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Posted: December 23, 2009 12:00 a.m.

REVIEW: 'Avatar' a must see

Every so often, a film comes along that changes the way we view movies. In 1991, director James Cameron forever altered the movie landscape with the release of "Terminator 2: Judgment Day." The film used revolutionary technology, blending groundbreaking CGI seamlessly with actors. Eighteen years later Cameron has done it again.

"Avatar" is a movie that is not only watched, but experienced. Cameron is again treading new ground, producing the most believable 3D effects ever to grace the screen. "Avatar's" story centers on the fight for Pandora, a planet humans have begun to pillage for its natural resources. Following previous failed attempts to negotiate with the planet's people, the Na'vi, the corporation running the expedition creates avatars to infiltrate the natives. The avatars are a hybrid of Na'vi and human DNA that are remotely controlled through a human's mind.

Following the death of his twin brother, an avatar controller, jarhead Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) is brought in to pilot the avatar. Sully is inadvertently put face to face with the Na'vi's leader, who accepts him into their people. As Sully learns the Na'vi's ways, he must choose whether his loyalties lie with his new friends or his own kind.

The story is a familiar one, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. Through the story Cameron shows that issues that existed hundreds of years ago are still some of the same ones we face today and will continue to face hundreds of years into the future.

While the message seems to be important to Cameron, "Avatar" will be remembered not for its story, but for its effects. With "Avatar," Cameron has produced possibly the best looking film ever made; creating an immersive world that is completely comprised of realistic computer effects. As in so real you feel like you can reach out and touch the leaves on the tree real. Once you buy that the Na'vi are real, it is easy to forget the waterfalls and thick jungles that make up Pandora are not some real, exotic place you have never seen before.

For years, theater owners have been in need of a way to bring audiences back in away from their living rooms furnished with 50 inch plasma TVs and surround sound systems. Cameron has delivered that and more with "Avatar." A must see in a 3D theater.

GRADE: A


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