Stephanie Zacharek's review of the film, we note, was very harsh. It's always great to have her take, but it'd be nice if she'd accord some of her assertions, particularly this one -- "But if you're out to change the face of filmmaking, you have to work much harder at a lot of the thigs Cameron just shrugs off" -- and perhaps also this one -- "In Avatar, the technology is everything" -- and also this one -- "'Avatar isn't about actors or characters or even about story; it's about special effects, which is fine as far as it goes" -- with what actually ended up happening. Cameron didn't leapfrog off this project; the world, the people in it, mattered to him -- and do we doubt that audiences haven't either? And this, his sticking to the Avatar universe, isn't because he's old, or because Avatar is ideal ground for his special effects fetish, or because the aquatic's hold on its lifeforms doubles nicely its recent long hold on him; but rather because despite his early errancy -- i.e., Titanic's "Goodbye, mother!" - he means to spend the rest of his life in the lap of his mother deity, Eywa; it really does come down to that.
Stephanie was astray from the life in this film as she was from the life in Avengers. This line from her review of Avatar, "It's a remote-control movie experience, a high-tech 'wish you were here' scribbled on a very expensive postcard," just like this one from her review of the Avengers, "all a filmmaker really needs to do is put them all into a big stock pot filled with elaborate set pieces and some knowing dialogue and he's golden," shows she's been sending up movies that it turned out audiences have bought into -- and brother, have they!
Or, audiences these days are such that they fall head over heels for movies that really are all about special effects and already-cultivated prejudices, with tedious characters, no meaningful story development, and removed directors (Armond White thinks so). It'd be nice to see her take a momentary break from movie reviews and write an account of what it's like to draw back from an appraisal of a film to situate oneself amongst what-turn-out-to-be zombies, who clearly accepted as hearty feasts what you had established as cold film corpses.