I hereby declare that I am able to admit when I was mistaken and just being stubborn.

Having developed a healthy distaste for mega-hyped movies, I waited this long before seeing Avatar … and I only broke down and went to the theater because I plan to see all the Oscar-nominated Best-Picture candidates (six down, four to go).

Well, if you are like me and have not yet seen it (and you don’t have a general aversion to exciting, partially-CGI blockbusters), I’m here to say, “Go now; you’re in for a treat.”

There have been a gazillion reviews, so I won’t belabor the point – just a few comments.

To me, it’s basically a twenty-first century version of Dances with Wolves, with a touch of The Matrix, The Mission, and Lord of the Rings.  Though the story is nothing new, the packaging is gorgeous.

For an action sci-fi flick, the characters are fairly well developed.  The notable exception is Colonel Miles Quaritch (Stephen Lang), who is a pretty one-dimensional ass throughout.  Presumably, in a good-vs.-evil story, you must have someone to despise unequivocally.

Naturally, the acting talent in this movie helps its success tremendously.  All the principal actors are excellent in their roles.  Special recognition should go to Giovanni Ribisi, who makes an unlikeable character complex – even though the lines weren’t written for his character (Parker Selfridge) to eventually show that there’s a human being hidden somewhere inside his corporate soul, the masterful actor manages to convey it through his eyes and expressions.

After hearing several stories about people getting physically dizzy after 162 minutes of 3D thrill-riding through the primordial forests of Pandora, it’s something I was wary about.  However, I personally found the pacing and the juxtaposition of the human and Na’vi worlds in fine balance.

My only real gripe?  The cheese factor of calling the ore the humans are mining unobtanium.  Really, people?  Really?

It almost hurts me to say it, but James Cameron has redeemed himself in my eyes (Ouch!), and Avatar gets a big two thumbs-up.

Mood:  humbled and euphoric

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