Sunday, December 20, 2009

Avatar (2009)

Avatar made a worldwide gross of $1,025,378,961 in 17 days! James Cameron might beat his previous record of $1,835,300,000 worldwide for Titanic! Aren't I psychic? James Cameron has made a great comeback and Avatar is a brilliant mixture of action, adventure, romance, drama, and fantasy.

The plot revolves around a paraplegic marine, Jake Sully, who is involved in an extraordinary mission taking place in Pandora, which is the distant moon with toxic air that is light years away. Within Pandora, the Omaticaya tribe of Na'vi, 10 feet tall blue human-like creatures, happens to be inhabited just above a vast amount of rich minerals known as Unobtanium that are worth millions since it could possibly save earth from the energy crisis. The humans plan to force the Na'vi to leave their land so they could mine for the precious Unobtanium. A human could be mentally linked to an avatar as long as they are genetically similar. Jake’s twin brother, Tom, was part of the Pandora program and also had his own genetically engineered avatar. However, after he died, Jake agreed to take his place in the mission. While exploring Pandora and encountering numerous strange creatures with sharp fangs, piercing talons, and thundering roars, he meets Neytiri, who is a Na'vi and part of the Omaticaya tribe. Neytiri becomes Jake's mentor, teaching him many things ranging from archery, learning the Na'vi language, flying large bird-like Banshees, riding Direhorses, and many more. As the inevitable mission of the humans transpires to mine for the Unobtanium beneath the home-tree of the Na'vi tribe, the Avatar intervenes after witnessing such inhuman acts led by Colonel Quaritch. However, by defending the Na'vi, Jake has not only betrayed his own people, now becoming their enemy, but also lost the trust of Neytiri and her tribe. Now, the alienated Avatar has reached the defining moment to execute his own plan...

So far, Avatar is the most expensive film in history, costing approximately $230,000,000. Being the most anticipated film of 2009, Avatar made $232 million just over the weekend! I wouldn't be surprised if the film makes a billion dollars! James Cameron actually intended to film Avatar just after Titanic in 1997, however, he delayed it in order to let the technology catch up first, which nearly left a 10 year gap between the two films. Apparently, the long wait was worthwhile with superb results. The visual effects is stunningly realistic and takes the audience’s breath away as their eyes are glued on screen and they are transported into the mysterious world of Pandora. Filming Avatar requires meticulous work and every detail counts. The environment of Pandora includes phantasmagorical plants, colossal floating mountains, breath-taking scenes, and unique creatures.

Let’s not forget that Avatar is not just an animation film, where the characters are put into motion through the computer while the actors do voice-overs. This film is %60 CGI and %40 live action. During production, the actors would wear special suits so the camera could capture the character’s motion and they would have small green dots drawn all over their faces so that their facial expressions are visible. In addition, actors and actresses would have to go through months of training in order to learn how to fight. James Cameron also sent the crew out to the jungles in Hawaii in order to let the actors and actresses get the feel of the forest. Paul Frommer, a linguist, actually invented the Na’vi language, creating 1000 words. The main characters were taught the correct pronunciation and how to speak fluently. Avatar is the evolution of filmmaking and is without doubt the best movie I have ever seen! No one could possibly forget about the exceptional visual effects. Describing the film as a hybrid of live action and CGI, James Cameron said, “Ideally at the end of the day the audience has no idea which they’re looking at.” HD Trailer

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