Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Brewvie Review: Avatar


Disabled Marine Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) travels to planet Pandora to become an avatar, ingratiate himself with the natives and help Americans mine lucrative unobtainium. But he finds himself in an interstellar conflict after falling for Na'vi warrior Neytiri (Zoe Saldana). James Cameron writes and directs this Golden Globe-winning CGI odyssey that has broken box office records. Sigourney Weaver and Stephen Lang co-star.  - Description from Netflix

I took me 171 days after Avatar was released in theaters to actually see it. I know... a Sci-Fi geek like me taking six months to see one of the best Sci-Fi flicks ever made, right? Shame on me.

All I can say is... James Cameron did it again. Even with all the hype, Oscar nods, and merchandise whoring I was still blown away.  Yes, the special effects make your eyes bleed, but they do so much more.  They create a world that looks and feels real. The effects bring James Cameron's movie to life in a way rarely seen. I've been a SF geek as far back as I can remember and the only other movie that so fully engrossed me into its world as to change my own reality was the original Star Wars movie.  I was 10 at the time, so it's not hard to imagine the impact a movie like that can have on child that age. But for it to happen, at least in part, to a full blown middle aged adult - in this day and age no less... is quite the accomplishment.

Avatar is a movie that you must see, even if you're not a space cadet. The story is poignant on many levels.  Frankly, I don't buy the naysayers - many of whom are clearly out of touch with reality - who claim James Cameron embedded a political statement within his fanciful yarn. Everyone everywhere has to voice their opinion, and technology has given them all a platform to do so.  And even if he did... who cares?  Last time I checked we still lived in America. It's his right. Here's something else... if he did, then his message apparently struck just the right nerve in just the right way. And maybe that's what the naysayser are really terrified of.

In any case... if you haven't seen it, do so.  This epic SF yarn weighs in at just under 3 hours, but it never feels like it. As with all things though, not everyone is going to like it.  In order to fully enjoy this film you have to have an open mind, one capable of simultaneously enjoying sweeping fictional sagas as if you were a child, but mature enough to take away a deeper understanding. You too have to become something of an avatar. 

Avatar gets a perfect score of:

Beer suggestion for Avatar

Avatar Jasmine IPA from Elysian Brewing Company in Seattle, Washington.  This "new incarnation" of an India Pale Ale is the perfect brew to watch this film with. One of the main tenants of Avatar the movie is just how out of touch we "civilized" and "technologically advanced people" have become with nature.  Avatar the beer (6.3% ABV) bridges that gap with a floral nose and flavor that balances the subtleness of jasmine with the I.P.A.'s essential hoppiness. Dried jasmine flowers were added in the boil and hopback, which sounds a lot like something aboriginal people would have once done to a beverage they were making.