Everybody read Barry’s review of Avatar? Good. Now for our website’s second take on one of the most hyped films of the decade, I’ll begin by saying something no one has yet to say about this film…How did Joel Moore (JP from Grandma’s Boy) get a clutch fuck part like this in history’s most expensive film. All I could do was keep repeating..(in a robot voice) “I HATE YOUR FACE”. Ahhh…Now that we have that out of the way we can begin.Barry did a fantastic job of painting the beautiful scene for you that is Avatar and the breathtaking planet Pandora. In the past months as we got closer to release, fear had been creeping up on us all with every still photo and trailer. It looked as if Jim Cameron had blown his wad on a massively epic sci-fi Thundercat-Smurf-Waterworld-Jurassic Park cartoon looking movie that was going to turn one of the worlds most beloved director into a joke…
So what happened? We have all been deceived.
These goddamned commercials, trailers, and internet links don’t show you Pandora. No. The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist. Only when you are strapped in at the theater do you not only see Pandora, you go there.
I found a lot of similarities to Dances With Wolves, plot wise, and that’s ok, I’m just using that as a basis for the plot synops. Soldier arrives in a new frontier. Soldier makes contact with natives. Soldier learns their language and culture. Soldier falls in love with girl native. Bad American Government (is there any other??) rears its ugly head selfishly. Natives fight primitively. Soldier devises half primitive, half human plan. Big Battle.
These are very standard and mundane plot spins, which I believe to be the framework to support the magnificent bounty which this film serves up at the table. I know that the technology used in this film was CREATED when it didn’t exist. Now, I want to tell you, I think the acting was real good. Not OSCAR ACTING, but real good, fine acting. That being said, the best actor in the movie (besides Sam Worthington) was a total CG character. The real life, smokin’ fucken hot Zoe Saldana, Uhura from JJ Abrams Star Trek, was Neytiri the Na’vi. I felt moved by her, attracted to her, and spellbound by Neytiri’s love, devotion, and total allegiance to her world.
The Papier-mâché humans, like Barry said, could’ve had some more fleshing out, Giovanni Robisi for instance, the eco-destroyer,one track minded, business man who only wants one thing, goes from not caring about destruction to total guilt and remorseful “eye acting” but won’t stand down to his military partners. What I did really really dig was some of Cameron’s references to Aliens which were plentiful and kinda fun. Starting with cryo/hyper sleep, the loaders which are now loader/war machines. The drop ships, and the drop ship protocol. Giovanni Robisi acting like Paul Rieser and “The Company”. Finally we have the apparently ageless Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) as Grace..Also a little light in the character development. Sam Worthington is honestly the only one who DOES have any character development.
Now regardless of all the details of effects and acting, I just wanted to close with the real world. I don’t know when I walked out of a theater smiling and speechless at the same time. When his eyes go WIDE at the close of the film, I was the first to cheer and bring the crowd to ovation. My Anti Sci-Fi wife, while driving there found out that the film ran at over 2 hours and 45 minutes and had NO desire to see this film. When she walked out into the blustery blast of winter air at 1am, she said, and I quote, “I didn’t even want to look away at the popcorn or candy for a second, cuz I didn’t want to miss ANYTHING.” That is a feat in itself. Fellowship of the Ring perhaps and the whole LOTR trilogy was probably the last time I left in a euphoric cinematic daze.
When you see this film, the commercials don’t show you the most important thing. Ambiance. Every blade of grass gently swaying into your eyeline, babbling stream, plants, mountains, oceans and burning ash and embers dancing on the breeze are so real, I found myself several times nearly swatting them from my face.
I was smiling because I didn’t see Avatar. I walked out of the theater and had just gotten back.