James Cameron is still “King of the (film) world” –ajs **DO NOT RUN -mts**

Alexander Kohnstamm

The effect I got while watching James Cameron’s new film “Avatar” is what I can only imagine is similar to how people felt when watching Star Wars in 1977. “Avatar” shows the world that James Cameron is still paving the way for the film industry.
The story is set in the year 2154 and involves a mission by the U.S Armed Forces to an earth-seized moon in orbit around a massive star, This new world, Pandora, is a rich source of a mineral that Earth desperately needs. Pandora represents not even a remote threat to Earth, but Earth, nevertheless, sends in military to attack and conquer Pandora’s native population. Pandora can easily be viewed as an allegory about contemporary politics, which makes the fact that Cameron wrote the script more than a decade ago fascinating.
Pandora is a breathtakingly gorgeous planet, covered with a wondrous forest inhabited by the Na’vi, a blue skinned, golden-eyed race of slender giants, each around twelve feet tall. The landscapes are exceedingly beautiful and go far beyond the imagination. To allow the scientists and security escorts to adapt to Pandora, the humans use avatars that are mind-controlled by humans who remain wired up in headquarters out of harms way. While acting as avatars, they live and feel like Na’vi and have all the same physical adeptness and appearance of the Na’vi.
This new body of the avatar is liberating for the main character, Jake Sully (Sam Worthington), who is a paraplegic. He’s been recruited because he’s a genetic match for a dead identical twin, whom an expensive avatar was created for. While being attached to the avatar, Jake can walk again. After being accepted by the Pandora natives, Jake starts to side with the natives due to his life being saved by Neytiri (Zoe Saldana). He finds the Na’vi’s way of life peaceful and fulfilling, a very different opinion than that of Col. Miles Quaritch (Stephen Lang).
The creation of the avatars employs state of the art CGI technologies that were created for this film specifically. The Na’vi are embodied through motion capture techniques very convincingly. Cameron and his artists succeed at the difficult challenge of making Neytiri a blue-skinned giantess that is both foreign and beautiful to the eye.
At 163 minutes, the film doesn’t feel long due to the vast knowledge that encompasses the film. In addition to the powerful action sequences and an intense final forty minutes, this film packs it on, and with finesse. Cameron spares no detail to allow every inch of Pandora to be seen; from the largest floating mountain to the delicate details of a drifting cottonseed, the film is extremely vivid and extraordinary.