A friend and I went to see the new movie blockbuster, Avatar, the other night. We had heard very good things about it. It had already broken all records (at the time we saw it, the movie had managed to make over one billion dollars world wide). That combined with the fact that my friend and I ware avid science fiction fans, well, it was a 'must see'. We elected to go to a late showing in the 3D format.
The story's plot line is fairly straight forward and easily recognizable. It is the old "rich, powerful, greedy corporations want to steel the land from the innocent and peaceful natives. It is the European gold miners stealing the Dakotas from the Sioux Indians. It is the corporate farming conglomerations pushing the natives out and burning the Brazilian rain forests. The plot works well and was a good choice because it immediately lets the audience identify with something familiar in the strange 3D world filled with strange and exciting plants and animals, and even people, that are visually grabbing but somewhat hard to understand or anticipate.
The acting is good. The villains (played by Stephen Lang and Giovanni Rabisi) are well written and acted so that, by the end of the movie, you are looking forward to them getting their just rewards. The heroes are equally well written and acted. Sigourney Weaver delivers her unusual steady, believable and well acted performance. The relatively new Australian actor, Sam Worthington, is very good in the role of Marine corporal Jake Sully, crippled and in a wheelchair, but still determined to be of use. He looses his Australian accent and takes on the jargon of a US Marine very believably. His acting, both in his human form and in his "avatar' form is excellent and helps the plot pull the audience in and feel more a part of this alien environment.
I highly recommend the 3D version. I know, it feels a little strange having to wear those special glasses -my friend and I spent the traditional period of playing with them and making fun of how we each looked in them- but the effects are nothing short of impressive. The feeling of the forest with it's deceivingly quiet and peaceful moments, suddenly thrown into heart pounding excitement as some strange new animal comes crashing through the brush and into your lap - well, even when you are expecting it, it still works.
Overall, I have to say that his movie did not grab me the way "Lord of the Rings" did a few years ago, or even the way the original "Star Wars" did when it first came out. Having said that I still think this is an excellent movie very well worth seeing. I also very highly recommend swallowing your hesitation about wearing those 3D glasses and seeing this movie in the 3D format - it is truly worth the time, effort and expense.
Here is the trailer if you'd like to get a taste of this excellent movie experience: