160 thoughts on “Avatar Review

  1. I watched this one with my sister and I really love this movie. This is one of the movies that I consider “The Best”. I like its visual effects especially when they were on the tree. And when there body glowed when they tried to revived the main character.

  2. I understand that there might be a few similarities with “Dances With Wolves” and “Avatar” but the plot is *not* the same at all. Also, I think people should be glad that “Avatar” is an actual great, original film with lots of meaning behind it. Lately all of I’ve been seeing in the theater is
    -remakes of old movies
    -movies into books.
    I’m glad that James Cameron has made a new interesting movie that does not relate to those above.
    About the animation: Whether you think it’s supposed to distract people about how it ‘dazzles them and makes them already a great movie’ or not, you all must agree that it’s like a step foreword for future movies(and maybe even games) to be even better.

  3. I think people are talking about the Dances with Wolves similarity.

    I think you are right when you say that you cannot take out the visuals of this movie to call it a “good” movie. The whole experience of this movie is integrated into the visual effects. The storyline, albeit overused, is integral as well. The storyline is classic and that’s what makes this movie work. It is also what allowed the visual effects to have such a seamless presence. You take good solid ingredients, mix em’ together and you’re bound to have a good batch of cookies.

    Thanks for the honest review. Goolphipp loved Avatar too.


  4. “Dances With Avatars”:First of all I agree with many of you in saying the film is beautiful. I even mentioned to my wife that it was like watching a moving work of art. However, while sitting through this 2 plus hour epic one thing was bothering me. I’ve seen this story before. Instantly I was flashed back to the plot of Kevin Costner’s Acadamy Award Winning film “Dances with Wolves”. Suddenly the comparisons came flying back and it was staggering! Maybe it’s been too long since anyone had seen “Dances” or maybe many of you weren’t even born when that film was released but believe me somewhere Kevin Costner is mad.

    1. I doubt Kev is angry, as they say “Imitation is the best form of flattery”.

      The spiritual aspects of Avatar reminded me a little of Final Fantasy which if you remember had all the Gaia reference’s.

      As it’s been mentioned by others the story isn’t unique by any stretch of the imagination, however if you look past that it’s still an enjoyable film.

    2. Kevin Costner might be angry if he wrote Dances. Or if he was the only one to come up with a story where a person turns against his own kind.

      Costner Directed Dances with Wolves, and while there are a lot of comparisons in Avatar, there are also comparisons in Pocahontas, Last Samurai and Ferngully too.

      Either way, Costner doesn’t care. It doesn’t take away or diminish his accomplishments.

  5. Liked your review John, haven’t seen any of your previous one’s. I certainly like to hear other people’s opinions but ultimately I form my own opinion of whether I’m going to see a film or not.

    However Dance’s with Wolves immediately came to mind while watching Avatar, despite that I think that this type of idea/story, regarding more advanced cultures simply taking what they like, can’t be told often enough.

    But I agree, visually this film doesn’t really have anything to compare to it, it’s a feast for the eyes. This is eye candy of the best kind and I intend seeing it again this week in 3D, hopefully it’s as good, if not better, in that format.

    BTW, I loved Dances with Wolves, especially the extended version, deserved all the awards it got.

    Happy viewing folks.

  6. I have no idea who the people were who funded this movie (maybe entirely the elitist James Cameron himself with his own money. One thing it does show is how utterly confused, hypocritical and contradictory Cameron’s world view truly is). All the way through the story and acting it frothed and mockingly pushed a long typical list of totally pathetic, elitist, hypocritical pacifist, new age/earth worship cliches.

    Then add to that this overall frothing hatred that portrays all American Military and mankind itself as being all demented psychotic murders who glee in genocide and destruction of all living things, who need to be destroyed or change their ways so they can become like hypocritical new age globalist aliens.

    The story line and cliches was such pathetic hypocritical, contradictory, reverse psychology, globalist, Marxist new age propaganda it was unreal. It really is prophetic as to how far American society has fallen for this filth to be made and paid for.

    Don’t go to pay to see this movie unless you enjoy funding hypocritical, nihilistic, globalist earth worship propaganda indoctrination, and story lines which shamelessly mock everything good and honorable about all the military and mankind itself. It is pure animalistic, anarchistic, Marxist propaganda meant to indoctrinate ignorant simple minds into changing the world into the traditional Marxist, nihilistic, antichrist, earth worshiping, genocidal world view which all true Marxists live, kill and die for and always will until they control all.

  7. My review:
    More than a decade after his record breaking blockbuster Titanic, James Cameroon is back with Avatar!
    When I first saw the trailer, the name “James Cameroon”[after all he directed my favourite movie ever – Terminator 2] was enough for me to get excited and though the trailer was decent I was a bit skeptical regarding the acting of Zoe Saldana [she looked a little cocky in the trailer and the dialogue delivery seemed poor] but I’m glad the film turned out to be very good and most of the actors did a good job.

    Avatar is not a film but a breath taking visual experience. The creative imagination of James Cameroon is so spectacular that it can’t be described in words and would me more appropriate if you yourself experience the astonishing forests of Pandora.
    I expected to visualize a new world with extraordinary creatures [creatures of Pandora were truly amazing, some of them are etched in my memory], new language and decent script. I got what I expected. The background music/sound effects are also pretty solid. 3D just adds to the viewing pleasure.

    People may complain there was no character development, stereotyped characters, cliched story, plot holes, weak dialogue[I agree with this upto a certain extent] etc. BUT I say just sit back, relax and let the director take you on an unforgettable journey.

    Will it revolutionize cinema? Can’t say,it probably won’t but that doesn’t take anything away from this masterpiece.
    Are the special effects worth the hype? You betcha, CGI is flat-out AMAZING.
    Is it worth the time and money? Yes, its worth every penny.

    I saw this in 3D at Imax but 3D or 2D this film should not be missed.

  8. Some people keep saying 3D is a gimmick. In certain movies, maybe. But in Avatar the 3D gives the scenes so much more depth and not only FX-heavy scenes but “normal” scenes with humans talking to each other.

    I was totally blown away by Avatar. And all my friends that have seen it were too. Most of us will go see the film again and maybe a third time as well!

    Avatar will definitely break 1 billion at the box office. It won’t reach Titanic figures but maybe top LOTR 3.

      1. yes it’s true: I haven’t yet seen the movie,(out in Italy on jenuary 15th) but : why don’t the scientists fix the spines of humans (they are in 2154)before(they are working for it now)and then manupulate all kind of alien dna mixed with all they want ? that’s crazy!!(don’t forget : cryosleep,interstellar lightspeed starships etc.)

      2. They promise him they will fix his legs if he completes the mission.

        To repair a human spine costs a lot of money in the future, too much for a Marine like him to afford.

        Dont worry Ermonezza, theyll explain all of this in the movie =p

  9. I absolutely LOVED it, but every now and then my brain would tell me “That is what it would look like if a Thundercat fucked a Smurf”. Dances with Thundersmurfs!

  10. the acting (probably) and the storyline (definitely) both belong in a trash bin, but the cgi and special effects are absolutely amazing. it’s truly remarkable what cgi is capable of these days.

  11. also, congrats on the new endeavor. at first, i was thinking you’d be crazy to just give up the readership and popularity of this blog. that’s worth a lot of money! but then i remembered that you sold it already. so if you want to cash in your chips and start something new, i say good on ya!

  12. hey john – i completely agree with you on the review. just saw avatar last night. the visuals alone were worth the price of admission. i’ll see it again in 3D IMAX. the plot was thin and the dialog was painful at times, but like you said, i knew i could still enjoy the movie with no sound at all.

    Zoe Saldana was fantastic – i definitely look forward to anything she’s going to be in!

    i’m going to be in the LA area jan 12-15th to get headshots and talk to casting agencies. if i can buy you a beer, let me know!

  13. Good review John! Avatar was a spectacle of beauty. I also agree with you about Dances with Wolves. However I was reminded more of a little film that came out not too long ago called Battle For Terra…

  14. Wow, can’t wait to see this movie. Great review John. I have been a casual reader for a couple years but almost never comment. Just wanted to say that the site is not going to be the same without you. I always seem to agree with your review, the best example being how pissed i was at the ending to the incredible hulk. hearing you bitch about it gave validation to my anger that no one else seemed to understand. lol. good luck on your next step.

    1. yes, i realize that review was by doug, but you both discussed it in the podcast. regardless thanks for the great reading and procrastinating you’ve contributed to over the years. lol.

  15. NO Christian should spend the money to see this movie on that basis alone.

    Oh let me guess, you are another one of these “Neo-conservatives” from the United states of Jesu..err America, worried about a few words used in a movie.

    Speaking as a European, it’s people like you we fear the most in Europe. It’s people who set aside all rational thought, because of their own religious beliefs.

    You live in america, a nation which we europeans view as an Emotional MESS and the most gun-loving nation on the face of this planet.

    If you were what you claim you are, a good christian, why not start spending some of your time on supporting anti-guy organisations instead of worring about who said what about christ in which movie.

    You’ve had a moron of a president (Bush), destroy your country’s reputation, economy, credibility,
    for the last 8 years, he brought you scandals as Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay,…. 50-100.000 people dead in Irak, Afghanistan, 4000 dead US soldiers

    and you are worried about how christ is used in this movie…

    People like you just make me want to…..

  16. This movie uses the names of Jesus Christ and God as curse words, NOT in the reverence they deserve. Coming at the Christmas time, when we celebrate the birth of Jesus, Christians should be forewarned that their Savior and Lord’s names will be dragged through the mud and used as fodder in the name of a movie. Shameful and disgusting. NO Christian should spend the money to see this movie on that basis alone.

    1. That is a very narrow and ultra conservative review to reject things because they infringe on your very fragile faith.

      Jesus hung out with tax collectors and hookers and didnt concern himself with damning the sinners straight to hell.

      Dont sweat the petty things. Jesus didn’t and you claim to be his follower.

      Consider your own faith’s writings: “God’s name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.” Romans 2:24

      So while you over react, cast judgment on your peers and make broad generalizations condemning any Christian who watches this, all you are doing is making the Christian faith look petty and flimsy.

      1. My Favorite part of Rodneys post is “Don’t Pet the Sweaty Things” LOL I mean “Don’t Sweat the Petty things”. I agree though if the worst thing this movie has done to yer faith is to say Jesus Christ or God Damn then you should count yourself lucky or just stop watching hollywood all todether because it gets alot worse against your faith from there. My best suggestion to you Lou is watch a Rob Zombie movie then come back and complain about what you saw in Avatar.

    2. Iou-stop being so fragile in religious beliefs!

      I’m not here to start a religious argument, but I’m an Ex-Christian and thought the worship thing in the film was incredibly interesting and gave the Na’vi a sense of brotherhood.

  17. the film rips off every outsider in a strange land film ever made. its is a terrible terrible film and all it has going for it is the effects and the 3D. the dialog is awful, every performance laughable. this is the worst film I have seen this year.

    oh yeah and once again a white man joins an indigenous tribe and lo behold is practically leading them within a couple of months. ridiculous.

    1. agreed … the only thing going for the movie is the cgi (it’s amazing), but that’s all a big film need these days since a majority of peoples are naive and love the pretty displays. good acting and story lines are very few these days.

  18. To those who do not care about 3D in the light of the recent films that have used it, I can totally understand you having those feelings but I implore you to give this film a try. If you still think 3D sucks after you’ve seen ‘Avatar’ then fair enough but I’ve seen my fair share of these movies and this is the first time it totally 100% worked. It became so immersive that I really did forget I was wearing the damn glasses at times.

    I was actually thinking about you John coming out of the film yesterday. I’m really curious as to what people with a background in special effects think of the film. I’m just a regular dork and I do think it’s a big leap forward. We don’t have to put with actors being scanned onto computers only for the finished CGI double to look like a freaky rubber doll. The intricacies of the human face have finally been conquered. The Na’Vi were completely real and, in the scenes where used, seamless integrated with human actors and live environments.

    It’s definately on the lower rung of Cameron’s films so far as compelling characters and good dialogue but I really cared about the Na’Vi during the film’s glorious finale.

    And even if I hadn’t, what a finale.

    1. I must have ate something wrong before the movie. It seemed to me JC weren’t all that enviro-preachy as people say. Am i the only one who thought the Navi were kinda, i don’t know, ignorant assholes. Seeing them getting their asses kicked by the “sky people” were pretty fun. I really enjoyed seeing their oversize tree house shot down. I feel Cameron had too much fun with those scenes as well. Maybe deep down he really isn’t that eco-friendly after all. Either way, hate them or love them, the movie is a hell of a ride. IMAX 3D is awesome. John’s review is always pretty spot on. 8.5 out of 10.

  19. Will Avatar make a profit ? I read in Wikipedia that this flick cost 237 million dollars plus another 200 million for marketing and promo stuff costs. What do you think John or Rodney?

    1. Most of his budget was actually spent developing the technology. I don’t think this movie is going to make $500m, and the story is pretty contained not hinting at a sequel at all.

      If he does make one, I hope there is a good story to it and a reason to have one. Its got a “Happily Ever After” vibe to the ending that might make a sequel forced.

      That being said, if it does make scads of money it will likely see a sequel, but wont have as big of a budget (wont need quite as much to make)

      1. Well actually when Jake was trying to warn the Na’vi to leave the first time he said that the humans would never stop sending ships and they left Giovani Ribissi’s character alive so that charachter could return home and plan his return to pandora with bigger ships and more soldiers. Look at Star wars, if you had just seen that movie and had never heard aything about a sequel to that movie you could say they tied thing up nicely. The rebels blew up the death star and all, seemed like a sealed win to me but then they made empire. I think they have room for a sequel.

