Genre: Sci-fi Drama
Release Date: 12/18/2009 (U.S.)
Starring: Sam Worthington, Sigourney Weaver, Zoe Saldana, Giovanni Ribisi, Michelle Rodriguez (and more…)
More Info: Wikipedia
In the year 2154, a private corporation mines for a valuable mineral in a lush, Earthlike-moon known as Pandora with the assistance of scientists and former marine mercenaries to support and protect the exploitation project. What stands in the way of the mineral mines is the population of the indigenous peoples known as the na’vi, blue-skinned and tall humanoids with cat-like features who are resisting human presence in order to preserve their lands and their ecosystem.
Because the humans cannot breathe freely on Pandora’s atmosphere, scientists communicate with the na’vi using genetically-engineered hybrid na’vi bodies (known as avatars), using the latest neuro-technology that would let humans take the role of these na’vi bodies to communicate and interact with the natives, learn their ways, exchange their cultures and beliefs, and possibly be able to negotiate for the private company to mine for the valuable mineral. However with the differences of beliefs and desires between the two races, tensions eventually arise as the natives find themselves endangered by the humans, leading in to an all-out war for Pandora’s rich resources.
Amazing movie. I’m not just talking about serious cutting-edge CGI technology, but even a simple story between invader and native can even make a movie like this a true epic. I saw the movie in 3DXD format because all the other formats (including the standard 2D) was sold out in my local movie theater. After watching it, I still felt like I was still in Pandora. I was even tempted to reach out my hand to touch the little cute flying flower-like creatures going about the atmosphere. It felt so real, so eye-popping, it felt as if I was really there.
The storyline is pretty much simple and straightforward. It’s probably common in real life and our history, where a more powerful invading forces arrive to exploit the rich resources of a new land, in which the natives and the indigenous life stand in the way of their goal. And of course, there is always the subplot where the main character, most likely a type of soldier, becomes attached to this brand-new culture that he would even turn against his own kind in order to save the culture he personally adopted as his own. Dances with Wolves was a good example, as well as The Last Samurai.
But, let’s stop for a second and think of the plot for a bit. Right now, our planet is close to dying as our natural resources and wildlife continue to deplete, thanks to our (as in humans in general) greed for more resources and goods to sustain ourselves. If Earth becomes a wasteland one day and we’re advanced enough to leave our planet and settle in other different planets and moons where natural life is alive and well, would we have to end up in the same colonization-type conflicts with any native inhabitants just for the greed of our own survival? (SIDENOTE: I had to mention this because I’m doing a bit of “reading homework” for my job for next year’s upcoming sustainability training)
Writer and director James (“I am the King of the World”) Cameron, I think, made a good decision to hold off on this movie project. This was originally his next project after his success in Titanic back in the early ’90s but believed that it needed a far more advanced CGI technology in order to produce such a film. It took about 15 years to finally got up to the point where our CGI technology became highly-advanced and rich and enough to create the vivid visuals that would awe an average human. Even the 3D technology is now way advanced than the 3D technology back in the ’50s or so, with its different versions of Digital 3D, Real D 3D, and 3DXD, for a lot more realistic experience in movie viewing. As stated in the news that if the movie came out as a success then there will be possible sequels. The movie looked like it cost the director and crew millions of dollars to produce, and in such a very long period of time too (4 years?), but from the positive reviews from many movie critics around the country (if not the world), Avatar would not have a problem covering the costs for the production of the movie.
The cast selected did a fine job portraying their roles. We have newcomer Sam Worthington as the paraplegic marine soldier Jake Sully, who takes on the Avatar project as one of the human diplomats guising in a hybrid na’vi body along with the mentorship of Avatar project head Dr. Grace Augustine, played by the awesome Sigourney Weaver. Jake encounters a na’vi warrior princess named Neytiri, played by the lovely Zoe Saldana, who shows and teaches him the ways of her people, eventually leading him to become attracted to their culture and eventually became one of them. I may have failed to focus on the acting of the cast during the movie, simply because the graphics and the story truly blinded me. After all, most people watch the movies for both the storyline and the effects anyway more than who was in the cast (unless if you’re in Asia (such as Japan or Korea) where you’d only watch the movie just because your favorite idol is in it).
News reported that the movie was nominated for several awards by Critics Choice as well as the Golden Globes including Best Picture. I did take the time to see which other movies were nominated for the same category and I admit that despite this failing economy, 2009 had many good films to watch. Avatar truly earned its place to be one of the nominees. This movie may not have a chance to win the Best Picture category, but it may be possible for Best Director, Best Cinematography, or Best Editing.
I know I have been slacking off a bit with my blogging, primarily on the Reviews section. I know I normally reviewed Japanese dramas and movies, but Avatar truly caught my eye that I had to write a brief review of it. If I wanted to write a more thorough review, I have to see the movie again. It’s tempting but I can’t afford to spend another $11.25 to get the 3DXD experience again.
I highly recommend this movie to everyone. Sure, it’s sci-fi, but it’s worth watching by the general audience. I highly recommend watching the movie in 3D as well. You’ll see why.