Most people have already seen Avatar, but for those of you who have not yet been persuaded, here’s my take. I admit it…I had to be practically dragged to see this film. Shock of shocks, I was entertained. Yes, it runs a little long (2 ½ hours of wearing 3D glasses starts to be a little painful) and boy is it cobbled together from a hodgepodge of other stories—say hello to: Pocahontas, West Side Story, Henry V, The Patriot, Lost, Jurassic Park and even Titanic (I swear, there’s a scene when I almost thought someone was going to say “I’m king of the world”). Even the musical score by James Horner, also composer for Titanic, is eerily reminiscent of said movie. But somehow writer and director James Cameron, together with the actors, manages to make it all work. I’m not into special effects, and although this movie has plenty of great ones, assisted by digital 3D, there is also a story. In a nutshell, in the year 2154, on Pandora, a moon of the planet Polyphemus, in the Alpha Centauri star system, a private U.S. company run by Parker Selfridge (Giovanni Ribisi), has established a base secured by a private militia headed by Colonel Miles Quaritch (veteran actor Stephen Lang ). The purpose is to bring back some of Pandora’s natural resources which the U.S. does not possess, peacefully, if possible. The base shares quarters with a scientific group, led by Dr. Grace Augustine (Sigourney Weaver). Their mission is to learn all they can about the inhabitants of Pandor, the Na’vi, as Na’vi avatars to enable them to negotiate a peaceful negotiation with Pandora about its resources. Included in the mix of scientists is a former marine, paraplegic Jake Sully (Sam Worthington). On this mission Sully is taking the place of his recently deceased scientist identical twin brother because he has the same genetic codes which will enable him to assume his avatar. While in avatar mode, Sully meets Neytiri (Zoe Saldana) and the story takes off from there.  

So, if you want to know what all the fuss is about, put your fears and prejudices aside,  get a medium-size bag of popcorn and drink (it’s a long movie) and head for Pandora.

3 nuggets out of 4


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