January 11, 2010, - 2:42 pm

Attention, LA Times: My “Avatar”Review Ran a Month Ago

By Debbie Schlussel

My review of “Avatar” is drawing a lot of traffic, today–and a lot of “classy” C-word, S-word, and F-word hate comments directed at me (many I’ve had to delete).  And I was wondering why.  Lo and behold, Los Angeles Times movie writer Patrick Goldstein has posted his latest written tirade against me (he’s written several–details here, here, and here–and I always enjoy reading . . . and laughing at them).


Dated today, Goldstein’s headline is “Right Wingers Launch New Attack on ‘Avatar.'”  (Emphasis added.)  In his newest screed against me, he writes:

It seems as if the more money “Avatar ” makes at the box office (it’s now officially the second-biggest-grossing film of all time), the more incensed its critics on the right become. The best example? Die-hard right-wing blogger/columnist/anti-Islam crusader Debbie Schlussel has now weighed in on the Jim Cameron blockbuster.

Problem is, my review ran the day before Avatar debuted, December 17th (I was allowed to post it that day, because it began showing at Midnight).  That’s almost a month ago and before the movie made a dime. So, I’m perplexed at Goldstein’s claim that I “lanched [a] new attack on ‘Avatar'” or how it’s possible that I wrote my review a month ago in expectation, knowing a month ago that the movie would make bazillions of dollars. While I expected it would, that’s not the reason I rip on movies–I’ve ripped on plenty that made very little or lost money.

Still, it’s nice to know that Patrick has faith in my 20/20 ESP vision, a month in advance.

Thanks, dude.

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31 Responses

So….We have the knowledge and technology to travel lightyears to another planet only to exploit what’s there ala the 20th Century?


Greener propaganda aside, the movie has killer visuals.
This is unfortunate as it will only serve to reinforce the
eco-tripe our youth now get in the guise of education.

Sam Adams on January 11, 2010 at 2:52 pm

Just another non-fact checking, babbbler of mistatements, and slime artistry at work — or yet another reason why print “journalism” (LA Times, etc) are going bankrupt.

It’s also ironic (laughable) that a “movie reviewer”‘s endorsement of a movie would be based on box office receipts (and that is the LA Times implicit argument). That’s pretty damn crass. Any number of F-grade movies have been “successful” at the box office. Maybe someone needs to take the time to explain to the LA Times reviewer that money made at the box office doesn’t automatically translate into a “great movie.” But, oh, wait, that would require actual useage of brain cells…and functioning synapses…

J.S. on January 11, 2010 at 3:04 pm

AVTAR is a liberal, anti military, eco fantasy that is sickeningly childish in its plot. Army dude infiltrates native population of alien creatures. falls in love with village chiefs daughter, protects the creatures from the evil, cruel white soldiers that want to burn them alive and destroy their world, laughing all the way.
When the crotch bomber tried to go kaboomie ,Obama played golf and finally went to see AVTAR in Hawaii with his spoiled daughters .. He loved it… but this is a president who said Michale Mann (Transformers) was his favorite director…lol…

will on January 11, 2010 at 3:05 pm

    Saw a comment by will stating that Michael Mann was the director of Transformers. Just wanted to correct that. Michael Bay did Transformers, as well as such gems as Bad Boys, Armageddon, and The Rock.

    Mann on the other hand made Heat, Last of the Mohecans, Thief(a ways back), and most recently made Public Enemies.

    One is a garbage man schilling forth crap and single-handedly dumbing down our nation while the other is a respected auteur who has made some of the most influential crime films of the last 30 years.

    Here is a hint, Cristopher Nolan based much of his story for the Dark Knight on the thematic content of Heat.

    Aaron on January 21, 2010 at 7:13 pm

You exposed it for what it is, anti-American, anti-white and pro-terrorist.

Federale on January 11, 2010 at 3:22 pm

Patrick Goldstein’s job is to keep the LA Times in business with readers – which appears to be working considering the amount of web traffic today.

He has come to his conclusions … let’s not confuse him with the facts.

With Patrick, “truth in journalism” should be considered an oxymoron.

