Today is the day that Avatar becomes the biggest money-making film EVER, passing another film directed by James Cameron, Titanic. Listen, over here at the Smack, we love and respect box-office as much as anyone does, and we salute this history in the making. (Imagine snappy salute here.) The awards also keep coming in (remember the Golden Globes win, and the DGA, WGA, PGA nominations?)
We think it’s time to consider whether this film is worth all the money and attention being thrown at it. More than a few reviews have noted, as we do, that Avatar shares some themes with the Oscar winning Dances with Wolves. Both films, for example, discuss imperialism against the epic backdrop of human emotion and struggle — only one does it here on Earth, the other on a faraway planet. But what about the entertainment value? The story, the characters? Which film goes the farthest beyond preaching and instead involves its audiences in the big question: What would it take for me to go up against my own kind?
Check out Beau DeMayo’s review of Avatar (2009) -vs- Dances With Wolves (1990).