WHEN WE SAW “AVATAR” AGAIN in 2010, tickets were $9. As a kid, my mother gave my brother and me a quarter each and dropped us off at the theater to spend all day at the Saturday matinees. The quarter covered the 15¢ admission and left us enough to buy two boxes of candy each!
A few years later, I could take a girl on a date that included going to the movies and afterward, hitting a bar where each of us had a couple of drinks. The cost for the two of us was around $10 and that included gas for the car and a tip for the bartender! With those memories, I did not willingly spend $9 on many movies in my middle age.
We we love Sandra Bullock and Amy Adams but we’re gonna see Avatar again!
For Christmas 2008, a friend had given my wife and me four tickets to the local Regal Cinema complex. The brouhaha about Avatar had been rather feverish from those people we knew whose opinion mattered, so it was first on our short-list of films to see with our free tickets. That list also included Blind Side (we both love Sandra Bullock) and Leap Year (we both love Amy Adams).
After we left the theater after seeing Avatar, I said to Berni, “Honey, let’s see Avatar again next weekend.”
“But don’t you want to see something different?” she responded.
And I told her that it was possible that Avatar was going to be the King Kong of the 21st century and asked, “Wouldn’t you have seen that movie twice in 1933?”
So it was that in January 2020, we spent back-to-back weekends with Jakesoollee and Neytiri and Grace and that bastard Colonel Quaritch by seeing Avatar again!
The Dragonriders of Pern is a special edition published by Nelson Doubleday for the Science Fiction Book Club. It collects the first three novels of the series: Dragonflight, Dragonquest, and The White Dragon. Once you have read these, you will know exactly where James Cameron found his inspiration for the Ba’vi and their rapport with the ikran when you see Avatar again.
Bearded fishermen who get seasick
The above was written in response to “Just A Quick Reminder That ‘Avatar’ Is A Masterpiece” by John DeVore. Subtitled “The sequels are going to be huge hits and everyone knows it,” the piece opens with these paragraphs:
“James Cameron’s long-awaited sequel to his groundbreaking mega-hit Avatar finally has a release date and a title. On December 16th, Avatar: The Way of Water opens in North America, reintroducing audiences to Cameron’s visionary sci-fi opera, with three more sequels promised.
The news was greeted with jeers from the kinds of online critics who look like bearded fishermen who get seasick. But what they were really mocking is Avatar, which is still the highest-grossing movie of all time, with a cumulative haul of almost three billion dollars.
Avatar has been regularly pooh-poohed since it came out in 2009. The movie has become a punchline that unites haughty cinephiles and militant fans of corporate blockbusters who all agree the box office smash is terminally uncool. The internet loves to dunk on Avatar but I think it’s a masterpiece.”
I have been a reader and fan of John’s movie reviews for several years, usually agreeing with him, occasionally wondering how the hell he arrived at that opinion. What got me about this review of Avatar is that I agree with him that Avatar is a masterpiece but also just how unhip I remain after all these years! I didn’t know that the internet loves to dunk on Avatar.
I’m also not certain if “online critics who look like bearded fishermen who get seasick.” refers to a specific group of male critics or type of critic, but I envisioned a bunch of rail-thin, pasty-skinned white boys with “ironic beards” ranting and raving on movie forum websites.
So, of course, I look forward to the sequel and will be in line at the box office during its first few weeks at the local theater. Until then, if you really enjoyed the scenes devoted to the relationship between the Na’vi riders and their ikran, I recommend that you find (at least) the first three novels in Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern series: Dragonflight, Dragonquest, and The White Dragon.
Anna follows Jeremy to Ireland to propose to him on a Leap Year and there she hires Declan to get her to her beau and, well, you can kinda guess what happens.
We saw Avatar again!
Just as King Kong was a technical and financial success in the ’30s, few films followed in its footsteps. Mostly due to the expense of the stop-motion animation but also because the market wasn’t there for the type of movie that benefited from that animation process. They came later.
Similarly, while Avatar was a huge success, only a few films followed with anything resembling the animation technique that Cameron used. For the most part, these films were not successful, technically or financially.
Finally, we saw The Blind Side and Leap Year and loved them both. While the former received the bulk of the media and critical attention, we enjoyed the tale of finding love in Ireland as the more enjoyable of the two.We we love Sandra Bullock and Amy Adams but we’re gonna see AVATAR again—twice in one week! Click To Tweet
FEATURED IMAGE: The photo at the top of this page is a scene from Avatar in which Neytiri (Zoe Saldana) teaches Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) how to use the Na’vi bow.