Last week, I took Toshi to see a film at a local theater, and after it ended, I found a manager in the lobby and asked if I could step into any of the auditoriums playing the new "Avatar" trailer just to take a look.

By the time it was done, Toshi told me that he wanted to go see "Avatar" right now, and was upset when I explained that it's still a few months away.  To him, it just seemed mean to see a trailer like that if you can't turn around and go buy your ticket immediately.

I kind of agree.

Each year, the studios all get one exemption each from the rules on standard trailer running time, and this year, Fox used their exemption on a giant 3 1/2 minute long "Avatar" trailer that not only fully explains the story but also hints at the scope and the drama of the film's second half. 

One of the reasons I roll my eyes at a lot of the early sturm und drang that erupts as online commenters see early footage from films in trailers or clips is because context is so important, and when you see the whole of something, you sometimes find that (shock!) it answers questions that a trailer doesn't.  One great example is the oft-repeated oh-so-smug meme of "Hey, if this is the future, why can't they fix Jake's legs yet?  HMMM? ANSWER ME THAT, KING OF THE WORLD!"

Well, sure enough, in the new trailer, there is an implication that they can indeed fix Jake's legs, and they even use that as the bait to get him to participate in the Avatar program.  Wanna bet they answer some of the other questions that people came up with after seeing fifteen minutes of footage from a three hour movie?

When I posted something about the ridiculous plagiarism charges that got people whipped into a frenzy last week, it turned into a sort of ugly back-and-forth in our comments section.  I'd like to ask you to try to limit yourself in terms of attacking other film writers (Devin Faraci may disagree with my take on "Avatar," but he and I can easily discuss it face to face without it getting nasty, so don't just pile on and call him names here, okay?) or myself (disagree with me all you want, but there's no need to make it personal), okay?

Now... here's the trailer, courtesy of Yahoo! Movies:

 

 

I love the design of Pandora, the scale of its ecosystem, and the beauty of what Cameron's imagined.  I think the Na'vi are gorgeous in motion, and they really do represent a different level of performance capture than anything we've seen before.  Even seeing the difference between what Cameron's done and what Zemeckis accomplished in "A Christmas Carol," it's fairly significant.

December 18th can't get here soon enough.

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