I liked Avatar. I didn't think I would, and I didn't really want to see it because I thought it was going to be stupid, but I went anyway, and I liked it. A lot. I had never been to a 3-D movie, and it was a delight. And also, even though the plot was simple and derivative, so what? I am grateful when someone entertains me. Sometimes I'd rather be straight up entertained as opposed to being presented with an opaque pomo art film.
But I have not been a fan of Cameron in the past. I think it all started because of a) the horrible dialogue in Titanic and b) his acceptance speech at the Academy Awards. "I am the King of the World!" No, you are the king of the tools.
But during the last decade, I have begun to realize how hard it is to complete a piece of writing--whether it be a novel, a dissertation, or a script--and, as a result, I have more respect for writers who write less-than-stellar stuff, particularly when they finish said stuff. Still, it seems that the guy could have forked over the cash to pay a great writer to do his screenplay, but I'm starting to get over that issue (sort of).
But I still was thinking that he was an arrogant tool. And then I saw an interview with him on Charlie Rose last week. And you know what? He was articulate. He was very good at talking about stories and narrative. And he did a good job of addressing his critics (of whom Rose quoted many). And at the end of the interview, I thought, "Wow. He's smart. He looks at things in interesting ways. Maybe he's not a total tool."
What do you think?