Avatar

Groundbreaking, and goddamn boring.

By Sean Burns
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 61 | Posted Dec. 17, 2009

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It’s been 12 years since self-proclaimed “king of the world” James Cameron sank the Titanic, setting hearts aflutter for Leonardo DiCaprio, and proving that even the most hardened of cynics will roll over for some genuinely awful writing if we’re also being wowed with the next generation of special effects.

Avatar was breathlessly overhyped even when it was still in production. How does one follow the most massive blockbuster of all time? Cameron cut his teeth as a brilliantly efficient B-movie director—it’s shocking how propulsively that first Terminator picture still plays, and I can’t say enough great things about Aliens—but ever since The Abyss, his films have grown increasingly expensive and self-important. Like his spiritual cousin Robert Zemeckis, the man now seems incapable of telling a story without having to invent entirely new technologies to do so. Both gentlemen once crafted shrewd, economical entertainments—only to disappear up their own CGI assholes.

Four hundred million or so dollars later, Avatar lands with a thud. I guess there’s a part of me that admires the film’s 3-D presentation, performance-capture technique and computer animation—you’re never unaware of how much work went into the film. And if you’re not already impressed, characters keep reminding you that you’re watching something amazing. This is groundbreaking, next-level technology, and I was bored out of my goddamn mind.

Sam Worthington stars as a jarhead space Marine who winds up working for an insidious corporation on the distant moon Pandora. Populated by a nine-foot, blue skinned race called the Na’vi, the planet is home to a priceless mineral called “unobtanium.” Wheelchair-bound Worthington’s mission is to operate an avatar—a lanky giant blue version of himself culled from DNA samples and controlled via virtual reality tanning coffins—attempting to play nice with the natives and make them feel better about us plundering their natural resources.

Like an arrested adolescent’s retelling of Terrence Malick’s The New World, Avatar has Worthington falling in love with the Na’vi chief’s daughter (Zoe Saldana) and becoming indoctrinated into their way of life, which is way more pure and connected to nature than his shallow old, white-guy existence. Even faster than you can make a Dances With Wolves wisecrack, Worthington “goes native” and leads the Na’vi in an uprising against our evil colonists, with old-school bows and arrows defeating high-tech military machines on a scale we haven’t seen since the Ewoks booted the Empire out of Endor.

Avatar feels borrowed and rehashed. It’s a collision of shopworn archetypes lacking a personality of its own. (The movie really needed someone like Leonardo DiCaprio, who still doesn’t get enough credit for the bratty charm he brought to Titanic.) Cannibalizing his own work, Cameron has Giovanni Ribisi and Michelle Rodriguez reprising Paul Reiser and Jennete Goldstein’s roles from Aliens, and even recycles Sigourney Weaver’s old mechanical exo-skeleton for the finale. (If this all doesn’t feel familiar enough already, composer James Horner repurposes his scores for Aliens and Titanic complete with the schmaltzy power ballad.)

But the hackneyed story and one-note characters are just a mere pretext for Cameron to explore the world of Pandora, and that’s where I was most disappointed. Avatar is awash in exotic creatures, neon colors and strange landscapes prompting human characters to stare directly into the lens, saying: “Wow, huh?” Honestly. I found it awfully tacky and garish.

Cameron is famously a scuba diving aficionado, and his alternate world has the same iridescent glow of a coral reef on a National Geographic special. The brightly-hued Na’vi are impossible to relate to, lumbering about with yellow cat eyes and disturbingly square noses, flying their pink dragons into battle and becoming one with nature by plugging their braids into animal tails like USB ports. (I’m not making this up.)

Avatar looks like the kind of gaudy, 1970s airbrush painting you’d see on a van owned by your stoner friend who sees too many Rush concerts. This is not, as heralded, “the future of cinema.” Instead it’s more like the old cliche: One step forward, two steps back. n

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COMMENTS

Comments 1 - 61 of 61
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1. Max said... on Dec 21, 2009 at 05:42PM

“I have a feeling you may have set a record for hate-mail on this one.”

