Critic Review - East Bay Express

By the time the big battle rolls around in the last quarter we've had enough of Pandora and the Na'Vi and Avatar, and are ready to take another five-year vacation from James Cameron.

December 23, 2009 Full Review Source: East Bay Express | Comments (137)
East Bay Express



Phil McGroin


The idiotic reviews just keep rolling in...mostly from women...most from the amatuers.

Stick to Twilight honey.

Dec 23 - 09:23 AM

Mike W.

Mike West

Steve summarizes the negative critics well! I too started reading closer the over all negative critics to Avatar and yep... majority were women and not professional critics. I would add that the majority of the negative reviewers BEGAIN their reviews all ready bias against either James Cameron or the sci-fi genre... so why would their "reviews" be any different?

Dec 23 - 09:53 AM

Oliver J.

Oliver Joseph

Steve I agree with you it's a great movie, but you are disrespecting women while saying it? okay you don't agree with her, what does he being a woman have ANYTHING to do with the movie?


Dec 24 - 11:50 AM

Kyle G.

Kyle Gallion

Funny, 2 hours and 40 minutes in and I would have been more than happy to have even more time in Pandora with the Navi. You are the only reviewer I have seen that really found the film boring and without much merit. While I understand the need for differing opinions, I find these "contrary for the sake of being contrary" reviews silly and self serving.

As a film reviewer, if you are so jaded that you cannot find it within yourself to give even a film this obviously brilliant a somewhat positive review, perhaps you should find a field where extreme cynicism is a necessity instead of a glaring flaw.

Dec 23 - 09:35 AM

Rebecca O.

Rebecca OBrien

I would have liked more time in this world, not less. Hell, you could have given me another hour just exploring the flora and fauna. I don't think this film resonated well with people who lack a sense of wonder or who tend to sneer at anything that even may slightly resemble idealism of any kind.

Dec 23 - 05:42 PM


Seth Green

Ditto, Rebecca O.

Dec 25 - 11:23 AM

Melissa S.

Melissa Smith

"if you are so jaded that you cannot find it within yourself to give even a film this obviously brilliant a somewhat positive review, perhaps you should find a field where extreme cynicism is a necessity instead of a glaring flaw."

What an amazingly ridiculous post.

Dec 23 - 10:10 PM

meg v.

meg vischer

Prais the lord there are some smart people in the world!

Dec 30 - 10:12 PM

chris a.

chris anthony

congrats KYLE 2009 was almost over and you squeezed in just in time to win the douchebag of the year award!!!

how does it feel?

NOT EVERYONE THAT SAYS THEY DIDNT LIKE THIS MOVIE IS SAYING THAT TO BE "CONTRARY FOR THE SAKE OF BEING CONTRARY" this movie sucked, and just like you are entitled to like the movie, this reviewer in entitled to genuinely dislike the movie without having a secret love for the movie as you suggest...

pull your head out of your ***...some people hate this movie, about 17% or so didnt think it was great....and they are not all pretending so they seem different...

happy new year...

Dec 31 - 12:15 AM


Phil McGroin

I could have easily sat there for another hour...I was sad when it ended.

Dec 23 - 09:59 AM


Chris Towpik

Steve...I actually was disappointed that this was movie WAS NOT an hour longer.
I wish it was 4 hours like Dances with Wolves was. But, no one would like that in the theater except me I think...maybe a few others haha.

Best movie this year!!!

Dec 24 - 08:58 AM

R B.


****ing retard. Go watch a f*aggot love story. What an idiot.

Dec 23 - 10:06 AM

Charli L.

Charli LF

I'm really not sure why sexism and name-calling are nessesary. I thought the movie (aside from having a fairly predictable plot) was excellent but there is no need to be a jerk.

Dec 23 - 10:10 AM


Phil McGroin

That's not being sexist...that's simply pointing out that one gender might be more inclinded to dismiss the movie.

Calling them an idiot is simply making an observation of their intelligence...just like her review of the movie was harsh my review of her is harsh.

