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AVATAR (2009)

Movie review by David Blackwell


162 minutes, PG-13


STUDIO:  20th Century Fox

Theatrical RELEASE DATE:  12-18-2009


STARRING Sam Worthington (Jake Sully), Zoe Saldana (Neytiri), Sigourney Weaver (Dr. Grace Augustine), Stephen Lang (Colonel Miles Quaritch), Michelle Rodriguez (Trudy Chacon)

WRITTEN and DIRECTED by James Cameron


AVATAR marks James Cameron’s return to feature films since he made TITANIC in the mid-1990s.  He makes his first feature film in 3D in what some people hail (and Cameron Hopes) what will be the future of cinema.  Even if AVATAR wasn’t a 3D film, it is a visual spectacle to behold.   It is a little weak in the script department and feels like a story of the Native American frontier in the 1800s except replace it with 10 foot tall blue skinned aliens. 


The Na’vi are the blue aliens on an alien moon called Pandora which circles a gas giant in a faraway solar system.  Jake Sully is a crippled war veteran who takes a six year journey to Pandora by spaceship for a chance at a new life.  He replaces his murdered twin who was trained in controlling avatar bodies (which are part alien and part human DNA) to interact with the Na’vi.  The Na’vi think the dream walker bodies are wrong, but they take an interest in Jake due to signs from their deity.  Jake learns their ways while collecting intelligence for the corporation who want the minerals beneath the Na’vi village.  Jake falls for one of the Na’vi, Neytiri, and it helps set the stage for the conflict between him and the ones who want to take the Na’vi home away for greed.


AVATAR lives on its visuals and the battle sequence at the end.  It is a beautiful film to watch.  The 3D makes you feel like you’re in the film almost.   Watch how the monitors and subtitles seem to be closer to the viewer.   Still AVATAR is part of the trend of 3D movies that rely more on visuals instead of providing a great story to match.   3D hasn’t provided a classic film that was filmed in the format as of yet.    Still AVATAR delivers as a big screen experience even if it doesn’t match up to earlier films done by James Cameron (ALIENS, THE ABYSS, and TERMINATOR).


This movie review is (c)12-20-2009 David Blackwell.  All Rights Reserved.  The review cannot be reprinted without permission.  Send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com