After 12 years, James Cameron Brings Us…Dances With Smurfs? Avatar Teaser and Pics!

21 Aug


UPDATED: Full-length AVATAR review HERE.

 Also check out: My review of the first 16 minutes of 3-D Avatar HERE.

August 20th, 2009–

When James Cameron’s Avatar is released on December 18th, 2009 it will mark, to the day, the anniversary of the director’s last movie, Titanic. Yea, you remember it–the one with the boat. When that predicted flop went on to be the biggest money maker of all time and sweep the year’s Oscars, Cameron was golden. And then, perhaps in an effort to stay golden, he never directed again….until now. 

However, unlike the reclusive Terrence Malick, Cameron has made sure to stay in the spotlight. Whether it was a much-talked about split from his wife Linda Hamilton, who collected a cool 50 million from the deal, or producing the box-office bomb Solaris, Cameron was keeping busy. He talked, talked, talked technology. He went back to the Titanic and made a movie for Imax called Ghosts of the Abyss. Enthralled by the IMAX process and his underwater ventures for GOTA, he made another called Aliens of the Deep, which unfortunately spent as much time listening to the long-winded director talk sci-fi theory as it did showing us exotic and unearthly sea creatures. And finally, and indeed most crazy, he announced in 2007 that he had found Christ; not in a religious enlightment way, but in a ‘hey, lets rock the world by saying we have the actual remains of the man who claimed he was the Son of God’ way. It was slated to be a big television event, and to hear Cameron tell it, a big historical event. Less than a week later, no one was saying anything and it was all but forgotten. I honestly don’t know if the program even aired.


During all of it, he kept muttering about 3-D and his long gestating project Avatar. I feel like I’ve been hearing about this movie for almost half my adult life, and I guess thats pretty close to true. Tomorrow night, in a bid to build excitement for the film, Fox and IMAX will screen 15 free minutes of the movie in the 3D format and with an intro from Cameron. I grabbed a pair of tickets for the 6:00 showing at Whitemarsh and I’m looking forward to checking it out with Jen and then catching The Time Traveler’s Wife afterwards. But today, we had our first official, world-wide peek at the film via the teaser trailer and I have to say…’s a little disappointing.   

So, here’s that trailer. I’ll be back tomorrow night with my review of the extended, 3-D footage and I’ll let you decide for yourself. What do you think? I still think alot of it looks great(and I’ll talk about that in depth later) but the story looks generic and well-worn in terms of narrative originality. The images are lush and detailed, but they still look like computer generated images and only slightly more expressive than the Star Wars prequels. In fact, that’s exactly the kind of vibe I’m getting from this movie. Hopefully, there’s more here than meets the eye. Right now, consider my expectations tempered.

And really, why does a highly anticipated uber-expensive sci-fi film look like a cross between Fern Gully and Dances with Wolves?

Check out some of the film’s sequences below and see the teaser HERE.  









4 Responses to “After 12 years, James Cameron Brings Us…Dances With Smurfs? Avatar Teaser and Pics!”

  1. Harry November 12, 2009 at 6:52 am #

    You must be quite honoured that South Park used your alternate name suggestion for Avatar as the title of one of their episodes. Kudos.

    • Bartleby November 12, 2009 at 7:37 am #

      wait. what happened?

  2. funkel November 12, 2009 at 6:07 pm #
    Great episode… sounds like they got the whole idea from your review!!!

  3. chas November 12, 2009 at 9:58 pm #
    I think you deserve some royalties.

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