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Technically outstanding. Originality: oh well....
elchocobollo11 December 2009
Well, I just saw Avatar this morning, one of the press premieres which are running on these days. My opinion: you've seen this story a hundred times, but never like this. Finally 3D is what it's supposed to be, an instrument at the service of the movie. You'll enjoy the visual experience, no doubt.

As for the story, some of the "inspirations" are so huge and so obvious that mentioning two or three of them would REALLY ruin the movie for you, and I'm not willing to do that. Lots of mysticism and ecology, if you like that stuff. If you're 15 or so, you'll have a great time thinking that it's the first time somebody makes something like this. If you're an experienced movie watcher, better leave your skepticism at the door, bring lots of pop corn and enjoy with the usual action-flick-with-moral-and-loads-of-clichés.

I liked it, however: "the movie that re-invents movies"??? No way.
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Fascinating concept .Must be seen cannot be described
lionel-1412 December 2009
I saw this epic last night at the Empire Leicester Sq in London, which is a superb venue in which to view this film. Huge screen, excellent sound and an extraordinary Dolby, 3 dimensional image. The whole effect is mind blowing.

This is a 'Must see' movie, innovative, and extraordinary. I think it will be regarded by most cinema goers as another milestone in the history of the art. The level of realism achieved is remarkable, and although the film is relatively long in real time, it retains it's excitement and holds the audience's attention to the end.

Performances are good, but this is not the sort of film that dwells on big star value for the actors, although Sigorney Weaver does shine and delivers a very convincing performance, as do the rest of the cast. But as there is so much entertainment and action value on screen the human element does not dominate in the usual way.

As Writer/Director, James Cameron deserves high praise for this creation and in my opinion it will break box office records. I thoroughly enjoyed this film.
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One of the best cinematic experiences ever...
ClaytonDavis14 December 2009
Forgive me, I'm going to jump from professional to fan boy for a while here. I haven't had the jitters after a film the way I've had for Avatar in quite sometime. James Cameron's Avatar is the most entertaining and enthralling cinematic experiences of my life. It is incredible, simply put. What Cameron has done here is the most passionate film project put out since Steven Spielberg released Schindler's List. His attention to detail and his zeal for pushing the envelope is so admirable to any filmmaker or actor who will ever do another film from this point on.

Avatar is the story of Jake Sully, a paraplegic marine, who replaces his brother on a secret mission to infiltrate the Na' vi, the colony of beings that sit on the planet of Pandora, where there is a precious ore, that sells at a ridiculous amount. When Jake learns the ways of the Na' vi, his feelings and learnings will put him and the people he trusts in dangerous jeopardy.

The performances here, in the sense of reacting, becoming, and understanding what Cameron has written are astounding. Not to be confused with a sensational bravura performance from some of the centuries best such as Marion Brando, Tom Hanks, or Diane Keaton; these actors along with the director inhabit these visual transformations with special effects as if they are have lived these beings all their lives. This is all based on character movements and reactions. Sam Worthington, as Jake Sully, is an actor who's on his way to becoming a star. Though he has problems with his Aussie accent often enough in the film, he gets the job done. Zoe Saldana, who plays Neytiri, a Na' vi huntress, is thrilling and electrifying. Stephen Lang, as the rock hard Colonel Miles, takes on a villainous turn to a new level in science fiction. He offers actual emotion and emotes evil to the audience and gains our hatred easily. Sigourney Weaver as the beautiful Dr. Grace, is sufficient enough to have on screen again teamed with Cameron. She lives inside her role with effortless ease, but suffers from some of the typical James Cameron cheesy lines.

Narratively the film works perfectly on the cinematic level. The first forty minutes or so require patience and hope as it is the weakest part of the film and offers some dreariness, but when the second act takes off, it's sky high with no limits for James Cameron. Avatar delivers the best action sequences put on film of all time. That is the boldest statement I have ever made in all my years of criticism. I sat on this for two days before charging it out, but I mean it. It is the best visual experience of my life, period.

Other than those visuals, the film pops with all the other technical aspects thrown into one. Art Direction is killer as the two worlds blend in perfectly for an acceptable time. The Film Editing is the crowning achievement of the film as it also offers the perfect blend of the two worlds, enticing the viewer and shifting us around. Mauro Fiore is the threat for a Cinematography Oscar this year. It was if the viewer sat down in a chair, put on glasses, and was literally placed on Pandora, spaceships, and floating mountains. The viewer can feel so engulfed by the imagery, you feel like you can smell the leaves from the trees. Avatar is utterly hypnotizing. James Horner's score is some of the best work done in his career. It offers a variable of devastation that moves the viewer to near tears. It goes back to his work on Titanic, where the musical instruments lifted the material immensely. The entire sound team is also locked and loaded for Oscar recognition as the feeling of animals, machines, and arrows buzzing by your head leave you imprisoned in Cameron's exquisite film.

James Cameron has come back home ladies and gentlemen Cameron is back, bigger, badder, and mature in his crowning work of his career. Terminator 2: Judgment Day and Titanic do not even compare anymore. This is the film that can blend the fans of those two films together and lock Cameron into your heart. He's a definite spoiler for a directing bid for the Academy Awards. You have admire the raw, natural talent the man has. How could you ever conceive such an experience and put that much effort and work into it and have it pay off? The box office success will surely keep him in the minds of voters for various critics' awards. His screenplay, leaps and bounds better than 1997's Best Picture Winner, is primed, developed and ripe for the taking. Though, you do acquire the tacky and atypical dialogue you expect from a science fiction director of this caliber, you can appreciate the effort and the honesty of it all. James Cameron is everything Michael Bay wishes he was, to put it bluntly.

Avatar will bring also great actors putting their best foot forward such as Giovanni Ribisi, who is as underrated as they come. Michelle Rodriguez who exudes sexy like any woman starring in a sci-fi epic. Joel Moore, showing his range outside of his comedic work in Dodgeball: An Underdog Story. And the classy veteran actors, CCH Pounder and Wes Studi, who just simply don't work enough.

