Avatar

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Last week I went to see the movie Avatar with son Jason (@rjasonh) which was something I’d been longing to do for quite a awhile.  Ever since I saw the previews for it when the family went to see a 3-D movie during the holidays and before all of the award show hoopla, it has been on the back of my mind.  I’m grateful that it is so popular that it’s hung around our movie theater for this long as if it were waiting for me to clear my calendar.  Yeah sure!  It’s that good –and even now still drawing viewers and gaining fans. 

Avatar is not the kind of movie you can wait to see when it comes out on video.  You really do need to see it in 3-D and on the big screen with the big sound.  So, unless you have a state-of-the art home theatre and the capability of viewing polarized video in 3-D in high def on a really big screen and with surround sound, it’s totally worth the few extra dollars for the cheap 3-D glasses and a movie theatre experience.  Jason said he loved the musical score.  I have to admit, I was so enthralled with the visuals, I never even noticed the music.   There was music?

Many have pooh-hooed the story line.  If you think of the characters as fifteen-foot-tall blue American Indians with tails and features that make them look more feline-descended than sapien, well yes, the story starts to seem a bit familiar and perhaps a little trite.  Add to that, the movie is over two hours long!  So what is it about this movie that has the attention and adoration of all sorts of people of all ages?

For me it is the animation. I’ve been amazed by animators my whole life.  Ever since I first saw Bambi as a little girl.  Then later when Disney released The Lion King and that never-ending water buffalo stampede over the hill and across the plain illustrated so realistically that you could feel the rumble and practically choke on the dust.  That movie came out when my younger son, Mico, was a toddler –we watched it in the theatre initially and then the video at home at least a hundred times.  “Ha-cu-na Ma-ta-ta!”

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I’ve been so captivated by the animator’s craft, that I’ve even dabbled in computer rendering as a part of my kitchen design practice.  Maybe, it is this process that makes me appreciate the work of movie animators all the more.  However, I have to say Avatar is WAY beyond anything I’ve seen before.  Usually, while watching an animated movie, there is always that sense that it isn’t real no matter how great the animation or story is.  While watching Avatar I totally got caught up in the visuals and soon “forgot” that there are no fifteen-foot blue people that fly on big pre-historic looking bird thingys and live under a tree that is bigger than the city I live in.  So well integrated was the “live” with the animated, it was easier to just take it all in rather than try to keep track of what is and what was imagined.  Anyway, the imagined was just soooo cool, you just wouldn’t want to.

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