Sunday, January 17, 2010

"Avatar" Review (No Spoilers)

I'd like to start out by saying that this movie has honestly changed my life. It's touched me on such a deeply personal level... It was incredible.

Second, I highly recommend you see this movie in 3-D. Even if you've seen it flat already, go back and see it in 3-D - you will not regret it. Unlike most 3-D films, it doesn't abuse the medium (there aren't any of those gimmicks where they throw stuff at the camera, etc.), and James Cameron's fictional world seems all the more real in three dimensions.

So, the movie is set in a dystopic 2154, and though we don't actually see the earth in the film, we get the idea we've pretty much ruined everything. Anyway, we are exploiting a planet called Pandora for a coveted mineral, "UnObtainium" (stupid name, I know. Get over it). Ex-marine Jake Sully is sent to Pandora to take his dead twin brother's place in the "Avatar" program. Humans use complex machinery to inhabit test-tube replicas of the Pandora natives, the Na'vi, in order to study the local tribe and head diplomacy to move them from their Home Tree, which happens to be located over the largest existing source of unobtainium.

Some of you may notice similarities to the story of "Pocahontas". This is "Pocahontas" on steroids, and though the spiritual and ecological sentiments are a major part of the film, there is no lack of danger and adrenaline to keep the audience going - no singing birdies in this film.

The ecosystem James Cameron creates in this movie is rich and complex, and an absolute delight to the eyes. Not only that, but the thruline of the mother tree and the way the Na'vi are so deeply connected to their world. It's fascinating not just from the story perspective, but also in that it gives insight into the ways in which we affect our ecosystem, and vice versa.

Viewers with extreme agoraphobia might want to avoid the 3-D version of the film, as the extensive flight sequences may be distressing to those sensitive enough to heights. Some of you may already know that "barracks talk" is another euphemism for 'bad' language. This movie being centered around ex-marines, you can imagine that there is a lot of barracks talk. The violence isn't terrible, but the scenes of distress might be too much for some - if you couldn't stand to see "Titanic", there is an equal amount of human tragedy in this film.

If you're able to go see the film, do. This is this year's absolute must-see. This is a movie you will be telling your children and grandchildren about. DON'T MISS IT!

Nostalgically Yours

PS: I mentioned before that I feel it's changed my life, I'm actually going to start work on a Tarot deck based on the characters from the story. I'll keep you all posted as I work on it.
PPS: Did you know? When writing more than one "Post Script", the proper thing to do is to add another 'P' not another 'S' - as in, "Post post script"