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Avatar

4.7 371
Director: James Cameron

Cast: James Cameron, Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver

     
 

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A paraplegic ex-marine finds a new life on the distant planet of Pandora, only to find himself battling humankind alongside the planet's indigenous Na'vi race in this ambitious digital 3D sci-fi epic from Academy Award-winning Titanic director James Cameron. The film, which marks Cameron's first dramatic feature since 1997's Titanic<See more details below

Overview

A paraplegic ex-marine finds a new life on the distant planet of Pandora, only to find himself battling humankind alongside the planet's indigenous Na'vi race in this ambitious digital 3D sci-fi epic from Academy Award-winning Titanic director James Cameron. The film, which marks Cameron's first dramatic feature since 1997's Titanic, follows Jake Sully (Sam Worthington), a war veteran who gets called to the depths of space to pick up the job of his slain twin brother for the scientific arm of a megacorporation looking to mine the planet of Pandora for a valued ore. Unfortunately the biggest deposit of the prized substance lies underneath the home of the Na'vi, a ten-foot-tall, blue-skinned native tribe who have been at war with the security arm of the company, lead by Col. Miles Quaritch (Stephen Lang). Because of the planet's hostile atmosphere, humans have genetically grown half-alien/half-human bodies which they can jack their consciousnesses into and explore the world in. Since Jake's brother already had an incredibly expensive Avatar grown for him, he's able to connect with it using the same DNA code and experience first-hand the joys of Pandora while giving the scientific team, led by Grace Augustine (Sigourney Weaver) and Norm Spellman (Joel David Moore), some well-needed protection against the planet's more hostile forces. On a chance meeting after getting separated from his team, Jake's Avatar is rescued by Neytiri (Zoe Saldana), a Na'vi princess, who brings him into her tribe in order to give the humans a second chance at relating to this new environment. When word gets out of his increasing time with the alien species, Quaritch enlists Jake to do some reconnaissance for the company, as they'd like to persuade the tribe to move their home before taking more drastic measures to harness the treasure hidden below. Yet as Jake becomes one with the tribe and begins to understand the secrets of Pandora, his conscience is torn between his new adopted world and the wheelchair-bound one awaiting him when the psychic connection to his Avatar is broken. Soon battle lines are drawn and Jake needs to decide which side he will fight on when the time comes. The film was shot on the proprietary FUSION digital 3D cameras developed by Cameron in collaboration with Vince Pace, and offers a groundbreaking mix of live-action dramatic performances and computer-generated effects. The revolutionary motion-capture system created for the film allows the facial expressions of actors to be captured as a virtual camera system enables them to see what their computer-generated counterparts will be seeing in the film, and Peter Jackson's Oscar-winning Weta Digital visual-effects house supervises Avatar's complex special effects.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Jeremy Wheeler
Sometimes a film comes along that pushes the boundaries of what moviemaking can yield -- the kind of movie that reaches beyond the limits of the medium and blazes a new trail, subsequently allowing others with abundant resources to follow in its path. Despite any nitpicky flaws one might -- or might not -- find within the picture, James Cameron's Avatar is absolutely this kind of touchstone. Although audiences have become used to seeing advances in high-end technology, those previous developments haven't quite added up to this level of razzle-dazzle. For that, the filmmaker and his tireless crew deserve the many praises that they'll no doubt get. Avatar is a special-effects marvel -- and it's that area of the film that will rule many people's reactions, even if one may wonder whether a film with as grand a reach as this deserves a bit more scrutiny for falling back on familiar ground story-wise. For all of his talk of putting characters and story first, Cameron basically jazzes up a cocktail of Dune, A Man Called Horse, and Dances With Wolves, yet presents it with such panache that it'll leave the majority of viewers unfazed by its rehashed nature, with a few others questioning if there should have been more meat to such an extravagant feast. Devil's advocate aside, Cameron does deliver the goods in the action arena, as well as the spectacle of this wondrous new world he built from the ground up. It'd be hard to blame paraplegic ex-marine Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) for siding with an indigenous alien race such as the Na'vi. When faced with infiltrating their ranks for the megacorp that's invading their planet, Pandora, Jake is pulled into a new life, discovering love, spirituality, and the kind of exhilaration he's never experienced before. The lush world is a visual wonder, complete with a heartbeat that pulses through all of the living things that populate it, including Jake via his Avatar (a being made out of human and Na'vi DNA which his consciousness is jacked into). As Jake becomes part of the Na'vi tribe -- and closer to their princess heir, Neytiri (Zoe Saldana), his linked-in life begins to overrule his normal wheelchair-bound one. Soon his bosses begin to wonder if he's really trying to bring a diplomatic end to the fight between the natives and the invading human force (set in motion because of greed) -- or simply siding with an indigenous species who can't possibly compete with the firepower of the corporation's private security arm, lead by Col. Miles Quaritch (a star-making turn from Stephen Lang). Make no mistake, the level of artistry on display is beyond most anything seen on the big screen before -- and it should be seen in the theaters. Presented in impressive 3D, the screen is filled with depth and color the likes of which are being hailed as the new benchmark. Certainly the motion-capture elements (where actors' minute movements are recorded and translated onto ultra-real computer-animated characters) come closer to fantastical hyper-reality than anything before. Yet, Cameron isn't just concerned with showing off his very expensive goods; Avatar is at its heart a popcorn flick -- albeit, one with a political conscience. Despite its fairly obvious morality lessons, the film doesn't preach as much as deliver large-scale action and wrenching drama for mass audiences to eat up. The man is a showman -- and he packed his new baby with enough awe, excitement, and emotion to justify the 160-minute epic running time, which to his credit, never once feels too long. Story issues aside, if there are flaws -- and various people will no doubt have different reactions to it -- one could start with the staleness of James Horner's all-too-familiar Titanic-sounding score (not surprising since the composer is notorious for aping the same themes for decades now). The design of the film will also be a contentious issue -- with people who do and don't connect with the blue cat people aesthetics. Cameron doesn't make a great case for Sam Worthington either, whose non-charismatic nature is on full display whether delivering awkward "stoked" dialogue or rallying the alien troops for battle. In contrast, Saldana's performance gives Neytiri a stunningly real quality -- lending her not only a soul but an acute physical prowess that sells the entire character. She's exactly the type of actor that this technology needs in order to prove its state-of-the-art promise of limitless imagination. Though it is merely a stepping stone in a long line of pioneers, one thing is for sure -- viewers who are at all interested in being transported to this new land have quite the experience waiting for them. How they'll feel on the way out of the theater is the real question.

