Archive for the ‘Avatar’ Category

Avatar – review

Avatar – Review



James Cameron’s ‘Avatar’ is a visually mind-blowing film that was created by one of the leaders of groundbreaking technical effects in cinema. It is the portrait of an entire world that is rich, vast and stunning beyond belief…it is also a film that is fractured, disjointed and painfully slow….beyond painfully slow, excruciatingly slow in parts.

Corporate scum is sent to the moon Pandora in a distant galaxy on a mining operation to gather a precious mineral unobtanium, which is basically like the greatest thing in the universe and worth a shit-ton. The only problem is that the Na’Vi, a race of gigantic blue people who tap into the planet as a lifesource, and share many primitive forms of functioning as a society (almost identical to that of early indian tribes before ‘America’ was colonized by the western world) inhabit this world and stand in the way. I think you can see where i’m going with this one. Now I had a conversation with my brother after watching this when he pointed out to me that ‘Avatar’ is basically the exact same story as ‘Dances With Wolves’, guess what he’s right. If you want to see ‘Dances With Wolves’ with blue people here’s your chance…but in 3-D.

Humans can control Avatars in the shape of the Na’Vi through basically mind-linking to them. And the Na’Vi are amazing looking on the screen, you truly can not even tell that they are CGI’d. They look real. We follow Jake a paraplegic marine who has been asked to control his dead brothers Avatar, because human and Avatar are genetically linked together, and only Jake would be able to control his own brothers.

The first two hours of the film we frolic around Cameron’s world looking at cool shit and exploring the landscape of the world as Jake’s Avatar is taught the ways of the Na’Vi people. He is shown around by Neytiri a female Na’Vi that he will soon forever be linked to after being captured by the Na’Vi’, why they want to bring him in and teach him the secrets of their people is one of the first things I couldn’t really wrap my head around. The next hour and a half after this I thought I was watching ‘Star Wars: Episode II’ when everyone is all happy and strolls through the countryside weeeee lets have fun. If the film wasn’t in 3-D I would have walked out around the 90 minute mark.

Being a huge Cameron fan I stayed with it though in the hope that at least something cool might happen, and i’m glad I waited. For all of the boredom, for all of the slow-moving nonsense I will say this, ‘Avatar’ pays off in the end…and in a big way. The last 45 minutes of the film is the essence of a Cameron film, fierce, vicious, anxious, nerve-racking, and wonderful. It takes action films and special effects to the next level and is really one of the best finales of a film all year, but it’s like chewing on nails to get there. That end is the only thing that saves ‘Avatar’ in my mind from being one of the worst films of the year.

The film has been in development for more than 15 years and it’s amazing that Cameron had the passion, vision and patience to wait until he had the capabilities to make the film as he envisioned it, but what we are left with in the end is yes some unbelievable scenes and landscapes to view, but not much else, and this is the big disappointment, especially coming from one of the few directors that has been able to give us the entire package over the years. If you’re going to see ‘Avatar’ please make sure that it is in 3-D. I don’t think I would be able to sit through a 2-D version, and I’m not sure many of you could either.

That being said Cameron’s film has upped the ante for all films that will come in the future, as far as special effects are concerned, and for that he does deserved to be praised.

First Two Hours Grade D-

Last 45 Minutes A+

Overall C+