ARROW IN THE HEAD REVIEWS

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Avatar (2009)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: James Cameron

Starring:
Sam Worthington /Jake
Zoe Saldana/Neytir
Stephen Lang/Colonel Miles
Sigourney Weaver/Grace
PLOT-CRUNCH
Ex Marine Jake Sully (Sam Worthington), is sent to a planet named Pandora to take part in the Avatar program. Meaning; he goes to sleep and his mind is linked to a man-made alien body. In alien form, he eventually mingles with the planet’s alien inhabitants, falls in love and realizes that his exploitation inclined human comrades are way out of line as to what they “want” from the natives (known as the Navi).Guess what happens?
THE LOWDOWN

Everything is backwards now, like out there is the true world and in here is the dream - Sully

James Cameron is one of my favorite directors of all time (along with Lynch, Argento, Eastwood, Polanski, Woo and Stallone) and to say that his films have shaped the way I see cinema, specially the action and sci fi genres would be going about it lightly. ALIENS and THE TERMINATOR have had such a hefty influence on me, its not even funny. Flawless works of celluloid art in my book! Now I have been jonesing for some new Cameron, big screen loving since 1997’ TITANIC (yes I dug that one too) and now his new baby has finally dived out of the slit in the guise of the 3D, digital effects extravaganza AVATAR. Was it worth the wait? Yes and no.

AVATAR stuck me to its web and ate me alive quicker than you can spell EYE and POPPING. It introduced me to a likable hero (Sully played by Sam Worthington) and slapped him (and me) in quite the peculiar situation. Although not all that they could have been (more on that later), the chain of events, growing relationships and the conflicts that followed kept me hooked the whole way. I was having a blast! The setting this story took place in was a big plus as well. I quickly grew fond of the Navi world; with its majestic mountains, waterfalls, trees and its countless unique beasties. In a perfect life, I'd vacation there someday, scratch that, I'd MOVE there! The digital effects definitely translated much better on the big screen than they did in the trailers. I believed and awed at the marvels of the world I was avatared in and that of course augmented the impact of the story. Throughout, I kept thinking: George Lucas only wishes he could be this good with digital effects. The money was on the screen and spent brilliantly. F*cking amazing!

What about the 3D you may ask? Well personally, I valued that the usual “shit coming out the screen” 3D shtick was kept to a minimum here. It would have been distracting for a movie of this ilk. All the 3D did for me was jack the feel of me almost being there, IN the film and in that respect it got the job done aces high. Casting wise, Cameron has always had a flair for picking the right actors for his movies and here was no different. Sam Worthington made for an endearing hero. I personally think the dude rocks! The camera loves him and he has a quiet intensity that gets me (He should be the next Mad Max if Gibson is a no go- I said it!). Furthermore, crazy pumped up Stephen Lang had a hoot with his fairly one note part; Zoe Saldana was solid, communicating so much within the limits of being a blue alien while Sigourney Weaver stole every damn scene she was in with her tough as nails yet big softy show. Long live the Queen!

Cameron himself was in top form too! The man hasn’t mellowed with age that’s for sure! He graced his picture with nifty camera moves (loved his often subjective approach to the storytelling), an impressive attention to details and delivered a smooth as Victoria Secret model ass pace. Moreover, the slew of ambitious, flawlessly staged and executed large scale action sequences were exhilarating to witness. I saw shite hereI had never seen before! NICE! Thematically; this sucka didn’t thread new ground but I have to admit that the “message” hit home none the less. The way I saw it, the Navi were living the way that us humans should be living; with respect to our planet while being one with it and its inhabitants. They lived a real reality, with TRUE values, as opposed to a society constructed and imposed one. Yup, I related to what the film was saying, it evoked points that I often think about in my every day wasting. Finally the production designs were stellar (the various military vehicles got me hard) and the humor that would pop out now and again added to the fun of it all.

Alas, all wasn’t tops in this Zoo. AVATAR’s story was incredibly predictable and clichéd within the “outsider gets in with the enemy, falls in love and joins them” subgenre. I was able to see the film coming every step of the way; I’m not playing here, EVERY DAMN step of the way! So that definitely took away from it. The same went for the relationships, some of the characterizations and the conflicts which were presented in a one dimensional way. Why wasn’t I moved more by the love story? Why didn’t Jake’s struggle with his dual life hit me harder? Cause the script only scratched the surface. Reminded me a bit of Disney animated movies. Not what I’d expect from Cameron. And was I alone in thinking that the score was solely serviceable? James Horner, who gave us the AWESOME music in ALIENS (which he ripped beats off here BTW) can do so much better. Underwhelming.

