Director: James Cameron
Cast: Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Signourey Weaver, Stephen Lang
Viewed in theaters: 1/13/10
Best Picture (lost to The Hurt Locker)
Best Director - James Cameron (lost to Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker)
Best Score - James Horner (lost to Michael Giacchino for Up)
Best Art Direction (won)
Best Cinematography (won)
Best Visual Effects (won)
Best Editing (lost to The Hurt Locker)
Best Sound Mixing (lost to The Hurt Locker)
Best Sound Editing (lost to The Hurt Locker)
I have to admit; when I first heard about Avatar, I really had no desire to see it because sci-fi really isn't my thing. But when all my Facebook friends and the celebs I follow on Twitter were raving about how great it was, I decided it was worth a watch. After all, it's from the same guy who directed Titanic, The Abyss, and Aliens, all movies that I love, so at least I know Cameron has a good track record. I have to say, I'm quite glad I did see it. For one thing, I really liked it and for another, this is definitely a movie you have to see on the big screen. Your TV screen won't do this film justice. In fact, Cameron told EW that he wasn't making a movie to watch on your phone. (I've watched the trailer on my phone and he's right...watching the full feature on a phone wouldn't have the same effect). I also caught this movie in 3-D, the first feature film I've ever seen in 3-D. (I've seen those educational Imax movies in 3-D, but never an actual movie). While the 3-D is cool, it's not necessary for you to see it. About halfway into the movie, my ears were starting to hurt because my glasses were starting to get too tight, so I probably won't be seeing anymore 3-D movies in the future unless they're essential.
In a way, Avatar kinda reminded me of Titanic. Yes, sure, there are major differences: Titanic is based on historical events while Avatar is an original story and Titanic takes place in the past while Avatar takes places many years into the future, but it has that epic feel that Titanic did and of course there's the love story. I also had that same feeling of awe when I saw Titanic while watching Avatar.
Taking place in the year 2154 on a planet called Pandora, Worthington plays Jake, a paralyzed marine who travels to this other world to take over a mission for his twin brother who was killed in battle. Pandora is beautiful, but deadly. It's also home of a very valuable mineral worth $200 million an ounce. The only thing standing in their way is the native Na'vi, these ten-feet tall, blue aliens with cat-like features. The only way they can talk to them and negoatiate with them is to look like large blue human-cats themselves, so they create avatars where they can virtually control their own Na'vi alien. I'm probably not explaining it clearly, but don't worry, it makes perfect sense when you watch the movie and the story is easy to follow. In fact, I have heard complaints that the story is too simplistic. Hey, at least Avatar has a plot unlike some movies. :::coughcoughTransformers2coughcough:::
It took me awhile to get used to the big blue aliens at first, but once you get past the first initial shock, it's easy to accept them and their world. The special effects of Pandora are absolutely amazing with some crazy scary creatures. I have to wonder, though, how this movie will hold up 10-20 years from now. The problem when you have a movie chock full of GGI is that it doesn't age very well. But for now, in 2010, the film is quite revolutionary and Cameron proves he is a master at the technical aspect of film and there is no doubt in my mind Avatar will sweep all the technical awards at the Oscars.
The film is nearly three hours long and while my ears became sore from the 3-D glasses, I found myself completely immersed in this world. I found myself becoming emotionally involved with the characters and there were a few times where my eyes started brimming with tears. Now I never flat-out bawled like I did when I saw Titanic, but I came very close several times.
It will probably be awhile before we see another film like this again, so I highly recommend you see it (on the big screen!) before it leaves your theaters. This film 'blue' me away!