We just got home from seeing James Cameron's Avatar movie with a "freshness" rating from Rotten Tomatoes of 82% (meaning most of the reviewers liked it). (The link takes you to all the reviews at the site.)
Briefly stated, I loved it. The 3-D is so much better than any I've ever seen before, and I soon forgot I was watching anything other than real life. Of course, the world of Pandora, a planet far, far away in Alpha Centauri, is so beautiful and exquisite that anybody would love to be there rather than here.
My favorite review of the movie comes from the New York Times, Manolha Dargis, because the reviewer agrees with me that we were both transported into a new world that really seems to exist, if only on the screen. There are all the parts of a hero's journey that Joseph Campbell spoke of, along with a love story between species, and a world that can exist in peace and harmony with all its inhabitants, if you have the right mindset. The hero, Jake Sully, is a marine who has become a paraplegic and is set free when he inhabits his "avatar" body which looks like the natives who live on Pandora. Dargis echoes my sentiments here:
If the story of a paradise found and potentially lost feels resonant, it’s because “Avatar” is as much about our Earth as the universe that Mr. Cameron has invented. But the movie’s truer meaning is in the audacity of its filmmaking. Few films return us to the lost world of our first cinematic experiences, to that magical moment when movies really were bigger than life, if only because we were children. . . What’s often missing is awe, something Mr. Cameron has, after an absence from Hollywood, returned to the screen with a vengeance. He hasn’t changed cinema, but with blue people and pink blooms he has confirmed its wonder.I think the movie would be good even in 2-D, but I absolutely loved it, and now I'm thinking about going to see it again before it leaves the area. Now that I know the ending, I think I can relax a little bit more into the story line.