Bill on January 11, 2010 at 3:26 pm

The LA Slimes really has it out for you. This guy want to muzzle you because you are one of the few conservatives who won’t cave in when pressured. No other ‘right wingers’ other than you cited. HA!! Personal beef to the extreme. He wants apologies, he wants redaction. Not gonna happen. This Goldstein guy is petty and a DEFEATED man. Three cheers for Debbie!! He is so against you personally he waits for another review he doesn’t like and wants the blogospehere to launch an attack against you on a popular movie. Defeated he wants others to fight against because he gets crushed each time by you. Obviously Goldstein will read your response and oops he was wrong again by the release date of your review. D’OH!!

CaliforniaScreaming on January 11, 2010 at 4:05 pm

I think you should be happy that the Times is even mentioning your name considering no one has ever heard of you. Just think of all the added nut-jobs, trailer trash and other assorted “White Angry Males” you’ll attract (like flies on…) with the worldwide publicity.

So tell me, are you for REAL, or are you just another opportunist disguised as a “conservative commentator” hoping to exploit and cash in on the idiots among us?

Cameronator on January 11, 2010 at 4:37 pm

    You are here, so are you an idiot as well? Also, Debbie is pretty well known, or the LA Times would not have bothered with her review. You really need to cut back on the bile and use your brain a bit more. People might take you more seriously then when you comment.

    Worry01 on January 12, 2010 at 12:41 am

While I am an avid supporter of Debbie’s writings on politics and culture (even when I vehemently disagree with her conclusions) I don’t care what Debbie or any other movie critic states about a movie. The one exception to that would be when I want to know the appropriateness of a movie for my children. However, in that case I skip everything else (and many critics except for Debbie do not even include this information).

The above having been said, this Goldstein guy must have horse manure for brains. From his article:

“It’s Schlussel’s favorite rhetorical tactic–if you liked a movie she loathed, you must be a moron. Sadly, like so many other conservative critics, she fails to even make an attempt at explaining why if “Avatar” is filled with so much left-wing extremism so many tens of millions of Americans have flooded the multiplexes to see the film, many of them more than once. The obvious answer is that, unlike Schlussel and other conservatives, most Americans are enthralled by the film”

If this is how we should judge films then pornagraphy is the best genre around. After all, how much is porn viewed on a daily basis?

I_AM_ME on January 11, 2010 at 5:11 pm

    The answer for Mr. Goldstein is quite simple. People will go to see movies with flawed scripts if the special effects are interesting, especially if they are science fiction fans. Also, others, and not just Debbie, have pointed out the not very subtle leftist message in the film Avatar. In addition, the anti-racism plot of Avatar is so old and tired that anyone other than a complete ideologue would have put it on the shelf long ago. “Planet of the Apes” was an example of this genre forty years ago. Creating an allegorical treatment of racism in a major film was potent and relevant at the time, but to do the same thing again decades later shows a paucity of imagination, if not intellectual conformity. A formula plot, no matter how many bows and ribbons you put on it, is a formula plot. Finally, as others have said, a good box office showing does not necessarily mean that a film is of lasting value. To use two very old examples, Fantasia and The Wizard of Oz were big losers in their day at the box office, but they went on to immortality. On the other hand, Saturday Night Fever was a smash hit during its release, but does anyone other than someone with a polyester fetish even think about that film now? I think Mr. Goldstein is coming perilously close to being a transparent shill for the film industry, rather than a critic.

    Worry01 on January 12, 2010 at 1:01 am

“You exposed it for what it is, anti-American, anti-white and pro-terrorist.”

You wingnuts are constantly entertaining. Can you advertise anymore for Cameron than you are with your middle school attempts to generate controversy? Americans, and the world, continue to flock to this film, so, looks like you are totally out of touch. And nutty. Certifiably.

Combine that with the far-left wackos going on and on about how Avatar is racist and sexist.

For those of us who are sane with a few functioning neurons, the striking thing is how similar the far-right and far-left actually are. You are the same personality type, just mapped on opposing views. Dumb as dirt, myopic to the point of blindness, and sorely lacking the sixth sense of humor.

Avatard on January 11, 2010 at 5:38 pm

    “You wingnuts are constantly entertaining. Can you advertise anymore for Cameron than you are with your middle school attempts to generate controversy?”

    Are we having a tantrum? Also, looking at the rest of your post, you really did not provide any substantive criticism of her remarks.

    “Dumb as dirt, myopic to the point of blindness, and sorely lacking the sixth sense of humor.” Now, was that anything more than something someone would expect from a middle school attendee? What is a “sixth sense of humor” anyway? You might want to chat with an adult before posting in the future.

