I was hoping it wouldn't come to this, but James Cameron -- well, James Cameron must be stopped. If not for his own safety, then at least for ours.
Don't get me wrong: Cameron is cinematic royalty, king of the performance-capture world. He is an innovator and a visionary, a pioneer if not a profiteer. But now, the master craftsman behind "Avatar" is quickly becoming synonymous with another six-letter "A"-word that Hollywood knows all too well.
That's right, Mr. Cameron has become an Addict, and it is time for an intervention -- because clearly, he cannot let "Avatar" go. Having opened Pandora's box, he remains in its clutches, on a perpetual sci-fi high. Now we must save him so we can save ourselves.
Fox Home Entertainment announced Tuesday that there is yet more of Cameron's Pandora to "glimpse," as if answering some great blue hue-and-cry from a public pining for even more hours in the animated land of the Na'vi. Come mid-November, special-edition discs of "Avatar" will descend upon us like space rocks, pelting us with an additional "45 minutes of footage."
Cameron the Unquenchable is quoting as saying: "I told our team -- let's do the ultimate box set of 'Avatar,' with everything in it the fans could possibly want. (Note the telltale signs: Delusion and denial.) The Cinematic Addict goes on: "There's an extended-length cut that's 16 minutes longer, plus documentaries, behind-the-scenes featurettes, artwork and over 45 minutes of deleted scenes. Everything worth putting into a special edition is in this set." (Typical: The more he indulges his addiction, the more it keeps costing us.)
The latest wave of Avataria -- for those scoring along at home -- follows the August 2009 "preview footage" screenings in theaters; last December's release of "Avatar" proper; April's Earth Day release of the DVD; and August's re-release of the film in theaters. And now hitting shelves in November, the new DVD release.
As Bill Paxton's Hudson bellows in Cameron's great 1986 film "Aliens": "They're coming outta the walls!"
We don't entirely begrudge Cameron his endless fascination with his own film. It is a stunning spectacle and a visual game-changer. And when we stood next to Cameron at 2009's San Diego Comic-Con, that glint in his eye seemed far more boy-scientist enthusiasm than gouge-'em greed. (And when we also spoke with longtime Cameron producer Jon Landau, he shared that enthusiasm over tinkering with Hollywood's coolest toys to new effect.)
But enough is enough. Commercially and critically, the lush and radiant "Avatar" has had its day in the sun(s). Cameron might have lost The Big Oscar to his ex-wife, but "Avatar" -- having grossed nearly $2.8-billion worldwide -- remains the Biggest Film Ever.
So let it go, Mr. Cameron, It's time to put down the visual masterpiece, accept its place in the pantheon and get on with the rest of your life.
At least until 2011, when "Avatar" is scheduled to be released in 3D Blu-ray.