Dec 23 - 10:12 AM


Rob Alicea

The difference is that the critic is reviewing the movie, not lashing out at Cameron himself. If you're going to be harsh, try to be harsh on the review itself. Calling someone an idiot based on a very limited (baseless) assessment of her intelligence is a pretty standard issue Youtube-esque type of comment. It's easy to do when safe in the buffer zone of the internet. Sometimes, it's nice to put more thought into a response.

Dec 23 - 11:01 AM


Phil McGroin

Idiots say and do idiotic things. Smart people don't say or do idiotic things. It's really that simple.

Dec 23 - 11:08 AM

Citizen X.

Citizen X

Steven only a Sith deals in absolutes..you are succumbing to the dark side my boy..take it easy,don't forget opinions are like *******s,everybody has one!!..for the record Cameron's last work is not titanic but alien's in the deep that was released in 2005..i bet you feel like a moron right now..

Dec 23 - 06:33 PM

Melissa S.

Melissa Smith

"Idiots say and do idiotic things. Smart people don't say or do idiotic things."

Couldn't have said it better myself. Now I don't feel guilty for judging you based on your postings.

Dec 23 - 10:15 PM


Robert Pherigo

Only an idiot would think it's that simple. Get the point?

Dec 31 - 10:10 AM


Phil McGroin

R B keeping it real

Dec 23 - 10:10 AM

Paul R.

Paul Rivers

A truly miserable hag....I'm betting that Kelly Vance is one of the most bitter, unloved, and physically repulsive people alive today. Seriously...is she getting paid to write reviews??

Avatar was nothing less than breathtaking, I couldn't have liked it more...

Go crawl into a hole somewhere in the mountains where you can shrivel up and die, Kelly Vance.

Dec 23 - 11:10 AM


Phil McGroin

People as joyless as Kelly should just OD on some anti-depressant.

Dec 23 - 11:13 AM

Rodney R.

Rodney Rivera

"I guess he don't like the cornbread eitha"

Speak for yourself cornbread ! I want more of this stuff from Jim!

Dec 23 - 11:41 AM

Stefan P.

Stefan Pitka

This is one of the best movies i've had the good fortune to see in the longest time. The beautiful environment along with the entrancing music from James Horner makes this great adventure a masterpeice in my book, regardless of what some ignorant critics might say

Dec 23 - 12:00 PM

Matt Phelps

Matt Phelps

My biggest problem with the review is that she speaks for the public by saying, "we've had enough of Pandora and the Na'Vi and Avatar."

You are entitled to your opinion Ms. Vance, but NEVER assume anybody else agrees with you. You are no more entitled to use the pronoun 'we' in describing your feelings about Avatar than I am in calling you a juvenile and unprofessional movie critic.

Dec 23 - 12:28 PM

john i.

john ives


Dec 23 - 04:21 PM

A G.

A George

I would have to agree. I think that was the biggest problem I had with this review that made me want to dig deeper into what other people thought of this misguided review. But, then I realized maybe it was done this way to get us to respond. So people few neg. attention is just as good as possitive I mean look it turn me into a once in a while browser into a registered member and inspired "pathos" although negitive emotion to make a comment. And I am a woman.

Dec 23 - 10:39 PM

A G.

A George

Further more, the story line of the movie is not as shallow as some would like to think. Maybe some people cant see that becuase they might represent the "industrialist". Which, is in my opinion the movies focal point the "industrialists" vs "naturalists". Maybe those people need to look a little deeper with-in themselves.

The concept like some have said possibly is way to deep for the people who have their own stuggles with real emotional conections. I would agree that the storyline was simple and you could see where it was going, but in honor of Mr. Cameron I would expect this was intended. To focus on the deeper issues and allow the viewer to explore their inner "industrialist" or "naturalist" while being highly entertained. But, I guess some of us missed that part! I know I didn't, even during the movie I was wondering (wow are all the rest of the people in this theater seeing what I am seeing)how I am i being effected by this right now? This was a big risk for Mr. Cameron but I am glad he made it, it touched me and my 10 year old son. Come on guys if the kids can pick up on the subtleties and the adults can't , Huston we have a problem! Oh well one love anyway!

