Dec 30, 2010 Me, Myself & I
Exactly 12 months ago, I fell in love, not just any kind of love but one that was deep, emotional and sort of entrenched kind of love.
It was our first date at the cinema, and I remember clearly that it was a cool Sunday morning at Lot 1, where I nervously donned the black rimmed, polarised glasses and took my seat, preparing for the inevitable connection.
I’ve heard what people have said and how they’ve reacted, but I had to be sure and witness it for myself.
Moments before it was revealed, everyone grew silent and as their attention glued, the lights dimmed and every sensuous perception of the body heightened.
A faint half-scream-half-warcry cracks the moment before a hectic beating of drums (or was it my own heartbeat?) and I was teleported into a lustful world, unlike any other that I’ve ever experienced.
That’s right folks, I fell, deeply, in love that day — It was my first date with Avatar, the movie.
Pathetic eh? I know. Read on. :p
So it spawned this ‘probably the longest Avatar movie review of all time‘ post and also kickstarted my evidently geeky and inexplicable passion for this virtual Pandoran world, where mountains of rocks float and gigantic trees have voices.
So how could I not relive that intimacy without another viewing of the movie, in HD no less and in it’s anniversary right?
If at this point of time, you’re thinking “Gee, this geek sure has some love issues — and with a movie?? Like Wtf???” — but that’s probably normal of you, because I guess I’m just abnormal enough to admit that I do oblige in indulging into a fantasy world sometimes, and where even close pals and normal people find that amusing (or maybe just plain silly and childish), well I sure don’t mind being silly and childish.
Relived those 3 hours of awe I did, but this time around, the awesomeness level wasn’t as skyrocketing as they used to, but that’s not surprising considering the insane amount of times that I’ve viewed it right?
Insane indeed, but to me, it’s all about injecting a little bit of fun and joy into an otherwise mundanely routined world of sleep, eat, work, eat, live, where a shortened acronym of those words would be S.E.W.E.L, and I’d implore you to ask your Malay friends what S.E.W.E.L is (Try saying that acronym as if it’s one full word..).
Nevertheless I’m nowhere near any thoughts of what a boring and unexcitable movie it has become, like how some movies are when you try to view them for the 28th time, but I doubt that there’s much movie that’ll even get viewed half that many times within your lifetime.
I still love the whole effing movie, and I’m still helpless and fruitless when it comes to finding faults with it.
As much as I try to dissect and infiltrate every plotline and turn over every bioluminescent leaves, I simply just can’t find any, but I guess love is indeed blind?
Love is blind, but love is like oxygen, a many spledored thing that lifts us up where we belong, and all that we need is love! (In case you didn’t notice, I just altered a line/quote off Moulin Rouge~ See what I did there?)
In case anyone asked, where though I know you didn’t ask, thusly I mentioned ‘in case’, I was tired, and exhausted, and weary, and felt a little overwhelmed, and somehow I was in need of a good pick-me-up tonight.
So I turned to Avatar, my long lost love, and I wasn’t disappointed.
Love do last forever and indeed it’s not that hard to go back to something that you once love and lost before.
Ahh.. the powers of the bond, or should I say Tsa’Haylu?
May 8, 2010 Me, Myself & I
It felt all sucky, sticky, and shitty when I woke this morning–no, I still don’t blame you Belle–, after a 2 hour slumber, and if not for the incessant licking of one of my cats, Jack, in asking to be fed breakfast, I’m pretty sure I’d probably missed work and slept till afternoon.
But it really began on Wednesday, even though I had enough rest that night.
On Thursday morning, a blitzkrieg salvo of smses meant that the night’s planned project unfortunately had to be stretched, culmnating in whatever little I had to recharge ‘my batteries’ between Friday and Thursday.
What did we do? A poster. A movie poster.
An Avatar movie poster, that never was.
It was completed on Friday night, and it quickly became one of the most captivating ad-hoc project I’ve ever did.
From brainstorming, to conception, to execution, everything moved quickly and it helped that both parties weren’t fans of dilly-dallying on work.
