we love sandra and amy but we’re gonna see avatar again!

Es­ti­mated reading time is 4 min­utes.

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!


Avatar Again: cover of Anne McCaffrey's THE DRAGONRIDERS OF PERN book.

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.


Avatar Again: poster for the movie LEAP YEAR with Amy Adams and Matthew Goode (2010).

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

Avatar Again: photo of Neytiri teaching Jake Sully how to use the Na'vi bow from AVATAR (2009).

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. 



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