A word or two on the subject of More Avatar

No, wait! I have 9 more minutes!!

I owe my fellow movie reviewers, enthusiasts and chaps over at The Movie Blog a hearty thanks for stirring, as I wrote in a comment over there, the inner postal worker in me this morning.  They broke the news, at least for me, about Cameron’s plan to re-release Avatar in theaters this August with 9 additional minutes of footage.  Please drop by TMB page and read my initial thoughts on this epiphany of epic Hollywood-ness.  I can’t help but further my response here, for you, my loyal and dedicated movie enthusiast because, well, I must. If I don’t write I cease to be.  Tis’ better to write the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune than to launch them at the proverbial dunderheads of the entertainment business for said aggression would result in the demise of Above the Line and no one wants that. Mostly.

The original release of Avatar was 160 minutes.  That’s two hours and forty minutes.  Two hours and forty minutes.  I don’t know about you, but I have difficulty enough when most movies reach the two-hour mark because very often that equates to a sloppy second act that moves like a one-legged man in a snow storm, uphill.  I’ve already mentioned that I liked Avatar, I enjoyed the big-screen escapism because unlike many, many action thriller flicks, Avatar developed characters first and followed with CG chicanery.  But adding 9 additional minutes to an already unnecessarily long movie is too close to torture-porn for its own good.  I heard about the alleged sex scene between Jake and Neytiri, which as I figured was left out to avoid offending the sensibilities of a PG13 audience, or so defined by the generally out-of-touch, aging, dysfunctional elite members of the MPAA.  If you haven’t seen Kirby Dick’s documentary This Film Has Not Been Rated – What are you waiting for? It’s fantastic.

So we arrive at the  inevitable crossroads of fact and opinion, of personal gut-thinking and real-world movie-dom, and obviously the winning decision will be based on audience reaction.  If people flock to the theater, again, you can bet your gargantuan soda pop and colossal tub of popcorn that the precedent will be made for films to come.  Remember, Hollywood is a big old green garden mulcher and whatever you stick in is going to come out the other side compost in the shape of dollar signs and if you embrace it, it will come. Audiences shape the movies they are served much more than anyone knows – a hushed fact the Hollywood people would be better off telling us so they know when NOT to make a 3D dance flick or churn out so many fantasy/sci-fi flicks one after the other that we get desensitized to ever wanting to watch another – at least for 2 or 3 years.

In the end we’ll get our Avatar pie with the all-too familiar meringue and graham cracker crust, we’ll take a bite and ask ourselves, ‘is that a ten-dollar slice of key-lime pie?’;  by the time we get to the tin-pan it’ll be too late to avoid the bill unless of course we skip the diner all together.

About rorydean

Rory Dean is a multi-medium artist, writer and new media strategist with a background as a creative consultant and technology liaison in the San Francisco Bay Area. His broad experiences and specialties include print-to-web publicity, promotions and design marketing using traditional and social media networks. As a motion pictures and television professional, his short films, productions and commercials have screened to domestic and international audiences. His connections to a diverse client base include artists, entertainers, corporations, non-profits and everyday people.. Dean is co-owner and founder of Dissave Pictures, a boutique production company focusing on audio, video, photography and multi-media designs. Dean's personal and professional background includes dreaming and avid notebook journaling, creative and copy writing, promotions and marketing, audio/video production, photography, videography, editing, web design and new media. He’s also a fan of collaboration and knows when to turn the reigns over, offer feedback, lead the team and step aside. His portfolio includes print, online, film, video, photography, graphic design and promotions. He’ll show you. He has a book and everything. "When not juggling various online worlds, I do a pretty good mime – but that’s another story."
This entry was posted in Movie I've Seen, Movies You Should or Should Not See, My Review of Their Review:, On DVD, Rants & Raves, Speak-Freely and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to A word or two on the subject of More Avatar

  1. Mari-Lyn says:

    I loved that movie, yes it was a little too long..however, I was quite engrossed in it. If it helps you any and you get lonesome for movies in the winter we host Friday night movies, the popcorn is great the movies usually are too! If you are in the neighborhood come join us..or shoot me an e-mail and I’ll put you on our mailing list.
    P.S. It’s been known, that I serve pie as well.

    • rorydean says:

      Hi Mari-Lyn,
      Thanks for dropping by Above the Line. I agree Avatar was engrossing and as I mentioned in my review, it helped me tremendously that Cameron chose to develop his characters prior to the CG light show that followed. Don’t get me wrong, I have my criticism (as any good reviewer should, even with films he/she likes, as my wife lovingly reminds me) and these days most films are too long. Traditional storytelling dictates that it is better to get out while the audience wants more than to leave after the audience has lost the feeling in their pants! 🙂

      Thanks for the invitation to boot! I’ll send you an Email so you can add me to your mailing list->


  2. joecooler2u says:

    I loved Avatar but waited for Blu-ray to review it. I prefer sitting at home to sitting in a theater. Having a 103 inch projection HDTV also helps and having all the speakers and setup makes it all like the movie-going experience you get at the theater without all the drawbacks (people talking, walking in front of you, sticky floors from spilled drinks, crowds, endless commercials before the movie, outrageously priced snacks and drinks etc).

    Now on to the additional Avatar footage. I don’t think this will set a trend (maybe at first but not long-term) because ultimately quality should win out. You get a movie like Pearl Harbor (which is a guilty pleasure for me) in comparison to a Titanic and Avatar. You see which cream rises to the top. Cameron is a guy that is going to be allowed the longer movies because he shows he can do them successfully. He is guilty of double and triple dipping his fans with re-releases (look at T2’s countless releases on DVD) and now he’s going to try it in theaters. Don’t know how successfully he will be, maybe it’s just to get Avatar up over 3 billion worldwide. Ultimately, Cameron makes good use of his movie’s runtime with great character and story development. Is the extra 9 minutes worthy of a re-release? I highly doubt it, but maybe it’s also about getting people like me who missed out the first time around for various reasons.

    I might even go see this in theaters for the first time. The hype really killed it for me when it was in theaters. Plus I couldn’t be sure I’d like the film as it is a long time to sit in a theater if you aren’t sure you’ll like it. Fantasy isn’t usually my thing. I even waited to the home release hype died down to review the Blu-ray.

    Runtime for films is a dicey thing. There are some films that feel incomplete because of too-short time. Films like I Am Legend or Terminator Salvation. The first because it had a much better story on which it was based and it didn’t take advantage of story or character development. James Cameron is pretty good at making use of his film’s time. Without those “boring” moments you lose character/story development unless if the film isn’t done well (which is probably your arguement here and rightly so).

    • rorydean says:

      Hi Joe!
      I guess I can’t argue with a 103 inch screen at your house with the cinema set-up. Nice! And yes, sadly, the actual theater experience can often be dampened by all the things you listed. I don’t have an immediate memory of Pearl Harbor, though I can recall Ben Afflec and others that seemed to be walking through the story, not to mention the special effects which felt more like a replacement for story and character development than otherwise. Of course I would have to screen it again before I make any further comments. But I get you, some films are just big getaways and no matter who says otherwise or tries to convince us that the film we like is terrible, close to the worst film ever made, we stick to it because it makes us smile and who can argue with that?

      I actually know two people who have not seen Avatar and recently told them about the re-release. As you mention, this is a great thing for anyone who missed the first run and for that alone, well, I must admit it is a positive thing. I still hold to the grimace-effect when I heard about it but hey, I did like the movie the first time around.

  3. Truly enjoyed this article post. Awesome.

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