1./Film: First Avatar Reactions
3.TotalFilm: "It's a motion picture where everything seems to move. And it's utterly captivating. A glistening banquet for the senses. This isn't Cameron simply taking existing technology and tweaking the application to his standard. This is the work of a master film-maker owning and reclaiming the entire concept of 3D; pushing and challenging other film-makers to keep up."
"So, let's be clear… Avatar is much more than a film. It's an audacious, awe-inspiring work of modern art that reinvents and redesigns the whole process of sitting in a darkened room staring up at a screen. Sure, it's taken him ten years, but Cameron has achieved no less than a rebirth of cinema."
"Game-changing - yes. Spectacular - absolutely. Occasional dodgy dialogue and dramatic imperfections - of course. But still - wait for it… - a titanic achievement."
4.FirstShowing: ""They don't make movies like this anymore." A friend of mine said that to me before the lights dimmed, before the reason we were all there in that theatre began. After Avatar arrives in theaters, quotes like the one above take on new significance. No longer can those words be said for the sole sake of irony. Or in jest. They may not make movies like this, like Avatar, often enough, but because of James Cameron — because of the ten or so years he built Avatar with, because of his many, many years of experience he used as its foundation — they do, indeed, make movies like this. And its title is Avatar."
"Avatar is unlike anything I've ever seen. And when I say that, make no mistake, I've purposefully left off any qualifier. It's not just unlike anything I've ever seen in theatres or in comic books or in my own imagination; Avatar is unlike anything I've ever seen, period. And, for that matter, as I said above, it's not enough to use the word seen. Because the film is an experience."
"And then you have to factor in the unimaginable undertaking of creating an entire, realized world. The world of Pandora. Thinking back, it doesn't feel like I've only seen Pandora in a movie — it feels like I've been there. I know the wildlife. I know the flora. I know its food chain and its habitats. I know its physics. I've experienced it all. And I know the Na'vi."
"The Na'vi's eyes. There's life in those eyes. They're brimming with it, and it's expressive. It's been said that any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. Well, Avatar is magic. What James Cameron has done is magical."
"Avatar's is a cast whose performances are ones you'd never want to cover up or bastardize. Avatar's is a story that demands the output of one hundred percent of its emotion. And Avatar is a film that relies heavily on technology to make sure both of these things happen. That technology: motion capture."
"There's just so much. And when it comes down to it, that's what Avatar is; it's a lot. And nearly every bit of it is unlike anything I've ever experienced. As perfect a blend of the technological future of filmmaking with the age-old storytelling techniques of a master storyteller. Has Avatar revolutionized filmmaking as we know it? Is December 18th soon to be a landmark day in the history of the craft? Only time can answer those questions. All I know is that James Cameron has made an incredible, transportive, magical, visually stunning, emotionally satisfying film, and I feel privileged to be in the presence of such art.
I don't think my jaw ever left my chest for the entirety of Avatar's two and a half hour runtime. Watching it made me feel like a child, like anything and everything is possible. Like it's all just one nudge of the imagination away. It feels great to be so amazed. But Avatar isn't just amazing - it's magic."
6.Variety: "The King of the World sets his sights on creating another world entirely in "Avatar," and it's very much a place worth visiting. The most expensive and technically ambitious film ever made, James Cameron's long-gestating epic pitting Earthly despoilers against a forest-dwelling alien race delivers unique spectacle, breathtaking sights, narrative excitement and an overarching anti-imperialist, back-to-nature theme that will play very well around the world, and yet is rather ironic coming from such a technology-driven picture. Twelve years after "Titanic," which still stands as the all-time B.O. champ, Cameron delivers again with a film of universal appeal that just about everyone who ever goes to the movies will need to see."
