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Avatar: A CGI masterpiece or a look into the future? (DVD review)

posted Oct 1, 2018, 1:01 PM by Jeffrey Wolf

By Kelsey Alder, Staff Writer

Posted October 1st, 2018

James Cameron's blockbuster success, Avatar, changed the cinematic world with CGI that was more realistic than ever before. The movie also included exceptional acting, and unique, realistic vehicle design.  However, just because it was popular does not make it perfect: it exhibited many flaws due to its unrealistic nature.

The CGI (Computer Generated Imagery) is unrivaled even today.  If the events that transpired in the movie were more plausible, it would have raised the question of "how much of this is real?" This alongside the design aspect of it made for machines, helicopters, spaceships, and creatures that looked amazing. While the mech suits aren't currently possible, they could potentially be toys in a few hundred years. The helicopters might've been slightly futuristic but were not all that far-fetched. The Valkyrie shuttles seemed to be more futuristic than any of the others, but even they could be possible, given time and technology improvements. The ship that took the main characters to Pandora was actually very realistic, save for the Cryo sleep, a therapeutic hypothermia. While it might be able to be done given the state of the other technology in the movie, it isn't really possible with modern technology. The spaceship however, was very realistic and might resemble spaceships a hundred or two hundred years from now. The Pandoran wildlife was obviously fantasy, but they did a good job of not making it look silly. It would be easy to add two too many legs and then have the entire creature look wrong, but they managed to make them look just right, not too unbelievable but not too bland either. The plants lighting up at night was also very interesting, and was mesmerizing to look at. The acting further helped propel the movie towards realism. There were no lines in the movie that really stood out to me as being awkward or poorly done. The characters' emotions were great and overall they did a great job acting and casting actors for each role. The soundtrack had an extreme influence on the movie, from the mood in each scene to the emotions the characters were feeling.  This created a vibrant atmosphere that drew the audience in during the entirety of the film.

That said, there were some issues with it.  The plot itself was not very original. It revolved around making the military look like the bad guys taking land from people which is a typical movie trope.  Considering the movie was set around 150 years from now, the technology did seem slightly unrealistic. It is hard to believe that some of the things they showed would be in widespread use in just 150 years. Some of the technology is feasible, but some of the other things like the Valkyrie Shuttle just seemed a little bit too advanced. There were some plot-holes as well. For one, Jake, the protagonist, would have gotten his legs fixed before he was sent on a 6 year journey to a hostile alien moon. He also would have been trained more and given more information about the mission before he arrived. He wouldn't have just been expected to do his job without any background information.  Another issue I noticed was that the characters acted differently when they were using their Avatars. I feel like this delayed the development of each character and the building of who they are, which in a movie is very important.

Overall the movie was great in my opinion, I would rate it a 4.5/5. The plot wasn't what it could have been, but the animations, acting, and beauty of the movie made up for that.