Avatar [Blu-Ray] James Cameron

Avatar [Blu-Ray] James Cameron
With the vast majority of the movie going public already knowing how they feel about Avatar, the real question is how the King of the Universe's groundbreaking 3D passion project holds up in bare-bones 2D. Exceptionally well, actually. The world Cameron has created is unlike anything seen prior on screens of any size; it's astonishing, the detailed realism of the alien habitat and creatures. Equally impressive is the sound scientific thinking behind this world. A little research reveals solid basis for most of the fantastic elements presented (even the laughably named "unobtanium" is an old engineering joke in the scientific community), save perhaps, those breathtaking floating mountains. The visual and technical achievements are pretty damn inarguable, so what about the story? For the dozen or so people out there still uninitiated, Avatar follows paraplegic marine Jake Sully on a mission to Pandora, where mankind is intent on colonizing this new world in order to exploit its rich deposits of "unobtanium," thus solving the energy crisis back on Earth. Upon infiltrating the indigenous population, the Na'vi, Sully is tasked with learning their ways in hopes of negotiating a relocation of "the People" to avoid the genocide Colonel Quaritch is so eager to unleash to get at those rare minerals. Yes, this is a classic "going native" tale, but that doesn't diminish its visceral or emotional impact. Of all the stories to bring to the widest audience possible (always Cameron's goal), I can't think of one more important to reiterate. There's a whole generation that have never seen Dances With Wolves or FernGully and kids seeing Avatar now might well be those faced with difficult decisions regarding future habitat exploitation. Sure, it's not the sharpest script, but it has loads of heart, and the majority of viewers just wouldn't respond as favourably without the "in" of having a fellow human learn the beauty and value of an alien culture. Filled with solid acting (especially under the circumstances), dynamic battles, romance and rebellious valour, Avatar is simply great popular entertainment. Cameron has a billionaire's clout to refuse even studio trailers for this initial home release, so the film, with a number of language and subtitle options (Na'vi sadly not being one of them), is literally all you get. Since it's still playing in theatres and the real home entertainment test is yet to come, with a feature-loaded version due later this year, and the full 3D behemoth biding to revolutionize your living room next year, it's probably worth holding out. (Fox)