Movies, books and TV have to broaden their appeal beyond just trying to make money off the lowest common denominator. With movies, more people pay attention to bad reviews and it's torpedoed some real stinkers, but they have to pay enough more attention to good reviews. Great reviews have helped such films as "The Crying Game" gain a mainstream audience, at least enough to make a very good profit and encourage studios to make better quality films.
I understand about appealing to the masses, but I still reserve the right to disdain media which does so for the sake of profits.
With "Avatar," it begins with whether one likes sci-fi or doesn't (if you don't, you're already biased).
You will not find a single person on A2K who has read or watched more Sci-fi than myself. I have a library of about 2 thousand novels, 95% of them sc-fi and fantasy. There are very few sci-fi shows which appeared on TV which I haven't watched (mostly in their entirety) and I've seen as many movies as anyone.
I am coming at this from the exact opposite direction from someone who doesn't like sci-fi: I am an extreme sci-fi fan, and nothing about Cameron's flick looks particularly innovate or exciting in terms of the sci-fi elements.
If Cameron has made this movie entertaining and it contains a strong message, he's succeeded. It's too often been producers' advise that if you make a movie with a message, you'll doom it at the box office. Of course, only 10% of the movies made are what I would give a four star rating and about all of those are already considered classics.
As sci-fi goes, I was at polar opposite to the critics on "Blade Runner" when it was first released. Time, and the release of the Director's Cut, has changed the minds of most critics and it's also a popular DVD in each of it's releases.
Well, I love the Ultimate Collector's Edition of Blade Runner. I remember watching it as a young man and being blown away. That's the exact opposite of Cameron's new movie: a truly deep plot, exploring many philosophical points of interest, with strong effects to back it up.
I can't really believe a savvy film-maker like Cameron would telegraph the plot that obviously with a trailer. We don't have that long to wait to find out!
****, I can. The directors don't usually make trailers, the production studios do.
I'll keep an open mind about it, but so far - not impressive. The graphics are nice but the plot looks weak weak weak.