Finally, AVATAR! Can’t believe that James Cameron finally has a new film out after a long wait from his last movie….that ¬†little film called Titanic. The Director of True Lies and Aliens delivers again. The film follows an ex-marine, Jake Sully, who is wheelchair bound, to Pandora. His twin brother was recently killed and Jake has the same DNA, a necessity to take over his brothers Avatar. The Avatars are used by the marines to attempt to infiltrate the local natives, the Navi. The Navi are living directly above a large deposit of valuable minerals, and Jake’s job is to try to get the Navi to relocate in order to mine the region. Of course once Jake has infiltrated the Navi, he finds himself more a part of the Navi than he realizes.

As far as performances, to me there were no really outstanding performances. Everyone in the film was solid, but nothing that is going to stir up the Academy for an Oscar. Jake Sully is played by Sam Worthington who was in this past summers Terminator Salvation. Sigourney Weaver (Aliens, Death and the Maiden) is once again teamed up with Cameron as Dr. Grace Augustine, the local scientist and expert on the Navi culture. Giovanni Ribisi (Saving Private Ryan) plays company man Parker, and Stephen Lang (Gettysburg, Public Enemies) is the macho-over-the-top kill the natives colonel.

On to the special effects, and yes they were special! My opinion, Oscars all around for the special effects team. The entire film is visually stunning and well worth catching on the big screen. In fact it is a must to catch on the big screen, with such sweeping shots, and panoramic scenes, definitely a must! I might also mention the 3D, well worth seeing it in 3D as well. It never is distracting to the movie, it enhances the film and does not take away at all. It was nice to see this element used in this way, and not have the cheap 3D gags throughout, like a sword being pointed at you or items coming at you for no other reason than to remind you that you are watching a 3D movie.

To sum it all up, this is worth going to see for sure. It has already been nominated for Best Picture at the Golden Globes. Even though I think this is a must see on the big screen, by no means is it a fresh storyline, which I really wanted from Cameron. The movie really played out like Dances With Wolves or The Emerald Forest. And I was even reminded of other Cameron films, the Ribisi character Parker seemed like a company man right out of Aliens with the same agenda. The military ships even reminded me of the landing craft in Aliens. Ok, even the score done by James Horner was even a bit too much reminiscent of Titanic. So by no means is this film perfect in my eyes. It is jawdropping beautiful and it is something like you have never seen before. The only thing I can compare it to is seeing Star Wars for the first time as a boy in grade school. The imagination and creativity put into this film is something to see for sure!



053939613926Any person that is into military history or the civil war should see this film. Although it has a whopping running time of roughly 4 hours and 21 minutes. Even at that length there are still lots of details about the battle of Gettysburg and the days preceding it that were omitted. Still, a very in depth look at Gettysburg and seeing the battle unfold in the end takes about an hour in itself. The final battle was massive in scale as far as soldiers, yet probably did not come close as to how large of scale it really was. Over the three day period, more men were lost at Gettysburg than the entire Vietnam War.

This film has many characters, but only a few really hold together well as characters in the film itself. I would have loved to have seen more about General George Pickett played by Stephen Lang. That is just a personal preference though. In my opinion Jeff Daniels (Speed) gives the best performance. He also had the most “moving” material to work with, with having a brother under his command and the the key figure in the battle at Little Round Top. Tom Berringer (The Gingerbread Man) also gives a nice performance as General Longstreet, who stays true to character in his beliefs of taking a defensive strategy and is even remorseful about giving the command at Gettysburg, knowing it will be an ill fated attempt. Martin Sheen (The Departed) makes a good General Lee and others have notable performances….Richard Jordan, Sam Elliot and Kevin Conway to name a few.

A salute needs to go out to Ted Turner for making this film happen. From What I remember, it was originally going to be made for TV until they realized they had something special. It is truely a specticle to see. Even if it takes two nights to take this film in, it is well worth it.