I freely admit, however, that I now rather regret having missed seeing it on the big screen in 3D, although I realise that I probably only feel like that because I viewed it from the comfort of Ian's sofa with ready supplies of pizza and wine and on-demand comfort breaks! I very much doubt if I would have felt quite like the same had I been trapped in a cinema seat for an unremitting three hours.
But that genuine whisper of regret came from the very real and beautiful strangeness of the Pandora environments created for the film and the equally tangible (even in 2D) of being inside that alien world.
On reflection, however, 'strangeness' isn't the right word because what I really experienced as James Cameron took me on a tour of Pandora's gargantuan forests filled with their amazing foliage and showed me those extraordinary floating islands with their populations of butterfly-dragons was a sense of familiarity that I, eventually, realised were straight out of those trippy Other Worlds which fantasy artist, Roger Dean, created by for - among other things - the albums of '70s rock band, Yes.
look of the film, what about the characters and story? Well, frankly, I didn't give a damn about the characters who, to a blue-man and woman, totally failed to engage my emotions, while the gun-toting, marine-commander-bad-guy stomping though the forest in his giant robot-suit was simply a ludicrous cartoon version of rather more sophisticated movie caricatures such as Sterling Hayden's paranoid patriot, General Jack D Ripper, in Kubrick's Dr Strangelove.
And the plot? Several reviewers, I knew, had commented on the similarities between Avatar and Pocahontas - Disney's revisionist, eco-drama on the theme of American imperialism - but I kept being reminded of another, less well-known kid's film: an Australian animated feature made in 1992, entitled FernGully: The Last Rainforest.
Later, a quick browse of Google showed I was not alone in making this connection and that several YouTubers with way too much time on their hands had made some very amusing mash-ups combining elements of the two films. Here's one of several (with Avatar sound clips and FernGully visuals) to enjoy before the Thought Police have it removed...
Images: © Roger Dean uploaded from my flickr Photostream.