Movie Review: Avatar

Movie Review: James Cameron’s AVATAR in IMAX 3D

Thank you Lord for blessing humans with creativity, the technology to make it happen, and my eyesight to see it.

I don’t know how the movie would look in a regular screening, but getting one of the best seats in the IMAX theater and enjoying the movie like it was envisioned in Cameron’s mind is something truly extraordinary. I feared that I may have been too over-hyped about the movie given the buzz surrounding it, but believe you me I have read nothing on the movie and have had it, for a long while, mixed up with Avatar The Last Airbender movie, coming out later.

Avatar Movie

So yes, you could say that I was entering the movie knowing that it was in 3D and that it featured blue people.

And I was SHOCKED!

I need to get this out of the way: though the IMAX gigantic screen really did help in the immersion into the movie, like all other movies shown in 3D (IMAX or not) there is this general fuzziness and softness to textures that degrade the quality (if you’ve seen it and seen the trailer below, you’d know what I am talking about).

Still, a loss in quality was a small price to pay, for it is a beautiful world of the Navi-inhabited Pandora that Cameron created, too beautiful to not allow yourself to be sucked in. To thoroughly enjoy the movie you either need to be a tree hugger or truly let go of rationality. And unlike many sci fi flicks out there, the characters that are out of place are the humans. Avatar’s world is rich in history, nature, lore, culture, and even language. It is blatantly apparent that a lot of effort has been put into the realization of the world, yet at the same time you do get the gut feeling that some stuff had to be cut out to fit the movie, like the Lord of the Rings flicks.

Avatar Movie

What’s beautiful about the movie is that it takes everything ordinary and turns it into extraordinary. Lots of rituals, beliefs, animals, plants and landscape exist in reality and are recognizable in the movie, but they’ve been made into truly magical elements.

The overarching story could become preachy at times, and there are many subtexts you can indulge in (terrorism, invasion of other countries, colonialism, the whole mother Earth narrative), however, the face-value story isn’t something that has not been done before, even the tribal wars and the inter-species love stories. What accentuates the typical, however, is the immersive magical world that makes everything endearing and breathtaking. As for the acting – thankfully most of the movie focuses on the animated Navi, which animated beautifully, and the human counterparts do a pretty good job, with Sigourney Weaver throwing in dry humor here and there typical of her Alien experience. Worthington’s Terminator experience helped with the grunt work too.

Avatar Movie

If there’s anything to say to people who are to see it, the movie is about the experience, much like the Matrix and Lord of the Rings when they came out. You can read into the story as deep as you want, but like the previously mentioned movies, it’s the experience that will keep you talking for a long time to come.

Now enjoy the HD trailer!

  • saint

    KJ, very good review, I was planning to see the movie and usually not that easy can get excited about new movie.

    You have covered the basis and I would like to add from other reviews I heard and read and from the trailers that Cameron made a leap in the animation by adding emotion in a full new way was impossible till now.

    Here is a review by NPR with his words how he create the work.

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=121604325

  • saint

    KJ, very good review, I was planning to see the movie and usually not that easy can get excited about new movie.

    You have covered the basis and I would like to add from other reviews I heard and read and from the trailers that Cameron made a leap in the animation by adding emotion in a full new way was impossible till now.

    Here is a review by NPR with his words how he create the work.

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=121604325

  • Jano

    thanks for the review. so how much do u give out of 5?

  • kinano

    I can’t believe you compared it to The Matrix and LOTR!! For me, the movie was executed perfectly and it is with no doubt Cameron’s best. However, storyline was childishly predictable; and in this day and age you expected computer graphics to be this good (FF games have had the same quality for years now).

    For those who haven’t seen it, it’s worth the ticket to the theatre. For me, I wouldn’t watch it twice and I don’t think it’s a movie that will go down in history as revolutionary in any artistic way. Although it must be noted that the filming technology itself is unique.

  • kinano

    I can’t believe you compared it to The Matrix and LOTR!! For me, the movie was executed perfectly and it is with no doubt Cameron’s best. However, storyline was childishly predictable; and in this day and age you expected computer graphics to be this good (FF games have had the same quality for years now).

    For those who haven’t seen it, it’s worth the ticket to the theatre. For me, I wouldn’t watch it twice and I don’t think it’s a movie that will go down in history as revolutionary in any artistic way. Although it must be noted that the filming technology itself is unique.

