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Pandora? Or Petaybee? (warning – some spoilers)

I finally went to see Avatar today. Late is better than never, right? What I’d been hearing from everyone else was mostly that the movie sucked, although it was visually stunning.

Well I had to see those stunning visuals, at the very least.

I saw it in 3D. I was pleasantly surprised that the movie wasn’t as bad as I expected it to be.

I did adore the visuals. Pandora was a world done in every color that I love (blue, green, purple, etc) with very little of the colors I’m not so fond of (yellows, oranges, reds, etc). That everything was phosphorescent was a nice touch.¬† Though I don’t think I’m as impressed by the visuals as I was led to believe I should be, it was still definitely a stunning vision of a different world, if not quite as stunning as I expected.

As for the story… all I’d heard everyone talk about was how it was a classic re-telling of the ‘Great White Hunter‘ story, and that the ‘pseudo-happy’ ending was therefore to be expected. I wasn’t as disappointed by the ‘psuedo-happy’ ending as I expected to be.

This movie actually reminded me strongly of a series of books written by Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth  Ann Scarborough about a planet called Petaybee. In fact, the movie seemed to blend equal parts from the Petaybee series and the Disney version of Pocahontas, while adding very little originality.

(Not that I’m saying the Petaybee series was entirely original either, it just happens to have been the first time I encountered a story about a sentient planet, and has some definite parallels to this movie.)

I did think that the Navi’s way of connecting to other things on their planet was somewhat original, but it was also a little too convenient. I mean seriously… the planet engineered them all to be able to hook into one another? They’re born with ‘uplinks’ hard-wired into their bodies? Um… okay.

All in all, I wasn’t completely unhappy with the movie, but it isn’t something I’ll want to watch over and over again. My companion noted that the story wasn’t any worse than, say… ‘Star Wars,’ but I pointed out to him that Star Wars had a lot more witty dialogue.

No witty dialogue in Avatar. I’d rather watch Star Wars again.

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