Avatar by James Cameron

Vulcan59

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Anyone seen this movie yet? Is it worth watching? Plot summary from IMBD states;

A band of humans are pitted in a battle against a distant planet's indigenous population.

The reviews suggest that it's an outstanding movie but I'd rather have members here who have watched it, give a brief review. Anyone? Thanks. :)
 

Gimpy

The Living Force
Vulcan59 said:
Anyone seen this movie yet? Is it worth watching? Plot summary from IMBD states;

A band of humans are pitted in a battle against a distant planet's indigenous population.

The reviews suggest that it's an outstanding movie but I'd rather have members here who have watched it, give a brief review. Anyone? Thanks. :)


It's supposed to open this Friday, I had hoped to see it, but its a money issue. :( We've rolled change to see movies before, and this might be one of those. ;) I'll review it if we manage to make it.
 

Vulcan59

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Ah thanks Gimpy. I just noticed that the release date is 18 December in the US but it's already screening in theatres here in NZ. :)
 

knowledge_of_self

The Living Force
Yeah I was wondering what forum member's take on this movie was also.

A little side note:

I know that James Cameron had wanted to make this movie in the 90's but he didn't because he thought the CGI was not adequate enough for what he wanted to do. But he patent the name Avatar for his movie in like 98 or something. And because of this, the M. Night Shamalan movie of the cartoon series the Avatar: The Last Air Bender was named just "The Last Air Bender". Because they lost in court to Cameron :P

Either way, I’m looking forward to watching both Avatars. :D
 
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Lauranimal

Guest
My mom and I are going to see it on Friday. Will let you all know my impressions.

My current impression from the trailer, is that "our" imperialistic forces once again seek to devastate an indigenous population and take their land/planet & resources by force. But the Empire's 'mole' comes to identify with the population and recognize the wrongness of the invasion and switches sides.

The special effects look awsome!!!
 

Adaryn

The Living Force
It's been released in France yesterday. According to one review, the special effects are great but the plot is very caricatural, typically hollywoodian (no wonder, it's James Cameron!). For the reviewer, it's still worth the watch though because of the visuals which are truly awesome.
 

herondancer

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Just read a review in the local paper.

The concensus is pretty much the same: amazing effects, but simplistic plot. It was described as "Dances with Aliens" :lol2:

Herondancer
 

rs

Dagobah Resident
The reviews have been uniformly positive. It is being described as a game changer to movie making.

_http://news.yahoo.com/s/time/08599194743800
Time said:
Avatar Review: James Cameron's World of Wonder

By RICHARD CORLISS Richard Corliss – Mon Dec 14, 12:00 pm ET

In the last shot of Avatar, someone's closed eyes snap open. That's the climax and the message of James Cameron's first fiction feature since 1997s Titanic: Look around! Embrace the movie - surely the most vivid and persuasive creation of a fantasy world ever seen in the history of moving pictures - as a total sensory, sensuous, sensual experience. The planet Pandora that Cameron and his army of artist-technicians have created - at a budget believed to be in excess of $300 million - is a wonder world of flora and fauna: a rainforest (where it never rains) of gigantic trees and phosphorescent plants, of six-legged flying horses, panther dogs and hammerhead dinosaurs. Living among these creatures is Pandora's humanish tribe, the Na'vi: a lean, 10-ft.-tall, blue-striped people with green eyes, or what mankind might have been if it had evolved in harmony with, not opposition to, the edenic environment that gave rise to its birth.

It's the year 2154, and Pandora, a moon of the Alpha Centauri star, is the reluctant host to an expedition of Americans seeking to mine an incredibly valuable rock called unobtainium - a joke term, coined in the 1950s referring to any kind of material that's unavailable or impractical to use, that Cameron employs to locate his movie among science-fiction adventures of the period. The expedition, headed by sleazy entrepreneur Parker Selfridge (Giovanni Ribisi), contains scientists, working for Dr. Grace Augustine (Sigourney Weaver), and a Blackwater-type security force led by the malevolently macho Col. Miles Quaritch (Stephen Lang). The scientists have hatched "avatars," which look like Na'vi but blend their DNA with that of humans, who will steer them by remote control; "dreamwalkers," they're known as. Grace is entranced by the Na'vi's aristocratic gentility, but to Selfridge and Quaritch they are "blue monkeys", "savages," "an aboriginal horde." Or for want of a better word: Disposable. (See the top 10 movies of 2009.)

