The Unenthusiastic Critic is opening Pandora's box to discover the unobtainable charms of Avatar (2009).
First, we're getting underway with some Oscar talk, as Michael and Nakea dish about Red Carpet fashions, inclusion riders, Ryan Seacrest's loneliness, and how, apparently, #TimesNotUp for everyone.
Then, we're sitting down for Nakea's first—and almost certainly last—viewing of James Cameron's record-breaking, motion-captured, candy-colored extravaganza. It's a lively conversation that covers the dubious appeal of "white-savior" stories, the phenomenon of "Avatar-induced depression," and the possibility that some filmmakers are just not the deep thinkers they believe themselves to be.
—0:00: Prologue: CNN report, January 11, 2010
—0:44: Intro and Oscar Talk
—26:50: Avatar trailer
—28:16: Cultural Osmosis: Pre-Viewing Discussion of Avatar
—41:59: Interlude: James Cameron interview with Lakshmi Pratury, INK
—43:09: The Verdict: Post-Viewing Discussion of Avatar
—1:23:37: Outro and Next Week's Movie
Notes and Links
—Film discussed: Avatar (dir. James Cameron, 20th Century Fox, 2009).
—Reviews discussed: Roger Ebert, rogerebert.com; Manohla Dargis, New York Times; Stephanie Zacharak, Salon.
—Articles discussed: "Five Years Ago, Avatar Grossed $2.7 Billion But Left No Pop Culture Footprint," Scott Mendelson, Forbes; Back to Pandora: Why has Avatar been Forgotten Just Five Years After Its Release?", Matt Singer, ScreenCrush.com; "James Cameron Talks Avatar Sequels," Amar Vijay, Empire.
—Full CNN story on Avatar related depression available here; Lakshmi Pratury's interview with James Cameron available here.
—Listen to additional episodes and read The Unenthusiastic Critic in prose form at unaffiliatedcritic.com. Email us, or follow us on Twitter and Facebook. (Suggestions of movies to watch for future episodes are welcome.)
—Theme Music: "Warm Duck Shuffle" by Arne Huseby, licensed under CC BY 3.0.