What can I say about James Cameron that if he read it wouldn’t make his head grow ten times bigger? The man has directed some of the best movie and for any which have revolutionized recent cinema not to mention making it near impossible for another director to triumph in the sequel i.e. Terminator. Nevertheless, Cameron did it again with his 2009 box office smash Avatar. To rub insult to injury he then released an extended version which showed the true imagination of Cameron and his Pandora vision. Not to mention showing a more descriptive idea of his 2035 earth.
In essence Avatar story has been controversial at best. As we see (or believe we see) many ethical and political issues with the context of the film. As for the story it replicates and - if not to so bold – parallels the pilgrims going over to the new world with a Sci-fi twist. Jake Sully an ex-marine journeys to the magical world Pandora - A newly discovered planet – in the replacement of his brother who was sent to control an Avatar – or in other terms a mechanically body that replicate the feature of body it’s host and the natives of Pandora. Whilst in link Sully learns the way of the native a gains there trust in essence of moving their tribe. Unbeknown to him that it will see Sully ultimately falls in love with the ways of the native and even the Chiefs daughter. In result Sully turns rogue on humankind to defend them as the ‘Earth People turn violent
With such a big movie and ask. Cameron use of historical events, a artistic licence open the pathway for a plausible and effective story needed for such a complex environment. The ideas put forward of the inner evils of our race and the mistreating of a less developed population caused stir in society. Yet Cameron uses it to make us perceive the ideology of ourselves. Without doubt having trace to the old stories of the pilgrim and the Native Americans. Cameron displays the story a political issue, which with the advancement in space program needs to be looked at. Making Cameron’s story relevant to the present day, and for this reason, making the story a powerful tool, for such a powerful movie. Therefore ‘at first, Avatar is a bit disconcerting. The lush landscapes, the primeval forests bursting with alien life, the gorgeously lithe Na'vi and their graceful yet strong athletic movements -- it's impossible not to marvel at the creative prowess involved here. – Bill Gibron
The characters on the other hand feel a little questionable and in some ways highly racist as many native are acted by black people and yet on the side of the ‘Sky people’ only one marine share the same skin colour. As with the storyline the character has raised issue and yet for viewer who takes the film for what it is. The characters in some respect resemble the same ying and yang scenario which we face in most movies of its genre. Nevertheless with it racial slant (obvious overlook on Cameron’s part) make for a bad choice as the respect issue of our inner evil feels more of an attack on Caucasian suggesting that we still have racist soul as well as implying the native as the black people as the less developed part of our species. Still the CGI of the character are uncanny to the actors/actresses appearance in reality and defiantly a feat. For a CG fanatic or a professional CG artist the biggest element of the character is their improvement on ‘Uncanny Valley’. Although still present; we can see more emotion in the eyes then standard 3D film. In turn we are able to sympathise more with the CGI than we had before. As we can see the sadness in the eyes of Sully as he loses Dr Grace to Ewa after being shot. Although nit picking at the racial slant the character have Cameron’s films has played host in this respect to the beginning of a more sophisticated character model in which animator can progress on to eradicate the big issue of uncanny valley.
Yet the main success of the movie was its vast environment topping the creativity of Froud in Jin Henson’s classic Dark Crystal. Avatar place host to the biggest and most detailed environment, ever to be rendered out of a 3D package. Not to mention doing it with style. Cameron envision this feat way back in the 70’s and now has brought it literally to life as viewer are in awe of it complexity. The best of which are the night scenes as the vegetation literal glows with life. Not to mention my infatuation that you could personally re-act Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean video with the glowing of every item you touch. Not to mention it vastness catalogue in animal life. Immediately make viewers believe in its possibility of being true. In some reports depressing viewers as they want to actual go there. What is nice to see though is that Cameron didn’t taking though glowing too far and stuck only with the vegetation and the selected elements on creature as a complete glow of a native would only leave viewer to believe that Sully had entered some sought of ultra violet disco. Still the night isn’t the only clever and brilliant landscaping of Pandora as day come round the scenery is magnificent. In question the ideology behind the floating mountains is a little hazy – considering they are floating due to Unobtainium being a super conductor (mention in part of the extended scenes) and yet the sky people are able to use their weapons and vehicles without them being attracted to the magnetic pull of the material. The first glimpse of them prove to be breathe taken so much so it like looking the vast expanse of the grand Canyon or even the height of Everest. Needless to say CG department did wonders for the lush environment, possible because as a sci-fi forestation has never been touched or for the fact the pure idea of such a vast expanse of the natural elements. Leads the viewers to perceive Pandora as Utopia or a beautiful paradise – minus all the animals that seem to be gunning to kill Sully. Yet the excellence starts and finishes with Pandora. With the extended version we get to see how earth is perceived in the eyes of Cameron or when looking at environment any director who has worked on a sci-fi set. In essence, when Sully looks up in the scene where he is thrown out of the club. ‘the design is Blade Runner Lite and it feels less epic than the impressionistic collage that kicks off the theatrical version.’ – Nick de Semlyen. As well as the scene inside looks like the bar scene from ‘Revenge of the Sith’ on Coruscant. But for an intro to the movie I can see its appeal and with no question ask it simile for Cameron’s (and many other directors) belief of our planet turning into nothing more than a concrete jungle when deforestation become factual. For a viewer it quite simple makes another issue about the deforestation problem occurring worldwide in the present day.
Still Cameron didn’t stop there with his efforts to make such a mind blowing picture as his introduction of 3D. Did no more than heighten the experience for its viewer. Instead of bringing you into the movie with the customary tricks, with a widescreen or even Imax image filled with sweeping landscapes and big action, he uses 3-D seemingly to close the space between the audience and the screen. He brings the movie to you. – Manhola Darglis. An effected unprecedented in the medium and it’s effectiveness being outstanding and literally immersing the viewer into the world. Placing us on a chaotic and yet in some ways euphoric Pandora.
In conclusion the film is another Victoria Cross to add to Cameron’s accolades of in genius movie making, for once again he shown the way for film industry. As well as conquering the environmental aspects of a film. The film is most defiantly a must watch as it explore the boundaries of CGI and moviemaking not to mention pushing them further where possible. The uniqueness and individuality of his imagery in some ways clouds are vision towards a well though story (not casting) and yet any viewer wouldn’t mind sitting down and watching it for it pure beauty of the landscape of Pandora. For this reason many will be anxious to see the next instalment of the supposed trilogy. Hopeful making Avatar the first saga accolade James will be able to claim alongside fellow director like Lucas’ with Indiana and Star Wars as well as Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings. A disappointing thought is if Cameron re-enacts his experience with the Terminator series. By only directing two and leaving the other for director less suited for the roll.