Friday, December 16, 2022

No surprise that new 'Avatar' is one to behold as holiday releases appear

Holiday movies begin to open wide today, and the biggest of them all could become "Avatar: The Way of Water," the 13-years-in-the-making sequel from Oscar-winning director/co-writer James Cameron and his committed technical cast of thousands.

Certainly, all their demanding work looks marvelous in the most astonishing 3D ever (especially during early moments and some thrilling closing sequences) and various other well-publicized, extra special effects. (Those include WETA-inspired faces and sensational underwater, performance-capture techniques, which even find room for a few nods to Cameron's all-time fan favorite, "Titanic.")

Of course, if film wasn't still such an all-encompassing visual medium, the director's partners in screenwriting, Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver (themselves a team best known for "Jurassic World" and this century's trio of "Planet of the Apes" sequels), might have had some trouble putting together a story that fills more than three hours for ever-restless audiences. 

As it is, returning lead characters portrayed by Zoe Saldana and Sam Worthington, don't find much penetrating dialogue to deliver, but they do have four kids, including one that sounds a lot like Sigourney Weaver. Listen to any or all of them if you'd like, but wide eyes become the only tools anyone really needs to enjoy the epic entertainment offered here. 

Rated "PG-13 by MPAA: sequences of strong violence and intense action; partial nudity and some strong language; 3:12; $ $ $ $ out of $5

("Avatar: The Way of Water" starts today on reportedly more than 3,000 screens nationwide.)

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