Awe-inspiring. There are many different ways to describe Avatar's world of Pandora. I myself couldn't help thinking it was cartoonish. Not much in the way of a realistic edge to it. Sure it is full of magical creatures and floating land masses, but compared to the scenes that involved the actual actors, I found there was quite a gap in the graphics.
Plotwise it was very much a rehashing of Pocahontas, where the cultured man comes in to take a resource from the natives at any cost. Touted for its visual effects and 3D, I was largely unimpressed. It was an okay film, but it was nothing near the visual revolution that was advertised. The predictability of the movie was too high, and even the characters were too generic. You knew what would happen, when it would happen, and precisely who would be doing it.
As a full animated cartoon, this would have kicked Pocahontas' arse in the ratings, but as a 2010 3D animation revolution, it left a lot to be desired. If you can look past the plot, it is a beautiful movie, and the Weta Workshop did a great job in creating this world. Best served to viewers that know nothing of the movie beforehand.
When this movie came out, I wasn't really all that fussed to see it. It was the start of the 3D movie excitement. I thought I didn't want to see this in 3D in case it hurt my eyes. So I decided to see it in 2D.
My husband saw it in 3D, came home and said "its a 3D movie. You can't watch it in 2D". So I didn't go. Flashforward and the opportunity came up to see this in 2D for free. So I sat down with my friend and watched.
This film is a sci-fi fantasy, set in an alternative reality on a different planet. The storyline follows an outsider getting involved with indigenous people during a time of war. Its a familiar tale and has been explored many times before. Dances with Wolves was my first thought as I watched. The Time Machine also entered my thoughts.
Its revisiting our history into an Emperialistic attitude towards the natives. Its basically a question of ethics and up for interpretation by the viewer. Though obviously Cameron has an agenda.
This film is beautiful. The alien planet, flora and fauna were amazing. I really enjoyed looking at everything. I dont think it needed to be 3D to enjoy at all. The story is predictable. But that was fine, sometimes you don't want to have to think too much. I refer to this as junk food for the mind. Its fun, filling and sometimes that's enough.
The scenery is stunning, the animals fantastic, the plants and trees ever so beautiful, but that for me, is all that the film has going for it. I waited for it to come out on DVD, as even with all the hype it still didn't seem to be that great, just beautiful. All the special effects and such were stunning and that was what I loved about the movie.
But when it came to plot it was nothing that I hadn't seen before. Man comes to help conquer people, take what they want, falls in love with native, decides not to betray her, joins her side in a fight against his own kind and is triumphant and gets the girl. Nothing new. But what it lacked in plot it made up for it visual effects.
Avatar surrounded by hype and really had something to prove after the media said their thing.
I decided to leave it until it was released into the video stores before actually hiring it and I am glad I did.
Yep its a great movie, awesome story line and really keeps your attention, but I feel that had I have watched it when it was first released with all that hype I would have been greatly disappointed. I don't think it was really as super fantastic as it was made out to be. Yes it was great but it wasn't the best movie ever seen in my opinion.
I would definitely recommend seeing it, but if you haven't seen it yet don't go into it thinking your about to view the best thing ever because you will, in my opinion, be slightly disappointed.
I want to start out by saying that though I understand that this movie was far more "Special Effects" than "Actual Plot" - it was still such a stunning movie technically speaking that my heart broke when I found out it didn't kick butt at the awards... but at least it has proven it's mettle by being the highest grossing film in history.
The plot is pretty common... Boy meets Girl, Boy hurts Girl, Boy does mindlessly stupid things to get Girl back, eventually succeeds, and saves the world from the evil invading hordes.
Of course, this all happens 4 lightyears away on a moon orbiting a gas giant, itself orbiting as part of the trinary "Alpha Centauri" system... the girl's a 3m tall blue alien, and also happens to be the alien equivalent of a warrior princess (No, NOT Xena!), the boy isn't really the boy, but the cloned DNA-spliced alien body the real boy is 'driving' from inside a doozy MRI scanner with speedstripes, and the evil invading hordes are the human crew he arrived to join as they brutally strip-mine the planet for a super-conducting mineral that can make mountains literally float a couple of miles above the planet's surface...
Oh yeah, and the whole planet is a massive super-parallel-processing psychic symbiotic network, with every life-form a hard-wired part of it.