Dec 23 - 11:13 PM

Ted Laserdisc

Ted Chalfen

Dear Ms. Vance,
You crazy.

Ted C.

Dec 23 - 12:36 PM


Phil McGroin

Another 5 year vacation? Did Cameron release a movie in 2004?

Oh that's right he didn't. His last movie was Titanic which was over 10 years ago. Kelly doesn't even know what she's talking about.

Dec 23 - 12:47 PM

Keith N.

Keith Newhouse

Some people spend too much time on RT. Read/write a review and move on. What are you going to gain by defending a movie you like? You look moronic (Steven).

Dec 23 - 01:02 PM


Phil McGroin

Where as you look like a genius Keith defending trash like this review.

Dec 23 - 01:14 PM


David Fenton

T3 bro, terminator 3 2004.

Dec 24 - 07:49 AM

Erik K.

Erik Kurtz

Fentox: Just wanted to correct you on Terminator 3 ... it wasn't directed by James Cameron, though I think he had a writing credit. A director is the auteur.

Dec 25 - 02:56 AM


ken senter

I dont know what this person is talking about, this movie was amazing. It ended right when I expected to end. I didnt wanna leave I wanted to watch more

Dec 23 - 01:00 PM

Sam S.

Sam Smith

The people paid to defend this pile of crap are obvious. There is no rational defense for something so bad. Avatar is one of the worst movies I've ever seen.

Dec 23 - 01:58 PM

Marcus W.

Marcus Welshonse

Speak for yourself. There is no "we" here.

Dec 23 - 02:15 PM


Warren Samu

This review is almost laughable... will not make as much money in tickets sales as Titanic? Well, what film has? Most films would be happy making a minute fraction of Titanic's sakes.

And who ever said the soldiers were Americans? I don't think America was even mentioned... or a princess for that matter. Spiritual leader yes, princess, no.

If you're going to twist around the content of the film, is it really a review, or proganda?

FX and story aside, I think you and many other critics are overlooking one of the key reasons why this film is ground-breaking... and that has to do with it's affect on the Sci-Fi genre http://hubpages.com/hub/Avatar-Review

Dec 23 - 02:18 PM


Seth Green

The "we" thing is unacceptable for a movie critic. Someone who writes movie reviews for a living should know better than to be so presumptuous. She's entitled to her opinion, she's not entitled to imagine she speaks for the rest of us, or even for the rest of the people in the theater.

Apart from that, I wish critics would state what format they saw this movie in. This is the first movie I've seen that I would say demands to be seen in at least 3-D digital, but really on IMAX 3-D. It was created with that specific format in mind, and the story ties directly into that viewing experience. If the critic doesn't mention either of those formats but especially IMAX, I'm going to assume they saw it in a standard movie theater, and therefore did not have the full Avatar experience.

Dec 23 - 02:57 PM

Arturo S.

Arturo Sazo

the CGI on Avatar is amazing, unfortunately the story is nothing amazing nothing new, to all of you who praise this movie ask yourselves one thing in the middle of the movie didn't you know how would end? be honest the story is not as great as the graphics is a very flat story without any good twist, this is not James Cameron finest

Dec 23 - 03:00 PM

Peter E.

Peter Erickson

Arturo, those of us who loved Avatar were not any more surprised by most of the plot points than those who were disappointed by the story. We just didn't care. The plot may have been fairly predictable, but does every plot need to have twists that you don't see coming? Sometimes it's nice to get what you're hoping for in a story.

Dec 23 - 03:05 PM

Arturo S.

Arturo Sazo

Peter E., the plot is the soul of a movie, do you honestly think that Star Wars would've been as amazing and important in sci-fi without the plot without the twist of Darth Vader being the father of Luke Skywalker?, a great movie comes from a great script and Avatar story just doesn't deliver.

