Monday, August 30, 2010

Monday Night Magical Movie: Avatar Special Edition 3D

I must begin by saying that I had missed this one in theaters when it first came out, you know, starving artist and all, so we were thrilled when we saw that they were bringing it back in theaters in 3D venues and with 9 more minutes of footage added on. Bonus! Since it came out the day after Dans birthday, it was decided that we were taking him as a gift. Let me just say, it costs so darned much to see a movie these days, that this is the first time in a really long time that I felt like we got our moneys really did. The new digital 3D technology is really enough to get me to the theater, now that I've experienced it, for anyone who hasn't seen 3D in a long time, I'm here to tell you, it's time to see it again, this isn't anything like the old red and blue glasses. You just won't believe it! It was also nice that they didn't work in the old standard cheezy "now I'm going to jab a spear at the screen" scenes that used to be so popular in 3D movies. Ugh, can't stand that.

Avatar (2009) was written and directed by James Cameron, and is about a paraplegic marine Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) who finds himself as part of a mission to the lush and dangerous world of Pandora. Bodies called Avatars have been grown in a lab by combining the DNA of each human and the Pandoran natives, the Na'Vi. The human team can "pilot" the bodies in order to do research on the alien world. Jake is also assigned the duty of gathering intelligence on the natives to help the coperation funding the project to seize their land
for mining of a valuable mineral beneath their home. Jake becomes caught up in this land, it's people and culture when he is taken in by the tribe and taught their ways by the chiefs beautiful and fierce daughter Neytiri (Zoe Saldana) and is torn between his orders and his heart, his human self, and his Na'Vi self.

So, there we were, munching popcorn, catapulted into Pandora, a world that looked suspiciously like a Roger Dean album cover come to life, I was in heaven! This movie isn't just a special effects vehicle though, it has a really good storyline which includes social and environmental messages. What I was expecting was sci-fi/fantasy, and there, lo and behold, I also found magic in this movie! The Na'Vi, tribal natives of Pandora, called tree huggers by the human military, are actually followers of a nature based spirituality. They have an awareness of energy that flows through everything which interestingly is also backed up by the human scientists. The Na'Vi also revere a Goddess Eywa, the All Mother who holds their connection to their ancestors through their sacred site, the Spirit Tree. At one point Dr. Grace Augustine (Sigourney Weaver) discusses with her team that the connection between all the trees on Pandora is a living real connection, not just,"pagan voodoo here-I'm talking about something real and measurable in the biology of the forest." She later is brought face to face with the spirituality behind that connection as she speaks to Jake of the Goddess Eywa, "I'm with Her now, Jake, She is real." Oooooh, I got chills!

So for those of you who have already seen it, you're probably wondering what was the added footage? Of course, I wouldn't have known, this being my first visit to Pandora and all, so I used the Google machine and looked it up. Apparently the "love scene" has a little bit added to it, as well as the battle scenes, all is fair in love and war. There is also a great hunting scene where the Na'Vi hunt the rhino-like Sturmbeests, and a really emotional scene showing Tsu'teys (Laz Alonso) death with the tribe around him. Also, if you already saw it the first time around, but not in 3D, get thee to the theater asap!

On the way home, we all discussed in the car the similarities between the human technology in this film and that of the film Aliens also directed by Cameron. Come to think of it, you also have an evil corporation and space marines in both films! Which makes one wonder, are these two stories part of the same universe? Only Cameron knows...

There are so many kinds of magic in this movie, cutting edge CGI magic, digital 3D magic, creative magic, and even the place where science and Goddess collide!

Monday Movie Featured Item:

The Na'Vi aren't the only ones that honor trees, this Dryad Spirit crystal glass pendant is stunning and reminds us that our spirits are connected to trees and the mother earth that nurtures us all.  This pendant is available in our Etsy shop 

Bright Blessings,

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