Avatar

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!

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Terminator: Salvation (spoiler alert)

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I can’t really say I expected much from this movie, and it didn’t really live up to my already low expectations. The story begins with a scenario from left field. A man on death row donated his body to science….science being Cyberdine systems. With no real explanation, he is turned into a Terminator. Keep in mind that when the T-600s came out, they were supposedly top of the line, yet this one was supposedly made before those? Doesn’t really say, I could be wrong there. The story was so weak that there wasn’t much going on unless someone was blowing the shit out of something. The supposed new terminator didn’t even look that great, in fact some scenes I would label as bad. Especially the scenes with the Terminators face with the machinery showing through. Very obvious it was simple green screen with digital pictures put in, and not even done that well.

The big plot line….humans get captured, rescue humans. Really nothing to it, There you go. Christian Bale….well, he seemed to still be talking like Batman in the Dark Knight. He brought nothing to the role. All of the performances were sub par, and that coupled with the over simplified plot, makes for a pretty bad movie. The only thing that kept me remotely interested was al of the throwbacks and homages to the original 2 Cameron films. From the Guns and Roses song, to the quote “I’ll be back” and even to the scar left on Bale’s face. All that did really was make me think how great the 2 Cameron movies are and made me want to go back and re-watch them again. I might need to go purchase the new T2 Skynet edition that just came out on blu ray. In fact that is my advice to you….go watch the first two Terminators, better use of your time.