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2. Murray said... on Dec 24, 2009 at 02:40PM

“Whoa, Rush is on tour? Cameron is just trying to find a genre hack directors refuse or can't trounce with horrendous sequels (cough - Terminator whatever the fuck it's called- cough)”

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3. Anonymous said... on Dec 25, 2009 at 07:33PM

“you're not hip and your writing is verbose. stop trying so hard, nerd.”

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4. The Projectionist said... on Jan 14, 2010 at 11:24AM

“I didn't fully appreciate that it was a James Cameron movie until the giant robot pulled a knife.”

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5. Anonymous said... on Feb 26, 2010 at 02:22AM

“Impossible to relate to?

Avatar Worldwide gross to date: $2,466,701,910

...Missed it by that much.”

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6. Transformers 2 kid VH said... on Mar 25, 2010 at 10:24AM

“Avatar was like the best movie ever. well transformers 2 is better but avatar is still a good #2 and I think that you are wicked bad at avatar critiquing. You should learn what a good movie is! iv never met some one who doesn't like transformers and avatar LOSER.”

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7. Bryan said... on Mar 25, 2010 at 10:25AM

“I totally agree, 100%. I feel like I'm on crazy pills with everyone proclaiming this thing a masterpiece. I don't even feel this is in the Star Wars phenomena level let alone this mass hysteria that has occurred. Its a hackneyed version of Dances with wolves/Pocohontas/White guy turns on evil corporation to save hippie natives story that we've ever read or seen. Cameron has admitted that its one big global warming message in a 2.5 hr long boring love story. What is the big deal?”

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8. Avatarlvr said... on Mar 28, 2010 at 09:08PM

“What a bone-headed review. Doesn't matter though - Burns will have enough right-wing fans to go head to head with Limbaugh and Beck.
What an honor.
Oh, say hi to Sarah for me...”

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9. tiltawhirl said... on Mar 29, 2010 at 11:23AM

“Awesome review. How does it feel to be the white-guy minority on this one? Clearly your trashing belies your inability to willfully suspend disbelief and have a good time. I guess $3B at the box office is an indication of how many people agree with you. /sarcasm.”

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10. Roman Feretti said... on Apr 1, 2010 at 02:15AM

“I completely agree with the author. A smart indicator of a good movie is often how few people watch it. Educated movie goers - not simple minded children looking for visual entertainment will understand that the story is simplistic and recycled. Other than a orgasmic load of CGI and other technological paraphenalia it has very little to offer for the more intellectually inclined.”

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11. Geoffrey Hartig said... on Apr 9, 2010 at 10:15AM

“the "airbrushed van painting" made me laugh. Good connection.

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12. Anonymous said... on Apr 11, 2010 at 09:08AM

“'Only to disappear up their own CGI assholes.' Well put. I'm happy to see I'm not the only one who's really pessimistic about the direction most major motion pictures seem to be going in these days. Avatar was just another CGI fest that was supposed to wow us into not noticing there is nothing deeper, more profound or even anything NEW at all going on in the story. I feel like I'm being patronized by Hollywood now. What sells tickets (as proven by movies like Avatar) is just a bunch of strung together special effects that's fast paced enough to keep the ADD generation's attention. Movies that have any kind of depth or are halfway inspiring or experimentally offer something NEW instead of the same predictable formulas are getting to be a smaller and smaller percentile. If that's supposed to be the new standard for future movies then I think I might go back to watching nothing but independent films. At least they don't have the budget in the first place to get THIS carried away.”

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13. Anonymous said... on Apr 14, 2010 at 09:18PM

“Well said, Sean, and well written. LOL at the poster who rated Avatar and Transformers 2 as the best movies ever. Now THAT'S sarcasm: way to show them, kid!”

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14. Martin said... on Apr 18, 2010 at 09:43PM

“A waste of time, energy and money. Cameron has certainly convinced me he can do special effects, but otherwise there's no "there" there and the movie is eminently forgettable, especially compared to Titanic. The time dragged, I was bored and held my fingers in my ears for most of the film to prevent hearing loss.”

