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Avatar = Oz
March 8, 2010 5:05 PM   Subscribe

"The Wizard", by Daniel Mendelsohn. Avatar, a film directed by James Cameron. [previously]
posted by stbalbach (56 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
Are the actual videos linked anywhere? Seems kind of useless to read the article without seeing the referenced trailers first.
posted by Malor at 5:27 PM on March 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


youtube linkage
posted by redbeard at 5:30 PM on March 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


Avatar just isn't worth that many words. I'll pass.
posted by fleacircus at 5:34 PM on March 8, 2010


One thing I think the articles nails: Cameron does seem to prefer machines to people.
posted by basicchannel at 5:43 PM on March 8, 2010


Overthinking a Plate of Beans for Fun and Profit, by [just about any NYRB writer].
posted by Halloween Jack at 5:45 PM on March 8, 2010


Here are my thoughts on James Cameron losing the Best Picture award to his ex.


Not as thoughtful, but more succinct.
posted by louche mustachio at 5:49 PM on March 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


I don't understand why I keep hearing people talk about Avatar when the very best review I've heard is that it "wasn't that bad". Sometimes a mediocre, over-hyped movie is a mediocre, over-hyped movie. There's no there there.
posted by DU at 6:01 PM on March 8, 2010


Avatar is worth as many words as you can throw at it. Seriously! Say what you will about the movie, that it's irredeemably derivative, or that its politics are a mess, or whatever you want. The movie's raked in $2.60 billion dollars worldwide.

I'm not trying to say that commerce trumps art, or anything like that. I'm saying that, if you figure that prices come out around $10 per seat, once you factor in global sales, that means that something like 260 million people have seen it. Let's dock it 60 million for people that have it seen the film multiple times. Still: 200 million people have been drawn to see this movie. This is a movie that remains in the top 5 movies, domestically for the U.S., nearly three months after it was originally released (though I'll admit it's helped by higher ticket prices.)

I'm saying that looking at Avatar is a worthwhile pursuit. The fact that Cameron got it made--and the fact that so many people want to see it--does say something about where we're at right now. Is it what Mendelsohn's saying? Maybe. I happen to agree with a lot of what he presents. But I don't want to discourage anyone from arguing about what it means, or even from saying it doesn't mean anything. But there's a case to be made here.
posted by thecaddy at 6:01 PM on March 8, 2010 [5 favorites]


Who cares if Avatar is similar to Pocahantas? Avatar was the most fun I've had in the cinema for years. The story was really just an excuse for the visual experience.

SPOILER: You know the Space Mountain ride at Disneyland? It's totally derivative of earlier roller coasters.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 6:42 PM on March 8, 2010 [4 favorites]


Best Avatar review, ever. Avatar: The Metacontextual Edition.
posted by zardoz at 6:49 PM on March 8, 2010 [11 favorites]


Seconding thecaddy's remarks. The fact is that however much folk (on Metafilter or off) love to hate it, it's obviously hit some sort of nerve to get this sort of response. I didn't think much of Mendelsohn's analysis, personally, but I'm glad to see that people are trying to analyze it, at least.
posted by AdamCSnider at 6:54 PM on March 8, 2010


I don't understand why I keep hearing people talk about Avatar when the very best review I've heard is that it "wasn't that bad". Sometimes a mediocre, over-hyped movie is a mediocre, over-hyped movie. There's no there there.

The New Yorker loved it. So did Ebert. So I'm assuming you didn't actually look at the critical reaction?

I think it was one of the most amazing experiences I've had at a theater. It was not a good movie, but it exploded all my senses at once in a way very few movies have.
posted by Rory Marinich at 7:00 PM on March 8, 2010


This is easily the most calcified take on James Cameron that I've ever read. The kind of banal and decrepit writing that once got you knifed in the East Village. The product of a man who desperately wants to matter, as opposed to someone who actually cares about movies and who will go out of his way to throttle you by the lapels to prove a point. By contrast, read David Foster Wallace's thoughts on Terminator 2. The difference? Thoughtful, lively, entertaining, risk-taking -- even if you disagree with it. Is there any sentence in Mendelsohn's article that comes close? We get such stale critical terminology as "visual ravishment," "confused treatment," "weirdly infallible surefootedness," "the implication of this awakening," "remarkable odyssey," "triumphant conclusion," and, most ridiculously, "a lusciously colorful trip over the rainbow." Whereas DFW sells his passion even when using generic modifiers like "marvelous." That any critic should have to explain what a fucking mashup is in our present age is nothing less than a confession of cultural irrelevance.
posted by ed at 7:08 PM on March 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


Rory Marinich : The New Yorker loved it. So did Ebert. So I'm assuming you didn't actually look at the critical reaction?

