Saturday, 16 January 2010

Film Review: Avatar.

I watched this film over the Christmas period with my boyfriend, and it was THE film that I absolutely, most definitely had to watch on the big screen, and in 3D. It was a really good film, but I'll get the negatives out the way first.
The 3D glasses were ridiculously oversized and I spent most of the time holding it up with my finger. I could also very clearly see the frame around my eye which was very distracting!! I then thought about children going to watch it, what a struggle that would be! 3D has been around for ages, and I was surprised to see that there wasn't really much improvement at all with the way of viewing 3D...this unfortunately slightly spoiled the film for me, especially as the 3D lens is quite dark, and as I took them off for a moment to rub my eye, I noticed how vibrant the colours looked on the screen. However, I obviously had to continue wearing them for the entire film as the picture was blurry which was to cater for the 3D affect. If I had known, I would have definitely sacrificed 3D and watched it 2D, with crisp, vibrant colours.So, now the negatives are out the way, I can talk about the film! This blurb on Wikipedia sums it up really well: "The film is set in the year 2154 on Pandora, a moon in the Alpha Centauri star system. Humans are engaged in mining Pandora's reserves of a precious mineral, while the Na'vi —a race of indigenous humanoids—resist the colonists' expansion, which threatens the continued existence of the Na'vi and the Pandoran ecosystem. The film's title refers to the genetically engineered bodies used by the film's characters to interact with the Na'vi."Avatar is definitely my style of film. It has the perfect mix of Sci-Fi and Fantasy, extraordinarily beautiful scenery and most importantly, a good mix of male and female actors. Because of the latter, I felt that Avatar was very 'female-friendly' as a lot of the Sci-Fi films that I love such as Terminator, Robocop and Alien don't appeal to my female friends at all. Admittedly, I'm not sure if I would have liked the Alien films as much as I do, if Sigourney Weaver's character Ripley, was male.However, in Avatar, there were many strong female characters. Neytiri is a princess from the Omaticaya (a Na'vi clan) and she was wonderful to watch. She was 'played' by actress Zoe Saldana and I felt she did quite a good job with this character, although when she was speaking english, I often noticed inconsistencies in the accent - it was either accented (as it should be) but sometimes it wasn't.
Sigourney Weaver was excellent as Grace (a botanist) and Michelle Rodriguez very much suited her role as a marine fighter pilot as she had that familiar feisty attitude also noted in her other films.The Na'vi were definitely interesting, but I wish they were more unique looking, to the point that I would have to really think at the inspiration behind them...but it was clear that African tribes were a huge inspiration, they had a similar hairstyle, body art rituals and jewellery...I could also see a nod towards the feline species and vampire-like teeth - but the latter might just be me being a little vampire-obsessive.
The plot was quite predictable, but the effects and realism of the planet Pandora and the Na'vi was good enough for it to not be a problem! As I watched the film, it highly reminded me of an animation I had on video (yes, a video tape!) that I literally watched every weekend as a child called 'Ferngully: The Last Rainforest' (1992)...where instead of Na'vi, we have fairies!...and as the lead male was called Jake Sully, which had a similar ring to Ferngully, I became quite convinced! Also things like the floating islands really reminded me of something I'd see in the Final Fantasy games.Overall, the film was superb, despite the bad 3D glasses and I would definitely recommend that you at least watch it at the cinema first, before you get the DVD. I also read somewhere that if it was successful enough (I don't know how a film that has been in production for over a decade can't be successful!), there will be sequels...so I look forward to seeing them!
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