Avatar is one of the best films of the year. The most exciting, thrilling, and superb work you'll feast your eyes on in any theater this century. Cinema, forever, will remember the benchmark that James Cameron placed not only for himself, but for any man, daring to change the game, the way Cameron did. Avatar is a movie experience to be remembered, and please experience in a movie theater first.

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Incredible scope and spectacle
NonSequiturL16 December 2009
A film with the scope of James Cameron's Avatar was always going to be a risk both artistically and financially, especially in today's economic climate. Whether it will pay off monetarily is a question only time can answer, but this viewer can at the very least attest to it being an artistic triumph.

Avatar brings us as close as cinema ever has to actually visiting an alien world. The beautiful environs, the exotic creatures and incredibly lifelike natives of Pandora arrest the senses, visually, aurally and emotionally. The world in Avatar is the true star of the show. The amount of detail and work that has gone into bringing this new world alive is seriously impressive, and it will be a while before we see anything that overtakes it in scope and quality. WETA Workshop and ILM have truly outdone themselves.

Relative newcomer, Aussie Sam Worthington provides a solid human heart amongst all the science-fiction/fantasy beauty and Zoe Saldana gives an impressive performance as the 8 foot tall Na'vi, Neytiri. Even though the characters they both play are blue, giant, catlike aliens, they managed to evoke a chemistry and likability that pierces through the special effects.

That's not to say that everything is perfect. The story is basic and dare I say, clichéd and predictable. We have seen it plenty of times in all forms of media. The bad guys are cartoonishly evil, and sadly paper thin. The love story, while charming, is also clichéd despite being between man and alien. But in the face of these shortcomings, Avatar is a success because its storytelling lies in the brilliant visuals.

Avatar is a beautiful piece of film and a true event. It does exactly what cinema was always intended to - it takes us away from our problems and worries for a few hours and gives us memorable images which will undoubtedly and deservedly enter into the cultural lexicon to stay for the foreseeable future.

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Visually mind-blowing, but lacking in the story
TheLittleSongbird6 August 2010
I did see Avatar for the first time a while ago, and didn't know what to make of it. To me it felt like a visual feast if little else. Re-watching it again, I found more strengths, but there are several weaknesses that prevent it from being a masterpiece.

Starting with Avatar's strengths, it is absolutely mind-blowing visually. The cinematography, landscapes, scenery, colours, make-up and effects are outstanding and are by far and away Avatar's strongest asset. I also liked the score, it is certainly not the best score I have ever heard, but it had some very nice moments, while Cameron's direction is competent, the message admirable, and the finale well and truly explosive. I also loved the flying sequences, they were breathtaking.

The acting in general is a mixed bag. Sam Worthington is a charismatic enough lead, while Zoe Saldana is strong and spirited. Stephen Lang is an enjoyable and over-the-top villain of the piece too, however Sigourney Weaver is somewhat so-so, doesn't help really her character isn't that interesting while Michelle Rodriguez and Joel Moore aren't given very much to do.

What didn't work so well is that Avatar's story, with themes of love in a time of chaos and man alone in a hostile environment, is rather simplistic and predictable. I also felt it took a while to get going, and that the relationship between Jake and Neytiri was on the dull side. And is it me, or does this film drag at times, particularly towards the end? Now don't get me wrong, I liked the concept, it wasn't exactly original, as I often heard it described as "Dances with Wolves in Space with rip-offs of Pocahontas and FernGully"- but I am not going to join those who say that- I have to admit regardless of its originality or lack of it the concept intrigued me. Then there is the dialogue, which is nothing special and never quite rings true. There are some amusing moments but a vast majority of the dialogue in the middle of the film never quite convinced or came across as cheesy. The characters also came across as rather clichéd, especially Giovanni Ribisi's, and the character development was lacking.

So all in all, Avatar does have a lot of strengths, but a lot of weaknesses too. I will say I preferred it over The Hurt Locker, which to be honest left me cold, but I think I would be stretching it a bit if I said it was 5-star masterpiece. 6/10 Bethany Cox
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Visually Spellbinding!
miruleyall16 December 2009
I am sure my comment will be lost in a sea of blue but anyways here goes...

Just attended the Advanced Screening at my local "Event Cinema" BCC in 3D

Now this movies graphics are gorgeous, everything is so real, the 3D just adds to the effect beautifully without distracting you.

From a technical standpoint this movie is amazing, just the detail on the Navi's faces are amazing, they feel more real then their real life counterparts!

Without giving anything away about the story, the plot itself is very solid, very character driven and perfectly executed by Jim, safe to say this is his best original story since "The Terminator" and "Terminator 2" and is definitely one of his best movies, so good it ties with T2 which is my most favorite movie of all time...

So for those of you who have not seen this yet... WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!

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Looks great, I just wish I cared what happened in it
NoArrow1 January 2010
"Avatar" is not the next "Star Wars" or "Lord of the Rings." It might be the next "Matrix," though. Or, perhaps more accurate, the next "Matrix Revolutions." It's technically groundbreaking craftmanship put to work on a story that was played out after "Return of the King." There are a lot of bad guys, a lot of good guys, and sooner or later they're all gonna meet on the battlefield. The little details are not-so-shockingly unimportant, since nothing could stop, change or even, really, comment on the unstoppable trajectory of this film's story.

It's the future. An Evil Corporation is parked on distant planet Pandora, mining the planet of all its precious minerals. The native population, big blue humanoids called the "Na'vi," aren't too happy about this. The corporation has hired scientists to create avatars of Na'vi bodies to be controlled by human brains, in order to communicate to the Na'vi that...they better move, lest be bulldozed by the evil Col. Qautrich (Stephen Lang).

Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) is flown in to Pandora because his twin brother, who had an Avatar made specifically for him, is dead. The coincidence is an obvious plot device so that we can have a newcomer to Pandora to share in our amazement. Oh, and he's paralyzed, so running around in his new alien body is rather freeing for him.

