“ Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy - Fantasy / Suitable for 12 years and over / Director: James Cameron / Actors: Sam Worthington, Sigourney Weaver, Michelle Rodriguez, Zoe Saldana, Giovanni Ribisi ... / DVD released 2010-04-26 at 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment / Features of the DVD: PAL „
* Prices may differ from that shown
'Avatar' is a science fiction film written and directed by James Cameron and released in 2009. I had seen adverts for this film when it was at the cinema, and my husband has watched it a few times recently at home on Film 4, and last weekend, I finally got round to watching it for myself. I have to admit, my main reason for wanting to watch it was we have just got a new telly with an amazing picture, and this is the sort of film to really appreciate on a good screen.
The plot of the film is quite complex, yet quite simple. While in the science fiction genre, there is also a lot of action and adventure, and a heavy dose of romance too. The film for me tries to do a bit of everything, and as a result, it is a bit of an epic, but it is a heartfelt story.
The main character of the film is a paraplegic ex-marine, Jake Sully (played by Sam Worthington.) The film is set in 2154. Humans have exploited the Earth so much that they are needing to look to other planets to find resources. They locate a valuable mineral on a populated moon called Pandora. The only thing stopping the scientists mining the area is there is a population of humanoid type creatures called Na'vi who live on the Moon.
In an effort to explore the Moon and understand the Na'vi population, scientists have developed an Avatar programme where humans can use hybrid bodies which look like the blue skinned ten foot tall Na'vis. On one mission, Jake is trying to protect his lead scientist, Dr Grace Augustine (Sigourney Weaver) when he is lost in the thickly populated forest, and discovered by a female Na'vi and taken back to their camp.
Jake initially sets out to double cross the Na'vis, but when he experiences their way of life he becomes one of them, but when it boils down to it, can he betray them in exchange for spinal surgery to allow him to walk?
Initially this film had me completely engrossed. I am a bit of a science geek having been a science teacher in my past, and having read a lot of science fiction. I loved seeing the new planet, and the mechanics of the scientists taking on the hybrid form and being able to explore this new place with indiginous people living there. It is kind of like when people discover a secret tribe living in an area of rain forest that still live as though time has not passed by. It completely fascinates me the cultural differences. There is also an element of truth there in the fact that we know our planet is rapidly running out of fossil fuel resources, and eventually we are going to have to come up with a clever way round this, and this could be the sort of route taken in another 100 years or so.
I even carried this love of the film on to the love story section. I could understand why someone from our planet would love the beauty of this way of life and being one with nature.
I don't know if the film was just a bit too long for me, but a 162 minute run time screened on film 4 was over 3 hours after advert breaks, and my enthusiasm started to wane as an epic battle between good and bad commenced, and I got to a stage where I wasn't really bothered which side was winning.
I thought the concept of the film was very clever, but did feel a bit clichéd to me by the time I got just past half way. There are so many epic adventures films out that I find it hard to get excited about it. The main thing that makes this stand out is the scenery on the planet, and this concept of being inside these hybrid bodies to integrate with the tribe.
These ten foot blue creatures were most amazing in scenes where you compared them to the smaller human figures. Scenes where Sigourney Weaver and Sam Worthington were in gas masks next to these huge figures brought home to you how fragile the human species is. The computer animation that brings us these Na'vi people and the beasts that they fly was so perfect you can't even pick at the seams of it. I did feel 'wow'ed looking at the screen, and I can only imagine it was more marvelous still in a cinema with a big screen and surround sound.
The soundtrack added to the visual, but it was a background thing for me with most of my concentration going on what my eyes were seeing. I liked the track by Leona Lewis called 'I see you' which I felt tied in to the film really well as it was a line that the two lovers Jake and Neytiri (Zoe Saldana) said to each other when they were looking past their backgrounds and falling in love.
While I am glad I have seen this film once in its entirity, and I have no doubt it deserves the three oscars won for art direction, cinematography and visual effects, I have no desire in me to watch it in its entirity ever again. It has a touch of the 'Oscar factor' about it for me. (I have this theory that films which win Oscars are generally a bit too weird to be enjoyable to watch.) While I fully admire the skill and effort that went into making this unique film, the end result is just not quite it for me. I think too much has been attempted and it just made me fade away and lose interest down to its length.
So that leaves me saying, by all means I recommend this to watch at least once in your lifetime just to appreciate the beauty of it, I don't really think it is something I wish to see again. My husband has been quite happy to watch this many times though, so perhaps it is just me being overly picky. I just felt by trying to fit into so many genres, there was something slightly lacking for me.
I was a late comer to Avatar, waiting until it came onto channel 4 to watch it although I already had a hunch it would definitely be my sort of thing. I was not wrong. Despite channels four's showing being about 5 hours long (adverts) I hardly looked away from the screen in all that time.
Set in the future, an ex-marine named Jake travels with a team of scientists to a planet called Pandora. Jake, who is a paraplegic is given the opportunity to walk again in the body of an Avatar - a blue body created from a mix of human DNA and the DNA of Pandora's indigenous people, the Na'vi. Jake is given the task of infiltrating a Na'vi tribe and peacefully convincing them to move from their home so the humans can mine a mineral that is found there. He is promised that if he succeeds in this, he will be able to get his legs fixed, but things start to get confusing for him when he realise he feels more at home with the Na'vi than he does with his fellow humans,and that his bosses motives in being here might not be as clear cut as they seem.
The main thing people always seem to rave about when talking about Avatar is the graphics and I can see why. Although I have only seen it in 2d the effects are beautiful and it's obvious that in 3d Pandora really would come to life. Pandora is constantly aglow with vivid colours and teeming in unusual and beautiful wildlife. The Na'vi themselves are just as beautiful and intriguing to watch and I am keen to see it in 3d as I think it is supposed to be a big part of the experience and that I would be suitably blown away. That said, I didn't MISS the 3d, I enjoyed it very much as it was.
For me, the classic story of good vs evil and man vs nature is one that cant be told often enough (at least until we start paying attention) and it was done so beautifully I bought the DVD immediately after watching the film the first time. I even made my very sceptical mum watch it and although she wasn't QUITE as taken with it as I was she was very surprised at how much she really did enjoy it. I'm still working on my sceptical dad.. Philistines..