Reviews by professional "critics" amount to mental masturbation in an intellectual whorehouse.

I take you personally saying you loved it as a far, far stronger recommendation than whatever tripe Ebert said about it.
posted by pla at 7:32 PM on March 8, 2010


Reviews by professional "critics" amount to mental masturbation in an intellectual whorehouse.

Why would you go to a whorehouse to masturbate?
posted by DaDaDaDave at 7:39 PM on March 8, 2010 [9 favorites]


I thought this post was about The Wizard. Would Avatar have been a better movie if it ended with a Super Mario Bros. 3 playoff?
posted by demiurge at 7:43 PM on March 8, 2010


All I’m saying is that if the movie is played on mute, it’s pretty damned breathtaking.
posted by sidesh0w at 7:43 PM on March 8, 2010


DaDaDaDave : Why would you go to a whorehouse to masturbate?

Exactly my point.
posted by pla at 7:49 PM on March 8, 2010


Why would you go to a whorehouse to masturbate?

Shy around strangers?
posted by Meatbomb at 7:51 PM on March 8, 2010


Well for me, I hadn't seen a 3D movie since maybe Amityville 3D or one of those few movies in the 80s during a brief resurgence. So if you've seen plenty of 3D movies in the past 5 years or so, you might've been jaded when seeing Avatar. I sure wasn't. The 3D blew my mind for three straight hours. But not just that--I'm a James Cameron fan. I don't know how many times I saw The Terminator as a kid, from my VHS copy recorded off HBO. Even Cameron's much derided works like True Lies and The Abyss are at the very least technically amazing. And Avatar just has so much kinetic, buzzing energy in a lot of the scenes, particularly the action scenes. I'm sure it is exciting to watch in 2D as well.

The script, though, is a mess. And surprising to me, because in Cameron's other films the scripts were rather tight; the Terminator movies, Aliens, even Titanic's script seems like a slick bullet train compared to Avatar's overblown, badly paced, illogically plotted script. And don't get me started on the dialogue.

The review I linked to above (very snarkily) covers the plot holes and contrivances pretty well, though there are even some you could add to it. But because it's such a landmark film visually speaking, I'll give the script a pass. I guess I have to, because I find myself wanting to see Avatar again.
posted by zardoz at 7:54 PM on March 8, 2010


The product of a man who desperately wants to matter, as opposed to someone who actually cares about movies

Hmm.. I guess your familiar with Mendelsohn and have an axe to grind, not my business. But in case I'm mistaken, Daniel Mendelsohn is one of the best cultural critics in the US today, not only film but books, theater etc.. he's something of a genius. His latest collection is How Beautiful It Is And How Easily It Can Be Broken which is well worth checking out if you don't already follow his writings in the New York Review of Books.
posted by stbalbach at 8:12 PM on March 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


I had a hilariously good time at Avatar. FWIW. It was a delicious unpretentious hamburger of a movie.

Also: Metafilter: The kind of banal and decrepit writing that once got you knifed in the East Village.
posted by Sebmojo at 8:15 PM on March 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


I hereby dock myself three analogy-comprehension points.
posted by DaDaDaDave at 8:29 PM on March 8, 2010


Why would you go to a whorehouse to masturbate?

You'd be surprised how many people like to look but not touch.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 8:59 PM on March 8, 2010


I take you personally saying you loved it as a far, far stronger recommendation than whatever tripe Ebert said about it.

Well, sure, because you've read a hundred examples of what I have to say about films so you know exactly where I'm coming from and can use that information to calibrate your own personal tastes with the points I'm making.

Or, you could, you know, just be a dick about it.
posted by lumpenprole at 9:06 PM on March 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


I thought it was an interesting review; most of it was rather obvious, but I liked that he discussed the suggestion in Avatar that complete transcendence via technology is (implicitly, now) a valid hope or possibility.
posted by clockzero at 9:08 PM on March 8, 2010


The movie's raked in $2.60 billion dollars worldwide.

People keep brining this up as if it points to the greatness of the movie. It doesn't, it just means a lot of people liked it.

And if you're still going to push on with that argument, I only have one thing to ask you.