I don't feel as if I need to continue with the plot description. You know what'll happen. You've seen "Dances with Wolves" and "The Last Samurai." Heck, even "Dead Man." The Na'vi represent nature, the (all-American) corporation represents destructive technology. Quatrich has a Southern accent and says things like, "we have to fight terror with terror." The Na'vi are clones of Native Americans - filtered through the imagination of a white liberal. It's all very obvious.

The question, of course, is whether or not it's entertaining. Well...sometimes. It certainly looks good. Some sequences - especially those with the winged beasts - are eye-popping. Lang makes a fun villain. Pandora is more derivative than original, it reminded me most of Skull Island in Peter Jackson's King Kong. All the monsters have a plastic-y look to them that make them feel too well-done. The 3D is distracting at times and I had a headache before the movie was over.

But there are scenes and individual shots that pop with ethereal beauty. It's worth seeing for that reason, but I don't think it'll be as fun after multiple viewings. The great thing about "Star Wars" was the characters: Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, R2-D2, Darth Vader, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Yoda and so on. They embodied the other-worldliness of the story, taking the weight off the effects.

In thirty-two years, I don't think anyone will remember "Jake Sully." 6/10
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I might be the only one, but...
iamthegreenfairy20 December 2009
I was not blown away by this movie like everyone else seems to be. First, the good stuff. There are some good actors in here, especially the actor who plays Jake (though I might be biased, because he was pretty hot), and they all commit to what they're doing and make it believable. As everyone says, the graphics and visuals are pretty freakin' awesome (as well they should be, with the budget of this movie). The world that Cameron creates is stunning, mesmerizing, and pure: the special effects are amazing. Like many, I saw it in 3D and it was good old fashioned movie-going fun. Yay!

Okay, now for the not so good parts. As others have stated, the storyline/plot is a little lacking. I had trouble understanding the motivations of many of the characters. Ah, yes, character development - that would have been nice, too. Don't expect any. Yes, it's a recycled and re-used plot: clichéd and often predictable. It seems reminiscent of many great classics, my favorite being "Star Wars." Now I'll be the first to admit that the mythical structure of "Star Wars" was not completely original, but at least it seemed Lucas "made it his own" (to quote American Idol?) with his original characters and unique setting. "Avatar" is practically plagiarism (one line in particular made me want to shout "THE FORCE!" in the middle of the movie). Also- we get practically no character background at all, so we have no idea what makes these people tick (perhaps there would have been more if the edited version wasn't already a staggering 2 hrs 40 min.). Instead, we get one-dimensional, stock characters that had me rolling my eyes underneath my uncomfortable and overpriced 3D glasses. Lastly, the film is doused with lessons in morality from Mr. Cameron; it is a blatant criticism of US foreign policy. Not everyone will pick up on this, which I understand, since most of us want mindless entertainment at the movies. But upon closer review, I don't see how some people cannot see it. One of the "evil" characters actually says: "We'll fight terror with terror!" (Though mind you, they are attacking a planet filled with peaceful inhabitants who have never attacked them, for the simple quest of obtaining a precious metal called...unobtainium...::rolls eyes again::) Now I don't mind a little political satire here and there, but it seems misplaced in what is seemingly intended as a mindlessly entertaining popcorn flick.

To give an example of the poor story-telling and lack of motivation: the "evil" humans are attacking the peaceful planet of Pandora in hopes of getting more "unobtainium" (gah it's so cheesy) but Cameron never bothers to tell us WHY. It is barely even mentioned. Is it just pretty and shiny like gold? Or, as another reviewer brilliantly pointed out, this stuff could save lives on Earth for all we know. It is never explained and the movie makers just assume you will accept it and not care what the reason is.

I was actually really glad to come to IMDb and find there were others who felt the same way. I don't think it was an awful movie, I just don't think it's worthy of the enormous praise that seems to surround it. Should you see it? Yeah, sure, it's pretty entertaining I guess. And if you are into graphics/special effects, and/or don't mind gaping plot holes, then you'll probably love it.

Bottom line: Remember when Lucas revamped the "Star Wars" saga with the three new prequels, and instead of telling a great story with interesting characters like he did with the original trilogy, he got so obsessed with graphics and special effects that it pretty much ruined the whole movie? Yeah, it's kind of like that. I guess they stole that from "Star Wars," too.
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A Movie With Too Much Hate That Deserves More Appreciation
cdjh-8112520 October 2016
Over the years James Cameron's, Avatar has become an extremely controversial movie with some people calling it groundbreaking and a masterpiece and some calling it an overlong and derivative bore. I find myself not completely agreeing with either side but I do believe that it's got far to much um warranted hate. The main hate from this movie comes from that fact that it's got a few blatant similarities to other movies and it's probably this films greatest short coming but it doesn't kill the films it got far to much good in it for it to be considered bad. But one other slight negative with the film is the fact that Sam Worthington is a but bland in this film he just never really stands out or does anything other than what he's required to. But Zoe Saldana is amazing in this film she just completely invests herself in this character and is the greatest motion capture performance since Andy Serkis in Lord of The Rings. The one thing that no one can call derivative in this film is the world of Pandora it is incredible the landscapes look incredible and the Nav'i look incredible they're culture is interesting and entertaining to watch grow. The action sequences look amazing and you feel the scale of these two races fighting each other only through Cameron's direction. In all honesty there's nothing particularly special about Stephen Langs villain but he's incredibly entertaining and holds his own in the battle scenes.

I hate the fact that so many people have turned on this movie when James Cameron so clearly poured his heart and soul into it. It looks incredible and has mostly great performances and is truly a movie that (even though similar to others) is like nothing I've ever seen before.

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Avatar - Breathtakingly Beautiful
MorganGrodecki18 December 2009
When movies are created, they are done so with intent. Different genres of film target specific audiences, a formula which has sustained Hollywood and it's industries since the beginning of the blockbuster movies. When a movie is created in a manner that sets in motion any given goal, said films success is pendant on whether or not that goal is reached. If a comedy creates laughter, or if a romance produces tears, then they are successes in their own right. So when a massively ambitious, seemingly impossible to create film aiming to usher in a new era manages to grab hold of it's audience and take them on an unprecedented cinematic roller coaster ride that delivers the goods every turn of the way, it can be considered successful. Avatar is that success.

