Col. Quaritch: You are not in Kansas anymore, you are on Pandora, ladies and gentlemen, respect that fact every second of every day.
To start this off, I want to paraphrase a quote from another movie I reviewed earlier in this Rankatron thing I started called Independence Day…it’s a quote by Lieutenant Commander Data…er I mean Dr. Okun (Brent Spiner): once you get by their technology, they’re really quite fragile…but the problem is getting by the technology.
Sorry, I know that’s not really the quote and out of all the world of Infotron I’m not found the actual quote…and I’m too lazy to fast forward through a movie until I find it.
So Avatar. This again proves the rule that if you’re enjoying it on a 3D IMAX HD sound system theatre with comfy reclining seats and a bucket of popcorn that costs 15 cents to make but you pay $6 to enjoy…you can get caught up in the spectacle. It’s why the Captain EO 3D show at Disney World didn’t translate well once you got it out of the big white Epcot orb from the future. Avatar doesn’t translate well when it’s moved to a reasonable sized tv, a non-existent sound system, a relatively alright couch and a bowl of popcorn that actually only cost me about 15 cents to make.
Take away the technology and you’re left with a rather frail rendering of Pandora. It’s a story about the battle of old ways of thinking (human technology) and new ways to see the world (the Na’vi spiritual connection). Both are flawed in their respective ways but humans come across in this movie as a rather tired and old race. Kinda like their portrayal as fat blobs in WALL-E (the best animated movie I’ve ever seen):
The theme isn’t original in itself. It’s been done many times before…Ferngully, 12 Monkeys, The Matrix…humans brought this all upon themselves and are too primitive to figure it out. I have a little more faith in humanity than that. The fact that there are movies out there like this where people are thinking about it means that there’s a shift happening. It’s a good thing.
The story is about as unique as any Star Wars movie. It’s an adventure bringing you to worlds and environments that can only be recreated in your imagination, a sound stage or a talented team of CGI Masters. I’m not knocking this. The original Star Wars movie was full of great memorable characters and moments.
Avatar has it’s share like “I see you”, the Tree of Souls, and Jake Sully’s rallying cry for the final battle (Due to copyright infringement…all those scenes have been taken down from online, so feel free to click on the closest approximation of each):
The bright spot of this is Zoe Seldana (as the girl Na’vi, Naytiri). Through her Na’vi computer generated makeup (see how they did it!), she portrays such nuanced emotion and purity that she could convince anyone that her way of life is the true way. Sigourney Weaver as Dr. Grace Augustine allowed her to relive what a slightly older and wisened version of Ripley from Aliens would be like. Sam Worthington did a great job playing our eyes and ears as he (and in turn ‘we’) were introduced to the world of Pandora. Heck, I even enjoyed the performance of Lost’s Ana Lucia.
Maybe I’m trying to convince myself again. The more I let it mull over in my brain the more I like it. Darn you Avatar! Making blue sexy again!
An added bonus is that this movie proves that the Smurfs might actually be pulled off in the theatres…didn’t hear about that one? Here’s a little Smurf action for ya:
(Before you pass judgement, please know that the pics of Hank Azaria as Gargamel are epic!)
I’m getting way off topic.
Avatar still entertains on the small screen but not nearly as much on the silver screen. So if you get a big screen or a 3D screen, the fight scenes made by green screen will make you scream. On a side note, wonder what level of SPF the Na’vi need to wear for sun screen? Huh.
7.9 temptations to use “I’m blue” jokes in this review avoided out of 10