Avatar- Still Number One

AvatarWhat does it take to keep a movie on top of the box office for so long, and inevitably make it the top-grossing international release of all time? It seems it takes a film like Avatar, Hollywood’s proverbial Energizer bunny, still selling out theatres around the US and elsewhere.

The James Cameron film has beaten his own 1997 record holder, Titanic, on two levels, although there’ve been articles proclaiming that with inflation and the cost of 3D tickets factored in, that’s not the case. But there’s no denying that something has audiences wowed enough to keep going.

I’m proud to say I contributed my 3D ticket money to breaking the records. Although just a tadpole among the overall billions in revenue, I’ve played some small part. Interestingly, most viewers (72% globally) have gone to watch this film in 3D.

I’ve never known people to simply leave the theatre because they couldn’t get good seats. I’m a grab-a-seat-if-I-get-there-late type of moviegoer, though I usually arrive before the previews. But somebody else made me late this time around, then decided he no longer wanted to see that showing because he couldn’t get the middle row seats he wanted.

He instead coughed up more money to go see a later showing, and I had to delay my date with the screen. There were other tardy people doing likewise, I noticed.

I’d heard about IMAX theatres, but didn’t quite appreciate what that meant until the screen opened oh-so-wide and I was surrounded by sound so rich it was scary.Avatar

3D glasses not quite perfectly balanced on my face, I was launched into Avatar. What a ride!

The film is, simply – beautiful. The detailed scenery and effects are well thought-out and absolutely mesmerizing. In 3D, they had my young son grabbing my arm every two minutes as the “big blue cats” came out of the screen.

The message imparted is one of love and respect for the circle of life and the balance of nature. It’s told through an alternative planet, and using computer generated animation, but is no less vivid or otherwise diminished.

The peace-loving inhabitants of this planet face off against Earth’s representatives, who are seeking the richness of this new world.

What’s stuck with me is the Na’vi expression of greeting – “I see you” - and the depth that it conveys, beyond merely seeing someone with eyesight.

As I left the theatre, I muttered how sad it was that in reality, there is no other lush, beautiful planet for Earth’s people to migrate to instead of going back to their “dying planet”.

But beyond that, what struck me was also the crafting of the storyline, where, for the first time I can recall, Americans –soldiers with distinct American accents – were the bad guys, and the audience - an American audience - was being asked to side against them.

There was no way anyone could not side with the victims in this script, since they were portrayed as such innocent, peace-loving creatures in touch with the land and the wonders of nature.

Of course there have been parallels drawn with the US invading other countries, along with crushing the Native American Indians.

Cameron is already hinting sequels, although this story took him 14 years to bring to fruition.

Critics have poked fun at some of the non-perfections. (Ok, so “unobtainium” was a bit of a corny name for something that actually can’t be obtained.) But the perfect story has yet to be written. In the meantime, Avatar comes pretty close. Millions of viewers, and continuing, seem to agree.


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1 Comments In This Article   



#1 Noah » 2010-02-01 10:35

Great review to a great movie.
I enjoyed every second of it.


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