CAST: Sam Worthington, Sigourney Weaver, Michelle Rodriguez, Zoe Saldana, Giovanni Ribisi, Laz Alonso, CCH Pounder, Wes Studi, Stephen Lang


DISTRIBUTOR: Twentieth Century-Fox

OPENING DATE: 12/18/09

Flocks, if not hordes, of sci-fi freaks and geeks are being driven into a must-see frenzy by iceberg-sized chunks of hype that keep whizzing their way about this 3-D epic from James Cameron, creator of “Titanic” and “Terminator.” Although the premiere is not until late December, some of us are already daydreaming about donning those moronic-looking but depth-providing glasses that will transport us to a far-off planet.

Actually, it’s Sam Worthington--the picture-perfect Aussie for whom “Avatar” may do what “Titanic” did for Leo and “Terminator” did for Arnie—who slips off to another part of the universe, a place where this brave, wounded soldier can find and inhabit an alien whose body is in better shape than his own. But he may need a helping medical hand to pull off this little miracle—and that may be where Dr. Grace Augustine (played by Sigourney Weaver, an actress you no doubt applauded when she played intrepid Elllen Ripley in James Cameron’s “Aliens”) comes in.

Next time, fly me to the moon.