Friday, January 8, 2010

What a Day!

We've had a lovely day today.

First, we had lunch with dear friends at a great restaurant in downtown Albuquerque. Named Tucanos, it features an endless array of different cuts of meat brought to your table and sliced just for you. What I liked is that they just give you 2 or three bites each time they come around, but they come around all the time so you have a huge variety to pick from. There were at least five kinds of beef, several kinds of chicken and a wonderful white fish in a mango breading. Did I mention the fresh grilled pineapple? Yum.

They also offer a truly amazing salad bar, which I can't recommend enough. In addition to every accoutrement you could ever wish for on a salad, they had such delicacies as quail eggs, ceviche, succulent little cheese biscuits, lobster bisque, fried bananas and an huge assortment of other treats.

We'll definitely go back, and if you're in Albuquerque, I can certainly recommend Tucanos.

Since we had a couple of hours to kill, we visited the Telephone Museum of New Mexico. It's housed right downtown in a lovely old facility built in 1906. There are hundreds of old telephones, wonderful displays and lots of information about the history of telecommunication in the United States.

For just a $2.00 donation, it was a great deal.

Then, finally, we went to see Avatar in 3D!

I hate to read reviews before I've seen a film and always try to avoid revealing any major plot points when I talk about a film.

So if you haven't seen it yet, feel safe to read on.

But, if you haven't seen it yet, get out and see it immediately . . .

I have to say, this was one of the most beautiful films I've ever seen. Regarding the computer generated animation, it is a revelation and a new milestone for the art form. II'm reminded of when I first saw Star Wars, or my first viewing of Lord of the Rings, the Fellowship of the Ring.

Lately I have found myself disenchanted with CGI (computer generated animation). It seems many film makers are incredibly lazy with their use of CGI, and often it just looks sloppy. But in Avatar, a whole world (Pandora) is created and not for one second does it look unreal. There is never a moment when you are aware of blue screen, you just accept it as real.

And very very beautiful.

Then there are the Na'vi, the indigenous people of the planet Pandora. When I saw the trailers on television, I had a bit of a hard time with the look. Now I realize I was just seeing them in short unrelated clips.

In the film, they are fully realized characters, and not for one instant did I think about their CGI origin. Each is unique, they all move beautifully and give the film a realism that is a joy to behold.

I loved this film. While I've heard criticism that some people think that the money was all spent on effects and none on story, I have to disagree. Both Terry and I found the story involving and exciting. We both agreed we we completely happy with that (and all the) aspects of this film. After all, what is a beautiful film with no story?

Nothing, but that isn't the case here.

I'd like to say one more thing about the film, and that's regarding the use of 3D.

This is the first time I've seen a 3D film where the director resisted the impulse to throw things at the audience. This is the integration I've been waiting for with this technology, and it sure works in this film. Instead of intruding, it enhances what is on the screen. A perfect use of this technology.

Can you tell I loved it? A fine story, beautiful scenery, engaging characters, action, adventure, awe and wonder.

Go see it.

No comments: