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» From "James Cameron's Avatar" // September 09, 2011 2:14:49 PM UTC
It's an amazing film which has been exceptionally well-done with infinite re-watch value. It is one of the first films in long time that has managed to blow me away. It is good even without the depth of character and story which admittedly it lacks, and yes, the extended version is better in this regard – we learn something about Grace's backstory which makes her character grow a lot and Jake is better too. But overall this doesn't matter to me.
It shows James Cameron ability to depict a given setting, to let you immerse yourself in a given environment, and let this environment breathe, with every part of it existing on the screen, saying something and making sense, and no part missing. The artificial environment of Avatar was depicted with precision and thoroughness that I've never seen before, even up to including unimaginable details such as carefully designed but barely visible knotworks in the background, warning labels and realistic voice hints. While these details don't matter on their own, as a whole it made the whole thing alive and feel real, and have lacked from practically any other artificial environment I've seen yet.
It kinda reminds of The Abyss, which was a great film killed only by the non-sense in the last 20 minutes, where once again most of my excitement was in the environment, and once again James Cameron had gone to great lengths to do it right.
I agree that if it focused on character growth as well it could have been way better, and if it included non-obvious and clever plot twists, etc., but I really couldn't care less that they aren't present, since this simply wasn't the focus of the film. My only complaint is that some of the characters were too unrealistic and caricature, but this couldn't be remedied unless you included and extended the hours of deleted scenes that gave some sense to them all.
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