Posted by · 10:43 pm · December 10th, 2009

Stephen LangThe embargo on “Avatar” has been essentially lifted by Fox so I could go on at length about how I could sit through it over…and over…and over again.  Anne and I will dig in properly in tomorrow’s Oscar Talk and I’m sure I’ll have a review at some point, maybe Monday.  But a few things…

The visual effects race, if you couldn’t guess already, is over and done with.  In all likelihood, the sound races as well.  And there is a compelling argument to be made for the film editing as well.  But that’s the expected tech bliss the film delivers.

Wait, let me not undersell that.  This is the most amazing cinematic experience I’ve ever had.  There are, admittedly, story elements that give one pause.  The film isn’t total perfection (though I’d argue this is a very mature, thematically beautiful screenplay from James Cameron).  The filmmaker can’t help himself in a number of instances that are too on the nose.

But so what?  Seriously.  This is why we all go into dark rooms to be transported to other worlds.  Cameron gets it.  And he delivers.  A thousand times over.  It’s the kind of film you want to take any and everyone with you to see.  Not to be too cheesy — it is absolute magic.

More tomorrow.  (P.S.: Give Stephen Lang a Best Supporting Actor nomination.  NOW)

→ 63 Comments Tags: , , | Filed in: Daily

63 responses so far

  • 1 12-11-2009 at 11:08 am

    McGuff said...

    Chad, I am legitimately curious why. I seem to recall that you are a filmmaker, and while I doubt you are one that thinks about CGI, a film that so many insiders have called a game-changer to the filmmaking process would strike me as a must-see for people interested in what you do. I can’t recognize what the argument could be outside of stubbornness.

  • 2 12-11-2009 at 11:57 am

    Maxim said...

    I was sure you would like it but I am glad you did anyway. I look forward to seeing it.

  • 3 12-11-2009 at 12:39 pm

    SHAAAARK said...


  • 4 12-11-2009 at 12:42 pm

    Chad Hartigan said...

    I am a filmmaker but one worlds away from ever being in a position to even consider CGI. I am a devoted follower of the film business and genuinely love it, which is why I work as a box office analyst and follow the Oscars but when it comes to seeing films with my time and money at stake, I know what I like and I feel no obligation to see anything for any other reason.

  • 5 12-11-2009 at 12:52 pm

    Kevin said...

    That’s a pretty damn narrow-minded viewpoint Chad. In all honesty, you sound profoundly bitter. Did James Cameron, the film industry, or the use CGI do something to you personally? When you make comments like that, you don’t sound like a film fan at all. You sound like an elitist jackass. I’m sorry the film didn’t fail like you hoped it would. Maybe you can try not being such a piss-face. Then again, I can see where you’re coming from. No one likes being outside the pack or in the minority on anything. But guess what, that’s a personal choice on your part. I won’t deny you your cynicism.

    End rant.

  • 6 12-11-2009 at 1:37 pm

    Chad Hartigan said...

    I don’t see it as narrow minded. Isn’t that how everyone feels? You take what you know about a movie and decide whether you’ll probably like it or not. I’m sure you’ve passed on hundreds of titles for those reasons from a Paul Blart to a Twilight to some artsy foreign shit.

    Cameron has made some films that I really like and he’s made some that I don’t like at all. And while I have little interest in 3D technology (based on the films I did see in it, not blind hatred), I was giving Avatar the benefit of the doubt until the trailers hit. It looked like something I wouldn’t enjoy. What’s the big deal?

  • 7 12-11-2009 at 2:38 pm

    Kevin said...

    Because you seem determined to rain on everyone’s parade. Like everyone else being excited for it is insulting to you somehow. It’s one thing to just simply say you’re not interested in it, but the way you phrase your statements are really venomous and make you just look like a piss-face. Just say you aren’t interested and move on. There’s no need to tell us every time a post about Avatar pops up. We got it the first time. And it gets old when you do it in multiple threads about multiple movies. You did the same thing anytime a piece about The Lovely Bones popped up. In all honesty, I don’t even see the point of posting in a thread about a film you either don’t want to see or don’t like. Sounds like a waste of bandwidth, time, and energy if all you’re going to say is “I will not be seeing this film EVER”. Just my two cents.

  • 8 12-11-2009 at 3:18 pm

    If the best is in the trailer... uh-oh! said...

    The trailers I’m seeing on TV look really, really bad. There is nothing compelling about the story, the characters or the images. Nothing that looks clever or conceptual. If that is a true representation of the “best” parts of the film and it is smashed-faced blue characters jumping off a cliff and yelling “woo hoo” into an animated futuristic jungle, then count me out. I’m not impressed by rotoscoping. It’s been done a hundred times before. 3-D is also a gimmick that gets pulled out every time people stop going to the movies. Was “Coming at Ya” Oscar bait? No.

  • 9 12-11-2009 at 3:32 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    “You take what you know about a movie and decide whether you’ll probably like it or not.”

    I can only say that if I stuck to that rule throughout my life as a movie-goer, I will have robbed myself of so many wonderful surprises along the way.

  • 10 12-11-2009 at 3:41 pm

    Chris138 said...

    Owen Gleiberman at Entertainment Weekly gave it a B rating. Regardless, I don’t usually go by what he says, so I’m assuming it’s as good as you’re saying, Kris, and not him. But I’ll find that out for myself on the 18th.,,20326743,00.html

  • 11 12-11-2009 at 3:47 pm

    Chad Hartigan said...

    Kevin- I only wrote my initial comment on this board because a couple of comments at the beginning of the thread mentioned my opinion.

    Kris- Very true and surprises still do happen. I was positive I would hate Tarnation and it’s a sure bet for my top 50 of the decade.

  • 12 12-11-2009 at 5:11 pm

    Kevin said...

    All I’m saying is that Avatar seems like a movie you should at least give a shot before outright refusing to see it. If for nothing else, just to have a more informed opinion of the film.

  • 13 12-11-2009 at 5:19 pm

    Glenn said...

    If the best… do you even know what rotoscoping is?