Avatar's Sticker Shock (and Awe)

There are some things that even money can't buy

Cowboy, Indian, and Horse share a house that sinks to the center of the Earth, when Indian mistakenly orders a million times as many bricks as necessary to build a barbecue for Horse's birthday. Actually, that makes the narrative seem almost linear. A Town Called Panic, which has more strident colors and less synopsizable action than a year's worth of comic-book adventures, embodies a sensibility that might be termed "extreme quirk." The movie has the manic whimsy of the dollhouse scenes in Michel Gondry's Science of Sleep and is even closer to child's play—noisy, overexcited, and very pragmatic.

Zoe Saldana, all native
WETA
Zoe Saldana, all native

Details

Avatar
Written and directed by James Cameron
20th Century Fox
Opens December 18

A Town Called Panic
Written and directed by Stéphane Aubier and Vincent Patar
Zeitgeist Films
Opens December 16, Film Forum

jhoberman@villagevoice.com

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