Films to See Before You Die: #50 Avatar


I have invited my Brother to write another post on my bloggy.  This is a movie that is quite close to his heart.  For more posts of  his, check out his blog at the Alternate Economy.

Avatar (2009)

Director: James Cameron

Cast: Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Steven Lang, Sigourney Weaver

Synopsis: We quickly find ourselves in a vibrant futuristic world following the life of a paraplegic ex-marine, Jake Sully (Sam Worthington).  He immediately finds himself entered into the Avatar program and is shipped off to outer space.  The destination; Pandora, a fertile and fully inhabited moon in another solar system.  When Jake arrives he is debriefed by Col. Quaritch (Steven Lang) on the hostile native community that is found on Pandora.  Finally, Dr. Grace Augustine (Sigourney Weaver) show Jake his true reason for being there.  His new Avatar.  Through leaps in science, humanity has developed the ability to create hybrid bodies that are genetically linked to the host.  These bodies appear physically to be a member of the native alien race, however.  Jake learns how to link in to his new Avatar and literally control the alien body as if it were his own.  Through a series of spectacular adventures in the forests of Pandora, Jake meets Neytiri (Zoe Saldana) a beautiful Native princess of the Na’vi.  This is a story of rebellion, love and triumph where the Jake must choose between his marine past and his new Na’vi friends.

Trivia: To help the actors prepare for their roles, director James Cameron took the cast and crew to Hawaii, where they spent their days trekking through the forests and jungles and living like tribes (building campfires, eating fish, etc), in order to get a better sense of what it would be like to live and move around in the jungle on Pandora, since there would not be any actual jungle sets to aid and guide the actors and crew. Zoe Saldana even dressed up as a warrior during these journeys, complete with an alien tail symbolic of the one her character has in the movie. These hikes were only done during the daytime, though; the cast and crew spent their nights at a Four Seasons hotel.

Why I Think You Should See this Film: This film is absolutely visually stunning.  There is no comparison, at present time, that I can think of.  The depth of colour and the imagination involved in creating the alien moon, Pandora, are spectacular.  There is no visual detail left undone.  From unique grasses, and ferns and flowers, to alien insects.  Not to mention the amazing animals and scenes where Jake and Neytiri ride on winged banshees.  The flight scenes weaving in and out of the floating mountains (yes, they are exactly what they sound like) are breath-taking.  Although the story is a little predictable, the overall atmosphere of the film certainly makes up for it.  A must watch, in my opinion!