Fans are bound to compare movies to each other based on a lot of different factors, VFX and CGI being among those that will capture the attention of many individuals who know what to look for in any given scene. But when a director starts making claims that the VFX is greater in their own movie versus another franchise, it ends up sounding like a vainglorious claim that didn’t need to be made in the first place. The thing about this is that a lot of people forgive such statements by stating that this isn’t what was meant by the individual, that they were only comparing things simply as a reference, and blah, blah, blah. In other words, James Cameron taking another shot at the MCU by stating that the VFX in Avatar 2: The Way of Water is better than that which has been seen in the MCU feels incredibly petty, not to mention that it gives some folks the impression that he might not be as confident as he used to be in his own work. The idea that someone will compare their own work to someone else’s usually makes it clear that the person doing the talking is either less confident in their own work, or feels the need to downgrade the work of another for their own reasons. Any way a person puts it, this is the type of petty behavior that, even if it’s not meant to be, comes off as incredibly childish and less than confident.
It would appear that Endgame’s ability to top Avatar really got to Cameron.
It’s a funny thing when one thinks about the movie industry since, eventually, every movie is going to get topped at some point, as only a few ever hit the top spot and stay there for an extended period of time until it’s time to step down and let a newcomer take the spot. Avatar made its way to the top in a big way, and despite the effects being stupendous, it’s very easy to say that a lot of people were gripped by the story, which is what a director should want to happen since, otherwise, the effects game is always changing and one way or another if a director depends so heavily on an effects-driven movie, they’re going to be disappointed at one time or another. The fact that Avengers: Endgame became a thorn in Cameron’s side due to its success at the box office is kind of amusing, really, since it shows that despite his age, he hasn’t really grown up and realized that, yes, even his movies could be overcome and yes, he’s being called a legendary director for a reason, but he’s not infallible. Laughing at people when they’re overtaken by others isn’t exactly nice, but when they act this petty, it’s amusing at the very least.
One has to wonder what might happen if a movie without VFX topped Avatar 2.
It’s petty to mention that the initial Avatar movie did get trumped by The Hurt Locker at the Oscars, but at the very least, it appeared that James was congratulatory of his ex-wife Kathryn Bigelow, which means that the guy does have the good sense to take the L now and then. But his current words toward the MCU, even though he’s actively made it clear that he doesn’t want to diss the franchise, are doubly confusing since his achievements with Avatar have never been in question, nor has it ever been stated that Endgame was simply better than Avatar in any way. One has to remember that Endgame came out years after Avatar when the effects had evolved a few times and had therefore given way to a new style of filming that Avatar might not have had full access to in its day. It’s been stated that Cameron is always at the forefront of VFX, but trying to be in front enough to beat out every movie by several years or more isn’t always possible. Plus, it’s been proven that a movie that earns less and has less noticeable effects can beat out Avatar in awards if not box office receipts, so it would be funny as hell if the next Oscars ceremony saw Avatar 2 get buried beneath another movie that had almost no special effects by comparison.
At this point, watching Cameron’s movies feels like paying into his ill behavior.
In a sense, it’s akin to paying attention to a child that has been nothing but rude to all those around them, then agreeing to contribute to that behavior by admitting that what they’ve accomplished is great in any way. In this instance, Cameron is worth giving credit to for the work that he and his people have turned in, but in terms of his overall attitude, he’s been proving that he’s not worth paying attention to since he can’t appear to let things go, even when Endgame and Avatar are such different movies that such a comparison makes little to no sense.
Who really cares which movie has better VFX?
Seriously, both movies are different enough to have required very different effects, even if some of the same methods were being implemented. Endgame and Avatar are very different stories, and as such, they needed different uses of the same techniques that were going to look vastly different because of many different elements. But when all is said and done, who cares which had the better VFX?
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