It is a great movie, but the title "Avatar" is misleading. It should have been called "James Cameron's Greatest Hits Collection." There are so many recurring theme from his past works found in this movie.
- Tough chick in a white sleeveless shirt? Seen in: Aliens, Terminator 2
- Cold-blooded businessperson? Seen in: Aliens
- Over-indulging narration? Seen in: The Terminator
- Borrowed storyline (in this case, Dances with Wolves + Pocahontas)? Seen in: The Terminator
- Awesome CG that is so realistically CG than real objects? Seen in: The Abyss, Terminator 2, Titanic
- Blue-cheesy dialogue? ("I see you." "I see you.") Seen in: Titanic and all
Cal Hockley: You're going to him? To be a whore to a gutter rat?
Rose: I'd rather be his whore than your wife.
Was it good enough to knock The Terminator off the seat of best James Cameron film? Sadly no, and it is partly because of technical limitation. Even the mighty Cameron, his 1,000-plus men, and US$300 million budget couldn't make chemistry out of blue CG-alien masks.
Chemistry. That is the reason why after all these years, The Terminator remains his staple movie for many fans, including myself. The Terminator is just another low-budget 80's movie shot in guerilla mode with laughable special effects and bad hairstyle. But the main characters made it endlessly watchable, supported by clever plot and great actions. Arnold Schwarzenegger was born to play the title role (his real awesomeness is not that he found Terminator but that he got over it), Michael Biehn was believable as a loyal soldier with a golden heart, and Linda Hamilton literally transformed herself from a naive girl into a fearless warrior.
Actors in Avatar did the best they could, but since the majority of the interactions occurred in front of green background and blue masks, the film was fundamental handicapped in terms of acting. Stereotypical characters didn't help either. Unlike The Terminator, nobody in Avatar transforms himself or herself during the movie nor carries more than one dimension of personality.
Appendix: I hope wearing 3D glasses become obsolete soon. I had to keep pressing the dirty rubber lens to my nose bridge and narrow my eyes to secure visibility. Maybe it was a problem only found in Taiwanese Warner ViewShow (There, I made this entry connected with the blog topic).