I went to see Avatar on my own last night, carving my way through the jungle of popcorn to find the only single seat which wasn’t at the front – just as well, because that really would have been like a flight simulator.
Avatar was somewhere between nature documentary and theme park. Just before the film, the Toy Story characters were holding up huge signs adverting their latest installment. Avatar was similarly well signposted – at no point did you not know exactly what was going to happen next. My school friend James once said he could always predict the next note in a classical piece; he would have had even less trouble with Avatar’s plot.
As a sci-fi film, I would say District 9 was probably the better of the two competing for Best Picture in the Oscars – and it cost under 10% of the budget to make. Yes, it had amazing special effects, great characters, and a gripping plot (that wasn’t lifted from Pocohontas), and only cost $30 million to make (Avatar was a whopping $350 million).
Having said all that, I still came out of Avatar thinking Wow.