Jim Cameron’s Avatar

Discussion in 'Other Media (TV/Film, Comics & Games)' started by Wulfa_Jones, Aug 25, 2009.

  1. Hobbit

    Hobbit Now.. A Seriously Likeable Administrator Staff Member

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    Yeah: we have one of those crossover discussions: stupidly, I discussed it in the 'What movie did you last see' thread. Things seem to have continued there.

    So I've copied the posts over from there into this thread.

    Mark
     
  2. Hereford Eye

    Hereford Eye Just Another Philistine

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    Saw it first in 2D; then went to see it in 3D.
    The story reminded me of the Black Hills story with the winning side reversed.
    And I thoroughly enjoyed both 2D and 3D versions.
    To get critical:
    The military lead never learns but this is the same criticism I leveled at Thomas A. Day's A Grey Moon Over China so the cliche of monomaniacal grunts continues unabated. It was this characterization that ruined the movie for TLWSHLWM. It might have been mitigated by the fighter pilot changing sides but the fighter pilot was a "girl" so what do you expect? Our problem is that this characterization doesn't mesh with the battalion commanders we are personally acquainted with.
    I thoroughly enjoyed how each of the lessons our hero learns during his first three months are employed in the battle, like the impervious hide of the beasts and particularly the falling out of the sky routine.
    I enjoyed the future technology riffs like the ability to take a screen shot from the health monitors and walk away examining same.
    Thought the scene of Sigourney demanding a cigarette, while plausible for a smoker, contrived. Doesn't seem to tell us a lot about her character as she displays no other addictive behavior.
    Thought the attention to detail outstanding. Watch TsuTey fall away from the bomber and notice that his dagger trails him down.
    Neytiri extinguishes the torch and the flora are seen to be luminescent.
    Good movie.
    After a time, I'll watch it again.
     
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  3. psikeyhackr

    psikeyhackr Live Long & Suffer

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    I couldn't help think of a tactic that should have worked in that battle which was never used.

    What would happen if you dropped a 20 lb. rock into a spinning helicopter blade? :D

    psik
     
  4. Rob B

    Rob B \m/ BEER \m/ Staff Member

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    My wife and I just returned from seeing Avatar - the story itself was somewhat predictable and borrowed from at least a dozen or so FSF stories that have come before (Pern + Dances with Wolves + Prophesized savior) but it worked well enough. The imagery and color pallette of the movie was absolutely mind-blowing.

    That said, my wife and I will not be seeing any more movies in 3-D. It didn't seem necessary for the film and although Cameron didn't add elements just to show off the 3-D, wearing the glasses was a distraction.

    I think we are spoiled by HD especially because we just saw the preview in HD and the dragon-creatures looked better than they did on the big screen in 3D.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2009
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  5. Gkarlives

    Gkarlives Mystic and Misfit

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    I absolutely loved it. I think the 3-D, while still in its infancy, was amazing. Yes, there were times in the fast moving action sequences where the 3-D was blurry and broke down a bit, but look how far it has come from the red and ble glasses. Look at the difference between the early black and white films to our current blue ray and HD TV. Give it time, it will only get better. Yes, some of the plot was very reminscent of dances with wolves, but the emotional impact from the 3-D footage drove the message home a little better. The destuction of the great tree was very viseral. I will be looking for more. Like anything else, some will be crap and some will be gems.:D
     
  6. psikeyhackr

    psikeyhackr Live Long & Suffer

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    I saw it again and enjoyed it again. But I think once the newness has worn off I am going to rank it below The Matrix, The Abyss and Aliens. It may break even with Terminator II.

    One thing I found curious was that while Colonel what-his-name was talking about "limp dick scientists" he was climbing into one of those waldo-robots. I find it difficult to imagine the James Cameron did that accidentally. Without the augmentation of that sophisticated technology the Colonel would have no chance against a Na'vi. But he will criticize scientists while using technology resulting from the work of scientists.

    I think this is a dichotomy that the human race will have to resolve in this century.

    psik
     
  7. Rob B

    Rob B \m/ BEER \m/ Staff Member

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    3D has been around for decades, since the 1950s. Granted, what we have now is leaps and bounds beyond what our parents had for 3D movies, but I don't think the story was enhanced by the 3D.

