More Of MisenPOPic!

Monday, December 21, 2009

MisenPOPic Movie Review: Avatar

I don't think I have seen a more hyped blockbuster movie coming to a theater near me in the past few years. Probably not since the Lord Of The Rings movies back in 2001-2003 has there been such a movie with so much hype. And I wasn't really too impressed with those movies with the exception of the third film, Return Of The King. So when James Cameron's much ballyhooed movie Avatar came out this past week, I was a little hesitant to buy into the hype. Hearing things like how Avatar would change the way future movies are made and includes the best live-action computer generated effects might just be the work of a good studio PR man working his magic. But the reviews started filtering in with many critics including the movie on their Top 10 Lists of 2009 and even talking about possible Oscar nominations for best picture of the year. Seriously, has James Cameron ever made a bad movie? The Abyss might have been his worst, and that movie was pretty amazing. So with my cousin Zachary coming up for the holidays this past weekend, and the Vikings not playing until Sunday night, I figured it would be as good a time as any to see the movie. And...

WOW!!!! I loved this movie. And this is coming from somebody who is hesitant to hand out praise for movies of this caliber because the movie directors of today don't make 'em like they used to. The CGI in this movie is so amazing that it makes the Star Wars prequel characters such as Jar Jar Binks look like Muppets. James Cameron also created an amazing original story featuring interesting worlds, characters, and creatures. Avatar probably is the most visually stunning movie I have ever seen. Sam Worthington, Sigourney Weaver, Zoe Saldana, that dude from Dodgeball: The Movie (Joel David Moore), and Giovanni Ribisi were outstanding. The main antagonist played by Stephen Lang was a total bad-ass who I couldn't stop rooting against. Hell, even Michelle Rodriquez redeemed herself with her great acting after her abysmal performance as Ana-Lucia from Lost. The special effects, cinematography, action scenes, and sound effects were top notch. Of course you know that if you read my blog on a constant basis, how important movie scores are to me and their impact on making a good movie great. James Horner might have contributed his best score ever for this film, and I'll be shocked if he doesn't win the Oscar in March for Best Movie Score. I'll have to get my hands on this soundtrack immediately.

It's pretty much a done deal that Avatar is winning all of the special effects Academy awards to go along with the soundtrack for James Horner. Is it a serious contender for Best Picture? I feel it might deserve to be nominated, but can't compete with Up In The Air or Nine. The only knock I have on the movie is that it probably was 45 minutes too long. There also was an additional battle scene in the movie that wasn't necessary. For this reason, I had to drop the grade down slightly. I also appreciated the 3-D, but I care more about story over substance. Besides, I'd rather watch great battle scenes without the big glasses adorned on my face. Otherwise, Avatar lived up to the hype which is something that usually doesn't happen in this day and age. Avatar was the best movie I have seen this year, and also a movie I plan on watching over and over regardless of the two hour and 45 minute time frame. Fifteen years from now, Avatar will be to my cousin and his generation what Star Wars is to me and my generation!! And those are some huge words of gratitude!

Grade: A (Exceeded Expectations which is impressive considering how high the expectations already were!)


  1. Im not arguing with your opinion of the movie but how can you see its an "original story". We've seen this story many, many times in movies. "Dances With Wolves" "Pocahantas" "The Last Samurai" all have the same basic story as Avatar.

  2. the theme is the same as Dances With Wolves and Lat Samurai, but the story is unique in terms of the characters and their relationships. Cameron has even said that he used Dances With Wolves as an inspiration for the movie. The overall arc of the story including the main character's handicap, the research and difference in philosophy between Sigourney Weaver and the corporate people, and the use of the actual avatars in a world where humans can't live. I also haven't seen Dances With Wolves! But you can find all movies take from other movies, but Cameron still did a great job. also remember he wrote this story many years ago but didn't have the technology he needed to create it.

  3. You are better off not seeing Dances With Wolves. I didn't think any of the characters were that original or good either. I actually can't even remember a single characters name from the movie. I thought long portions of the movie were dull and boring. It also bothered me alot when they let Sam Worthingtons character stay in the jungle as an Avatar overnight. I mean they give him almost no chance of surviving yet won't pull the plug on him because pulling the plug is even more dangerous then spending the night in the jungle. Yet later in the movie on 3 occassions they pull the plugs on Avatars and they survive it. It didnt happen one time,but three. Also they shouldn't have done the thing where they tried to make Sigourney Weavers character a Navi because it made it too obvious thats how the movie would end. I thought the movie was good,but far from great. Id give it a B.