Avatar (2009)

Avatar (2009)

Avatar 2009Starring: Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Lang, Michelle Rodriguez, Giovanni Ribisi

Directed by: James Cameron

Written By: James Cameron

Rating: PG-13 (US) Running Time: 2 hr 42 min

Two cents:

As a purely visual spectacle, it doesn’t get much better than Avatar. James Cameron, and his team of visual effects artists create an entire new world pixel by pixel, and it’s perfect. Filled with color and life you could almost reach out and touch. Inhabited by incredible characters (the Navi) that look as real as their live action counterparts. This is truly a phenomenal achievement, but we should be used to this from the likes of Mr. James Cameron. How cool was the T-1000 in Terminator 2? At that time we had only seen that level of CGI mastery in The Abyss – another James Cameron production!

As well as an awesome visual experience. This is also a really entertaining film. Cameron is a master at pacing and shooting action sequences. Knowing exactly how close to be to the action, and when to cut a scene. The final battle in Avatar is incredible. Action in the sky, and on the ground. It’s just epic, but never overwhelming.

It’s true, Avatar has a pretty heavy-handed eco-message to deliver, and the story is (perhaps ironically so) recycled from a bizarre combination of Dances with Wolves and Ferngully! But it’s still a worthwhile message, and the story is good enough to support nearly three hours of visual brilliance. James Cameron’s only real weakness as a film writer is the dialog he gives his characters. While nothing in Avatar is especially bad, the dialog is a little perfunctory.

Movie Prep:

If you’re into action packed science fiction. Avatar is sure to please. It does get a little heavy-handed with the eco-message, and even takes a couple of cheap shots at certain right leaning political figures. These moments are thankfully brief, and sporadic and the film’s focus on its main task – to entertain – is never lost.

Best Format:

This is absolutely a big screen experience. I saw this in IMAX 3D, regular 3D, and 2D, and was entertained each time. If a theater near you were screening this certainly try to make that show. At home a HD showing is recommended. The impact and detail of this movie are lost on smaller devices such as your smart phone or tablet.

Best element/moment for me: << spoilers! >>

My absolute favorite character in this is Colonel Miles Quaritch (Stephen Lang) – the bad guy! Like a glorious combination of John Wayne and Rambo! He’s just such a bad-ass! On fire?  He’ll put himself out when he’s good and ready to. Breathing oxygen must also be for wimpy girl men too, judging by how many times he takes a trip outside the confines of the base, sans oxygen mask, to shoot at people!

Near the end of the film, his ship is falling out of the sky. The Colonel, who’s on fire at this point, climbs into one of their mechanized walkers – still on fire – straps himself in – still on fire – and gets ready to leave the ship. He then puts the fire out on his shoulder! He manages to run through the loading bay of the ship, grab a weapon, and jump clear. As he lands on the ground, his ship crashes behind him and for one glorious second the entire forest behind him explodes – and he’s there, ready to kick some tree hugging Navi butt! Love it!

References: IMDBRotten Tomatoes

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