If you are a native of Pandora, one of The People called Na’vi, then those three words—“I see you”—mean a lot more than what they actually say. To tell someone “I see you” is to say something deeply spiritual, basically “I know who you are on the inside, in your heart and spirit.”
I don’t know filmmaker James Cameron, but he has given us all something very special. Before today, he gave us The Terminator, Aliens, The Abyss, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, True Lies, and yes, even Titanic, among others. I grew up with these movies. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve seen Aliens over the years. Thirty perhaps? It’s such a timeless film, and Sigourney Weaver is just so darn cool in it!
Yes, over the decades, Cameron has shared his unsurpassed imagination in brilliant, enduring, and even award-winning ways. But on December 18th, 2009, he gave us his everything. He gave us what I perceive will be applauded as the finest performance of a true master filmmaker’s career. He gave us Avatar.
“Everything is backwards now, like out there is the true world and in here is the dream.”
To me, James Cameron is more than a director, more than a filmmaker. He is a visionary. He had to wait 10 years before he felt confident that digital rendering of photo-realistic CGI technology was up to the challenge of the film he had in mind. Much due to Peter Jackson and the WETA crew for their rendition of Gollum in The Lord of the Rings films, Cameron has been noted as saying he knew at long last he was going to be able to make Avatar. The result is nothing short of magnificent. If you know everything or nothing of the technology of film, it makes no difference. It won’t even occur to you whether you’re viewing live action or CGI, because the integration is perfectly seamless.
Suffice it to say, the rendering of the extremely biodiverse scenery and characters of Pandora are breathtaking. I’m not going to go into the film’s story. It’s just too redundant, and countless other Web sites have already done that part perfectly fine. But I will say that Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldaña shine as the romantically paired Jake Sully, a paraplegic Marine, and Neytiri, the “princess” of the Na’vi Omaticaya clan, who are destined as soulmates. The chemistry between these two is so pure, so well-acted, and so believable, that you will completely forget you’re watching CGI versions of real life actors. Personally, I fell in love with Neytiri, meaning Saldaña was so good that my heart was captured by a 10-foot-tall blue alien. That’s sort of saying something right there.
“You’re not the only one with a gun, bitch!”
If it seems like I’m gushing, I am. As we departed the cinema, my wife asked me what I thought. I said, “I’m still on a high, but I’ll go ahead and say it. That film was probably the greatest movie ever made. It was perfect.” So, yes, I’m gushing a little bit. And by saying it was perfect, I meant it was perfect FOR ME. Not everyone’s a huge fantasy nerd like myself, so while my wife’s initial comment was merely, “It was much better than I was expecting,” mine was “Perfect! James Cameron is unequivocally the best filmmaker ever.”
In a December 11th Associated Press release, Cameron says, “There's a sense of entitlement [in the film]: We're here, we're big, we've got the guns, we've got the technology, we've got the brains, we therefore are entitled to every damn thing on this planet. That's not how it works, and we're going to find out the hard way if we don't wise up and start seeking a life that's in balance with the natural cycles of life on earth.”
Very well said. The fact that the year of the film is 2154 A.D., and mankind is in desperate need of new resources—a character says about Earth in the film “There’s nothing green back there"…”—means that Cameron feels, as I do, that we really need to start taking better care of our planet, and soon!
So, yes indeed, Avatar is topical, and it’s also an epic masterpiece, from the emotional scenes of Jake’s and Neytiri’s bonding, to the majestic heights as we soar through the treetops or on the backs of ikran, to the edge-of-seat turbulence of the battle sequences. I honestly feel that Avatar, not Titanic, will be remembered as James Cameron’s magnum opus.
Go see it. I plan to, again, and next time I’ll check out some of that newfangled 3D technology.
View the trailer for Avatar below.
Visit: Official Avatar Movie