How much money has Britney Spears made?
posted by P.o.B. at 10:55 PM on March 8, 2010


By the way, Gone With the Wind sold 202 million tickets. Avatar has sold 66 million, that's a little over half of what Titanic sold.
posted by P.o.B. at 10:58 PM on March 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


He doesn't really back up the Oz analogy with anything other than bald assertions. The only salient point he makes is about how Avatar CONTRASTS with Oz in that the main character gets to stay in Technicolor forever and with no consequences.

I dunno. It sounds like he was just really reaching for a premise that would rope people in with a, "Okay, you have to explain that," but then he forgot to actually do it.
posted by Scattercat at 11:30 PM on March 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


I went to see Aliens at midnight this past weekend and even though I've seen it thousands of times on video/dvd, I saw it as a film for the first time in a long time and damn, if it didn't hold up spectacularly. It works on every level—dramatically, emotionally, scarily, special effectively. Time has not diminished it's effect at all.

I don't know if I'll be able to say the same thing about Avatar.
posted by Brainy at 11:30 PM on March 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


P.o.B.: "The movie's raked in $2.60 billion dollars worldwide.

People keep brining this up as if it points to the greatness of the movie. It doesn't, it just means a lot of people liked it.
"

People keep bringing this up to show why it's worth talking about, not to make a value judgement on the film itself.
posted by minifigs at 12:57 AM on March 9, 2010



Donna Haraway is just one more woman who could show Cameron how to tell a real story.

Daniel Mendelsohn wasted his writing -- the audience for Avatar only responds to blasting explosions, cool gadgets and violent action scenes.

and ... I would like to see just one thread about Avatar that doesn't include the requisite mention of the *bazillion dollars* box office profits (Does this fact somehow validate the film as worthy?)
posted by Surfurrus at 12:57 AM on March 9, 2010


psych

LOL -- if it makes money, "it's worth talking about."

Not.
posted by Surfurrus at 1:03 AM on March 9, 2010


People keep bringing this up to show why it's worth talking about, not to make a value judgement on the film itself.

And my question still stands.
posted by P.o.B. at 1:32 AM on March 9, 2010


I take you personally saying you loved it as a far, far stronger recommendation than whatever tripe Ebert said about it.

If the recommendations of fellow mefites are important to you, then maybe you should check out what Pastabagel said about Avatar, as he seems to have put a lot of thought into it.
posted by Ritchie at 2:07 AM on March 9, 2010


I was really happily surprised by avatar. I was holding back tears for most of the second half. This isn't saying much, as Tim Horton's ads are sending me reeling these days, but I still found Avatar's message powerful and important.

So let's just get this out there: All of us North Americans are living on land which we stole, from a people whom we've tried to destroy both physically and culturally for hundreds of years. This message still fails to penetrate. It never fails to amaze me the number of people my age (20s) who think, "You know, it's really time for the natives to get there act together." Really? We raped them into the ground for 400 years, and the best we can say for the past 30 is that at least we've begun to leave them alone, and so really, what's taking them so long?

The point is, when people say, "Oh look, it's another native good, white/western bad story" it's because, in this story, WE ARE THE BAD GUYS. THIS IS A RECAPULATION OF HOW WE FUCKED SHIT UP FOR THE PAST FEW HUNDRED YEARS. THERE IS NO VERSION WHERE WE ARE THE GOOD GUYS. We forgive ourselves for living here in the same way that we forgive great figures of the past for being racist, sexist, mass murderers. I love living in our modern society. I do not yearn for any hunter gatherer lifestyle. I love buying fruit during winter. That does not prevent me from recognizing that we broke a lot of fucking eggs to make this omelet so good.

Is Avatar racist? This is a worthwhile question. However, simply stating that it "clearly supports a white messiah myth" is bullshit. This stuff is textbook: White dude is us, identifiable, and through his conversion we come to understand these other people. That he ends up saving them is more a function of him already being the protaganist in the first place. I did not leave the movie with the impression that only whites can save primitives from themselves. Maybe whites need to be there to save them from whites (otherwise we get arrows vs battleships), but that's not the same thing. After all, last time it was us vs them, well we did kind of fuck shit up, didn't we? It's all moot now anyway.

More important to the racism question is whether the archetypes that all the characters were cut from were somehow deeply misleading. I thought a lot about this when I recently saw a documentary about communes of eastern europeans in the 70s who were living in a recreated native culture - tipis and sweat lodges and dances and all. The documentary involved a couple of natives who went to visit them, and though they eventually accepted what they were doing, it was difficult for them.

