“One of the pleasures of the movies is that they transport us into imaginary realms, into Eden and over the rainbow to Oz. [And yet] few films return us to the lost world of our first cinematic experiences, to that magical moment when movies really were bigger than life (instead of iPhone size), if only because we were children.

“Movies rarely carry us away; few even try. They entertain and instruct and sometimes enlighten. Some attempt to overwhelm us, but their efforts are usually a matter of volume. What’s often missing is awe, something James Cameron has, after an absence from Hollywood, returned to the screen with a vengeance. He hasn’t changed cinema, but with blue people and pink blooms he has confirmed its wonder.” — From Manohla Dargis‘s N.Y. Times review of Avatar, currently up.