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15. GETTY LEE said... on Apr 20, 2010 at 03:14PM

“Philadelphia has the worst people on this earth.. you people are so damn ignorant. Phillie sports fans are more rawdy then anyother city.. KEEP HATIN PHILLIE .. THATS ALL YOU GUYS DO.. PHILLIE IS THE MOST BITTER CITY IN ALL OF AMERICA.”

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16. Anna said... on Apr 24, 2010 at 01:36PM

“Great review. Nothing more than an expensive cartoon. I felt like I was watching a rehash of Dances With Wolves underwater too.”

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17. MamaMagic said... on Apr 26, 2010 at 09:24AM

“Rush Limbaugh loves to string adjectives and creative expression in order to entertain and lambast the object of his disdain. He has memorized the Thesaurus and can say "it stinks" in hundreds of differing ways without his audience understanding it as repetition. He does this because he loves to hear himself talk.

Sean Burns, you have his disease. It seems to me you have missed the entire purpose of the theater, which is to ENTERTAIN. I walked away with a cacophany of new imagery and a sense that this movie has raised the bar on daring. A movie does not have to be unpopular to be cerebral. Like Picasso, some movies become so disjointed you have to work to piece together the meaning. I don't want to have to WORK on my night on the town.

This film was like being on a roller coaster of visual stimulation, tossed into a reminder that the earth is a circle of life. If you missed that theme, you have the intelligence of lint.”

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18. AJ said... on Apr 26, 2010 at 04:08PM

“So what's wrong with a high-tech Dances with Wolves. The special effects were spectacular and we are much closer to realistic movies with no human actors. I have often said to my son that we can now film anything we can think of. I just read an interview with Cameron where he said basically the same thing. That's only part of what this film means. Personally, I have only one measure for a film. Does it deliver? It delivered for me. While the number of people who agree with you does not necessarily make you right (see world is flat), in this case it does seem to mean that the film delivered for a lot of us and while I'm sorry it did not deliver for you, I am glad I am in my group and not yours.”

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19. Dale Crain said... on Apr 27, 2010 at 02:18AM

“Bravo for having the balls to point out that we've all seen the emperors new clothes before-and many times!
Never have a I seen a more predictable movie.
It was like watching a cartoon (which IS what it really was) for the 100th time knowing exactly what would happen next.
Rubbish and a waste of time.”

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20. kiwi_david said... on May 2, 2010 at 04:36AM

“I just saw Avatar for the first time. It was as shitty as I thought it would be. Kinda like The Lion King with blue Ewoks. Clunky and clichéd, James Cameron knows how to push all the buttons with his paint-by-numbers approach to storytelling. Three-dimensional visuals with two-dimensional characters. Cameron is the Coldplay of the cinema, patronising, unoriginal, and fake. Loved your review.”

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21. contempted said... on May 3, 2010 at 07:24AM

“He pandered to society's ultimate fantasy that only a white male can save the world by knowing more about natives than natives know about themselves. This movie was a heat check on the prevalence of racism, paternalism, patriarchy, exoticism, and plain old fashioned stupidity. Let the NWO proceed, no danger from these nitwits.”

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22. Anonymous said... on May 3, 2010 at 05:03PM

“I completely agree... an overrated, boring, predictable ball of Hollywood fluff. Watch "The Cove" if you want a taste of real human vs. nature atrocities.”

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23. Raphael Ribeiro said... on May 6, 2010 at 11:28AM

“Finally a critic who isn't influenced!
Very well done!
An honest, and real, review of this stupid movie!”

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24. Canadian Rush Fan said... on May 9, 2010 at 02:27PM

“Dude, Rush rules! Either you spent your youth wasted on disco or you are too young or too old to understand the power of 9 minute rock instrumentals.
And although I agree that the story and moralizing was a tiresome, I love National Geographic coral reef photos: 30 feet wide and in 3-D. Awesome.”

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25. samslanding said... on May 11, 2010 at 09:30PM

“Hate Cameron --- love Avatar, perhaps the greatest film --- ever. Directing, casting, acting, writing, cinematography, sound, music, editing --- all masterstrokes.”

