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cultural vandal | by maryann johanson

question of the day: Can any movie possibly live up to ‘Avatar’’s advance hype?

The movie won’t open till just before Christmas, but already James Cameron’s Avatar is being hyped to levels that it seems impossible it could actually meet. We already know, for instance, that this is the movie Cameron has been actively working to drive cinematic technology forward in the last 15 years in order to make: that’s enough to make you wonder what all the fuss could possibly be about. But today at CNN.com I read this headline:

Will James Cameron’s 3D ‘Avatar’ change cinema forever?

Wow. Change cinema forever? The article itself just keeps upping the ante:

“The 3D is going to be mind-boggling,” David Cohen of film industry trade magazine Variety told CNN. “He may indeed be pushing 3D to another level.”

“Avatar” is a combination of live action and photo-realistic CGI and is being touted as a huge leap forward in film technology — likened to the first movie in sound or with Technicolor.

In July, Cameron showed a 25-minute preview to fans at Comic-Con in San Diego and since then frothing commentators have described “Avatar” as everything from mind-expanding to the future of cinema.

His peers are impressed too: Ridley Scott says he is filming upcoming sci-fi adaptation “Forever War” in 3D after seeing some footage of “Avatar.” While “Iron Man” director John Favreau described the film as “a game-changer” and says he thinks it is “the future.”

The Guardian’s Film blog noted almost a month ago that today’ Avatar Day — 15 minutes of the film will be shown for free to IMAX audiences — could be Cameron’s perfect counter to that hype… but only if that footage lives up to the hype. But isn’t it more likely that any movie, even the most amazing one, will feel like a bit of a letdown when we’re all expecting the Future of Cinema!?

Can any movie possibly live up to Avatar’s advance hype?

If you were lucky enough to get a ticket to one of the Avatar Day previews, let us know what you thought of what you saw.

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me. Responses to this QOTD sent by email will be ignored; please post your responses here.)

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