A live-action and CGI 3-D extravaganza, Avatar, is the story of disabled Marine veteran Jake Sully and how one assignment changes his life. Jake's twin brother was a scientist working on a project which combined human and alien DNA to create "avatars" which the humans could then use in the colonization of the planet Pandora. The avatars would give the humans the ability to interact with the native Na'vi population on the planet. Jake's brother dies unexpectedly before he is able to complete the project and, as his twin thus having the same DNA, Jake is offered the chance to take his brother's place.
Going in I was leery. I am not a big fan of director James Cameron, nor do I like Sigourney Weaver, who is one of the stars. The early TV commercials made this look more like a video game than a movie (there already is a game version out, btw). So, I wasn't really psyched. Well, the plot is very predictable, the acting is all right, but the visuals are what really sell the film. There are a couple of points where the 3-D effect is distracting - makes you feel like you're on one of those cutesy rides at an amusement park - but the rest of the time it's just splendid. Also, the movie is 2 hours and 40 minutes long, but does not feel like it at all. Even though you know what's going to happen, you're sufficiently engaged in the action (oh, and there are some fabulous action sequences, too!) that the time just flies by.
I hate to say it, but this is probably another movie that is not one our mothers should see. Everyone else, however, Oscar is going to be looking very hard at this contender and you need to see it on the big screen in 3-D, so get thee to a cinema!