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December 23, 2009
Review - " Avatar "  -  (in theaters) By Roland Hansen
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Directed By: James Cameron
Starring: Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana,
Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Lang, Michelle
Rodriguez, Giovanni Ribisi, Matt Gerald

Over the years, as the budget of Avatar grew
otherworldly and few saw footage,
Hollywood-watchers began to speculate that
the new, largely computer-generated James
Cameron movie would be a titanic disaster.
But they shouldn't have doubted him. That
trademark Cameron blend of grandiosity,
jaw-dropping technology and cornball
populism is back and mightier than ever. The
film is dizzying, enveloping, vertigo-inducing
... I ran out of celebratory adjectives an hour
into its 161 minutes.

It's also, on one level, a crock: predictable,
sentimental and grueling in its heavily
telegraphed turn toward genocidal anguish.
Cameron has given us a parable that's a barely disguised rewrite of American history. Native Americans - in the guise of the
blue, 10-foot Na'vi people of Pandora, a moon of a vast gas planet - battle expertly against white capitalist imperialists who
want to drive them from their ancestral lands.

Avatar takes you to the distant planet Pandora which is inhabited by the Na’vi, a race of tall alien beings who treasure nature.
Humans have entered the mix on Pandora to mine for a new mineral called “unobtanium”. Since the humans can’t breathe the
air on Pandora, they’re left to wear oxygen masks, however the scientists have created avatars of the Na’vi which allowed
them to explore the planet and come in contact with them. The humans have learned that a huge source of unobtanium is
located under a huge tree which by the way is the main home of the Na’vi. The humans decide to use the avatars to make
their way to the village at the tree and get the Na’vi to move so that they can get the unobtanium. The Na’vi decide not to
move which leads to an epic battle between advanced technology of the humans and the nature loving Na’vi.

The film centers around Jake Sully
(Sam Worthington) who is a marine and a
paraplegic. After the death of his brother, the
humans have decided to bring him aboard and
make him an avatar driver. Once he gets his
avatar, Jake loves the idea of gaining his legs
again. Jake eventually comes into contact with
one of the Na’vi named Neytiri (Zoe Saldana).
He learns the way of the tribe, their cultures,
and their religion centered around their deity
Eywa. As he spends time with the Na’vi, he
begins to leave humanity behind and become
one of them which displeases the human
marines who are looking to take control.
Eventually he becomes an outspoken leader
to help aid the Na’vi against the human

There are a couple of noticeable things I’ve taken out from Avatar. One is the amazing look of the movie. The lush
landscapes of Pandora are a combination of real locations along with some amazing CGI. You’ll be amazed by the overall
depth and the amount of detail taken as you dive into the jungles of Pandora throughout the film. You can even see flies
passing by the characters, bullet traces, and the ashes that fall after an epic battle. There was also a theme that I’ve noticed
in the film that describes more of a historical moment. Avatar can be closely realted to how the United States military would try
to move the Native Americans from their lands to reservations.

James Cameron's 3-D epic "Avatar" has all the smack of a film not to miss — a movie whose effects are clearly revolutionary,
a spectacle that millions will find adventure in. But it nevertheless feels unsatisfying and somehow lacks the pulse of a truly
alive film. Speaking of special effects, Avatar features some of the best you’ll ever see as you’ll see amazing sky sequences,
floating mountains, the creatures of Pandora, and of course the epic battle at the end of the film.

The plot is a little like the American frontier circa the 1800s, only transposed to the year 2154 on the faraway moon Pandora,
the home of Native American-like, aqua blue, 10-foot tall creatures called the Na'vi. Arriving are imperialistic humans to
plunder, and scientists to study. Dr. Grace Augustine (Sigourney Weaver) leads a team that explores in Na'vi bodies, avatars,
controlled remotely. A sense of discovery - of Cameron's digital world of Pandora, of the impressive techno-filmmaking -
makes "Avatar" often thrilling.

The environmentalist and anti-war messages resonate with contemporary troubles, but they also seem odd coming from such
a swaggering behemoth of a movie. One senses Cameron's zest lies in the battle, not in peace.

Great movie, wonderful special effects, however, I saw it in 3D. If one were to watch it in 2D, I believe it would lack the luster
needed to carry it into the realm of "all time great flicks". Being honest here, the 3D was a big draw and at times was the thing
that kept me interested. Fairly unoriginal plot,
several hackneyed storylines....however,
tremendous action sequences, astounding
special effects, and if you allow yourself to
become really involved, was actually quite
moving in certain parts. Worth mentioning
was the flying sequences. You'll definitelt find
yourself caught up in the WOW factor,
Incredible! And just walking around in the
jungle with the dust particles floating around
and insects buzzing in your face gave this
movie a sense of realism never before
experienced by a movie audience.
Seemlessly done. It's my fear that in 2D this
movie becomes just average...the magic is in
the 3D effects. See it while you can!