Avatar pictorial review – I love Avatar and why box office records will be broken

Avatar - Air Battle - Sky 1

This is a pictorial review of Avatar with lots of pictures and only a few well-chosen comments and links. After the review, I will write a few words about why I think the box office records will be broken this weekend and later. I’ve written about Avatar previous “Avatar reviews are good“.

Warning: there are spoilers in this review but I’ve alphabetized things so you won’t know when exactly things happen.

Lets start with the pictorial review! (Images from the amazing Avatar HD trailer.)

1) The Air Battle is simply spectacular. The story telling rules supreme over the well tuned and used special effects. You care about the characters and are following the story. Unlike some other big budget films where you go to watch the special effects with completely silly characters who you don’t care.

Avatar - Air Battle - Sky 2

Avatar - Air Battle - Sky 3

Avatar - Air Battle - Sky 4

Avatar - Air Battle - Sky 5

2) I was rooting for this scary monster and was excited when it took out this soldier.

Avatar - Air battle Oops (1)

Avatar - Air battle Oops (2)

Avatar - Air battle Oops (3)

3) Thank you James Cameron. Thanks for imagining this world and inviting us to travel in this beautiful world that you created and imagine. May be we can imagine a better world. May be.

Avatar - Arrival

4) A bulldozer has probably never been as hated as this one in Avatar. The sound of the beeping “beep beep beep” just drove me nuts. Yes, the beeping “beep beep beep” (replace “beeping” with your favourite swear word).

Avatar - Bulldozer beep beep beep

5) Some people see good Sci-Fi books and films as tools to help us imagine the future. We thank Arthur for imagining satellites before our technology catches up. Many of the technologies in Avatar are in various stages of research and development in places like MIT Media Lab, U of Toronto’s DGP, etc around the world.

Here is a Wired Magazine article about the cool film technologies used in Avatar, if you are curious.

Avatar - The Technology (1)

Avatar - The Technology (2)

6) Beautiful under water scene.

Avatar - Under water

7) One bad ass Colonel! A hero needs a worthy opponent. Stephen Lang did a great job.

Avatar - Bad ass Colonel

8) This is one mean looking beast! And at the point of the story, everyone is rooting for the beast!

Beast in battle (a)

Avatar - Beast in battle (b)

9) Bows and Arrows against enemies with bombers, are they nuts? If you were them, would you fight with everything you’ve got even all you have are bow and arrows?

Avatar - Bows and Arrows against Bombers

Avatar - Bow and Arrows

10) This is James Cameron’s version of the Japanese animation Gundam. Still great to watch them in action.

Avatar - Cameron's Gundam (1)

Avatar - Cameron's Gundam (2)

11) This is James Cameron’s version of “Laputa: Castle in the Sky. Laputa is one imaginative Japanese animation. One of the highly recommended classics.

Avatar - Cameron's Laputa

Avatar - Mountain in the sky (Cameron's Laputa)

12) Beautifully executed chasing scene. And then Cameron was able to use short hand to bring back this super big monster convincingly.

Avatar - Chasing Jake & Neytiri

13 ) It was stunningly beautiful when every step they take, the ground lights up.

Avatar - Every step lights up the ground

14) I don’t hug trees but I was sad to see this one fall.

Avatar - Falling Tree

Avatar - The Tree

Avatar - Tree Burning

15) Fly baby fly! Beautiful

Avatar - Flying 1

Avatar - Flying 2

Avatar - Flying 3

16) Help sometimes arrive in the darkest hours. Be brave and stay positive. I was worried that Cameron was going to let her die right there.

Avatar - Help has arrived

17) One day when our medical technologies advance this much, the general public will not be able to avoid the ethical questions those technologies will bring.

Avatar - Jake - Avatar in Lab

18) Jake, our hero. Wow, the soul in those Avatar eyes. Well done. (More when I talk about Neytiri’s eyes.)

Avatar - Jake - Growing Avatar

Avatar - Jake - Human eyes

Avatar - Jake - Na'vi eyes

19) The Land Battles are spectacular to watch.

Avatar - Land Battle (1)

Avatar - Land Battle (2)

20) I love Neytiri’s eyes. I don’t know if Cameron applied some techniques learned from the beautiful eyes in Oscar nominated Canadian animation short “Madame Tutli-Putli“. See this report about the beautiful eyes of Laurie.

Avatar - Neytiri - Eyes (1)

Avatar - Neytiri  compare to Madame Tutli-Putli

Avatar - Neytiri - Eyes (2)

Avatar - Neytiri - Sad

21) Given the initial desire to have “real legs”, what a amazing journey we had with Jake.

Avatar - Real Legs

22) The infamous “Unobtainium”!

Avatar - Unobtainium - $20 million per kg

23) Other great images and character we saw and met in Avatar.

Avatar - Connecting

Avatar - Guns vs Beast

Avatar - Na'vi tribe

Avatar - Trudy - Marine pilot

I think the current opening weekend box office record is going to be broken. If you disagree, please share your comments. Here are my rationales,

1) The $15.50 or $17.50 for regular or IMAX 3D are expensive but worth every penny (in fact, 24% and 40% more expensive compare to the regular $12.50 ticket). So the box office is naturally going to be bigger. By the way, if I had more time, I might even looking into see whether CXG is a good investment idea but I just don’t have the time to do the proper research plus current price may already reflect the box office of Avatar, etc. Many people are going to watch Avatar more than once. And some fans have already watched it more than once already!

