In the 22nd century, a paraplegic Marine is dispatched to the moon Pandora on a unique mission, but becomes torn between following orders and protecting an alien civilization.
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When his brother is killed in a robbery, paraplegic Marine Jake Sully decides to take his place in a mission on the distant world of Pandora. There he learns of greedy corporate figurehead Parker Selfridge's intentions of driving off the native humanoid "Na'vi" in order to mine for the precious material scattered throughout their rich woodland. In exchange for the spinal surgery that will fix his legs, Jake gathers intel for the cooperating military unit spearheaded by gung-ho Colonel Quaritch, while simultaneously attempting to infiltrate the Na'vi people with the use of an "avatar" identity. While Jake begins to bond with the native tribe and quickly falls in love with the beautiful alien Neytiri, the restless Colonel moves forward with his ruthless extermination tactics, forcing the soldier to take a stand - and fight back in an epic battle for the fate of Pandora.
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Unfortunately, I had to watch it in 2D, but even with that, this movie was just brilliant. I think we all know the basic outline of the story by now, and I admit, some of the movie's flaws is that the plot is somewhat predictable, and that it had some cliché moments and some cheesy dialogue, but nevertheless, I thought the movie was overall fantastic. We all know the SFX are the best ever (everyone pretty much has said that, so why bother?), but what you don't know is that the way the film is executed actually carries quite an emotional punch that most people won't be expecting, and all of the performances overall are great, even Worthington's (which is the first film I've seen him in, by the way. Never got the chance to watch Terminator: Salvation, so he was a relatively new actor to me), but I can easily say that Zoe Saldaña was the best one, which brings me to my next point, and what I think is the highlight of the film: the na'vi. nnIf you thought Gollum in the LotR films or the prawns in District 9 were incredible in how much emotion and realism they conveyed, just you wait 'till you see this film's blue humanoids. They're, without a shadow of a doubt, the best-looking CG characters I've ever seen. Not only do they LOOK real, they FELT real, and after a few minutes in, one could easily forget they were all actors in motion-capture suits. The na'vi showed more emotion, more expression and simply just more life than what most live-action actors have today. I hope the Academy Awards consider motion-capture performances from hereon out in the Acting categories, because they were just outstanding in this movie, and WAY better than most live-action performances we get today. And the action, of course, was also fantastic. Cameron just proved to people like Michael Bay that the King is back. Not just the battle scenes, but even some parts that were just, say, some characters flying around on their banshees were just a beauty to look at, since all shots just show how amazing the incredibly deep and detailed world that Pandora is. To the senses, it's the most stunning film I've ever seen. As for story and dialogue writing, it could've been better, it's not perfect, but this movie's really about how the story is executed rather than the content. nnAnother highlight for me is, of course, just how deep and detailed everything in this film was, and being an artist myself, you could easily imagine just what an assault on the senses it was for me to witness such a beautifully created world that is Pandora. Ranging from its flora to its fauna, all things in this world are indeed alien, but also have a familiar sense to them from our world. One who's been watching Cameron for the past few years would know that he's always been into deep underwater exploration, and you can easily tell that a lot of what he saw down there influenced his vision for many of the things we see in this lush beauty of an ever-stretching rainforest.nnAs for the film's score, I really don't get why some people are getting upset about it. In my opinion, James Horner gave us a tremendous score that fit perfectly to whatever was happening during the film. And yes, I even like Leona Lewis' song in the end credits.nnMany filmmakers out there think about CG effects and put no depth into the narrative or story, but that's not the case with Cameron. In this film, the special effects MAKE the story. He puts special effects and story in a blender, and meshes these elements up so well that what we get is one of the most unique films in history. nnMy score: 8.5/10, and I think I'd probably give it a 9.0/10 or higher if I had seen it in 3D, and definitely a perfect 10 if I had seen it in an Imax 3D screen with the best seat in the hall, but then, we wouldn't really be speaking in that case about a movie, and instead a full-on cinematic experience, which is what makes me think that Avatar will become a classic; it's more an experience than a film, it's a journey to a new world where our imaginations are tested, and has achieved perfectly what a movie is intended for in the first place, at least of this genre: pure, out-of- this-world escapism.
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