*Note, there may be spoilers in here. If you're the kind of person who is going to this movie for the stellar plot, you should probably go elsewhere. Or get a clue.*
First of all, here is my prediction, or rather a weak hope. Avatar will be the last movie to get away with a really crappy script, but get critical acclaim anyway because of the CGI effects.
When I saw Coraline, I thought to myself that 3D had finally come into its own as a special effect. The way that Tim Burton used it, it became part of the picture, not the point of the picture. It was, for lack of a less banal word, artistic.
Then James Cameron came along and bludgeoned it to death.
I don't think I really expected anything else. After all, Titanic took awesome scale ship shit and beat it up until it was lying bloody on the basement floor gasping for life. And don't get me wrong, I am a sucker for visual awesomeness. The first half of Avatar was well worth the price of admission. It was beautiful and grandiose and cute. I loved the drops of water when he woke up from Cryo, and the fluorescent gay club vibe of Pandora after dark is like walking into your favorite segment of Fantasia. There were dragons, who doesn't love dragons? Also, and this is key, there was not much talking. There was random crap dialogue, but you could safely ignore it and get involved in the movie.
The exact line where the dialogue became unbearable is, as my viewing companion put it, where the alien sex happens. Alien sex ruins everything. Always. That's when the Blue Braveheart Revolution really gets going, and if I was writing this movie, everyone would have died and the Corporation would have gotten its "unobtainium" (what the fuck?), and a real moral lesson would have been taught.
Instead, the movie quickly goes the route of every indigenous versus civilization movie ever made, and blah blah blah heart is everything and if you're good you win and Mother Earth and all that crap. You know, they didn't really win children. They just beat off one part of a giant army that now is going to come to that planet and nuke them all. Or give them small pox. Or syphilis from all the alien sex.
Also, I am sick of the word Pandora. Can we just officially enter the modern usage as "decent internet radio station" and be done with it?
The best part of my movie going experience was finally going to the Capitol Theater on W. 65th, which apparently I'm supposed to call Gordon Square now. Theater 1 is huge. We were the first ones in there, and we spent twenty minutes discussing how the hell they change the lights on the chandelier. It wasn't a movie theater, it was a bonafide auditorium, and easily my favorite theater now, closely beating out the Shaker Square one that looks like you could rollerskate in front of the screen.