Saturday, December 19, 2009


Yesterday at around 5.15pm I joined the growing line of people to see Avatar (me and Vern Snackwell in photo). We were fourth in line for the 6.30 start time, so I guess it is safe to say we were "nerding" it at the front of the line. How long have I been reading about Avatar? Six years? Seven years? A long time. Well, I've seen it and I can say that it did not disappoint as it delivers pretty much on everything that James Cameron promised by unleashing one of the most extravagant visual onslaughts I've experienced in a movie theatre in awhile.

On a purely visual level--Avatar is stunning. The audience is quickly drawn into a distant world that is fantastical, full of bizarre creatures, vibrant colored plant life and scene after scene of some kind of mind blowing aspect or other. At times it's as if Cameron has created a deep-sea universe on the skin of a planet and it's incredible to witness.

I was worried about the "3D" elements--would it distract me? Could I lose myself in the story? Eight foot blue aliens and a love story? Answers: no, yes and yes! In fact, only a few minutes into the film was I forgetting that I was wearing the bulky glasses and just let the 3D take hold. The 3D wasn't really forced in your face with gimmicks (thank you) but there were some scenes that were so breathtakingly gorgeous and riveting to watch in 3D I can't imagine seeing the film in any other capacity.

Avatar has some of the usual Cameron issues that plague a lot of his films. The story becomes too one note and predictable, some not so great dialogue and it teeters on the edge of just becoming too heavy-handed but then it delivers another awe inducing scene and you forget whatever nitpicking issue that may have been brewing in your mind. I know I did. The last section of the film is about as rousing a sequence you will ever witness in an action film. I was pumped up as I sat in the theatre.

Avatar is one of the more visceral experiences I've had in a movie theatre in years. It's pure visual spectacle and not to be missed if you like movies. Cameron has delivered the goods again. The 3D is so good it feels like you are immersed in this distant planet's story as it unfolds in front of you. Immersion 3D. This should really only be watched at IMAX in 3D--don't cheat yourself by seeing it in any other theatre or format as you are not getting the full visual extravaganza that Cameron has spent years and hundreds of millions of dollars to create for the film.


Anonymous said...

I'd rather be blue!

Skye von Hammerspleen said...

How's the fake-me-out "my heart will go on" theme song?

Joshua Blevins Peck said...

Ms. Von Hammerspleen:

That song is pretty bad. Luckily it doesn't appear until the end credits and I was still in kind of a visual, euphoric daze that I was happily ignoring it.

Vern Snackwell said...

Who is this von Hammerspleen personage? She sounds very sophisticated.