      2. well, it looks like it DID make scads of money.
        ONE BILLION so far, worldwide, so even if the total cost was 500mil, everything from here on out is gravy. GOOD FOR THEM!! this movie deserves every penny and WTG, CAMERON!! you showed all the naysayers AGAIN!!! he is on track to have the two top grossing movies of all time! hilarious.
        i find it interesting that there seems to be a faction out there that actually seems to want this movie/cameron to fail. oh well. guess they will have to keep doubting, and doing nothing in their lives, and cameron will keep pumping out blockbusters…..
        when will they learn?

  20. James Cameron has said that if Avatar does well at the box office, he’ll make two sequels to it. If so, will Avatar be his own “Lord of the Rings” trilogy? Can Fox afford his monster budget?

  21. Forgot to touch on the story…IT IS THERE. There is a good plot line and great acting (even if it is SFX). The story will pull you in. Dont want to give spoilers…but trust me…this movie is the REAL DEAL!!!

  22. I watched a review for this movie this morning on Fox. A blonde was doing the review and said something to the effect of “…the graphics were amazing but the story was bad…but i dont like these kind of movies anyways…science fiction.” She then went on to majorly praise morgan something or other and another movie i can’t remember. I thought…ARE YOU FUCKING STUPID! I went and watched the movie last night after watching John’s review. I looked for the DwW steal the whole time and didnt see it. It was more Last of the Mohicans for me. But the point is this…if the story was lame to you because you kept comparing it to DwW then you are fool.

    This movie is AMAZING!!! I have never seen anything so beautiful cinematically in my entire life. I was not interested in it before hand except seeing if it could live up to the hype. But I was pulled in and on edge the entire time. WOW, WOW, WOW! It sucks that this movie is not getting the credit it deserves because fucking fools are reviewing it. One thing i hate more than anything is someone who gives a movie a mediocre to bad review because they are not interested in the genre or are so fucking shallow minded that they compare it to a previous made story/movie/book/etc. No movie will ever come out that some anal retentive person cant compare it to something else.

    SEE THIS MOVIE…IT WILL BLOW YOU AWAY!!! This is the coolest and most visually stunning film i have ever seen in my life!!!

  23. So what the story was similar to Dances with Wolves….It’s also similar to The Last Samurai. Down the road, there will be another great movie with the same story premise. Avatar went further than Dances or Samurai because it dealt with the connection the people had to their land. It wasn’t simply a forceful removing. It would have…well…those who haven’t seen the movie just need to. It’s amazing..

  24. Wow…just watched John’s review.
    Some aspects of this story, and what the film was saying went right past him.

    Dances with Wolves rip off? Eh…only superficially.
    There’s a whole kind if spiritual/connection/consciousness thread running through this film that many (including John apparently) will not get.

    The film’s effects were flawless, gorgeous, but it gave up NOTHING with regard to story.

    1. Yes Jim… i got it, and I did pick up the undertones. But to deny the blatant plagiarism in some aspects of “Avatar” is just willful ignorance.


      “A soldier for a stranger culture goes to observe a primitive culture. The stronger culture has plans for the primative cultures land.

      While there, the soldier falls in love with the daughter of the leader of the primative culture.

      The girl is already sort of betrothed to a strong warrior… and that strong warrior doesn’t like the soldier… but eventually comes around to liking him.

      The soldier eventually changes sides and decides to fight along side of the more primative culture against his own people because he feels it’s the right thing to do”

      So is the movie I just described “Dances With Wolves” or “Avatar”. If you say “both”, then you’ve just proved my point.

      1. Fair enough John, but I don’t think you have it enough credit in your actual review. You didn’t mention in your review the undertones I mentioned, and what the film was trying to say with respect to them…yet you make a point to say “Dances with Wolves rip off” multiple times.

        With respect, I just don’t think you gave the story enough credit. The aspects that you mention, the similarities to Dances with Wolves are framework, granted. But to characterize the story as a whole as a rip off is in my humble opinion an unfair characterization and minimizes the real message here.

        Apologies if I mischaracterized your own understanding of the story and it’s apparent intent, but your review as posted didn’t really indicate to me that you appreciated these things…things that as far as I’m concerned are HUGE in this film. Things that Dances with Wolves barely touched on.

        In the end I think you have a good point, but I think in the scheme of things it pales compared to what was actually put forth on a deeper level, above and beyond effects.

        Thanks for all your time here John, best to you.

      2. Hey Jim,

        I see what you’re saying… I really do. But other films have been labeled rips offs for much much less.

        Are there differences between the films? Absolutely there are. But the story structure was far too similar for my liking. So yes, I thought the story was a bit weak… even the unique parts.

        But over all I loved the movie very much.

