fantasy movie

Avatar (2009) – Movie Review

Avatar 2009Originally when it came out Avatar was 2 hours long, and for this review I watched the extended version that is almost 3 hours long. Another thing to bear in mind is that I never liked trailers for Avatar and I wasn’t excited for this movie, even though I liked it first time around. What bothers me the most about this movie is that it steals from World of Warcraft and Halo; which are both well-known video game properties; and that’s something I noticed just from the original trailer alone. This is something that bothers me a lot about Avatar, even if James Cameron says that he’s been developing Avatar since 91, and even if no one else noticed the similarities between all the properties mentioned. Anyway, that’s my beef with it even if no one else notices it and even if no one else agrees with. Now on to the movie review.

What I like about Avatar is the huge exploration premise of going into space and finding planets that can help humanity in one way or another; and that’s pretty much all I knew about the movie before seeing it first time around. And now watching the extended version, I was hoping for a better experience.

One of the first things you’ll notice are cliches, mainly portrayal of the future and few of the characters. However, Avatar does a pretty good job of adding cliches – even the few within dialogue – and mixing it with unknown possibilities that are about to transpire.

When it comes to the weakness of the plot, there’s more to the story that’s being told between the lines because Avatar is much deeper than it appears on the surface. Just think about it – humans are aliens in this movie. The future is bleak and it’s basically Independence Day in reverse. Yes, plot and characters are generic, but when you look beyond that, you’ll see the greed of humans which is fueled by the need to survive next to making a profit. You will also notice the struggle of the natives to survive under the oppression of the aliens, who are in this case humans. Cameron takes us to a completely different world where we learn the ways and the culture of the natives; and then we become one of them – or at the very least learn to identify with them because we can connect with them in different ways. When you combine that with amazing visual and sound effects – we get a great movie.

Despite my beef with Avatar, I can’t help but answer for myself the hard questions Cameron presents so well. Not only that, but what Cameron does is show us the darker side of humanity as well as its beautiful side and conflicts them in most raw way possible. It is the type of movie that will tug at your heartstrings and make you want to change the world as well as enjoy every second of the amazing trip we take. I give Avatar 7.5/10.

47 Ronin (2013) – Review

47_ronin2013When I first saw the trailer for this movie, I thought to myself “Do we really need another white guy turned samurai movie?” – and I told myself the same thing you are telling yourself now – No, we don’t. However, that didn’t make me not see this movie when it came to DVD.

So, not knowing exactly what to expect from this movie, I was quickly taken into this legend-turned-movie that is actually – if you take away all the magical and fantasy elements from it – a really good “period” movie if movies and movie-making technology existed in Feudal Japan because this movie is based on a legend that has been told in Japan since those times.

The movie is filled with magical and fantasy elements that make this story more entertaining. The exciting thing is the mystery of the magic portrayed in this movie because we don’t really know what kind of magic this is and what it can do. The color palette tells us exactly what we can expect from each scene, and this can be seen in trailer as well. However, this may not be said for the last scene in general due to the nature of the last scene, which may or may not be considered a beautiful thing; but this movie makes it beautiful. I was left breathless, and sad, and happy all at the same time.

The choreography-filled sword fights and mysterious magic will keep you on the edge of your seat. The struggle of forbidden love mixed with strong traditions of the times makes character performances believable and, in my opinion, true to the times they are portraying. Make sure this is something you watch at the end of the day because this is the type of movie that will make watching anything afterwards difficult. I give this movie 8/10 because of the story and the strong impact it left on me.