A Personal Review of Avatar

Avatar - NeytiriI went with a group of friends to see Avatar last night. If anything, this was the one movie on my list that I had to see. I had seen the previews for it, and it sparked my interest immediately.

Oddly enough, the day started out with nothing planned, but I knew for a fact that I would see Avatar before the day was out. I was waiting on a call from the friends as to the exact day and time, and when I did check in with them they said it would be that very night. I may have been caught up in the hype, but trust me, this was a movie I wanted to see.

We went for the IMAX 3-D version of it. When I got there, a line had already formed for the movie. I got my big bulky glasses and waited in line with the rest of them, meeting my friends in the process. There was a slight buzz of excitement, but that was about it. Not long after, we were ushered into the theater. Yeah, it was sold out, but we got the best seats in the house. Smack in the middle, 4/5ths of the way up.

IMAX has a tendency to come out and punch you right in the face when the movie starts, and it did just that. The sound was gorgeous, though I wouldn’t have minded if they cranked the speakers up more. This was a movie I could get used to watching at full volume. The 3-d glasses were an annoyance at first, but I got used to them quickly. if I could give one recommendation on this movie, go for the IMAX 3-D version, you’ll thank me for it afterwards. 😉

Avatar began. Now how do I rate movies? I rate them based on the story they tell and how accomplished they are in its telling. If they are a master storyteller and can weave a story of awe and wonder, that will usually do it for me. Graphics and music come second. James Cameron is one of those masters.

**Spoiler Alert!!!**

The Story

The story of Avatar goes as follows. Jake Sulley was sent to take his twin brothers place at a human base on the planet of Pandora. He had been in cryo for the past 6 years as they traveled from earth to this distant planet. They landed on Pandora, which if viewed in 3-D is absolutely gorgeous. The colors are vibrant, and it feels for all practical reasons like you are there. Very quickly we find out that Jake is handicapped, he can’t use his legs. The rest of the people there are marines, sent to defend and protect in this hostile planet. We are debriefed and learn there is an alien tribe, the Na’vi, who pretty much like to keep to themselves. Ah, but he isn’t fighting. He was sent as part of a project, Avatar, to find out about the Na’vi by actually becoming one. Apparently the base had been around for a while as they were able to mix human and Na’vi DNA together to form a hybrid. That hybrid was then controlled by the “driver”. Jake was one of the drivers. For all practical purposes then, when they linked their brains together, he became a Na’vi. He only looked like one though, he had no idea of anything else. One thing he did like though was that he could use his legs again.

We soon find the real reason the human base is here. There is a rich supply of unobtanium that they want to mine, but the Na’vi just happen to have their “Hometree” located there. Jake is to spend time with them and earn their trust in order to move them to a different location. But the Na’vi have been watching what Jake and the other drivers have been doing in the forest. He is separated from his group, and is almost killed until a Na’vi female by the name of Neytiri saves him. They bring him to their home, but on the way find out that he is unique. They decide not to kill him, and he is paired up with Neytiri to teach him everything about being Omaticaya, or one of The People. He does quite well at it, and soon becomes one of them at the same time winning her heart.

Jake Sully in battle attire

The tables turn here as Colonel Miles Quaritch is impatient with the slow progress. He decides to go and blow up Hometree, where all of the Na’vi live. Jake and the rest who are in their Avatars try to stop it, but are unsuccessful. Hometree is destroyed and some of the Na’vi die. Everything lies in ruin, but there is one place for the Na’vi to go. The Vault of Souls. Jake then does the most insane thing ever by capturing and riding one of the most feared flying beasts of Pandora. Then, with the help of the remaining Na’vi, he gathers as many tribes as can be found for battle. Colonel Miles Quaritch finds out that the Na’vi are amassing for battle, so he decides to pre-emptively attack first. Jake hears about this, and decides to use the surroundings to their advantage.

The battle for the survival of a civilization begins, and many Na’vi lives are lost. But in the end the human ships are destroyed and Colonel Miles Quaritch dies in the final battle scene. All of the humans are then driven off of Pandora, the base is shutdown, and Jake is then merged with his Avatar body with Neytiri at his side.

I can’t imagine watching this in regular now, the IMAX 3-D version was the crispest I have ever seen. Everything about Avatar gushes jaw-dropping graphics from the first moment until the end. Soundtrack was pretty good too. As a matter of fact, a friend gave me a copy and I am listening to it as I write this. This almost three hour long movie was definitely worth the time and cost.

Are you a Marketer? Read Jeremy Schoemaker’s Review on What Marketers can learn from Avatar.

My Story?

Lets just say that I come pretty darn close to Jake in this. Might not be the best or the strongest out there, but its the heart that counts and ultimately makes all the difference. This movie came at the exact moment in my life, its kind of creepy (in a good way) how it mirrors my own life struggles.

One thing in particular I enjoyed about the movie is that when Jake is learning the language of the Na’vi is that Neytiri keeps repeating to him, Oel ngáti kámeie (I See You). Jake is somewhat confused by this until he consults one of the other Avatar drivers, Norm, what this means. He finds out that it actually means “I see into you; I see through you; I see all of you; I understand you.” Don’t know why, but I particularly enjoy this line. 😉

How does this apply to Social Media?

Apologies if its taken this long to get here, but if you are still reading, this is a very powerful point.

In Avatar, they soon find out that all of the trees seem to be connected on a subconscious level. The Na’vi know this. Interestingly enough, they can upload and download memories faster than the speed of light at certain groves of trees. Everything on Pandora seems to be connected to each other at 1012 level with everything around it, each sharing even more then that with everything else both near and far, effectively having more connections than the human brain.

Think of the Internet in this way. Its unbelievable yet true at the same time. There are so many connections, no wonder its called the world wide web. Now with the emergence of social media, you are front and center to the most fundamental shift in communication. 1.7 billion people are now online and connected with each other quite frankly to the umpteenth level. Are you aware of how powerful this is? Tapped into this still blows my mind, as it should yours.

How long did it take the radio to reach all of us? 38 years. TV? 13 years. Internet? 4 years. Oh, and the amount of people coming online daily are growing by leaps and bounds unfathomable. What are you doing to connect and engage?

Pretty impressive eh? And this is just the beginning.

Want to read another post on How Avatar applies to Social Media?

Thoughts?

Official Avatar Movie

4 thoughts on “A Personal Review of Avatar

  1. Taylor, what a fabulous and in-depth review. It's quite amazing to understand that we have such effortless access to each others opinions on the film. Social media is so awesome, we're making a career out of harnessing it!

    Thanks for commenting on our blog! Awesome to meet you.

    Social media is so awesome, we're making a career out of harnessing it!

  2. I agree! Glad to leave a comment and add to the conversation. I've been following you two since you came out and I like what I see. I would be glad to have a conversation with you and Sue anytime, feel free to let me know when. 😉

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