I went all out for Avatar, going so far as to dish out the extra bucks for the 3D I-MAX experience - well worth the extra money, if I may say so. Graphically stunning environments, mesmerizing action, and a magical romance make this the movie of the holiday season, if not the entire year.
A half a billion dollar budget made the almost three hour Avatar experience fly by, leaving a stiff neck the only real clue that I had just spent so much time sitting in the same position, truly mesmerized the entire time. Avatar, an incredibly apt name describing both the technology used to make the movie as well as the actual avatars within, is a story so utterly compelling and enthralling that I was very nearly moved to tears. The liberal tilt of the movie, addressing such contemporary issues as corporate greed and genocide only served to add another wonderful layer to the whole experience.
Most reviews of Avatar have been mixed, lauding the technology while knocking the story. The link provided goes to Scalzi's popular blog where he heaps praise on the technological mastery but holds back when describing the story. Indeed, to a certain extent, I am well inclined to agree. As the title of this post suggests, Avatar is essentially Fern Gully & Starcraft combined. For all of Avatar's un-originality, the mix is potent, sucking you into the adventure with the force of an addictive video game and childhood cartoon combined.
Avatar focuses on the story of a young marine recruited to a select diplomatic mission on a foreign planet called Pandora. The position, originally slated for his dead brother, involves interacting with the native Na'vi of Pandora by downloading into a synthetically grown body. Lo and behold, on his first mission the young Marine becomes lost in the jungle after barely escaping from the local version of a Saber-toothed tiger and a beautiful Na'vi, coincidentally the daughter of the local clan chief, comes to the rescue and gets him accepted into the clan.
Long story short, go see Avatar - you will not regret it. If you are able to sneak into an I-Max showing, it will be an experience to remember. Caremon's deft directorship has eliminated much of the vertigo and nausea I generally suffer when subjected to the I-Max experience. In addition there are two incredibly memorable scenes, reminiscent of native American prayer rituals that are worth their weight in gold (good thing film is light). So, go see it, love it, and leave a comment -- I am curious to see if you spec fic aficionados have the same take as me. Enjoy the movie!