2009. Directed by James Cameron
For the highest grossing film of all time, it never ceases to amaze me how loathed this film is by both lovers of film and the casual viewer.
I'm not getting into plot or anything else, I'm going to focus on what I found intriguing on my latest rewatch.
First, the space scenes are gorgeous. Specifically at the beginning, it's very apparent that Cameron was trying to harness the lightning of 2001 with the visuals and it does indeed work.
Mauro Fiore's cinematography cannot be denied. It's luscious and unreal. The way his chosen shots bring Pandora to life are masterful, even with the obvious failings of the cgi train wreck that eclipses everything else.
Stephen Lang is the standout in the film. His turn as the villain is memorable and sadly a breath shy of iconic, mostly because it, and virtually everything else is overshadowed by the effects.
Seeing this film in 3D in theaters and then revisiting it now, 7 years later, I had a hard time finding the gems. But they're there. Yes, it's Fern Gully/Dances With Wolves in SPAAAACCCCCEEEE!!!!!! but there are merits. It was an experience in the cinema,and even on my small screen at home, the fact that this is pure, unadulterated spectacle cannot be denied, regardless of preference.
The concept of encroaching on nature and the attention to Veterans in America cannot be denied.
In the end, Avatar wears it's complexity on it's sleeve and perhaps, that is it's charm. Anything deeper may have been lost in the Hollywood shuffle.
Besides, we all know we're gonna watch the sequel.