Alright last night I finally went and saw the new James Cameron movie Avatar, I'm sure you have heard of it pretty much everyone is raving about it in one way or another. It is without a doubt a must see movie and one that has to be seen on the big screen as well. Sadly however in this movie you are going to see it for the effects and not the storyline.
I want to start by talking about the effects because that is one of the big things about this movie. James Cameron I think has effectively changed the way movies will be made for a lot of years to come. In a lot of ways he took the CGI technology and successfully did what George Lucas tried and failed to do with Star Wars 1 thru 3. In some of the earliest scenes we see people being woken up zero gravity and it was the most realistic scene of its style I've ever seen. All through out the movie are breath taking stunning scene, that make you just stare and try to take it all in.
One thing I have to touch on when it comes the CGI is the Mech-suits. I've always loved the idea of mecha and in so many films I've seen them done so poorly so many times. This time out I was in awe. These suits walked, fought, and were controlled in a way that made sense and felt realistic.
Now on to the storyline which while very interesting was drawn out over the course of three hours. Cameron gets things started right at the planet then kicks off the idea of Avatars with a really amazing scene. Then the next hour or so is spent with the main character learning the ways of the Aliens. This hour is filled a number of scenes that visually amazing and pleasing to the eye do little to advance the story. In a lot of ways they brought me out of the story and made me think of a kid playing with a new toy. There were long scenes of things flying about or dashing through the forest undergrowth. It was a pretty distraction, but a distraction none the less.
The basic idea of the movie is that the aliens are living over something the humans want and of course they are going to do anything they can to drive them out. So of course they try to convince them to move through the Avatar Project which fails. They then send in the troops and attack the Home Tree, this action of course puts the aliens up in arms and they fight back. The problem with this main plot point is summer up rather nicely in the line from another James Cameron movie.
Ripley: I say we take off, and nuke the site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.
I'm fairly critical of the movie as a whole because I was expecting so much more. In the end it really delivered on the effects and like I said it will hopefully change the way films are made going food. If you like great visual special effects then this is a movie to see and see often. But at the same don't go expecting to much out of the storyline.