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26. soulofbass said... on May 16, 2010 at 11:02PM

“Thank you for this review, even most reviewers seem to be blindly praising this 3-D candy coated mediocre film. it has its moments of inspiration though, i probably would not so thoroughly lambast the film. It was at the very least miles above the snorefest trannyformers 2”

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27. Sky said... on May 20, 2010 at 01:51PM

“Not my thing. Great effects, moments of excitement too. But I'm not into overly dramatic cartoons. In the end that is all this was.”

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28. Jones said... on May 22, 2010 at 06:52AM

“"Avatar looks like the kind of gaudy, 1970s airbrush painting you’d see on a van" -- OMG, finally somebody who saw Avatar with his eyes open. Lots of people have written negative reviews about Avatar, but they *all* concentrate on the story problems. But the story is *not* the main problem at all - it´s the visuals! At times, I couldn´t believe how ridiculous the whole thing looked. I went to the theatre ready to be blown away by the "future of movies" - and all I got was mediocre motion capturing, a lot of CGI that was ok, but absolutely nothing special - and some really bad scenes that almost made me laugh out loud (the scene in which the sprites land on Jake´s Avatar, e.g.)”

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29. Scott said... on May 27, 2010 at 02:33PM

“"...old-school bows and arrows defeating high-tech military machines on a scale we haven’t seen since the Ewoks booted the Empire out of Endor".

That really says it all. Not only is Avatar completely derivative, it's derivative of the worst of the original Star Wars trilogy. Well put.

The one original touch - the Avatar concept - made absolutely NO sense whatsover. It's very bad science fiction with troubling ethics, and ultimately there was no need for it. Humans could walk around on the planet in their own skins, and the "avatars" announced themselves as aliens to the Nav'i. What was the freaking point?

Finally, I'm all for movies promoting environmentalism, but this just paid lip service at best. Our world is dying, says Cameron, but in the future nature-loving aliens will kick our asses. So buy a plastic cup with a Nav'i on it. What a visionary...”

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30. John said... on May 29, 2010 at 01:03PM

“I just saw Avatar and I agree with the author on this one. I did not see Titanic so I can't compare this film to it , but Every few minutes I felt I was watching a collage of scenes lifted from Dances and Alien. The macho military stuff got old real quick! I know Zoe Saldana only from Star Trek but I think if she had been off her game one whit this would have been a miserable film!! Jake was completely unimpressive for me. I think his best scene was actually the looks that pass over his face when natiri(?) puts his mask on and he says I see you. The concept of the Avatar was unbelievable ever for SciFi. But Those aside the dialouge that made me almost turn it off was when Jake is talking to eywa through the tree and said of the humans "They Killed there Mother and they will do the same Here" What the Heck Kind of message was this tripe? And do you think humans hundreds of years from now will have a clue what Green is other than a color?lolololol”

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31. Cascades Climber said... on May 31, 2010 at 04:29PM

“Watched the DVD from my couch, last night, while my wife and 11-yr-old son remained enraptured throughout the film's three hours of predictability. I dozed off about two-thirds the way through then woke in time to witness the GI Joe/R. Lee Ermey imitator escaping from his burning helicopter via the transformers-robot soldier-contraption. I remain surprised my laughter neither rolled me off the couch nor pissed off my son. Kudos to Cameron for his Oscar win and cementing my belief the Academy is pretentious silliness at its pinnacle.”

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32. sirvicious said... on Jun 7, 2010 at 07:31PM

“I can't believe Cameron didn't ever think to himself that he was going way too far with the ridiculous visuals. Those dragon creatures looked so freaking stupid. They looked like they had been tattooed from head to toe by an acid tripping tattoo artist. Every plant and animal was so ridiculously over the top it just made me laugh out loud. The digital aspect was so front and center that all I could think of was I was watching something fake instead of being absorbed by the world and story like a good movie would do. I used to think James Cameron was pretty good but now I have lost complete respect for him.”

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33. Ryan W. said... on Jun 10, 2010 at 02:57PM

“Agree 100%, and you'd think a 17 year old kid like me would be in love with the CGI. Honestly, why is every single plant and animal phosphorescent? Hippie trip through time and space I suppose.