A work in progress that spanned a decade and a half, Avatar is more than just a film - it's an experience, an event. When James Cameron set out to make this movie back in the mid 90's, he realized that his ambitions were simply too far ahead of their time. His ideas could not be reached in a feasible manner, and due to this, he had to wait. Or create. Once informed that the image he held for this film was one that was out of grasp, he began working on the technology that would bring his masterpiece within reach. Fifteen years and nearly half a billion dollars later, James Cameron has brought that vision to the screen, and has done so in an extravagant and showstopping way.

Avatar tells the tale of a war between species, each fighting for the ultimate survival of their race. Desperate to find the fuel for their dying planet, human soldiers and scientists set out from earth and set course for Pandora. A planet connected by all living things, Pandora is home to an indigenous species known as the Na'vi, as well as the precious element Unobtanium needed to save earth. Using transference technology, paralyzed marine Jake Sully is volunteered for the "Avatar Program", which enables the thoughts and mind of a human to be placed within the shell of a tube-born Na'vi body. Using this as technique to their advantage, Jake is sent into the harsh Jungles of Pandora in order to bond with the natives, thus gaining knowledge and insight on their ways. Having originally planned to use this knowledge as a means of negotiating the natives relocation, so that the humans can access the deposit of Unobtainium - which just happens to sit below their most worshiped and valued pseudo-deity of their planet.

While the plot on paper may read as a standard shoot'em-up action sci-fi flick, it is a near inconceivable task to truly explain how incorrect this appearance truly is. This takes a stroke from every movie, and a dab from every genre, and manages to create a portrait of beauty, in which all pre-existing notion of what cinema can and cannot do is destroyed. Within the lengthy hundred and sixty some odd minutes of film, moviegoers will find that there is always something to keep them enthralled, a merciful gift when considering how tedious many of the longer film of recent memory can become.

No matter what can be said about the overtly cheesy script,a criticism that, while holding true, manages to fit charmingly into the over-the-top nature of the film, Avatar does as it set out to do, bringing moviegoers a cinematic experience rather than a film. Relying on the technology that he created, Cameron pours his heart into this movie, and it shows in every scene. Ranging from the absurdly detailed creatures to all-too-realistic planet, this flick manages to tell a fulfilling story while all the while throwing jaw-dropping scenery at the audience, giving them only enough time to recover before bombarding them with yet another breathtaking shot.

Be it the fantastical and charming love story told between the native and the outsider, or the too-real-to-be-true action scenes between gunships and foreign ferals, Avatar is what Star Wars was too the 70's, the Wizard Of Oz of the 40's - a masterpiece that will go down in movie history as a game changer of it's time.

4 Stars out of 4 Stars
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Visually amazing, but otherwise average at best
hutchinson_322 December 2009
Yeah this movie took several steps forward in terms of cinematography and filming technology, but that is all that can really be said to be what makes this film worth seeing. Everything else that makes a film great is totally lack luster.

There is no deep character development. Why does Jake Sully really want to become a part of the Navi? What was life on Earth like? What really makes him want to break away from his roots there? Is it just the ability to walk? I mean are there no more Native Americans or Buddhists left on Earth (which is clearly who the Navi were based off of) to give him that spiritual satisfaction? How does he feel about filling his brother's shoes? Twin relationship? The conflict between scientists and the military is not developed. Every supporting character was a stock character. Michelle Rodriguez somehow manages to have a place in Hollywood after literally playing the same type of character in every film she is in (Fast and the Furious, SWAT, Blue Crush...yeah just put her in a futuristic helicopter and thats her in this one). Was Sigourney Weaver supposed to be a mother figure? How did the bad guy from the Last of the Mohicans feel about faking a Native American language? The plot was totally predictable, and the dialogue was crap. It was like James Cameron turned in his dialogue assignment a day late.

This movie deserves no award nominations at all outside of those in technical categories.
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3D graphics, 1D story
grantss19 April 2014
3D graphics, 1D story. Great special effects, but that is about it. The story is basic, cheesy and predictable, like it was meant for kids (and it probably was). The greeny/anti-capitalism/anti-imperialism themes are laid on so thick you can't help but support the "bad" guys.

Characters are hardly developed at all, so you have very little empathy for them.

And to top it all off, the movie goes on for 160 minutes! Once the novelty of the great CGI has worn off, it quickly starts to drift and gets boring. James Cameron could have left it at about 100 minutes, and not missed anything. There are several scenes that add nothing to the movie, except for Cameron to gratuitously show off his CGI prowess, again.

Surely one of the most over-rated movies of all time.
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" FI ( LM ) NOMENAL " 💎 💎❗❗❗
A { - M I C R O - } REVIEW .

I just { R E }-watched this film on DVD ...{ YES, believe it or not, some of us STILL like to do that ⭐❗}.. at home with my family the other night. I'm pretty darn sure that I'd watched it ATLEAST twice ( if not an outright THREE times ) ...just AS SOON AS it was released a whole D E C A D E ⭐ ago....... WAY, WAY, WAY back in December 2009 .

I am ENTIRELY-aware that I'll be { TRULY :P } lucky if EVEN FIVE PEOPLE read this review, given the aforementioned, above fact. { THE REASON ⭐ } ..I'M writing this review is to get, ( say ), THREE of the "5 of you" who M A Y JUST ~ ( & this is ENTIRELY possible ) ~ N O T have seen it... Y E T . . to watch it . { YES , S T I L L❗} .... it is truly a " TIMELESS " . . . . M A S T E R P I E C E 🌠 .

If you come to the film with an OPEN HEART & AN OPEN MIND, then I can unequivocally promise.... this "truly LAVISH" visual & metaphysical extravaganza will well & truly set your SOUL ON FIRE 🔥 🔥 { in the Good Sense, of course }. If you thought that the CGI & SPFX of " T I T A N I C ❤ " were just.. { - W - A - Y - } Ahead of their time, for circa 1997 ; then Trust Me . . . . . THIS TOPS EVEN { - T - H - A - T ⭐ - } VERITABLE CINEMATIC "COLOSSUS", believe -it-or-DON'T .

