Yesterday Kim and I went out to see Avatar in 3D, but when we got to the theater all of the showings in the next few hours were sold out!  I tried to take it in stride, but I had really wanted to see that movie after everything I’d heard about it, and Kim told me I looked like a kid who had had the ice cream knocked out of his hands.

So, since that was a bust, we switched theaters and watched Sherlock Holmes instead.  What a terrific movie!  Admittedly, I don’t remember reading many Sherlock Holmes stories, but I don’t think the Robert Downey, Jr. portrayal is exactly in keeping with the way the character is described in the books.  I could be wrong.  In any case, Sherlock Holmes as an expert martial artist was great fun to watch in a Summer popcorn flick kind of way, and his hypernatural attention to detail and ability to discern scientific tricks shrouded by claims of magic (which I do think is in keeping with the character) were superb.  There is a significant difference between the eccentric genius billionaire of Tony Stark in Iron Man and the eccentric genius detective of Sherlock Holmes, but I think that Robert Downey Jr. plays them both very well without letting surface similarities cause the two to elide.  I’m really distracted by Rachel McAdams; I don’t know why.  I really don’t care for her as an actress.  But the movie was terrific anyway.  I highly recommend it.

Since I still was something of a kicked puppy, apparently, Chris and I went out and watched Avatar, and it’s everything people say it is.  We saw it in 3D, and the effects are very submersive and not gimmicky.  The animation is well matched to the live footage, so at the end when the 10-foot tall aliens and 6-foot tall humans finally interact, it’s not uncomfortable or unrealistic, even if it is surprising to finally see the size differences brought home.  The attention to detail in the background was just superb, and there’s no question in my mind that not only were the environments inspired by Roger Dean’s artworks, but that they were the perfect way to realize them in a semi-scientific context.  Admittedly, the storyline is not particularly original (it’s very similar to “Dances with Wolves” or “The Last Samurai” combined with a bit of “Final Fantasy: The Spirit’s Within”) and a little bit self-dating by the obvious metaphorical allusions to current American politics, but I didn’t find that to be significantly distracting from the movie.  I have high hopes to watch the movie again in the theater, even with how few movies we are seeing now.

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