Now I don’t want ya to get me wrong here, see AVATAR on the big screen, its ideal escapism, with lots of che and ching on the screen, appealing actors, insane actions scenes and a 3D jive that will suck you in deep into this adventure. But I was hoping for more originality and layers from King Cameron and I didn’t get it. You gonna link up to this humanoid and take the trip?

GORE
Nothing to see here in this department! Folks got hit by arrows, there was some light blood and aliens died, mowed down by guns or squashed.
T & A
If blue alien dames with hair covering their nips is your thing; you’ll be in heaven here. Captain Kirk would have a condom-less blast on this planet!
BOTTOM LINE
AVATAR was an easy paced and rocking visual feast! It also had an awesome cast, genius prod designs, stand out 3D, visceral action bits and probably the best digital effects I have ever seen. Unfortunately, the script was of the connect the dots variety (a hand puppet could second guess this flick) and the characters/conflicts were addressed in a superficial manner, hurting the movie in the process. AVATAR should have been emotionally charged – the story begged for it – somehow it wasn’t. See it on the big screen, the way it’s meant to be seen (I may see it again with expectations out of the way), marvel at the countless technical achievements. but if you’re looking for another THE ABYSS, this isn’t it.
BULL'S EYE
Michael Biehn was considered to play Col. Quaritch. But after he cast Sigourney Weaver, Cameron thought casting Biehn would make the film to ALIENS-esque.

Michelle Rodriguez (es tu Vasquez) and Giovanni Ribisi also have small roles in the film.

Wes Studi plays the alien leader Eytucan.

The flick cost aboyt $230,000,000 to make. DAMN!

LINK UP TO THE AVATAR SITE HERE

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12:34AM on 10/04/2012

Most Overrated Movie of ALL TIME

When I went into Avatar i expected something i have never seen before. Instead, what i got was a fusion of five different good movies spliced into one that in at times came across very corny to me. James Cameron trademark keep the action going just when you think its over (think the Queen Alien vs. Ripley i n the loader, the terminator skeleton chase sequence etc.) I felt what we got is Dances with Wolves, meets the end fight of Aliens, meets Titanic. Liked it at times, but overall I thought it
When I went into Avatar i expected something i have never seen before. Instead, what i got was a fusion of five different good movies spliced into one that in at times came across very corny to me. James Cameron trademark keep the action going just when you think its over (think the Queen Alien vs. Ripley i n the loader, the terminator skeleton chase sequence etc.) I felt what we got is Dances with Wolves, meets the end fight of Aliens, meets Titanic. Liked it at times, but overall I thought it was cheesy. The type of cheese I can't look past and i've been known to look past some cheesy shit. Bottom line, I just didn't get mesmerized by the Avatar hype and I really wanted to. Drag...
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+0
3:51PM on 01/18/2010

Visually Stunning

Hello fellow Avatar'ers...

I went to see this movie for the special effects. I didn't have any pre-conceived ideas about character developments or plots/sub-plots, I just wanted to see what James Cameron was going to do to my brain pan with his visuals. I was not disappointed. The IMAX 3-D images were off the charts. I fell in love with Pandora. Sure, it's a movie with a classic storyline, man takes over alien (whatever - land, minerals, women) and good guy sees the indigenous strife
Hello fellow Avatar'ers...

I went to see this movie for the special effects. I didn't have any pre-conceived ideas about character developments or plots/sub-plots, I just wanted to see what James Cameron was going to do to my brain pan with his visuals. I was not disappointed. The IMAX 3-D images were off the charts. I fell in love with Pandora. Sure, it's a movie with a classic storyline, man takes over alien (whatever - land, minerals, women) and good guy sees the indigenous strife and lends a hand. Plus, there's definitely an anti-war/political message. But, you know what, you have to be in the right state of mind to cut through the chafe and see the movie for what it is, a mesmerizing, wish I lived there experience that occupies 150 minutes of our little humanoid lives. After seeing this film, I personally want to slather on a gallon of the slipperiest body oil and find the closest worm hole that will take me to Pandora.

