Graphics, Bioluminescence & Sex – AVATAR is pretty much awesome

French Release.

Avatar is my new favourite movie. It’s incredible. It seriously reminds me of a cross between Apocalypto and the Star Trek universe. I hate to say it, but George Lucas has nothing on James Cameron when it comes to graphics.

The Story and Production Background Info

Avatar is a 2009 film that is an epic science-fiction and fantasy adventure written and directed by James Cameron. It stars Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Michelle Rodriguez and Stephen Lang. The film is set in the year 2154 on a fictional planet, in a far away system called Pandora. Humans colonize Pandora’s surface to procure a very valuable mineral called unobtanium. As they cut away at Pandora’s natural resources to get what they want, the Na’vi (an indigenous race of humanoids) resist the human colonialism and revolt.

The film’s title, Avatar, refers to a genetically engineered body made to resemble a Na’vi individual. It looks, moves and functions exactly like a real Na’vi, except it’s controlled remotely by the mind of a human. That’s the only real difference between an ‘avatar’ and a Na’vi. Basically, it’s as if, the human controlling the flesh Na’vi ‘avatar’ is actually the humanoid, experiencing everything it experiences as well. (source)

Update: Na’vi have 4 fingers, the Avatars have 5 like humans.

James Cameron wrote the script, the language and all aspects of the culture of Pandora. The music was composed by James Horner, who also teamed up with James Cameron for the film Titanic.

Scandanavian Release.

Avatar was released in both 2-D, 3-D and IMAX 3-D formats, with an official budget of $237 million, plus another $280-$310 million to produce and another $150 million for all of its marketing, advertising and public relations.

After 17 days in release, Avatar topped $1 billion in worldwide sales, making it the third highest-grossing film of all time, the fifth to gross more than $1 billion globally.

In case you were wondering, number one is James Cameron’s Titanic. Yes, it would seem like he is, “king of the world!” :)

Why Critics and ‘Haters’ Stink … A Lot

As I mentioned in a previous post, I don’t understand why a lot of people are going on and on about how disappointed they are/were with the film. I’m trying to get an understanding for people’s expectations because I simply don’t get it. Granted there are people who genuinely don’t like it because it’s not their cup of tea; I don’t think you’ll see them rallying the troops to say how terrible it was.

I find this especially true because before the film was even released, a lot of people were predicting what a disappointment it would be.

Aren’t they sorry they jumped the gun now.

It’s my belief that all those people who are ‘hating’ on the film are
A) not Science Fiction/Fantasy fans and/or
B) simply ‘hating’ for lack of a better term, because they are looking for an excuse to be negative about the film.

Like I said, those people who genuinely don’t like the movie aren’t the ones you’re going to see out there culting about in an anti-Avatar fashion.

The storyline is actually very creative, contrary to critics and alike. The creation of Pandora (the planet) and the circle of life between the Na’vi people and Pandora reinforce a lot of beliefs from indigenous cultures. That’s one of my favourite tidbits about the film. I love how everything is connected.

For example, the Na’vi have long ponytails that have hair on their end-tips. When that hair is parted, these squiggly, thin, tentacle-like things swirl. This appendage enable the Na’vi to communicate and bond with all of the animal-life on Pandora, but also connect to their own version of Mother Earth (aka the planet), Ewya. This Mother Earth or Mother Nature, so to speak, is ever present in the Na’vi home called Home Tree and their ‘base,’ The Tree of Souls. It’s very The Lion King in a sense, where everything is connected through a circle of life. This connection is a bio-botanical neural network, according to Sigourney Weaver’s character, Doctor Augustine.

I think anthropology, mythology and ‘classics’ folks will also really love Avatar just based on that.

A Planet Worth Saving

Another really great point that James Cameron made, very a la Leo DiCaprio and Al Gore, is the importance of the ecology of our planet. In Avatar, Jake Sully (Sam Worthington’s character) tells Ewya (the Na’vi Mother Nature), through their ‘connection’ at the Tree of Souls — that he needs her help to save Pandora. Neytiri mentions to Jake that Ewya only helps protect the balance of life; she does not take sides.

Jake’s point in pleading to Ewya is that wars must be avoided and the mass destruction and extermination of groups, races, people — even social groups — must be avoided at all costs because it will kill the planet. He says that his home, a planet far away called Earth, that his people, the humans, destroyed it; they destroyed their ‘mother’ and he doesn’t want to see the same thing happen to Pandora.

Cameron’s message could have been more clear and I love Avatar even more for that.

The film is a great piece of entertainment with an unusually great message that should be heeded as well.

3-D Matters

One thing though, I hate to sound like an elitist, but outside the people who generally just enjoy film making and good movies at their finest, I also think smart/savvy people, who can appreciate details, will appreciate/love this film.

When you see the graphics and listen to the James Horner compositions interlaced through the scenes, it makes you feel as if you’re really there or more like, you’re watching something as it really happens. For example, in Avatar the computer screens are these giant pieces of clear glass that have touch screens, colour and 3-D capabilities. When you see the film in 2-D, you don’t get the full effect of those. Or, for example, scenes of nature, falling water, settling dust etc. — those movements are really brought to life in 3-D.

You need to pay close attention to the details the story provides you with in the beginning, as well. I found it to be very intelligent how Cameron put the entire thing together.

