My husband and I saw the movie Avatar this weekend. This is Hollywood's most expensive movie ever made, costing over $500M to produce and distribute. It should recoup its costs however, especially since, during the first 3 days of opening, this movie made over $232.2M. Just imagine what it will make overall. Even at two and a half hours, the 3-D special effects of this film were amazing and beautiful to watch. The action sequences were fully packed, and sometimes back to back.
In the year 2154, a Human corporation is engaged in the colonization of Pandora, the lush moon of Polyphemus, which is light years from Earth. The Humans seek to exploit Pandora's reserves of a precious mineral called unobtainium. Pandora is inhabited by an indigenous species of humanoids called the Na'vi. This indigenous species stands nine feet tall, with tails and sparkling blue skin. The Na'vi live in peaceful harmony with the natural world that surrounds them although they are considered primitive by Human standards. Humans are unable to breathe the Pandoran atmosphere making peaceful interaction with the Na'vi difficult. Human researchers, led by Dr. Grace Augustine (Sigourney Weaver) created the Avatar Program. This program takes Human DNA and Na'vi DNA, using it to genetically engineer "human-Na'vi hybrid bodies" called "Avatars." A Human who shares genetic material with the Avatar can be mentally linked to it, allowing the Human to control the Avatar's functions and experience what it experiences, while their own Human body sleeps.
Jake Sully is the movie's hero. He is a former U.S. Marine who was wounded and paralyzed from the waist down in combat on Earth. His twin brother Tony was a scientist who died while working on the Avatar program. Jake is recruited, offered and accepts the opportunity to take his brother's place since he shares Tony's genetic DNA and is therefore compatible with his Avatar. However, Dr. Grace is not happy about Jake taking his brother's place since Jake did not have a doctorate, nor over 5 years of training to participate in the program, and never learned the Na'vi's language as his brother had.
Once Jake occupies his Avatar, he is delighted at being able to walk and run once again as a whole being. So begins the adventure. As the adventure unfolds, roll in the love interest, the tame animals, the beauty of the planet, the greedy industrial forces teamed with the military out to deplete the new planet of their rich natural resources, and you see where this adventure can take you.
This movie reminded me of "The Matrix" -- humans in pods whose minds enter a new world; or the episode of Star Trek with crippled Captain Pike inhabited a healed body in a new world.
I enjoyed the movie "Avatar" even though it did run two and a half hours. Yes it was predictable. However, it is probaby the most absorbingly beautiful two and a half hours you will ever experience. You are, after all, taken into a whole new world, complete with your 3D Glasses.
One more note: Yes it probably was a little too politically correct and the right wingers will probably groan through the end if they think about it, but then, they probably don't go to these types of movies anyway. I did read a review by one of them: "The corniest movie ever made about the white man's need to lose his identity and assuage racial, political, sexual and historical guilt."