|Directed by:||James Cameron|
|Written by:||James Cameron|
|Cast:||Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Stephen Lang, Michelle Rodriguez, Sigourney Weaver|
|Genre:||Action, Adventure, Science-Fiction|
I've seen this one several times now and have just seen the final available version, the Collector's Edition Cut on blu-ray.
I liked the movie when I first saw it in theatres, but the more I see it the more I like it. One of my favourite things about the picture is how you're always noticing something new each time, or forgetting about a certain part when it comes along in a weird way -- not because it's filler because it isn't, but rather it's an awesome scene that you just forgot about, for whatever reason. I've had that happen before in movies but it almost always falls along the lines of 'filler' or a crappy scene/segment. Here however it's the exact opposite, and it's very cool to have that feeling not just on the second or third viewing like with some movies, but on the 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th viewings, I've never experienced something like that with a film before, at least not in this way.
The direction is solid throughout, it's big, it's slick but it never feels too in your face or full of itself. The world here is a fantastically entertaining and engrossing one with the creatures, plant life and environment of Pandora. Not only that but with the Collector's Cut we also get a 5 minute or so glimpse into what Earth looks like at that time (or at least a city of Earth at that time) and it is definitely futuristic, yet still relateable (which is much the same with the world of Pandora, it still manages to be relateable and although initially that was one of my problems with that I see why they did that, and in the end it works very well in favour of the film in terms of connection to the world, the vegetation, the creatures and just the general life on the planet -- if it were too different and out there we wouldn't be able to connect emotionally, not only to the world but to the characters and the film itself). I thought they did a good job with that and even though I realize they went with the beginning they went with for the theatrical cut I really think the Earth scene(s) at the beginning of the Collector's Cut really add to the movie in a good way. The same can be said actually for all the added scenes in the Collector's Cut, they are actually a couple subplots added in like some more background on Weaver's character and her character's past with Neytiri and Neytiri's family which was cool. Overall most scenes just add some more depth the the world, the characters and their past relationships with one another. I also really dug that they seemed to add a bit more with Giovanni Ribisi's character. He doesn't have that much screentime or that many more lines at all, but there are just a couple more subtle shots of his character that really make him seem more whole as a person instead of having him as just basically the 'big bad guy'.
The story and script are great, the story is partially based off a classic tale but takes it to a whole new level by expanding on it to a point where even though it does offer a new take on some points from a classic story, it becomes a totally unique beast that most importantly, is fresh. The characters are unique and diverse with the majority of them having nice arcs throughout the film. Sam Worthington is great as Jake Sully and Zoe Saldana is great (and hot) as Neytiri and the rest of the cast holds up equally as well. There is such emotion throughout that is magically brought through with the incredibly technology at use here for the Na'vi and the world around them.
The only major problem I had with the film was the music. While it's solid and works, this is one movie that deserved an amazing, memorable score with a great theme that just didn't end up getting any of that. The score adds so much to a film and I was just disappointed at how solid this one was when it needed to be, and very well could have been great. I'm not sure what Cameron saw in the music here, but this is one case where I really think they should've said 'lets try someone else before we make a final decision'. That's not to say that the score doesn't have it's moments, but most tracks feel like they have a good start, but then fail to go anywhere near the right direction with it. It should've been an 'epic' score in the true sense of the world, and in that a unique one - but ends up being a rather generic, unimpressive one. It seems to be happening more and more these days but I was always disappointed that great, memorable, unique music from the trailers wasn't present at all in the movie--if it's not in the movie, don't put it in the trailer. Odd that it was one of my favourite composers, Steve Jablonsky who put that awesome piece of music together that really went well with the trailer -- all in all, they should've got him to do the score, the movie would've probably been a perfect score if that were the case.
Overall it's an amazing film. Big adventure, big action, great characters and the perfect example of a film to jump into, a film to escape into, a film that makes you open your eyes and your heart with wonder and emotion. While it's not a film for everyone and some may be turned off by the length, some of the best films are that way, and this is one of them -- I just hope they go a different direction with the score in the second film. Highly recommended.