After no doubt living like a king off the stupendous profits earned by Titanic (the highest grossing film of all time), James Cameron returns to directing blockbusters with the sci-fi action film Avatar. The story is set in 2154, where humanity has discovered the planet Alpha Centuri B-4, a world of not only unimaginable treasures and resources, but also deadly life forms. Those who attempt to use the resources for their own personal gain risk not only the new planet fittingly dubbed Pandora, but also the future of earth itself and all who inhabit it.
Cameron has developed a new visual technique, a dual lens stereoscopic camera, which is the closest cinematic approximation so far to the human eye and is expected to produce the most convincing 3D experience in movie history. It will be applied to the film’s live action scenes that constitute approximately half the film, the rest will be presented through cutting edge CGI techniques. Sigourney Weaver plays the lead role, re-uniting with Cameron for the first time since Aliens, with Michelle Rodriguez and Giovanni Ribisi other notable names to sign on. Some of the film is shot in New Zealand, and Peter Jackson's Weta Digital company is on board to help with visual effects.
Academy Award winner for Best Cinematogrpahy, Art Direction and Visual Effects, 2010. Golden Globe winner for Best Film and Director, 2010. BAFTA winner for Best Special Effects and Production Design, 2010.
2009Rating: M, contains battle violence161 minsUSA
Avatar is all-enveloping and transporting, with Cameron & Co.'s years of R&D paying off with a film that, as his work has done before, raises the technical bar and throws down a challenge for the many other filmmakers toiling in the sci-fi/fantasy realm.
First, let’s be clear… Avatar is much more than a film. It’s a prescribed cinematic experience. Pure effect. The greatest sideshow on Earth... Game-changing - yes. Spectacular - absolutely. Occasional dodgy dialogue and dramatic imperfections - of course. But still - wait for it… - a titanic achievement.
Once again, [Cameron] has silenced the doubters by simply delivering an extraordinary film. There is still at least one man in Hollywood who knows how to spend $250 million, or was it $300 million, wisely.
A fully believable, flesh-and-blood (albeit not human flesh and blood) romance is the beating heart of "Avatar." Cameron has never made a movie just to show off visual pyrotechnics: Every bit of technology in "Avatar" serves the greater purpose of a deeply felt love story.
A flawed but fantastic tour de force that, taken on its merits as a film, especially in two dimensions, warrants four stars. However, if you can wrap a pair of 3D glasses round your peepers, this becomes a transcendent, full-on five-star experience that's the closest we'll ever come to setting foot on a strange new world. Just don’t leave it so long next time, eh, Jim?