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New and unique - new movie reviews are now coming with Level of Embitterment and Level of Disappointment! A broad range of movies will be reviewed - action, science fiction, romantic comedies, gross and dumb comedies, foreign movies, thrillers, horror films - you will find them all to help you to make your own decision - go to the theatre, buy it on DVD - or wait until a film is shown on free TV. Of course you can also state your own opinion - add your comments!

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AVATAR by James Cameron


avatar - embitterment level - disappointment level
Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) is a crippled ex-Marine who is offered an unique chance when his twin brother dies – he is shipped to the moon Pandora where he takes over his brother’s Avatar – a genetically engineered human-Na’vi hybrid body. The Na’vi are the indigenious species of Pandora, 9 feet tall, incredibly strong and athletic – everything a paralyzed from the waist down Marine could wish for. Ex-Marines are on Pandora as the security force of a mining operation searching for the precious Unobtanium, and scientists under the command of Dr. Grace Augustine (Sigourney Weaver) are running the Avatar-program mainly to try to convince the Na’vi to make room for the miners.
Despite the use of Avatars, the primitive Na’vi who live in perfect harmony with their world dislike and distrust the sky people, and Administrator Parker Selfridge (Giovanni Ribisi) and his security chief Colonel Miles Quaritch (Stephen Lang) are losing their patience with the scientists’ efforts. During his first mission, Sully gets lost in the jungle, and a young female Na’vi – Neytiri (Zoe Saldana) saves his life after receiving a sign by Eywa, Pandora’s all-embracing world consciousness. Neytiri takes him to her people and Sully learns what it means to be a Na’vi … but time is running out, and Selfridge unleashes his mercenaries. A couple scientists, Sully, a young pilot (Michelle Rodriguez) and the Na’vi – armed with bows and arrows – are standing against a high-tech army.
Avatar has been named Pocahontas in Space already, but it’s more Dances with Wolves in Space – the story is neither very complex nor very original – white man goes native, falls in love with the princess, turns against his own, with first jealous then loyal brother-in-arms and all, but that’s not James Cameron’s point. It’s all about the innovative 3D-technology.
And you can see why Cameron is so obsessed with 3D. It works best in closed spaces and with smaller objects though, unfortunately not so good for the grand vistas like the flying mountains (at least it did not for me). The interior of the space-ship and the command center are just … WOW … in many scenes it’s just like you are in there with the actors, and finally we get to see real 3-dimensional holograms and virtual screens. And when insects flit by or tree-seeds float around, you just want to grab them, and you want to slap out this fire when the sparks are flying around you.
But everything comes with a price (and i’m not talking about the fancy glasses or the € 12,50) – you get amazing 3D, but you are losing some of the crystal-clear image quality and brilliant colors you are used to from modern cinema.
Have i seen the Future of Moviemaking? Yes, maybe, and probably (and hopefully) 3D will be just as common in the future as sound and color is now, but there is still a long way to go (and please, please make it work without the glasses!) before 3D becomes so natural that scenes are no longer arranged for maximum 3D-effect instead of for maximum dramaturgical impact (like in Avatar).
Last but not least kudos to the actors who manage to not get completely steamrolled by the effects, most notably Sigourney Weaver, Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana.

Avatar  Avatar - Zoe Saldana and Sam Worthington 

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