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AVATAR has a soul
rettercritical16 December 2009
AVATAR has a soul

I saw AVATAR today. It was a boiling 40 degrees Celsius in Australia. I caught a bus and train to get there. I spent months on a forum before that. Incremental stops included a scriptment, stills, a teaser, a foot, AVATAR day and a full trailer. Now released I have had many reviews to read which have been mostly very positive.

It is a marvel to watch. The opening scenes are very sci-fi with a glimpse of low gravity aboard a space-craft. Sam Worthington fills us in with a short narration. He is taking over his diseased brother's role in the AVATAR program. These opening scenes are actually among the most effective 3D in the film, pulling you into this story, tracking shots putting you into the steps of the characters.

I jump ahead, like the film, to The world of Pandora which is lush with earthly life as seen through pulp fantasies. The rendering of this world is terrific. The life and activity is in the plants as much as it is the animals. Wonder is generated with this ambitious creation. Cameron has lifted the bar. The CG is the best I have ever seen. Everything you have heard is true. The 3D enhances this with leaves falling and swaying branches life-like in the foreground.

The realisation of the Navii is also ambitious. They are CG but there are many moments that make you think they are real and in terms of the story they are more than good enough to propel the narrative with strong emotional content.

I went into this film knowing mostly everything within it. Hours of reading, some from the treatment and pages of the recent reviews. It is very much a family film like "Nealz" said in his IMDb review. There is a moment where one of the ferocious animal species that earlier were attacking Jake are seen with a litter, the children in the audience loved the cute pups! The spiritual side of this film is much better than expected. It is in fact a beautiful story. The structure is classical film-making but with amazingly new scope in CGI to express grand images. An epic

The journey that Jake takes through Pandora is lovely. He is taken in by the Navii and explores their culture, language and habitat. Natirii, the female Navii he meets while lost, helps him through this journey. This is a love story of both soul mates and with a wider picture. Existential connections with the natural world. Personal destiny.

I had tears in this film. I tried to hold them back but by the roll of credits they came. This is a movie that I have anticipated for so long. I think the ingredients of its story and my connection to this films production gave me a very emotional response. I cant imagine this disappointing any of the fans on the board. Keeping in mind that it is a family film but delivered everything I wanted.

Expect a special edition. After AVATAR is a hit, a special edition will make its way to the cinema. I can understand why they would cut the earth scenes and it works. The actual film seems pretty brisk and it could also have more padding out. You want more of it and that is a triumph for this type of film running two and a half hours. It is a good balance because at two and a half hours AVATAR is aimed directly at the cinema going audience. Broadly appealing with elements for everyone. My earlier prediction of a billion or more world-wide seems safe.

I don't want to go on about visuals too much but the lovely shots of the natural wonderland of glowing life in still 3D shots is magical. Something to take kids to see. Floating tiny neon li

fe jellyfish their way through the air with grace. The monkey-like extra-limbed creatures with the peeping eyes flock through the forrest quickly. The creature design is done in a clever way with the motion of a living thing. The action is over the top, epic, frenetic and a new take on the battle sequence.

James Cameron didn't stuff this up. He probably pressed the studio way beyond their comfort zone with the time, money and effort that has gone into this. Sam Worthington is excellent casting choice. Sigourney Weaver ads frank reason. Stephen Lang chews the scenery as the ultimate you know what. Zoe Saldana is beautiful as Jakes guide into this world and.

I went to the cinema and it was a very hot day. By the time I left the cinema, the streets were wet with rain. A warm humidity was thick in the air. Lightning splashed my walk to the train station with white light. I honestly wondered if It was my time to be struck down with a bolt of electricity from the sky.

Watch this film. It is destined to become a childhood classic to many little-ones too young to be on this forum. It will be talked about at high school by male and females as spectacular. It will be watched multiple times by fans. I loved it but beyond my appreciation for the film itself, is the the message of love permeating from this movie that I hope enters the zeitgeist like elements of Cameron's other stories have. At its heart is a soul. AVATAR is an achievement in many technical departments but I wouldn't say the story is deficient. It is a beautiful experience and the story is surprisingly what I loved most.

Believe the hype.
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Technically impressive and important but beyond that there is not a huge amount to talk about
bob the moo1 March 2010
Although I was not too bothered about seeing Avatar as a film, I felt it was a bit foolish to let this milestone of cinema go past me – particularly when the thing it is hyped for are the effects and being the first "big" film to utilise 3D technology to this degree. It just seemed that watching it on my TV in about 9 months on DVD with a basic stereo system would be missing the point. Unsurprisingly I was right because Avatar is technically a brilliant film that deserves to sweep the Oscars in terms of awards for visual effects and other such categories.

If we ignore the 3D for a minute, the actual effects look great and I imagine that it will still be impressive in 2D. The landscapes and world of Pandora are imaginative (ironic since how dumb the name of it is) and very vividly created to the point where you forget that they are effects when you step back from them. Likewise it is so easy to forget that the Na'vi are not actors in quite brilliant outfits and makeup because they look so real and move so naturally – it is a million miles from the films such as Spiderman or Indy 4 where you can see where the real person ends and the jumping/swinging special effect begin. There were points in the film where I found myself wondering how on earth they managed to get a particular shot and where the camera was, only for my brain to kick in a second later to remind me that what I'm seeing is entirely virtual. OK the fantastical visual aspects are clearly creations but I was startled by how accepting of it all was and, in 2D I thought that the effects were pretty seamless.