It began with me not agreeing as to how the actual movie poster of Avatar looks like, and so my take that the Blue Alien movie is an essential love story takes centerstage.
It went through a few revisions, a few painted backgrounds before we decided that purple fits best.
Purple is an intelligent, intimate as well as technological, so it was a wise choice on her part.
We couldnt’ borrow James Cameron’s 3D video camera, so we opted for the 3D effect or depth of illusion via paper cut-out and pasting them on top of each other.
It’s not the greatest movie poster ever made, or remotely close to that thought, but I think that it’s a beautiful creation nonetheless, and this from me, a person who sees beauty in the unlikeliest of places.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder right?
Work hogged all of my daytime and early nighttime, and thus I could only afford late nights and wee hours to contribute to this project, and despite the numbness while working at the office, I’m just glad that it manifested well.
It’s been a long, arduous and scintillating journey. One that brought it’s share of scares, concerns and cups of coffee.
But that’s a story for another day, and as of now, it’s time for my overdue beauty sleep.
Mar 10, 2010 Rants
I had to find my own hurt locker, you know the one where you go to at the end of the day, and slam open or shut the door on its hinge as you let go of that pent up frust from the day’s events?
And inside you’ll find cut up photographs of your ex-girlfriends, or boyfriends (whatever your sexual orientation may be), or your crushes and admirers, along with piles of school textbooks of which you spent your holiday’s pocket money with but never bothered to put them in your bag, because they’re too bulky to be carried around.
Then on somedays that locker becomes your best friend as you know that it’s the one place where you can go to and confide with, without it ever telling you off or analysing how silly your decisions probably were. Heck it probably won’t even say anything, it merely listens, and we all need a listening ear sometimes.
Well I couldn’t find my hurt locker.
Where is my confidant? My late mum was the closest to one that I’ve ever had, and I suppose the next best thing to come along would be, wait for it… you! Yes, you, Mr and Ms Internet, whoever you are and may be.
Like a hurt locker, you’re anonymous, you’re a noun, and you listen (hopefully~) and I do recognise familiar voices, where at times you leave me with crumbs and leftovers for me to munch on whenever you comment here. So thank you, for that voice. I guess everyone needs that little voice to give them a nudge sometimes. Nobody wants to be alone right?
However most of the time it’s been a solitary journey, yet strangely comforting and arguably it’s one that keeps the engine running and one that keeps the meter running.
I guess that’s my answer should anyone ask me, ‘Do you still blog, and why?’.
Or maybe my answer could be, “I’m hoping that it’ll lead me to my hurt locker, where memories are stored and shared. I hope it gets vandalised with little words or big words, as long as it gets vandalised, where it’s sort of an indication of an entity’s existence. I wish it’s big enough to fit my needs yet inconspicuous to be ‘off the radar’. Most imprtantly, my hurt locker’s not just gonna be about the hurt, but the joys, the tribulations and the jubilations of days passed by.”
I could probably call it ‘The Locker Of life’, or ‘The Scribe Locker’, but I guess ‘The Hurt Locker’ sounds dramatic and catchy. Eh, wait a sec, didn’t a movie with the same name won Best Picture as well? I suppose the locker belonging to the main character of that movie’s can be likened to a blog online eh?
Anyway congrats to “The Hurt Locker’s” team and their victories. Though I still think there was a movie that was much more deserving to have walked away with more recognition than the jibes and snubs that it received. Avatar deserves it’s award, but that’s how hollywood goes, and fans of Pandora will just have to bite the bullet.
Gee, where’s that hurt locker when you need one eh?
Feb 16, 2010 Me, Myself & I
What’s up with that dude at the counter at FICO sports hub tonight?
I mean, he could have left one of the lights on, instead of leaving the players in pitch darkness, whom were still packing their stuffs and trying to go back.
It’s just poor service, if you ask me. Like what’s wrong with leaving one light on for visibility’s sake?