        If we didn’t have different opinions… what fun would talking about movies be? ;)

      3. Almost forgot…I think more importantly than relating this story to Dances with Wolves, is relating it to actual, tragic events that took place in our own history. We actually did this to Native Americans, this kind of thing has actually happened. This is what Dances with Wolves dealt with really, and it shouldn’t be the only movie that gets to…you know?

      4. Well I can name a few other movies that came pretty damn close to that description. Just to name 2 off the top of my head are “Pocahontas” and “The Last Samurai”. Movies barrow from other movies. I’m not disagreeing with you but, it’s been a culteral thing in movies for decades. Doesn’t make it not good.

      5. The similarity people are finding is an archetypal structure used long long before Dances with Wolves. I see where you can name movies and say Avatar is barrowing from them. but its not barrowing from movies its barrowing from classic story telling elements. I Totally agree with you Rodney on your Harry Potter/New Hope comment. The Wrester and Crazy Heart is another example. they arent ripping off these movies, they’re just simply using archetypes to structure a unique narrative around.

  25. It seems that more and more of these “event-type” movies like Avatar are copying other flicks for inspiration. At some instances in this movie , it looked a bit like “Surrogates” to me, you know, having Sam Worthington’s character “piloting” his Navi avatar equivalent, same with Sigourney Weaver’s Grace character. It’s a combo of “Surrogates” meets “Dances with Wolves” with a bit of “Aliens”. Perhaps James Cameron has milked his imagination dry at this point.

  26. who cares if avatar is dancing with wolves. Benjamin button was forrest gump pretty much and even the whole story about the solider who lost his legs but gets them back on a new planet is from some book from the 1950’s? am i wrong? john is right when he says people should put that issue to the side because nothing is 100% original it seems anymore.

  27. Good Review. I’ve decided to wait for the Blu-Ray to check this film out. I know people pay more for tickets, but $8.50 is more than I’m willing to pay ANY(unless its the Evangelion 2.0 or a new Godzilla movie) movie.

    1. This is begged to be watched in 3D. There hasn’t been a precedent for this movie before. Forget what you know about 3D and do yourself a favor and don’t let it leave the theaters before you see it!

  28. It’s a cinch for James Cameron to get Oscar nominations for Best Director and Best Picture for “Avatar”. But I doubt whether this movie will win those trophies, come Oscar night. Avatar didn’t have the gravitas and the oomph that Titanic had 12 years ago. and it won’t rule the number 1 spot for 3 months for sure. Don’t you agree , John?

  29. Avatar was incredible, I agree with John this is quite possibly the most amazing movie going experience I have ever had, and the 3-D was surprisingly not a gimmick, it just further added to the experience. I liked it more than he did, and would give it a 10 out of 10, because it was such an experience, I actually felt drained coming out of the movie…

    As far as money goes, I think this movie will hang around through most of winter, as word of mouth carries it, because like Titanic, all 3 women I saw it with loved to the point where they declared it one of their favorite movies ever.

    1. It WILL make a profit. It only needs to gross around 750M worldwide (estimate) to recoup it’s production budget. If you add in toys, merchandising, video games, books, comic books and more, then it’s probably already making money.

  30. John
    Thanks for the years you have given us with TMB. You inspired me to do my own blog, which unfortunately has not been active for some time as life unfortunately interfered, but I will be returning to it full force this week. It’s been a pleasure having you around and reading and listening to your opinions. Good luck in all future endeavors to you.

  31. I hadn’t seen a 3D movie at the cinema since ‘Freddy’s Dead : The Final Nightmare’ back in 1991, and wasn’t impressed back then, which put me off seeing anything in 3D since. Also, I was never really a big James Cameron fan (Aliens excepted), and the pics I had seen of the film’s setting to me kinda looked like something out of a PS3 game, so I wasn’t really too keen to go see this film.

    However, thanks to my girlfriend having the hots for Sam Worthington, when we were at the cinema the other day, and trying to decide which film to go see, I was swayed by her carefully balanced argument of, ‘Sam Worthington? In 3D? Wow, this we have GOT to see!!!!’, and so off we went…

    …and how pleased was I that I went along with it? Truly amazing effects, totally blown away by the advances in the technology. Seeing the planet Pandora on the big screen made me change my mind about what I’d thought of it before, as well. I totally forgot I was seeing a computer generated world, as the detailing was so rich, everything seemed to be alive on the screen.

    Yeah, the storyline was totally unoriginal to the point that I was half-expecting John Dunbar to pop up any second, but that to me was forgivable slightly, seeing as how 99.9% of films these days aren’t original anyways, but aren’t done half as good as this one.

  32. Saw movie last night – truely stunning – best film I’ve seen in years. I’ve waited over 30 years to see the art of such geniuses as Roger Dean and Rodney Matthews to come to life – just a tragedy they didn’t participate in this film as the creatures and floating lands etc. are identical. They must feel totally usurped. Still, nothing can take away the fact that this is a totally breathtaking masterpiece.