2) Many of the repeat customers for Titanic are women. I think this film may attract more men but I think women may love the warm and fuzzy bits of Avatar too. Are you going to watch Avatar again? And are you male or female? Please comment.

3) The positive online buzz in blogs and Twitters are deafening. And this film is going to be THE conversation film this holiday season. If you haven’t watched the film, many of your friends will have. And many of them will be telling you how cool the film is. Ebert has a point in saying, “It is an Event, one of those films you feel you must see to keep up with the conversation.

4) Oops, I am not a fan of Twilight New Moon and may have underestimated the power of the girls/women box office power! At press time (Dec 19), according to Box Office Mojo, New Moon has been released for 29 days, and worldwide box office of $631 million is great!

Have you watched Avatar yet? What do you think about the film? And the box office potentials?

(Article also published in examiner.com – “Avatar pictorial review – I love Avatar and why box office records will be broken”)


13 Responses to Avatar pictorial review – I love Avatar and why box office records will be broken

  1. Gertie says:

    I ABSOLUTELY LOVED Avatar! I watched it in 3D and plan on driving 50 miles to my nearest IMAX theater so I can watch it in IMAX’s imaging glory!

    I’m a young female, 21, and I loved both the action-filled adrenaline rushes along with the mushy, lovey feeling when Neytiri saves Jake’s human form!

  2. kempton says:

    Hi Gertie,

    What a lovely story hey! Yeah, check the film out in IMAX 3D, go in the theatre earlier to get a good seat.

    Neytiri is one strong woman character. James Cameron understand women character well.

    I know you will enjoy it in IMAX 3D. Have fun.

  3. Matt says:

    AMAZING! I love this movie and I have seen it 3 times. First time on a normal screen, next IMAX 3D, then normal 3D. I have to say I enjoyed it most in regular 3D….the huge IMAX screen made it difficult to catch everything just by moving your eyes (and I sat towards the back of the theatre)

    Every time I watch the movie, new subtleties come out. There are so many dynamics about this movie that I love. The connectedness to nature, each other and life itself made me feel very sentimental for a culture that I have never even experienced. I kept thinking during the movie that James Cameron must have been influenced by the great Joseph Campbell, just as George Lucas was for Star Wars. This film is mythical and very spiritual.

    I totally agree with Gertie about that scene where Neytiri saves Jake in the trailer. I thought that the symbology of that scene was very touching. The size of her body compared to the puny human body of Jake was very powerful imagery. The love and compassion she showed Jake without regard to the form he took was absolutely over the top. What a message for people to see!

    What I love most about Avatar….. It was a lesson on how to be human and be a citizen of our universe.

  4. kempton says:

    I think I am going to watch Avatar again on regular 3D to see for myself (and partly because it is cheaper as well).

    Now I think your critique of IMAX screen being so big that it is impossible to catch everything is actually, paradoxically, a complement. In the real world, as we run pass things or drive pass things, we can’t see everything too. That is precisely the feeling I felt in IMAX where I felt I stepped into the world and become surrounded by everything in it.

    I agree with you and Gertie that the scene where Neytiri saves Jake in the trailer is absolutely beautiful and touching.

    Here is a thought to think about. When we age, our and our partners’ looks and all the good/bad body parts will age as well, I hope our love for our partners will not diminish.

    Right on, “a lesson on how to be human and be a citizen of our universe.”

  5. jesson says:

    i was deeply touched by this film. and in agreement with the joseph campbell reference. once in while a blockbuster film maintains integrity while appealing to the masses. i think there are notions in this film that harken to a univeral yearning to be happy, to be in love where you live, to be part of a community, to be free. it’s funny how cameron uses cutting technology to reveal some very basic, human emotions as well as remind us that there are natural wonders all around us.

  6. kempton says:

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Very well said.

    The story telling used powerful tools without being “showy” or screaming “look at my cool technologies”.

    The Pandora world as imagined by Cameron is just beautiful.

    P.S. If I am going to venture and guess, people buying new 3D TVs this year or next year may end up pointing to Avatar as one of the positive 3D experiences that lead to them getting a 3D HDTV.

  7. kyle pierce says:

    I am a movie lover but something about Avatar moved me like never before. The story was perfect, not overdone. Zoe was absolutely amazing and this is at the top of my favorite movies and I will watch it over and over. Thanks Jim.

  8. kempton says:

    Yeah, Jim did an amazing job.

  9. Slavic says:

    I am wordless every time I watch it. I took my time and watched it today the 3-rd time.

    My words can’t convey the same amount of emotions I had while watching, I just hope that everyone could feel just as I did while seating in my theater seat like a jack in his link-box: physically there, but with all my mind in Pandora.

    I absolutely love this film. It’s a work of total art.

    First movie that I feel love, real love for.

  10. kempton says:


    Good for you.

    And what you said will made any filmmaker’s day. Even James Cameron, I think! He did a great job. Lets hope he get some well deserved Oscars hardware. A filmmaker that determined to fulfilling his/her dreams don’t come by easily.

  11. Thana says:

    Great article. Avatar is a great movie. It’s such a work that, even the world ‘great’ would still be an insult to such a well-made film. Congrats again Mr. Cameron, and thank you.

  12. kempton says:

    Thanks for your kind words.

    P.S. I wish Jim had won a few more Oscars but as long as the studios were financially rewarded, I know more inventive and interesting projects by Jim will be made. I just hope part 2 of Avatar will be just as good (if not better).

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