In 3D it doesn't quite hit the same mark for me. The "look it's in 3D" shots are not as obvious as some of the other films (where stuff comes out of the screen for no reason) but it is still a little distracting when the 3D forces your focus or has stuff where it doesn't aid the scene. Of course the world of Pandora looks great with things moving around in front of you and the final battle sequences are great – the money is all there to be seen. Thing is, the reason I was able to think about "how did they do that shot" while watching the film is because the technical aspects of the film is really all there is to engage with. The plot is basic and obvious – others have talked at length about the rights and wrongs of a story where the white man comes to the aid of the indigenous people, so I'll not add to that debate. The problem for me is simpler than that, it is simply that the plot is weak and the script is just as weak. My girlfriend laughed out loud when the name of the mineral on Pandora was named as "Unobtainium" and there were plenty of things like this. The dialogue between the characters is full of needless plot exposition and thus doesn't ring true. Of course all this is helped by the action and the effects but the narrative and writing weaknesses are all I can think of when I have to listen to people tell me how Avatar is the best film ever.

The cast manage to do solid jobs considering how easy it is for them to get lost in the effects (see the modern Star Wars films to see this happen). Worthington is stuck with some awful dialogue but he is a good presence even in his Avatar. Saldana's performance is good, again despite some of her expressions and dialogue. Weaver is "so-so", Moore is pointless, Ribisi is miscast in a character that is so clichéd that it needed a decent casting to make it be more than it was. I liked Lang a lot and his OTT badass character worked well. Rodriguez seems like she is there because someone important likes her and her character doesn't add a terrible lot. Voice work from Studi, Pounder and others is good.

Overall Avatar deserves to be seen for its technical importance and how impressive it is but the degree of praise for it needs to be put in context by considering how it plays as more than just a special effects milestone. In these terms it is not as good due to a poor plot and script that hurts the actors more than the effects do by handing them some awful dialogue. That it works is testament to how impressive the effects are but there is not a terrible lot to gush about beyond these.
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Waaaaaaaaaaaaaay overrated ...
stevie-parmentier14 September 2010
Avatar is a movie you can describe in a short list: - pretty - terribly old and dated story - leaning too heavily on technology - predictable

I can see this movie enthralling 8 year olds since the story is probably still cool to them but to for me? It was so painfully predictable, it became annoying to watch. Sure, there's quite a few great movies with predictable plots but Avatar's ONLY other strong point is the 3D and, frankly, colourful plants and stuff stopped being fascinating to me since I was 12.

Being a gamer, I've seen far more interesting digital worlds. For all the effort put into it, it came across as a fake cartoon world instead of a real threatening one. Making everything look as if it jumped out of a Pixar movie doesn't help either.

In the end, it's a gimmicky movie with nice 3D, a terrible story and mediocre acting. 8+/10 people? Did you see the same movie I did?
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Shock+Awe (But in a Wondrously Mysterious, Magical+Even Spiritual Sense!)
KissEnglishPasto18 July 2016

------------The ONLY Tony Kiss Castillo on FaceBook!---------------------

There have been only about a score or so of films that have transcended being simply a movie and, because of their unprecedented impact upon many millions of viewers, have contributed to our culture, becoming part of it, and more recently, to that of the entire world.

After being 62nd birthday-treated to AVATAR in IMAX 3-D by my wife, I state, for the record, it is an incomparable voyage, a magical mystery tour experience, to a poignant culture-clash on an enchanted world most distant both in time and spaceA movie it is not! Visionary James Cameron has created, crafted and orchestrated a labor of love for the ages.

At long last, CGI has come of age, finding in AVATAR a vehicle capable of demonstrating the awesome splendor of its true potential. We are transported to an intricately designed world, complete with a Neolithic race of aliens, rich with culture and traditions, speaking its own uniquely linguistically engineered on-screen language (A Cinema First) As for the "It's Anti- American!" grumblings:

1) The troops were not even U. S., they were corporate hired guns!

2) Life isn't about winning or losing battles: It's about living in harmony with one's environment!..At least that's how I saw it.

Wow! Talk about nefarious agendas!

In the opening seconds, James Cameron seems to pay tribute to both 2001 and Star Wars. Some reviewers have mentioned a similitude to Pocahontas. There were different moments that conjured up memories of story threads from many different films, but thematically, Dances With Wolves was, perhaps, closest. However, a straight up comparison to any other film does not do AVATAR justice. It is totally in a league of its own.

Every aspect of AVATAR is practically hyperbole-proof. Just look at the plethora of gushing reviews. Yet, amazingly, there are some 2*, even 1* ratings! Honestly, I can't fathom how anyone who has ventured more than 100 miles from their place of birth could rate it less than 5*. (The word Provincial keeps popping into my head!) Closing words: The only film in my life that raised the cinematic bar more was Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey(1968)..Don't just see AVATAR...Experience it!

10********** ...... ENJOY! / DISFRUTELA!

Any comments, questions or observations, in English o en Español, are most welcome!....
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Money + Technology = Garbage
aliensbishop7 July 2010
With a budget like this you would think that, at the very least, basic elements of a decent film should not be lacking. Well written story, passable dialog, above par actors, etc...

Well, welcome to Hollywood!!! Those things have been relegated to the past! No more worrying about where that clever plot twist will lead, or that enigmatic character, or those subtle hints and tics in the dialog that aren't in-your-face obvious. Avatar blazes a new trail to where Money and Technology apparently rut for days, then pop out a bouncing baby masterpiece!!! Rad! Where to begin? Stream of consciousness/associative thinking might get it over with quickest. Fern Gully in Space (minus Tim Curry's voice), Dances with Wolves only worse, and Smurfs without believable characters like Gargamel and his cat come immediately to the fore. Pastel overdose.

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Happy Symbolical Birthday; to Jake, to Pandora and to James Cameron - who has been born again
Fjalar_18 December 2009
Science fiction is, at its core, more than just a hypothetical fantasy about our distant neighbours twinkling in the night. It is also a reflection on humanity. It holds the mirror up to our faces and forces us to question who we are; when our aspirations, morals, ideals and weaknesses are put to the test, are we really who we think? And what is our place in the great darkness that surrounds us, frightens and amazes us? To know your own culture; learn another man's customs. It is only by comparison that we can truly see ourselves. And it is also only us, as subjective individuals, that can know who we are beneath our human exteriors. Many of us focus too much on our weaknesses and turn to God/s and religion for love and acceptance despite our faults, with heaven as the ultimate point of approval. Acceptance by someone or something that truly sees us, not only the shortcomings, but also for what we hope to believe that we fundamentally are; good, decent, with the heart in the right place, trying to make the best of what we have been given. Some of us don't believe in God, or profoundly question his/her/its existence. Many fear death, the unknown, never to see, feel or experience anything again. To be forgotten. For ever.