  33. “Avatar” The Movie- Don’t Worry!!!! I won’t tell you anything that the advertisements don’t already tell!!!
    OK, just went to see it in an amazing 3-D Imax!!!! That was the most amazing, creative, stimulating, and adventurous piece of propaganda that has ever been made!!!!! An amazing ride and especially fun to watch…special effects were out of this world!!!
    The message in Avatar however, was very clear… a predominantly white military “American soldier-esk” group going into a foreign area to mine and take a high dollar resource at ANY COST …even it means killing the earth conscience natives that live there.
    How convenient and original…
    …I just wish a movie can be made of this calibur without turning it into a political machine. I think it’s a shame to utilize such influence and power that film has, to indocterinate viewers with the ideaology that the essence of evil lies in the hands of patriotism, military, capitalism, democracy, psuedo-christianity or mono-theistic belief, and especially just being American.
    Don’t get me wrong…I absolutely feel it is important to make the most healthy and environmental decision possible. I also believe that there have been poor choices politically made in the past. Not to mention the bad apples in office and in the military…BUT, I also have many friends and some family in the military that have served and are still serving overseas that many times express a completely different view than much of mainstream media. There is not a country in the world that treats criminals or enemy combatants as well as we do…even at our worst!
    The U.S.A. has given more lives and money charitably to the entire world than any other country. Remember, we have an EPA, high tech recycling systems, catalitic converters, responsible logging, conservations in every state, courts by jury, military tribunals, an ELECTED President and Officials, Citizenship opportunities for immigrants, bankruptcies to start over, FDA, FAA, FCC, Freedom of press, and on and on and on…other countries LARGE and small do NOT have the compilation of these things that we have CHOSEN to implement.
    I resent the notion that this movie portrays MOST (not all) serviceman and capitalists as a bunch of ‘unscientific,’ blood thirty, ignorant, thoughtless, heartless, inconsiderate, trigger happy morons.
    Other than that…this movie was AWESOME!!

  34. Cameron touches on some deep issues here, the story is amazing. Not all will appreciate that aspect, as many are just oblivious to certain concepts presented here.

    Spectacular film in all ways – period.

  35. Hey John, I absolutely love your reviews and podcasts. This is more related to this being your last review on the movie blog, but Will you continue to do video reviews or podcasts on your new AMC gig, or personal blog? If not, I’d be not only a sad panda but a grateful one if you listed some trusted sources that you know of who you consider as “movie critics.” As always great review and best of luck!

  36. I didn’t care about the Hype. To me, I went with what I saw. And the Dances with Wolves thing, I didn’t care about either. It was a comparison, true, and maybe they were similar storywise. I just didn’t let it get to me. So when I saw the movie today, I was just blown away by what I saw. It was truly an amazing thing. And I saw it in a regular theatre btw. It just looked so beautiful, and the story didn’t feel too long at all. Just right for me.

  37. I’ve never liked 3d movies. always thought they were gimmicky and mediocre at best, but this one has totally earned my respect. that the storyline per se is somewhat unoriginal, predictable and playing second fiddle to the gorgeous visuals of the movie is something that i found VERY forgivable. That the movie was two and a half hours long and was still keeping me interested and wowing me with the effects and the complexity of its world (i’m easily distracted and bored, so this is a considerable feat)is a testament to what a good movie-going experience should be. And yes i know my sentences today are running long, but it’s been a while since i’ve enjoyed a movie as much as i did this one.

    BTW thanks for the review John. it’ll be a sad day when you leave this blog. your opinions have always been very honest and, though i haven’t always agreed with your reviews, at least they’ve kept me entertained. hope you don’t become a stranger

  38. Avatar Kiched ass, Compare it to say Transformers 2 and it’s visual effects and TF2 look like ametuer work. If avatar don’t beat TF2’s numbers at the box office I’ll call for a boycott of the next TF movie….

    1. Hey Cinema Phreak.

      Dude… that doesn’t make any sense my man. If the FANS don’t go to watch Avatar… you’ll boycott Transformers?

      Isn’t a boycott meant to punish something for doing something wrong? If fans choose to see T2 more than Avatar, shouldn’t you boycott the fans? T2 didn’t make people not see Avatar. The fans choose that.

      And Avatar unfortunately will NOT make Transformer numbers. It just won’t happen

      1. LOL your right I know,. Sometimes I completely talk outta my ass. My true meaning trying to compare the two is that they are both big effect movies that was released this year and if you compare the effects and the wow transformers just looks bad comparatively. I mean Avatar now set the bar and I don’t think anyything that Michael Bay decides to put in a TF3 movie will come close to looking this good.

