Discovery Miles 590
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F. Roy, Sarnia. 3 January 2012
This film is a stark look at the greed of humans, which is the cause of the present-day crisis for Earth.
The love story is intertwined with the understanding reached by the human in alien form for the Avatar people.
I would have liked to see it in 3D, as even the 2D version is stunning.
Victor, South Africa. 4 June 2014
A Sheer Spectacle
One hundred years or so hence, planet Earth is attempting to solve its energy issues by mining a rare new mineral cutely called "Unobtainium". This mineral is only to be found on a distant planet, in the very centre of a lush tropical forest, packed with quirky-scary CGI animals, under a giant Edenic tree which is the spiritual home of the planet's aboriginal inhabitants:
An American mining corporation has established a private army base there, getting ready to drive the natives off their land, led by the psychotically gung-ho Col Miles Quaritch (Stephen Lang) There is talk of fighting "terror with terror" and unleashing a "shock and awe" campaign.But as part of a PR-led hearts-and-minds programme, it also has a scientific unit led by Dr Grace Augustine, played by Sigourney Weaver, which plans to study the inhabitants, get to know them, and crucially create remote-controllable Na'vi bodies or "Avatars", which individual humans can pilot from afar into the jungle, to parley with the natives in their own exotic, subtitled language and ask what it might take to get them to withdraw voluntarily. And one such pilot is Jake Sully, played by Sam Worthington, a badass former soldier now injured and permanently in a wheelchair.
He is thrilled at the glorious virtual-reality of his new 12-ft Avatar alien body; he exults in the jungle adventure, and at first wants only to spy on the Na'vi to facilitate the upcoming invasion. But then he meets the beautiful female Neytiri (Zoe SaldaÃ±a) and goes native. Sully sees a chance for something that, as a disabled war veteran, he thought might be forever denied him: a chance to have non-disabled sex â€“ and fall in love. When the big battle comes, Jake finds himself fighting for the Na'vi, on the side of the colonial oppressed.
The digitally created world meshes pretty much seamlessly with ordinary reality in an undoubtedly impressive way. An extraordinary number of quite ordinary-looking locations and scenes were fabricated in front of a green-screen. The effects of Avatar are certainly something to see, especially on an Imax screen the size of an upended football field.
But perhaps we're all looking in the wrong direction, frantically inspecting Avatar for evidence of James Cameron's hi-tech machismo and undiminished box office clout. Strip away from this movie the director's massive reputation, and you have a truly weird story about an aggressive future world corporation bankrolling avatar-technology so that human beings can insinuate themselves into the lives of aliens to seduce them. What an indie-freaky idea it is â€“ and that is what makes it an experience.
Elzette, South Africa. 6 June 2016
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