What I think it came down to was, are these people trying to respect and pay homage to a great culture, or are they just using it as a canvas upon which to project their own fantasies and whims and as an excuse to have sex in the woods? These Europeans were deeply sincere, but it's extremely hard to tell at times.

So, is Avatar racist on this count? It's harder to say. Avatar is indeed not at all about actual natives. It's entirely about us. It is not confronting us with any tangible culture, but only exposes that romanticism that lies within many of us for this more in tune, 'natural existence'. This existence does seem to have been acheived at least to some degree by the natives of north america, and so in personifying this romanticism, our subconscious construction of 'the native' is indeed an ideal target. In the Na'vi, we see little of a real culture, but only phantoms of what we've destroyed both in the world and in ourselves.

Nevertheless, as charicature, I think the Na'vi are extremely effective. I left the movie feeling deeply troubled by the blood on my hands, a conciousness for the lost cultures of this world, and a desire to more strongly respect nature. if I read too much into it, sue me. Like Wall-e, I think Avatar was successful at communicating a message of extreme importance. That so many people saw these movies made me happy through the hope that these messages were heard.
posted by Alex404 at 2:09 AM on March 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


Uh, also, see the aforementioned Pastabagel comment for a different road to the same conclusion.
posted by Alex404 at 2:14 AM on March 9, 2010


Okay, sorry for my third comment, but just to further clarify my last point: Yah, this movie failed to show us what is like to lose a culture, as opposed to merely losing ourselves.

In it's defence, I think it's incredibly successful otherwise that it gets a pass, and on the other hand I can't think of any movie which successfully communicates the destruction of culture in all its horrors.
posted by Alex404 at 2:32 AM on March 9, 2010


One of the things I admire about Mendelsohn is his refusal to hold popular entertainment to anything less than the highest critical standards. I can see how that might come across to some readers as pretentious, but it's surely the highest compliment you can pay to a director like James Cameron to treat his movies as aspiring to the condition of art. Mendelsohn's approach might be mistaken for elitism, but it's actually a principled refusal to see any distinction between elite and popular. It may invite the response, 'it's only a MOVIE for chrissake, why do you have to take it so fucking SERIOUSLY?' -- and it's true that if you go to the cinema hoping to see Hamlet or King Lear, you're probably doomed to a lot of disappointment -- but on the whole I think it's an admirable critical stance.
posted by verstegan at 3:11 AM on March 9, 2010


Meh. Saying "but the white people are the bad guys" and "it's set in the future" doesn't change anything and still covers the same ground other movies already have.

It. Is. The. Same. Movie. Except with shittier dialogue and much better graphics...and dragons...pterodactyls...whatever.
posted by P.o.B. at 3:14 AM on March 9, 2010


Daniel Mendelsohn wasted his writing -- the audience for Avatar only responds to blasting explosions, cool gadgets and violent action scenes.

Some folks here in MeFi were part of the audience for Avatar.
posted by ersatz at 5:47 AM on March 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's Dances With Wolves.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:31 AM on March 9, 2010


Why would you go to a whorehouse to masturbate?

Cause she might be a bag of trouble...

@Scattercat I hear you. There was enough to like in the article without stapling on an undeveloped connection to the Wizard of Oz.
posted by ActualStackhouse at 7:11 AM on March 9, 2010


Meh. Saying "but the white people are the bad guys" and "it's set in the future" doesn't change anything and still covers the same ground other movies already have.

It. Is. The. Same. Movie.


It isn't the same movie. All those other movies ended with us winning. Avatar ended with us losing. But that isn't the point.

Here's the point: Filmmaking, like any other art, is path dependent. There could be no Hitchcock before The Maltese Falcon, and there could be no Halloween before Psycho. The artist is informed by what came before him/her, because that defines the context of his art. Picasso would never have been a cubist had Realism and Impression not on weighed on painting like a burden. Infinite Jest could not have been written before Lost in the Funhouse. Artists create work as part of an argument with their colleagues who came before.

But this is the critical point - the audience does not watch films in the same way. They don't begin with the classics of film and watch them in chronological order. You'd be amazed how many people love noir films but haven't seen The Third Man or the Maltese Falcon. And they don't have to. Great films consume their genres and render moot previous contributions to that genre.

