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3½ Stars - Good
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Mpaa Rating
PG-13 (for intense epic battle sequences and warfare, sensuality, language and some smoking)
Directed By
James Cameron
Run Time
2 hours 42 minutes
Cast
Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Lang
Theatre Release
December 18, 2009 by 20th Century Fox

Until I saw Avatar, I didn't realize how much the movies have missed James Cameron. But we know now his time away was not wasted since his last feature film, 1997's Titanic.

Cameron has spent the last several years preparing for and creating Avatar, a project that required the director to wait for technology to catch up with his vision and invent new filming technologies and techniques—including a new method of motion capture that records every muscle movement of the actors.

The results show; Jar Jar this is not. The computer-generated blue aliens are lifelike, emotive and convincing. Let me put it this way: a computer-generated creature voiced by Sigourney Weaver looks so much like her (but younger) that I thought maybe Cameron found a way for her to reprise her role as Ripley for an Alien prequel.

Right away, the look is special—and it only gets better. The realistic and beautiful world created by Cameron is a must-see, a definite milestone in movie technology. Perhaps the greatest compliment to give is that the look is so natural and absorbing, you don't think about how it's not real. You think, It'sjust a movie filmed on Pandora. Future filmmakers will look on this movie's advancements a bit like filmmakers now view Star Wars. With 3D scenery that surrounds the viewer, strange creatures visibly breathing, and thrilling fantasy creations like riding dragon-like birds into battle, this is as much an experience as a movie.

Full of that rare movie magic which can transport, entertain and intrigue, this sci-fi fantasy is a fun amusement park ride that emerges you into a fresh, brilliant new world and ignites your imagination. But it doesn't matter how shiny and pretty your world is if no one wants to be there. Thankfully, ...

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