An Avatar Review By Someone Who Took 6 Months to Watch It.

Matt Kiebus :: Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010 4:45 pm

First off I’d like to make it known that I’ve never fully watched a James Cameron movie — that is until last night. I’ve never been hanging out and said, “Hey, I could really go for a seven-hour flick right now.” I’ve never watched more than 25 minutes of a Terminator movie, I can’t even explain to you who Sarah Conner or the actual Terminator are. The ten or so minutes I saw of The Abyss on the WB11 Saturday afternoon movie when I was 8 years old gave me nightmares. True Lies? I only know Jamie Lee Curtis and the Cameron favorite Governator make up the cast. Don’t even get me into Titanic, too many 5th grade female classmates swooned Leo Dicaprio for me to ever care.

Now, I don’t hate Cameron films with the passion of say Michael Bay travesties. I’ve just never cared enough to watch. When there are so many episodes of Mad Men and Jersey Shore I need to re-watch, who has the time?

Well, with the Mets on an off day I decided it was time to give in. Roughly six months after the rest of the world saw the Na’vi of Pandora on 3-D movie screens. I sat down in my living room and watched James Cameron’s most recent epic on my 28-inch Sony TV. No surround sound, no performance enhancing glasses, just bare bones Avatar. Some might say I didn’t get the full experience of the film because I didn’t pay $15 to watch blue people float around in IMAX 3-D. I disagree, because Avatar is going to live on DVD and Blu-Ray for a lot longer than it stayed on the big screen.

I thought Avatar was good. The effects were pretty breathtaking even on my old tube television. Visually, it’s easily one of the most ground-breaking films since George Lucas came up with that little series called Star Wars. And apparently it made a decent chunk of change, too.

Going into the Academy Awards Cameron’s Avatar was the favorite to win Best Picture. The award deservedly went to his ex-wife’s gritty The Hurt Locker. I never understood why everyone ranted and raved about this film. In fact I seriously despised every second of hype, promotion, and media coverage the film got. I was hating big time, without any validation, because I was convinced that the plot would not and could not blow me away.

Last night I was neither blown away or disappointed by Avatar’s plot, and I rather enjoyed the popcorn flick, but I did realize a lot of similarities between Avatar, world history, and some other cinematic classics. In honor of the recent moron who compared Toy Story 3 to the Holocaust, I’m going to compare Avatar with the wild theories in my head.

One Twin Filling in for Dead Brother

In Avatar Sam Worthington’s crippled Marine character joins the Avatar program on Pandora because his twin brother died. So he hopped on a five-year flight for a paycheck and some nice benefits. He ends up being a leader for the enemy and fighting for Na’vi independence. Sounds pretty similar to Beer Fest when Landfill died trying to drink his way out of a beer silo. During the funeral his twin brother Gil steps in and helps lead the American team to the Beer Fest championship.


Tribes and cultures were peacefully living in Africa for a very long time before Europeans decided they might want some of our higher culture, disease, and guns in return for raping their land of all its natural resources. Sounds similar to Giovanni Ribisi’s mining company’s search for the extremely valuable unobtanium (clever name Cameron).

Pre-Arraigned Alpha Male Husband

Zoe Saldana’s character, Neytiri, is arraigned to marry the tribe’s warrior and up-incoming leader Tsu’tey. That is until the human in blue skin, Corpral Jake Sully, comes along and sweeps her off her tail with his charm, courage, and prodigious leadership. Similar to the American cult classic Stomp the Yard, where Columbus Short stars as a badass street dancer and avenges the death of his brother (Chris Brown) by going to college. When he enters Truth University he falls in love with the No.1 stomp team captain’s girlfriend. In the end he gets the girl and BET Stomp Championship. Same fairytale ending.

The Unnecessarily Brutal Attack on their Tallest Building

Now Killa’ Cameron is making political statements? The same man who was basically a part-time Entourage cast member? It’s hard not to see the close similarities between the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the helpless bombing of the Na’vi’s gigantic tree. Watching the terrified families running to escape the tree’s collapse is eerily similar to the people running to escape the fall of the towers. After Jake Sully woke up in his Avatar form he was covered in a dust like the soot that blanketed lower Manhattan. Except in Avatar now the Americans are killing the helpless and the innocent. Mindfuck.

The Movie Score

You might as well have had Celine Dion sing “My Heart Will Continue to Beat,” a completely new version of “My Heart Will Go On” that sounds exactly the same. Because Avatar’s soundtrack could be Titanic’s twin with a dash of African drum-beat flavor.

The Lion King

Anyone could make an argument that any great movie holds similar themes as the Disney Classic. There is no question about that. But in Avatar they have like twelve characters that look and act like Rafiki. Plus they have a long montage where the main character grows into becoming a leader and learns the ways on the pack/tribe.


Yep, you can’t have a sci-fi movie in a tropical paradise without it being littered with Lost references. Lets see, we got planet, which has a strange group of inhabitants and draws its power from one source, the tree of souls. Ok, we got an island with polar bears, spirits, a smoke monster, and plane crash survivors that draws all its power from a mysterious underground spring. At the end of the movie the main character leaves his human form behind, his life truly begins as a Na’ vi and the movie ends with Jake Sully opening his eyes in Avatar form. In Lost, the main character Jack opens the series by opening his eyes after crash landing on the mysterious island. In the series finale Jack leaves behind his human form and moves on in life. In bookend final sequence Jack ends the series by closing his eyes.

I believe Avatar was a creative film, complete with a fully functioning language of 1,000 words. I believe the graphics were ground breaking and the all-in-all the film was quite epic. But when it comes down to originality, if you’re stealing from Stop the Yard, it tends to fall a bit short.

2 Responses to “An Avatar Review By Someone Who Took 6 Months to Watch It.”
  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by deathandtaxes and deathandtaxes, Stephen Blackwell. Stephen Blackwell said: The greatest Avatar review ever written: http://bit.ly/9oqAgs [...]

    Posted by: Tweets that mention Death and Taxes » An Avatar Review By Someome Who Took 6 Months to Watch It. -- Topsy.com June 22nd, 2010 at 6:37 pm
  2. [...] and I don’t particularly enjoy his films. However, he personally netted 7.2 times more money from Avatar than the entire worldwide box office gross of Kathryn Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker. Its gotta feel [...]

    Posted by: Death and Taxes » Just How Rich Is James Cameron? July 9th, 2010 at 2:05 pm