1.) Was better than I was expecting, primarily because while it did retread "old ground" plot/character wise-- enough that my dad could show up part-way through, ask what was happening so far, and be content with my mom's "It's Dances With Wolves" answer-- it did so in an interesting enough way that it keeps your attention throughout. Plus, I never really had the phobia of cliché plots/characters that a lot of other people seem to have. I mean, if something is cliché or a trope or whatever, then it's probably cliché for a reason (aka, people love to hear the story and/or the story needs to be told), and I don't have a problem with that. That's storytelling, folks!
2.) The special effects were shiny but I honestly liked the giant robot walker things more than any of the Pandora!shiny. But, that's probably just Pike being Pike. >_>
3.) "Jurassic Park" vibes turned into "Aliens" vibes turned into "World of Warcraft" vibes, which promptly turned into the realization that you could easily make a case for the movie being some sort of commentary on MMOs. I mean, let's face it: the guy's life sucks, so he dons a personal "avatar" costume that is a hundred times cooler than he is IRL, and he gets to fly around on epic mounts-- including the raredrop mount that everyone oohs and aahs over-- so obviously he wants to spend all his time in this alternate world. "Can't eat now, boss, I've got a raid!" The "virtual" universe is cool and exciting and you get to be a hero after you've honed your skills and farmed your rep, and the guy's dream is to be a part of the world for real. You know how many nerds have had this dream at some point? (Afterwards I realized that subsidaryforge
made a similar analysis some months ago.)
4.) I freaking love
5.) I really really
like the way the Na'vi were done with the mobile ears and tail. It gave them a very cartoon-like feel while still being realistic. This is one of the big reasons why I draw furries: expression. Ears and tails are very
expressive. Animators figured this out a hundred years ago (and comic artists even before that) and it's where all those cartoon animals came from. I like that the movie utilized this to full effect. Frankly it really got me thinking about my "Windshifter" characters, which I always visualized as more cartoony... but the more I think about it, the more I think they could be done Avatar-style-- aka, more human, while still retaining some animal-ness-- and that it would work very well. I think I am going to have to play with this.
So yeah overall it was worth the watch.