James Cameron’s Avatar Review

Well the wait is finally over and the film was released last thursday to all cinemas. I’ll give a brief plot summary.

Promo Poster

We follow a man named Jake Sully (Sam Worthington), he is assigned to a program called Project Avatar, where he will temporary transfer his mind into an Na’vi (a humanoid indigenous species) on the planet Pandora. The purpose is to set up a democratic relationship with the race to sort out an agreement to take some of there expensive minerals  in return for technology and knowledge. However this race aren’t so keen on the humans (or aliens in this case) and are firmly happy the way they are. The money-hungry humans don’t take no for an answer and Jake Sully is left on a internal journey to find out who he is, and whose side he is on.

The Plot:

The plot is somewhat predictable, however what is new is the situation and environment, which gives the essence of surprise to the plot. Even though its predictable you will still love the narrative. It touches a lot on American racism and consumerism, to the extent that the Americans don’t give a damn about the Na’vi, their planet or their beliefs, theres money involved they will kill them all if they have to. You actually hated the humans and wanted them to lose every fight. A film that makes you hate your own race is probably worth seeing!

Visual Effects:

Now this is the big attraction in the film. With the budget of $500m you will be expecting spectacular effects, and trust me you wont be disappointed. A lot of people are wondering why it cost so much, because ‘it just looks like a normal animation film.’ Well its blatantly not pixar! The reason it cost so much was the method. It’s nothing new but has never been used on this scale, James used the same technology as Gollum in Lord Of The Rings, actors dressing up in green suits with dots around their faces, so the actor acts out everything and the animated Na’vi follows exactly, by exactly I mean to how they run, jump, and fight to every subtle facial expression.

Neytiri played by Zoe Saldana (Star Trek)

This method was even used on the extras in the film, the Na’vi characters that had no main role. This gives a believable factor to it and you often forget they are actors. One flaw was the animation of the different species in Pandora, some of them seemed, rush, underdone and obviously much lesser effort compared to the Na’vi. I see lack of ‘Photorealism’ that Cameron had claimed, however it is close to photorealism as we probably can get with a 500m budget.

Neytiri (Saldana) and Jake (Worthington)

3D:

Don’t see this in 2D!! The production had made their own 3D cameras to give a better experience, give the film some justice and see it in 3D it will not be the same in 2D! This is the first film to ever incorporate 3D properly, by that I mean, none of this gimmick crap where everything just has to point out of the screen! It was used and you hardly noticed it, “Whats the point in that?” you ask, well it is because it was used properly and kept that realism and escapism factor to it! The only time you should notice the difference is when you see the same thing in 2D and I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t have the same effect.

Cinematography:

Brilliant, bright colours of Pandora that contrast to metallic artificial grey colours of the humans. What better way to show how evil the human race is. Most of the time the scenery is animated, and animated beautifully with saturated vibrant colours in the day and neon-like fluorescent enchanted colours by night.

The score:

Normally I wouldn’t mention the score in it’s own paragraph, but it’s James Horner, Cameron’s favourite music composer, who also scored Titanic, and it was pretty obvious it was the same person. He had one year to score the film where as most composers get 4 to 6 weeks, he failed to come up with anything new and all I heard was the titanic music with a jungle beat. It would of been nice to hear something different something that could make Pandora distinctive.

Leona Lewis did the soundtrack, the newly released music video is below, you can almost here Celine Dion in there somewhere

“I See You” (Theme from Avatar) by Leona Lewis in HD Video by Trailer Park – MySpace Video.

Overall: 9/10

Extremely impressive, going to see it for the second time tomorrow! Would of got a 10/10 if it wasn’t for the lack of detail in the different species and the predictable plot.

Joel’s review from The Linc (to come)

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