7.ComingSoon.net: "If it's at all possible, see this in 3-D. "Avatar" is a cool movie without it, but this will add the icing on the cake. When Jake and Neytiri climb trees and run across branches hundreds of feet in the air, you get a real sense of height. When Jake walks through the Pandora forest, every leaf, branch, and flying creature pops off the screen. And needless to say the flying battle in the finale looks amazing. You'll thank yourself for going out of your way to see it in 3-D. Avatar is a fun, imaginative film that brings some popcorn flick excitement to an otherwise dreary holiday movie lineup. It should please sci-fi fans while dazzling general moviegoing audiences at the same time. Rating: 9 out of 10"
8.IGN: "Cameron's epic space western is a cinematic landmark", "James Cameron pulled it off. I was a big skeptic about Avatar ever since I saw the promotional footage Cameron showed at last summer's San Diego Comic-Con; the effects, the characters, the hype -- none of them were affecting me even though I really wanted them to. I suffered through every Delgo or FernGully or Dances With Wolves joke -- and even made a few myself, I'll admit -- and remain shocked that we're a week away from the movie's release and no one in the general population seems to be buzzing about the movie let alone fully understands what the hell it's about. But neither the film's marketing nor the sizzle reel roadshow that 20th Century Fox and Cameron went on have done Avatar justice. You just have to see it to believe it."
"On a technical level, Avatar is a landmark in motion picture history, a film that will be remembered 70 years from now as redefining the grammar and possibilities of cinema much the way that D.W. Griffith's films did. It helps audiences take a giant step forward in their suspension of disbelief in what is "real" onscreen, while raising the bar for what mass appeal genre movies can be and achieve. It also validates all the hype and investment in 3-D and motion-capture animation. And if all that sounds too good to be true, then just know that Avatar is a grand, glorious and kick-ass piece of entertainment, an old-fashioned movie gussied up by state of the art filmmaking."
"Perhaps even more so than Dances With Wolves, Avatar reminded me of what Malick was attempting to do with The New World -- an exploration of nature and a native culture couched in a culture clash/love story where the white hero falls for the chief's daughter -- but done far more effectively and excitingly."
"Still, don't think that Avatar is some haughty, New Age-y message movie about environmentalism and the horrors and guilt of colonialism. It certainly is about all those things and much more, but it's ostensibly a Western set in space crossed with an undercover/behind enemy lines story. Indeed, Avatar shows how tough it is to get a Western made in Hollywood these days: you've got to spend hundreds of millions of dollars, set it on another planet and shoot it in motion-capture in order to tell the story of the displacement and destruction of Native Americans. (Na'vi, native, get it?) The Na'vi are sort of a cross between the Sioux and the Cherokee. Their war whoops sound like those of Indians in old Westerns"
"For a Westerns fan, U.S. history buff, and sci-fi fanboy such as myself, Avatar offered an embarrassment of riches to geek out over. However, Avatar is also just as much a commentary on the state of the world (and imperialism) today as it is the past. Metaphorical nods to America's involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan are loud and clear and undeniable. The film's private military company is essentially Blackwater in space. There's a scene of cataclysmic destruction that overtly suggests 9/11 and the World Trade Center."
"To say that I was pleasantly surprised by Avatar is an understatement. My advice to you is to forget all that you think you know or believe about Avatar. Just go and experience the world of Pandora and revel in the fact that one of the most entertaining filmmakers of our time is back in action."
9.The Telegraph: "James Cameron's Avatar does more than live up to the hype. In terms of sheer technical wizardry, it is light years beyond anything we have seen before. Cameron's gorgeously-realised 3-D vision is a wonder to behold. He has created a universe so vivid that you yearn to step into it. In the hands of a lesser director, these awe-inspiring special effects would have overwhelmed the film. It is to Cameron's credit that the story grips and carries you along from the beginning."
"We are sucked into this world of fantastical creatures, floating mountains and heart-stopping action. In 2-D it still has much to offer, but try to catch it in 3-D if you possibly can. For true cinematic spectacle, Avatar is out of this world."
10.The Sun: "It's a 3D movie people will look back on in years to come to comment on how it transformed cinema. In recent 3D releases such as Beowulf, the effects were impressive but the computer-generated humans looked far from real. In Avatar, everything feels real - and it's as if you are immersed in the action. And what action."
11.The Independent: "What Avatar does mark is a new breed. A new breed of action film, a new hero in Sam Worthington (who delivers a much more believable, and compelling performance than previous outings) and a new cinematic experience. For every cliche – every colonel telling his troops that they're "not in Kansas anymore", every fight beginning with trash talk like "Let's dance", there are myriad moments of beauty and of poignancy. And the final battle is worth the price of your 3D glasses alone."