Again, it's a rehash of every single Pocahontas story ever, masked with a setting on another planet with the only human group on the planet being malicious. Oh, and don't forget the cheesy use of 3d. Everyone remember when that bad guy at the end gets shot with two arrows? Yeah, I don't have to explain further.”

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34. godbluff said... on Jun 13, 2010 at 06:16AM

“Great review. I just saw the movie last night. I loved the air brushed van line. I was a teen in the seventies so it amused me to see the correlation. Jimmy Cammeron is a tool for the Malthusian crowd...the whole " humans are bad and all we do is destroy things" He is also in the Ghia sect, hence the mother earth reference. The scenery on pandora looked like some of the things you see on second life.
I would just ask you not to cast aspersions at the group Rush. They have more depth and talent than all of Jimmy Cam's movies combined.

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35. Cathy L. said... on Jul 7, 2010 at 07:34PM

“Can't agree with the review enough! I really did think maybe I was the only one who thought the much-hyped visuals were a joke -- it's like they let the designers of My Little Pony have creative control of the virtual paintbox.
Plot? Really tons of problems, like shootin' fish in a barrel. The air brushed van line also was inspired, I totally agree! thank you thank you thank you! (and gotta throw this in there "unobtainium"? is that the best they could come up with -- it made the movie an instant comedy for me!).”

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36. Ken said... on Jul 9, 2010 at 09:25PM

“If I had written a review, it would have come out identical to this one. I might have added a few statements about laughing out loud when the mighty animals of the forest come to the rescue. All I could think of was cheesy old Aquaman cartoons, where that was always the payoff.

I also enjoyed how the movie decided to abolish the laws of inertia. Getting inside a big robot suit somehow keeps you from being squashed when going from freefall to smashing into the ground. Wielding an unbreakable piece of metal lets you fend off gigantic mechanical blows without transferring the force to your own body. A flying creature can grab a helicopter and spin on its own axis in a midair pirouette before chucking it off to one side.
I felt the whole thing was designed purely for 14-year-old boys.”

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37. Deke said... on Jul 10, 2010 at 11:13PM

“Brother, if we ever meet I will buy you a beer. After all, we are of the minority of humans who have graduated from children's books (the real bad ones) and as a result cannot tolerate this movie. That's right, we not only went to college, but took literature courses and were exposed to a level of story telling that humans can achieve. This movie was an insult to my education. One note characters, simplicity, cliche's, schmultz, drippyness, perdictability and on and on ad nauseam.”

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38. Breck said... on Jul 19, 2010 at 11:51AM

“Laziest and tritest piece of multi-zillion dollar movie-making I have ever seen. AND the most viciously political. Gee, what were we supposed to think about when the guy on the radio said, "I think that they [the evil white males that the bad guys seemed to consist entirely of] are trying some 'shock and awe' tactic" ? And oh man, how badly we were supposed to want the marine guy killed at the end. (sigh) It seems so much like one big narration at times. Ewoks Pocahantas Dances wif Wolves on and on... I knew the plot within two minutes. Who over eight didn't?”

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39. Ken said... on Jul 24, 2010 at 06:19AM

“Funny I felt the same about Avatar as I did about Titanic. Great special effects. Entertaining Yes. Care Factor about the characters ZERO. The Avatar storyline was squirmingly trite. But in a world where new age psycho-babble and pseudo spiritualism is essentially mainstream (check out your local book store) can we really be surprised that a great many people warm to this stuff. Not a bad movie certainly but in ten years time I will bet its not on anybody's top 10 movie list and will long be forgotten.

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40. Anonymous said... on Aug 1, 2010 at 06:54PM

“That so many people have no taste at all...........”

