Rated 4.0

Disabled space marine Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) takes over as an avatar on the exotic planet of Pandora, which is being mined by Earthlings for some element called unobtanium (um, OK then). The avatars are genetic hybrids (between alien and native DNA) that are sent in to try to coerce the locals (11-foot-tall, blue-skinned New Agers called the Na’vi) to move along off of the biggest deposit of the valuable resource so’s that the ubiquitous evil mining outfit can roll in the bulldozers and rape the planet. Being that this is a James Cameron universe, that pretty much means that things aren’t gonna end up pretty. But the world of Pandora itself is some pretty amazing stuff. While the Na’vi and their belief system is basically a riff off of the Gaia theory (the planet as a living organism) and other familiar New Age tenets, the background is spectacularly alien in its familiarity. Cameron obviously indulges in his long-standing fascination for the undersea flora and fauna of Earth as a starting point for his vision, matching it up with the obvious influence of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ “John Carter of Mars” (if painted by Maxfield Parrish). It’s visual eye crack. Feather River Cinemas, Paradise Cinema 7 and Tinseltown. Rated PG-13