Avatar Movie Review

Avatar (2009 film)
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By Cassie Scannella
Staff Writer

As moviegoers we have become accustom to a few certainties. During the spring previously shelved or lower budget movies will be released to theaters either limited or without high expectations. Summer brings us moviegoers the gift of the blockbuster and big budget movies often action movies reliant on special effects, explosions and the heroics of the main character. The fall and holiday season is filled with critically acclaimed dramas and movies with aspirations come awards season.

The 2010 movie season was much different. 13 years ago James Cameron changed the way we look at movies with his blockbuster and award-winning movie Titanic. Not only did Titanic break the all time movie sales record but also it swept the academy awards. This year James Cameron showed the world he had another trick up his sleeve with his movie Avatar.

Almost ten years in the making, Cameron was finally ready to show the world his dream. Always on the cutting edge of film, Cameron was about to show the world something it had never seen before. Avatar was filmed in new 3D technology filmed on cameras designed specifically for the film. Cameron’s goal was to bring people back to the movies by giving them an experience they would never forget. Avatar would bring the viewer into another world inside of the film not only with its story but also with the 3D technology.

Avatar brings us into the world of the planet Pandora. On Pandora the viewer will experience a whole new world thought up in the mind of James Cameron, filled with new and exotic animals, plants and aliens. The story revolves an ex-marine now paralyzed named Jake Sully. Jake is brought to Pandora to man an Avatar that was designed for his now dead twin brother. Humans have inhabited Pandora for the purpose of mining for a new and extremely profitable element only found of the planet.  The major problem being the planet while not only inhabited by numerous dangerous and exotic animals and plants, but also an alien race called the Na’vi, who also happen to be 8 feet tall and faster and strong than humans, while not as well equipped. The precious element that the humans wish to mine is located near a scared area and tree of the Na’vi.  As a way to avoid conflict, the humans create Na’vi avatars that are manned and specifically built for humans to be controlled with their minds.

Jake starts out with the goal of helping his human counterparts, but soon realizes that the world of Pandora has much more to offer than he thought and leaves him conflicted. In the end Jake realizes what they are doing is unethical and destroying the true beauty of Pandora, the same thing that happened to Earth many years ago.

While an engaging story, Avatar transcends the traditional movie, leaving the story as secondary to the movie world. What draws people to this movie and into the theaters is not solely based on the story being told, which is the case with almost all other movies. Instead Avatar creates a unique experience that moviegoers have never seen before. Unlike in any other movie before it, Avatar sucks the audience into a new world and new experiences inside the theater, through the use of 3D.

The result of these factors has catapulted Avatar to success never seen by a movie before, grossing over 200 billion worldwide and close to a billion in America. Thirteen years ago, no one believed James Cameron would succeed the way he did with Titanic, but he silenced critics with the number one grossing movie of all time and success at the Academy Awards.

Now fast forward into the future and he has done the impossible again.  Along with its record breaking numbers at the box office, Avatar was nominated for 9 Academy Awards. While Avatar did not have the same luck Titanic did at the Oscars, its impact on film will be remembered long into the future. Years from now, people may not remember what movie won the Oscar for best picture or best director but they will remember where they saw Avatar and the experience.  In the end, isn’t that what going to the movies all about? This can be achieved through a thought provoking story, big special effects, or in the case of Avatar, being transported into a foreign world we would love to visit and learn to care about.  One can only imagine what Mr. Cameron has in store for us next.

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