  • @mudoveee

    Aha, Hek el review wel la2 ;D
    Seems to be spectacular movie, and i could tell that there are a lots of breathtaking moments. Assure you that i will watch it now, Can’t wait xD

  • @mudoveee

    Aha, Hek el review wel la2 ;D
    Seems to be spectacular movie, and i could tell that there are a lots of breathtaking moments. Assure you that i will watch it now, Can’t wait xD

  • Jano

    thanks for the review. so how much do u give out of 5?

  • Anonymous

    Saint -
    The animation is indeed smooth, though I have actually seen some sort of emotion in other 3D flicks. Still, the amount of facial expressions truly make you believe that the Navi are true sentient beings, making the human beings quite dull in comparison

    Kinanoo -
    I would probably see it again when it’s out on HD, but like I said in my review the story has been done before (and quite many times), and yes it is predictable, if sentimental, but in the end I noted that the movie is about the experience itself more than anything. The Matrix is on a class of its own of course – that was ground breaking in terms of story telling and graphics, and so was Lord of the Rings. There’s no doubt in that at all. The comparison was made on the experience itself of being in a fully realized world that makes you totally forget Earth.

    mudovee -
    The good thing is that the trailer actually shows you the uninteresting stuff! So you’re in for a good time

    Jano -
    I will give it 4/5 only because of the cliche story. Cameron noted that he would make it a trilogy if the first one was successful. I would have had it planned out as a trilogy from the start because it’s obvious there is a rich history of the land that needed a lot of exploration, with the current Avatar movie making a good third installment

  • http://blog.jarofjuice.com KJ

    Saint -
    The animation is indeed smooth, though I have actually seen some sort of emotion in other 3D flicks. Still, the amount of facial expressions truly make you believe that the Navi are true sentient beings, making the human beings quite dull in comparison

    Kinanoo -
    I would probably see it again when it’s out on HD, but like I said in my review the story has been done before (and quite many times), and yes it is predictable, if sentimental, but in the end I noted that the movie is about the experience itself more than anything. The Matrix is on a class of its own of course – that was ground breaking in terms of story telling and graphics, and so was Lord of the Rings. There’s no doubt in that at all. The comparison was made on the experience itself of being in a fully realized world that makes you totally forget Earth.

    mudovee -
    The good thing is that the trailer actually shows you the uninteresting stuff! So you’re in for a good time

    Jano -
    I will give it 4/5 only because of the cliche story. Cameron noted that he would make it a trilogy if the first one was successful. I would have had it planned out as a trilogy from the start because it’s obvious there is a rich history of the land that needed a lot of exploration, with the current Avatar movie making a good third installment

  • http://thoughts-ahmad.blogspot.com/ Ahmad Hamdan

    Excellent graphics, worth the ticket but a story that isn’t so great it’s like watching a story about vietnam and usa but instead of vietnam winning you got the people of pandora.
    Also The movie has simialrity with some video games like FF specially FF7

  • http://thoughts-ahmad.blogspot.com Ahmad Hamdan

    Excellent graphics, worth the ticket but a story that isn’t so great it’s like watching a story about vietnam and usa but instead of vietnam winning you got the people of pandora.
    Also The movie has simialrity with some video games like FF specially FF7

  • http://diarysequel.blogspot.com/ asoom

    Can’t wait to watch it!

  • http://diarysequel.blogspot.com asoom

    Can’t wait to watch it!

  • http://blog.sweetestmemories.com/ Qwaider قويدر

    Saw it, loved it … totally worth the extra $$$. Will probably see it again

    The fuzziness you were feeling is the 3D effect for objects that are out of focus. If you feel that, then you’re looking at the wrong part of the screen :)

  • http://blog.sweetestmemories.com Qwaider قويدر

    Saw it, loved it … totally worth the extra $$$. Will probably see it again

    The fuzziness you were feeling is the 3D effect for objects that are out of focus. If you feel that, then you’re looking at the wrong part of the screen :)

  • http://hammouz.blogspot.com/ hamza

    that would be one of the movies where I can’t tell myself that I’ll wait for the DVD edition.

    Damn KSA and its policy of no theaters :@

  • http://hammouz.blogspot.com hamza

    that would be one of the movies where I can’t tell myself that I’ll wait for the DVD edition.

    Damn KSA and its policy of no theaters :@

  • http://natural-conspiracy.blogspot.com/ Sina

    Thanks, couldn’t have said it better. It’s one great experience.
    Love the blog by the way, have been following it for a long time, but first time to comment.

  • http://natural-conspiracy.blogspot.com Sina

    Thanks, couldn’t have said it better. It’s one great experience.
    Love the blog by the way, have been following it for a long time, but first time to comment.