I laughed, I cried. It's fantastic. It's not often a film grabs me so completely and so immediately as this one and the final scenes had me holding my breath until the very last moment.
In some ways perhaps it could be classed as a bit of a boys film, but anyone who likes adventure/fantasy type films like I do will (should!) love it. And there is a bit of romance thrown in ;)
Avatar is famous for two things, namely for its absolutely massive budget, and for pushing the studio (as opposed to public)-led demand for 3D technology. There really was no escaping the Avatar publicity machine at the time of the film's release, with adverts appearing absolutely everywhere, with non-stop trailers on tv and testimonials from excited punters on the radio, all enthusiastically exhorting the merits of this new 'landmark' in cinema.
Unfortunately however, Avatar is utter, utter tripe from start to finish.The plot concerns the human invasion of Pandora, a whimsical fantasy world populated by the NaVi, an indigenous tribe who live in harmony with their natural surroundings, with the humans suppressing the native population to fulfil their aim of appropriating the planet's rare natural resources. Parallells can immediately be drawn between the humans and the US Military, given their technologically sophisticated gung-ho nature in the film, whilst the Navi seem to be constructed from the stereotypical image of the Northern Native American peoples in terms of their spirituality, appearance and general wordview. As such, the film lends itself to an allegorical reading, most notably with regards to the recent invasion of Iraq, although it also works just as well as a more general critique on American Imperialism, but whilst I have no problem with this approach, my problem is with its overtly patronising, lowest common-denominator execution.
The evil fascist humans (think Starship Troopers minus the knowing self awareness) are after a particular mineral, laughably named 'Unobtanium', that can only be obtained by obliterating the Navi's ancestral lands, in a plot device taken wholesale for the Black Hills episode in Native American history, in which the Native Americans were awarded an area of land known as the Black Hills to live upon 'for perpertuity', right up until it was discovered that the area was bursting with gold, that is.
Sam Worthington plays an initially crippled soldier who finds himself living with the Navi against his will (ripping off Dances With Wolves, and earning the film the nickname 'Dances With Smurfs' on account of the Navi's blue appearance), but will Sam discover that his allegiances really lie with the earth-loving Navi rather than the greedy, industrialist humans? I'll let you work that one out for yourself.
There isnt a scrap of originality to be found in Avatar. The 3D is good as far as 3D goes I suppose, but doesnt make up for the lousy script and execution. The Navi are intended as a respectful representation of indigenous peoples, which is laudable, but their presentation is painfully watered down and generic, affording them a plastic, 'Dream-Catcher-on-sale-in-Wal-Mart' level of credibility. The Human technology is pretty cool, but that's because James Cameron has stolen it all from his previous (infinitely superior) film Aliens; dropships, robo-exoskeletons, pulse-rifles, APCs and all. Most depressing. Worst of all though is the representation of Pandora itself- it looks like a receptionist's desktop background- hideously garish and wholly fake, whilst the Navi (and other cgi creatures) also look incredibly unconvincing; nothing moves convincingly, in a way that is conducive to the laws of gravity. Sure, there are unexplained floating islands in pandora, and I can live with creative licence like that, but the actual physics of the characters is very poor, reminding me of nothing so much as a rendered intro video to a mid 90s PC game. The Navi are a mix of live actors and cgi FX, and this has been shown to work very well on such films as LOTR and Dsitrict 9, but here it just looks terrible.
The characters and dialogue are dull and unengaging, the action sequences standard running-away-from-big explosions fare, but as i say, it is the well-meaning but incredibly patronising plot that really had me gnashing my teeth throughout. If the political themes of Avatar intrigue you, then try watching Soldier Blue- a brutal 70s western that deals with the historical massacre of Native Americans at Sand Creek and which was released as an allegory for the contemporaneous My Lai massacre in Vietnam. It can be found on youtube in its entiretiy, although admittedly its definitely not one for the kids. If you want a proper sci fi actioner with an intelligent and moral message, then check out the excellent District 9 if you havent already. Though it might have a laudable message at its heart, Avatar is still cynical, derivative and entirely driven by hype and gaudy gimmickry. Give me Aliens any day of the week over this rubbish.
I saw this film at the cinema in 3D (was my first 3D film) there was so much hype about it, i wanted to see what all the fuss was about. I wasn't bothered about the storyline just wanted to check out the 3D.
What I got from the film was that is about humans trying to use the Avatars in some way and they want to find out more about this race and learn from them.
To be honest the storyline was lost on me, and im not sure what it was about, the graphics on the other hand are amazing, the depth is colour is breath taking. It is just incredible!
We have just brought a 3D tv and this film is on the list to buy in 3D, it's definately worth a look. I'm not a huge fan of 3D, i found avatar too long (it's about 3hrs) and sitting in the cinema for that long wearing 3d glasses gave me a terrible headache and made me feel nauseous.
*Film only review*
With the hype finally gone, it's perhaps safe not to view Avatar not through the rose-tinted spectacles acquired through the phenomenal amount of publicity this movie received when released. It was a film so big, not only did it get a second run at the cinemas, but also sits as the highest grossing film of all time. But is it any good?
The story follows Jake Sully (Sam Worthington), a former marine called up to infiltrate the na'vi, an alien species living on some land that houses unobtanium, a highly original name for a highly valuable mineral. He does this through jumping into a scientifically created na'vi body, an 'avatar'. Not all goes to plan however as Jake gains affection for the land and species that the humans are going to invade.
It's a story that has been done hundreds of times, from Pocahontas to the Orcs and Night Elves of World of Warcraft - invasion of peaceful lands and destruction of a different way of life. The message the movie aims to instil (aside from the value of 3D) obviously relates to climate change and the destruction of the rainforests, with a fairly heavy anti-capitalist theme, but it lacks any subtlety.
