Pandora; a far off planet rife with eye popping landscapes, luminescent fauna, bizarre beasts, and ornery natives. Epic battle looms on the horizon for this strange world, so why not soak up all of the beauty Pandora has to offer before it is no more. Oh Mars and I did just that.
After an evening of gentlemanly feasting and whiskey tasting with a few of the classiest guys I know, I braved the freezing outside to collect Lord Oh Mars while setting course for adventure. Face warmly tingling with the after effects of refinement, we made a stop at the local Applebee’s for some last minute fueling in preparation for AVATAR; the latest movie from writer/director James Cameron. No amount of drunken karaoke, girlie giggles, or conga-lining by the inebriated restaurant goers would damper our movie going experience, considering we’ve been anxious to see this film since August.
We arrived at the AMC theater that dwells within the Liberty Tree Mall, and both of us were astounded at the scene that stood in the lobby. It was 11:30 pm and there was no line. NO LINE! Have people forgotten that this is the first film from James Cameron since Titanic?! The lack of movie patrons continued inside the actual theater. I was expecting to have a difficult time finding a place to rest my rump. But no. The turn-out was dismal. My thoughts were that everyone went to the “real” IMAX in Jordan’s Furniture, located at 50 Walkers Brook Drive in Reading, MA. The boredom that preceded the movie was so intense that some dude started to read a book.
With my buzz teetering on the edge of obliteration, Oh Mars and I readied ourselves for AVATAR. Trailers for Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland 3-D and How To Train Your DRAGON 3-D came first. Watching them things while wearing 3-D glasses was freaky. Aside from the fact that the glasses made me finally understand how Geordi LaForge feels while wearing his visor, the experience was quite thrilling. It looked like the cheshire cat’s head was gunning for my nut sack; something I hope never happens. The movie about dragons looked somewhat awesome. But then again, most movies about Vikings and dragons are awesome in my eyes.
AVATAR time. Now until last night, the only thing I knew about AVATAR was that it was about science/military people putting their brains inside aliens through the art of technology. A kind of living virtual reality, if you will. Come to find out, the movie had more of a Fern Gully-ish story to it. Gods I hate saying that, but unfortunately it’s the best comparison.
Here’s what I could get out of it. Paraplegic marine Jake Sully has been assigned to Pandora, taking the place of his brother who was recently killed. Corporate slime balls and an all too eager battle scared colonel trying to mine the Endorian planet for it’s valuable materials, have placed Jake with the science team responsible for infiltrating/displacing the indigenous tribe of Thundercats called “Na’vi”. To make sure they don’t die a most horrible death of suffocation and animal stompage, the humans have to use the “avatars” of Na’vi that they grew by use of science. But after a few excursions through the beautiful jungles of Pandora, some of the planet’s wild life attack and Jake gets left behind.
Neytiri, a sexy alien babe, reluctantly saves Jake from certain doom at the claws of night time creatures. This was about the time my booze riddled blood began to take over, causing me to take an unwelcome trip to slumber town. Even with the visual amazingness of the movie, I was unable to fight off the sandman. But after a jolting nudge from Oh Mars, I was able to shake the cobwebs. I awoke to find that Jake slowly gained the trust of Neytiri and her tribe, as well as given the opportunity to learn hunting tactics, how to bond with a dragon-like monster, not to mention finding out about the Na’vi’s bond with the planet. It seems that they can tap into the natural energy of Pandora by use of fine tendrils that dwell within their super long ponytails. This allows them to communicate with trees, animals, and even the spirits of their ancestors. Pretty cool huh.
As Jake continues his growing fondness for the Na’vi, and the fondness for using his legs again, Colonel Quaritch has noticed that Jake is starting to forget what side he’s on. He’s grown tired of waiting for him to convince the Na’vi to move out of their land, and is ready to drive them out by force. Jake then has to make a choice. Should he follow the orders he was given? Or should he stay with the cat woman he’s grown to love, defending the people that have come to see him as one of their own?
I can’t describe to just how huge the scope of this film is. It gave me fond memories of The Dark Crystal, in the sense that something was moving in every shot. Even when watching Jack and Neytiri walk through the jungle, you can see huge strange plants far off in the background. You truly felt like you were on Pandora. Everything from The Floating Mountains to The Tree of Souls had my eyes close to watering. There were times that I even forgot I was watching a movie done entirely in CG. I even found myself swatting at settling embers that I thought were flies screwing around in the theater.
On a scale of 1-2 (one being 1 hit to the face with Thor’s hammer and two being a second), I give AVATAR 10 hammer hits to the face. It’s visually stunning and is fantastic once you pass nap inducing hour 2.
Check out Oh Mars’ brutal opinion of AVATAR. If you don’t he’ll take photos of you sleeping with a dildo in your mouth.