My girlfriend and I finally got around to catching Avatar. We saw it in 3D at the local IMAX. Tickets have been selling out, so I bought tickets online a few days earlier. We got there early, but we should have gotten there even earlier. We ended up on the third row which is too close for IMAX. At least it was better than when we saw the latest Star Trek movie from the first row of the IMAX theater.
As pontificated around the Internet, the movie is visually spectacular. The flora, fauna and terrain of the alien moon Pandora are quite imaginative, although the floating mountains strains my suspension of disbelieve. Despite the uproar from both sides of the political spectrum, the plot is unfortunately a predictable yawner. The political right is a bit upset that the movie glorifies the killing of mostly white American-ish soldiers. The corporate mercenaries could easily be exchanged for American Marines or even easier for modern-day corporate mercenaries while the native Na'vi could easily be exchanged for Native Americans, Vietnamese, Iraqis or Afghans. (Yes, I had to check Wikipedia for the proper term (i.e. demonym) for the residents of Afghanistan. I wanted the term to be "Afghani" which turns out to be the currency and language.) On the political left, the complaint is that Avatar is just another movie about a white guy saving the natives in the vein of Dances with Wolves.
In fact, Avatar really does seem to just be a remake of that Kevin Costner epic but with large blue humanoids playing the part of the natives. There is also a good dose of Apocalypse Now (Pandora seems a bit like Vietnam) and Return of the Jedi (primate natives fighting technically advanced invaders, just swapping the tall, blue Na'vi with small, furry Ewoks) and a healthy dash of Braveheart (again natives, both blue, fighting more advanced invaders). Of course, James Cameron seems to have something for Sigourney Weaver and mechanical, exoskeleton suits, just not together in this movie.