If that fella was an animal, I’m betting that he’d be a tiger, all jumpy and snaring and just not friendly, for a service staff that is.
Maybe it’s his New Year holidays and he’s having to work?
Nevertheless pouncing upon us vulnerable players, whom actually PREPAID the courts for usage, and enveloping us in the dark is just not acceptable.
I guess, if he really was a tiger, he’d be an extinct one.
Anyway, earlier in the day, I kind of woke earlier than expected, and after a few days of procrastinating, got to see Avatar (3D) again.
And boy was I shocked to see the reception at the ticket counter, the theatres are almost full, and this for a movie that’s into it’s 9th week of running.
This was the ticketing response for the 1pm slot at Shaw Lido, and this snapshot was taken at 11am!
Must be the CNY holidays that’s triggering this response.
This was the response for the 3pm slot.
And this was for the 8pm slot.
I got the 1pm slot, so that by late afternoon I’d be free to wander around the area, perhaps to search for the elusive belt or new pair of socks.
And boy was the theatre packed then, not with locals, but Koreans, Japanese, Ang Mohs and other nationalities that made up a quite a portion of the crowd.
Judging by their response during in-show scenes, they definitely weren’t repeat customers like I was, cos they gasped, ooh-ed, sighed and got amused generously — which goes to show that it was their first intake of the Avatar experience.
As for me, nothing surprising anymore, maybe ‘cos I managed to soak all the emotions within. Tough guy image here huh~
I’m not surprised that it’s taken them 9 weeks to see it for themselves, and with the Oscars coming up, I bet that many more might be tempted to give Avatar (3D) a go, since it’s one of the forerunners in the race for Best Picture.
Though I’m still surprised that there are many articles that’s taking a dig at Jame’s Cameron’s showpiece, and as if the Billions of dollar don’t already tell enough, these detractors (in the minority) of the movie just won’t rest until it gets the Oscar snub.
But will AMPAS snub Avatar?
If you asked me, I’m betting that they won’t. Maybe I’m just feeling tigerish but the odds are pretty good. = )
Feb 9, 2010 Me, Myself & I
Everything is backwards now.
The days are beginning to blur and it’s like I don’t know who I am anymore.
Like out there is the real world, and in here, in this moment, in this room is the dream.
All I wanted was to find something that’s worth fighting for.
I can do this.
I was born to do this.
I guess I better go now, I don’t want to be late.
It’s my birthday after all.
It’s interesting how a movie could move anyone at all, not just on the surface, but as a person and as a character. Avatar came out and hit me like a lump of unobtanium, lifting me to heights I’ve never experienced before, in anticipation of my birthday month, that was last January. It’s February and every viewing of the movie is just as captivating as the first. Friends and family don’t get it, like how we don’t get why girls go head over heels with prancing flower boys, like how they don’t get it why football fans hate rival fans so much, and like why men advancing towards their 40s prefer to spend time playing golf. Avatar’s message to me is simple, to find something to fight for. It’s a symbol of living our life, away from routine, away from comfort zones and away from oppressions and such.
Do you have something worth fighting for? If yes, then good for you. I’m still searching for one. I lost mine, 8 years ago, on my birthday. Where most celebrate on reaching 21, circumstances presented a funeral procession. God loved her more, and I had to learn to let go. It hurts when she left, but the agony I faced is mere fractions of her daily visits on the thresholds of pain. What is more painful than seeing the one you’ve ever loved writhing? Anyway, just like that, 8 years have gone, and indeed everything is a blur.
There’s a strange welcoming calmness today, even though I’m made to twist and turn in bed, irregular bowel movements in the wee hours of the morning, and vomitted just hours ago. There really isn’t any point in living life on routine, it’s an adventure that’s waiting to be discovered, though I’m filled with great sadness that I’m bound, much like a paraplegic, to this routine I’m in. I call it, work. In reality, there may be no ‘Avatars’ to escape with or flying Great Banshees to ride, but before my energy is used up, I know that there’s a whole lot more that needs to be done.
