I've tried long and hard over the past few months to convince myself that James Cameron's Avatar, his first film since Titanic, will be anything more than a big-budget, 20th Century Fox re-skin of the Star Wars prequels (i.e. epic and beefed up, but ultimately hollowed-out wooden junk).
The first teaser trailer disappointed, ("wait to see it in 3D," they said), the first poster appeared ("the Na'vi design looks ridiculous"), and now I've seen the second theatrical trailer for the film, in 3D, on a gargantuan digital screen, and I'm officially down on it. I like to think that I can gauge the pulse of a film by its advertising -- not just the "does it look good?" aspect of a trailer, but the mood, tone and the class of all promotional techniques -- and Avatar gets like a C- in my book.
I haven't seen anything that would lead me to believe that it will be anything but a huge, glossy, video-game level production. Which is to say that if it was made by Capcom or Infinity Ward and was set to release on 360 and PS3 this december (the licensed "Avatar" video game coming out doesn't count) it would be the talk of the IGN/tech/videogame crowd. As a film, it looks empty, fluffy and downright cheesy.
The nail in the coffin is this just release French poster: