Mild spoiler alert . . .
Tonight, my kids and I went to see Avatar in 3D. As I walked out of the film, I heard a man lean across to his wife and say, "This is the best film I have ever seen." Princess Sleepyhead said to me, "That's a keeper", meaning it's one we have to buy the DVD for, and I said, "No, that's not a keeper, that's a let's-go-and-see-this-again film, as in right now." The film reminded me of the passion I used to feel for Star Wars (known these days as Star Wars: Episode 4: A New Hope or just A New Hope to some of the younger generation). I saw Star Wars more than thirty times in the cinemas, could hum the entire soundtrack in order and recite the whole movie. My friends thought I was a freak; my parents thought I was a freak. Well, not really, but it's in their interests not to believe that seeing as I had to inherit such freakiness from somebody. To me it was a passion -- and it's the same thing I get from my writing, or perhaps take to it.
I came out of Avatar tonight at 8.40, and the next session was at 9.00. I said to the kids, "Do you wanna see it again? We could go to the 9 o'clock session", and Princess Sleepyhead nodded yes, and grabbed my arm and said, "Really?", whereas Sir Talkalot tilted his head to the side and said, "Are you joking, because I can't tell whether you're joking or not?" I assured him I wasn't, and only then did he give me an enthusiastic endorsement.
Now, unfortunately for all of us, I didn't have a mobile to contact my husband and tell him what we were doing, so we went out in search of a public phone box. There were some inside the shopping centre we were at, but it was already shut. We found one nearby, but someone was in it. Can you believe it? We headed to the nearest large train station, and I was so busy spotting the two there that I didn't notice the traffic island in the middle of the car park and straddled it neatly with all four wheels, crunching the undercarriage of the car, much to my own horror and that of the bystanders. Whoops! No damage done to anything luckily, but by then I was too shaken up to do anything but drive home. The repeat will have to wait now until Tuesday as we have something on tomorrow, and I have a solstice party tomorrow night.
The 3D aspect was interesting, especially the breathtaking views of the planet and spaceships. OMG, was I in heaven, or what? But there were some scenes where the effect was ruined by the painted backdrop. These were only occasional though, but it did effect suspension of disbelief. Sometimes this is noticeable in 2D films, but the effect was more marked in 3D, but aside from that -- I *love* this movie. (My one other critique was I wanted a little more on Trudy's motivation to make her role completely believable for me, just a little more . . . And also Avatar # 3, whose name I don't remember, seemed to disappear for a lot of the film. I thought he hadn't made it to the Na'vi camp, but he was there at the end.)
So, what exactly do I love about it? The story, the world, the characters -- all of it. Also the soundtrack, the special effects. In many ways the Na'vi (alien race) remind me of my own Myrads, except my Myrads are neither as tall nor as elegant. (And there are no romances between my aliens and humans, nor are they capable of having sex -- they're too anatomically different. This isn't a criticism of the film -- after all the Na'vi are interacting with avatars that are anatomically the same as they are, not humans. Whether or not such unions could produce a viable offspring isn't addressed in the movie, so there's no stumbling block there in the science for me. Not that this is a big part of the movie anyway -- it's not.)
I completely bought into this film and was swept up by it and its splendor. James Cameron's wait for the technology to catch up with his vision so that he could do this film was worth it. I believed in the Na'vi in a way I could never believe in the Ewoks. To me the believability is all in the eyes of the character, and whether they can use their eyes to express emotion. The Na'vi could. Chewbacca could. The Ewoks had buttons for eyes. Go figure.
I have the website open as I'm writing this, listening to the soundtrack. I can tell already that I'll be buying it in the next day or so: it's good writing music -- my last four writing albums were the three Lord of the Rings soundtracks and Gladiator (oh, and also "More music from Gladiator"). This is similar and different, just what I'm looking for. Already some of the leitmotifs are embedding themselves in my brain.
Okay, so see the movie already. This one has shot up into my top ten favourite movies of all time, and that's saying something considering I've only seen it once!