Monday, January 04, 2010

Avatar, a Review

It’s been a really crazy couple o’ days.  Student loan craziness happening in a way I don’t completely understand.  Keisha starting her student teaching today.  New Years.  I went to my third funeral in about two weeks yesterday.  It was a military funeral of a close cousin.  Bobby served both in the Marines and the Army.  At the grave site there was the playing of “Taps” and two Marines folded a flag and presented it to the family.  The absolute silence, while the rough, harsh winds of winter bit at our flesh, was quite emotional.  And my mind wandered.

My brother, Jake, is being deployed today.  He’s a year and fifty-four days younger than me, putting him at 22.  This is his second deployment, but his first to Afghanistan.  Actually he’ll be heading up to New Jersey for a few weeks before crossing the Atlantic, but he’ll be leaving just the same.  Leaving behind a four-month old baby and a wife, not to mention the rest of the family.  Thus I ask you, blog friends and readers, to remember him in your prayers over the next fifteen months, that the Lord will keep him safe and protected.  I don’t want to hear “Taps” again…

avatar-new-posterAnyway, I did finally manage to see Avatar over the long weekend, and I’m proud to say that it was awesome.  With trepidation and uncertainty, I watched the movie, expecting a very weak story and wonderful eye candy.  But it was not exactly as I anticipated.

I watched the film in 3D, shelling out the extra dough to experience the movie.  While I don’t hope that 3D is the way of the future (unless ticket prices are cheaper), this viewing choice was perfect for the movie.  There were elements that felt like you were there with the movie, exploring the jungles of Pandora or the interior of a space shuttle.  Whatever the case, the 3D presentation was excellent.  It’s rather difficult to single out special effects and comment on how cool they were, as the entire movie was beautiful.  The exotic world of Pandora was fascinating to see, especially the iridescent night life of the jungle.  The Na’vi were spectacular to watch, too.  But I get ahead of myself.

The story of Avatar is simplistic to explain.  A crippled ex-Marine named Jake Sully travels to the far-out world of Pandora to take on the body of an avatar and interact with the native people, the Na’vi.  Thus, the plot is set.  There were plenty of mixed messages with the movie, and many parallels could be drawn to Earth’s history, but I did not think this distracted from the story.  I felt the history, the beliefs, the lifestyle of the Na’vi were amazing, and I left the movie wanting to know more about The People.  The action of the movie was breathtaking, even if it was predictable.

The only real problem with the story is that it’s overly cliché and unoriginal in some aspects.  However, I didn’t really consider this much of a problem at all.  I sat smiling and open-mouthed, enjoying the mesmerizing movie before me.  The three hours passed by quickly.

Overall, if you’re a lover of science-fiction or fantasy, or if you like a rollicking adventure story, or if you just want to see absolutely beautiful art, I strongly recommend to you this movie.  Avatar is the kind of film that you must see in theatres.  Though I’ve not seen the 2D version, I imagine the 3D is well worth the extra few bucks.  In the end, I really enjoyed this movie quite a bit, and I think you will too, unless you’re a cold hearted, insensitive ratfink with milky eyes and a soul filled with contempt.  Then you’ll be excused.

Happy New Year readers.  And remember to let the Wookie win.  It’s better in the end that way.

12 comments:

Bilski said...

I agree entirely with the 3D comment. You could really tell that James Cameron put in the extra effort to make the 3D version worth watching. I'm looking forward to seeing the 2D version in a less expensive setting though, just so I can see how the visuals compare.

David Wagner said...

Well, I suppose I should break down and see the film while it's in the theaters, eh? Or I could see it and then break down...

Good review, thanks for the heads up.

If you want, I can definitely add Jake to the list of servicemen our church prays for every week (as they have for years, since things started in Iraq after 9/11).

logankstewart said...

@Bill: Yeah, you should do that and then tell me how it was. I'd say the 2D would still be cool, but definitely not as good as the 3D.

@David: Absolutely go see it. And absolutely add Jake to your list of servicemen. Thank you very much for your consideration.

Stephanie Fey said...

Dear Logan,

Avatar? Avatar? I can't think of such a thing when so much is going on in your life! What a difficult time you're having and have had recently. Naturally, your brother Jake will have a place in my heart and I will him to come home safely with every fibre of my being!

Oh, okay, one little comment on Avatar. Stuck in this blasted house with only ghosts to perform for me, I haven't seen the film. But if Cameron has written his own script again then this will uundoubtedly be its flaw. When will he learn to collaborate or work on someone else's script? Well, that's my penny's worth!

Best, best wishes, friend!

Steph x

logankstewart said...

@Stephanie: I'll say thankee much for keeping my brother in your thoughts. Aye, the plot was the weak point, but it wasn't that bad.

Kristopher A. Denby said...

I'd have to agree with you 100%. But then again you read my review and know that I liked it. I honestly am looking forward to the DVD release. I'd like to see it again, but maybe not in the theater just yet.

I wish your brother safe passage to and from the land of sand and oil.

logankstewart said...

@K.A.Denby: Yeah, DVD will be great. Blu-Ray will be even better, if by chance I happen to get a Blu-ray player by then. Thanks for the wishing...

Krista said...

I have got to see this movie! I'm hoping to go see it when I get back to NC! My Dad and brothers already seen it and they really liked it too.

I will definitely keep Jake in my prayers and his family as well.

logankstewart said...

Thank you, Krista. And enjoy the film when you get to it.

Carl V. said...

I certainly do pray for your brother's divine protection as he serves our country and pray that his wife and child have peace and grace in his absence. I cannot imagine how hard that must be for all of you, but I thank you from the bottom of my heart for the willingness to serve and the sacrifices you all make for America.

I'm so glad that the movie exceeded your expectations and you enjoyed it. With all that is going on in your life you definitely needed a worthwhile escape, and Avatar's beauty certain can provide that.

I loved the iridescent quality of Pandora as well. That in large part made seeing it in 3D on the big screen such a treat.

Richard Robinson said...

I saw your comment over on Stainless Steel Droppings, and followed the link. I think you, we all, are still too close to this film, and can't yet envision the seemingly inevitable sequel(s), to be able to see the bigger picture. I expect, with time, the themes of respecting and treading softly with nature will emerge as a bigger part of this film than we now understand. It's the "Living Planet" idea.

Enjoyed your review. Best for your brother!

logankstewart said...

@Carl: Thank you very much for the prayers, and thanks for commenting. Re-reading my review kind of makes me want to watch the movie again and see if I would still feel the same. Perhaps when it hits DVD.

@Richard: Excellent words. I can only imagine that there will be sequels, hopefully with more originality, but still beautiful. And thanks for stopping by my blog. Take care.