The new guy in this program is Jake Sully (Sam Worthington, last seen going up against machinery in Terminator Salvation), a paraplegic ex-Marine whose dead identical twin brother had been in the project. Since Jake has the same DNA, he's chosen to man his late brother's avatar. Grace wants Jake to befriend the Na'vi and help her unearth precious biological samples; Quaritch orders him to become a secret spy, as part of the company's plan to drive the tribe away from a sacred tree, under which can be found vast reserves of unobtainium. In this double role, Jake meets Neyfiri (Zoe Saldana), daughter of the tribal chief. At first suspicious of his motives, and contemptuous of his clumsiness - "Ignorant, like a child," is the way she puts it - Neyfiri is nevertheless impressed by Jake's adaptability. Somehow he has an affinity for this place, for the Na'vi and for her. Some day he will be their savior.

For me to say that Avatar is better than Titanic is not the highest possible praise. I was no ardent fan of Cameron's grafting of a poor-boy/rich-girl love story tacked onto the true saga of that doomed ship which set sail from Southampton back in 1912. But it became a night to remember with enough moviegoers to become the all-time top-grossing film with a take of just over $1.8 billion (though it ranks sixth in real dollars, after Gone With the Wind, Star Wars, The Sound of Music, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial and the 1956 version of The Ten Commandments). What Cameron earned from Titanic's enormous success was the cachet (11 Oscars, tying the record with Ben-Hur and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King) and cash, to actually make Avatar, which has been called the most expensive picture ever made (though, again in real dollars, that record is probably held by 1963s Cleopatra). That shouldn't matter to viewers. The democratizing principles of the box office is that moviegoers pay the same amount to see Avatar, in its 2-D form, as they did for Paranormal Activity with its $11,000 budget. The only question they need have is: Is the movie worth it? (See TIME's Holiday Movie Preview.)

I say yes; for Avatar is a state-of-the-art experience that, for years to come, will define what movies can achieve, not in duplicating our existence but in confecting new ones. The story may be familiar from countless old movies, from those made out of Hollywood such as Dances With Wolves (an American grows sympathetic to the tribes he was meant to annihilate) to Apocalypse Now (and any number of anti-imperialist war epics), through to those made abroad, like this year's District 9 set in South Africa (where a human becomes part-alien and is hunted down by his old own kind). Some of the dialogue in Avatar's opening sequences may be on the starchy side - Cameron was never a great director of actors nor sympathetic to their sensitive needs - but objections shrink to quibbles, and then simply disappear, in the face of the picture's unprecedented visual flourishes.

Once again Cameron has devised a romance similar to Titanic's - an American grunt falls in love with a Na'vi princess - but this time with far more emotive power. Instead of embracing on a ship's prow, they ride their banshee steeds in ecstatic communion across the Pandoran sky. Think of them as the prince and princess of the world. Worthington, an Australian actor who had the second lead in the recent Terminator movie, has little of Leonardo DiCaprio's star power; but the resolve and good nature he radiates make Jake one of those ordinary heroes who rise to extraordinary heights. Saldana, though encased in CGI blue throughout the movie, manages to be the movie's driving force: yet again in a Cameron film, we find a strong woman seeking a man whose strength she can tap. But unlike the tryst between DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, this love affair has consequences. It is not a footnote to history; it makes history, as two species merge to save a planet. (Read: "King of the (Blue) World".)

And by a planet, Cameron clearly means our planet. Among his activities in the dozen years since Titanic, the director made two underwater documentaries (Ghosts of the Abyss and Aliens of the Deep) that marked him as both an explorer and a conservationist. Avatar brings his social concerns to the surface. This is not only the most elaborate public-service commercial for those of the tree-hugger persuasion; it's also a call to save what we've got, environmentally, and leave indigenous people as they are - an argument applicable to the attempt of any nation (say, the U.S.) to colonize another land (say, Iraq or Afghanistan). The rooting interest in Avatar is for the Na'vi, and against the American ex-soldiers whose job it is to police the planet. When some of them die, in the battle that consumes the final third of this 2hr.42min. extravaganza, you're meant to cheer. And you will. (Read Techland on Avatar.)

That climactic face-off is stage-managed for maximum thrills, as the creatures we met in the first part of the film join the Na'vi in opposing the rotten humans. But the supreme joy of Avatar is in its long central portion: a safari through the luscious landscape of Pandora. After all those years on the water (with Titanic) and underwater (with The Abyss and his two documentaries), Cameron has surfaced to put his vision of Pandora on screen. It's an impossible but completely plausible and seductive world that invites your total immersion. Don't resist it; sink in and fly with it. All Cameron asks is that you open your eyes.

Emphasis is of course mine and is not in the original copy.

That one of the main characters is remotely connected to another specifically genetically engineered life form reminds me of the C's description of how the Reptilians use the Grays in essentially the same way (i.e. remote controlled biological entities). I was stunned to read about this plot point... I wonder if Cameron has been reading Laura's stuff...
 
