Is 'Avatar' Really a Chick Flick?

The sci-fi movie Avatar arrives in theaters today, and it's one of the year's most hotly anticipated openings. If you've seen the trailer -- full of soldiers, futuristic machinery, and otherworldly battle scenes -- you may be thinking that it's just another testosterone-fueled fantasy film for guys.

But director James Cameron has shown a knack for making films based on stories that women and men can love. To wit, here are 3 of the director's cinematic trademarks:

Kick-ass women. Cameron is one of the few major action-movie directors who clearly relishes having strong women anchor his movies: Sigourney Weaver in Aliens, Linda Hamilton in Terminator, even Jamie Lee Curtis in True Lies. Zoe Saldana plays a warrior in Avatar, and you can bet we'll see her going to battle for what she believes in.

Love stories. Cameron is, of course, the director who brought us Titanic's tragic, five-hanky tale of Rose and Jack. While Avatar may not be a sweeping period romance, Cameron once again has forbidden love fueling its story.

Beautiful visual effects. Cameron is famous for his attention to detail and his innovative use of movie technology. He brought us the meticulous recreation of the Titanic, the glowing undersea aliens of The Abyss, and the liquid-metal killing machines of Terminator 2 -- but none of those feats were as ambitious as Avatar, which exquisitely creates an entirely new planet. In Avatar, every single plant and rock on that planet has been artfully designed -- and the results are a lush, gorgeous feast for the eyes.

Not sure about Avatar yet? Watch the trailer now:


PLUS: Sigourney Weaver on Avatar and Just Being Mom

Is Avatar on your must-see list this holiday season? Chime in below!

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