It doesn't matter whether or not Avatar is the same film as Dances With Wolves, At Play in the Fields of the Lord, Ferngully, or Pocahontas. From the standpoint of story, after seeing Avatar there is no reason to see any of those films. In other words, for most young people today, Dances With Wolves is basically an inferior version of Avatar, not the other way around. Avatar fleshes out the same issues as those films but more completely. And at the same time it raises completely new ones.

Avatar killed its genre the way films like Zodiac, Unforgiven, 2001 and Star Wars killed theirs. And most of those didn't win Best Picture awards either.
posted by Pastabagel at 7:45 AM on March 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


lumpenprole : Or, you could, you know, just be a dick about it.

Or, I could just prefer to get my reviews from people not paid to do so.

Wow dude, no need to get personal about it. I just find the most reliable way to use information from "professional critics" amounts to "reverse everything they said". They call it a masterpiece? Suck-city. They call it the worst tripe since Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-o-Rama? Time to make my once-yearly trip to actually see a movie in the theater.
posted by pla at 8:01 AM on March 9, 2010


Talk about a flashback. When I read this "The Wizard", by Daniel Mendelsohn. Avatar, a film directed by James Cameron.

I immediately thought of Wizards, the animated movie by Ralph Bakshi, the main character's name is Avatar. I last saw this when it was released in 1977.

I need to go lie down now. Then I need to rent this on Neflix to see if it's still as awesome as I recall.

What's everyone staring at? Ain't you never seen an aging ex-acidhead before? Go about your business...
posted by Splunge at 10:03 AM on March 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


DU : I don't understand why I keep hearing people talk about Avatar when the very best review I've heard is that it "wasn't that bad".

For what it's worth, my excitement about Avatar had less to do with the story and a lot more to do with how it was made. By all accounts, some of the innovations Cameron came up with are going to revolutionize different aspects of film making and lead to some really fantastic movies in the future.

So, for me anyway, it's isn't about Avatar so much as the potential of what's to come because of it.
posted by quin at 10:20 AM on March 9, 2010



Daniel Mendelsohn wasted his writing -- the audience for Avatar only responds to blasting explosions, cool gadgets and violent action scenes. - surfurrus

Some folks here in MeFi were part of the audience for Avatar. - ersatz

I was part of the audience as well - doesn't mean that I am the (targeted) audience. I suspect the mefites who are questioning the accolades for this film as some kind of 'breakthrough film-making achievement' are the ones who actually read Mendelsohn's essay.

Not that there is anything wrong with loving blasting explosions, cool gadgets and violent action scenes. I just don't believe that Avatar's target audience is 'loving the magazine for the interviews'.
posted by Surfurrus at 1:23 PM on March 9, 2010


I can't divine who read the link and who didn't. I take you on your word when you say you aren't the target audience, but seeing as there are various possible reasons to want to see the movie (Cameron's name, enticing art, publicity, blasting explosions, cool gadgets, violent action scenes, obsession with anthropomorphic creatures, interest in SciFi/Monomyth/CGI, convincing word of mouth, whatever), it could draw many different types of moviegoers, many of whom probably enjoy other things than explosions, too. Buying a pizza now and then doesn't bar someone from enjoying home-made cooking.

Or home-made pizza. Mmmm.
posted by ersatz at 3:48 PM on March 9, 2010


Wow dude, no need to get personal about it.

Well, it's a long way from not liking to pay for reviews to coming out with this bizzare analogy:

Reviews by professional "critics" amount to mental masturbation in an intellectual whorehouse.

(Sarcasm quotes? Really?)

And calling the man's work tripe. I disagree with Ebert all the time. But he's also been a film lover for more years than you've had on this earth, I'll wager. He's funny, generous, and knows what he's talking about.

I've had the pleasure of corresponding with the man a few times years ago, and I can tell you that if he wasn't in such poor health, I'd buy him a beer and argue about movies any time.

You however, I'm glad I'm not in close proximity to.

Dances With Wolves is basically an inferior version of Avatar

Pastabagel, I'd agree with you there. However, I think that both films are about appealing to the desire of whites to experience non-white culture without any of the messy baggage. This article wasn't well-written, but the point that the Pocahontas switches so easily with Avatar is a good one. In fact the mashups do a better job of conveying that, and I'm not sure what the article is bringing to the party.

This is definitely updating a common story, I just think it's a really unpleasant one.

Avatar killed its genre the way films like Zodiac, Unforgiven, 2001 and Star Wars killed theirs.

