By Lawrence Griffin |

When I first saw the blue alien creatures interacting in this film, I thought it was pretty silly.

But I knew James Cameron (director of Terminator, Aliens, Terminator 2, True Lies and Titanic) wouldn’t just serve up any crap, so I kept my mind open and sure enough, the film had completely engrossed me in its fantastic landscapes and captivating characters.

Avatar is about an alien planet named Pandora under siege by humans looking to mine its jewels. The story is generic, but the presentation of it is captivating.

The film starts right off with the humans landing on Pandora with no filler or introduction at all. The humans have to use an “avatar,” or foster body, to interact with the natives.

The characters are relatively simple, but they work with the script. Sam Worthington is not the best protagonist, but he works better here than he did in Terminator: Salvation. Sigourney Weaver gives powerful performances in every scene she is in as the head scientist. Stephen Lang plays a barbaric colonel and, though certainly not the best villain, is feasibly menacing.

Eventually, the lead character falls in with the Na’vi, the alien race that populates the planet, and begins to identify more with them. Witness the neon blues and pinks and greens of Pandora’s wilderness, or the soft, unearthly glow of the horizon at night. Witness the strange animals that inhabit the planet.

Avatar has reinforced exactly why it is so good to go see movies in the theater instead of waiting until the DVD release. This is a wondrous and imaginative film.

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