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41. Anonymous said... on Aug 1, 2010 at 06:55PM

“If you feel this way about the highest grossing movie ever, why even watch it?
I mean I promised myself I would NEVER watch it, but I read the Wikipedia page a few times, and my sister convinced me to watch it. First time out I fell in love with it. I saw it 4 times, including the first and last times.
BTW Movie 99999999999999999999999999999 stars
review (here and in Macleans)-99999999999999999999999999999999 stars
BTW, 5 stars are about the film NOT the review”

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42. Anonymous said... on Aug 3, 2010 at 02:33PM

“I feel you man. I completely agree. I didn't like the movie when it came out, but i said to myself "Don't judge the movie until you see it". I put aside my distaste for the movie, went to see it, and after, the taste returned. It was just bad to me. I didn't even feel the story line. All I felt was CGI slamming me in the face for two and a half hours. The only reason this movie became popular was because of a domino effect. It's like a bad song that is really bad, but some dumb blonds at the club are like "OMG, this song is like LOL gud!" and start dancing to it. Then the guys are like"Wow, those chicks are pretty hot. If they like this song, then so do I! then they start dancing. Then some other girls are like "Wow, those guys are cute. If they like this song, then we should too", and so on, and so on, and so on. At least there are some people in this world who listen to that song, and are like "NO! That song sucks!" I am one of those people,and thank you for being one of those people”

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43. Anonymous said... on Aug 21, 2010 at 11:23PM

“Honestly, this movie is overrated. I feel your review was mostly true, however you bashed it with mostly opinions, rather than what the movie was more like. Yes, it's overrated and considered the best movie of all time, when I honestly think it's a 3/5 movie with a cliche story.
This movie is what you get when you cross breed The Smurfs with the old movie Dances with Wolves.
The acting wasn't the best, I would give it a 6/10.
Pandora was kind of fruity, EVERY ANIMAL HAD AT LEAST FOUR OF SOMETHING! One animal had 4 eyes, another animal has 4 legs, another animal had 4 wins... Not really a problem, just a funny thing me and my friends pointed out throughout the movie.
I agree with the person who said this movie was like a domino effect, where one person thinks this movie is cool, and the other agrees with him/her ONLY to agree, not because he/she likes the movie. Hell, all of the popular people at my school are ranting and raving, going on about how this is the greatest movie of all time”

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44. Anonymous said... on Aug 29, 2010 at 11:56AM

“"...on a van owned by your stoner friend who sees too many Rush concerts."

Rush concerts are like abused children. One is too many. ONE IS TOO MANY!!!!!!”

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45. Theworldisascaryplaceforbrains said... on Aug 29, 2010 at 09:39PM

“I wouldn't even give this movie a chance. I knew I would be bored to tears. It's a scary world now for people who think. I commend the reviewer for speaking his truth which I totally agree with. I think it's a sad world when technology rules to the point that people are now not getting an education that allows them to use their heart and mind for anything other than gratuitous flash colour, noise, gimmickry and overstated cliche. Might as well just glue yourself to a slot machine and stare. Despite the cost, what does it leave you with in the end--another satiation of the cones and rods, ringing in the ears and the opportunity to say once again, "Yeah man that was powerful shit!" or the female version "I really, really, really, um, like, liked it." And one of the posters saying your review was extreme hate mail. That is really scary when people react to a literate opinion piece with what is the true hate mail: To say something is hate mail!! Period. No explanation why.”

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46. joenoll said... on Sep 16, 2010 at 11:26AM

“Their feet bothered me. Should have been better designed for rough surfaces and dealing with wet tree limbs. They were just hollywood human feet with a tweak or two.”

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47. Beth said... on Oct 16, 2010 at 12:27AM

“Well, I'll just step right up and say that you would be hard pressed to find somebody as in love with the web of life as I, I've argued for the rights of Indigenous people whether or not it made me appear in public as some starry noble savage worshipper for as long as I've had the power of speech, but I gotta say, I think this guy's critique is pretty damn accurate, and funny as hell. The story line is actually insulting to indigenous people, because it's the same old special-white-man-gets-accepted-by-the-natives-and-becomes-godlike-hero-they-all-bow-down-before tired storyline.I can't believe it took these kind of cheap parlor tricks to wake people up to what's been going on under their noses, with their money all along, but whatever.”

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48. Anonymous said... on Oct 20, 2010 at 02:00PM

“This whole comment thread is like some big self satisfying masturbation joke... If everyone agrees so much, why do they have to rehash what the original review is about?”

