Movie Review: Avatar

A reluctant hero. An epic journey. A choice between the life he left behind and the incredible new world he’s learned to call home. Return to James Cameron’s Avatar – the greatest adventure of all time.

“The greatest adventure of all time.” That’s what it says on the back of this DVD. And yes, Avatar is a visually beautiful and amazing movie, but I can think of a bunch of action-adventure movies that I think were better.

I will admit, though, that Cameron has done things with the special effects that I never thought I’d see in a movie. The planet of Pandora is gorgeous. The story, however, is nothing new. It’s like a cross between Dances With Wolves and the Disney version of Pocahontas, with really good actors and mind-blowing visuals thrown in.

I don’t want to sound completely negative – I did enjoy watching this film. For one thing, the casting is terrific: Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Giovanni Ribisi. The soundtrack is gorgeous, and the action kept me on the edge of my seat. I felt like the actors basically did the best they could with what they had – plot and characters that never quite go further than skin deep.

Of course, this is the new “absolute most-est favorite” movie of my three sons. So what do I know? ;)

(Disclosure: Avatar was provided to me on DVD by Click Communications for the purpose of review. Many of the links on my site are Amazon affiliate links. If you click on one of those links and subsequently purchase anything, I will receive a small percentage in commission.)

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19 Responses to Movie Review: Avatar

  1. Pam says:

    I felt like the movie left some major plot holes that left me unable to enjoy an otherwise beautiful movie.

    Mostly to do with the tentacle system. I mean, if they hook in to bond with nature, and animals, why wouldn’t they hook in to mate for life? Also in the end when the girl rides that hell beast, why didn’t she have to link in? I know the animal conceded but still.
    .-= Pam´s last blog ..Review: Feed (Newsflesh 1) by Mira Grant =-.

  2. Sandy
    Twitter: youvegottaread

    I would tend to agree that the effects are mind-blowing. The plot? Pretty pedestrian, and could have lost about 45 minutes to an hour somewhere there in the middle. My kids felt the same way. They thought the whole bad guy/bad corporation was very predictable and almost laughable. The effects are visual candy though!
    .-= Sandy´s last blog ..The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2010) =-.

  3. I haven’t seen this, but my son said pretty much the same thing you did – awesome special effects, but the story was nothing special.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies

      Kathy – yeah, I haven’t been able to get my husband to even want to watch it after I told him that’s what I thought.

  4. Aarti says:

    Have you ever seen the movie Fern Gully? When I saw this, I basically thought it was the exact same thing, except with better effects and possibly for an older crowd. But I agree- most of the characters were very stereotypical. I really just liked it visually, more than anything else about it.
    .-= Aarti´s last blog ..Review: Shortcomings =-.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies

      Aarti – Oh, yeah – it’s totally Fern Gully! I had forgotten about that one. :)

  5. Kathleen says:

    I’m so disappointed that I never took the time to see this one in the theater. I really think a movie like this is meant to be seen on the big screen. I still haven’t watched it yet but I have a feeling I won’t be as amazed when I watch it on my TV at home!
    .-= Kathleen´s last blog ..Booking Through Thursday: How do you Decide What to Read =-.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies

      Kathleen – yes, the effects are definitely made for the big screen – and I hear it was amazing in 3D.

  6. Kim
    Twitter: BookstoreK

    For all the money Cameron spent, he couldn’t hire a couple of good screenwriters? While I enjoyed the special effects, I was so bored by the plot (we called it Dances with Wolves meet the Nerfs) that in the end I was a little disgusted. But I thought the Titanic was boring also.
    .-= Kim´s last blog ..New York City – So Many Bookstores, So Little Time! =-.

  7. Marg
    Twitter: MargReads

    I saw this (more than once as you do with kids) a few months ago. My friend had a copy of it, but the subtitles were all in German so we had endless fun giving our own translations of what was being said!
    .-= Marg´s last blog ..The House on Tradd Street by Karen White =-.

  8. heidenkind says:

    I haven’t seen it yet, but I probably will when I do my moviepalooza while pet-sitting. :)
    .-= heidenkind´s last blog ..Twilight: The Completely Unnecessary Graphic Novel Edition =-.

  9. Trisha
    Twitter: Trish422

    Pocahontas/Wolves in Space is exactly how I felt about this movie. I loved the visuals – no one can deny it is a truly beautiful movie – but the story itself was too familiar.
    .-= Trisha´s last blog ..Sunday Salon HodgePodge =-.

  10. Pingback: Mommy Brain » Book and movie links

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