In Theaters: Avatar

Movieline Score: 9

There is a Christmas dinner debate that lives in infamy at my house: It's 1997, and Titanic had been released a few days earlier -- should we go? My brother was almost ecstatic in his derision: James Cameron was a buffoon and no one was going to go see a movie where everybody already knows the end. Nix. I was sure, and looking back I don't even remember why, that the thing was going to be huge, and everybody knew the end to the Civil War too, jerkhole. We didn't go see Titanic. You know the rest. But the fact that people were still shit-talking the prospects of what went on to become the biggest grossing film of all time even after it hit the theaters (but before the first returns came in) says something about the boulder-sized grudge the zeitgeist seems to hold against Cameron. History repeated with Avatar, which the blogging classes seemed only too happy to relegate to the shitcan of overweening hubris. Then the thing actually screened. If whiplash has a sound, last Thursday evening it was reverberating through Cineplex lobbies on either coast, as critics and the commentariat hit the streets, shaking their heads free of three hours on a planet called Pandora and managing only the occasional expletive as they went.

Because his films make tremendous bank and occasionally press a little too firmly on our cinematic pleasure points -- sex, violence, blowing shit up -- Cameron is often lumped in with lock and loaders like Michael Bay and Roland Emmerich, despite the fact that he keeps reminding us, if only every ten years or so now, that his are usually passion projects in elaborate disguise. Avatar, a story which Cameron has been stewing over for decades and actually working on for at least four years, is as heartfelt as it is spectacular; and while it's all too easy to tangle with the political and situational gauntlets he lays down, as a showman Cameron will not be denied.

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  • Avatar is so fuckin awesome, it makes Delgo look like Battle For Terrs!

  • Majean says:

    I still doubt I'll love this movie even with all of the praise it's been getting. I'll watch it when it comes to HBO, unless someone drags me to see it in theaters.
    And I seriously doubt this will live on in the history books the way, King Kong has, maybe more like the way Titanic has or The Terminator.

  • marc says:

    Canada's image lies in tatters
    We should curb our nationalism and pride a bit.

  • Matthew D H says:

    I saw it yesterday and I'm going to se it again soon! It was the single best film experience I have ever had. I saw it in IMAX which is definitely the best way to watch it. Avatar should be the next Star Wars.

  • Brant says:

    This gave me a huge headache – prepare for hours of 3D by doing this: Tictacdo Also, There's no action until the end – a huge build-up for nothing. Like Titanic all over again...

  • Lewis Marklin says:

    I just saw Avatr for the first time tonight and I say first time because I will be seeing it many more times. Awesome movie in so many ways. Great imagery, animation, plot, moral, action, love story between man, animal and creature, man's obsession with greed and violence, overcoming and more. Blam!

  • Brant says:

    The 3-D effect made me want to puke – I was so dizzy

  • saveferris says:

    For me, the best parts of the movie by far were the human segments with Sam Worthington. No matter how amazing/revolutionary/mind-blowing CGI or animation is, it tends to bore me senseless.

  • dedwarmo says:

    Majean said, "And I seriously doubt this will live on in the history books the way, King Kong has, maybe more like the way Titanic has or The Terminator."
    Titanic is the highest grossing movie of all time. Terminator is a well-loved movie. Sounds like Avatar is in good company. There is no doubt that Avatar will be remembered for a long time the way Star Wars has. My only fear is that someone will make an even more spectacular movie. Even if that happens we will all be winners.

  • Lady says:

    Right on the nose. This movie had me laughing, crying and wanting to fight for what is right. No other movie has ever gotten me so emotionally involved. It's about time they started making movies this great.

  • Arvind says:

    James Cameron will be "King of the Universe" with his film "Avatar"