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49. E. Buzz Miller said... on Nov 9, 2010 at 11:01PM

“A critic who isn't fellating Cameron? What's wrong with you, man; don't you realize this is the most important FILM ever made!”

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50. Omnes Omnibus said... on Nov 10, 2010 at 10:46PM

“I saw Avatar for the first time this week. I expected that it would be a techno marvel (which it certainly was) but I also expected to be underwhelmed (which I was). How refreshing to read a genuine, critical review of this mediocre film! Sean hit this one out of the park, especially regarding the rehash of Cameron's early work that is so annoying in this film. I couldn't get over the moronic plot lifted in its entirety from the likes of DWW, Aliens and even a bit of Titanic thrown in for good measure. Aren't we all sick of the bad human/noble alien schtick yet? Kudos to Cameron for a new technological marvel...but the best film of all time? Are you kidding???”

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51. Jacktar said... on Nov 18, 2010 at 09:50PM

“I didn't think much of Terminator 2 when I first saw it, I had the same similar jaded reaction to T2 as the author had to Avatar. However seeing Avatar the 2nd time via DVD I was impressed this work would become a classic like T2. Avatar has outstanding visuals and movie craft, the characters are sympathetic and the storyline passable. Most of the apparent plot-holes in Avatar can be explained with retrospect eg why didn't the mining corporation nuke the main Pandora battlefield from low orbit instead of dropping 'daisy cutters'? They wanted to keep the skirmish low-key, avoid bad PR and win using available resources etc etc.”

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52. Anonymous said... on Nov 24, 2010 at 12:46PM

“Best review ever! Thank you. I just saw Avatar last night and was so bored and frustrated it put me in a bad mood when I woke up this morning! A horrible film. No original plot. And I really did not want to sit through Zoe Saladna screaming for the entire last quarter of the film. I still cannot believe it was rated 92% fresh by Rotten Tomatoes. I want my two and a half hours of life back that I wasted watching this.”

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53. Chad said... on Dec 20, 2010 at 04:37AM

“I couldn't agree more with this review and thankyou for your honesty. This movie was such a horrible, cliche piece of writing and wouldn't be on my list for top 100 movies. Its tough when 99% of the world thinks this movie is a master piece and you think its nothing more than a polished terd. I was actually at a party recently telling people that I didn't like this movie and it obviously wasn't a popular opinion. Its things like this that make me think there is something wrong with me but then I'm like, "wait, no, that movie def sucked"”

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54. Ken said... on Dec 27, 2010 at 07:09PM

“Well Myth Busters proved you can polish a turd and get a high gloss too but when the biggest section in most book stores is new age and inspirational it should come as no surprise why this film was so successful. People want answers to life's difficult questions but don't want to have to think to hard about it. The proof of the film's power will come in 10 years time when people are asked what their favourite movie is I will bet that Avatar will not feature in this list .”

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55. fritz said... on Dec 28, 2010 at 07:53AM

“What a review! Really sucks...bigtime.”

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56. Greg said... on Dec 29, 2010 at 03:06AM

“You sir, are an idiot. You are complaining that Cameron (the creator of the two highest earning movies of all time) put too much work and fantasy into creating this astounding animated world. This movie kept me (and also 95% precent of topic critics according to RottenTomatoes) well entertained and amazed troughout the entire movie. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not everyone should be a movie critic.”

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57. Anonymous said... on Jan 16, 2011 at 03:18AM

“I agree... plot lacking, predicatable, and forgettable.”

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58. Rightwingersrpussies said... on Jan 25, 2011 at 01:11PM

“you are clearly a right winger. You know why you hate the movie...of course the plot reminds you of the illegal American occupation of iraq....its policies in the middleeast...it's an inconvenient truth that you do not want to talk about...a typical rightwinger pussy”

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59. Anthony said... on Jan 26, 2011 at 01:14AM

“This movie was preachy and full of negative views of the Marines or military. The Navi were very violent and not peaceful and had the emotional make up of your average 12 year old...It was very disappointing. I am just glad I didn't pay at the box office for this.”