The humans are perceived as nothing but a malicious species and though the leader (Colonel Quaritch, played by Stephen Lang) would make a brilliant Disney villain, the entire role lacks depth for a movie professed already as a modern classic. There is no grey here, just black and white. Other characters don't match up either. Jake has few redeeming qualities at the start of the movie, appearing to be a character that should be pitied, not liked. Being wheelchair-bound, taking control of an avatar gives him a freedom he has sorely missed and whilst his joy of freedom is fantastically shown in a heart-warming scene, his personality leaves a lot to be desired. Much of the problem is no doubt due to character development. It never feels natural, merely something to further the story. This is never more apparent than in showing Jakes changing opinions to the na'vi race. Instead of in being dialogue or story driven, we are taken on a magic carpet ride where he flies through the brilliant environment of Pandora on a winged-creature. Graphically, it is amazing, though the film falls apart with story and dialogue, both of which would be better suited to showing character development.
The world of Pandora is fantastic, nobody can deny that. The 3D is amazing and the world is rendered in such beautiful detail that it is hard not to fall in love with Pandora. For those without a 3D TV (such as me) fear not, because the environment remains stunning, though some of the wonderment is lost on a small (non-cinema) screen. The na'vi race is brilliantly designed, and their culture is interesting, though the good-and-evil story ensures you will be rooting for them anyway. The floating mountains and waterfalls are fantastic. Ultimately however it detracts from the plot or what the plot could have been had there been less reliance on CGI. CGI won't make a bad film good, and though the special effects are impressive enough to make a bad movie slightly better, the movie feels more like a tech demo of 3D and CGI instead of a story. The (already mentioned) flight on the winged creature shows this the best, using CGI instead of story to further a plot and this is not a unique event. The main na'vi, Neytiri (Zoe Saldana) often finds random prophecy in nature (such as a floating dandelion) and though this may add to the mystery of the alien race with the younger generation, adult viewers may be left feeling short-changed.
The acting doesn't stand out. Stephen Lang plays a comedic villain more than a sinister one though the lack of depth is more in the writing than the acting and the same could be said for Sam Worthington as Jake. Zoe Saldana uses motion capture technology to play Neytiri and does a fine job playing as a different species though with the na'vi being portrayed as the obvious good guys it's hard not to like her character.
At 2 hours and 40 minutes the film runs possibly a bit too long with the end especially dragging on. The predictability of the entire movie ensures little suspense as you always know what is going to happen next, always know the next plot twist - not a trope has gone unused in this unoriginal movie. Yes, the CGI is good, and I can think of no better environment to show off 3D than the beautiful land of Pandora though CGI doesn't make a movie. Take away the CGI and you are left with a predictable plot and lacklustre script, and characters with little depth. The CGI is perhaps an attempt to hide such a poor script, or more likely, such a poor script has been used to highlight the power of 3D.
Yes, there is a message behind this story but the main message appears to be 'look at what we can do with 3D'. The message on the destruction of rainforests has been lost amongst the obsession with the graphics and the anti-imperialist message is too black and white to provide any depth. If James Cameron truly wants to convey such a message in a film I suggest a movie about 1960's Latin America instead of Pandora.
I'll be kind with a three stars though two stars is tempting.
Avatar can be purchased for £3.38 preowned on Amazon (DVD) and £9.97 on Blu ray. The Extended edition can be purchased for £11.93 new.
In the distant future, paraplegic ex-Marine Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) travels with a team of scientists to Earth's outpost on faraway alien planet Pandora. There, Sully is given the chance to walk again via the use of an 'avatar', a body created via a mixture of human DNA and that of the Na'vi, Pandora's indigenous race of blue humanoids.
Fresh in his avatar body, Jake is handed the task of infiltrating a Na'vi tribe and gaining their trust so human contractors can successfully mine for a precious mineral on their sacred land. However, matters are complicated when Jake begins falling in love with feisty Na'vi Neytiri (Zoe Saldana) and her people's way of life...
When writing about Avatar, it seems only common courtesy to mention the special effects that went into making the film, which are, according to some, so revolutionary that they tout them to be the future of cinema. On the other hand, there are critics who think the film offers nothing new and that the CGI on show isn't up to scratch.
Well, it turns out that, depending on what scene you're watching, both sides are right.
There are times when the effects are breath-takingly real - the moment when avatar-Jake is saved by Neytiri from a pack of jackal-like Pandoran creatures, you might find it hard to believe that everything on screen was created entirely by computer. Similarly, the landscape shots of the heavily forested Pandora and its floating mountains are, astoundingly, 100% digital creations.
Unfortunately, the effects aren't always perfect - the supporting Na'vi characters appear underdeveloped, and the animals that inhabit the planet, the winged Banshees in particular, are often unconvincing. With the film consisting of roughly 60%-worth of CGI, it feels like director James Cameron has maybe bitten off more than he can chew, with certain shots having that hollow feeling that comes with computer-generated FX.
A further problem with the over-reliance on CGI is the fact that the film's look will, inevitably, age. As special effects improve (and they will), Avatar's FX will undoubtedly become less convincing over time in comparison, and the film may be hard to watch twenty, perhaps even ten, years down the line (remember how good the dinosaurs on Jurassic Park looked 16 years ago and compare that to how unspectacular they are now).
Right now, though, the majority of Avatar's CGI is the best that the silver screen has to offer, so there's little chance you'll have much trouble with the odd iffy special effect.
If you do, you should be won over by the way the film fully immerses you in the world of Pandora. A lot of time and effort has gone into the development of this alien world and its design is near-flawless. The planet is an intricately developed creation - the Na'vi, for example, don't just have their own unique traits and customs, but their own language as well, developed especially for the film.
Still, as hard as it is to believe, the visuals aren't the only thing of note regarding Avatar.
Very little has been said about the performances - Cameron has selected a cast of actors that bring out the best in their characters, including Joel Moore as uptight scientist Norm Spellman, Giovanni Ribisi as slimy businessman Parker Selfridge and Stephen Lang, a powerful presence as the gung-ho, scene-stealing Colonel Quaritch.
Surprisingly though, the best acting here comes from the two relative newcomers. Worthington has the hardest role: as Jake, he has to believably change from a dumb grunt at the beginning of the film to a peace-loving Na'vi leader by the end, and he handles it very well. Zoe Saldana is even better - she entirely convinces as someone from a whole other world, and how she manages to remain so subtle and display such nuanced emotion despite only ever appearing as an entirely computer-generated creation I'll never know.
