Believe it or not, it’s been almost 13 years since Avatar first hit movie screens, and it’s taken forever for a sequel to arrive. And unfortunately, it looks like the movie won’t live up to Hollywood’s most annoying trend: running time that’s too long. And director James Cameron doesn’t want to hear you complain about it.
Speaking to Empire , Cameron is already anticipating that people will criticize the length of the film. We don’t know how long Avatar: The Way of Water will be just yet, but this suggests it’s probably too long.
Avatar: The Way of Water is going to be a long movie
“I don’t want anyone complaining about the length when they sit around and binge watch [television] for eight hours…” Cameron said, “I can almost write this part of the review. ‘The agonizingly long three-hour movie…’ It’s like, give me a f—— break. I’ve seen my kids sit down and do five hour-long episodes in a row.”
It reminds me of a section of a poem by Charles Bukowski: “People run from the rain but sit on bathtubs full of water.” At first glance, and ignoring any deeper meaning and context of the rest of the poem, those two things seem similar but are not really comparable. The same is true for comparing sitting in a movie theater to watching a TV show at home.
If you’re binge-watching a TV show over the course of a day, you always have the option to pause the thing. If you need to get up and pee, you won’t miss any key moments from Stranger Things or Obi Wan Kenobi. Movie theaters don’t give you that option, even though Cameron insists it’s okay to go pee.
But then, of course, you risk missing out on something fundamental or interesting. Even if you run to the bathroom and you’re an Olympic-speed pee, you’re still missing a few minutes of screen time. And you can’t always schedule your potty breaks at dull or uninspired times.
Although based on how boring the first trailer was, I suspect Avatar: The Way of Water will have a lot of those. Perhaps Cameron can give us a summary of the points where it is safe to pee? That way, we definitely won’t miss out on the scattering of exciting sequences or plot-critical events.
Or even better, Cameron could try to, you know, not make his movies that long. While there are plenty of movies with runtimes over two and a half hours, like Avengers Endgame, The Batman, Dune, or RRR. But Cameron has been doing it for decades.
Titanic is 3 hours and 14 minutes long, and was one of the few movies that was too big to fit on a single VHS tape when it came to home video. The Abyss was 2 hours and 51 minutes long and the first Avatar movie was 2 hours and 41 minutes long.
Length isn’t the only problem with Avatar: The Way of Water
Runtime isn’t the only issue that could be plaguing Avatar: The Way of Water. The time between the film and its predecessor could easily have an impact on how the general public reacts to the film’s release.
Avatar was very much a flash in the fire, from a cultural perspective. The film was huge at the time, and that was reflected in the fact that it was the first film to earn $2 billion at the box office during its initial theatrical run. To the point where its success and the widespread use of 3D prompted other studios to release their films in this format.
But then that hype dried up very quickly. Aside from a couple of rides at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, the first of which opened in 2017, Avatar has pretty much disappeared from public consciousness, to the point where people have been taking to social media to comment on the fact that it didn’t remember none. of the names of the characters.
Cameron insists that this doesn’t bother him and insists that these people are just trolls twisting the narrative . “The trolls will realize that no one gives a ***,” Cameron said, “and they can’t remember the names of the characters or a damn thing that happened in the movie… Then they go back to the movie and say: ‘Oh, okay, excuse me, let me shut my mouth right now.’ So I’m not worried about that.”
Cameron is pretty sure of himself, which isn’t a huge surprise given how successful his last two movies were. Whether or not his trust is deserved is something we won’t be able to comment on until the movie is released.
But trolls or not, the fact that Avatar has been completely absent since 2010 isn’t great. But of course, it is not difficult to see. The film is widely available on disc, in digital storefronts, and on Disney Plus. Not to mention the fact that Disney is re-releasing the movie this November. So it’s not like people can’t catch up on the events leading up to the movie.
Avatar: Way of Water is pushing a dying 3D craze to the limit
Avatar was noted for helping to popularize 3D movies in the 21st century. Several movies had 3D screenings before, but the runaway success of Avatar apparently prompted movie studios to push 3D as the new standard for theatrical releases.
It was a terrible fashion, if I’m honest. 3D isn’t all that to begin with, and many studios didn’t spend the time and money to get it right, leading to poorly converted movies that looked absolutely terrible.
If my local theaters are anything to go by, that fad is fading. There are few, if any, 3D screenings of blockbuster movies, and that makes me incredibly happy. In case you haven’t noticed, I don’t like 3D movies, and that’s amplified by the fact that the technology gives me some pretty serious headaches.
Unfortunately, James Cameron never understood that 3D movies are objectively terrible. Back in 2018 he admitted that Hollywood had done the format “a disservice” by embracing rush conversion instead of dedicated 3D filming, blaming this for 3D’s decline in popularity.
Cameron hoped movies would “get 4K from [their] system,” and once the technology is everywhere, Hollywood will need the next big thing: implying that natively produced 3D would be the answer. The director also promised that the Avatar sequels would feature native 3D and expressed hope that it would be possible to view the film in 3D without glasses.
Glasses-free 3D isn’t happening, but speaking at CinemaCon earlier this year, Cameron promised Avatar 2 would have “the most immersive 3D available” along with higher resolution, faster frame rates high, high dynamic range, and “much greater reality in our visual effects.”
Anyone who remembers the initial release of Avatar will know that it was almost impossible to see the movie in 2D. In fact, Cameron originally only wanted the film to be viewable in 3D, but the adoption of 3D-capable cinema equipment wasn’t fast enough to make it viable . It will be interesting to see what the ratio of 2D to 3D screenings will be after the format’s gradual death, and if there is a resurgence of 3D movies in the next few years.
God, I hope not. I can’t deal with glasses and headaches anymore, and if I can’t see Avatar 2 in 2D, I definitely won’t see it in a theater. Cameron should push something like IMAX or other big screen experiences, as that really adds something positive to the experience.
However you look at it, Avatar: The Way of Water has a lot of caveats attached to it. The movie may be a sequel to one of the highest-grossing movies ever made, but I have to wonder how excited people will be about the movie when it arrives. I just know that I am completely apathetic about the movie, and everything new that happens does nothing to generate excitement.
Whether it’s the possibility of the movie having an absurdly long run (which won’t include the pre-movie commercials), a director who hasn’t quite gotten over the 3D craze of a decade ago, or the fact that that I didn’t really care about anything related to Avatar for about 12 years. Even the trailer, which I saw before Doctor Strange 2, turned out to be incredibly boring.
But we don’t know what the fate of Avatar: The Way of Water will be until it hits theaters on December 16.