I admit it: I have been thinking about Avatar over the past couple of days.
And I looked over this article by Dana Goodyear in the New Yorker about James Cameron, which I somehow missed when it first came out in October.
I do feel slightly (ever so slightly) bad trashing Avatar after reading it. Not out of any sympathy for James Cameron (goodness no -- he sounds unbearable!) but because of the people that Cameron hired. He really did assemble some of the most brilliant minds in computer generated imagery -- and for many of them, Avatar is their life's work. Their masterpiece.
Credit where credit is due: It is a fine looking picture. I feel slightly guilty not acknowledging the great education, the great patience, the great artistry that these technicians gave to the film.
But considering the fact that these technicians poured such genius into their work, it almost makes me madder that the final product (as a story, as an allegory, as a romance, as a piece of art) is so shoddy and pathetic.
Avatar really is an awful movie. (David Denby adds his name to the wall of shame in not ripping this movie a new one.) I'm sticking by that assessment -- flashes of technical brilliance or not.