If you’ve seen a couple movies in your life, you at least know who James Cameron is. The Hollywood directing tycoon that brought you Terminator, Aliens, True Lies, and Titanic. His films have earned a couple billion dollars. That doesn’t happen making average films. Cameron will direct these big budget films up until the day he goes to his grave. Don’t count on him to hang up his talent anytime soon.
Dedicated Marine, Jake Sully, has been confined to a wheelchair for sometime now. He’d require miracle spinal surgery for any hope to ever walk again. One day as he looms around a VA hospital, he gets the news that his brother has been killed in a robbery. With this terrible news, he’s offered a once in a lifetime chance to go on a mission to a distant world, known as Pandora. The landscape is filled with beautiful plants, creatures, and vast groups of never before seen wildlife. Pandora is populated by a race of humanoids known as “Na’vi.” They look and behave similar to humans, only differing by being twelve feet tall and a Smurf shade of blue. The Na’vi seem to be a peaceful race for the most part, until the day their way of life is threatened by a greedy corporate giant named Parker Selfridge. After finding precious minerals in their woodlands, Selfridge and his “smash and grab” Colonel Quaritch begin to run the Na’vi from their land by force. Sully’s mission is a unique plan of attack that could succeed, or blow up in everyone’s face. He’s been given an Avatar body to be able to blend in with the Na’vi. He’s ordered to get inside their village, and gain their trust. The time is counting down to the deadline where Quaritch will rule with his iron fist, and destroy every Na’vi that stands in his way. After meeting the beautiful alien Neytiri, Jake’s torn between doing what he was sent to do, and staying to do what he now feels is right.
It took only four days for Avatar to reach the sales number that The Dark Knight needed sixteen months to obtain. It climbed past the billion dollar profit mark worldwide, and kept right on trucking. It’s amazing what a little word of mouth, mixed with Blockbuster director James Cameron’s style and influence can do. Inflation on ticket prices aside, Avatar hit the ball out of the park and it kept on soaring. It only took a couple months for them to know a second one would be an absolute must. From what I hear, the sequel will be based on Pandora’s ocean, since the woods have already been covered. As much as I didn’t want to see this movie, fearing it was a “bandwagon” title like the Harry Potter and Lord of the Ring series, I gave in a few weeks back. You can call me pleasantly surprised to say the least. All in all, it was a stunning visual masterpiece. Never mind that the plot was stolen from a children’s film, Fern Gully. What it’s like to experience the visuals in this movie for the first time, is absolutely awesome. The scenery is so real in some of the woodland scenes, that you feel like you could jump through your TV. The only thing I would disagree with is the “must see in 3D” mentality. I saw this movie normally, in an average theater, and was still liking everything just the same. It was a little hard to get over how James Cameron borrowed from all his past successes. He seemed to use machinery from his Terminator franchise, weaponry from his Aliens film, and you could even go as far to say the romance from his Titanic. Did it work well, yes. I just think if he truly was working on this project for ten years, he’s had plenty of time for a whole new bucket of tricks. The two hour and forty minute run-time made this a one time enjoyable watch for me, but not one I will run out to buy. Sometimes an epic film can be done right in two hours or less, but this one just wasn’t that way. Everyone should see this movie, but make their own opinions. Don’t let the media make up your mind on what you find entertaining. If you’re paying twenty dollars to gain entrance to a movie of this stature, you should be the one to decide.
Review By: Charlie Giltenboth