As someone who can't stand excessive hype, I avoided Avatar on its initial release, but when I saw the 3-disc Collector's Edition on Amazon at a knock-down price I thought I'd take the plunge and see what the fuss was all about. My conclusion is that the hype was just-about justified. The story is nothing new - some have described it as a sci-fi retelling of Pocahontas; I'd argue it's little more than an extended remake of the Battle of Endor - but it's well written and directed and played out by a solid cast. Unfortunately the Na'Vi have that cartoon-like look that often makes CGI creatures unconvincing, but their faces are beautifully expressive and the other effects - from the impressive military hardware to the spectacular natural wonders of Pandora itself - are absolutely breathtaking. James Horner's score is disappointingly bland, and Leona Lewis's end-title warble is utterly hideous and unnecessary. I also found the lack of an explanation as to how the avatars actually work rather annoying given that it's the crux that the entire movie hangs on, but otherwise this is an absorbing and exciting ride and well-worth your time and money.