Avatar, Blu-ray + DVD (2009/2010)
Director: James Cameron
Starring: Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Stephen Lang, Sigourney Weaver
Studio: 20th Century Fox [4/22/10]
Video: 1.78:1 for 16:9 color 1080p HD
Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, English/English Descriptive Audio/French/Spanish/Portuguese DD 5.1, 2.0
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, Portuguese
Length: 162 minutes
Wow! Cameron’s plot (he was also the screenwriter and one of the producers) didn’t seem half as dumb the second time around, but I must say I sorely missed the 3D. (We’ll have to wait till next year for that.) This is super-spectacle from the super movie megalomaniac. What a budget! What a fantastic CGI world! What a thinly-disguised storyline concerning the terrible things we’ve done to indigenous populations everywhere! So is the “blue kitty movie” (as it was called by the daughter of the NY Times reviewer) worth seeing? Absolutely, even in 2D on a small screen. Cameron said all the warm skin tones were taken and only green and blue were left, and he equated green with little men from Mars.
Lots of great sci-fi action in the story concerning wheelchair-bound Marine Jake in 2154, having his nervous system somehow inserted remotely into the ten-foot-tall blue body of a Na’vi native to learn more about the indigenous people who are in the way of the money moguls wanting to mine the rare mineral with the silly name of Unobtanium on the distant planet Pandora. The commercial concerns are aided and abetted by the military led by gung-ho Colonel Quaritch. Chief Scientist Dr. Grace (Weaver) wants to understand all she can of the New Age culture of the Na’vi, and though at first spying on them on behalf of the Colonel, Jake eventually comes around to her side thru his romantic connection with Na’vi female Neytiri.
Another reviewer made an interesting comparison between Avatar and the Matrix series. Kenu Reeves learned that his world and even his body was an illusion, and he returned to the real world, however terrible. Jake in Avatar does just the opposite – leaving the real world for the amazing dream of being a Na’vi warrior on Pandora. Everything in this world is huge and colorful. Violent and loud warfare is part of the story, but in the end the good guys win, you might say. Avatar certainly breaks new ground in movie-making and is well worth seeing – hi or standard def, small or huge screen, 2D or 3D.
– John Sunier