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Avatar: The Shakespeare Review

Before you read Josh's review I'd like to give you a bit of back story. This review is written in response to Slick's recent review of Avatar.Slick and Josh have very different opinions and while both are in fact accurate assessments it's seems that the readers deserve both viewpoints. Check them both out and share you thoughts in the comments below -Rich

Here is Josh's Review….

Avatar: The Shakespeare Review 

I am a huge movie buff and really enjoy going to the midnight show on opening night. There is something to be said for the quality of audience that makes an effort to buy tickets, sometimes weeks in advance, and show up at a movie theater on a random Wednesday night at 11pm to wait in line for an hour to see the latest blockbuster. For me, Avatar was not one of these movies. Seeing people dressed up as the Na’vi before the movie was released really turned me off. Mixing digitally created characters with humans did not appeal to me. I worried about the quality of the characters, that they would appear cartoonish and unrealistic. Avatar had been out in the theater a full month before I decided to check it out with my wife. We saw the movie in IMAX 3D at a brand new theater in Deer Park, NY.  

The main knock on Avatar has been that the story is one that has been done a thousand times before: Fern Gully, The Last Samurai, Dances With Wolves, etc. You might be thinking, why should anyone see what is basically a rehash of these films with 9’  tall blue aliens? And what does this have to do with Shakespeare? The answer is that William Shakespeare was not the first person to write some of his most famous plays. Romeo & Juliet, Hamlet, and MacBeth were all originally written by other authors. Shakespeare took these stories, reworked them and made them better than anyone ever had (or ever will). And that is exactly what James Cameron has done with Avatar. He has taken this story we have all seen a million times and done it better than anyone before him. 

We must remember that Shakespeare’s writings were in the form of plays, acted out on the stage that were so spectacular that the front of the audience consisted of the poorest Britons and in the rear were the highest members of society including Queen Elizabeth. In their day, they were must see. Avatar is just as much of a spectacle. The visuals are unlike anything you’ve ever seen and the sound is tremendous. I sat in the theater with the glasses on my face, and soaked it in. 

I think many people would find it funny comparing classic works of literature to a popcorn flick, and they would be right because while Hamlet is a complex, finely tuned work that will last forever, Avatar is a fireworks show. I was wowed by all the pretty colors but once the night sky cleared, it started to fade from memory.  

Regardless of its inherent flaws, Avatar is a must see, and a must see in IMAX 3D. Forget everything you’ve read or heard about it. Go to the nearest IMAX 3D, sit back in your chair, take a deep relaxing breath, and spend the next few hours smiling. This is a spectacle you will want to see in the way it was intended to be seen.