'Avatar' trailer: Beautiful and confusing

Avatar_290 "Avatar" Day is Friday, but if you don't have your tickets for the extended preview playing in IMAX theaters, maybe a smaller, two-minute bite can whet your appetite.

The trailer for James Cameron's long-awaited film, about a paraplegic war veteran's ("Terminator Salvation's" Sam Worthington) odyssey on a planet called Pandora, hit the web Thursday, and as you would expect from Cameron, it's visually arresting. Even in a tiny online viewing window, the mix of live action and motion-capture animation looks amazing, and the world in which it takes place is gorgeous.

What you won't get from the nearly wordless trailer is much sense of what's going on. Briefly, in order to survive on Pandora, whose air is toxic to humans, the mind of Worthington's character, Jake, has to be downloaded into a synthetic body resembling that of the Na'vi, who are native to the planet. Once that happens, though, Jake finds himself torn between his new identity and his old one.

That's not really the purpose of this trailer, though. This is more along the lines of getting you to go, "Whoa -- this looks really cool," and on that front, it works pretty well.

Have a look, either below or at Apple's trailer site. What do you think of the peek at "Avatar"?


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