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Avatar Review


Avatar

Avatar is one of those rare movies that are visually stunning and thought provoking as well. This is a wonderful film. One of 2009’s best!

My Rating 5.0 Stars

I had been looking forward to seeing Avatar for almost a year. There was a buzz about this movie and I just happened to hear about it early enough; it sounded fantastic. Of course, I didn’t want to raise my expectations just to be disappointed. I always seem to do that. I put a movie up on a pedestal only to be disillusioned by it, but one couldn’t help it with Avatar; it just sounded like the type of movie that was headed for greatness.

I finally got to see Avatar on January 1. What a great way to start the year! I’m here to tell you, this is a great film. It just looked great and it had a good story with a great message. It was also a hell of a lot of fun to watch. It was everything that I was expecting and more. The big surprise for some of you skeptics out there is that it wasn’t all just eye candy. I think you will find the story to be both entertaining and thought provoking.

Of course the movie isn’t perfect. What movie is? There are a couple of issues with it, one of them being that it’s a classic James Cameron movie, meaning cheesy dialog, rushed first act, blah, blah, blah. However, I don’t want to be a naysayer. Thus, I am going to focus on what was great about this movie and judge it for what it is. Avatar is a mammoth visual representation of one man’s imagination and philosophy. Cameron created an incredible fantasy world from thin air and made it feel real and believable. He created new filmmaking technology and made filmmaking history all in the attempt to show you his vision. Think about that for a minute and try to fathom the idea of putting your wildest dreams and beliefs up on a screen for people to see and understand, especially in such a colossal undertaking. There have been few people in film history that have been able to do that. Lucas, the Wachowski brothers, and Peter Jackson are among a small club of artists who have created complex worlds out of nothingness. Cameron succeeded at creating his vision for us to witness and experience. The world he created was vast and with real depth, and feel. You could almost reach and touch the life on the screen. Avatar is by far the most stunningly beautiful movie I have ever seen, in addition to being one of the most creative ideas. 

Finally, all the CGI in the world wouldn’t put butts in theater seats if it didn’t have a good story. I can honestly say that it does have a good story of survival, conquerors, explorers and tyrants. We are all too familiar with this story. We have seen it over and over again in our own history: the Europeans coming to the New World and murdering millions of natives, the enslavement of African Americans, the concentration camps of Germany during WWII. We have a real history of some awful wrong doings. However, when it comes to sci-fi, Hollywood has a different view of humans. In the past, Hollywood has made movies similar to Avatar, but for some reason the bad guys have always been portrayed by the outsiders as if we were all innocent victims. In Avatar Cameron did something that not many big Hollywood movies have ever done. He made the humans the villains. Humans were the oppressors and the ones you root against and he did this without really condemning us.

We are flawed, we are capable of horrific acts, but we are also capable of beautiful creations, of being merciful, of being compassionate. Some of us are also brave and are able to take a stand against those we oppose, even when the odds are against us. These are the things that make us human, the bad comes with the good and we must live with it and somehow balance it out. Through Avatar James Cameron is trying to show us both sides of being human, the good and the ugly.

Humans have colonized the moon Pandora. Apparently we have discovered a rock called unobtanium that is native to this moon. We don’t know what it is used for (I wonder if they do), but we do know that the market will pay millions of dollars for it and the demand is high for a piece of this rock. There are two sides that deal with the natives on this moon, the military and the Avatar program.  The Avatar program tries to deal with the Na’vi with diplomacy, while the military does its own thing. The company that mines the unobtanium discovers a large deposit of the minerals under sacred grounds for the Na’vi. According to the CEO of the company their clients and shareholders don’t like bloodshed, but they like the lack of production even less. The Avatar program was given three months to move the Na’vi out of the land. After that, if the Na’vi were still there they would use military force to drive them out.

Of course this is a fantasy story. It is from the imagination of a James Cameron, but things like this happen all of the time on this planet. Human lives take a back seat when it comes to the profit and benefit of corporations or big business. We need to wake up and start taking responsibilities for the things we do. We can no longer remain ignorant about where our products come from. Everything we buy has a history, everything from our cars, our jewelry, even our food. We demand these products and we demand them cheaply. In a sense, we are part of the problem, because these enterprises are just satisfying our demands. However, we can have an impact on the system and help fix it. How do we do that? Be informed where your products are coming from, educate yourself and be responsible. Don’t buy products that come from companies who abuse the system, mistreat people or the environment. Everything we do has a consequence. The next time you see a diamond ring on display, think about how many people had to die to mine that diamond. Let’s not just watch this movie and dismiss it as just good visuals. There is a message here and we need to discuss it, we need to ask questions. It is our right; it is our responsibility to this planet, to us and to the future of the human race. The future is what we make it!

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