Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Avatar – Sexy blue cat people affect my bathing suit area

Let’s take a look back on the long and highly impressive career of Mr. James Cameron. In the course of 5 years in the eighties the man made 3 of the most recognizable names in Sci-Fi and action. The Terminator, Still my favorite of the 37 terminator movies (around that many, right?). Then he takes the reins from Ridley Scott to make Aliens, considered by many to be the best in the series. Lastly he gives us The Abyss, a classic through and through. On this alone Cameron could have easily rested on his laurels and never made another film, but rest he did not. He went on to make T2, True lies (maybe not he best work, but hey you gotta admit it’s a fun little flick) and Titanic amongst others.

A lot of people looked at his more recent work in drawing their conclusions about Avatar, Cameron’s newest. Big mistake people! James Cameron has already proven to us that he’s a master of sci-fi and he doesn’t disappoint with Avatar. Before I get going too far into the review I should note that I saw Avatar in 2-D and not in IMAX so all my opinions are based on my personal experience.

Cameron does not give you a moment to think. He immediately throws you on Pandora a small moon smaller than earth that can support life, just not ours. The atmosphere on Pandora is said to “knock you out in 20 seconds and 4 minutes later you’ll be dead”. Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) had a twin brother, he died. This is a good thing for the recently paralyzed Jake because The Corporation his brother was working for has offered him the opportunity to earn some cash and even the surgery to get his legs back. You see, they made this little avatar thing specifically for his brother and now he’s dead. The only person who can control the avatar is the person it was made for, except in this case due to him being a twin, lucky right? Unfortunately, this is about the point where you’re going to start piecing the story together. It’s pretty derivative. Essentially it’s Dune, but who wouldn’t want to watch Dune again. Especially with a cast that features Sigourney Weaver, Zoe Saldana, Michele Rodriguez, Giovanni Ribisi, Joel Moore and the incredibly badass Stephan Lang as Col. Miles Quaritch. The Col. Is the type of hard ass military man that should he find himself on fire, he might put it out as an afterthought, but only once he’s completed his objective.

The main reason why anyone is watching this is the visual FX. I have to say I was completely floored by just how great everything looked in this film. IT better look great, Cameron certainly spent enough spare change on it. Avatar is truly a film a decade in the making. Pandora is not just a set; it is a living breathing and, most importantly, feeling world. It is a world deeper than anything George Lucas has ever managed and is easily on par with middle earth (Weta worked on the FX so I cannot wait to see what else those kiwis can pull off). The natives of Pandora, a sort of giant blue cat people called the Na’vi. They can commune with nature through their tails and maintain a peaceful coexistence with the world around them. The Na’vi culture is so rich that is oozes on the screen. Many of their beliefs are taken from the Gnostics and Taoist spiritualism and hammered into place with a healthy dose of environmentalism.

The humans are there to find a rare and insanely expensive ore called Unobtanium (I’m guessing the pun is intended, everything else in the movie is). We’re the bad guys; this point is pretty much drilled into your head form moment one. And of course if we’re the baddies that means the head baddie is our good friend Col. Quaritch. One thing can be said for the good Colonel, The man is the sickest fucker in the film. You’re going to be on the edge of the seat every time he’s on screen; you ain’t ever seen a character like this. I now have a costume idea for next year, now where do I find a large cat to claw my head?

I’ve been asked if I felt the film was “anti-america”. I always reply “no” I think Cameron lets a lot of his political views find their way onto screen and there are some pretty obvious correlations made in the film, but when you step back and think about it most of the fuss makes little sense. It’s not a government starting a war for a hard to come by commodity; it’s a huge corporation with their own army of ex-military mercenaries. Regardless that’s a very little thing to quibble over. This is a “must see in theaters” movie, from what I’ve heard it’s preferable to see it in 3-D and I may try to make my way to a 3-d IMAX to see it again, but till then just know that it’s a pretty brilliant film featuring creatures that will bring back inappropriate memories of you masturbating to a certain female Thundercat when you were eleven in your old family home with the door that had no lock so you had to worry that someone might walk in on you. Oh and yes I DO have vivid memories of YOUR childhood home, I’m not talking about myself….I swear.

don't look at me like that Neytiri

4 ½ feral cat people out of 5

Next up: Sherlock Holmes and if we’re lucky the Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus

P.S. I need a cigarette…..


  1. Now, having watched this, I really don't know if I REALLY liked it, or just liked it. Either way it was better than I expected. I should probably see it again. I wish the 3d thing would work for me...


  2. saw it yesterday, pretty enjoyable... you were spot on about the story being dune, that's all i had in my head through most of it.