Christmas in the Henry household was merry. The kids were back from New York City and all was well. The dog did his best to eat food left unprotected but generally was thwarted and therefore was the only one disappointed. (He did get into some M&Ms, so his holiday was not all lost.)
On Christmas Day, the weather being foul and a dog walk in the woods not being practicable, we went to a movie - "Avatar" in 3-D. I would thoroughly recommend it.
It was great -- lots of action and a love story involving blue, 10-foot high "people." The special effects were out of this world, as they would be - after all, the action takes place on the planet Pandora. The plot was fairly easy to follow, although it took me a little time to figure out how the characters were switching from their own bodies to their "avatars."
On top of all this, how often do you get the chance to root against your own species? Even Mrs. H., who usually hates sci-fi, thought it was wonderful. Do not miss it. Put on your 3-D goggles and be amazed.
The next day we went and saw "Invictus," with Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela. As a former rugby player, I was very much looking forward to seeing a film that uses the rugby world cup as its centerpiece.
While I was thoroughly entertained, and thought Freeman made a tremendous Mandela, some of the friends who came with us were not equally charmed. And, in truth, they did have valid criticisms. They said some of the dialogue was predictable and the characters remained undeveloped. In the end, it became a sports film, a "Hoosiers" with a rugby ball.
In essence, the film was an exercise in hero worship - the hero being Mandela. As it happens, I think that Mandela was one of the great men of the 20th century, a giant of a soul. Still, the film would have you believe that one rugby game brought all the races in South Africa together and put them all on an upward path. That's makes "Invictus" a bit of a fairytale. You have to suspend reason a bit to like it; I did but my friends couldn't.
Go to "Avatar" if you are choosing just one film to see this holiday season. That's a fairytale too but you have fair warning.