I think David Edelstein is a really smart guy. But I think he’s wrong to say this about James Cameron: “In Avatar, he’s king of a world he made from scratch.”

From scratch? No. The man spent a lot of years underwater, and hauled a lot of things – intense colors, iridescence, bioluminescence, tentacles, etc. – out of the deep and onto dry land (and into the air). After that, he slapped on a lot of extra legs and wings.

It’s amazing to look at, yes. Really amazing. And the anti-gravity mountains are flat-out stunning. But it’s not a world made from scratch. That’s been done. Cameron is just reassembling the pieces.


  1. Hmmm. Undersea-type 'scapes. Check. Vaguely prehistoric beasties. Check. Dragony-cum-dactylic flying critters. Check.

    Have to agree, M. A striking, if somewhat reconstituted, ocular experience. Will refrain from story complaints, given this is about the visual stuff.

  2. Matthew Lickona says

    Why thank you, OI. "Dragony" is nice – more dismissive than "dragonish"? Welcome to the Borg.

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