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60. M.E.G said... on Apr 20, 2011 at 07:20PM

“This particular review of James Cameron’s “Avatar” may contain some valid points in regards to the “recycled” feel of the plot, characters, scenery, etc but it is failing to take into account the film’s true intention as a piece of art. The main argument seems to be that the movie should not be regarded as the “future of cinema” when it contains so many instances of clichéd filmic elements. If such were the case, then why would the bulk of this review devote itself to discussing the evident precision in the 3-D presentation and the “next-level technology?” This review mentions the aspects of the film that did in fact appeal to the masses, such as the colorful characters and the inter-planetary backgrounds, which have not been seen before by audiences. Discussing the “borrowed” and “rehashed” plots and character roles in the story of Avatar does not work to cohesively persuade me to believe me the conclusion that the film is not an innovative piece of work that will probably change the future of film making in visual terms. All the premises lead me to believe that the film lacked originality in terms of certain aspects such as story line, therefore making it predictable but none of these bits of support cause me rationally believe that it will not have direct effects on the film industry and the standards to which blockbusters will be held after this film when discussing technology. Also, the inclusion of the paragraph about the director being an avid scuba diver leaves me with the impression that this critique had an opinion it was trying to convey but was forced to resort to mentioning extraneous information in order to emphasize how “backward” this movie seems to be (which in this case, only makes Cameron appear to be a crafty individual). Essentially, the main conclusion of the film being “two steps back” in the chronology of film is not sufficiently supported and some of these points do not go together in a manner in which an argument is clear throughout the review, therefore making it impossible to agree with it. Perhaps if the article had presented better evidence as to how the film is far from being avant-garde visually, then the conclusion would be more believable and it would not sound like paragraph upon paragraph of a reviewer’s opinion on how cliché the film was. The article lacks a specific focus on which type of innovativeness is being critiqued here and the author could have honed in on either the repeated plot or the visual aspect as the sole reason as to why he/she thought the film is not the future of film. For me, the evidence tells me the characters, plot, etc are to blame but the conclusion merely states that the “airbrush painting” feel of the film makes it less of an innovator.”

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61. 150 M.E.G 550 said... on Apr 21, 2011 at 10:37AM

“This particular review of James Cameron’s “Avatar” may contain some valid points in regards to the “recycled” feel of the plot, characters, scenery, etc but it is failing to take into account the film’s true intention as a piece of art. The main argument seems to be that the movie should not be regarded as the “future of cinema” when it contains so many instances of clichéd filmic elements. If such were the case, then why would the bulk of this review devote itself to discussing the evident precision in the 3-D presentation and the “next-level technology?” This review mentions the aspects of the film that did in fact appeal to the masses, such as the colorful characters and the inter-planetary backgrounds, which have not been seen before by audiences. Discussing the “borrowed” and “rehashed” plots and character roles in the story of Avatar does not work to cohesively persuade me to believe me the conclusion that the film is not an innovative piece of work that will probably change the future of film making in visual terms. All the premises lead me to believe that the film lacked originality in terms of certain aspects such as story line, therefore making it predictable but none of these bits of support cause me rationally believe that it will not have direct effects on the film industry and the standards to which blockbusters will be held after this film when discussing technology. Also, the inclusion of the paragraph about the director being an avid scuba diver leaves me with the impression that this critique had an opinion it was trying to convey but was forced to resort to mentioning extraneous information in order to emphasize how “backward” this movie seems to be (which in this case, only makes Cameron appear to be a crafty individual). Essentially, the main conclusion of the film being “two steps back” in the chronology of film is not sufficiently supported and some of these points do not go together in a manner in which an argument is clear throughout the review, therefore making it impossible to agree with it. Perhaps if the article had presented better evidence as to how the film is far from being avant-garde visually, then the conclusion would be more believable and it would not sound like paragraph upon paragraph of a reviewer’s opinion on how cliché the film was. The article lacks a specific focus on which type of innovativeness is being critiqued here and the author could have honed in on either the repeated plot or the visual aspect as the sole reason as to why he/she thought the film is not the future of film. For me, the evidence tells me the characters, plot, etc are to blame but the conclusion merely states that the “airbrush painting” feel of the film makes it less of an innovator.

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