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February 03, 2010

Some Quick Thoughts About “Avatar” Written Ten Minutes Before Bed

So my wife and I finally went to see “Avatar” this morning. Yes, I saw it in 3D, and no I don’t feel like my experience was greatly enhanced by the technology. Actually for the first half hour of what seemed like many many half hours, the 3D kind of gave me a headache. Too much depth perception gives me the spins. One thing I don’t need at any movie theater: the spins

I have to admit that my expectations for this film were low for the simple reason that James Cameron makes shitty movies. His only great film is “Terminator.” Everything after that has been mildly okay to outright shitty – I’m looking at you, “Titanic.” It seems to me he’s a guy who has never heard a single thing that’s ever come out of anybody’s mouth. If he had, he wouldn’t write such crappy dialogue.

Of course a James Cameron movie isn’t about dialogue or storytelling. It’s about technology. His films are basically Sony concept stores splashed across thousands of movie screens. And while I appreciate that he spent twelve years developing the technology that would allow him to make ultra-realistic blue tree people, he might have been better served working on the story, which to my jaundiced eye was just a New Agey cowboys and Indians shoot-em-up.

And for all the hullabaloo about the visuals, I couldn’t get that excited about them. The problem may be James Cameron himself. Ever since Robert Patrick turned into liquid metal in “T2,” my attitude about moviemaking has been “Ok, now we can do anything, so tell me a good story.” Visual effects should serve a story, not be the story. Plus, the Blue People, or Blue Ewoks or whatever they were, didn’t look that great. I never believed they existed: their movements were too herky-jerky and I always felt distracted whenever they cut back to the real people, who looked like, well, real people.

The whole thing was like “True Lies” meets “The Lion King.” All in all, it sucked. Not as bad as “Titanic,” which might be the most successful worst movie ever made, but it’s not that far behind. Life need not be a technological wonderland. It’s far more interesting and entertaining when it’s just life. The film may be rated PG-13, but that shouldn’t mean that it operates on the intellectual level of a thirteen year old. Nature is good. People are bad. The military is bad. Scientists are good. Technology is a tool best wielded by those who understand its awesome power for good. People like movie directors.



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Thanks for the review. I agree with you except for all that kooky Titanic trash talking. Kate and Leo didn't even need dialogue. That's how magical *they* were.

Definitely having second thoughts about seeing Avatar. The young people love it, the old people not so much.

Hmmmmm...guess it's time to put away your childish things, old person.

Can I have your orange hoodie?


Sounds like somebody forgot to get stoned before the movie.


I still don't know why I paid to see this, especially since I hated Titanic so passionately.

It was hard to imagine worse dialogue than Titanic, but the first five minutes of Avatar surpassed my wildest nightmares. It was all downhill from there.

I guess when you're one of the most powerful people in Hollywood, you're surrounded by people who're afraid to say, "Uh, James...? The script blows."


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I'd rather watch one of those creepy, old Pippi Longstocking movies than Avatar.
(yes,I've been watching Pippi with my daughter lately)


I haven't seen it, don't plan on seeing it, would much rather spend that time/money in a more satisfying way.

Interesting characters and stories are such a rare thing in cinema these days. Every action movie looks like the last action movie. Every rom-com is the same bag of cliches. The few good art-house movies that get released seldom get the attention they deserve.

Being a visionary has nothing to do with technology and everything to do with creating something interesting.


I plan on viewing the movie this weekend.im just praying that it will be worth the money or even my time.

pee doody

James cameron as he does the real interview in his mind, the one you can't see in 3d





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I do not think Avatar is a good movie.Even if use 3D techology.

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I watched Avatar movie 6 months ago. Really this a good movie. This movies graphics are very nice. All movie are animated.I enjoyed this movie. It seems that the development of 3D technology is tough only distances us from the narrative and its importance in the script starting point. Avtar is a wonderful combination of imagination and technique.


I am still use 3d movies, I know that certain very realistic, but sometimes afraid, because of too much depth perception, can will cause me uncomfortable

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