I have a little problem with movies. What is my problem? If I watch a movie at home I invariably fall asleep before the movie ends. Way before the movie ends. My kids refer to it a “we watched the movie while Mommy snoozed” family movie night. So, what happened when I watched Avatar?
Which time? The first time was a snore fest for me. The teen and her dad loved it. The second time around I was determined to accomplish two things. (1) stay awake and (2) convince my tween to watch the movie with us.
How did I do? Task #1 — I stayed awake…for the whole movie. Task #2 — My tween agreed to watch the movie. I was shocked. Shocked to the core. My tween is very cautious about movies. She watches two kinds of movies…Disney movies with characters from the Disney Channel, not cartoons, and movies with animals. Avatar doesn’t fit in either category. She thought about it for many days. The verdict…she lasted the entire movie without leaving the room or hiding under a blanket. Now don’t worry, I never force any of the kids to watch a movie that they are not comfortable watching.
Avatar Review for Tweens
My tween had heard very little about Avatar. She knew about tall blue people, but very little else. We chatted about the concept of a group of people who are invaded by a more powerful group of people. She nodded. We proceeded to watch the film.
I’m not a techie by any means. I am fascinated by how Avatar was filmed. I’m guessing CGI, green screen, and motion capture. Is there a behind the scenes “Making of Avatar”? If not, there should be!
The movie starts slowly with a setting the scene. Jake is a young Army (or perhaps Marine?) guy who was injured. He must change places with his recently murdered brother. Jake is a good guy, but not educated like his brother. Jake’s twin brother was a highly trained researcher. The team have created N’Avi Avatars using some sort of technology where Jake lies in a chamber and can control the avatar by his mind. (I wish I knew the technology and lingo to better explain it, but alas I do not.)
Jake must deal with criticism and snide comments from his new boss on the research project. Tweens will sympathize with Jake. Jake has something that the team need. He is a DNA match to his brother who is willing to “be” his brother. I commented that Jake was a good sport. My tween agreed.
The action intensified once Jake entered area on Pandora in the guise of one of the indigenous people. My tween asked a few questions about how Jake could be in the pod AND in the body of one of the tall blue people. Once I explained it to her, she “got” it. The technology behind the transfer of Jake to the tall blue person is fascinating and intriguing.
As the animals arrived on screen I was cautiously looked over at my tween. She was hanging in there. The creatures were large and loud, but she handled their appearance with aplomb. She was intrigued by the way the blue people used their braid to tame any animal with a mane. I reminded my family that usually a horse rider would use her heels or a crop or a tug on the reins to tell the horse what to do. The indigenous people have a connection to their animals.
After many months — the passage of time is shown by Jake’s hairstyle — Jake needs to go through a rite of passage required of all young people who want to become full fledged members of the Pandora society. Jake’s haircut evolves from a Marine jarhead — at one point he tells his new tribe that he is from the Tribe Jarhead — to a regular haircut. Jake as one of the N’Avi has a Marine like haircut.
The fight sequences were intense, but well choreographed. We all hissed when the plain clothes guy in charge of the “unobtanium” dig reveals that he will do anything to obtain the mineral including destroying the tree in the middle of Pandora. Once the research team realize what is happening to their plans, Jake along with the rest of the team is rushed away to the secret hideaway so that their mission is not compromised. The research team was caught in the middle of a battle between the mineral hungry group and the Marine colonel in need to dominating the Pandoran people.
I won’t give the plot away as I know a few people have not seen the movie. And No I didn’t fall asleep while watching it. I am proud to say that I stayed awake during family movie night!
Speaking of not seeing the movie? Have you seen it? No? Would you like a copy? I have an extra copy — I was given a copy for my review, but received a copy as a gift from my in laws — so I have an extra copy to giveaway. Do you want it?
If you would like to win a copy of Avatar, leave me a comment. One comment = one entry. Enter now.
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I received a copy of Avatar for my review. The views expressed in this article are my own. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. The giveaway ends May 27, 2010, at 11:59 p.m.