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    Monday, January 4, 2010

    After the death of his brother, paraplegic Marine Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) takes his place in a mission on Pandora, the lush vegetated moon of a distant planet. There Sully must help to drive away the native population, a race called the Na'vi, so that their homeland can be mined for resources. To do so he takes control of genetically-engineered Na'vi body and Sully finds himself in a unique position to get close to the Na'vi. If he succeeds in his mission Sully will be granted the medical attention to fix his spine and allow him to be able to walk once more. However, as he learns their ways and finds a place among their people Sully becomes torn between his duty to his own people and the bond he has formed with the Na'vi tribe.

    My friend and I got caught out when going to the movie theatre to see this. We had foolishly thought that, even though it is school holidays, there would be no way that we would miss out on an early morning movie session on a Tuesday. Surprise, surprise! That session was sold out and the line waiting to buy tickets was still massive. The next session only had seats remaining in the front row but we didn't want our perspective of the 3D to suffer if the seats were situated too far forward. We ended getting in to the 1:45PM session and were in the third row but the view was fine. Next time I am purchasing my tickets online in advance. You get to skip the line and it only costs a few dollars extra.

    Anyway, to cut to the chase, this movie was good. Very good.

    The plot is not groundbreaking original and the message is simple but it works. I would have liked the romance to be less inevitable and found the Corporal to be pretty stereotypical and two-dimensional in the role of the antagonist. You could argue that the plot is too black and white. That the Na'vi are portrayed as being too good and pure and the human race is portrayed as too over-the-top power hungry, money hungry, and war hungry hence resulting in the aforementioned caricature-esque antagonist. I suppose, though, that it achieves the desired moral statement even though it is not very complex. That aside, I liked the rest of the characters and enjoyed learning about the Na'vi culture.

    The film is a visual treat. According to IMDb, Avatar is "40% live action and 60% photo-realistic CGI." The CGI is of excellent quality and I was really impressed by the approach to the 3D. It is not in your face with things "jumping out of the screen", so to speak, flying at your head. It was more subtle, adding a bit of extra pop. My brother went and saw it at the IMAX theatre in Sydney. Lucky, lucky him. He said that it looked amazing.

    I found it very easy to let go of the plot issues and just enjoy this movie for what it is. I would gladly go see this again and may yet actually do so and it is very rare that I will spend the money to go see a movie twice at the theatre so that is saying something. In very least I will definitely be adding Avatar to my DVD collection when it is released. This is one movie that I look forward to exploring the behind-the-scenes extras on. I hope there will be a commentary. Personally, I am a bit of a fan of commentaries.

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  2. 2 comments:

    1. Great review!
      I have a question; I am not the biggest CGI fan around. Is the story good enough to make me appreciate the CGI?

    2. I agree, the plot is simplistic and the movie has its flaws but the visual masterpiece is so amazing, the movie is a must see... and on the big screen.

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