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Theo Moore Questions... Morphology? Longevity? Incept dates?

First off, lemme say that as a huge fan of the animated series Avatar, I was most confused when the trailers for James Cameron's Avatar starting showing up on TV. Took me a little while to get used to the idea that the animated Avatar from TV was going to be called "The Last Airbender" and would be live action, while the name Avatar would be applied to combination live action and animated movie.

Ok, got that straight. Check.

Avatar was breathtaking. I saw it in IMAX 3D and I was thrilled with it. It was beautiful to see. The colours were vibrant. The scenery had depth I couldn't have imagined. The views of the landscapes were simply staggering. My wife gasped several times and I found myself uttering a quiet "wow" on a number of occassions. It could easily be the most visually stimulating film I have ever seen. I was very entertained, and I was not sad I paid the extra cash for the IMAX 3D as it made the absolute best out of the movie. Seems to me that it was made with this format in mind.

That said, as I left the theatre, I realized that I wouldn't go see it again. Given my level of excitement, I was confused. Why wouldn't I want to see it again?

Simple reason: I've seen before...many times, and I will again.

It is Dancing With Wolves, it is The Last Samurai, it is A Man Called Horse. It has a plot that has been reused in some form or another about a million times in the last 15-20 years.  Cameron says he's had this written for 15 years or so but he waited until the technology was up to truly expressing his vision (in a pure joke I told someone that Lucas would have just created the technology on the fly). After seeing the movie, it is apparent that we wouldn't have had anywhere near the wonderful visual experience had he made it years ago. Pity is that so many other filmmakers had similar ideas and didn't particulalry care about the technology. As such, the story is pretty much a re-tread rather than the amazing one it could have been.

As far as classic plot lines go, this is a pretty good one...and it is one of my faves, really. The only one I prolly like better is the "young, confused person seeks direction and finds older, wise master who teaches them about life and they incidentally learn more about themselves...sometimes with the master learning from the student"...think Karate Kid here...or Star Wars of course. However, it *is* indeed a classic line.

Also, the theme is a little threadbare in my opinion...I won't go into detail as it might be considered a spoiler if I do.

Seeing Sigourney Weaver in it was a welcome surprise. I had no idea she'd show up. Also, Giovanni Ribsi is in it. I like him in films for some reason. He plays the weasel-type character very well. Also, the leading female alien is voiced by the person who plays the new Uhura in Star Trek. She does a great job in this, also.

So, do I recommend it? Absolutely. I'd go see it once in the theater for sure, and in 3D if you can...and pay the extra cash for IMAX if you can get it (believe me, you'll thank me for it). Why? 'Cause if you wait for the DvD yer likely to say "ok, I've seen this before" rather than "WOW! LOOKIT THAT!!!"

Odds are it isn't one I'll buy for the archives, tho'. Might Netflix it next year....

Call it 3.8 outta 5 stars.

Posted on Monday, December 21, 2009 10:09 AM | Back to top

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