‘Avatar’ has us blue in the face

Dec. 18, 2009 | 6:08 p.m.


Welcome to Pandora…

James Cameron’s “Avatar,” after a decade as an elusive dream (or, perhaps, a cinematic equivalent to the Flying Dutchman) is officially here. The film appears to be poised for a $200-million weekend and the reviews are positive — and now the film even has a bit of a political firefight going (look at the comments here at the Hero Complex after a Drudge Report link on Thursday).

Here at the Complex it’s been quite a month as we counted down to the film with 30 days of coverage that left us, well, blue in the face, just like a lot of the world’s moviegoers will be this weekend. “Avatar” has been billed as a landmark moment in cinema, and by many accounts (including one glowing review by a famous Cameron nemesis in Hollywood) it lives up to the billing. Time will be the true test of the film and its legacy, but right here, right now, the world is turning its eyes to a truly ambitious sci-fi epic and saying, “I see you…” Here’s a look back at our coverage of “Avatar,” which we covered with more intensity, access and insight than anybody, anywhere.

Avatar gun

James Cameron on ‘Avatar’: Like ‘Matrix,’ it opens doorways

Sam Worthington looks for ‘Avatar’s’ humanity: ‘I don’t want to be a cartoon’

Sigourney Weaver, queen of sci-fi: ‘Outer space has been good to me’

‘Avatar’ star Zoe Saldana says movie will match the hype: ‘This is big’

Avatar scene

REVIEW: ‘Avatar’ restores a sense of wonder to moviegoing

Is ‘Avatar’ just ‘Dances With Wolves’ in space?

King of the jungle? Early ‘Avatar’ reviews are strong

CCH Pounder on motion-capture ordeal: I felt like a walking EKG monitor 

Avatar bow and arrow

‘Avatar’ premiere in Hollywood: Roll out the blue carpet

‘Titanic’ composer searches for the sound of Pandora

Meet the USC professor who created an entire language for Avatar

Oscar-winning composer James Horner on Jim Cameron, ‘Avatar,’ and Michael Bay

James Cameron and Sam Worthington on Avatar

James Cameron vs. Robert Zemeckis? The inside scoop

Rick Carter: ‘We were in new territory … there was no road’

Welcome to the jungle: Mixed reaction to ‘Avatar’ trailer

Michelle Rodriguez says ‘Avatar’ was like making ‘Star Wars’

VIDEO: Jon Landau on wild budget reports: ‘They’re all false’


‘Avatar’ and the lessons learned

Jim Cameron, cinema prophet? ‘Moving a mountain is nothing’

Giovanni Ribisi pretty much loves Jim Cameron

Cameron biographer: Director is rare split — artist and scientist

Casting guru Margery Simkin: Sam Worthington makes girls ‘weak in the knees’


The hype machine for ‘Avatar’ started early

VIDEO: ‘Avatar’ interviews with Sigourney Weaver and Jon Landau

‘Avatar’ game looks for its own path through the jungle 

‘Avatar’ designer on banshees and (yikes) ‘Delgo’ comparisons

‘Avatar’ stars meet the fans through MTV


James Cameron brings ‘Avatar’ to Comic-Con

James Cameron and Peter Jackson — the real stars of Comic-Con

‘Avatar,’ ‘Gamer’ and ‘Surrogates’ as second-life cinema

VIDEO: The making of an ‘Avatar’ scene

Avatar line

‘Avatar’ fearless predictions

Mattel turns up the tech for ‘Avatar’ toys

REVIEW: ‘Avatar’ video game is an alien epic in its own right


17 Responses to ‘Avatar’ has us blue in the face

  1. Alex Poe says:

    Yeah, that pretty much proves it: this page is little more than an outlet for press releases and studio propaganda. I doubt this vehicle is any better than the usual claptrap you guys push and hype until you're breathless and beryl of visage.

  2. Finally variety returns to Hero Complex. Haven't caught Avatar yet but likely will Christmas weekend. Your coverage was over-the-top. I was having to get some of my nerd fix elsewhere.

  3. Ally says:

    What could be worse than reading this "coverage"?

  4. KC says:

    Wow Alex Poe. Beryle… Haha.

  5. Have you guys check out the parodies people made of the movie: http://tinyurl.com/ye6ktgs

  6. Steve Real says:

    I saw Avatar yesterday and I can't help to notice the rascists aspects to the movie, especially in the language and music. It reminded me of the Heart of Darkness were the "White man" brings civilization to the "Black Africans" and you can hear this in Africaner style in the music and lanquage. It's a rascist movie no doubt about it, but I liked it anyways. The "White man" reigned superior to the "Black man" in the end. Check it out and tell me if I'm wrong…

  7. Christopher says:

    And as for it being racist. Well, you saw it so that's what you took out of it. But really, the aliens were about a good of people as you could find. "Black" Tribal music probably suited them best. And if you notice, the "white" people were for the most part greedy bastards. The "white" man didn't reign superior to the "black" man in the end, he joined them. It didn't degrade the aliens in anyway.

  8. Steve Real says:

    This is a classic scenario you've seen in Hollywood epics from Dances With Wolves, Dune, District 9 and The Last Samurai, where a white guy manages to get himself accepted into a closed society of people of color and eventually becomes its most awesome member.
    If we think of Avatar and its ilk as white fantasies about race, what kinds of patterns do we see emerging in these fantasies?
    A white man who was one of the oppressors switches sides at the last minute, assimilating into the alien culture and becoming its savior.
    These are movies about white guilt. Our main white characters realize that they are complicit in a system which is destroying aliens, AKA people of color – their cultures, their habitats, and their populations.
    The whites realize this when they begin to assimilate into the "alien" cultures and see things from a new perspective. To purge their overwhelming sense of guilt, they switch sides, become "race traitors," and fight against their old comrades. But then they go beyond assimilation and become leaders of the people they once oppressed.
    This is the essence of the white guilt fantasy, laid bare. It's not just a wish to be absolved of the crimes whites have committed against people of color; it's not just a wish to join the side of moral justice in battle. It's a wish to lead people of color from the inside rather than from the (oppressive, white) outside.

  9. Yorf Rend says:

    This movie is awesome. The visuals are superb and the plot is actually very entertaining. Every thing about the movie is great. The only way that you can find fault with this movie is if you are an over thinker. The way to spot someone who is over thinking a movie such as this is to read their comment and look for words like racism, white, color, and morals, and then thoroughly disregard whatever it is that they said.

  10. Arunabh Das says:

    I noticed many borrowed ideas from "Stranger in a Strangeland" by Robert Heinlein such as "grok" (I see you). – Arunabh Das

  11. Mido says:

    i saw it and im like :O this is one of the best movies ever i loved the soundtracks and the whole thing , they are so great in making this movie touch your heart

  12. Nira says:

    This movie is by far one of the best that I have seen in years. There may be stereotypes and predictability, but America is a society where everyone wants originality and can find the faults in everything.
    I love how this movie portrays the human race as we really tend to be- greedy, concerned mostly with ourselves. Even the scientists, who wanted to 'protect' the Na'vi, were still rather greedy, wanting to get in and learn everything about them on their own terms, while the main character talked his way, then was pushed into the society. Even as he learned about them, he seemed to take it all in as some sort of massive game, and still betrayed the group.
    The Na'vi people have, as someone most accurately put it, 'built-in USB cables' that keep them more in-tune with nature than our society ever could be. It takes the spiritual side of life and makes it completely tangible. They can connect with living creatures in one of the most intimate ways imaginable by the human race, and it's something that most humankind longs for, even if subconsciously.
    I know that this movie isn't the most original, but it is an original place, using people and creatures and places that do not exist in our world, at least to our knowledge, and a story that we all know. It includes what some may refer to as 'primitive' music, which adds a wonderful tone to it. This kind of music has a deep spiritual connection behind it, which perfectly portrays the kind of people that the Na'vi are.
    I think that this is an amazing movie, and though it is not in any way original (the environment is based on things in our own oceans) I feel that this film deserves the best praise imaginable. The design was amazing, the story was touching, and it showed aspects of a different culture not so unlike our own in its early years.

  13. AMR says:

    This movie was the best I have ever seen!!. Wen it comes out on DVD, I will buy it. Personally, it kind of reminds me of that movie – 'Dances with wolves' anyone remembers that? well, it's like that, the 'white man' falls in love with the culture, & in turn falls in love with one of the most beautiful good looking ladies there, & the guy joins in to help the people win their land (&/or culture) back etc.
    Sounds familiar?. Well, I like the movie a lot, I don't care if anyone else says anything negative about it.
    This movie is definite a MUST SEE movie!!. :)

  14. news paper says:

    nice film

  15. […] on Pandora in the meantime, see this story with Dawn C. Chmielewski on the theme park plans, or look back at some of our “Avatar” coverage from the […]

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