      2. Hey Phreak.

        Dude, I’ve got to disagree with you about T2’s effects. It was a bad movie… but the effects were completely perfect. To me… never once did the stuff in T2 not look totally real.

        The effects in Avatar are a whole new kind of effects, and certainly more impressive… but to say they made T2’s effects look bad… you’re entitled to your opinion my friend, but I have to passionately disagree with you on that.

      3. I guess in all fairness, avatar was released afterwards and I can’t fault TF2 for not living up to that bar when it hadn’t been set yet. In all fairness I guess we should see where this puts bay when TF3 is released. And I’m cool with the debate over the movies, I know some people get upset over the debate sometimes but they don’t really get the point of this being a community where ideas are shared.

      4. Something out of the box here,
        Cinema Phreak keeps refering Tranformers 2 as TF2 while John refers the same as T2…Come on John a little more respect for the legendary Terminator 2. Terminator 2 completely deserves the right to the abbreviation T2 over Transformers!

        Just saying.

  39. This is real close to how I explained it to customers at theater I work for. Dances with Wolves, Special effects, the experience. I also said it had a strong element of Ferngully too, with the “Save the Forests” vibe.

    This is definitely a movie to see in theaters because it will not feel the same on a small screen

  40. Hey John, thanks a lot for the load of really good reviews and insights on movies you have given us…it was always a pleasure to read your thoughts… am from India and have been one of thousands of your “International friends” and fellow Star Wars fan who hit The Movie Blog every single day to check out on the stuff you’ve posted… sad to see you go… but we always have good ol’ Rodney to clue us in, right? May the Force be with you always, and hope to see you around pretty soon.

  41. Hey John,

    Having not seen this yet, I had an important question I thought would have great significance on whether or not I’ll be able to enjoy it…you mention in your review that Avatar has a weak narrative and story…I was curious if that got in the way of being totally immersed and emotionally connected with the story and its characters…for me the most important element in a movie is the story and the characters..if those are poorly excuted, I often have trouble “getting sucked in” to the movie, thus not enjoying it.


  42. OMG I asked for this in rodneys post to have john post one last review of avatar none the less….. I pretty much begged for it. I love it. I was hoping for one last review from john. Going out with a Bang is soo much better than a post saying yer leaving. I’ll be watching for future stuff over at AMC..

  43. Thanks for the review John. I wasn’t originally going to go see this, but based on your review I will. I’ve noticed over the past year that we seem to have similar taste and opinions in general about film, which is one of the reasons I was drawn to TMB. Will be sorry to see you go, but will continue to follow Rodney, and look for you in your new gig. Best of luck.

  44. The visual effects and 3D are amazing! Possibly not revolutionary, however, Cameron has set the bar very high. The story is formulaic, but it’s isn’t bad at all. I had a great time and walked out of the theater all giddy like a school girl. If anyone is interested in seeing this movie, or if John swayed them into giving a shit, then I highly recommend seeing this beast on the big screen…and in 3D!

      1. No, no, 3D is the ONLY way to proper watch it period. The real depth created here, not the “cardboard cutout” 3D effects of some past 3D films I’ve seen, are bar none the best visual experience of our lifetimes.

  45. I saw this last night at the midnight show. I loved it. I havent seen dances with wolves, so I cant compare it, haha, but from what I know, it defintally seems like a rip off. I still really liked this movie, though.

  46. The whole “Dances with Wolves” thing is age old story though. its pretty much archetypal.
    The New World, The Jungle Book, Tarzan, Fern Gully to name a few. an outsider in a new world torn between his world and the new one. At least its not a sequel, reboot, based on a novel or comic book.

  47. Well, like many others i was very esceptic about the film, because i don´t belive in all the media merchandising and all that stuff, but so far i heard 9 of 10 good critics, and i was just waiting the opinion on The Movie Blog to buy a ticket and spend the valuable time of my life sitting on a cinema, but now, i can even buy a giant bucket of popcorn end enough drink for the night.

    Thank You John, Good Riddance !.


  48. I’m going to see it tomorrow, i hope its half as good as people are saying.

    It was a nice surprise to seee another review from John. I must say this is a great blog and it’s my number 1 for movies for a long time. I really enjoyed your reviews and its a shame to see you leave TMB.

    This is my first post here, but i had to say something before you leave, cause i watched a lot of nice movies cause of your reviews, and for that i’m thankfull.

    1. Totally my pleasure Mikey. Thanks for the kind words.

      Rodney will continue to do great stuff with the blog once I’m gone, and I encourage you to keep coming around here! Thanks for commenting.

