1-Avatar: After this puppy was unleashed in theaters in December, director James Cameron proved once again to the world that he was king of the world---spreading a fervent wildfire of Blue Fever across the globe (with most of the gross income stemming from foreign profit in theaters of Europe overseas, though Americans caught on to the Pandoran fetish rather quickly). After personally viewing the film for myself, I could not help but observe that it was indeed visually stunning, if not an hour too long. The capacity of computer technology these days can be simply breathtaking, and Cameron did change the outlook of this frontier, but only in terms of visual apparition and not so much for plot substance. However, I did stumble out of the theater in a daze---a good daze, one that lingered not long after the credits rolled nonetheless.
2-The Oscars: Look everybody! The Oscars are hip too! Because now they have ten nominees for the prestigious best picture award instead of five! "Please watch us this year!" it seems that they are pleading. Because now the Academy can include widespread fan favorites such as "Up" and "Inglorious Basterds," great for attracting previously uninterested viewers but not necessarily outstanding for the indie film junkie. Mainstream as it may seem, this recognition is well deserved---if not a little too late for 2008's 'Iron Man' or the tumultuous 'Dark Knight.'
...and otherwise, there honestly has not been that much going on in the world of cinema. George Clooney landed a hit with 'Up in the Air,' yet to be viewed here, as well as in "The Fantastic Mr. Fox" and the almost universally panned "Men Who Stare at Goats." Jeff Bridges---always "The Dude" in my book---played a spectacular role in "Crazy Heart" as I've heard. 'Avatar' has been pretty much eclipsing everything out there, directed by the guy who opened his Golden Globe acceptance speech: "Let's make this fast, I gotta pee somethin' fierce," but also the guy who graced the world with Aliens and the first two riveting Terminator films.
And you ask why I haven't written in close to four months? 'Avatar' writes about itself. Everybody around wants to, needs to be on Pandora, while films on planet Earth cannot help but gape in awe with the rest of the benchwarmers. The world needs 'Avatar' right about now to escape from an economy on the downturn, a war that rages overseas (though 'Avatar' has its fair share of belligerence, contrasting with the peaceful nature of the thin and blue Na'vi), especially to escape to a tropical, majestic jungle while the weather outside is frightful. As opposed to a film like 'The Hurt Locker'---a harsh, gritty standpoint of human irrationality on the battlefield---'Avatar' decorates modern, contemporary issues of controversy with metaphors of the fantastical.
And 'Star Wars' did that, in a way---as most cultural theologists would argue. You can't deny it; the comparison is inevitable.