There's nothing quite like seeing a really excellent movie. It's sad that it happens so rarely.
I saw Avatar today.
Wow, was it ever a fantastic movie!
I've seen comparisons of it to Star Wars (the best one is Jim's). The comparison is apt in many ways. It is truly an amazing technical piece that takes movie story-telling to a whole new level. (Remember how amazed we all were with how realistic Gollum was? Multiply that by 10.) And the funny thing is, the criticisms I've seen about the movie, about it being too simplistic, too predictable, those are all criticisms that have been leveled at Star Wars. All those "stereotyped" characters are also archetypes. So yes, the Noble Savage is not so generally wonderful as portrayed, and the Military is not so generally single-minded as protrayed, but it is in the context of a fairy tale and we have the knowledge that real life is not so simple.
It is fun, the writing is great (don't believe the critics!) and so is the acting. I love how the hero shrugs off digs on his intelligence because of his profession. "Yeah, whatever you want to think," it seems to say. Sam Worthington, the actor playing the hero is great. He really manages to embody the curious, eager, passionate, courageous, and charismatic character. (I saw an interview later in which he talks about how he felt that a hard core Marine would be difficult for people to access and identify with, so he modeled the impetuous, childlike nature on his 7-year old nephew. It was a brilliant move, because that excitement and energy really carries you into the movie.)
The animation was fantastically done and the emotional value of the natives really comes through. It helps that it's modeled after real people. Little details really made a difference, and yet there was still an alien feel to them. They weren't just people with funny ears or bumpy foreheads. The world really felt real to me and I was sad when the movie ended. I wanted to get back in line and watch it again (this time in 3D) IMMEDIATELY! :D
I will watch it again in the theater. I will see it in 3D, as I understand that takes the fantasticness to an even higher level. SQUEE! I can't wait! :D
I also got some awesome cookbooks from Hot Chick Janiece. I really look forward to using the recipes in my day to day cooking! :D Thanks so much, hon! I really wish I hadn't forgotten your (actually, Boogie's) gift at home!