No more procrastination, and I’m not going to bother about reading these back and editing my words. It’s all get go for now. So first, to start paying the bills. =)
Jan 18, 2010 Me, Myself & I
No, I’m not talking about Bangau‘s adventure since coming back from KL and setting up stall here, but fair to him, he’ll be charting new routes in his life when he returns to KL this Thursday, after we went down to Tanjong Pagar Railway Station — my first ever visit to that place — where he bought his ride home.
So when will he be back? Only time will tell, so here’s to wishing Bangau a fantastic journey ahead and an exonerating endeavour in a new chapter of his book of life.
Curiousity, Fear, Joy, Sorrow, Respite And A New Beginning — my description of the roller coaster ride that Jake Sully subscribed to on Pandora, in the movie Avatar.
Avatar has already swept a few Critics Choice Awards, and with the Golden Globe looming close, there’s more to savour, if you’re a big fan of the movie of course.
Last night, despite the lack of sleep, numerous to-do lists, accumulating chores all piling up for the weekend, I caught the movie, yet again, with Dils, where it wasn’t at all surprising that I found myself battling ‘sea-monsters’ while trying very hard to stay with the movie.
Btw, thanks for the movie treat again Dils!
The crowd on the night was really good and mature, so there really wasn’t any problem in concentrating on the show, but my sleepy eyes just had to spoil it a little bit by hitting me hard during the final battle scene, and everybody knows that the final battle scene IS the part where you don’t want to miss at all.
Thankfully, I woke up in time to watch the ending sequence, one of my favourites, where Neytiri aided Jake in eliminating Quarritch with her arrows, before jumping into the mobile pod and saving Jake with the respiratory unit — there’s got to be an alluring, edgy, firm and sexy woman behind every successful man, right?
As the movie approached its ending sequences, a whisk of sorrow swept over me as I realised that the movie was coming to an end, and how I wished it could have continued further.
As obsessive as watching a movie 7 times at the theatres sounds, I’m sane enough to know that it’s just a make believe world on a silverscreen, and that all these euphoria will probably go away in time and that there are things and tasks which deserves my utmost attention (like paying handphone bills, for example and finishin up my websites proper~).
BUT while I still have the opportunity of visiting Pandora in 3D and before it stops running forever, I’ll grab my opportunity whenever I can, though it kind of saddens me a little bit that I cannot bring the joy of watching this movie with certain friends and family, cos they don’t see it the way that I do.
BUT not everyone has the same taste and beliefs, which is what makes anyone unique right?
Strangely, watching Avatar seems to heal pieces of me, bit by bit, and though I’m not entirely sure what’s eating me up right now, I’m absolutely delighted that the experience of wandering within the lush forests of Pandora and frolicking within the love story of Jake and Neytiri gives me plenty of joys.
Simple joys, which brings a sense of enlightenement and a fleeting moment of escapism from this chaotic, hectic world of mine.
So what happens when Avatar ends its run in the theatres?
Time for a new beginning eh? Or I could simply endure and await Avatar 2.
Anyway, if you felt a little bit of sorrow (no, not depression!) after watching Avatar, then maybe reading this thread from www.avatar-movie.org will make you a little bit warm and fuzzy inside.
Jan 9, 2010 Me, Myself & I
I’ve been strucked, badly, by a unique high fever and I feel harrased by it, but all in a good way.
Strangely, my fever is blue, with dark strips, with a bright yellow, gleaming gaze, and bioluminescence all around.
I wish to not get cured from it, for I yearn to feel the sorrow, the tragic and the respite of it all over again, and again, and again.
Why should I get medicine or a cure anyway?
Actually, I like it as it reminds me how lucky I am or some of us are, and that nothing should be taken for granted.
At times like these you think of the higher powers and the environment around you.
At times like these you wonder if others who went through the same thing would have felt the same as you.
At times like these you remind yourself to keep working hard and to never give up, and if you never give up, you’ll never lose.
That’s right, no matter what comes at you, it’s all mere obstacles which you can easily ward off, and with a little help, you’ll even win in the end.