    I've heard from both camps that the 3D was and wasn't distracting to be fair.

    What I do want to see is this film in BluRay.
     
  8. PeterWilliam

    PeterWilliam Omnibus Prime

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    I'm all geeked up because I'll finally get to see it tomorrow. I'm a little concerned however, because Mrs. PW insists on going as well. She is not friendly to all things sf&f, so my concern is that she's going to rain on my parade. C'mon movie, be good!!
     
  9. Tanaros

    Tanaros Kingslayer

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    My first night out since my kid was born was dedicated to Avatar 3D. We left the little guy with his grandma and aunt and we were off.
    I heard a lot about it and I thought I knew what to expect, but I was not even close.
    The movie is outstanding and it is primarily because of Pandora. The planet is a character on its own and what most people tend to oversee, it is the one element that makes this film true SF. Anyone who has read Solaris could see similarities. The planet is alive, it is a kind of intelligence that humans cannot even begin to grasp, even the Na'Vi cannot express it in words because they are a part of it. That is why the planet chose the "empty headed" marine in the body of a genetically engineered Na'Vi to bridge the gap between the planet and humans. Without the living intelligent planet there would be no victory for the Na'Vi, and there would be no excellence in this excellent film.
    It is almost three hours long and it is too short. There are too many great things about this movie and I do not believe that there will be anything remotely close to it in near future. I just hope that other people will start thinking about it in other ways than just effects (which are awesome) and seeing more in it than just shallow interpretations of native Americans, and films such as Dances with Wolves, Fern Gully, Matrix, because that is just plain lazy and ignorant.
    Recommendation: Go see it, enjoy it and think about it. You will be rewarded.
     
  10. Hereford Eye

    Hereford Eye Just Another Philistine

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    Ah, the old name calling gambit! Any disagreement from one opinion has no merit, only the opinion expressed has any merit.
    Pshaw!
    I see a resemblance to Dances With Wolves, not so much Matrix, and I have never seen Fern Gully so I cannot comment. I also, as I posted earlier, see parallels to a half-dozen or so similar events in the North American conquest. The fact that I see them does not mean anyone else must see them or that they are not permitted to see something I missed. If my opinion were the only one that mattered why, then, am I not King of the World?
     
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  11. Tanaros

    Tanaros Kingslayer

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    Sorry if that sounded too harsh. It was aimed at those who are thrashing the movie without even trying to think about it and are simply doing it to appear clever and better than anyone else who liked it.
    I respect everyone's opinion, off course unless it is phrased: "The movie sucks", or something like that. It is one thing to like something and completely another to understand its depth and its various aspects. There is an old story about a political commissar whose duty was to explain Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment to the villagers and it sounded like: "A young man wants money and decides to kill a rich old women. Naturally, he is caught and the moral of the story is that crime does not pay." You will agree that this is not the way to talk about a work of art, and maybe even you would call such people "lazy and ignorant".
    Again, I apologize if anyone was offended.
     
  12. carnagel

    carnagel Registered User

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    I think this was a conscious decision from Cameron based on the Uncanny Valley - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uncanny_valley
     
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  13. PeterWilliam

    PeterWilliam Omnibus Prime

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    Just got back from the movie and had a great time. Avatar is an extraordinary visual experience. While the story may have "been done" before, it was done as well here as anywhere else. Upon completion, I knew I loved it and walked out to the parking lot dazed and stunned by how much I admired the interconnectedness of life and the sentient planet.
     
  14. psikeyhackr

    psikeyhackr Live Long & Suffer

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    Does that mean no rain from Mrs. PW or should we not ask?

    psik
     
  15. PeterWilliam

    PeterWilliam Omnibus Prime

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    After promising, on Sunday, that we would go, she tried to hedge and say, "Well, we can go next weekend." Nuh-uh, you don't offer the treat, dangle momentarily and then say, "next weekend." So, I ended up having to go by myself. I sat through all the credits rolling just dazed and content. If entertainment is an appetite, I was totally sated and looking for a nap. Wonderful!
     
  16. Hereford Eye

    Hereford Eye Just Another Philistine

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    Last edited: Dec 29, 2009
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  17. psikeyhackr

    psikeyhackr Live Long & Suffer

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    That is really cool HE! Thanx for the link.

