TRAILER: Avatar.


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In case you haven’t already, watch the trailer for Avatar HERE.

In the world of internet movie news, talking about the Avatar trailer is an ancient topic, but I’m insanely backed up in the headquarters here, so I’m just getting around to it. There is an advantage to have waited out the small controversy this long – having had time to observe the reaction as well as the trailer, it’s easier to give a more measured verdict:

It looks cool! Bottom line. Coolness resides here. I’m looking forward to it.

James Cameron’s first movie in twelve years and his first science fiction movie since Terminator 2, Avatar is the story of humanity’s relation to an alien civilization on a distant planet. It’s intensely CGI-heavy and as such, has come under incredible scrutiny for the effects, particularly the design of the blue alien cat-people. I have to agree that the aliens look a little bit suspect, but I definitely think that the muted excitement over Avatar amongst its target population is pretty sad.

It’s a new James Cameron movie! Personally I don’t feel the need to revisit True Lies or Titanic again, but just about everything before then is golden. I trust in Cameron – few directors are better equipped to deliver technical innovation, spectacle, and bombast alongside smart, classical writing and characters you can root for and believe in.

It’s unfortunate that with the way things are today, with the current state of things on the internet and among movie fans in particular, it’s easy to fall into a pattern of over-analyzing and over-thinking the coming attractions we’re given – watching and rewatching and freeze-framing and shit-talking until any interest in the actual movie has dried up long before the movie itself actually arrives. Even those that try to sit out can’t help but absorb the conversation. I think this can really damage the initial viewing of a movie, for example it happened with Inglorious Basterds, where over-informed enthusiasts like myself already know key character names and plot points by the time the opening credits kick in. I know full well how it goes: You’re ravenous for information about an incoming movie, and nowadays that’s so much easier to obtain. The problem is that having such foreknowledge can’t help but breed apathy, even cynicism.

So I’m going to do my best to stay enthusiastic about Avatar. So far, that’s working for me.

One last thing to say about why people are hating on the trailer: it popped up on the internet first. Having seen the trailer for the first time on the big screen, however (in front of Inglourious Basterds, coincidentally), my take on it is a little different. With the eyesight-filling widescreen landscape and the theatrical sound design, with its classy lack of “In a world” narration and its minimal dialogue, the trailer works on the big screen the way it was intended. On a tiny laptop screen, off a second or third generation transfer on YouTube, the trailer can’t help but underwhelm. If you haven’t seen it on the big screen, please do that before you get to pre-judging. It looks cool as hell in the theaters.

Coolness resides; I eagerly await.



TRAILER: Avatar.


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