I understand that graphics take away the audience to an amazing world, I loved Pandora and the Na'vi, the details but the story is too predictable and personally made me loose interest for a while.

Dec 23 - 03:25 PM


Phil McGroin

Arturo is so dumb he doesnt realize that Star Wars had a completely unoriginal plot.

Dec 23 - 03:27 PM

Arturo S.

Arturo Sazo

Steven, since you are such an smart and respected critic why don't you tell us what is so original about Avatar plot?.

Dec 23 - 03:36 PM

Erik K.

Erik Kurtz

Arturo S:

Plot and story are often confused. Plot is the device (typically action) that moves story through time and space. When you say the plot is not original, what you mean is the story. By the way, most stories are derivative ... thus the comparisons of any movie with another.

If you are looking for something totally original, may I suggest amateur movies on YouTube?

Dec 25 - 02:47 AM

Citizen X.

Citizen X

i totally agree with Arturo on this..plot IS the soul of the movie..and this film has a weak story,you already know what's going to happen even from the trailer of the movie..you only need money to make visual effects,but you need brains to come up with a clever idea..i'll always vote for brains..So Avatar is a good film but not a great film as it should be especially from this director..

Dec 23 - 06:17 PM

rog m.

rog mor

Yeah but do you really want to spend 500 million dollars on a movie that WONT appeal to everyone? It may be a little formuliac, but you kinda have to make sure you make back that money. Love story, action, great visuals..... gauranteed money maker. I enjoyed it, but I liked aliens better too. There was sooo much hype, that there was bound to be people dissappointed with it.

Dec 24 - 07:25 AM


Daniel Fischer

Uhm, WHAT? First off, let's get one thing straight. Star Wars is ORIGINAL because it came out in the 70's and was the first of its kind. The film industry is much more avid nowadays than it was in the 70's. It's extremely difficult to come up with a completely original "idea" for a movie, which is why we're seeing a ton of remakes as well as comic-book movies. How can you say that this movie is unoriginal? I've never seen a movie like this. The ideas and concepts applied in this movie are seen all the time... but the storyline is 100% original. The fact that there's no twist to the end of this movie does not make it unoriginal. In fact, there are plenty of unpredictable points in this plot and what may seem predictable to you may seem unpredictable to another.

I think you and this reviewer are missing the bigger picture of this film. Though the storyline seems somewhat uneventful and shallow on a grand scale, what makes this movie good is the ability to connect its audience to the characters.

Going by your logic, the latest Indiana Jones movie should've been rated higher, since the plot was definitely deeper and "unpredictable."

This movie's about the struggle between "industrialism" and "nativism." That's the bigger picture, and if you weren't touched for the natives in this film by the end which was the entire point of the movie... like Jake Sully was, then there's definitely something wrong with you. Judging this movie in any other light than it was meant to shine would be a mistake sir.

You want twists and turns, go watch Scream. This film was easily one of the best epic masterpieces of the decade.

Jan 2 - 06:12 AM


Daniel Fischer

It would be like saying that the remake of Troy was horrible because it was unpredictable. It's like saying Titanic is horrible because it was unpredictable. These movies aren't about being ideally original or unpredictable. They're about developing the characters and drawing people in.

The tone of this movie is easily set based on the opening-premise and everything that I expected to happen happened, and I could give a **** less how much deeper the storyline was between the humans trying to extract an element from an alien-planet.

It's comparable to District 9, which was also a GREAT yet predictably "unoriginal" film.

Jan 2 - 06:22 AM

Aaron W.

Aaron Way

i agree 100 percent with u

Dec 23 - 05:43 PM


Corwin Zelazney

Enjoy that vacation of yours - you're gonna be a little lonely though.

Dec 23 - 03:29 PM

Find us on:                     
Help | About | Jobs | Critics Submission | Press | API | Licensing | Mobile