There's also the story - many have criticised the film for being a Dances With Wolves rip-off (with one particular episode of South Park even cruelly, but hilariously, labelling the film Dances With Smurfs) but they're failing to see the many other positive things going on plot-wise. The idea of living via an 'avatar' is an intriguing concept, while the use of ruthless armed forces and globalisation as the movie's primary threats is a timely reflection of our current climate.
Of course, as Avatar is a James Cameron film, there's some impressive action on display too. It's strange that, this being a film from the man who made Aliens and Terminator 2, much of the film is focused on Jake's integration into Na'vi society rather than set-piece spectacle. Still, the moments of action are memorably outstanding - thrilling, fat-free and well worth waiting for.
It's hard to pick fault with Avatar other than the occasionally dodgy special effects. The film could possibly have done with some editing to tighten it up slightly and the final battle, although stunning, descends into a type of video game 'boss-fight' by the end but, those minor criticisms aside, there really isn't much reason to criticise Avatar. Cameron's movie is exhilarating, engaging and, most importantly of all, an immersive cinema experience - when the credits roll, you might be shocked to discover that you're no longer in Pandora.
I went to see Avatar twice at the cinema in 3D, and then subsequently found the DVD at a second hand DVD shop for £5.
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy, Romance
Director: James Cameron
Characters: Jake Sully, Neytiri, Colonel Miles Quaritch, Trudy Chacon, Dr. Grace Augustine
Actors: Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Stephen Lang, Michelle Rodriguez, Sigourney Weaver
There are no Special Features on the DVD, probably because the film is so long.
Unlike a lot of people think, this is not a new plotline at all. In fact, it follows the tried and tested Sci-Fi plot of old: Humans visit new planet, humans subjugate planet-life, planet-life fights back. It equally plays upon the romance genre, of two people in love whom can't be together, and there is an element of courtship about the scenes we see of Jake learning from Neytiri.
So, in this film, we start out learning about the main character, Jake Sully, who is replacing his twin brother, whom had been a scientist, on the Avatar project. This requires a long trip through space to the planet, upon which he finds that the mining company have all but declared war upon the planet and its inhabitants. As a soldier this bothers him little until, that is, he starts to use his avatar, - an empty shell which has been grown which is based on the DNA of the native populace, mixed with some of his twin brothers - he gets lost on an outing, and meets Neytiri whom eventually begins to teach him the ways of the Na'vi, and whom Jake will fall in love with. Alongside this Jake has promised to provide information to the military in return for an operation to allow him to use his legs once more, however he regrets this as he falls for Neytiri and the Na'vi's ways, and sees how much pain the destruction of their planet is causing them.
Here I will end the summary of the plot, as I don't want to spoil the beauty of the storyline that follows. Needless to say, while it is an old basic storyline, it is the telling of the story in Avatar that makes it such an enjoyable bitter-sweet viewing.
Hype over 3D
Avatar has had a lot of attention focussed on it, mostly because it has been the first film to rejuvenate interest in 3D, and because of the manner in which it was filmed in order to do so. Having said this, the film is just as enjoyable in 2D as 3D! It is worth buying on plain old DVD for the story and the beautiful graphics, although if it is released again, I would urge viewers who are interested in the full 3D experience to see it at the cinema, as some of the most poignant scenes are amplified to the full but the 3D effects.
The film covers many themes, including love, war, the environment, spirituality, loss, science and commerce. These are areas which the film makes some pretty big statements about through its course, and I think the film can be seen as being quite critical towards the human race in general. I believe (although I don't think it has been stated anywhere) that it makes points about the way we treat our own planet, and how commerce has replaced our spirituality.
The acting in the film is good, although I do believe it could have been better acted in terms of emotional involvement, as it think it is the story that grips you rather than excellent acting ability. Despite the fact the Na'vi are the usual stereotyped 'tribe-living' characters, the acting for their roles is very good, particularly through the customs and day-today living, which has been well crafted into the film. Some of the graphics in the film is quite breathtaking and beautiful, while other parts are quite gritty, which gives a whole range of things for the eyes to feast on, and will likely to be appealing to both male and female (helped by the action and the romance of course). It is a well thought out, and edited film, and will touch people in different ways as it hits a lot of chords. The run time at 155 minutes may put a few people off though, as it is quite long, but with DVD, thankfully you can pause and have a toilet break.
Overall a really good engrossing movie that can be enjoyed by men, women and children (although some of it may scare/upset sensitive young ones), which contains a very well told story with excellent use of CG animation stylings.
Jake Sully, A combat marine has been injured during battle and as a result has been paralyzed waist down. He is therefore on a wheelchair not able to do much although after the death of his brother, he is called to take his place on a project he'd been working in on a distant planet, The "Wonderful World," of Pandora. The project is merely locating a rare material on this planet which would help humans on their quest to to find a source to build energy and therefore cure any ailments. But little do the marines know, that what looks like a project to not harm the beings living there, but to acquire the rare item soon takes the turn for the worst, when greedy corporate Parker Selfridge's believes that inhalation of the NA VI race will show man's strength and ability to take over the planet and be owner to this precious material. Jake is told to infiltrate the NA VI and find out everything the corporate needs to know about them in exchange for Jake's leg to be healed without cost. Jake agrees and explores Pandora however due to the environments toxicity he must use an avatar identity (body fit enough to withstand the demands of the environment) Through this, Jake begins to explore Pandora and bonds with the aliens living there. He soon is attracted to a beautiful creature of the NA VI tribe, who saves his life, whilst engaging into battle with beasts on that planet. After falling in love with Neytri ( The NA VI who saved his life) he feels attached to the aliens living there and wants to remain there living through his avatar identity. The corporate (Parker Selfridge's) begins to plan out an extermination of the NA VI race, and Jake soon realizes this. Parker gathers the soldiers, making them ready for attack, however Jake, in his avatar form, prepares the NA VI's to fight back in this epic battle between alien and human.