    1. An “Avatar” is also an online representation of yourself. The picture you use to represent you. In games that have virtual worlds you often have Avatars. This makes perfect sense for the movie, because they are controlling versions of themselves.

    2. 1- Avatar means a God in a humans body (as far as im concerned)

      2- The other definition is a graphic image in a computer that represents a person.

      Im guessing that an Avatar in this movie belongs to the 2nd deffinition, as in its a na’vi body (instead of a graphic image) that represents a body (the human Jake played by sam worthington)

      Although it might mean the first definition (a god in a humans body) maybe in some plot twist at the end it shows that this is the actual meaning of the word Avatar. But im guessing its the 2nd deffinition

      1. You are right Rodney,
        Avatar has Hindi origins, but its no way exclusive to that faith and it simply means another version of a person.

        But as John said, it makes perfect sense…it seems James put a good thought behind the title. Kudos to him! These days many titles don’t seem to fit the movie but this one surely does.

  49. I agree UP was the best movie of the year. By a mile.

    But do you guys think, that they can make the argument of “There was no real acting in UP for it to even be considered”?

    By the way, thank you John for the review. Did you see it on IMAX? I need to see a review from people that saw it on IMAX and regular theaters (im watching it on both)

    1. I did see Avatar in IMAX 3D.
      Funny thing – it did not use up the whole IMAX screen. The film was presented in 35mm with 3d effects so I dont think it would make a difference seeing Avatar in Imax or not.

      1. correction: it probably did not take up the entire screen due to being in scope, assuming the auditorium in question used lateral masking rather than horizontal. It couldn’t have been in 35mm format AND had 3D effects, as this isn’t possible with current theater configurations. IMAX uses 70mm film, so it’s highly likely the film was presented this way.

  50. Great review John. I’ll just be happy if the visuals are as good as you say. Sad that his is your last review. Thanks for all the entertainment over the years.
    BTW – Will your last podcast have Doug, Darren and Bruxie back for one last time ?

  51. Hey John, great to see you.

    Whats with the new look? btw the monkey cap looks great on you.
    If according to you Up in the air is the best not animated movie, how much will you rate it out of 10?

  52. You are correct.
    UP was the best film of the year by far.

    Great review. I’ve been thinking Dances with Wolves for awhile now. Nice to hear someone else say it.

  53. Thanks for a well balanced review. I’m looking forward to this movie, but I have been turned off by some of the hype when all a reviewer goes on and on about is how great the effects are. I’m sure they are, but a movie is more about looks, so thanks for being one of the few people who could be honest and not get caught up in the fanboy hype. :)

    I’ll miss your presence here, but good luck with your new job. I hope it’s long lasting and opens many opportunities. :)

  54. If it said Pixar made this movie John would be rallying for this to be nominated and win for best picture. ;)

    Just a little joke.

    I enjoyed the movie too and it did feel like it took a bit to much from Dances With Wolves.

    1. WOW. I heard none of the hype and had no preconceived notions. I do not like 3D but just watched this movie in REAL D. You wear different glasses and the effect appears not to be so intense; my eyes were comfortable.
      Again, I was blown away by this movie.
      Yea, the horse like creatures and native theme evoked several comparisons with Dances… but, as someone says above, it is a recurring theme in ‘new world’ narratives.
      I feel this movie has raised the bar on bringing the audience INTO the story.
      It is a first rate production of an epic story with cutting edge graphic effects. Wow.
      Faith, community, and the fact that our Judeo-Christian, consumer oriented, world produced the antagonist make this somewhat controversial. The pagan Pandoreans were fighting for their ‘connectedness’ with all living things. Sitting in the audience, in a community that considers evolution controversial, made me smile and feel uncomfortable at the same time; I was looking to see if anyone walked out when the natives were chanting around the Tree of Souls.
      One of my top 3 favorite movies of all time. Princess Bride, Pulp Fiction and Avatar in Real D.

    1. Well.. “UP” should be best picture… but since the Hollywood Foreign was too stupid and short sighted to even nominate it… I’d say:

      DRAMA – Up In The Air
      Musical Or Comedy – Julie And Julia

  55. Glad to see you are back for even if only for a bit John, your reviews area always balanced. Looking forward to you upcoming best and worst list too.


    1. Hey Hamiwill,

      Well… to be fair, I’m not really “back”. In my departure announcement I did say I’d be around until the end of December. But at the end of this month, I hand things over permanently into Rodney’s capable hands.

      Thanks for the kind words about my review!

      1. Wow, quite an epic last review.

        I mean, I personally don’t like Avatar but theirs no denying how epic it is as a movie!

        Btw, it dosen’t have to be your last. Theres no reason you can’t contribute an article/review a few times a year in your down time :) Your input would always be welcomed!

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