I’m having the Avatar fever.
And I’m glad I’m not alone, as I’ve found a niche community of fans who’ve ‘felt’ an overpowering sense of change within them after watching the movie.
Indeed, to some it’s just a movie, or a story with blue monkeys, but for us it’s more than that.
It’s harrowing to have to detach our subconcious mind from Pandora as soon as Leona Lewis belts belts the end song.
I know that all good things will imminently come to an end.
I’ll just bask in the joy and escapism that it provides, while it lasts, like falling in love, over and over again, except now it’s a fever, Avatar fever.
When was the last time you fell in love?
Jan 4, 2010 Me, Myself & I
Definitely there has got to be more of…
… making websites, selling tee-shirts, printing stickers, taking photographs, updating blogs, hitting the gym, reading more books and dinner-ing with family/friends.
I suppose I could postpone/delay the…
… changing repairing of bike, upgrading of computer, shopping for clothes, buying of soccer boots and getting new wardrobe for the room.
Of course it wouldn’t hurt to experience a lesser amount of…
… lanshop gaming, dvd/tv watching, music making, to not fall ill to my chronic coughing, and to cease with immediate effect my impulse buying sprees.
As for now, I’ll just enjoy my tryst with Avatar (the movie) for as long as I can. Amazingly I still can’t get over it — not complaining though~
Jan 1, 2010 Me, Myself & I
That 2009 zipped past by just like that is way too fast and much too scary. I can’t even fathom how 2010 will follow suit.
First of, THANK YOU to Dils and her sister, Ra’edah (or wassit Radi’ah??? Gee, I’m bad with names…) for the unexpected ticket to Polyphemus’ moon, Pandora. Yep, it was Pandoramonium all over again, and in 3D, I like!
Anyway I think she’s a fangirl already. I’m sure she’ll be hopping down to the nearest pet store, and check to see if there’s any blue skinned, hairless bipedal cat for sale. Or maybe she’ll give the pets adoption centre a visit, who knows~
You’ll know where I stand on the movie, Avatar, and like the first time that I experienced it, it’s third viewing felt just as fresh, and just as captivating — except that there was this particular low-key mood scene where when a Bollywood ringtone filled the intent air.
I’m pretty sure that it was fated and meant to be that way, that a Bollywood ringtone would ring, not once, but twice so that us (movie-goers) are tempted to get another round of tickets, for another viewing of the movie. Uber sneaky ploy by FOX and James Cameron indeed.
Also don’t even get me started about the kid, sitting in front of me, who had to wave his hands about at the start of the show, his witty quips and questions during certain moments of the movie, or when he stood up restlessly blocking my uber excellent view of the screen, before he headed off to the loo and back.
Still, thanks to all the interuptions, I think I had a memorable (thanks to Dils), and technically speaking, movie experience ever and the only one that spanned 2 years. I went into the theatre in 2009, and voila, I came out of it in 2010. What a moviethon~
Oh hello 2010~
Apart from giving accountants headaches, I’m pretty sure that be it 2010 or 2009, they are just numbers. Figures that cause us to live our life around them, like planning schedules, setting targets and of course, coming up with resolutions.
And I thought resolutions are things that come at the end of it all when everything is ok? That’s why they’re called resolutions right?
I can’t recall my 2009 resolutions, and I’m starting to wonder if I had any at all. For 2010, I’m not gonna bind myself to any, nor will I be taking it too hard if I realise slowlt that none of my 2009 resolutions never came to fruition.
But I’ll set targets for 2010. Oh yes, what will we ever aim for if we don’t put up our targets, or specifically ‘Life Targets’ eh?
No, I’m not talking about shooting down the person you hate (bad, this is very bad only.) or taking revenge at that incessantly obnoxious cubicle occupant next to you, but more of an intangible target of sorts that benefits you and the people around you.
Forget targets like having a new 17inch Macbook Pro, or a Sony Alpha 330 DSLR Camera, or a Samsung colour laser printer.
‘Life Targets’, IMHO, could be something like spending more time with the family, giving tuition to your sisters, taking your dad and ma out for dinner or simply to start or do something eventful or something that propels your life forward, into places you’ve never known before.
Like getting married — but that’s probably the last thing on my mind right now, why get tied down when there’s so many things you can do when you’re young?
Now these are targets that reward you differently than, say a new car, but for certain, the satisfaction that ensues is far-reaching and spiritually releasing. Cars, you return them to the government at the end of a decade. Gadgets, they become obsolete in a few years and money, they get used up eventually.
But memories, relationships, and family, well they’re everlasting, right? These are the things that are worth fighting for in life.
We all need that single, myopic epic reason to fight for and I suppose that now 2010 is here, it’s about time I realise my place, my position, and my enemies in this battlefield, and to win your war, you’ll need to understand your enemy.
Thanks to Avatar’s exposure and underlying story, perhaps my resolutions (and hopefully others’) will meander towards the less materialistic approach and more of a holistic one.
For certain, I’d like to spend more time at home and less time slavering away in the office. Perhaps a home office sounds like a good life target eh?
Happy New Year Internet!!!
Dec 29, 2009 Reviews
I’d like to think of Avatar as a necessary love story
It goes beyond the skin and soul, but it is not your typical love story. Hell it’s not even your typical war or sci-fi movie. I implore you to watch this with an empty cup (enough with the cup analogies already!) and you’ll be able to ‘fill’ much more than if you had weighted in preconceptions of the story as you walked into the theatre. Dances with what? Terminawhat? Matrixwhat? Pocahonwhat? Forget everything you’ve ever seen, because this is nothing like what you’ve ever seen — indeed it is nothin like what I’ve ever seen.
If you’re looking for an Avatar movie walkthrough, this is not it.
What it is though are my thoughts, my opinions, my interpretations or ‘Zahelu’ with Avatar. ‘Zahelu’, based on the movie, is Na’vi speak for connection or the bond that a Na’vi has with Pandora’s living, breathing beings. A Na’vi is the local alien/people of Pandora, one of the moons revolving around a giant planet about 6 light years away from earth. And I’m assuming that the spaceship our hero travelled on was moving at light speed, since we’re in the 22nd century already, or the year 2154 to be exact.
It seems that 2012 didn’t kill off our planet eh? Anyway…
A word of warning: Go to the toilet, then come back, switch off your handphones and lock your room. Don’t let anything distract you, as you indulge in this horrensdously and astoundingly yet unnecessarily long and eloquent movie review. Long only because it evoked a host of emotions, not just from me, but from the man who was watching in front of me, the lady sitting beside me, and for that matter the occupants of the theatre, where we witnessed a story like never before. No, sorry. The word ‘story’ didn’t felt quite right, as when compared to… an experience.
Indeed, Avatar is an experience, not just a story — so to all the ‘negative reviewers’ who nitpicked on the story as their main discontent before giving it a 2 out of 5 stars (Yeah just 2 stars. Pfft. What about the visuals? The score? The romance? The sorrow? The intricately choreographed battle sequences? You know~). Well they’re probably half right. Maybe there’s no story, because it has evolved into a rewarding and rich experience of visuals and emotions. It’s like sex, except you’re fully clothed and in a movie theatre with hundreds others, but before I digress, back to the movie review…
Watching Avatar is an experience that floats benignly as it steadily reels you into its immersive 3D world.
No doubt it’s a world that’s all made in the computer labs of New Zealand based Weta Digital (and also ILM too), and directed in the manifestation of James Cameron’s vision, but take nothing away from the realness, the lushness and the vigour of the visual orgy. This may just be the catalyst for directors and producers to begin 3D Camwhoring, I suppose, and about time too. The technology isn’t really ground-breaking, it’s been around for a long while, but needed a stimulus, and thanks to Avatar’s exploits, I suspect that it’ll be the norm these days. No longer do we need to secretly bring along our kids as an excuse to get into iMax theatres just to feel the rush of the leaves rustling in our face, catch the waves splashing carelessly or feel the image crashing down upon our seats.
