I'm probably the very last person to see Avatar. It's taken a while.
The first time we set out to see Avatar was about two days after it opened here in the UK. The queue for the car park started on the motorway. After half an hour or so we still weren't in sight of the cinema so we went home.
We tried again another night. The night when the UK went arctic. We'd have been doing well just to get the car out of the driveway.
Third time lucky? We set out early. Not early enough. Sold out. Yeah, yeah, we could have booked in advance but then we wouldn't have been able to avail ourselves of the Wednesday night two-for-one offer. So we watched 'Did you hear about the Morgans' instead. (Oh my, was that a film worth missing.)
So this week we bought tickets three hours early, then went out for a meal, then reported back at the cinema thirty minutes before show time so that we wouldn't be sitting in the crappy seats eighteen inches from the screen. It was a close call. Five minutes later the theatre was full.
So, there has been some... anticipation involved in getting to see this film. Already it's an event. I am steeled for disappointment. I am ready to be dismayed. I am not going to be easy to please. The cold and unforgiving cynic is ready to rant.
And within thirty seconds my jaw is hanging open and I am the epitome of gobsmacked. Just the scene where he comes out of hibernation, he's in microgravity and it is so damn realistic. This is wonderful. And were not even down on the planet yet!
There are gripes: The story is simplistic and obvious; mountains don't hang in the sky unless you're a Yes fan with a thing for seventies album covers; the antagonists are cardboard villains straight out of Marvel comics (or government office). But who the hell cares - because the visual spectacle is so... complete. There are so many things to see it almost hurts. When I leave the cinema I stagger!
So there we are. I am not disappointed. It's the first true cinema moment since Star Wars IV, (the first one with the big ship going overhead at the beginning).
And I was there!
Imagine what miracles they could perform with a good script.