My family is welcome to join, but I'm not too concerned if they don't. I'm sure one of the Na'vi WOMEN would love to wrap themselves around a hunky humanoid such as myself.

Oh yeah, I won't forget to take my breath mask...
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10:21AM on 12/21/2009
Ok, to those who mentioned Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and even Jurassic Park...I can tell you one thing those movies had that made them classics that Avatar didn't: CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT.
"Great characters"??? Really, cause I didn't see any. There were no characters, just predicatable, cliche'd, less than mediocre characters we've seen in any other movie like this. Just watch FernGully and then the news about Iraq and you get Avatars story. Avatar was 5 min of talking then 10 minutes of
Ok, to those who mentioned Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and even Jurassic Park...I can tell you one thing those movies had that made them classics that Avatar didn't: CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT.
"Great characters"??? Really, cause I didn't see any. There were no characters, just predicatable, cliche'd, less than mediocre characters we've seen in any other movie like this. Just watch FernGully and then the news about Iraq and you get Avatars story. Avatar was 5 min of talking then 10 minutes of scenery, 5 min talking 10 minutes of scenery, etc. This movie was obviously made for the graphics and not the story. Cameron insults our intellegence by starting the movie with Sully saying he has a twin brother who was shot for money a week before the mission was launched. Already in the first 5 minutes we have to stretch our imaginations for some crappy explanation. Like arrow said, it would have been better if emotionally charged. I felt something I think when Hometree was blown to bits...that's about it. It was a good movie, but story-wise it was a disaster.
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1:01AM on 12/21/2009

You've never seen a movie like this!!

First off I must say I'm rather disapointed that Arrow only gave this a 3 but whatever, he's entitled to his own opinions as we all are. This movie sucked me right in and at a time of 3 hrs I never even noticed that that it was coming up for 2am at the showing I went to! Yes the story has been done before but you know what, these days hollywood regurgitates everything over and over again so for me, the story worked perfectly and imo there isn't a single thing I would change about this movie! It
First off I must say I'm rather disapointed that Arrow only gave this a 3 but whatever, he's entitled to his own opinions as we all are. This movie sucked me right in and at a time of 3 hrs I never even noticed that that it was coming up for 2am at the showing I went to! Yes the story has been done before but you know what, these days hollywood regurgitates everything over and over again so for me, the story worked perfectly and imo there isn't a single thing I would change about this movie! It was just perfect 100%
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11:06PM on 12/18/2009

A masterpiece...

Avatar is a flawlessly executed action blockbuster. Yes the story is simple, but so are the stories to Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Jurassic Park. Movies are about emotion, they are about the experience. All the great blockbusters of the past were just this, and Avatar follows right along with them. Avatar gave us great characters, a heartfelt story, brilliant effects, and superb direction. This film just made the #1 spot on my 'Top Films of 2009' list.
Avatar is a flawlessly executed action blockbuster. Yes the story is simple, but so are the stories to Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Jurassic Park. Movies are about emotion, they are about the experience. All the great blockbusters of the past were just this, and Avatar follows right along with them. Avatar gave us great characters, a heartfelt story, brilliant effects, and superb direction. This film just made the #1 spot on my 'Top Films of 2009' list.
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+0
3:52AM on 12/13/2009

Shoulda cast Biehn...

He shoulda popped Biehn in there. No one woulda cared about the ALIENS connection. Cameron has stated though, that he wanted to work with Stephen Lang for awhile, so it's still all okay. Both are great character actors.
He shoulda popped Biehn in there. No one woulda cared about the ALIENS connection. Cameron has stated though, that he wanted to work with Stephen Lang for awhile, so it's still all okay. Both are great character actors.
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1:15AM on 12/13/2009

So many people will trash this

Hyped movie = Attention seeking negative people or naive idiots who expect movies to be as good or scary (Paranormal Activity) as they're made out to be
Hyped movie = Attention seeking negative people or naive idiots who expect movies to be as good or scary (Paranormal Activity) as they're made out to be
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+0
8:24PM on 12/11/2009

cant wait

got my tickets for the midnight showing at my imax
got my tickets for the midnight showing at my imax
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