I figured this post should begin with a list of midnight movie premieres I've waited in line for, if only to establish my nerd level. Please note that friends dragged me to at least a few of these:
- LOTR: The Return of the King
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
- Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
- The Village (looong story)
- The Dark Knight
Of the eight, Avatar was far and away the least serious operation. Sean and I - along with several of his friends - showed up 35 minutes early and were, like, fifteenth in line. We also got some beers past security... hell yeah! No one was in costume, and no one seemed to really care about the film. 3D glasses, though, make everything more fun, so we messed around a bit with those to while away the time - all 10 minutes we had to stand outside the auditorium.
After securing perfect seats (and lamenting over the pitiable size of the movie screen) I took the first of two bathroom trips (the second was a very, very difficult choice, because I didn't want to miss anything) and then Avatar began.
So how was it? Well, the visuals were astounding. I could see it three more times just to bask in the glory of James Cameron's masterfully rendered 3D universe. Everything seemed so... real. And immersive. It's like I was there, man. I couldn't tell from the film's previews if the special effects were going to satisfy my relatively high standards, but I'm happy to report that not once did I notice anything shoddy looking. In fact, about halfway through Avatar's 2 hour, 41 minute running time, I forgot the blue aliens onscreen were computer generated. Same with the jungle monsters. And the jungle itself - even during night scenes when all the plants lit up and glowed in proper trippy-ass fashion. I was pretty much drooling.
The story and dialogue, though, were completely predictable. I knew exactly what was going to happen the entire time, down to who was gonna switch sides at the last minute and who would be either injured or killed in which battle. But I can't really hold that against something that was otherwise so freaking sweet. Seriously. Go see this movie. It's an experience. Guaranteed.