Last night, my friends and I got together from our hectic lives at university to see the new Avatar film. And, let me tell you, I was thinking of all kinds of wonderful things to write about it the entire time that I watched it. For starters, it had a lot of your average film-plot, but it was laid out quite nicely. Not to mention that the cinematography was absolutely brilliant. So, here’s my lovely review of Avatar. I’ll shy away from any spoilers until the end, and they will be clearly labelled. No worries.
The thing I liked the most about it was that, even though it was filled with your character clichés, it wasn’t overly done. Yes, you had your chosen one, your rebel, your INTJ, your hard-core bad guy that just wouldn’t die, your weasel, your nerdy guy, and even your love-interest who gets mad half-way through. But, each were portrayed very nicely. So, I give a big thumbs up to all of the characters, especially to the character of Grace whom I found quite refreshing (not to mention that she was a red-headed INTJ. How can I not be happy?).
The dialogue in the film is a little off during the first ten minutes or so, but I feel like it gets a lot better from there. It has to explain a lot of back story since it takes place in the future, and that’s understandable. Once they get past that, though, things can get less corny by means of what’s said. Also, if you’re a language buff, you may be very interested in the alien language used during the film. It was completely crafted by the creators and a linguist, and it sounds very beautiful. It may never become as great as the language used in Star Trek or anything, but you may see people become very interested in trying to learn phrases from the language.
That, or maybe you’ll juts appreciate the accent of the aliens when they speak English.
I’ve heard a lot of negative things about the plot, and I’d just like to tell you that most of those complaints are completely unwarranted. Yes, the plot is recognisable. But there are only about seven plots in the world to use anyway, so that’s not suprising. And, yes, you could often tell what was going to happen, but it was never to the point where you could get angry just because you called that. I liked the plot just fine. A nice save-the-world mentality.
Not to mention that it was kind enough to include a moral: All humans are complete dumb-arses. I feel like that’s a general principle in most films, including those that try to act against that, but it was highlighted in this film on several occasions. The humans make the wrong decisions, forever and for always. And you will not be rooting for the humans. Unless you’re a business executive, and still, there’s room for shying away from the humans in this film.
Something I thought was interesting during Avatar, though, was how much it reminded me of Pocahontas. Hell, I even called the tribal leader Chief Powhatan in lack of a better name. But it had its Disney version Pocahontas vibes that I personally enjoyed. In fact, if you were to think about other films and how pieces of them compare to Avatar, here’s what I’d tell you: Imagine Pocahontas meets Chronicles of Narnia. Got that? Now add copious amounts of drugs. Now, mix in some Star Wars, mostly the fighting from the original three. Once you’ve shaken that up a bit, add some of the epic battle scenes and especially Aragorn’s epic speech from Lord of the Rings. Once you’ve got all of those mixed together, you get something vaguely like Avatar, but you’re still never going to get close to it. You see, no other film has quite compared to this, not only because of the Aliens, but also because of the complexities of the languages, cultures, and religion.
But again, major Pocahontas vibes. I thought they’d start singing ‘Colour of the Wind’ at some point. Instead, our chosen one was just called an idiot. Same, same, but different.
And the cinematography really was brilliant. It wasn’t the type of brilliant to make you draw breath at the start of each scene, but it was very rewarding to just sit there and view the colours and clear dimensions. Much of the world brought to life appear almost like fibre-optics, and the colours used in the lights are intense and beautifully created. Many scenes are completely computer generated, but for once, you’ll nearly forget that and start thinking about where on Earth this was filmed… but it wasn’t. The filming also had a nearly 3-D effect, but without making me feeling car-sick. Thank goodness.
And, for everyone wondering about the computer generated characters (which basically make up half of the movie), it was brilliantly done. I’d read a review somewhere that said the makers of the film weren’t interested in actually having it done until they saw that computer generated characters could hold their own. Well, they had seen the character Gollum in Lord of the Rings, and supposedly that changed their minds. But, let me tell you, Gollum doesn’t even come close to how nicely done these alien creatures (and alien animals, as well) were portrayed. Finally, we have characters that can express emotions, be shown in full interaction with humans, and move around without it looking off. When they cry, it looks legit. Just to put that out there.
Now, Avatar isn’t my favourite film in the world (that spot is still reserved for Lord of the Rings), but I really don’t have too many complaints. Some people may have called for more battle and more gore, but I was fine without it. (As someone who spent more than half of Final Destination 4 either outside of the theatre or with her eyes closed, it was nice not to have to shy away from the screen.)
But, all in all, great film, and I highly recommend seeing it. If you can get yourself to a theatre, do it, because it’s going to look much better from a fifty foot screen than from your home screen on DVD. It was finally a film that was worth the ten dollars.
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