Avatar ****

February 12, 2010 by James Berardinelli - Reelviews
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Avatar has been described as a “game-changer,” and perhaps it is. I’ll leave that for future historians to determine. What I can say with some assuredness is this is the most technically amazing motion picture to have arrived on screens in many years – perhaps since Peter Jackson’s The Return of the King. It’s also among the most anticipated openings of the decade. Expectations can be a double-edged sword; ask George Lucas. But when a filmmaker meets or exceeds them, the results are tremendous, and that’s the case with Avatar. James Cameron has a lot riding on this film, his long-delayed follow-up to Titanic (which came out an even dozen years ago), the all-time box office champion in unadjusted dollars. Under “normal” circumstances, at stake would have been only Cameron’s reputation and future autonomy with astronomical budgets. But Cameron has hitched his wagon to 3D and declared this to be the wave of the future. Watching Avatar, I can almost believe it. If every filmmaker could do with 3D what Cameron achieves, I’d gladly wear the uncomfortable glasses to every screening.

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