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Comments made by HerbLash


Every critic cannot be a Pauline Kael – but if criticism has a purpose, it is to write about film in an interesting way. There would seem to be a lot of interesting things to write about Avatar no matter your critical judgment. Reading this review was like being asked to walk a long way down the street while listening to Beth’s particular bounty of likes and dislikes. For me, too long a path that ultimately leads to an easy and predictable: “I didn’t like it.”

I think the review has provoked such a healthy comments section because it was a massive swing and miss – no matter how you felt about the film, the review failed as criticism. Erroneous (“With the exception of that early depth of field shot and maybe one or two more -- Cameron never uses the 3D in a visually innovative way.”), misguided and highly personal notions (“The creature designs are good but not particularly fantastical.”), unfounded snark ("Un-obtain-ium," get it), wacky syntax (“Technically the film impresses intermittently”) and vapid aesthetic pronouncements (“Avatar,” ultimately, is a film free from subtlety and complexity”) are pretty blunt instruments to choose when lining up against a pop and cinema culture juggernaut like “Avatar.”

No matter the critical verdict as to story, Avatar is undeniably a highlight along the continuum of cinema-technology breakthroughs, one that includes Star Wars, Jurassic Park, and the original Matrix. Beth probably does not have the luxury of writing about only movies she likes, but for this outing she brought a lone homemade spear to a gun fight. Cameron is tops in Budget and Box Office once again. While one matters and the other doesn’t in Beth’s critical judgment, I would be interested in her opinion as to why exactly it is that the “new school” James Cameron is, predictably, King of The World, again.

December 30, 2009 at 5:51 a.m. ( | suggest removal )