There’s a reality for movie at Comic Con, and that reality is buzz. Everyone walked into the San Diego Convention Center on Thursday thinking that the winner of the buzz sweepstakes was going to be Avatar; it was, in fact, a foregone conclusion.
Everybody was wrong.
It’s not that Avatar wasn’t a hit, it just wasn’t the grand slam everyone expected. I’ve talked to a number of people – fans and people in the industry – who were a little underwhelmed by the 24 minutes of footage. No one disliked it, but the weight of expectations kept the film from really taking off. And that, frankly, is no excuse. You either walk out of San Diego with major buzz or you don’t. Avatar may be walking out of San Diego with fourth place.
That’s obviously subjective, as was my quick reaction piece to the footage I saw. I think I was fair; despite some accusations I have not been building up Avatar as a second coming – Cameron and his acolytes have been. I was at an IMAX presentation on Wednesday that contained a filmed message from Cameron saying that Avatar was a game changer. And the footage that screened did not support that claim. Which isn’t to say it was bad, or that it was poorly done or anything else like that; I’m simply saying that the grand expectations weren’t met because the footage itself wasn’t grand enough.
My reaction piece apparently angered an Avatar crew member who wrote a semi-coherent open letter to me about it. The guy goes from pretending to not know who I am to talking about my Planet of the Apes obsession (which he disdains, as he does the idea of remaking the film. Apparently he doesn’t know that James Cameron was at one point developing the remake and was going to serve as writer and director. Dipshit), etc etc. It’s a pretty dopey letter, all told, but it’s interesting to see that my reaction – which was overall positive! – elicited this reaction from someone who actually worked on the film.
The letter was sent to MarketSaw; I’ve reproduced it here, which I feel is fair as it’s an open letter to me. Here’s what the PA on Avatar had to say:
Dearest Devin Faraci
is entitled to views, yes even you Devin. which as colleagues point out
you share endlessly on “Attack the show” or whatever the title may be.
and all this was before a friend shared with me your views on Avatar…
Devin in your words
” The story that I could gather looked very bleh” is that right Devin ?
ok. “In the end I think this would have been better without all of the
‘THIS WILL CHANGE THE WORLD OF CINEMA’ stuff that comes right from
Cameron’s mouth (I heard him say essentially that at the IMAX
presentation yesterday). This is an impressive step forward, but I
don’t think it’s Jurassic Park when it comes to breathtaking new visual
stuff.” Now lets look at context as to what mr Cameron meant with that
statement shall we
as you should know being an internet blog king, you understand the
aspects and research and development that has to go into the pre
planning of a movie. you understand that time and time again, budgets
are slashed, scripts butchered, and visions compromised endlessly in
favour of cheap substantial routes, which sometimes can even be a good
thing. James Cameron has a vision, James Cameron has a cause, and that
cause is to make the viewing experience of watching a film, better for
the movie going people, not to mention the home market. James Cameron
doesn’t compromise. so when i read shitty statements like “The story
that I could gather looked very bleh” it really f**ks me off. this
movie is coming from the best people in the industry headed up with the
most successful and competent director of all time. “THE STORY COMES
FIRST” “THIS IS NOT A WETA DIGITAL SHOW REEL” that insults everyone
involved. Avatar, is the best of everyone, and every department. No
stone has been left unturned to make this the ultimate movie going
experience! and that includes making the story the absolute best of its
kind! so don’t compare this with a Kevin Costner bore fest ok ? this is
Avatar, NOT dances with wolves in space. and further more it will be a
CLASSIC. and what movies are ever classic just for CGI ? so are you
aware that this movie IS going to change the face of cinema ? its
already started. and when the change hits home for you, lets have less
bitching and whining, and have more for the people striving to make you
movie going experience a better one! after all isn’t that where your
bread and butter is made ? unless of course you still want to be
watching movies in 20 years time the way you are now ?
scene viewed out of context, on an alien planet without cohesion from
previous scenes, will be jarring. Avatar IS photo real. and
you will believe it is a real place once you have seen it in its final
form. you Devin and the rest of the negative druids will eat everyone
of your words come December 18th. and if fox hates you, who could blame
them. you come across as a hateful person. with very outright negative
judgemental hatred ready to spew forth into this miserable world. “your
walk of shame speaks volumes for the real you” while there may well be
people who hate Avatar when they see it, i promise you they will be the
minority, anyone who knows anything about movies in a professional
light is going to be as swept up as the person next door, who goes once
a year, and owns scary movie on DVD.
yes i agree we are far more advanced then WATCHMEN. lmao
still Devin you can comfort yourself with the fact that you have The
Final Destination coming soon. oh and not to mention your favorite
movies of all time “which are due for further butchering” Planet of the
apes. seriously… you have all the time for grown men in ape suits.
and will actively try and hock the ultimate apes movie compendium or
whatever its called to your “CHUDS” ?
you want to rag on 10ft tall natural blue born killers ? CGI or not,
what gives ? are you for real ? what kind of movie knowledgeable
journalist can look at what they saw and say its nothing short of a
technical miracle. and what you saw was most assuredly the tip of the
me for the ranting, im sure i will get lampooned for being so outright
in my displeasure, but hey i guess that just means we are both
keep up the witty wise journalism, it will get you places, maybe not where you want, but it will get you noticed.
i will be sure to tune in for “Attack of the BLOGGER.
and as for the rest of you, real movie fans with no hidden agenda. have faith in us and show up. we will not let you down. we promise.
will see things never seen before, in ways never considered before,
made for you by one of the last great gunslingers of our times. oh and
there wont be a talking ape in sight sorry Devin. we like our
talking guys and girls tall and strong.
what is the in word for the online community ? EPIC FAIL ? NOT US
Behind every great book adaptation is a forgettable first try. — By Ryan Covey