‘Avatar: The Way of Water’ buoyed by rave reviews

James Cameron brought a select group of lucky junketeers, critics, and awards pundits in major cities back to Pandora on Tuesday, for the first screenings of “Avatar: The Way of Water.” But many of the invitees were absolutely wowed by the propulsive filmmaking, high-tech special effects, and even the emotional reach of the film. 

Let’s turn now to Twitter, where this reporter witnessed one New York-based wag posting his opinion as he relieved himself in the men’s room after the three-plus hour extravaganza.

“New York” Magazine’s Bilge Ebiri was caught up by the picture hook, line, and sinker.

“Never doubt Cameron,” said stalwart interviewer Josh Horowitz.

“Sure it was a little long,” warned self-professed “Avatar”-stan Kara Warner, but this doesn’t seem to be a big issue for her.

Monkees enthusiast Mike Ryan was simply knocked over by the technical aspect and says he’s never seen anything like this before. 

 

But British critic Christina Newland is a little less impressed. The spectacle is there, but the story felt a little hollow to her.

 

One wrinkle to “Avatar”’s first reactions: these special screenings were all shown in theaters that can project in High Frame Rate, or, at least, partial High Frame Rate. (The movie toggles between the two, sometimes shot-to-shot in one sequence.) Clearly, this was not an issue for many (see above) but it didn’t quite fly for everyone. Here’s Chicago-based critic Scott Tobias coming in with Groundskeeper Willie to elaborate.

This sentiment was echoed by one or two other old-school wisenheimers.

Luckily, the night of reflexive Twitter reactions didn’t end without someone deploying the ol’ “felt like a kid again” chestnut.

The rest of Planet Earth gets to decide what they think on December 16. See more reactions below.

 

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