First off-- It's Friday! That means a post over on genreality.net. This week: Seasonal sense memory, and writing. How they go together. It's awesome, go read it.
Next-- Schleped out to the midnight showing of AVATAR last night/this morning. You may have heard a little bit about this movie. When something I want to see is getting a lot of hype, I always try and see it before the reviews come out, so that I can enjoy it untainted. Too many times I read a review that points out flaws that... yeah, sure, maybe, but while you're enjoying in the movie, you don't notice. Until you're standing at your refrigerator later, or someone points them out.
So anyway. No spoilers here. The movie was visually stunning. Saw it in 3D and it was WELL worth the surcharge. It was one of those movies where I felt so immersed in the world, it was a little weird coming back out of it. The alien characters were just amazing. Jaw dropping realism in the scenery. I totally bought that they could have gone to this planet (or moon, I think) and shot this movie there.
A friend of mine described the story as sort of Dances With Wolves meets Ferngully, and I can't say he's wrong. The plotline did call up echoes of DWW... and many other 'wounded warrior goes native and fights against the evil imperialists' stories. But seriously, are you going to see this movie for an original, twisty plotline? No. You're not. Does that make it any less enjoyable? Not to me. I was invested in the characters, I wanted to see the bad guys get theirs (in truly spectacular fashion), and I was totally and completely rooting for things to work out for the hero. Not to mention his love interest, whom I loved; I'll say this for James Cameron, he loves a strong female protagonist. (Rose from Titanic was more willful and bratty, IMHO, but Neytiri is awesome.)
When I say it wasn't twisty, I don't mean that I knew how everything was going to play out. I know Sherlock Holmes will out the murderer by the end of the movie, too, but I can enjoy watching it unfold. There were times when I really didn't know HOW they were going to get out of their pickle. (This is where reviewers sometimes miss the point, I think. Sometimes you don't need complex characters. You need someone to fill an archetypal role so that the cool stuff can happen.)
Worth the hype? Yeah. I really think so. Definitely worth seeing in the movie theater, whether you do 3D or not.
[Also, saw the trailer for Alice in Wonderland. I would SO want to see that if Johnny Depp didn't look like a horrible creepy clown. The only thing that creeps me out more than Johnny Depp in a Tim Burton movie is clowns. (And Santa.)]