AVATAR: A James Cameron/20th Century Fox Film

AVATAR, James Cameron’s fifteen year odyssey, is a technologically advanced, beautifully written love story in a land where good does triumph over evil.

AVATAR experience the magic!

The film begins with Jake Sully, portrayed by Sam Worthington, coping with the death of his twin brother as he is simultaneously approached by military recruiters for a special operation that would have him, as his DNA is similar, returned to active duty status and sent to the planet Pandora.

Director James Cameron with Sam Worthington.

Worthington gives an excellent performance as a paraplegic career soldier who agrees to complete his brother’s mission. His duty to country, loyalty to his brother and intent on living a full life is evident even as he is faced with conflict, torn by duty and awakened by conversion.

Jake Sully studied his new body, with Joel Moore and Dileep Rao.

The Op is infiltrating the enemy camp, in a genetically re-mastered nymph body that returns to him the one thing the world couldn’t: the use of his legs. Worthington embodies a solider with concern, an unnecessary and dangerous emotion, when faced with military decisions. His entire mission is to gain the trust of the nymph clan, think Kevin Costner’s, Dances With Wolves.

Jake Sully on his first alien/nymph operation.

The Special Op parallels the destruction of the Indian Reservations in early America history and anyone who has seen Dances with Wolves will clearly see a parallel throughout the film as both films bring a stranger, the enemy, into their community who has a concern for the human condition and a desire to explain the realities of the “enemies plan.”

Stephen Lang and Sam Worthington reach an understanding of the mission.

Cameron intertwines humor as the alien nymph, who rescues Sully from a sure death, introduces him to her clan. And her mother. He humanizes the aliens by infusing them with the traits of the common man. They are a peace loving people who want their lives to continue uninterrupted by the invasion of humanoids who use their mighty war machines to seek, kill and destroy in the name of progress. Progress can equate to greed and the demolition of the lush, vibrant forests of Pandora are similar to the deforestation of the Brazilian Rain Forests.

Zoe Saldana as Neytiri and Sam Worthington as Jake Scully.

The highly advanced technological command center is fascinating. Viewing the command center through the eyes of an historian one can see the advances especially in military invasion planning and the similarities to the RAF planning boards used in WWII British War Plans. This causes one to wonder if the new Military Planning boards in War Rooms around the world are similar to the technological advanced motion boards used in this film. The advanced command central scenes are fascinating, futuristic, amazing in scope and imagery.

On the set with James Cameron.

The storyline weaves emotions throughout that, if feelings can be articulated, are common to all: anguish, fear, love, hate, despair, betrayal, loneliness, rejection, conflict and awakening are all present and create a wonderfully written, beautifully captured and created film. The back story of course is regaining what was lost: love, life, freedom.

In command central with Gio Ribisi, as Parker Selfridge, and Sigourney Weaver as Dr. Grace Augustine.

Sigourney Weaver portrays Dr. Grace Augustine. As it is not her first paring with Cameron’s futuristic version of scientific exploration there is a feeling of familiarity. Her character is in charge of the voyage of the humans who, in sleep chambers, control a genetically fused nymph so to interact with the Pandora natives. She has a nicotine habit in this film which is both unusual and offensive, making her character less likeable to those who are avid anti-smokers. Her performance evens out an ensemble. Her character appears to be a combination of multiple roles in her past all of which she received acclaim.

Stephan Lang, Mr. Military, Colonel Miles Quaritch.

Stephen Lang gives a stellar performance as the born and bred military squad leader, Colonel Miles Quaritch. He embodies the single minded pursuit of a career solider; duty to the mission, country and Commander-in-Chief. His character is one of tunnel vision. He does not deviate from the mission. The battle eventually becomes good versus evil; the powerful verses the weak; the war of weapons verses wits.

Military action set on the destruction of Pandora.

Zoe Saldana brings life to the alien nymph, Neytiri. She rescues the lost solider in a nighttime battle that ends with death and with death the forest awakens to brilliant neon colors; new life. She is ordered to teach the unskilled, unwanted and apparently useless Sully the ways of the clan.  She is a warrior in a patriarchal society where females are celebrated and worshipped. She is given freedom, as her father is the Chief, to learn and compete with the male warriors.

Zoe Saldana brings life to Nyetiri.

Michelle Rodriquez, best known for her work on the ABC television show “Lost” epitomizes the female solider in command. She is tough, cool under pressure, military through and through with an understanding of the plan and the man. She made good choices throughout.

The fighting war machines of the 22nd Century.

The technology used in AVATAR is a creation that Cameron and his business partner Vince Pace created specifically with this film in mind. Mr. Cameron’s creative talent is enviable. The combination of live-action and animation obviously presented challenges for Cameron’s vision of the film as he has described as  “the film he was born to make.”  The vision took some time as he had to wait for technology to be created to catch up with his idea.

The enchanted land of Pandora.

AVATAR is produced by 20th Century Fox, Dune Entertainment along with Ingenious Film Partners. It is directed and written by James Cameron. It is already a Golden Globe nominee for Best Picture and Best Director.

AVATAR Space Station.

AVATAR will delight adults and children of all ages. Ticket prices for 3-D are steep at $17.50 each and the average family, and it is a family film, probably won’t spend the money for the IMAX 3-D feature, especially a week before Christmas. And yet, that hasn’t stopped ticket sales that as of this posting have totaled 80million.

AVATAR is a masterpiece; beautiful scenes; stunning special effects, simply a wonderfully made film with enchanted storytelling. It also stars Joel Moore, Giovanni Ribisi and Dileep Rao.

AVATAR opened nationwide on Decemebr 18. Check your local listings.

All images courtesy of 20th Century Fox Films.

Special thanks to Warren Betts of Warren Betts Communications, Zoomwerks.

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