Avatar, James Cameron's 12-years-in-the-making sci-fi epic, with it's beautifully drawn alien world, and it's broadly drawn characters hits the shelves today in an all new Extended Collector's Edition, offering the viewer an additional 16 minutes of immersive action on Pandora.
There can't be anyone left who hasn't seen Avatar by now, so I'll rattle through the plot as quickly as I can: It's 2154, humans are mining on an alien moon called Pandora where they use 'avatars' to interact with the native Na'vi race. The Na'vi are a peaceful bunch whose homeland is threatened by the nasty colonial humans, one of whom is Jake Sully, a paraplegic former Marine sent undercover using his avatar to persuade the Na'vi to abandon their spiritual home at Hometree. Naturally he has a change of heart, and 'goes native' leading a heroic fightback against the humans.
Okay, that wasn't too quick, suffice to say though, the scenery is stunning and the action sequences are bigger and badder than pretty much anything that has gone before. So the script is a bit hackneyed, and the characters have fewer dimensions than some of the scenery had in the 3D cinema version, you still need to watch Avatar, for the experience, for the spectacle. Of course to do it real justice you need to plump for the Blu-ray version, and probably watch it on something like this. Sweet.
Back on Earth though, there's a whole raft of stand-up DVDs coming out this week. You'd never guess it's Christmas is coming would you? Pick and choose from:
- Frankie Boyle Live 2: If I Could Reach Out Through Your TV and Strangle You I Would
- John Bishop Live
- Billy Connolly Live in London 2010
- Rhod Gilbert and The Cat That Looked Like Nicholas Lyndhurst
- Stephen K Amos: The Feel Good Factor
- Michael McIntyre - The Stand-Up Collection(containing Live & Laughing and Hello Wembley!)
If none of that tickles your funny bone then An Idiot Abroad surely will as Ricky Gervais & Stephen Merchant send their favourite round-headed buffoon, and reluctant tourist, Karl Pilkington on the trip of a lifetime. It's a weird and wonderful journey, and Pilkington again comes out with some memorably obscure statements.
Finally a couple of other brand new movie releases, in the form of the remade Karate Kid starring Jaden Smith and Jacky Chan, and How To Train Your Dragon, which was a bit of a surprise hit when it was released in cinemas back in March. There are worse ways of spending your time (and money), I give you Harry Potter Kids, the story of how three lucky stage school brats got plucked from obscurity and handed mega-stardom and untold millions on a plate. Not that I'm bitter.