I tell ya, when James Cameron gets a 'big' idea in mind, he really goes BIG! Big technology leaps to enable the filming, big back-story behind everything seen on screen (Just check out some of the books about the movie!), and some really big 'tongue in cheek' references too. As Cameron himself explained it in a recent interview, this story maps onto some real-world issue of great importance, such as ecological destruction, forced endangerment of indigenous peoples and species, as well as global climate awareness, to name a few of the bigger ones.
On a technical level, the movie broke through some amazing barriers in order to make production a reality... new cameras and computer modelling techniques, way-ahead-of-cutting-edge computing systems, image compositing technologies, the list goes on... and the result was something truly spectacular. (Not to mention, as a proud Kiwi I have to be pleased that a lot of it was achieved thanks to the hard work of our very own Weta Digital and Weta Workshop crews!)
The actors were pretty spot-on, and it was great to see some familiar faces back again, such as Sigourney Weaver and Michelle Rodriguez, but also the relatively new face of Sam Worthington who I first encountered in the Australian hit "Bootmen", but who has made a more recent appearance in the lead role of Perseus in "Clash of the Titans". I have to wonder if perhaps he could be the newest Vin Diesel or Russell Crowe...
Overall, though it is a shame we'll not see this in any form of 3d at home (yet), this was still pretty darned good for the small screen. Also a let-down that the discs don't come with anything but the movies... no extras, no bonus features, nothing but a code to give web surfers access to some online goodies... apparently all that will be in a later 'Big Boxed Edition' later in the year. A pretty nifty plot that falls a little light on the ground, but more than made up for by the overwhelming visual effects and amazingly seamless image blending of live- and CGI-based footage. Top notch, if not quite perfect. Mind you, rumours are confirmed, there's going to be a sequel so let's hope they pack that with more plot. If you haven't seen it, now's the time!
After all the hype, this was one movie i was really looking forward to. Overall the movie held my attention & i was glad i went to see it on the big screen.
However, I saw the 3d version & was remarkably unimpressed with most of the 3d effects. The storyline was predictable & nothing about this movie overly excited me.
I also thought the writers should have been given a swift kick in the rear-end for the name they gave the "Treasure" the bad guy wanted. "Unobtanium"....Sounds like something even a child would reject as being too silly.
I wasn't sure what Avatar was about but I was told it was great and well worth paying to see.
I couldn't have agreed more. I probably wouldn't pay to see it again in a stuffy cinema but I will definitely be buying it when it comes out on DVD. The special effects really held me in my seat and in the cinema. I am still a bit lost about the story line other than the top dog wants whatever it will take to get the 'treasure', even death of the natives.
When the ex marine takes the place of his brother in his avatar body to learn the way of the natives, there is a few things he doesn't count on happening. Falling in love and changing sides are just two of them. I was drawn by the bond and connection the natives have to the world and all things in it, especially the spirit tree.
There were a couple of second long bits that made me feel sick, like when they left the truck and the camera was running with them but overall, I would love to see this move in 3D.
Another epic win by the crew at a little kiwi venture called "Weta Digital" who once again did an astounding job of the visual effects. The storyline was a bit limp, utterly pointless in places, and predictable from about n15 minutes into the nearly 3 hours of eyefood, but I did not care a jot about that. The movie was so absorbing and full of rich colour and detail (in more ways than just the lightshow) that I was hooked and utterly unable to really see the weaknesses while the movie was playing.
To give you an idea of how little the weak plot really matters: I rarely pay full price to see any movie - cheap nites are my regular haunt - but I went back and saw this movie three times, and paid full price the last two just so I could take the family along as well! Me wanting to see a movie a second time is rare, but three is near-impossible.
The characters are well developed and fill their place in the story perfectly, no missing details and minor character stay just that. The world is richly detailed, right down to the behaviour of the plants and animals, its all very internally consistent. About the only bits that don't get explained in the movie, but apparently do in some of the tie-in books listed above in the "related listings" panel, is firstly, what is so special about 'unobtainium', and secondly how the Hallelujah Mountains do their amazing hovering act. Both answers are closely linked it seems.
Overall I loved ths movie, despite, or even because of, its weaknesses, and it's one I look forward to putting on my DVD shelf along with the other 'to become classics one day' titles.
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Evelyn Waugh (1903 - 1966)