  • http://emancipated-fighter.blogspot.com/ MissNoName

    Just watched it. It is as you exactly described it would be! Something out of this world! It never ceased to amaze me! Cliche story yes, but a hell of a good one at that!

  • http://emancipated-fighter.blogspot.com/ MissNoName

    Just watched it. It is as you exactly described it would be! Something out of this world! It never ceased to amaze me! Cliche story yes, but a hell of a good one at that!

  • http://www.za3tar.net/ za3tar

    I saw it yesterday. We don’t have IMAX in our town, but the Cinema did offer a 3D showing with glasses (I’ve never been to an IMAX so i don’t know how to compare).

    I totally agree with you on everything (to the point that i don’t know why i am commenting :-D). This was my first time to see a 3D movie, so things did look fuzzy to me to the point that i repeatedly took off my glasses and put them on just to make sure i have them on right, (btw, how is the 3D in IMAX, do you have to wear glasses?).

    Also, as you said, the movie is great in terms of graphics and creating the world .. but the story is such a cliche that i was a bit disappointed by that (but the movie is fantastic otherwise).

    I really hope this becomes a trilogy with more complex stories.

  • http://www.za3tar.net/ za3tar

    I saw it yesterday. We don’t have IMAX in our town, but the Cinema did offer a 3D showing with glasses (I’ve never been to an IMAX so i don’t know how to compare).

    I totally agree with you on everything (to the point that i don’t know why i am commenting :-D). This was my first time to see a 3D movie, so things did look fuzzy to me to the point that i repeatedly took off my glasses and put them on just to make sure i have them on right, (btw, how is the 3D in IMAX, do you have to wear glasses?).

    Also, as you said, the movie is great in terms of graphics and creating the world .. but the story is such a cliche that i was a bit disappointed by that (but the movie is fantastic otherwise).

    I really hope this becomes a trilogy with more complex stories.

  • H

    Its a really great movie… yea :grin:

  • H

    Its a really great movie… yea :grin:

  • r4i kaart

    May be i am wrong but i want to say that…
    I’d be hard-pressed to recall another movie that so fully transported me to a world that doesn’t exist. Avatar is one of the most exciting and thrilling moviegoing experiences I’ve ever had.

  • r4i kaart

    May be i am wrong but i want to say that…
    I’d be hard-pressed to recall another movie that so fully transported me to a world that doesn’t exist. Avatar is one of the most exciting and thrilling moviegoing experiences I’ve ever had.

  • Someone

    Good review! I watched the movie and as you said, it really is “magical”

  • Someone

    Good review! I watched the movie and as you said, it really is “magical”

  • Lisa Marie

    You could not have said it better. What I have noticed though, is the overwhelming public response to James Cameron “Avatar”, never has so many people wish that Pandora did indeed exist, and wanting to meet members of the Na’vi. Not onlykids, but adults as well. So to make a movie, based on total fiction and fantaSY AND PEOPLE wanting IT TO BE REAL: Now THAT is POWER!

  • Lisa Marie

    You could not have said it better. What I have noticed though, is the overwhelming public response to James Cameron “Avatar”, never has so many people wish that Pandora did indeed exist, and wanting to meet members of the Na’vi. Not onlykids, but adults as well. So to make a movie, based on total fiction and fantaSY AND PEOPLE wanting IT TO BE REAL: Now THAT is POWER!

  • http://www.30sec.com/ advertising website

    I love this movie. I like the story line, the animation and effects.

  • http://www.30sec.com/ advertising website

    I love this movie. I like the story line, the animation and effects.

  • http://www.bazerbashi.com/ Hasan

    I saw the movie…the graphics were cool and everything…at the end, Avatar is like Pukahontas! :p

  • http://www.bazerbashi.com/ Hasan

    I saw the movie…the graphics were cool and everything…at the end, Avatar is like Pukahontas! :p

  • ninacook123

    This is great news.

    I’ve updated hi5knowledge.com to reflect this.

    Cheers!

    This blog attacted a lot of attention in the papers over the last few days…

    very nice and informative blog.

  • Sooyoungbabo

    I’m laughing at your statement “Thank you Lord for blessing humans with creativity, the technology to make it happen, and my eyesight to see it”. It is exactly how I felt after watching this movie. Although I don’t think this movie is particularly creative, I cannot agree more with the last two sentences. I feel the life is worthwhile to live just to experience this kind of enriched sensation available by high tech.

  • https://twitter.com/Jessetreelover Jesse

    It has a great environmental message