Pandora is a deadly environment for humans, however for the NA VI's its is a beautiful place with rich landscapes, extravagant trees and hilltops and amazing sea's. The air is toxic to humans and many different species soar the land of Pandora, ranging from beasts, insects, all of the pre-historic type. I liked the scenery explored in this movie, the calamity of the planet reflects on how peaceful the area is and how innocent the creatures living there are. The action scenes are mind blowing, and the 3D effect keeps you thrilled throughout. (Even without the 3D, the movie has been so well made that the thrill is relatively the same, from falling mountains to beasts being slain) The main thing i like about this movie, is the fact that anything could happen. I mean anything can happen on Pandora, the special effects are so great and allows for a natural approach to and so the scenes are very unpredictable. You will always have your hand over heart, as the scenes shock you and at the same time amaze you
There is nothing i didn't like about this movie! It is an all around classic, with a lot of actions and emotions being put in place. The only drawback (if i had to choose) would be the fact that viewers may find it long (162 mins- 2hrs 42mins) however personally speaking, the movie was so fantastic that i didn't even realize how long it was! When watching this movie the emotions are so extreme, you actually don't want the movie to end!!
Director: James Cameron
Running time: 2hrs 42mins
Sam Worthington (Jake Sully)
Zoe Saldana (Neytri)
Sigourney Weaver (Dr Grace Augustine)
Stephen Lang ( Colonel Miles Quaritch)
Michelle Rodriguez ( Trudy Chacon)
Giovnni Ribisi ( Parker Selfridge)
Joel David Moore ( Dr. Norm Spellman)
Dileep Rao ( Dr Max Patel)
If you want to watch a brilliant movie, in which you can be satisfied to say you have watched an all time blockbuster then this is it! Its an action packed thriller, which covers all emotions. Anger, hate, betrayal, love, passion, determination, sorrow and all these emotions have been put nicely into place, which gives you the movie AVATAR! I have been impressed with the camera work, and most of all the special effects! It is so realistic and natural, you too will feel part of the NA VI race!! You'll find yourself stuck in between the human race and the NA VI race, but your emotions will be geared towards the NA VI's and you will feel the need to be in the movie alongside them in their battle between good and evil.... Overall a superb movie and is a must see for everyone out there regardless to age or taste.
*Also on ciao under the same username*
I saw this film originally in 3D at the cinema and enjoyed it very much. The plot may have been predictable, the story just a regurgatated American 'good versus bad' same old, same old... nothing special.....BUT, the special effects were amazing - the world James Cameron depicts is beautiful, dangerous and enthralling - the creatures he creates, the environment and the colouring makes for an incredibly watchable and entertaining movie.
Unfortunatley I found it completely lost it's charm when translated on to the small screen. The flaws in the film came through in force without the back-up of the big screen, 3D and cinematic surround sound...even Sigourney Weaver lost her appeal...besides, the popcorn they sell in my local cinema is particularly good and without that, I found the whole thing very lacklustre.
THe film itself depicts the story of ex-marine Jake who is a paralysed war veteran. Jake takes the place of his dead twin brother who was primed to infiltrate the world of Pandora where he is to gain information about the culture of the indiginous people there and discover the whereabouts of a special mineral which exists there.
In order to blend in, he becomes and Avatar...a human consciousness inside an alien body. He finds himself increasingly drawn to the world where, not only are his surroundings stunningly beautiful, but he is free to run and move as he is unable to do in his own world.
He also meets a female avatar who teaches him the ways of her people and this is when the problems begin...
The hype is justifies on the big screen and it is, all in all a movie well worth watching but not at home, unless you happen to have a mini-cinema in your back room!
It retails at around 20 pounds on Amazon, or half that, if yore happy with a used one.
Both me and my partner had wanted to see this since it was released at the cinema but as usual, we never quite made it there! Therefore, when it finally arrived from our online DVD rental company we couldnt wait to sit down and watch it.
We watched the 2D edition on normal DVD, now I have heard it is far better in the cinema in 3D but this simply wasnt an option for us so we had to put up and shut up! Although we watched this on DVD, I cannot comment on any of the extras as I never bother with them.
Jake is a marine who is now sadly disabled and in a wheelchair. His brother was due to go on a mission but sadly he gets killed in a robbery. Therefore Jake decides to take his place on the mission which involves travelling to the distant world of Pandora.
When he arrives at the base where his mission is to begin, he receives a frosty reception. The woman running the operation wanted Jakes brother and in her eyes, Jake will never be good enough. Nevertheless, Jake is determined to go ahead with the mission and throws himself into it.
Jakes soul is transported into an Avatar which is the same as those who live on Pandora. By doing this, it will allow him and others to blend into the country and understand the people. Jake is amazed by his new body and loves it, especially because he can walk again.
When he arrives at Pandora, Jake faces a hostile reception, will he be able to talk the people of Pandora round or is it too late?
To be honest, I wasnt sure if I would enjoy this film but I simply had to see it as I have heard so much about it! I am pleased to say I did enjoy the film but my partner enjoyed it much more than I did so maybe it is aimed at men more than women.
I loved the plot of the film. I found Jake's story very interesting and therefore I was keen to see what would happen to Jake.
The setting of Pandora is phenomenal, I loved the idea of being transported to a different world and Pandora did not fail to amaze. It was so interesting to see how different Pandora was to Earth and it was very interesting to see relations between Jake and Pandora's people.
The main characters were very strong throughout the film. Initially, I did struggle with who was who when they were transformed from human to avatar but I soon understood. Jake was by far my favourite character and I fell in love with him instantly. By the end of the film I felt that I knew him inside out and this really helped me to see the events from his point of view.
The plot flowed well in the film, there was a clear aim and this was focussed on throughout however there are also plenty of sub plots to keep the audiences attention. These sub plots I felt were crucial to me because otherwise I would have got bored!
There is a lot of action in the film and plenty of fighting so there is something to keep the men happy! I found these scenes to go on for a little bit too long really and I got bored. However, I am such a girl when it comes to action scenes and usually cant wait for them to be over regardless of what film it is!
Now one thing which I must of course mention is the animation. The film is set predominantly in the land of Pandora which is fictional, therefore Pandora and the people who live there are animated. The animation was absolutely fantastic and this is the strongest and best animation I have seen in any film. The film looks so realistic that sometimes I needed to remind myself that people are not blue and do not have tails!
The acting in the film is strong. Sam Worthington as Jake was fantastic and although a great deal of the film was animated I found that he played his part very well and dealt with emotions and feelings perfectly.
