Friday, December 18, 2009

Avatar Review

I went to see Avatar at midnight this morning (last night?) in 3d Imax.  Overall I'd give it a B+  if the narration ala Raymond Chandler had been edited out or the villain had wasn't so 2-D I'd have given it an A.

Mostly the movie is about the world-building and the CGI, and both of those aspects were wonderful.  I particularly enjoyed that I was able to pick up on bits of the Navi language.  The CGI was great, but if you don't like CGI you won't like this.  The only bit that really bugged me about the world building was how the avatars were grown suspended in fluid in pods, but apparently either their hair grows in braids around their nerve endings (?) or they occasionally took them out of the pods to play with their hair.

The plot was formulaic, but it was a formula I happen to like so I was okay with that.  Pretty much it was Fern Gully for Adults with aliens instead of humans.  A guy from a profession percieved as evil by a native group ignorantly stumbles into their world.  He makes a lot of gaffes but he slowly learns the ways of the natives from the tribe's princess who (of course) falls in love with him.  He comes to appreciate nature and acquire some sort of vague animism type spirituality.  The humans he used to associate with start to attack the natives and he can't prevent it.  He turns his back on his old profession to fight its evil machinery with the natives and save their sacred tree and the beautiful nature surrounding it. Like I said, Fern Gully.

The dialogue is actually pretty good, but I could not help but crack up at the narration which is often spoken in a husky batman-voice and is supposedly narration from the main character's vlog besides being written in a bad Raymond Chandler style.  The villain also bugged me because, especially at the end, he is so unsympathetic and flat.  I half expected him to ride a bomb down while waving his cowboy hat. 

Still, overall a great movie experience.  If you don't go into it believing the more extreme hype portraying it as the best thing since sliced bread and especially if you have a soft spot for movie about peace and nature overcoming the machinery of war and destruction you'll like it--and this is definitely one that you want to catch in theaters instead of netflixing.  If you can see it in 3D Imax, it was pretty cool.

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