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Avatar ★★★★½

90


Aside from the white savior ish aspects of some of the plot, this is still one of the most impressive technical accomplishments in the medium, and one of the best epics ever made. Not a single other filmmaker has topped this since, at least on this scale. Just look at what Marvel has done with this large scale CGI focused canvas. It doesn’t even come close! Even after 13 years, this looks ridiculously good, and better than almost every film that comes out now. A shot or two here and there does look dated, especially fabric and water, but this is almost entirely seamless, and the alien planet helps in our believability with some of the more digital looking images. Yet much of it is as effective today as it was when it first came out. Possibly the best image Cameron has ever crafted is the moment when Jake and Neytiri first see each other in person, in Jake’s REAL body. He gently puts his hand to her face, says “I see you” and she repeats it, holding his hand closer to her face. It looks nothing less than real, and is the purest, sweetest distillation of Cameron’s love of the illusion of filmmaking, something that is all too real to him.