The best part about Avatar’s visuals and storyline (yes yes yes, okay there is a storyline. Bite me.) is that it gently ambles along with you, instead of the shock and awe tactics employed by most CGI heavy films of recent years, where they throw everything into the first 20minutes just to impress you and then you’re left wanting as the rest of the effect either didn’t matched its entree. Thankfully, Avatar deviated from that and instead it eases you bit by bit, hooking you deeper and deeper and then unknowingly you’re begging for more.
Firstly and subtly entering the clouds, revealing a little bit of the world.
Then the pace picks up across the purple dirt and luminous green, blue and purple plants, before teasing you within the canopies and branches of Pandora. Along the way it smacks your mind numb with the visually playful plants and critters, awesomely rolling mountains and sea, and perilously provocative animals and landscape. The first viewing of the inviting floating mountains and its evaporating waterfalls with vibrant giant grasses bowing in the misty wind, I’m sure that most of us were left gaping in awe (I know I did) while we marvelled at the very spectacle laid nonchalantly in front of our eyes. In the words of Trudy (one of the good guys in this story and the Pilot for Dr Grace’s team) “you should have seen your faces” would succinctly describe it. This is truly what 3D was made for.
The trees’ bark looked like it’ll obligingly give you splinters and broken bones if you dared climb them. The glowing flowers and luminescant vines and forest floor keeps you company where night falls, along with the exquisitely designed creatures of the forest, both big and small, everything is delicately and intricately detailed. Every little detail is crafted to perform in sync. heightening your sense of the world. You wonder if this is really made up or a secret, guarded location that lies somewhere between New Zealand and Hawaii.
The walking, breathing creatures definitely impresses, like the giant cats and their giant cubs and the spiralling ‘glowfly-lizard’. And then tehre is the Toruk (Na’vi calls them Toruk, which means Last Shadow), probably the biggest Banshee (dragon+lizard+bird???) in the sky. Banshees have tight, glossy skin-like textures that is so supreme, that it’ll put the Pradas’ and the Coaches’ leather based products to cower from their shelves in shame. Their eyes glint and dart about, just as lively as the eyes of the indigenous Na’vi people, and like Jake’s Avatar too.
An Avatar, is an alien body that’s remotely controlled via the concious minds of a driver.
They are grown from DNAs of the Na’vi people, mixed with human’s. These blue, athletic, elongated bodies of the Navi poeple with cat-like facial features live harmoniously and appreciatively with everything else (except with the aliens of their land, known as skypeople or should I say humans?). I won’t go deep into the plot, as there are plenty of spoilers already but I acknowledge that I simply can’t remember the last time that CG expressions felt this real and this evoking. Sure there were a couple of scense when the eyes’ expressions appeared jaded, but for most part of the movie, you’d be forgiven for thinking that they’re real life actors, which you’re seeing falling in love, getting torn apart before reverting back to the gravity of romance. The love story that develops between Jake and Neytiri is compelling, heartfelt, tragic, triumphant and most importantly of all, it felt real.
Motion capture may blur and bring about deliberations about what defines acting and actors, but to watch a show like Avatar, you’re not there to witness an Oscar winning performance for best actor/actresses, and we leave that for certain reviewers who feel such requirements should be instilled within every movie made, for it to be considered a good movie. Oh these skxwangs. Avatar is not even close to being a good movie. It’s a great movie. It’s an epic experience. Gunfires and explosions, checked. Betrayal and zealotry, checked. Romance and sadness, checked. Stunning photorealistic landscape and a cool, hip new alien language that you can actually learn, checked. Characters and dialogues serves their purpose that is to allow the movie to progress and they’re not at all bad. Some may consider it cliche and trite, but how else would one say it in a movie that’s grand and epic? I sure wouldn’t want to hear any of them speak street, or would you?
The connection, that is the Hometree.