    Worry01 on January 12, 2010 at 1:07 am

    better a wingnut than a numbnut! blah, blah, blah is what you sound like Atard.Before the jewish talk starts. The vatican said the effects were good! The movie sucked chunks.The same old story of we bad old military types. Someone else here said the tech to go light years to rape a place? I dont think so. Nothing wrong with saving nature! Just dont worship it! I dont care how good the effects are if the story sucks. Hey, I thought Harlem Nights sucked. That doesnt make anyone who thinks so a racist!!!!

    mike c on January 13, 2010 at 12:39 pm

I loved Avatar if only for the aircraft and other vehicles. That huge bulldozer was the best, the kind of thing I like to design.

Isn’t it interesting that a film (?) that makes us despise technology, is made by the most advances in movie-making available.

But the bigger problem is this. In our PC culture, if you have a dissenting opinion, you will be labeled negatively in some way. Sadly, because of this, many once loaded words have lost their punch and flavor. “Hateful,” simply means a difference of opinion. “Racist,” means you’re wise to certain people who would do you harm. “Bigot,” is used when nothing else will do, and all three words are thrown around when the opposing side has accusations to make, but nothing to back it up.

And yet the Left are always demanding “tolerance,” and “understanding,” from others, but for some reason, it doesn’t apply to them.

John on January 11, 2010 at 7:13 pm

Funny that many including Debbie are labelling Avatar as some kind of liberal screed…

…as a matter of fact I found myself viewing the company and their mercenaries as the real liberals – displaying absolutely no respect or regards for the little guy, property or another’s way of life – all the while feigning “concern” and agnst. Who else but leftist/facsist power and money hungry liberals would manipulate a parapleigic to obtain what they want via a promise of “new legs”? King George and the West Indies Tea Trading company might be a great label for comparison history-wise.

Still I gave the movie only 2.5 out of 5 stars…because the story line was very poorly done and too predictable – and it was an action movie without suspense – which I don’t like. The raging herd near the end was about the only suspenseful part – too little too late.

The worst part of the storyline was when the lead scientist made a “physical” and “observable” case for what was going on in the jungle – not a metaphysical or 60s hippie drugged-out religious case – and the lead company character literally jumps to a totally unrelated unmamed movie to grab a worn out cliche and then yanks us right back to Avatar with the following:

“What are you guys smoking?”

It simply did not follow response-wise logically in relation to the case the scientist was making.

A fatal move by Cameron…that is what more than anything else kept me from giving Avatar 3 stars out of 5.

Worth watching? Yeah…but save the money and wait for the DVD when it’s on sale at Walmart or Target for $5.99.


mrrabbit on January 11, 2010 at 8:03 pm

I just don’t understand why a film has to travel quadrillions of miles (okay then – kilometers) away from Earth and employ effeminate looking CGI aliens to illustrate the point that some intelligent beings suck more than others. Give me Schindler’s List over this pap any day.

baseboru on January 11, 2010 at 11:53 pm

What I find interesting is the need Mr. Goldstein and other liberals (reference Andrew Leonard on Salon.com) feel to so vehemently defend Avatar against negative reviews by conservatives. Last I checked, the film enjoys an 82% “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes (an indication of an overwhelmingly positive opinion among the critical establishment). Additionally, as so many of these people repeatedly scream from the rooftops, the American public is flocking to the theatres to see it.

What are Mr. Goldstein et. al. afraid of? Could it be that some of the criticism is valid? That much, if not most, of the critical and box-office approval of this film is based on its visual spectacle and not the substance of its story? Is it possible that the people attacking Debbie and other conservatives on this subject are so desperate to convince us that an anti-military, anti-capitalist, eco-wack-job propaganda piece is really what the American people want to see that they have to shout down a dissenting minority?

For a group of people that have supposedly won the argument, they sure aren’t acting like it. Just sayin’.

erdvid on January 12, 2010 at 8:45 am

I just read David Brooks review in the National Post (about the “White Messiah Complex”). That was a great review, and Brooks belittles the notion that somehow Cameron’s Avatar is “anti-racist”. It’s a racist film, since the White dude does one even better than the natives. The White guy (just as with Dances with Wolves) shows the dumb natives how it’s done…cause “they’s just too stupid.” (I utterly detested Dances with Wolves, btw.)

