diversion/movie: Avatar (2009)

Woof. Talk about transporting you to a new world. Talk about (even without 3D) the most complex visual canvas ever painted in any medium, rich to hallucination, complete with flying fluorescent friendly jellyfish and Technicolor Pterodactyls. Talk about going beyond Suspension Of Disbelief to: Murdering Disbelief In Cold Blood. And there’s plenty of disbelief to suspend: 6 years of travel to the planet, but no time for advance training? An all-organic world with no scars, no biting insects, or even going to the bathroom? No babies, no old people? But still: there are movies you don’t want to end, there are movies you can’t believe will end, and then there’s the very rare movie you forget will end because you’re utterly in its world.

When Avatar does end, it gives way to some Human wailing some sappy manufactured Earth song designed to herd you from the theater or snap off the TV, like 2 am spotlights to drive you out of a cheap nightclub. But still, I came away disoriented and dazzled as one should be on waking from a daring world more vivid than our own. And hungry. Listen, any movie that can make me forget eating for 7 hours (ok, Avatar runs just short of 3) is impressive for that alone.

There are these New Media notions that Linear Narrative is dead. Avatar just knocked that notion back 20 years. It is straight exposition, the storyteller in confident control, and it works. Hoorah–long live Linear Narrative.

And you, Mr. Cameron who inflicted the execrable Titanic: it’s such a pity that you needed longer to redeem yourself by porting us to Avatar‘s world than it took NASA to land on the Moon, but we hereby give it up. Redeemed yourself you have. In style. Bravo.

Five Stars.

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