The ending of the film seemed to go on and on and on for me! However, it is important to the film and I think I just didnt enjoy it too much because of the context. There was a lot of fighting and not a lot else going on which, as I have said before is not really my cup of tea. However, the ending tied up all loose ends and I felt all of my questions had been answered.
Avatar was released in the UK in 2009.
It was directed and written by James Cameron.
It stars Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver and Stephen Lang.
It is rated a 12 in the UK.
It runs for 162 minutes.
IMDB gives it a rating of 8.3/10 (260,712 votes).
I think Avatar is definitely worth a watch. It wasnt a favourite film of mine but one that I think everyone must see. There is plenty going on and a good plot to follow. I think that Avatar will appeal to most people so it is great for those of you who tend to argue with your partner over which film to watch.
I will recommend this to my friends and I will certainly watch it again in the future.
*Warning: this review probably contains spoilers!!*
My Personal Opinion:
This film had an all too familiar plot-line and just felt like a cheap (actually... an expensive) rip off of a classic Disney film I just can't seem to remember the name of (but I'm sure you can). The film was predictable throughout and even the stunning graphics couldn't convince me to enjoy the film. Despite my disliking of the film, I can clearly see from other reviews that there are not many people who agree with my sentiments and so I would urge anyone who hasn't seen it to watch it as apparently you may be missing out!
What I Remember:
OK, so humanity has invaded the planet Pandora, in an attempt to obtain a rare and expensive material known as "Unobtainium" (seriously?!). The humans plan to send in paraplegic grunt Jake Sully to infiltrate the native race on the planet know as Naa'vi in order to co-oerce them into moving away from their current settlement, which just so happens to be atop of the Unobtainium. Jake Smith's mind is transferred into a half-human, half-Naa'vi body known as an Avatar which is specially grown in the lab in order to make him more approachable to the Naa'vi and less susceptible to the ills of Pandora.
John test drives his new body (Avatar) on an exploration through the tropical woodlands of Pandora and unfortunately encounters a few of the planets less than cuddly woodland critters and gets separated from his entourage. Struggling to fend off these critters John is fortunately saved by a Naa'vi warrior tribeswoman known as Neytiri. She is ordered to teach him the ways of the world and how life on planet Pandora is interconnected through spiritual energy and she even introduces him to their talking tree!
Up until this point, the native tribe were collectively unimpressed by John Smith, particularly the chief warrior of the Naa'Vi who took an instant disliking to John. However, John's persistence to fully integrate with the Naa'vi tribe inevitably creates and bond between himself and Pocatiri and the rest of the tribe begin to warm to him. Although in the process, John has gradually become blissfully ignorant to his commitment to humanity and the role he has of convincing the native tribe to move from their dwelling, which he fails to honour.
The humans, impatient as ever in their endeavours decide to employ a pre-emptive military tactic in order to force the Naa'vi to move. John unable to stop the military efforts and somewhat persuaded by a concoction of love and guilt sides with the Indians in an attempt to help them fend off the invaders! The battle which ensues is epic and involves soldiers, warrior tribes-men (and tribes-women), flying racoons, plenty of spears and the death of loyal characters!
So to summarise, if you enjoy watching fantasy, action, adventure, stunning computer generated eye candy and want to get lost in another world, then watch this film. But if you are after originality, great dialogue, suspense, excitement and a sense of satisfaction, then avatar might not be the film for you!
Having had little interest in the film when it was first released, I was thankful that they decided to re release the movie. Having won Oscars for its effects, seeing it in the cinema in 3D is perhaps the only way to do this film justice.
~~~THOUGHTS ON PLOT~~~
Jake Sully (Sam Worthington), ex-marine, agrees to take part in the Avatar program and enters the world of Pandora; his twin brother who was previously enrolled died, but due to matching DNA, the cultivated Avatar is compatible (and also due to its cost, must not be wasted). The aim of the Avatar program is to obtain a rare mineral found on Pandora called Unobtanium (for a lack of names), which sells for millions a kilo, coincidentally found under the tree home of the Na'vi.
Joining the scientific research team of Dr. Grace Augustine (Sigourney Weaver), Jake is also secretly reporting back to Colonel Miles Quaritch (Stephen Lang), who wishes to use force to remove the native Na'vi in order to get the rare rock. Paralyzed in both legs, Jake hopes that completing Quaritch's mission of infiltrating the native Na'vi and persuading them to relocate will grant him the money necessary for treatment.
Little did he know, Jake gets captivated by the world of Pandora and gets accepted into the Omaticaya tribe, where he must learn their ways in order to gain their trust. Nearing the end of his mission, he questions the Avatar Program, his sanity and his race. Whose side will he be on and at what price will the innocent Na'vi have to pay for man's selfishness?
The plot is extremely solid and I can understand why people have called it the modern day "Pocahontas". Personally, the first feeling I got from the film was "Jurassic Park". The music, the scenery, the creatures, all that just made me think of the Steven Spielberg series. The first thing I have to praise is the captivating world of Pandora. It is stunning and immersive. The beauty of the trees, the plants; the dynamics of the creatures and the sheer purity of the place is truly out of this world.
I guess the themes and messages of the film come through this emotional provocation. The fact that we are destroying Earth and the beauty that is within. It really raises the question of why isn't our world captivating like Pandora? It is in many ways but we fail to see it. Either we are ignorant, or we are contributing to its destruction and the message is clear: Open your eyes and truly see.
Whilst the movie was breathtaking, it just dragged on and on. I thought when the tree home collapsed and they all migrated and the screen went black that that was the end... but then it continued into war preparation so I thought they're prepping you for the sequel; and then it went on to battle and I was like O.O when is this going to end? Don't get me wrong, this is a good thing; it is like they put two whole movies in here- definitely worth the money.
The ending was bittersweet. Having finally reached this part, everything that happened was so overwhelming- for example the shocking deaths of characters I liked (I shan't spoil) that the rather typical standard ending didn't seem to satisfy. It provided great closure and tied the loose ends, but perhaps rather too much so for a movie with a guaranteed sequel.
