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Tim Wilson
Re: Avatar
on Dec 23, 2009 at 7:11:13 pm

I just happened to have made some notes for my wife and I. We're major pop-culture nerds, especially around movies and TV - charter subscribers to Entertainment Weekly and Premiere, I read Variety and The Hollywood Reporter every day, etc. She and I also used to review this stuff for a living. So I like tracking what my (former) peeps are up to.

These are of course people who got paid to see the movie...and one reason why reviews tend to sound a little wearier than your own views is that they have to see EVERYTHING. You as a "civilian" might see one or two movies a month that you really want to see - I can tell you from experience that seeing 20+ movies a month, 18 of which you'd never see under any other circumstance, is a soul-sucking experience. I'm amazed that ANY movie gets positive reviews, just because reviewers are so beat down.

As a result, it's popular to piss on reviewers as clueless, or out of touch or whatever. Although any individuals maybe they are, as a body, nobody gets more enthusiastic about movies they like....which is why their yea-saying can sound more out of touch than their nay-saying.

Factor that in however you'd like, but they're by and large going NUTS over Avatar: 94% positive at Rotten Tomatoes, and "Universal Acclaim" at Metacritic, where Avatar is the highest-rated movie of the year.

Anyway, I've copied some blurbs from people I trust:

+++

Avatar is dizzying, enveloping, vertiginous ... I ran out of adjectives an hour into its 161 minutes. New York Magazine

Avatar is an entertainment to be not just seen but absorbed on a molecular level; it’s as close to a full-body experience as we’ll get until they invent the holo-suits. Cameron aims for sheer wonderment, and he delivers. Boston Globe

I had the feeling coming out of this movie that I haven’t felt since maybe I was eleven years old in 1977 and I saw Star Wars for the first time. - At the Movies/New York Times

The film vibrates with the excitement of discovery and awe. Not just for the sight of six-legged rhinos and butterfly-hued dragons, but for the thousands of hours of work that unite here in a creative epiphany. - Minneapolis Star-Tribune

Avatar's shock and awe demand to be seen. You've never experienced anything like it, and neither has anyone else. LA Times

Twelve years after his triumph with Titanic, Cameron has successfully made a digital blockbuster feel as warm as an old-time movie, where blood temperature was more important than pixels. Toronto Sun

James Cameron's long-awaited sci-fi epic is every bit as wondrous and imaginative as promised. Prepare to be amazed. - Hollywood.com

A quantum leap in movie magic. Watching it, I began to understand how people in 1933 must have felt when they saw King Kong. Chicago Reader

"Avatar" is all-enveloping and transporting, with Cameron & Co.'s years of R&D paying off with a film that, as his work has done before, raises the technical bar and throws down a challenge for the many other filmmakers toiling in the sci-fi/fantasy realm. - Variety

It extends the possibilities of what movies can do. Cameron's talent may just be as big as his dreams.- Rolling Stone

Avatar is thrilling, exciting and, best of all, something new that your eyeballs didn't even know they very much wanted to see. New York Observer

James Cameron's Avatar is the most beautiful film I’ve seen in years.- New Yorker

There are visionary filmmakers - and then there's James Cameron, who pushes the envelope of what is possible on the screen every time he makes a film. He doesn't do it nearly often enough. Hollywood & Fine

An astonishing, breathtaking masterpiece. Cameron did it! It will easily surpass Titanic's box office. I think Cameron created a few new colors.- Films in Review

Be prepared to see it multiple times on the biggest screen you can find. - Film Journal

The movie is gorgeous, funny, fun, and engrossing in a way that a lot of movies aim for but few achieve.- Premiere

Mr. Cameron's singular vision has upped the ante for filmed entertainment, and given us a travelogue unlike any other. Wall St. Journal

...a stunning masterpiece. Filmcritic.com

Avatar is James Cameron doing what he does best – blowing things up with awesome special effects, while tying the set pieces together with a story worth telling. The king of the (sci-fi) world is back. Long live the king! Sky Movies

The best picture of 2009, one of the best films of the decade and, really, one of the best movies I've ever seen. Montreal Film Journal


A fully believable, flesh-and-blood (albeit not human flesh and blood) romance is the beating heart of "Avatar." Cameron has never made a movie just to show off visual pyrotechnics: Every bit of technology in "Avatar" serves the greater purpose of a deeply felt love story. - Hollywood Reporter

This is, simply put, one of the most beautiful movies you’ll ever see. Premiere

Embrace the movie -- surely the most vivid and persuasive creation of a fantasy world ever seen in the history of moving pictures -- as a total sensory, sensuous, sensual experience. Time


+++

And reviewers are supposed to be cynical! Again, as a body, nowhere near the case. And, as I mentioned, when they're enthusiastic, they're more enthusiastic than average, just because they see so few movies that actually engage them.

From what he told me, I think that Ron's experience could roughly be summarized as "all of the above." Anybody else?

tw



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Current Message Thread:
  • Avatar by Mike Cohen on Aug 20, 2009 at 10:57:53 pm
    • Re: Avatar by Chris Poisson on Aug 21, 2009 at 1:53:48 pm
      • Re: Avatar by Tim Wilson on Aug 22, 2009 at 1:26:44 pm
        • Re: Avatar by Tim Wilson on Aug 22, 2009 at 2:10:45 pm
        • Re: Avatar by David Roth Weiss on Aug 22, 2009 at 3:35:14 pm
          • Re: Avatar by Tim Wilson on Aug 22, 2009 at 8:07:06 pm
            • Avatar by Paul Thurston on Aug 22, 2009 at 11:41:58 pm
              • Re: Avatar by Scott Cumbo on Aug 24, 2009 at 10:58:22 pm
                • Re: Avatar by Tim Wilson on Aug 25, 2009 at 1:13:19 am
                  • Re: Avatar by Stephen Smith on Dec 23, 2009 at 5:57:49 pm
                    • Re: Avatar by Tim Wilson on Dec 23, 2009 at 7:11:13 pm
                      • Re: Avatar by Ron Lindeboom on Dec 23, 2009 at 7:51:15 pm
                        • Re: Avatar by Tim Wilson on Dec 24, 2009 at 3:40:38 am
                          • Re: Avatar by Mike Cohen on Dec 27, 2009 at 10:14:50 pm
                            • Re: Avatar by David Roth Weiss on Dec 27, 2009 at 11:08:25 pm
                            • Re: Avatar by Dwelb Fwibben on Dec 28, 2009 at 12:08:11 am
                              • Re: Avatar by Stephen Smith on Feb 1, 2010 at 8:03:51 pm
                                • Re: Avatar by David Roth Weiss on Feb 1, 2010 at 8:11:23 pm





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