I’ve seen Avatar twice in 3-D in the cinema and there are certainly things I missed the first time, I picked up the second time.

Cameron writes the story in such a way where the details he provides you with at the beginning, serve their purpose and points, in the climax. It really reminded me of Greek literature and Harry Potter, actually. The whole story is deductive in terms of ‘life.’

In the Harry Potter series, J.K. Rowling specifically said, and as you see in the books, that each novel sets up all the information for the seventh (and final) novel of her series, The Deathly Hallows. Avatar is no different. The information at the beginning of the film is valuable. Whether, that information is plant life, animals, bugs, the connection with Pandora, the humans, the characters — almost everything is there at the end.

You just have to look and listen for it.

What you’re taught about Pandora at the beginning is, in the end, how Pandora is saved.

Avatar is very creative!

Plus, Avatar is very, very pretty!

Incidentally, because the film is rated PG-13 in the United States, James Cameron has said that is it possible for the Blue-Ray and DVD release of the film, to include a deleted scene on how the Na’vi have sex. Zoe Saldana has been quoted in saying that Jake (Sam Worthington’s character) and Neytiri (Saldana’s character) do some sort of “syncing” using the tetacle, swirl ends of their ponytails.

Remember this is also how the Na’vi communicate with their planet and each other, so it makes a lot of sense that they ‘mate’ this way too.

I guarantee, half of those ‘haters’ didn’t catch on to any of that. If they did, they certainly are not admitting to it.

Hence, their opinions, (as I’ve read quite a few reviews, especially from the ‘tech’ crowds, the irony, gah) are worthless to me :)

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I say, if you haven’t seen the film — go see it in 3-D and decide for yourself.

Little Pink Book film rating: Little Pink Book Star RatingLittle Pink Book Star RatingLittle Pink Book Star RatingLittle Pink Book Star RatingLittle Pink Book Star Rating of 5 stars

:)

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Sasha Muradali runs the ‘Little Pink Book’ . She holds a B.S. in Public Relations from the University of Florida with a minor in Dance (’07) and an M.A. in International Administration from the University of Miami (’08). She loves Twitter and all things social media, so you should find her @SashaHalima or get a copy of the ‘Little Pink Book’ delivered to your Kindle.

Copyright © 2009-2010 Sasha H. Muradali. All Rights Reserved.

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Comments

  1. Wonderful review Sasha! 5/5 stars?! Definitely worth seeing.

  2. lol — thanks :)

    I loved it. I think there is so much MORE too it than just a sci-fi planet
    and some people :)

  3. charitytaboas says:

    I loved the movie, especially as an anthropologist.

    I do have to correct one things –
    One big difference I saw between the Na'vi and the Avatars is that the Avatars have five fingers, like humans, whereas the Na'vi only have 4.

    But yes, I figured the whole “sex” thing would have been them “connecting” :). I loved the whole synaptic idea of being connected not just to the animals and each other, but to the planet itself.

    I would have liked to have seen it proven by Grace and/or Norm that the unobtanium (kind of an ironic name in itself) was linked to the vortexes that they found, and that the removal of it would have killed the planet (in a different, more “neurological” way rather than just the physical way it already was).

    The theme of the movie is one that I've seen called racist. Well, yeah. That's the point. I've also seen critics say that it's a white supremesist thing for the “white” guy to come in and save the savages, yet again, such as was also seen in Dances With Wolves. Well, that's the point too. It was very obvious that the Na'vi would not have been able to save themselves.

    Another theme that isn't new is colonizing the “natives”. It's seen through history and the Na'vi's story is almost parallel to the Trail of Tears, white man pushing the natives out and taking what they want, except it never got that far in Avatar.

    Anyway, I really enjoyed this movie. Outside of a well organized storyline, the colors were what stood out the most to me. I would have liked to have seen more variety of animals (i.e. more than just the dinosaur thing, the cat-type of animal, and the dog-like animals) attacking in response. It's a big world. Surely there were more critters :). But, if that's my only complaint, then it was a GREAT movie!

  4. Thank you for making sure to mention the score of the movie because it is one of the most beautiful I've heard in awhile.

  5. Oh most definitely Jessica! I feel like too many people over looked it and
    James Horner did one hell of an amazing job. :)

  6. Avatar is one of my favorite movies last 2009. I watch it in 3D IMAX. It can be said that it is a must watch movie. The cinematography, sound effects, editing special effects; all are just excellent. The director has shown innovation in creating the Nav’s. These blue complexioned, monkey types elements are excellently featured in this film. Sam Worthington is wonderful.

  7. Omatecayan says:

    I'm not sure why there so much hate, either. I can only assume it's political. Not just against it's leftist environmental message but because Cameron is possibly the biggest movie director on the planet right now and they also regard him as arrogant, they've never forgotten his “I'm king of the world!” speech and there are many would just love to see him fail. In short, it's the politics of envy.

  8. Omatecayan says:

    I'm not sure why there so much hate, either. I can only assume it's political. Not just against it's leftist environmental message but because Cameron is possibly the biggest movie director on the planet right now and they also regard him as arrogant, they've never forgotten his “I'm king of the world!” speech and there are many would just love to see him fail. In short, it's the politics of envy.

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