Having experienced the world of Avatar, it makes you want to live in a world like Pandora, where you are WOWed by life itself and the fascination of the things around you. I guess the next step is to take physical action to ensure that we are doing our part to protect our beautiful Earth!
Sam Worthington- Jake Sully
Zoe Saldana- Neytiri
Sigourney Weaver- Dr. Grace Augustine
Stephen Lang- Colonel Miles Quaritch
Also stars Joel Moore, Giovanni Ribisi (Phoebe's brother from Friends) and Michelle Rodriguez.
Sam Worthington definitely gets praise from me. Having seen Clash of the Titans, where he was rather lacklustre, Worthington proves he can engage physically and emotionally.
Zoe Saldana who I had not heard of until today was slightly grating, especially her screeching, but given we didn't see her human face, I don't think I will remember her if I see her in another movie, so no hate there.
Stephen Lang who plays the antagonist definitely had the look and was totally brutal. I am sure he will get a long list of calls for villain roles.
Sigourney Weaver was a pleasant surprise, so was Giovanni Ribisi playing a serious role for once, but the biggest surprise of all was the sheer amusement and enjoyment given my Michelle Rodriguez, who plays a combat pilot. Despite her short screen time, she was able to portray a very likeable character with a unique style and persona.
~~~SPECIAL EDITION DIFFERENCE?~~~
The special edition re release is nine minutes longer and contains extra footage as well as edited scenes. I had not seen the film prior to this so cannot comment on whether it is worth it to see it again, but if you haven't seen it at all, then this is your chance to get more for your money.
The 3D effects were very good and there is sheer depth throughout the movie, so much so that I, like many others, got a headache midway through the film. Due to there being 60% animation, the 3D worked fantastically to create a very realistic world. I loved the floating white "seeds of Eywa?" that were like jellyfish :D
~~~ON THE HURT LOCKER WINNING MORE OSCARS THAN AVATAR~~~
The Oscars for Visual effects is well deserved, but three Oscars doesn't really do this justice. I have yet to see The Hurt Locker, but having seen Avatar, I find it very difficult to picture something that can trump this on an emotional scale that was released this year (maybe UP?).
Avatar made me close to tearing up and has a fab story with great meaning. I have no desire to see The Hurt Locker and it feels like just another war movie which in my opinion there is way too much of. You can educate me if you are on "Team Hurt Locker" but Don't hate.
Having avoided the hype first time round, Avatar director James Cameron captures you by re-releasing it. There is just no escape. Just as well because this film is actually very worth seeing. Over two and a half hours long, you are not just seeing some flick about a guy trying to defeat seven evil ex's, you are being immersed into a captivating world that is bound to take your breath away. Even if you don't understand, or even like the plot, the visuals will carry you away to a whole new world.
I watched the film Avatar yesterday on dvd. The film was made last year (2009) and I had been dying to see it as it looked really good in the adverts. I wasn't at all disappointed when at last I got round to seeing it.
The story is set in the future when space travel is the norm and humans have landed on a moon called Pandora. They are there to mine precious materials found on the planet and they bring in Marine Jack Sully to help them.
Jack is a paraplegic confined to a wheel chair and is promised that if he helps them in their mission he will be given treatment so that he can use his legs again.
Jack learns that they send in Avatars to try to communicate with the people who dwell on Pandora. They do this by getting people to sleep in these machines where their brain activity controls another being that looks more like those that they are going to meet. The idea is to get them to move away from where they are living as the material they want to mine is directly underneath their homes.
Jack is sent in and soon finds himself bonding with the "Na'vi" people especially Neytiri, the first of the people he meets on his mission.
I found the story really well told and I couldn't believe how well they did the parts with the Pandora people and all the creatures who lived there. It was excellent and you were sucked right into the film and could imagine this other world really being there, it was that well done. I loved the interaction between Jack and Nevtiri, the way their friendship blossomed, It made the film so much more than just another sci-fi themed film. The military side to the story was well told as well and gave the film a bit more of an adult theme to it as well as the film being easy for a child to watch. I must say though that my other half lost interest as soon as he saw the beings from Pandora saying it was too babyish for him to watch, which to be honest I thought was a bit premature as the film on a whole was not at all babyish.
The colours in the film were brilliant, lots of lovely plants and flowers in this new land, really well thought out. I especially liked the colours of the flying beasts, they were beautifully created.
One thing I had to complain about the film though was that when watching it on the dvd I found that the music and special sound effects were very loud but when having the tv on the same level the speaking parts were a bit too quiet to hear and I had to turn up the volume every now and then to hear what was being said then turn it back down again when a noisy bit came on.
The main actors in the film were as follows
Sam Worthington as Jake Sully
Zoe Saldana as Neytiri
Sigourney Weaver as Dr Grace Augustine
Stepehn Lang as Colonel Miles Quaritch
Michelle Rodriguez as Trudy Chacon
Joel Moore as Norm Spellman
Giovanni Ribsi as Parker Selfridge.
I thought Sigourney Weaver was the exact person to play the Dr in this film. She was so suited to the role especially after being in the Alien films. It felt as if this was the same character but in later life and this would be the kind of thing that she would be doing.
Michelle Rodriguez was another actor who the part could have been written for her. She was definintely the right person to be the hard woman soldier flying futuristic helicopters with all her muscles showing on her arms.
Sam Worthington was brilliant as Jake Sully, both as being the human and as the alien.
I really enjoyed watching this film and wish I had seen it on the large screen at the cinema as I bet it must have been a fantastic experience.
The film is rated a 12a in the Uk and it runs for 162 minutes. It is directed by James Cameron
It was in the first few minutes of the film where all its potential hid. Alas, this potential lay undisturbed, only to be replaced by storylines so familiar they are occasionally found fossilised, glossed over by shiny graphics which cost around the same amount as a small country's GDP.
Avatar was meant to be a groundbreaking film. In terms of graphics it certainly excelled in that. In 3D it certainly aborbs you into the atmosphere of this new humanised planet, Pandora. However, it is at the first mention of this planet's name that you should immediately jump to all the right conclusions that everything is going to go badly wrong. The story follows the journey of Sam Worthington's character (whose presence on the screen was so two-dimensional that even his name escapes me presently). For various reasons, this character has come to the planet in order to be integrated with the new Avatars, which are biologically engineered to look exactly like the main intelligent lifeforms on the planet, the Na'aavi or something equally unpronouncable and pretentious.
