The Movie Club
Roger, I think that Na'vi Jake retains his consciousness due to the sacred ritual in which Neytiri used the power of the Tree of—ah, screw it.
Dana, I'll say this about Cameron: For all his faults, he's been an ardent supporter of The Hurt Locker all season. And I'll say this about The Hurt Locker: It is totally terrific, of course, but doesn't it seem a little square? I wasn't looking for Kathryn Bigelow to make Three Kings 2, but that last gunfight and chase through the streets of Baghdad made me shrug, because I'd seen it so many times before—and so much of the movie had shown me things I hadn't seen before.
Wesley, even though I really like A Serious Man, I can't argue against your point about the Coens. All I can say is that those sandcastles are real architectural marvels—I'm talking turrets, gargoyles, driftwood-and-seaweed drawbridges—and so it never stops being fun for me to see them demolished so enthusiastically.
Stephanie, your intense and thoughtful defense of Antichrist makes me want to revisit it, but—like Willem Dafoe's character—I don't have the balls to go through that again.
As always, there were way too many interesting movies this year for us to get to them all. I hope readers will find the time to see Where the Wild Things Are, a movie that I loved and that parents of boys I know have found almost unbearably moving. I hope they'll catch Olivier Assayas's Summer Hours, a wise and funny movie about families and their keepsakes. I hope they'll rent Greg Mottola's coming-of-age gem Adventureland; stream the quiet baseball character study Sugar; Redbox Jane Campion's intellectual romance Bright Star; DVR Soderbergh's hilarious uncomedy The Informant!; dance along to the blues-meets-Bollywood-meets-Brooklyn animated delight Sita Sings the Blueson YouTube; watch the intense Mexican thriller Sin Nombre on a train; enjoy Ramin Bahrani's portrait of an unlikely friendship, Goodbye Solo, in the back of a cab; and get caught up in the indie bromance Humpday while it's playing in the background of a pot-filled, anything-goes party full of crazy young people.
Let's all get together again someday? Perhaps to chat about James Cameron's apparently upcoming 3-D extravaganza on the nuking of Japan. Talk about history's great moral enormities! I'll just be over here, ducking and covering under my desk.
I see you,
Dan Kois is a senior editor at Slate and a contributing writer to the New York Times Magazine.