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Lauranimal

Guest
That one of the main characters is remotely connected to another specifically genetically engineered life form reminds me of the C's description of how the Reptilians use the Grays in essentially the same way (i.e. remote controlled biological entities). I was stunned to read about this plot point... I wonder if Cameron has been reading Laura's stuff...

Indeed!!!! I had this same thought!

I saw the movie tonight and I must say .... it was really amazing! The special effects and the beautiful scenery and creativity were absolutely stunning!!!

It is definitely another take on the story of the PTB, AKA corporate resource vampires using the Military industrial complex to steal from populations considered to be "primitive". The story is your basic good vs. evil. American Empire = bad. Native population = good. Except that the natives win in this movie. Obviously, unrealistic. And unlikely.

But holy COWS!!! It was a feast for the eyes. I am in awe of the creativity and beauty in this film! It is worth it to see it in the theater. i highly recommend it.
 

sid

Jedi Council Member
FOTCM Member
Ok, saw it 2 hours ago :D and I am blown away, literally. If any of you get a chance, watch this movie in 3D. As for review, the story is quite predictable but I quite liked the whole concept of humans (aliens in the movie) vs the native species living on a distant moon. I can easily draw references to how the Lizzies control or walk among us via their Avatars (aka men in Black or Grays or whoever). The director, James Cameroon has succeded in creating very life-like foreign species and the environments. I don't want to say anything to spoil it but they have also covered the topic of how energy flows through all living things and how our panets or moons record history which can be tapped into by certain species with abilities.

Also I would call the native species, Na'vi to be very close to STO orientation for their actions and way of living and respecting other living beings around them. Honestly, just believe me and go watch it, you will not be disappointed. This is the best Sci/Fi movie for me till date and well on its way to plethora of Oscar awards.

-Sid
 

Cyre2067

The Living Force
Just saw it and I find myself profoundly affected. Not since The Matrix has a movie shown truth in such a clever, obvious but hidden, kind of way. What follows is the review I wrote for my blog.

James Cameron's Avatar

Every so often I see a movie that is more then a movie. It takes you on a journey, you share the lives of the characters, their thoughts, feelings, and actions. You learn what they learn, change as they change, and at the end of it you're different then you were before. That, in brief, was my experience watching Avatar. We're taken to Pandora, a distant planet far away, yet somehow closer then we could ever imagine.

Jake Sully is a marine, damaged by life, without the use of his legs. His assignment is to befriend the Na'vi, the native population of Pandora, and use his position to acquire influence and intel. Humans, or the Sky People, are on Pandora to mine 'unobtanium', a rare ore that sells for millions a kilo - and they want the unobtanium underneath a particular Na'vi village. We watch Jake learn to 'see' as the Na'vi do, to understand that all life is connected. To live with the environment, and not just in it. He undergoes a pivotal character transformation, and is reborn in the process.

The experience is not so different from the Alchemical concept of rebirth. To empty your cup, to die, and to become more then what you were. He sheds his old persona as his journey shows him a new life, and a new world that he never knew existed. We share his struggle and in it, we can also learn to see as the Na'vi do, to understand and to live as they do.

Many will be drawn to it's action, other's it's beautiful CGI and cinematography, and both are top notch when it comes to film-making. The acting is also incredible, you really do experience the feelings of the characters, and I'm completely blown away by the fact that they were mostly computer-generated. I also saw the film in Digital 3D which made the experience vibrant and alive in a way that's hard to describe.

I laughed, I cried, and in the end I hope that I will remember the thoughts and feelings that I had throughout the film. It's obvious that Cameron's message is about us, and not some distant alien planet. The human spirit is what's being fought for, our conscience is stirred, and we feel, see and live the evil of the Sky People. What many will not understand is that we are the Sky People, but we can also choose to be the Na'vi. The choice exists every moment, and when we make it, regardless of how small it may seem, or how insignificant the apparent consequences, we become more then what we are - and that can change the world.
 

Vulcan59

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Thanks for the review Puck. I just got back from watching the movie myself, the 3D version of it and yep, I have to agree with your analysis. The CGI and cinematography were just awesome and Cameron has definitely raised the bar, so to speak. Great movie, must watch. :)
 

Gimpy

The Living Force
Vulcan59 said:
Thanks for the review Puck. I just got back from watching the movie myself, the 3D version of it and yep, I have to agree with your analysis. The CGI and cinematography were just awesome and Cameron has definitely raised the bar, so to speak. Great movie, must watch. :)

Hubby and I are hoping to see it tomorrow, weather permitting. One thing I find interesting is the name of the ore the "Sky people" are after: unobtanium

Unobtainable is how it read for me first time. :D Cameron is kind of a jerk, but he does know how to stick to his convictions when it comes to making an awesome movie. :)
 
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