"Avatar" (2009)

Rating: PG-13
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Mystery, Science Fiction
Directed By: James Cameron
Written By: James Cameron
Released: December 18th, 2009
Runtime: 162 minutes
Studio: 20th Century Fox

On the lush alien world of Pandora live the Na'vi, beings who appear primitive but are highly evolved. Because the planet's environment is poisonous, human/Na'vi hybrids, called Avatars, must link to human minds to allow for free movement on Pandora. Jake Sully (Sam Worthington), a paralyzed former Marine, becomes mobile again through one such Avatar and falls in love with a Na'vi woman (Zoe Saldana). As a bond with her grows, he is drawn into a battle for the survival of her world. 

To be honest, I came away from this thinking it was far too hyped up. I found it difficult to get into and I wasn’t as enthralled with the whole story as I feel I should have been. In theory the story of conflict between idyllic aliens and greedy humans sounds like it should be very engaging.
Perhaps it was the pacing that took a little while to get into at the beginning. The characters themselves were not overly engaging until later on too. On paper this should have been mind-blowing. And to a lot of people it really was.

I think that the way it was made is incredibly impressive. For this reason, I’m slow to knock it in any way. It took four years to make, from pre-production to release. A lot of work was put into this. And visually it is awestriking. I’ve been learning how to create 3D models on Blender as of late and I can tell you it’s not easy!!! So, I find it amazing that entire films like this one can be made. Even more so when you consider that some CGI scenes in this film took an average of 47 hours to render. I admire their patience!!

The attention to detail is amazing. The Na'vi language in the film was created entirely from scratch by linguist Dr. Paul R. Frommer. I find this incredible. James Cameron hired him to construct a language that the actors could pronounce easily but did not resemble any single human language. About 1,000 words were created.

I couldn't possibly discourage anyone from seeing this but I didn’t come away from it as excited as I was expecting. However, the film shows that the limits to what can be done are getting smaller and smaller all the time. James Cameron really had a go at turning his dreams into reality. Another amazing accomplishment from this director.