..Victoria Barkley..


Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) is an old fashioned, guy's guy with an overdeveloped sense of order and respect for military hierarchy. That is all about to change, when he is assigned to dreamwalk in an extraterrestrial body, called an Avatar (produced in-vitro from combined human and Na'vi DNA), far from his own dying planet.

Accidental death of Jake's twin brother sets him off on a quest with a band of warriors and science pioneers, in search of a priceless precious ore called unobtainium, needed for energy production on Earth.

He thinks he is helping his fellow Earthlings by gaining the trust of the Na'vi through donning their alien form. Personally, he also wants to liberate himself from a wheelchair by earning enough money for a costly leg operation. However, the recruiting corporation who is financing his space travel and expenses is really aiming to exploit the distant Earth-sized moon for maximum profit. All Jake knows is that his life is about to drastically change and hopefully for the better.

"A fresh start in a new world" he records as a first entry in his video diary, "where one life ends and another begins..." We follow Jake's epic adventure into an intimidating, toxic-to-human, yet hauntingly beautiful world of plants, animals and extraterrestrial culture, unlike any we have ever seen before.

James Cameron, Oscar-winning director of the Titanic, had to wait until a few years ago to have the technology available to make his 3D dream-on-film a virtual reality. And it is a movie that was worth waiting for. A few hundred million dollars of production and promotion costs later, the end result is astonishingly inventive, surprisingly enchanting and joyfully creative.

As Jake, a paraplegic ex-marine, joins the Na'vi in the paradise of Pandora, somewhere near Alpha Centaury, we are visually seduced into a multi sensory cinematic experience.

Through real actors and the most up-to-date special effects, a new planetary world unfolds, populated with both delightful and menacing creatures, enhancing an interspecies hero's journey.

Heavily marketed as a guy flick, in trailers and on the official Avatar movie website, it is definitely not a war movie. Behind the rough and tumble action to attract a male audience, there is beauty and love for a planet whose true wealth lies in its priceless biological resources. The underlying theme of good versus evil makes for an exciting universal spin to entertain movie goers of all ages.

Without giving away too much of the story, it is a film about integration — high tech with high touch, human with Na'vi, head with heart, traditional values in a new world, freedom with responsibility. And mostly, it is about standing up and fighting for who and what you love, against all the odds. It is basically a splendid family movie, a 3D prototype of 21st Century motion picture theater event, that will re-set the entire genre of sci-fi as we know it.

If there are sequels planned, let's see Mr. Cameron top this! Wow! I can hardly wait to see it again and again and again...Where are those IMAX 3D goggles? I'm going back for another look-see. Avatar is by far my favorite science fiction movie of the decade!

Avatar is a 2009 American-British epic 3-D science fiction film written and directed by James Cameron, starring Sam Worthington, Zoë Saldaņa, Sigourney Weaver and Stephen Lang. The film was produced by Lightstorm Entertainment and distributed by 20th Century Fox. It opened in New York City on December 18, 2009.

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Other stories by Victoria Barkley:
The Private Lives of Pippa Lee
A Song and a Sign
Birthday Kirtan
Is Anybody There? – movie review
Real Soul Food
The Gift
Silver Sixpence in her Shoe
Breakfast with Scot – movie review
Sex Drive -- movie review
What Just Happened – movie review
American Teen – movie review
The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian – movie review
A Message From Mom
A Tale of Two Bunnies
Animal Nature
Into the Wild - movie review
Darshan in the Dark Light of the Moon
Love Never Dies
Green Roofs, Weeds and Wildflowers
Greeting Sunrise
Arctic Tale – movie review
Seasons of Gandhi