So the question becomes: does this introduction have a point and what does Avatar have to do with it? Mr James Cameron is a self-proclaimed sci-fi nerd and - not to mention - a human being (although I agree questionable, let us make that assumption for convenience sake) and just like many of us I am sure he shares many of the same existential thoughts and questions that find their way into our human brains and skeptic hearts. And like many of us he seems to share a craving for adventure, discovery, enlightenment and a curiosity of the world, the universe and the beings with whom we happen to share our short time here on Earth.

With Avatar, Mr Cameron manages to address most of these existential questions: who are we? Not in the comfort of our living rooms, nestled in the sofa with a bag of crisps and a chocolate bar in front of the TV, but in the face of choice. The choice between convenience and what we believe in. When all the luxuries have been taken away, and all the shields and walls and layers have been peeled off, do we like what we see? Avatarians have an expression; "I see you", which comes with such a deep ring to it because it is what we all want the world and people around us to do; to recognize, appreciate and care about us and to see that no matter how we might act and react on occasions, deep down we are good. These glasses we desire others to wear when they look at us also have another umbrella term; love. Some say love is blind, but to me at least, real love is not blind, it is understanding. It looks beyond the flaws and recognizes us for all the good things that we are. It sees our actions from our point of view.

The story of Pandora's box in Greek mythology depicts how numerous evils were let into our world in a moment of weakness on Pandora's behalf. In much the same way, humanity in James Cameron's Avatar goes to the planet of Pandora and is confronted with a choice; open the lid or let the box be. Naturally, the greed (for money, power, etc) wins, and so, the lid is opened. Naturally, it has consequences. However, just like in the original story of Pandora's box, something else was let into the world when the lid was pulled away, something to counterbalance the evils that had been unleashed; hope. The hope that the good will, eventually, win. In Cameron's Avatar, this hope is represented by a group of humans who are not set out to exploit the people and resources of Pandora, but to understand it. And with understanding comes the ability to see clearly, and with this comes, ultimately, love. Love is not blind, but ignorance is, and ignorance is the root of most evils taking place in the world today.

We all choose how we want to see the world. Everything is neutral as far as the universe is concerned; there is no good or evil, no good or bad, no morals set in some sacred stone at the heart of the heart of the universe. Morals are what we, humans, have created because we have a conscience. We have the ability to empathise and sympathise, to see the world through other's eyes as if they were our own.

On Pandora, everything is connected; the trees, the animals, the flora and fauna, the past and the present, the living and the dead. If we as humans could be as connected with each other and communicating as much, I believe understanding of each other's differences would ultimately result in the realisation that we are in fact more similar than different. I believe that one such medium of communication already exists today – the Internet. Another one is the media but the question is how well it is working.

I think Cameron's intended message with this film is very simple and – I admit – very cliché, but also very true and it doesn't hurt to be reminded of every once in a while; to see what we value and to stand up for it.

Plus, it's easier to see the world through another's eyes when it's presented with such smashing CGI...
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All eye candy and little else
Twilight_Wraith20 December 2009
I had high expectations going into Avatar. Now I admit, it's probably stupid to go into any movie with expectations that are too high, lest they be crushed. However, even without high expectations, Avatar impresses only on a technical level, and on that level only. The story is very predictable, and as I watched this movie I was overcome with a feeling as if I had seen this all before in something in a made for TV movie on SyFy. This is pretty bad considering this is the same guy who made The Abyss and Terminator. I can only say that if you go see this movie, expect beautiful visuals... and a standard humdrum story that you've seen before if you follow any number of science fiction TV shows or just sci-fi in general. Oh, and if this is the 22nd century, why are they still using manually propelled wheelchairs?
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Congratulations Mr. Cameron - Quite Possibly The Most Over-Rated Movie Ever!!
Tuscan-8819 March 2010
There have been so many reviews and comments made about this film that I simply had to see it. The fans insist that everybody should see it. So in order to honestly judge this blockbuster I have watched it.

That was my first mistake, the second was not getting up and asking for my money back, the third was to allow the film to be force fed to me till the bitter end.

Oh good god, where do I start....... breathing is more complicated than this tripe.

The horrifically basic story is force fed to the audience at a rate of knots. Leaving most of us, with half an ounce of sense, a dribbling mess by the end.

The sheer arrogance that Cameron has shows in this film is quite frankly second to none. It treats the audience as complete imbeciles.

The movie is so clearly aimed at the simple masses I have to congratulate him and his team on their success. I am utterly astonished that the public has graced this film in the way they have. How they have watched this and raved about it is beyond me.

The CGI displayed in Avatar is OK, but that's about it. Too much like looking at a cartoon. When you do get to see some live action - it looks too obviously different. There has been many a gorgeous film that has used CGI as a tool to further the vision, why Avatar simply hides behind it only becomes apparent when you uncover the script and story in the first five minutes.

It is no different than buying a car with a nice paint-job, but no engine. Yeah, it looks great but you try and drive it.

This will sound crazy but, after numerous years of planning the final result seems rushed. Like they got to the end, stood back nodding sagely at the pretty CG and thought......."Damn, we forgot the script, story, actors.......!!" Some may think my review a little harsh, but seriously it comes down to how films are marketed and reviewed. If this was marketed as a cheap sci-fi action flick - I may have changed my tune. To push this as the best film ever than will change cinema as we know it..... Come on, let's be sensible..... That was stretching the imagination a little too far. The viewer is already pre-loaded with this expectation of a film that in theory cannot go wrong, yet when you see it....... it fails on virtually every level.

