I took the day off today, and met up with my friend Doug to see James Cameron’s big CGI epic Avatar. Even better, we saw it in IMAX 3D. I’ve actually not seen any mainstream movies in 3D that have recently been released (the last being a kids “educational” 3D movie over at the Liberty Science Center last year.) I had time to watch some trailers for upcoming movies which were in 3D as well, and they looked great. Hey, maybe I should see more 3D movies.
The film is set in the year 2154 on Pandora, a fictional Earth-like world in the Alpha Centauri planetary system. Humans are engaged in mining Pandora’s reserves of a precious mineral, while the Na’vi—a race of indigenous humanoids—resist the colonists’ expansion, which threatens the continued existence of the Na’vi and the Pandoran ecosystem. The film’s title refers to the genetically engineered bodies used by the film’s characters to interact with the Na’vi.
So, without giving any big secret away, while the humans may see the Na’vi as savages, they are actually a sentient alien race with ties to nature, which we don’t. Throughout the movie, there are some definite Native American themes, as well as the injustices done to them. Nature is good. Humans are thoughtless and crude. We should be one with the world.
Overall, although the movie is long (clocking in at 162 minutes), I felt it went pretty fast. While the themes are nothing new, the movie itself is gorgeous. I read online that the movie is 40% live-action, and 60% CGI. I did hear previously that James Cameron had the movie studio executives nervous with the high price tag ($280 milllon?), but since he’s approaching (or reached) the $1 billion mark in sales, I guess he’s laughing all the way to the bank on this one.
I would recommend watching this movie in IMAX 3D. It’s a beautiful-to-watch movie, and entertaining. Watch it. Dive deep into it. Don’t spill your popcorn.