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Author: Bill Ramey
December 16, 2009

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Buy advance tickets to Avatar

OFFICIAL SYNOPSIS: A paraplegic ex-marine finds a new life on the distant planet of Pandora, only to find himself battling humankind alongside the planet's indigenous Na'vi race in this ambitious digital 3-D sci-fi epic from Academy Award-winning Titanic director James Cameron.

DIRECTED BY: James Cameron
WRITTEN BY: James Cameron
CAST: Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Stephen Lang, Sigourney Weaver
OFFICIAL SITE: AVATARMOVIE.COM

I can probably write the following as a review of AVATAR and get away with it…

AVATAR is badass! Go see it!”

Oh yeah, I could also say the following and be done with it…

AVATAR is an amalgamation of DANCES WITH WOLVES/THE NEW WORLD/POCAHONTES set in space. And it’s damn good!”

I could, but I won’t, OK? I’ll at least try to provide you all with something with a little more substance here. But trust me, that up there is all I really need to say about this film.

As some of you all may know from following BOF the last 11+ plus years, I’m also a bit of a history geek in addition to being a Batman nerd. I’ve always been fascinated by the eras of Colonization and Manifest Destiny when it comes to American History. So AVATAR’s story of space-colonizing Earthlings ruthlessly screwing over the native (called the Na’vi) inhabitants of a distant planet (called Pandora) was right up my alley.

The story is set about 150 years into our future. Humans are on this planet only to rape and mine it for it’s natural resources. Since the atmosphere is toxic to humans, they must navigate the planet in these armored, robot-looking getups or – as in the film’s title – “avatars.”

An avatar is a lab-engineered “body” that mixes the DNA of the Na’vi and humans and can be remotely controlled (sort of MATRIX-ishy) by human soldiers, spies, laborers, and the like.

The hero of our story is Jake (Sam Worthington) who is a paralyzed ex-Marine who enters the Avatar program for a variety of reasons -- and promises. Our heroine is a female Na’vi named Neytiri (Zoe Saldana).

Yes, they fall in love and ‘ol Jake becomes enlightened and has a change of heart.

The villain of the film is this Colonel Quaritch character (Stephen Lang) who is one big-time A-hole and whom I hated with all my being – which makes for a great villain, right?

The third act of the film consists of the battle for the planet Pandora. So how does a peaceful and primitive alien race stack up against an enemy with flying machines and bombs? You’ll have to see that for yourself, but I certainly know who you will be pulling for.

One thing about the CGI – if that’s what it’s even called now. The animation is absolutely tremendous and will certainly set a new standard when it comes to such in future films. Really, it’s damn seamless when compared to the live-action segments of the movie and not once did I resort to one of my favorite sayings as a kid about the quality of a film’s F/X…

“That’s fake as hell.”

All I’ve got left here is to say that James Cameron is one hell of a filmmaker and AVATAR is one of the best films of the year. And…

AVATAR is badass! Go see it!”

GRADE: A

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