Sunday, March 13, 2011

Film Review--Avatar

AVATAR
starring Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Stephen Lang, Sigourney Weaver, Giovanni Ribisi, Wes Studi, Michelle Rodriguez, CCH Pounder, and Michael Beihn as "The Beav." (he's been in everything else Cameron's done, just about.)

A paraplegic Marine named Jake Sully (Worthington) travels to the lush, paradise planet of Pandora.  He will receive the surgery he needs to repair his spine if he will operate an "avatar" of himself and infiltrate the native population known as the Na'vi.  His job is to gain intelligence on the Na'vi and to learn best how drive them off so that a corporation with its mercenary army in tow, can mine the precious ore beneath the Na'vi's village.  Yet during his time among the Na'vi, Sully is exposed to the wonders of Pandora and the Na'vi lifestyle.  Will he switch sides?

When this movie had its initial release, a good many jokes circulated about the Internet that it was merely a remake of Dances with Wolves or even Disney's vapid Pocahontas.  Nothing could have been truer.  If you have seen either of those flicks, you've seen Avatar.  There is nothing shocking about this movie.  Anyone with a few active brain cells can see what's coming at least a half hour ahead.  It's a Disney cartoon with really good animation.  Then there's the design of the Na'vi aliens.  Were they meant to be porn stars for the Furry fetish crowd?  Oh, and what about the name for this uber-valuable ore the humans are after?  Unobtanium?  Seriously?  You can come up with something better than that, Jim.
Still, I've yet to see a James Cameron movie that is not without its merits.  The effects are groundbreaking and it does have decent messages about environmentalism, Eastern-styled spiritualism, and American greed and arrogance.  As I recall, this movie was rather lambasted by fundies and teabaggers post release for those very reasons.  Anything that can do that isn't all bad.
If you've got nothing else to do, you could watch worse than Avatar.  But if you really want my advice, skip this and go straight to District 9.

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1 comment:

  1. While I agree with your general assessment, I would recommend Avatar to anyone, particularly on the big screen, as I believe it is the most visually beautiful movie ever made. Yes, the story is predictable and the dialogue is not that great, but overall I found the movie very entertaining.

    Also, I felt the same way you did about the term "Unobtainium" but I was later informed that it is actually an industry term that has been around for a long time.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unobtainium

    I've seen District 9 also and honestly I'd rather watch Avatar again. I didn't find District 9 very entertaining at all, although I appreciate its message. Message received, I don't have to watch it again.

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