It was that good.
In my eyes there are 3 kinds of movies:
- Movies that suck.
- Movies that rock.
- Movies that I haven't decided on.
Avatar combines incredible, illustrious eye candy with a great sci-fi premise, a fantastically detailed and beautiful universe, excellent biology, physics, and anthropology, and, of course, bad guys getting what they deserve. True, it's quite predictable - but predictable in a gloriously gratifying way!
The mythological epicness of Avatar is akin to those of Tolkien or Lucas, while the stunning visuals can only be compared to the effects of the original Wizard of Oz on people watching it for the first time. The actions of the characters are heroic, the situation dire and utterly dichotic, and the colors - wow the colors - were magical and wonderful and beautiful and terrifying all at the same time!
Perhaps the highest accolade I can give the movie is that I actually gasped several times while watching it! A few of my gasps were in response to the incredible scenery but the best of all was in response to an incredible plot development. To avoid spoilers here, I'll just state that this plot development (I should have seen it coming) was utterly perfect. The magic was in the symbolism it carried with the fictitious natives. Their reaction was beautifully displayed, a true masterpiece of anthropological fantasy.
If you haven't seen Avatar, then do it! See it in 3-D if you can - it's worth the extra cost. And best of all, try to see it knowing as little as possible beforehand - it's best that way.
(Notice the lack of spoilers? You're welcome.)