Once again, as he did in Titanic, director James Cameron has sacrificed original storytelling and characterization for thrills and special effects in the new movie Avatar. Here are some quotes from the reviews:

I've complained that many recent films abandon story telling in their third acts and go for wall-to-wall action. Cameron essentially does that here... - Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

Perhaps the most surprising thing about Cameron's visual accomplishments is that they are so powerful we're barely troubled by the same weakness for flat dialogue and obvious characterization that put such a dent in Titanic. - Calendarlive

The story is really nothing you haven’t seen before (a man trapped behind enemy lines goes native), some of the dialogue is clunky, and not all the characters are fully written. This is more a showcase for new technology than it is an attempt to push storytelling. - Premiere Magazine

Some people could accuse these reviewers of just missing the point of Avatar or picking on the movie because of its controversial director or all the other lines that Avatar-defenders throw out to any critics of the movie. What makes these quotes unique is that they can be found in the most positive reviews of Avatar. All three gave the movie an absolutely 100% perfect score. So if even the most ardent supporters of the movie didn't care for the storytelling, what does that mean for the rest of us?

What do you think of Avatar? Let us know in the comments
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r4 dsi said...

Hello all,
Cameron shows us that in a sci-fi world, creative dimensions are what you devise and, with his skilled and sensual avatars, he has made something to thrill and captivate us--whether audience receipts top a billion dollars or not.

Mauricem said...

@r4 dsi it's true that the measure of a film is not necessarily box office receipts.
I'm going to be posting a review of Avatar later so I won't comment on this post till later.

Anonymous said...

nice post. thanks.

Sci-Fi Gene said...

You asked a really good question. I would answer in two parts: firstly, yes Avatar is unoriginal (or at least made up from lots of easily recognizable influences) and in places simplistic or badly written, but the writing could have been worse. I've seen worse. Much worse.

Secondly, there's a strongly held view in cinema that you can't have a good film without a good script - but do you know, if everything else in the film comes together then perhaps you can. After all, once upon a time there was no dialogue at all in films and some of those films did OK.


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