Appropriately, a strong, firm-yet-heavy voice narrates (supposedly of Jake’s in his final video log for this project) and carry us deeper into the story as well as getting us connected with the Na’vi people’s religion and their ‘zahelu’ (connection/bond) with Eywa. There is a sense of purity, contentment and boundless love that the Na’vi people have for their land. Who needs beastly walking machines, or expensive lab stuffs when bows and arrows suffice? There are clans and tribes among the Na’vi people and the Omaticaya clan just happened to be sitting, sleeping and playing atop the mining corporations’ biggest spoil of Unobtainium. Yep, let’s not go there, Unobtanium, heh.
There’s definitely a distinct alien culture instilled within the 3D space of the silver screen and James Cameron have done enough convincing that Pandora is a living, breathing world. If you’re still not yet convinced as we approach the climax of the movie, the unbelievably beautifully choreographed battle scenes, and you did not felt anything when the Na’vi people’s loss accumulated to the point of hopelessness and utmost desperation, then I suppose this movie is certainly not for you. Make no mistake, this is a movie that’s the master of all Jacks of all trades. Yeah, woah.
Men in mechs yet again?
Though my first gripe, as the movie ended, is that there could have been more scenes to satisfy my lust for the Na’vi culture, but ultimately there’s enough to fulfil and satisfy for the experience, and thankfully an acceptable reel time to sit through. Though the movie is a whopping 2.5 hours of unorthodox bladder control, it certainly never felt long. Like the raindrops bouncing off the leaves, weariness bounced off as well. Pandora managed to immerse itself completely and is sensory and emotively overpowering.
Indeed I couldn’t recall any scenes that were particularly draggy or lines that didn’t deserve to be said. Every new moment, every new location and every piece of action is refreshing and in turns leads us to the next chapter. Where cause and consequences happen logically (in the context of this movie), it makes it all the more believable. Respite and breathing rooms for the mind to ease off the continuous action scenes are decently enough, as the pace slows down a notch for us to soak in all the experience, allowing us to contemplate what comes next, but only before it bursts forward into a gear, higher than before.
The battle scene is gripping, intense and might even hurt you.
The battle scene, it’s just.. wow. I’ll save you the adrenalin rush, and instead implore you to experience it for yourself, and if there’s one battle scene moment where my empathy peaked, it was when Neytiri courted death with her bow and arrow, against men and machines, and at that point in time, just as Jake desperately begged her to retreat (which she didn’t, like would you if someone comes into your home and destroyed everything that you’ve ever loved?), my subconscious mind was crying for her to stand down too. But in the end… well… I think I better not divulge any further. Cue invitation for this one heck of an experience. Arguably the best CGI battle scene I’ve ever been through.
Really, I could go on forever on its details and every aspect of the movie, and I’m sure I’ve left a few stones untouched (like Colonel Miles, Pilot Trudy, Scientist Norm, the Chief, his wife and so on) but that’s where other reviewers will do their vocation justice. They get paid to do it, I don’t. so here’s my review, bon apetite.
As I summarise my take on Avatar, there’s one thing that I am sure of, and that which is regardless of what kind of review you’re reading, you are so going to watch it for yourselves anyway. I hesitate to give Avatar an overly biased rating, simply because it’s still lingering flawlessly perfect in my head. You’ve really got to experience it for yourself to judge it, and whatever your belief may be, and as mentioned earlier, empty your mind and preconceptions and get ready for one hell-of-a pompous, oppulent, succulent, incredible and ‘extremely-rich-experience-like-never-before’ ride. And I bet you’ll never look back.
I see you; Ohe menari negeng.
And if Avatar doesn’t snag the best picture at the upcoming Oscars, then a sci-fi, effects laden film will probably never will. Oh, just perhaps an Avatar 2 might… just might.
Wow what a review. I’ve never reviewed anything like this before, but this is a movie not like anything I’ve ever watched experienced before. Anyway, thanks to the internet, these pictures became possible. Credits to whomever these pictures belong to. Sorry, I forgot your names, but thanks!