movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link] Seen in [fake] IMAX 3-D, on the day it was announced to be the highest grossing movie of all time. (Jan. 30, 2010)

PLOT SUMMARY: 3-D blueness. Actually, that’s the visual summary. But this is a visually-driven movie. That’s kind of the point of seeing it.

LIMERICK REVIEW: There once was a planet named Pandora–
The polar opposite of Sodom and Gomorrrah.
Our corporations had no qualms
about covering it with carpet bombs…
What a horrible waste of glowing flora!

HAIKU REVIEW: Bad corporation!
Stop stealing those resources!
Leave those Smurfs alone!

UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): [highlight for spoilers] Cripple assists in interplanetary genocide, then betrays his own race.

PEOPLE: Everybody knows this is James Cameron, of Terminator / Alien / Titanic / Dark Angel fame.
Starring Sam Worthington (Terminator Salvation), Zoe Saldana (Uhura from the new Star Trek reboot), Sigourney Weaver (Alien, Ghostbusters, Be Kind Rewind, The Village, Galaxy Quest), Stephen Lang as the douchebag military guy, Joel Moore (Grandma’s Boy, Dodgeball), Giovanni Ribisi (Lost In Translation, Lost Highway, The Postman, and Phoebe’s brother Frank in Friends).

QUIRKS: Sci-fi with alien encounters — the best kind.

VISUALS: 3-D blueness. A whole planet that looks like a head shop, or the back of a Spencer’s Gifts (HT Arlo). Hands down, this was about the best visual experience I’ve ever seen in a movie. A big part of that was seeing it in 3-D, and seeing it in [fake] IMAX, instead of the smaller screens that are usually there.

MORALS: Nature, environment, indiginous people.

POLITICS: Don’t fuck with indiginous people. It’s never good. (And yes, this counts Palestine.)

Oh, and did you really have to cut the sex scene? Fucking Americans.

BAD STUFF: It’s not the most original story in pure plot terms. But let’s face it: The uniqueness of the plot is not the selling point (or enjoyment point) for something. Jack London sold plots for $5, because they don’t matter. The same story can be told 1,000 different ways. Having a complex plot is only one of many ways a story can succeed in being enjoyable. Didn’t he tell us in advance that this was inspired by every sci-fi book he read in his youth, so it’s supposed to appeal to a wide audience?

It’s also very long. 2 hours and 40 minutes. I think this is good, but if you hate the movie, that will draw it out. Of course, people at the theatre clapped when it was over. But a lot of people are haters. [They should probably learn to find a new hobby they more consistently enjoy!]

CONCLUSION: Blown away. Sure it might not be an original story… But it’s the voyage, not the destination. And the voyage here totally kicked 3-D IMAX ass.

RATINGS:
Clint: Netflix: 5/5 stars. IMDB: 9/10.
Carolyn: Netflix: 5/5 stars. IMDB: 9/10.

Lauren W: Netflix: 5/5 stars. IMDB: 9/10.
Ian H: Netflix: 5/5 stars. IMDB: 9/10. “One of the better fantasy movies I’ve ever seen plot-wise… Kept me engaged from start to finish… And I’m sure it goes without saying that the visuals were worth the hype. There were definitely points during the movie when I felt as if I were *in* Pandora.”

Chris Z: Graphics: 8-9. Preaching: 7. Tactics: 3.
Eve C: “Less generous” than Chris Z.

The native public rating for this movie is: IMDB: 8.6/10 (currently in the Top 250 as #42), Netflix: 4.4/5 stars (Netflix‘s predicted rating for us was 4.5/5 stars).

RECOMMENDATION: See it in 3-D. Only see it in 3-D. See it before it’s too late. Blu-ray just won’t be the same.

SIMILAR MOVIES: It’s more Pocohantas than Dances With Wolves.

MOVIE QUOTE: Jake Sully: “Everything is backwards now, like out there is the true world, and in here is the dream.” Yes. That aspect was a good one too. Going into your Avatar was almost like a Strange Days experience.

FRIENDS’ RATINGS: Jordan loved it. Ian & Glen really liked it.

The RedLetterMedia review of Avatar is both scathing and hilarious! I’m just glad I’m not as jaded as the reviewer. To be someone who wants to watch movies, yet can’t enjoy them, seems like a curse straight out of The Twilight Zone S1E1. Anyway, here they are:

Did you know there are over 1,000 *pages* of topics in the IMDB discussion for this movie? And 1975 reviews? That’s insane! The best IMDB topic? “Did they get a guy with AIDS to play Jake’s legs?” Ohhh, that’s mean. Haha. (more…)