Thanks to eagle-eyed reader Diane for spotting this excellent Vanity Fair psychoanalysis diagnosing many people’s neurotic reaction to yesterday’s Avatar teaser:
In the day or so since the release of a teaser trailer for Avatar, filmmaker James Cameron‚Äôs first non-documentary motion picture since his Oscar-winning Titanic was released in 1997, the media and the blogosphere‚Äôs reaction to the clip has been decidedly and justifiably mixed. Strangely, the problem with the clip is story‚Äîsomething that has always been Cameron‚Äôs strong suit…
The visuals in Aliens and Titanic were spectacular, but what I remember and love from those movies are, respectively, Ripley‚Äôs fierce motherly love for child survivor Newt, and Jack‚Äôs love affair with Rose aboard the ill-fated cruise liner. The problem with the Avatar trailer is that it‚Äôs heavy on the visual pyrotechnics that will attract the science-fiction and video-game geeks, but sadly lacking in providing the typical filmgoer‚Äîthe ones who packed theaters week after week to see Titanic multiple times‚Äîwith some reason to invest in the movie‚Äôs characters. I‚Äôm hoping that Cameron delivers more of that latter element to filmgoers who are going to see the extended 15-minute excerpt of Avatar that is playing in theaters today‚ÄîI didn‚Äôt score a ticket, but I invite anyone who does see it to weigh in in the comments section below.
The cavalier absence of any dialogue, character or plot details is something that many of you fine readers have already pinpointed as problematic in the flood of comments yesterday. I’ll extend the same invitation here that Frank DiGiacomo offers in VF, to anyone lucky enough to attend Avatar Indoctrination Day. When you return to earth with a re-educated attitude, you’ll be greeted here like Moses coming down from Mount Sinai.