When my friend Nigel first mentioned the release of the movie Avatar, and told me I better give it a good review, I told him I refused to watch a film featuring blue people.
I had not bothered to check the buzz on the film. I had just read a few articles here and there about James Cameron’s self-made technology. The latest innovation in motion capture technology is such a huge step in computer-generated energy that such geniuses as Peter Jackson and Steven Spielberg had to get a sneak peak.
Fifteen years ago, it’s reported, Cameron had a dream about blue people, and decided to write a film about it. But the film was not ready to be filmed, so it was shelved until Cameron could create the technology to film it.
It was a four-year labor of love in which Cameron only took a half-day break because of swine flu. Now Avatar is finally ready for the real world.
I should never doubt my friend Nigel’s movie sense. I saw one trailer for Avatar, and I have been in love with it ever since.
Avatar is the story of a paraplegic Marine named Jake Sully (played by Sam Worthington) who signs up for a scientific study of the Na’vi, a people who live on a planet called Pandora.
While studying them, Jake is supposed to be gathering information so that the humans from earth can harvest their “unobtainium” for energy on earth. While learning the culture, Sully falls for the Na’vi princess, Neytiri (Zoe Saldana). But once Jake has been accepted by the Na’vi, he’s reluctant to leave his new home, and fights to keep its customs and habitat intact.
Cameron, who not only wrote but also directed this film, is a genius. His visual heroine of a film is such a trip through glowing nature that I couldn’t even take notes during the screening. Cameron takes what’s so beautiful about nature, even the colors, and puts them in high definition. It’s been a while since there’s been such a celebration of nature and all for which it stands.
His writing, by the way, is exceptional, as well. There’s great suspense, an engaging love story, and an epic battle. It’s got all the tropes of a wonderful story.
Cameron had his actors perform against a green screen, and the images appeared on his motion capture software in real time. This means that even though the actors were against a green backdrop, the action was readily available for direction. So it’s easy for me to critique the acting in this film.
If I could name an It Boy right now, it would be Worthington. He had success in Terminator: Salvation, even though his character died at the end. Now, he’s in the best-made film of 2009. Not bad for the Australian-born actor with a flair for being half tough guy and half gentleman. Jake is so down to earth and has such a great heart, it’s very hard for a woman not to fall in love with his giant blue avatar.
Saldana has always been a good actress, and her Neytiri is superb. Also worth mentioning are CCH Pounder as Moat, Neytiri’s mother and the spiritual leader of the Na’vi.
Sigourney Weaver is Dr. Grace Augustine, the doctor who is trying to extend the hand of friendship between the Na’vi and the humans. Michelle Rodriguez is Trudy Chacon, a fighter pilot for the U.S. Air Force. Giovanni Ribisi is Parker Selfridge, the suit trying to harvest the unobtainium. Wes Studi is Eytukan, the leader of the Na’vi. And, Laz Alonso is Tsu’tey, Neytiri’s former husband-to-be and the warrior leader of the Na’vi.
Cameron put much time, patience, effort and energy into this film. It’s obvious when you look at all of the Na’vi that each one, with their own unique facial features, represents actual people.
The Na’vi seem to be a mixture of Native Americans and Africans with their facial features, language, customs and natural habitat. Cameron’s Avatar is a great epic story and fantasy world. The 3D version of the film makes me want to live in it, as an Avatar. What better place to live? Some of my favorite colors are blue, green and purple, which is the color scheme of the film. If I could die and go to Pandora, it would be heaven.
If Avatar does not get nominated for at least three Oscars: best direction for Cameron, best film, and best special effects, the Academy Awards will not be worth much come 2010.
Avatar is such a great film, I can’t help but tremble just thinking about all of the exciting things in it.
You must see this film as soon as possible; in 3D.