500 WORDS: Avatar

I’m insufferable when I know I’m right, especially when I know you’re wrong, and I will spend considerable effort burying you in a barge-sized wet pile of trash talk. And that’s just over trivial stuff like whether Eli Manning will throw 30 touchdowns (he didn’t), or if Adam Corolla or Norm MacDonald play death on the Family Guy (trick question) and it definitely doesn’t have 3 billion dollars hinged in the balance (at most 50 bucks). So imagine what it’s like to be James Cameron right now.  The self proclaimed “King of the World” just won the biggest bet in film history. And he was soooooo right. Don’t think so? Just try being a movie studio and telling him no. What carrot are you gonna dangle? Money? Creative control? Final cut? Cameron has the money to buy
most of Sub-Saharan Africa.  The only thing keeping him from making a 4 hour billion dollar movie using 3-D motion capture brain synapse connecting virtual reality panoramic
cameras where he plays every part in a drama populated with purple oxen super humanoids that live on the middle of the Earth right now is some long lost relative of Hans Gruber
hijacking the set and seeking revenge on John McClane (inhale).
I have this fantasy that he has the all the box office receipts tucked up under his shirt so he can lift it up for the movie heads and say, “Now this is the situation.”  Avatar is good old-fashioned event cinema.  Movie-going-popcorn-consuming-bootleg-proof event cinema.  I haven’t gone back to see a movie since I was about 10 and I’m seriously thinking that I might be missing out if I don’t see Avatar again.  Oh you don’t like derogatory blue Thundercats, a predictable story and think Unobtainium is a terrible word for a hard to get to mythical super ore? Two
words for you: Mark Hamill. You won’t care. It’s still awesome. What Star Wars did for miniatures or Jurassic Park did for CGI, Avatar has done for motion capture and 3-D.
And from every summer for at least the next decade you won’t be able to shoot another Transformers or Risk: The Movie! without it.  It will be done well, it will be
done terribly, but it will be done all the time.

So see it. In the theater. In 3-D.  Not because it’s the next “Remains of the Day,” (imagine
Anthony Hopkins in 3-D), but because you are the Lewis Lapham reading elitist who didn’t see the Matrix in theaters because you think Keanu Reeves is a tool.  Do it for your children.  Don’t feel bad for the people who bet against James Cameron, it’s already too late for them.

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