Some movies just get a trailer release. Avatar got Avatar Day, a special day just to go to the movie theater and see 15 minutes of preview footage. FOX is sure putting up the promotional dollars, which stands to reason since Avatar cost 237 million dollars to make. And with a single trailer, Avatar is already being thought of as dead in the water. With a Downfall Hitler video parody of its own and a "Thundersmurfs in Space" catchphrase, and its star Sam Worthington defending the trailer as being deliberately bad, Avatar obviously has its problems.

Cameron's last big splashy movie, Titanic, cost 200 million dollars to make. Accounting for inflation, it might still be slightly more expensive than Avatar, probably not. But Titanic was also a troubled production that most people didn't think would succeed. Old Rupert Murdoch though watched the movie, kept the faith and Titanic made billions of dollars around the world. FOX is hoping Avatar will turn the same trick... but there's one problem. Titanic was the Twilight of its day, except its audience wasn't limited to teenage girls. James Cameron pulled off his big success by appealing to women. Women made up the core audience for Titanic, for the first time with any Cameron pic. Does anyone seriously think that Avatar will be able to pull that off?

The first danger sign for Avatar was that it was not only directed by James Cameron, but written by James Cameron. And while Cameron is a fantastic director, he's a terrible. I mean a really genuinely terrible writer. Words like derivative, treacly and hackeneyed all come to mind. If you want Cameron to blow things up or shoot a chase scene, he's great. If you want him to write a conversation between actual human beings... it's a no go.

So it's no real surprise that Avatar borrows the plot from half a dozen kids movies, but it's somewhat of a surprise that it actually looks like a kid's movie, once you get down to the planet. But maybe it shouldn't be that big of a surprise. Every single "revolutionary" CGI movie has backfired badly. Think of Beowulf. Cameron might have thought he could do more with the technology than Robert Zemeckis, but he was obviously wrong.

With a derivative plot and visuals that are underwhelming, Avatar is doomed to be the Thundersmurfs in Space everyone is expecting it to be.