Skip to main content

Review: Avatar 3D

The hype for Avatar has been incredibly publicized. 3D has been around for the last several decades, but James Cameron wanted to do something bigger, better. Known for big summer blockbusters, Cameron wanted to push the realms of cinema into something unprecedented.

You know the story from the trailers, you know the director has been working on it for the better part of two decades. So the question is this the film that revolutionizes how people see movies?

Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) is a paralyzed former Marine joining the Avatar program after the death of his brother. He is uniquely positioned to join because he shares his brother's DNA, only Jake can control his avatar. With it, he can walk again and once he infiltrates the Na'vi and convinces them to move away from their land, Col. Quaritch (Stephen Lang) promises to get Jake's "real legs back". The Na'vi must be moved because their home is based on a very valuable deposit of Unobtanium.

3D films in the past have been notorious for breaking the fourth wall needlessly, but Avatar is full immersion 3D. At no moment do you look at the Na'vi and remember you are in a theatre. Some critics complain that the run-time is far too long, but the time invested in the scenes on Pandora pay off later. As Jake spends time on Pandora you feel as if you are emotionally invested in each and every one of the people and places.

Avatar is one of those moments in film that cannot be missed, this is an event bigger than the packs of crowds outside lining the streets for Lord of the Rings, or The Dark Knight, or any movie of this decade. This is the wonderment in cinema that has been missing for so long. The game-change that was supposed to keep moviegoers in cinemas could very well be 3D.

Cameron firmly establishes you into a new world filled with some of his old mainstays. There is no lack of strong female characters - something that has been lacking in pop culture for far too long. It wouldn't be a surprise to find out that Grace (Sigourney Weaver) is just Ripley in another form. Zoe Saldana's Neytiri is going to launch her career in a way that Star Trek didn't. Instead of playing the eye candy, she embodies a brave warrior that drives the story and humanizes Jake.

Welcome back James Cameron, we missed you.


Popular posts from this blog

Review: Anomalisa

Weird is rarely used as a good quality in film criticism, but few words so completely describe Charlie Kaufman’s work as weird does. All of his films are a window into his very particular worldview, and that p.o.v. is certainly unlike anything seen in pop culture. For that reason, Anomalisa became an entry on many most anticipated lists for 2015. That Kaufman chose stop-motion to tell this story made the picture an event. So it came as a disappointment when the film was one of the year’s more mundane efforts.

Being John Malkovich and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind have an energy and heart at the center that is not present here. Previous collaborators like Spike Jonze and Michel Gondry were able to temper the overwhelming negativity Charlie Kaufman occasionally falls prey to, but, this time, the writer doesn’t have a director to rein things in. In all of his efforts to create an experience that is both familiar and alienating, Kaufman may have accidentally created something host…

Review: Selma

It may surprise many that Martin Luther King Jr. never received the celluloid treatment prior to Selma. Sure he had been mentioned in other historical pieces, but short of documentary footage, King was never given center stage. Quite shocking given the man's legacy and the lingering effect of his efforts still felt today. Several years of production and a director change later, Selma arrives as the film worthy of the man.

Review: The Salvation

Westerns have never recovered from the oversaturation that killed off viewer interest decades ago, but every now and then a gem pops up. Recent successes like The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, 2007’s 3:10 to Yuma and the Coen brothers adaptation of True Grit all did well because they tweaked the genre slightly, but director Kristian Levring goes with an old school approach. A faithful recreation of those revenge Westerns made so popular in the 1970s, The Salvation envelopes many elements of previous Clint Eastwood classics and wraps it into a tidy package.

The Salvation starts in on the central dilemma, joining Jon (Hannibal‘s Mad Mikkelsen) at the train station where he awaits the arrival of his wife and son. Jon and his brother, Peter (Mikael Persbrandt), have lived in the United States long enough to build a hospitable life for their family back in Denmark. This homecoming should be a sweet moment to establish the family important to Jon, but fate plays out…