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Product Details

Release Date:
10/16/2012
UPC:
0024543823018
Original Release:
2009
Rating:
PG13
Source:
20th Century Fox
Region Code:
ABC
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound, Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Time:
2:42:00
Format:
3D
Sales rank:
11,150

Special Features

cc

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Sam Worthington Jake Sully
Zoe Saldana Neytiri
Sigourney Weaver Grace
Stephen Lang Col. Miles Quaritch
Michelle Rodriguez Trudy Chacon
Giovanni Ribisi Parker Selfridge
Joel David Moore Norm Spellman
CCH Pounder Moat
Wes Studi Eytukan
Laz Alonso Tsu'tey
Dileep Rao Dr. Max Patel
Matt Gerald Corporal Lyle Wainfleet
Sean Anthony Moran Private Fike
Jason Whyte Cryo Vault Med Tech
Scott Lawrence Venture Star Crew Chief
Kelly Kilgour Lock Up Trooper
James Pitt Shuttle Pilot
Sean Patrick Murphy Shuttle Co-Pilot
Peter Dillon Shuttle Crew Chief
Kevin Dorman Tractor Operator
Kelson Henderson Dragon Gunship Pilot
David Van Horn Dragon Gunship Gunner
Jacob Tomuri Dragon Gunship Navigator
Michael Blain-Rozgay Suit #1
Jon Curry Suit #2
Peter Mensah Horse Clan Leader,Actor
Julene Renee Ambient Room Tech
Luke Hawker Ambient Room Tech
Woody Schultz Ambient Room Tech
Sonia Yee Link Room Tech
Jahnel Curfman Basketball Avatar
Ilram Choi Basketball Avatar
Kyla Warren Na'vi Child

Technical Credits
James Cameron Director,Editor,Producer,Screenwriter
Scott Baker Set Decoration/Design
Michelle Barber Makeup
Nick Bassett Art Director
Rob Bavin Art Director
Michael Bigger Makeup
Brooke Breton Co-producer
Simon Bright Art Director
Rick Carter Production Designer
Luke Caska Set Decoration/Design
Andrew Chan Set Decoration/Design
David Chow Set Decoration/Design
Jill Cormack Art Director
Linda de Vetta Makeup
Jonathan Dyer Set Decoration/Design
Mauro Fiore Cinematographer
Sean Haworth Art Director
Scott Herbertson Set Decoration/Design
Joseph Hiura Set Decoration/Design
James Horner Score Composer
Robert Johnson Set Decoration/Design
Tetsuo "Tex" Kadonaga Set Decoration/Design
Laeta Kalogridis Executive Producer
Frankie Karena Makeup
Jon Landau Producer
Tammi Lee Set Decoration/Design
Georgia Lockhart-Adams Makeup
Darryl Longstaffe Set Decoration/Design
John Lott Set Decoration/Design
Karl J. Martin Set Decoration/Design
Richard Mays Set Decoration/Design
Josh McLaglen Asst. Director,Co-producer
Andy McLaren Art Director
Andrew Menzies Art Director
Angela Mooar Makeup
Paul Ozzimo Set Decoration/Design
Sam Page Set Decoration/Design
Andrew Reeder Set Decoration/Design
John Refoua Editor
Stephen E. Rivkin Editor
Mayes C. Rubeo Costumes/Costume Designer
Deborah L. Scott Costumes/Costume Designer
Margery Simkin Casting
Michael Smale Set Decoration/Design
Robert Stromberg Production Designer
Janace Tashjian Associate Producer
Colin Wilson Executive Producer

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Avatar
1. A New World [6:17]
2. You Are Not In Kansas Anymore [1:35]
3. "This Is Your Avatar Now, Jake" [4:11]
4. "This Is Why We're Here..." [1:55]
5. First Awakening [1:13]
6. Colonel Quaritch [4:46]
7. First Sortie [3:59]
8. Thanator Chase [2:52]
9. A Sign [2:29]
10. Viperwolves [2:18]
11. Neytiri [1:51]
12. The Omaticaya Clan [2:10]
13. Covert Report [7:47]
14. The Hallelujah Mountains [1:41]
15. Learn Fast Or Die [4:10]
16. Banshee Rookery [5:06]
17. First Flight [5:25]
18. Last Shadow [:37]
19. A Son Of The Omaticaya [4:36]
20. Willow Glade Destruction [6:25]
21. "You Will Never Be One Of The People!" [3:34]
22. Assault On Home Tree [3:19]
23. Aftermath [1:58]
24. Escape From Hell's Gate [4:12]
25. "There's Something We Gotta Do..." [11:22]
26. Toruk Macto [1:50]
27. "She's Real" [1:25]
28. Recruiting The Clans [5:11]
29. Preamble To Battle [3:42]
30. Battle For Pandora [5:39]
31. Fall Of The Heroes [:36]
32. Eywa [1:00]
33. Quaritch Fight [3:06]
34. "I See You" [3:26]
35. End Credits [3:28]

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