Avatar's re-release went surprisingly well

Originally published at: Avatar's re-release went surprisingly well | Boing Boing

Two rides, if you count the slow boat ride that has a singular (but impressive) full-sized Na’vi shaman animatronic.


I think Cameron is on a fool’s errand if he still thinks he can make his Avatar franchise into an enduring cultural phenomenon on par with Star Wars but he certainly is very good at getting audiences to buy movie tickets.


I’ve always been a little bewildered by the significant gulf between Avatar’s undeniable profitability and its near-total lack of cultural impact, even in the fan community.

A good sci-fi or fantasy world sticks with you, fires up your imagination. You believe that there’s depth to the world-building and the movie leaves you hungry to know more. I’m not sure how Avatar pulls off the trick of being wildly popular, very pretty, and genuinely entertaining while you’re watching it, but just sort of… disappears out of your head the moment you walk out of the theater door.



I tried to watch it on our TV and just couldn’t do it. Maybe if I spent a few thousand more on a bigger screen and sound. And like others have said, the story just isn’t that compelling.

$30 million for a 30-year-old movie is pretty darn good.

13-year-old movie. 2009 just feels like 30 years ago when you adjust for time-inflation.


Well, the past two years were each five years long, and I’m pretty sure the years between 2016 and 2020 were each at least two years long, so that gets us pretty close to 30 years since 2009. (Shaking fist at the sky) TIME INFLATION!


It may come down to simply explaining too much. Star Wars, Star Trek, Lord of the Rings, and other enduring sci-fi or fantasy franchises tend to have a lot of intriguing background stuff or unexplored character backstory that goes uncommented upon but fires the imagination. Entire books have been written about the random puppets in the Mos Eisley cantina (probably twice, now that the Star Wars canon’s been rebooted) or the history of Middle Earth, or Klingon culture. Avatar, as best I remember it, just lays everything out and leaves a world that feels intriguing in the moment, but too shallow, generic and hollow to give you anything to think about once the plot’s been resolved.


There was a Cirque de Soleil show a while ago, but I guess it mostly went unnoticed.

I saw Titanic. That’s when I stopped being even mildly interested in anything James Cameron put on film.

Mrs Doctor Duck really liked Avatar, so we went to the reboot in 3D on Monday at 7pm. We were (truly) the only people in the theater. As lame as the story is, the movie itself is a tour-de-force of CGI and live-animated composition. Very enjoyable for that alone, and likewise easily erased on leaving the theater – you don’t have to care what it was about.

I wonder if people thought “oh yeah, I forgot it was crap”.

Oh. !

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time bandits GIF by Nick


Fortunately, I haven’t seen Titanic, so it didn’t ruin Terminator, Terminator 2, Aliens, The Abyss, or True Lies for me.

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No offense intended to the trufans of “Avatar” but I saw it during its original release and as a Sci-Fi flick it sucked.

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