This is a hard one to break down. There is the CGI aspect of the movie. There is the 3-D integration with the filming style of the movie. We can't forget the plot of basically stealing land from the Indians because there is "Gold in them there hills!" And, of course, the acting talent of some of the bigger stars appearing in human form such as Sigourney Weaver, Sam Worthington, Stephen Lang, & Giovanni Ribisi, which I actually think is a high point of the movie.
Avatar is the reason that we still go to the movie theatre instead of just watching movies at home. It is the crystal clear CGI out of this world shots that take you on flying fight scenes and huge explosives matched with the best sound equipment money can buy. Beyond PIXAR, I haven't seen any CGI on screen that beats Avatar. So if you love the movie "experience" you will love Avatar. (4.5 of 5 antz)
I wasn't a big fan when 3-D started coming back from the days of the alien and zombie picture films of the 50's, but Avatar uses the technology to create such eye candy, it could in some circles be called pornographic it is that good. Beyond seeing flying beasts coming right at you, and rockets whizzing up and down, the best part of the 3-D was the way Cameron uses a repetitive first person shot to make you literally feel like the other characters are talking to you as they look you in the eyes. This convention is only enhanced by the 3-D technology. You do truly feel as if you are in the movie. (4 of 5 antz)
The plot of the movie is where James Cameron screwed the pooch. He was obviously too busy with the CGI and other unimaginable production stunts to remember that it's nice for those above the age of 10 to have a story that is worth following. Instead James deceides to steal about 5 scenes from past movies and mush them all together. (1.5 of 5 antz)
1. The scene where they make James's mind into his Avatar body is such a Star Trek III rip off of McCoy and Spock's Katra Meld!
2. As James assimilated into the Na'vi we can remember Kevin Costner slowing becoming chums with the Indians in Dances With Wolves.
3. Pushing natives off their land for because the white people want it...hmmm...I can think of so just one or two...Schindler's List, Braveheart, Hotel Rwanda, Gandhi, Glory, Barry Lyndon, Blood Diamind, Syriana, Three Kings, etc. This really is the hole point of the movie, the rich CEO wants the valuable "mineral" that just happens to be under the Na'vi's huge base or tree.
4. That brings us to Dune. Avatar's antagonist's (CEO) main agenda is gathering this "mineral" that is enormously value which is in the ground. No spice to be harvested here. But this other "mineral" stuff that is so valuable and important to Avatar's plot, Cameron spends a whopping 10 seconds talking about it.
5. Finally, Cameron definitely jacked The Matrix for having the mind connection from Human to Avatar in real life. You lay on a gurney tube instead of having a big looking needle stuck into the back of your head Neo.
Believe it or not, the acting is one of the high points of the film. The grunt Colonel is the ass we love to hate, Sigourney Weaver plays the perfect bitch genius scientist, and Ribisi is great as the corporate suit. Even the emotion and scenes between Na'vi only touches us as the final product is quality. Though there wasn't that much dialog seeing how Cameron created a entire or partial language for the Na'vi, but the dialog in and out of the action scenes works. (4 of 5 antz)
So if you have a date to impress Avatar will probably not having you walk out in the "mood" but it's definitely an event to see if you have the $15...yikes! If you want to feel like the world is an ok place to be and cry a little go for something a little less computer generated :-p
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