I feel like that's pretty thin ice you're treading on there. Are you seriously advocating that if you liked Unforgiven, you shouldn't bother with any John Wayne movie? I would argue that a great movie doesn't consume it's genre, it furthers it.
posted by lumpenprole at 4:23 PM on March 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


lumpenprole : (Sarcasm quotes? Really?)

If you didn't detect that as intended humor, I don't know what else I can say. Hell, it doesn't even make sense if you parse it literally.


I've had the pleasure of corresponding with the man a few times years ago, and I can tell you that if he wasn't in such poor health, I'd buy him a beer and argue about movies any time.

Funny how physically meeting people makes them instantly more likable.

Don't care.

I have zero interest in the man or his words, and do indeed take your entirely unsolicited, frame-of-referenceless recommendation far more seriously than anything ever written by any critic for the simple reason that no one paid you to say it.


You however, I'm glad I'm not in close proximity to.

...Of course, then we have the opposite end of the spectrum.
posted by pla at 5:17 PM on March 9, 2010


Were my girlfriend and I the only people in the world who enjoyed the movie for its drama and love story as well as for the cinematography?
posted by UseyurBrain at 6:24 PM on March 9, 2010


P.o.B.: People keep brining this up [the money thing I brought up earlier] as if it points to the greatness of the movie. It doesn't, it just means a lot of people liked it.

A couple of things here: 1. I thought I made it clear that I wasn't bringing up the money thing as a measure of worth--I was using it as a way to get at the number of actual people who saw the movie. (I'm assuming the 66 million ticket figure tossed around earlier is the domestic sales--otherwise we're talking $40 tickets, and that seems a little high, even for IMAX in 2010).

2. My point was that regardless of the greatness of the film, a lot of people thought it was worth paying to see. That means that it is 100% worth analyzing and tangling with, trying to figure out what Cameron is trying to get at in the film, whether he succeeds, and how he fails. And even more important, trying to figure out what the assumptions he brings to the film are, without making them explicit.

3. At the risk of possibly damaging whatever small amount of credibility I have here, I like a good amount of Britney Spears. "Toxic" is full stop an awesome song. I'm a closet pop fan. Not so much hidden anymore, I guess. But aside from that, I think that you can glean a lot more about a society's fears and concerns and fixations from its supposed genre dreck than you can by looking at its highbrow culture.

4. And just to finish up here, the standard line about Shakespeare's plays being lowbrow at the time, followed by the disclaimer that I am in no way comparing Cameron to Shakespeare. Thank you.
posted by thecaddy at 7:55 PM on March 9, 2010


It isn't the same movie. All those other movies ended with us winning

Actually, you're wrong. There are other sci-fi/fantasy movies (and were previously mentioned) that have the same story and end in the same way. I don't think I need to point out the obvious in why that matters. Faulty premises make for faulty arguments and all that jazz

Let me simplify my point. To me Avatar is all show and no go. It's a boring retread of previous stories. It barely offers anything to ponder as it is too busy cold-cocking you with it's literalness. It won the awards for Best For Looking At Pretty Things, and rightfully so. The story was pared down to it's lowest common denominators for an easy sell to consumers.
I think Britney Spears is a proper analog in more ways than one. Cute teeny bop singers are a dime a dozen. Dress up a southern blond in a skimpy schoolgirl outfit singing sexually suggestive lyrics and you've got yourself an instant sensation on your hands.

the caddy: That means that it is 100% worth analyzing and tangling with, trying to figure out what Cameron is trying to get at in the film, whether he succeeds, and how he fails. And even more important, trying to figure out what the assumptions he brings to the film are, without making them explicit.

First off, people see or hear things they don't like all the time, but otherwise I agree. What I don't agree with is the molehills into MOUNTAINS that seems to be happening. I think there are certain failings which are explicitly obvious (amongst others the literalness - and not in a good way) that are being dismissed without import.
posted by P.o.B. at 9:44 PM on March 9, 2010


I'm assuming the 66 million ticket figure tossed around earlier is the domestic sales--otherwise we're talking $40 tickets, and that seems a little high, even for IMAX in 2010

Maybe, that figure was pulled from last weekends entertainment paper. Here's an article that is a month and half old and it was a billion short of where it is now.
posted by P.o.B. at 11:01 PM on March 9, 2010


RedLetterMedia (the guy who did the Phantom Menace review) with a different take on Avatar

Part 1
Part 2
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 5:53 AM on March 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


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