    I have read the Deathworld Trilogy multiple times but I didn't even think of the similarities. I know I read The Word for the World is Forest but it must be 30+ years so I don't remember any of it. But "The Winds of Altair", "Call Me Joe" and "To Fell a Tree" I never even heard of.

    I have read one work by Young though. I didn't remember him 'til I searched on that.

    http://www.gutenberg.org/files/23232/23232-h/23232-h.htm

    psik
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2009
  18. Wulfa_Jones

    Wulfa_Jones Gentleman and Scholar

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    Got back about an hour ago from seeing Avatar in 3D and I was surprised. I really enjoyed it.

    I've not seen a modern 3D film until today, so I was initially a bit giddy about the effect (the zero-g stuff at the start really impressed me) but, after a while the 3D ceased to impress and I think I'd have enjoyed the film equally had I seen in 2D and did feel that some scenes/shots were chosen to show off the 3D.

    Also, it is a long film. I understand the need for the length - to build the bond between the audience and the Na’vi - but I really wish modern cinemas still did intermissions as after nearly 3 hours my vision was starting to blur due to not having been able to take a bathroom break!

    After my initial comments on the CGI I was quite impressed. I think it was a shock at first, most CGI creations in live actions movies tend to be “realistically” coloured so seeing the bright blue Na’vi for the first time I did think they looked a little silly/cartoony. However, when watching the film… they looked pretty real.

    Storyline wasn’t amazing and some later plot developments were so well sign posted Cameron might has well have popped up on screen and told you that this would be important later in the plot, before allowing the film to continue. However, I didn’t mind in the end. I got quite involved and passionate about the whole thing! For me, the film echoed very much how the British Empire or more pointedly the trading companies it spawned, treated the natives of the various countries in the Empire. Of course you could also read into it the whole thing about big businesses being a driving force behind the Iraq and Afghanistan invasions.

    What was impressive was the detail Cameron must have done on the world building. The Na'vi language, culture, the moon's eco-system...

    So yeah, I really liked it and I am very glad I went to the big screen to watch it. Cameron again (after all, he can made me upset when a robot killing machine sacrifices itself in a vat of molten metal) proves that a film having a heart can make up for having a lack of plot.

    I do kinda hate the fact I liked it so much though. I just felt myself getting dragged in!
     
  19. Jeroen

    Jeroen Registered User

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    Ive seen Avatar 3D last week!

    Much has been said about this movie already. According to many, Avatar is a breakthrough accomplishment in special effects and 3D cinema and I immediately take their word for it. This is one of those movies during which I thought: “this is visually the most beautiful movie I have ever seen” and that happens only every few years. I am sure that a few years from now, there will be movies bigger and better than Avatar in their effects and 3D (even though Avatar has been ridiculously expensive). Avatar is the movie that people will emulate and, before you know it, do better. But! Avatar will be remembered for a long, long time to come, not because of the techniques that have been used, but because just of what has been created with these techniques.

    I thought Avatar’s story was solid, but not very remarkable. At times downright predicable. But so were Star Wars and The Lord of the Rings. It’s your standard Dances With Wolves or Pocahontas story, in which a soldier changes sides when he notices that his own people are the baddies, only you don’t see these stories in a science fiction environment often. It is well written and I really started to care about the characters, as it should be done. James Cameron’s greatest achievement is the world he has created. This is escapism at its peak and it makes the 3D version truly stand out. Avatar feels real, as if Cameron truly flew to another world and took his camera with him, until you notice that everything looks bigger and better than on Earth and you remember that you are watching a movie.

    Avatar does not strike me as the typical mediocre movie that tries to hide its lack of story behind awesome special effects; it is a great movie that does everything right, aims high and wins. I love it when that happens! :D
     
  20. saintjon

    saintjon Illustrious Gambler

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    Me too. I saw it earlier today without the 3d and it was phenomenal. It was a really solid cool movie up until the end when violent madness happens, which is when it became really awesome. it's been awhile for James Cameron but he hasn't forgotten how to make phenomenal action scenes. I could care less about the standards of visual effects, I hope this movie raises the standards of action scenes back to an impressive level. Name me a director who can put a better piece of explosive action on the screen that James Cameron. Outside of the world of martial arts he is the king and I'm glad he's back to making movies.