You'll have to be particularly fixated on turkey this weekend to miss the ongoing publicity blitz leading up to "Avatar"'s Dec. 18 release. The CGI-stuffed sci-fi epic is the first feature film in 10 years from director James Cameron, who has yet again set records with "Avatar"'s reported $500 million budget (Cameron's 1991 "Terminator 2" was the first to break the $100 million budget ceiling, while 1997's Titanic was the first to exceed $200 million). But as more trailers and teaser footage appear online, sci-fi fans are responding with worried reactions. Is it possible Cameron has created his first major flop? (Watch James Cameron defend 3D movies on this week's "60 Minutes")
All signs point to "suck": There is nothing "more dangerous" than a "director pursuing his dream project,” warns Richard Rushfield at Gawker.com. And "Avatar" seems to contain all the makings of a “classic catastrophe” — a “laughable” plotline, “ham-handed” performances, and “distressingly Jar Jar Binks-like aliens” throughout. Maybe it will “look better in 3D,” but be prepared for “the worst movie you have ever felt obliged to see.”
The mounting evidence that Avatar will suck: part 1
Never underestimate James Cameron: When has Cameron ever made a bad movie? asks Madison at Unreality Magazine. Sure, "True Lies" was no masterpiece, and "Titanic" is “overrated.” Those films, however, “are not science fiction.” And science fiction “is what James Cameron does best.” This is the director that brought us "Terminator," "Aliens," and "The Abyss." A distaste for “vapid big-budget movies” is understandable, but "Avatar" a flop? “Impossible.”
Some People Really Think Avatar Is Going To Suck?
It’s too soon to tell: With Fox keeping the film under such tight wraps, the outlook for "Avatar" seems "ominous", says Ben Kenigsberg in Time Out Chicago. But Cameron has proved his critics wrong before. “Advance buzz suggested that 'Titanic' would be a disaster,” and that earned $1.8 billon – more than any other film to date. Considering that, there’s good reason to be “guardedly optimistic.”
Avatar will screen after some voting groups' deadlines
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Russia's giant spy ship was a high-tech disaster waiting to happen
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- America created the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria? Meet the ISIS 'truthers'
- How American businessmen are ruining American business — and the U.S. economy
- The Obama era is over. The presidency continues.
- 10 things you need to know today: September 2, 2014
- On ISIS, neocons and liberal hawks have a 'boy who cried wolf' problem
- 11 scientific studies that will restore your faith in humanity
- The 10 best networking tips for people who hate networking
- Fall movie guide: All the films you should see in September
Subscribe to the Week