Depressed from losing his twin brother and the use of his own legs, marine Corporal Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) signs up to assist in protecting an ore mining company on the distant planet known as Pandora. While on the planet Jake is assigned to work as a controller of an “avatar”– a human/alien body that functions like the natives of Pandora, the Na’vi. Jake in particular is assigned to infiltrate the Na’vi culture and assist the company in driving the people out of the land they call home; but, the more he assimilates with the natives, the more he realizes the error of the humans and the stage is set for a showdown between man and Na’vi. Who will win the battle for Pandora, where will Jake’s allegiance fall, and what is the fate for the rest of the avatars on the planet? avatar_poster Directed by James Cameron (Titanic), the film combines live human action along with computer generated graphics to create quite possibly the most realistic cinematic experience in a special effects film ever. Yeah, yeah, yeah, everyone has said this, but seriously, this is downright amazing, the attention to even the most minute detail has been made to the extent that what you perceive is in fact a living breathing world. Strengthening the visual shock and awe are performances from Segourney Weaver (no slouch when it comes to sci-fi experience) and the rest of the cast. Now, before I gush too much about this film, let me be quick to point out, some reservation does need to be brought up about the actual story and script. While blatant reflections of the current war and unrest in the middle east are omnipresent (this is fine by the way and it in fact makes for an interesting lens to view our own politics), it’s a shame though that without the glitz and glamour of the film there’s not a lot of substance to the story line, at best it’s mediocre, if you can get past this though and just take in the marvel of the overall experience this may not be a bad thing. After all, not every film needs to be a life changing, philosophical challenge to the viewer. Instead, I suppose it’s okay that this film garners attention for it’s technical merits instead; regardless, notable cinematic history has been made and the future of cinema as we know it has just made a quantum leap forward. Worth seeing on the big screen, particularly in 3D, and also available in IMAX. Avatar is rated PG-13.