Sunday, February 14, 2010

Review by Sombrero Grande

In 1977, Star Wars premiered and, with its amazing special effects, it set the bar for all future popcorn movies. Then, in 1993, Jurassic Park reset that bar with its unbelievable CGI. Now along comes James Cameron's Avatar to once again reset the bar for all future popcorn movies with a scope and span that dwarfs all flicks that came before.

Avatar is an absolutely gorgeous film, and anyone who misses seeing it in 3D in theaters will have no idea just how gorgeous it really is. The planet Pandora is teeming with eye candy of the most delicious variety. The animals, plant-life and landscapes are well worth the price of admission alone. The 3D elements only further immerse the viewer in this spectacular world; there's no cheap 3D gimmickery here.

Avatar's story is, well, much less impressive, though it's far from awful. The film makes no apologies for making sure the good guys and bad guys are quickly defined as such. There's an evil corporation that's hired a bunch of trigger-happy soldiers to help "relocate" the nature-loving natives on a hostile alien planet in order to harvest a valuable resource ludicrously called "Unobtainium." The story is a rather naked approximation of the conflict between the white settlers and Native Americans, from the American flag-like window that sits Patton-like behind Colonel Quaritch to the "war paint" the native aliens wear. Along the way, several points in the plot, such as the main character's inevitable change of heart and the love story, seem to flick on like a light switch. While lush visuals abound in Avatar, subtlety does not.

If you like your stories "black and white," good versus evil, wrapped in an incredibly beautiful package, then Avatar is a don't-miss. Just, like I said, make sure you catch it in a theater in 3D while you can. Avatar is an experience tailor-made for a movie theater and no home theater, no matter how substantial, is going to yield the same result.


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