If you like movies with substance, avoid this like the plague. If you like movies that are the cinematic equivalent of a lobotomy, with a shiny paint-job, then go right ahead - but don't say I didn't warn you!!
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Don't believe the hype!
j-tomlinson1458 January 2010
OK, so I walked in to movie theater excited for what most have claimed to be an awesome movie. I walk out, however, brooding over certain aspects of the movie that made it terrible. For instance, the idea is that of Pocahontas, The last Samurai, and HUNDREDS of other movies and stories already out there. Beyond lacking originality, the screenplay sucked. Character development was even worse in this movie, as EVERY SINGLE character in this movie is flat,not a single one qualifies as a round character. Many parts of the movie were corny, some of the supernatural aspects were really lame and stupid, and overall the movie had the inability to move or effect the viewer. i must admit the CGI was cool, but otherwise, this was a failure.
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Mindless Eye Candy...
ghostofasaint5 July 2010
I cannot believe the praise this film has been getting! Sure it looks pretty, but, will that really hold the test of time? Video games will look this good in a few years. How did James Cameron's depiction of aliens degrade so much since the 80's? If you're gonna spend this much money to make a movie hire someone to write a non-laughable and at least reasonably original script? Or why bother, because plenty of people seemed to eat it up...Unobtainium? really? You couldn't think of a made up name for your space metal that you had to call it unobtainium? Whats worst of all, I have to wake up each day and come to terms that I live in a world where complete and utter crap like this is passed off as a good movie.
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Its too god to be true
nofoodu30 December 2009
Avatar was probably the greatest movie i have ever seen in my life. The special effects were jaw-dropping, and i didn't even see the movie in 3-D. But i will go see it for the 3rd time this week, in Imax 3-D.

The emotions displayed on the characters faces were incredibly detailed, especially Neytiri. It all looked so real. If i didn't know better, i would of said that they just went to a distant planet and filmed aliens. It looked so real... This was probably the first movie that i actually was disappointed that it ended. i really wanted it to never end. The flying scenes were incredible, and the scenes when the humans interact with the Na'Vi were flawless.
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Avatar: Once in a lifetime film making
pippin_evil_genius20 December 2009
James Cameron is one of the best directors of all time. He is what you may call an Auteur. If you aren't aware of this, then you probably are not a movie person. James Cameron wrote and directed Terminator, Aliens, Terminator 2, and Titanic. That last one I'm not a fan of, but he won Best Director, Picture, and it became the highest grossing film of all time. $1.2 billion dollars.

Avatar is his latest film, it is a movie that has been in the works since 1994. After a decade of being in the works, you would expect it to be a good movie. But the real question is it any good? It is the most expensive film ever made. The budget was $500,000,000 so you'll be wondering if all that money was put to good use, and if you should spend $11.00 to see the film in 3-D. Should you or should you not?

The answer is that you should. Avatar is a monumental success. It is a film unlike anything you have ever seen. It uses special effects to a level that you have never seen, and that's not a bad thing.

The story to Avatar revolves around Jake Sully, a paraplegic ex-marine who is sent unwillingly to a hostile planet known as Pandora. While on this planet he finds himself caught in the middle of a war between the planet's indigenous people known as the Na'vi, and his own race. He must decide whether he should fight for what he knows is right or help his own people destroy Pandora as they destroyed earth. I don't want to spoil anything in the story, so I'll refrain from saying anything else. To put it simple, the whole movie was the prime example of a colonialism work.

The cast in Avatar is strong. Sam Worthington (Terminator: Salvation) stars as Jake Sully. He does a fantastic job, but the real credit in the film has to go to Zoe Saldana (Star Trek) for playing the native Neytiri. She creates most of the emotion in the entire film. She preforms fantastically and I also have to mention that she is also really attractive as a blue woman. (True fact.) Some people have complained about Stephen Lang (Public Enemies) as the antagonist of the film. But he actually pulls off a very believable and cruel performance. All the actors in the film are great. But the real actors are the ones that are the digital Na'vi. These actors are the ones that create the film. I think that this movie is proof that special effects don't have to be of just robots killing and blowing stuff up. (Even though that's in this movie.) This movie shows that special effects can be used to take us to places that we never even dreamed of.

Other films have used special effects like this. (Lord of the Rings, King Kong, Pirates of the Caribbean, District 9) But none of them have gone as far as this movie has. This movie takes you to a whole new level of film making that you can't even imagine. You almost want to call this movie insane, because of how different and unique it is. You really have never seen anything like this, and that's a very good thing. What I really enjoyed about this film, was how it is a breath of fresh air. You don't see that very often. The only other films to do that this year for me were District 9 and Fantastic Mr. Fox. But Avatar is far more different and unique than these other movies.

One thing that I always enjoy about a James Cameron film is his sense of innovation. Avatar is the most innovative movie I've seen in years. It is so different from anything else that you have seen. It is a movie a film that you literally cannot describe. This is a see to believe film. You'll have to see the movie to believe that it's as good as I'm telling you. Avatar is a once in a lifetime film. You will not get another chance to see a movie like this one.

James Cameron creates not only a visually beautiful race of people, but also a culture that is so beautiful. The Na'vi in Avatar felt very Native American to me. Everything from how they dress to the musical score is very unique, and made me think of Native Americans. The film was almost like a reenactment of our history, with the Native Americans being driven out of their home land. It's all very believable. It's all very sad as well; and it moves you. I sympathize with the Na'vi as they fight for their lives and their home.

I am not a fan of 3D. I think it is over used, and ultimately lessens the movie experience. Avatar however, is not like that. The 3D in Avatar is extraordinary. Little bugs on the screen fly right past you, leaves fall from trees towards you, and the battles are astronomical. You really feel like you're there, and forget that this is a movie. The cinematography is actually enhanced by the 3D which is a rare thing. The wide flying camera shots make you feel like you're flying with the film, it is fantastic.

Avatar is a difficult movie to review because it is so innovative. It blows away almost all sci-fi epics out there, and is a must see. See Avatar. It is well worth full-price, and it is the best picture of the year. The only movie that comes to being as good as Avatar is District 9. Avatar however, I will say is better because Avatar has heart. A truly fantastic movie. Avatar is one of the most beautiful movies ever made, it is James Cameron's masterpiece, and it should not be missed.
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