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May 19, 2010 By: Chris Bumbray
Avatar order download
Director:
James Cameron

Actors:
3.5

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A paralyzed Marine, Jake Scully (Sam Worthington), is given the chance to walk again when he's recruited for a top-secret program involving the exploitation of an alien planet. Scully's assignment is to infiltrate the planet's indigenous population, called the Navi, through the use of a lab-grown, Navi body, which he will be able to control with his mind. After several months living among the Navi, Scully's sympathies begin to shift, especially after he falls in love with a beautiful Navi warrior (Zoe Saldana).
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
If only I knew then what I know now. That was what I was thinking upon re-reading my AVATAR review, which was posted about a week before the film went into wide release. Up to then, the buzz had actually been fairly negative, with most expecting this to be trounced by SHERLOCK HOLMES- and the so-so trailers made it seem like AVATAR could potentially be a flop. I was lucky enough to see it at an early press screening, and I was somewhat underwhelmed. Visually, it was stunning, and the 3D- a gimmick I loathe, actually worked beautifully for this film, and made me re-examine my attitude toward the technique. I also loved the way Cameron made Pandora come alive, and any reservations I had about the look of the Navi disappeared within moments.

However, the storyline struck me as completely unoriginal, and it felt like a retread of DANCES WITH WOLVES/ A MAN CALLED HORSE/ THE LAST SAMURAI. I also didn't care for the two-dimensional villains, and Sam Worthington's bland performance in the lead- although Zoe Saldana was incredible as the love interest/heroine.

That said, I REALLY underestimated the film in my original review, and a mere six months later, it stands as the highest grossing film ever (although adjusting for inflation tells another tale). Obviously, AVATAR meant a lot for many people, so I was anxious to re-examine the film after receiving a review copy of the DVD.

Having seen the film again, I stand by my criticism of the storyline/villains, and Worthington, but I think the majesty of Pandora and the Navi' makes up for these shortcomings somewhat. AVATAR is a good film (I gave it a 7/10 in my original review, which is hardly a pan), but- to me anyways, not a great one. Still, that's just my opinion, and obviously a lot of people disagree with me, which is fine. It would be boring if people always agreed on every film, and I respect the fact that to many (or most people it seems), AVATAR is a masterpiece. I respectfully disagree- but that doesn't mean it's not still pretty damn good.
THE EXTRAS
Nada- this is as barebones as can be, with not even a trailer on hand.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
I'd only recommend picking up the DVD if you haven't upgraded to blu-ray, or are too impatient to wait for the inevitable special edition, which should be out by Christmas. Still, if you only care about seeing the film, and aren't bothered by the lack of extras, the superb A/V makes this worth your while.
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