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The North Wind

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Dallas WiertellaApril 30, 2024

‘Avatar’ is a technological masterpiece

Every so often a movie comes out that changes viewer’s perspective of what movies are capable of showing us. “Jurassic Park” showed the fantastic images computers were able to create. Other blockbusters like “Transformers” and “Lord of the Rings” continued the evolution of special effects. Now “Avatar” is here to show us the next dimension of film.

Handicapped marine Jake Sully (Worthington) is chosen to work on the Avatar project after his twin brother, who had worked on the project for many years, is killed. Jake is soon transferred far away to a planet known as Pandora, where humans are attempting to mine an expensive mineral. The Avatar project enables Jake to control the body of the local advanced species known as the Na’vi, in hopes to connect with the tribe. After Jake gets lost in Pandora inside his avatar, he is rescued by Neytiri (Saldana), the Na’vi princess, and becomes engulfed in the culture of the species. For three months, Sully lives with the people to learn their way of life in order to warn them of the humans’ plan to mine their land. Led by Colonel Miles Quaritch (Lang), the humans begin to threaten the Na’vi’s home and a war breaks out between races. Sully is torn between his two realities, and is forced to decide which side he must help.

Sam Worthington may not be a great actor, but this role was made for him. His character transition throughout the film was impressive, and his voice acting during animated scenes sounded great. Saldana had one of the best female leads in an action film. Her voice acting was compelling, and her character was great. Sigourney Weaver plays the team’s head scientist, and her charm works well with this film. Stephen Lang played an outstanding villain, and every generic line he spat out seemed just right. The supporting cast was very good. Even Joel Moore from “Grandma’s Boy” played his part very well.

James Cameron proves once again why he is one of the top directors of all time. The fictional planet of Pandora is amazing, and every second of the film I felt like I was there. Every scene was shot to perfection, and this film contains the best slow motion sequences since “The Matrix.” Like most of Cameron’s movies, such as “Aliens” and “Titanic,” this movie has some cheesy dialogue, but it doesn’t hurt the film’s intensity. Cameron held on to this script for almost ten years because he felt technology needed to catch up to his idea and I can safely say that was a good call.

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While 3-D movies are nothing new, Cameron’s custom made Stereoscopic 3-D made this movie completely unique. “Avatar” uses different layers to make the viewer feel like they are truly in the film by making every environment come to life. The cinematography seemed flawless during the film’s numerous action sequences that boasted some of the best CGI I have ever seen in a film.

The score by James Horner is epic with thunderous tribal drums mixed with a military tune. Every scene sounded great, but the action scenes are a real standout. The score caused a perfect tension throughout the entire film, but even more impressive was the amazing sound effects. Every explosion rocked the theater, and the strange noises in Pandora’s jungles really helped immerse you in the land.

As of this review, “Avatar” is the second highest grossing movie worldwide of all time underneath Cameron’s other film “Titanic.” “Avatar” is not perfect but it is easy to ignore its minor imperfections. With a near three hour run time, “Avatar” may be a little too long for some people but even after seeing the movie multiple times it felt like time flew by. Go see this movie in the theaters, because that how it’s meant to be seen, and enjoy one of the best blockbusters in a long time.

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