Keep in mind this is an examination of first impressions.
I'm a blogger second and a fan of fantastic film first. That puts me right in line with the legion of geeks who have spent years drifting towards James Cameron's Avatar on the horizon, an unsinkable buoy in the deep sea. Sure, I've spent month after month hearing tale of how Steven Spielberg visited the set and walked away a humbled man or how Avatar promises to do lewd things to my eyeballs, but there's only one component of the hype that has stuck with me.
It was a passing comment made by Drew McWeeny, the always brilliant mind behind my favorite film blog, and even then he was paraphrasing what someone else had told him. And despite being concise enough to fit within the 140 character confine of Twitter, it embodies everything James Cameron, Fox, and all of the fans are up against:
"I spoke to someone regarding some "Avatar" footage he saw, and he said, "It's the T-rex scene, but for two hours.""
This was back in April (and no, I didn't bookmark Drew's tweet, I just Googled it for accuracy) so presumably whoever made that comment was someone with enough clout to see Avatar early, which weights the comment with further presumption that whoever said it is a person of substance. But I care less about the he-said-she-said and more about the bar that comparison sets. A bar I think couldn't be more realistic.