Humans, being humans, have ultimately not had great relations with the native lifeforms on this planet, due to the general quarrying of some really precious and expensive metal or mineral that apparently doesn't exist on any other part of the world except under a big tree that happens to be where a certain soon-to-be-familiar clan of these blue aliens live. The scientists, two dimensionally being true and good people, have brought in these Avatars to learn more about the cultures and ways of these people. However the military have other plans and expect the main character to aid in the destruction of the area in order to mine the precious minerals.
It is roughly here that most intelligent people, and indeed anyone who's ever seen a Disney film or two, begin to lose faith in the plot. It is also here that you meet one of the most irritating characters in the film, the Military General who actually has no other desire other than to kill. A little after that the second most irritating character comes into the plot.
Planning to kill the main character (whilst in his Avatar), the female protragonist (name: see unpronouncable and pretentious) is already aiming her typically primitive bow and arrow at his head. However a dandilion seed comes floating into view, and it is from this that she decides that he is more important than she had first realised.
It is exactly here that Avatar drops out of uniqueness and dwells in the land of worn out old plots, atrocious characterisation and worse dialogue, all brushed over with a thick coating of expensive computer graphics designed to detrack even the most attentitive from the basic fact that this film is a direct replica of Fern Gully, Pocahontas and Dances With Wolves splattered with a scene or two reminiscent of Platoon or the likes.
Without giving too much away, although by forty-five minutes into it you could probably already guess what would happen (which makes it even more hilarious when it actually does), the main character and the female alien fall in love (watch out for the Fern Gully scene here), the military maintain their hatred of all things non-military, a few aliens meet a convenient death and a character close to the protragonist dies. It is the latter's death scene that will send anyone with funny bone into hysterics. Thus far the plot and ambience have done very little save to insult the Screewriter's Guild, but during this death scene it delves so far into the ridiculous that you feel cheated that some people are allowed to make billion-dollar films that involve several thousand blue smurfs crossed legged and waving their hands in the air in meditation to a giant tree, trying to save a character that they've never met and humming in some strange language.
The final half hour involves much the same pretentious drivel that the first part has already lived up to. With the military stepping up their destructive path (thanks to the General now having a personal vendetta with the main character) and the dispersion of the main alien clan, it looks certain that there's going to be a sad ending.... that is if you haven't checked your watch and realised that there's still another half hour left or havent realised by now that a five year old has written the story. It was at this point that I made a joke bet in the cinema with my brother that a certain event would save the day. Hilariously I was right. This last section of the film is possibly the best - and for all the wrong reasons. It is at least comic in its execution and it does, thanks to the Editor, eventually end.
Overall, and I could say a lot more if I wanted to ruin all element of shock and surprise from the plot (though these would be minor and very hard to distinguish), this film has one of the greatest visual experiences to date. However, this great achievement is marred by the plot, which is so thin that string theory could be proved on it. It would be perhaps less irritating if this story was even original: however it was merely an amalgamation of films before it and even then it was clumsily constructed. Though many were blown away by the sheer visual experience of this film, I believe it is inaccurate to rate it any more than it is: a pathetic film, masquarading under the guise of glossy technology and 3D polarising glasses.
When his twin brother is killed, paraplegic ex-Marine Jake Sully is recruited to aid a mining expedition on the planet Pandora as only his DNA will bond with the alien hybrid body, known as an Avatar, that allows humans to breathe the toxic air. With orders to infiltrate the Na'vi, Jake finds himself falling in love with native girl, Neytiri, and complications soon ensue...
If I judged this film on the storyline alone, then it would have been a much lower rating but I do have to take into consideration the spectacular visual experience it takes you on. Therefore, I think three stars is an adequate rating.
Anticipated for years, James Cameron returns to the screen with a movie that was originally planned to be released in 1999 however, at that time the special effects he envisioned were not a plausible option and so it was put on hold up until just last year.
Something I did find quite interesting is how the entire Na'vi language was constructed from scratch by linguist Paul R. Frommer. James Cameron hired him to construct a language that the actors could pronounce but did not resemble the English language. Frommer created around 1000 words.
Each frame (1/24 of a second) of the CGI scenes took an average of 47 man-hours to complete and the movie is made of 40% live action and 60% photo-realistic CGI. Now I think we all see why this movie took so long to complete, yes?
One thing I love is the soundtrack. James Horner scored the film, his third collaboration with Cameron after Aliens and Titanic. He also worked with Wanda Bryant, an ethnomusicologist, to create a music culture suitable for the new alien race. Leona Lewis sang the theme song "I See You" which was written by Horner, Simon Franglen and Thaddis Harrell. I thought it was a stunning song. Other note-worthy tracks that stood out for me were "The Bioluminescence of the Night", "Scorched Earth" and "War", all written by Horner.
One down point I saw was the length! Running for 162 minutes, it's no picnic and for this reason I turned down my friend's offer to go with me to the cinema to see it. I could not sit for that long in a cinema. At least in my own home I can pause the film and go have a walk-around to stretch my legs or get something. Still, it is a long haul movie and I found that to be a hindrance.
Avatar was nominated for nine Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director. It won the awards for Art Direction, Cinematography and Visual Effects, which I found it very deserving. I'm still in awe, months after first watching. The New York Film Critics Online awarded the film with it's Best Picture award. It won two of the St. Louis Film Critics awards: Best Visual Effects and Most Original, Innovative or Creative Film. The film was also nominated nine times for the Critics' Choice Awards of the Broadcast Film Critics Association, going on to win the Best Action Film and several technical categories. Avatar was also the winner for Production Design and Special Visual Effects from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) after being nominated for others such as Best Film and Director. It was also the winner of the 67th Golden Globe Awards Best Motion Picture - Drama award and Best Director after being nominated for four.
Cameron has stated that there will be at least two sequels; movies I am willing to watch, simply to see what Cameron could possibly come up with next.
All in all, Avatar was a stunning special effects movie with awesome music, however I just found the plot to be quite dull and in need of something with a bit more...pow-factor to live up to the visual effects.