Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Avatar Special Edition Film Review

Having had little interest in the film when it was first released, I was thankful that they decided to re release the movie. Having won Oscars for its effects, seeing it in the cinema in 3D is perhaps the only way to do this film justice.

Jake Sully (Sam Worthington), ex-marine, agrees to take part in the Avatar program and enters the world of Pandora; his twin brother who was previously enrolled died, but due to matching DNA, the cultivated Avatar is compatible (and also due to its cost, must not be wasted). The aim of the Avatar program is to obtain a rare mineral found on Pandora called Unobtanium (for a lack of names), which sells for millions a kilo, coincidentally found under the tree home of the Na'vi.

Joining the scientific research team of Dr. Grace Augustine (Sigourney Weaver), Jake is also secretly reporting back to Colonel Miles Quaritch (Stephen Lang), who wishes to use force to remove the native Na'vi in order to get the rare rock. Paralyzed in both legs, Jake hopes that completing Quaritch's mission of infiltrating the native Na'vi and persuading them to relocate will grant him the money necessary for treatment.

Little did he know, Jake gets captivated by the world of Pandora and gets accepted into the Omaticaya tribe, where he must learn their ways in order to gain their trust. Nearing the end of his mission, he questions the Avatar Program, his sanity and his race. Whose side will he be on and at what price will the innocent Na'vi have to pay for man's selfishness?

The plot is extremely solid and I can understand why people have called it the modern day "Pocahontas". Personally, the first feeling I got from the film was "Jurassic Park". The music, the scenery, the creatures, all that just made me think of the Steven Spielberg series. The first thing I have to praise is the captivating world of Pandora. It is stunning and immersive. The beauty of the trees, the plants; the dynamics of the creatures and the sheer purity of the place is truly out of this world.

I guess the themes and messages of the film come through this emotional provocation. The fact that we are destroying Earth and the beauty that is within. It really raises the question of why isn't our world captivating like Pandora? It is in many ways but we fail to see it. Either we are ignorant, or we are contributing to its destruction and the message is clear: Open your eyes and truly see.

Whilst the movie was breathtaking, it just dragged on and on. I thought when the tree home collapsed and they all migrated and the screen went black that that was the end... but then it continued into war preparation so I thought they're prepping you for the sequel; and then it went on to battle and I was like O.O when is this going to end? Don't get me wrong, this is a good thing; it is like they put two whole movies in here- definitely worth the money.

The ending was bittersweet. Having finally reached this part, everything that happened was so overwhelming- for example the shocking deaths of characters I liked (I shan't spoil) that the rather typical standard ending didn't seem to satisfy. It provided great closure and tied the loose ends, but perhaps rather too much so for a movie with a guaranteed sequel.

Having experienced the world of Avatar, it makes you want to live in a world like Pandora, where you are WOWed by life itself and the fascination of the things around you. I guess the next step is to take physical action to ensure that we are doing our part to protect our beautiful Earth!

Sam Worthington- Jake Sully
Zoe Saldana- Neytiri
Sigourney Weaver- Dr. Grace Augustine
Stephen Lang- Colonel Miles Quaritch

Also stars Joel Moore, Giovanni Ribisi (Phoebe's brother from Friends) and Michelle Rodriguez.

Sam Worthington definitely gets praise from me. Having seen Clash of the Titans, where he was rather lacklustre, Worthington proves he can engage physically and emotionally.

Zoe Saldana who I had not heard of until today was slightly grating, especially her screeching, but given we didn't see her human face, I don't think I will remember her if I see her in another movie, so no hate there.

Stephen Lang who plays the antagonist definitely had the look and was totally brutal. I am sure he will get a long list of calls for villain roles.

Sigourney Weaver was a pleasant surprise, so was Giovanni Ribisi playing a serious role for once, but the biggest surprise of all was the sheer amusement and enjoyment given my Michelle Rodriguez, who plays a combat pilot. Despite her short screen time, she was able to portray a very likeable character with a unique style and persona.

The special edition re release is nine minutes longer and contains extra footage as well as edited scenes. I had not seen the film prior to this so cannot comment on whether it is worth it to see it again, but if you haven't seen it at all, then this is your chance to get more for your money.

~~~3D EFFECTS~~~
The 3D effects were very good and there is sheer depth throughout the movie, so much so that I, like many others, got a headache midway through the film. Due to there being 60% animation, the 3D worked fantastically to create a very realistic world. I loved the floating white "seeds of Eywa?" that were like jellyfish :D

The Oscars for Visual effects is well deserved, but three Oscars doesn't really do this justice. I have yet to see The Hurt Locker, but having seen Avatar, I find it very difficult to picture something that can trump this on an emotional scale that was released this year (maybe UP?).

Avatar made me close to tearing up and has a fab story with great meaning. I have no desire to see The Hurt Locker and it feels like just another war movie which in my opinion there is way too much of. You can educate me if you are on "Team Hurt Locker" but Don't hate.

Having avoided the hype first time round, Avatar director James Cameron captures you by re-releasing it. There is just no escape. Just as well because this film is actually very worth seeing. Over two and a half hours long, you are not just seeing some flick about a guy trying to defeat seven evil ex's, you are being immersed into a captivating world that is bound to take your breath away. Even if you don't understand, or even like the plot, the visuals will carry you away to a whole new world.

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