December 19, 2009
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Two things: 1) I hate CGI and 2) I believe that James Cameron is Michael Bay with talent. That being said, I can tell you that Avatar is a movie that is going to be remembered for years to come. Even before its release, a number of records were set and rules in the industry broken. Rumor is that this is the most expensive movie ever produced, somewhere around $300 million. And the concept of filming in a 3-D environment with motion capture suits. AND probably the biggest and most important 3-D movie ever made!
Cameron has a knack for big movies that change the way movies are made and Avatar is no exception. The story revolves around a Marine named Jake Sully, who at the last-minute is hired to take his brother’s place on the planet Pandora. The reason the humans are there is that we’ve wasted our resources and have found something of great value on Pandora. The trouble is, an indigenous race is currently living over the largest deposit of this ore. So we (the humans) rig avatars to infiltrate and learn about our resistance.
What unfolds is the classic, love your enemy and hate your friend plotline used most familiar in The Last Samurai. The plot has its snags but what is effective, are the characters. And I never thought I’d say this, but the special effects too. Cameron has crafted a world so visually stunning, that the notion of CGI is forgotten a lot easier than expected. The climatic dogfight is probably one of the most epic I’ve seen this decade. It’s nice to see that in his 9 year absence, Cameron hasn’t gotten soft.
If and when you see this movie, I urge you to see it in 3-D. The movie is fine without it, but this movie was intended to be seen in 3-D and to not watch it that way only hurts your experience of it. Though the length of the film is a bit of a deal breaker for some, it definitely keeps things moving. All in all, a great piece of filmmaking. Well deserving of its Golden Globe nominations for Best Picture – Drama and Best Director. 4 out of 5 stars