So we all went to see "Avatar 3D" today (and by all, I mean Television's Ryan Callahan (@TheTVRC), my wife, my son, and I -- my daughter didn't want to see it, and she would have been bored and restless anyway). Here are some thoughts.
1. TheTVRC pointed out that James Cameron's movies tend to age poorly because he's always right on the cutting edge of new cinema technology. That is true. And it will surely be true for "Avatar" as well, though it looks pretty damn good for a movie that's so CGI-heavy.
2. TheTVRC also pointed out that the movie (SPOILER, of sorts) features a literal deus ex machina, so there's that.
3. My son gave a thumbs up during the movie and an even bigger one at the end. His verdict: it's the best movie he's EVER seen. (He's 8, but he's seen a lot of movies.)
4. My wife had a headache afterward.
5. As the aliens-as-American-Indian thing became more and more clear (and I joked about this being "Pocahontas in Space" based on the trailer, but I didn't realize how James Cameron didn't even try to make up an alien culture, except superficially), I thought to myself, "if Wes Studi shows up as the tribal chief, that would be perfect." Wes Studi IS the tribal chief, and it's perfect. I mean that sarcastically. Because it's dumb as hell to be so on-the-nose.
6. "Unobtainium" is what the bad corporate guys are trying to obtain. On. The. Nose.
7. Giovanni Ribisi plays the Paul Riser role, though his future fashion sense is slightly better than Paul Riser's future fashion sense.
8. If we did not watch the movie in 3D, I'm not sure I would have sat through the whole movie. The first hour is just setting the scene, over and over and over. It's a Disney 3D attraction of "Alien Landscape." Minus the 3D, what is the appeal of hour one?
9. The final battle is pretty damn awesome, though. Really awesome.
10. The movie's pretty clearly about the insurgents slaughtering American soldiers, which is shocking for a big Christmas release. The audience literally clapped at the end.
11. There is not one twist or turn in this entire movie. The plot line is straight.
12. But that final battle IS awesome, as I said. The last 30 minutes makes up for the first two hours of Mr. Jimbo's not-so-wild 3D ride.