Posted by: coolerbecky | January 3, 2010

Avatar, but NOT the Airbender

EpicnessSo, this afternoon, Dad took me to see Avatar, the latest Science Fiction epic from acclaimed director, James Cameron – the dude who brought to the big screen such awesome films as Terminator, Terminator II: Judgment Day, Aliens AND Rambo II.

Now, I wasn’t too hot on the whole Avatar thing. That Guy with the Glasses gave it a pretty poor rating in his Bum Review (contains spoilers) of it and besides, I was pretty irritated about Mr Cameron’s poopyhead behaviour over the whole rights to the word “Avatar” thing that he had with Paramount and Nickelodeon. Seriously, the two movies would have been easily distinguishable from each other, it’s not like he had any real reason to be insecure about the whole naming situation thing but… I digress.

Here’s a list of things that are in Avatar…

  1. Awesome Dragons
  2. Awesome Robots
  3. Awesome Explosions
  4. Awesome BioLuminescent Plants
  5. Awesome Awesomeness
  6. Awesome 3D

Notice how the preceding list does not mention the story? This is because the Avatar’s story is, for the lack of a better description, fairly weak. Avatar follows the tried and true Science Fiction love story with environmental highlights formula.

The story is set somewhere in the future, where humans have discovered a new planet they’ve named “Pandora”. Pandora’s crust is rich in a rare material called unobtanium1. Pandora is currently inhabited by a bunch of GIANT blue cat people called the Na’vi2 (pronounced Navi, so I have no idea why they really need an apostrophe). The Na’vi are a rather tribal Native American like society and are ill disposed towards the humans rather uncouth habit of smashing forests down and shooting at them.

Enter Jake Sully, the wheelchair bound twin brother of some guy who gets dramatically cremated at the very beginning of the movie (but not alive, so don’t worry). Since Jake’s brother is dead, Jake is offered the chance to take his brother’s place in an experimental program that his brother helped to develop. The program allows Jake to control the body of a vat-grown human-Na’vi hybrid through a series of unexplained scientific magic. Now safely enclosed in his Na’vi body, Jake can now act as an ambassador to the Na’vi race, hopefully allowing him to convince them to move out of their happy tree home so that the humans can blow it up and turn it into a mine.

The rest of the story is pretty much self-explanatory. Boy meets sexy cat woman. Boy falls in love with sexy cat woman. Boy leads an army of sexy cat people riding dragons to attack the evil humans.

I want a floating magical island too!Watching Avatar will IMPROVE your life. No seriously, it will. The 3D visual effects are stunning. I mean, the movie was probably shot with a 3D audience in mind and it shows. The 3D world is well constructed and the CGI is so good, that you forget that the 3D blue alien cat people are CGI – it’s so beautifully crafted and excellently 3D motion captured that you just slip into the 3D mindset of believing that these aliens exist. 3D 3D 3D 3D XD. I think you get the picture.

I really cannot describe fully how stunning the visuals are. Pandora is an alien planet with alien things in it and it really shows. From the biolumisence of Pandora’s forests to the weird-looking blowholes on the native animals, everything has been rendered beautifully. There’s a lot of eye candy in this movie and great attention has been paid to detail in the movie. For example, Pandora’s air is poisonous to humans. Everytime you see Earth atmosphere impacting on the Pandora atmosphere, you can see the waves of conflicting density flicker across the visual field.

While the story can be a little weak, the movie really does a good job of pulling you into the world and making you care about the characters. You want them to survive to the end, you wince whenever they get hurt and I admit, I cried a little at some of the more sad parts. Avatar is one of the first movies ever that my Dad has been able to stay awake for, and that’s saying something because he always falls asleep in movies. He fell asleep during Harry Potter and Star Wars for crying out loud. Also, it’s one of those movies that my sister has been able to rave about for more than a week.

Watch it. It will improve your life. Where else can you see dragons duke it out with helicopters? Do it!

For more information about Avatar, you can visit the official website at http://www.avatarmovie.com.


1Cooler Becky’s father could not control his laughter when they first mentioned the material. Neither could Cooler Becky, in fact. They were the only people in the theatre going, “Hee hee snrk, unobtanium. Snrk hee hee…” People started looking at them funny.
2Na’vi is pronounced Navi, like a Japanese person would pronounce it. Cooler Becky has no idea why they added the apostrophe. Maybe it makes it sound more exotic.

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Responses

  1. Great Article! Thanks!

  2. The first time I heard of the material unobtainium was in the movie core. I think it had something along the lines of “mix part A with part B at absolute zero”.


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