There’s another angle here also. Cameron is, of course, Canadian. There’s a myth which is taught in Canadian schools – it’s about the “Coureur des bois”…these were the renegade French (white) fur trappers who always “went native” but also outdid the natives. A lot of this crap is overly romanticized.

(The reality was something else — there was one such French dude — I’ve forgotten the name — he had “gone native” — but after something like 40 years of living with the natives, he ended up being canabalized — yeah, that was his fate — he was killed and eaten by the locals, those “wonderful” natives….LOL Ah, yes, reality is so much more entertainig, not to mention, amusing.)

Anyway, Cameron, as the Canadian manages to yet again work in the stupid “Coureur des bois” imperialist fantasy, along with the obligatory Hate America theme (aka “projection”). It’s sooo old, so typical, and so unoriginal. But hey it makes money at the box office! (and suckers are born every minute).

J.S. on January 12, 2010 at 12:06 pm

hmm…I think that what’s definitely needed here is an Avatar II — or the politically incorrect, unedited Sequel…which would be a parody of Avatar I…something like Mel Brook’s Space Balls…

J.S. on January 12, 2010 at 1:03 pm

Avatar I would be the romanticized unreal dream/fantasy, while Avatar II would be the reality…paralleling, say, Dostoevsky’s “The Dream of a Ridiculous Man”…(yes, the fictional “utopian” would be destroyed by virtue of the telling of a joke…a joke/lie thus shattering their sheltered world.)

J.S. on January 12, 2010 at 1:45 pm

I think you should be happy that the Times is even mentioning your name considering no one has ever heard of you. Just think of all the added nut-jobs, trailer trash and other assorted “White Angry Males” you’ll attract (like flies on…) with the worldwide publicity.

So tell me, are you for REAL, or are you just another opportunist disguised as a “conservative commentator” hoping to exploit and cash in on the idiots among us?

Cameronator on January 11, 2010 at 4:37 pm”

Wow! More leftist bigotry!

BethesdaDog on January 13, 2010 at 12:58 am

Cameron is an Ultra Liberal, global whiner but does not seem to be turning away all the “Evil” money his film is making. Though he will be one of the first ones to tell us how evil we are for not giving our “Excess” money to those who have less than we do.
I wanted to see avatar but when I found out it was a Cameron film I changed my mind. I will not give him or any pseudo liberal one dime of my money so I did the only responsible thing.. I downloaded it off the internet 🙂

Martin Fee on January 13, 2010 at 12:15 pm

For a great movie,See Jeremiah Johnson!Much better than DWWolves.For a truly funny one. Well, More than one to be factual! Blazing Saddles,Young Frankenstein, and one that is hard to find! Sherlock Holmes Smarter Brother. I only saw that one once! If you know where i can get it. Please let me know. Yes i know! Seems i like Mel Brooks stuff!

mike c on January 13, 2010 at 12:52 pm

ps see princeess and frog i loved that film

BEC on January 14, 2010 at 10:40 am

The movie was Ok at best. The only thing it had going for it was its visuals.

Sherlock Holmes was 1000x better easily

Propagandist31 on January 15, 2010 at 1:00 am

Being accurate and up to date is not important to the MSM.

Jim on January 15, 2010 at 11:44 am

It was very disappointing, when Avatar first came out, to see so many positive reviews of it, even by conservatives. The Red Eye group promoted it or at least allowed for it as entertainment value; liberal critics raved about its “immersive” qualities (though to ignore the repulsively crude storyline was hypocritical); even Morrissey over at Hot Air allowed that the movie was sort of fun. Later John Nolte at Big Hollywood and Podhoretz at Weekly Standard blasted the movie as it should have been from the beginning, but during that first month, you, Debbie, were the only one to write a clear, detailed analysis of why the movie was so awful. Thank you for being on the cutting edge of criticism and for being so consistently right!

Goldstein, by the way, stinks as a critic; whatever he writes I know the exact opposite is the truth.

Burke on January 15, 2010 at 11:23 pm

fuck u u bloodthirsty conservative cunt

debbieisacunt on February 2, 2010 at 1:07 am

So this guy just completely owned you and your only comeback is “I can’t see into the future!” You officially fail.

C H on February 4, 2010 at 3:51 pm

Anti-American and anti-military, my foot. Some of you people are about as sensitive and hyper-offended as the View hens.

Jennifer on December 29, 2010 at 9:21 pm

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