Forgive me, I'm going to jump from professional to fan boy for a while
here. I haven't had the jitters after a film the way I've had for
Avatar in quite sometime. James Cameron's Avatar is the most
entertaining and enthralling cinematic experiences of my life. It is
incredible, simply put. What Cameron has done here is the most
passionate film project put out since Steven Spielberg released
Schindler's List. His attention to detail and his zeal for pushing the
envelope is so admirable to any filmmaker or actor who will ever do
another film from this point on.
Avatar is the story of Jake Sully, a paraplegic marine, who replaces
his brother on a secret mission to infiltrate the Na' vi, the colony of
beings that sit on the planet of Pandora, where there is a precious
ore, that sells at a ridiculous amount. When Jake learns the ways of
the Na' vi, his feelings and learnings will put him and the people he
trusts in dangerous jeopardy.
The performances here, in the sense of reacting, becoming, and
understanding what Cameron has written are astounding. Not to be
confused with a sensational bravura performance from some of the
centuries best such as Marion Brando, Tom Hanks, or Diane Keaton; these
actors along with the director inhabit these visual transformations
with special effects as if they are have lived these beings all their
lives. This is all based on character movements and reactions. Sam
Worthington, as Jake Sully, is an actor who's on his way to becoming a
star. Though he has problems with his Aussie accent often enough in the
film, he gets the job done. Zoe Saldana, who plays Neytiri, a Na' vi
huntress, is thrilling and electrifying. Stephen Lang, as the rock hard
Colonel Miles, takes on a villainous turn to a new level in science
fiction. He offers actual emotion and emotes evil to the audience and
gains our hatred easily. Sigourney Weaver as the beautiful Dr. Grace,
is sufficient enough to have on screen again teamed with Cameron. She
lives inside her role with effortless ease, but suffers from some of
the typical James Cameron cheesy lines.
Narratively the film works perfectly on the cinematic level. The first
forty minutes or so require patience and hope as it is the weakest part
of the film and offers some dreariness, but when the second act takes
off, it's sky high with no limits for James Cameron. Avatar delivers
the best action sequences put on film of all time. That is the boldest
statement I have ever made in all my years of criticism. I sat on this
for two days before charging it out, but I mean it. It is the best
visual experience of my life, period.
Other than those visuals, the film pops with all the other technical
aspects thrown into one. Art Direction is killer as the two worlds
blend in perfectly for an acceptable time. The Film Editing is the
crowning achievement of the film as it also offers the perfect blend of
the two worlds, enticing the viewer and shifting us around. Mauro Fiore
is the threat for a Cinematography Oscar this year. It was if the
viewer sat down in a chair, put on glasses, and was literally placed on
Pandora, spaceships, and floating mountains. The viewer can feel so
engulfed by the imagery, you feel like you can smell the leaves from
the trees. Avatar is utterly hypnotizing. James Horner's score is some
of the best work done in his career. It offers a variable of
devastation that moves the viewer to near tears. It goes back to his
work on Titanic, where the musical instruments lifted the material
immensely. The entire sound team is also locked and loaded for Oscar
recognition as the feeling of animals, machines, and arrows buzzing by
your head leave you imprisoned in Cameron's exquisite film.
James Cameron has come back home ladies and gentlemen Cameron is back,
bigger, badder, and mature in his crowning work of his career.
Terminator 2: Judgment Day and Titanic do not even compare anymore.
This is the film that can blend the fans of those two films together
and lock Cameron into your heart. He's a definite spoiler for a
directing bid for the Academy Awards. You have admire the raw, natural
talent the man has. How could you ever conceive such an experience and
put that much effort and work into it and have it pay off? The box
office success will surely keep him in the minds of voters for various
critics' awards. His screenplay, leaps and bounds better than 1997's
Best Picture Winner, is primed, developed and ripe for the taking.
Though, you do acquire the tacky and atypical dialogue you expect from
a science fiction director of this caliber, you can appreciate the
effort and the honesty of it all. James Cameron is everything Michael
Bay wishes he was, to put it bluntly.
Avatar will bring also great actors putting their best foot forward
such as Giovanni Ribisi, who is as underrated as they come. Michelle
Rodriguez who exudes sexy like any woman starring in a sci-fi epic.
Joel Moore, showing his range outside of his comedic work in Dodgeball:
An Underdog Story. And the classy veteran actors, CCH Pounder and Wes
Studi, who just simply don't work enough.
Avatar is one of the best films of the year. The most exciting,
thrilling, and superb work you'll feast your eyes on in any theater
this century. Cinema, forever, will remember the benchmark that James
Cameron placed not only for himself, but for any man, daring to change
the game, the way Cameron did. Avatar is a movie experience to be
remembered, and please experience in a movie theater first.