Avatar! (believe the hype)

Lejanius

Rookie
just watched it

amazing special effects

terrible story, terrible story telling, boring plot, highly predictable

I wouldn't buy it on DVD

I am not a movie snob, but District 9 was so much better than this, whoever said it was Dances with Wolves in the future is basically right.

also the stupid robot had a side mirror, not a rear HUD display a 1940's style side mirror, classy

Worth seeing for the visual effects but not a great movie or story in my small and worthless opinion
 
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Boring plot? I never understood such statements. You're not watching a plot. You're watching a movie. You're having an experience. Is skydiving a boring plot? Is sex? Both are predictable in how they end, but does that take away from the richness of the experiences therein?

And what's wrong with Dances With Wolves?
 

Fedace

Banned
Boring plot? I never understood such statements. You're not watching a plot. You're watching a movie. You're having an experience. Is skydiving a boring plot? Is sex? Both are predictable in how they end, but does that take away from the richness of the experiences therein?

And what's wrong with Dances With Wolves?
Not enough actual dancing with the wolves in my opinion....:???:
 

Lejanius

Rookie
Boring plot? I never understood such statements. You're not watching a plot. You're watching a movie. You're having an experience. Is skydiving a boring plot? Is sex? Both are predictable in how they end, but does that take away from the richness of the experiences therein?

And what's wrong with Dances With Wolves?
Dances with Wolves was great.

Look a story needs to be interesting. There should be something to grip the reader. This can be accomplished in a lot of ways like interesting characters, a good story with twists and turns, thought provoking commentary on a subject or tense drama with an unpredictable or dramatic outcome.

A story doesn't need all of these to be good but it would be nice to have at least one. In my opinion (which doesn't matter to anyone) Avatar failed in all of those things. I didn't connect to any character, I didn't ever feel as if the lead was really in danger, the plot was never in question and the drama was just absent. Therefore the story was boring.

Movies are different than books (obviously) because they can show things in a visual way. Many movies have to make a choice on how to tell their stories that novels don't have to worry about. Avatar chose to show off the technology they possessed with some spectacular visual effects and pulled that off in spades, but the story was lacking in my eyes.

I didn't think it was a bad movie buy my challenge to everyone who loved it is this. Write down a short synopsis of the movie. Then read it and tell me how interesting and fresh it is to you. If you remove all the visual effects I believe the story is nothing to get excited about.

Just my opinion and I don't expect anyone to agree with me
 

BorisBeckerFan

Professional
Fair point. I'm not saying everything and anything that evokes a wide range of emphatic responses is art, but I do think in this case it might apply. Might. Maybe it's more correct to say that most artist prefer somebody to respond passionately to their work, whether it be hate or love, and the worst reaction possible is no reaction at all.

I'm actually surprised people here are not going to see it based on what somebody posted on a message board. I don't think 90% of the stuff posted here about tennis is reliable, let alone thoughts on politics, music, movies, etc.

Anyway, still has an A average from 20,000 Yahoo! users. It's funny that Britney Spears is brought up. I actually think a lot of her songs are pop gems. I'm pretty sure my song writer friends I hung out with when I was an audio engineer for a brief spell would agree. Even if her music is not your thing, many of her songs are incredibly well crafted pop. Likewise, even if you end up disappointed by the intellectual depth of this movie (not sure why people expected deep philosophical thoughts from this movie... or from any 3D action movie but different strokes I suppose...) there's no denying this movie is an incredible achievement on several levels.
I am most certainly going to watch Avatar. I usually watch movies that generate this much buzz and then come up with my own conclusions. Also I love Britney even though I don't really consider her an artist per se, her stuff is usually really good.
 

edberg505

Legend
I find it pretty sad people can like movies this like. It was absolutely terrible from a story, character, and filmmaking perspective. Great effects? Sure. But who cares? That kinda stuff sold me when I was 15, but at 29 this movie is basically much ado about nothing. A complete waste of money, both in terms of my ticket, and the money spent making it.

To those who liked it, what redeeming value do you see in it? Where are the characters, the development, the story telling? I do not accept "visual effects" as any kind of supporting argument, because soon enough 3D movies will be passe, and the effects will be trumped. What are you left with then? A pathetic shell of a movie really.

I just don't get it. How can ANYONE with a modicum of intelligence like this film?
Wow, do you get nose bleeds from being up there. That's a pretty darn high horse you are on.
 

christos_liaskos

Professional
Boring plot? I never understood such statements. You're not watching a plot. You're watching a movie. You're having an experience. Is skydiving a boring plot? Is sex? Both are predictable in how they end, but does that take away from the richness of the experiences therein?

And what's wrong with Dances With Wolves?
There's nothing wrong with Dances With Wolves. I just felt like the whole plot line of Avatar was an exact copy of Dances except finished in the big Hollywood way with the good guys winning. Human history would not suggest that this is how such a confrontation would turn up. I dont even feel like the storyline was finished properly. After the humans lost that battle I wouldn't think that would be the end of it, far from it. The army that the humans took with them didnt seem very big to me and it just seemed inevitable that they would go back and in the end destroy all the indiginous people. Of course Hollywood wouldnt want to show that ending.

I'm not normally interested in being a film critic of any kind but I really felt disturbed when i left the cinema after watching it. And the annoying thing was I couldnt work out why. I seemed to see all this underlying storyline that noone else seemed to see or was bothered about. It really could have been some subconcious thing - my mum is a history teacher and about a week earlier she had been watching videos about the slave trade. Also all the talk of climate change recently with Coopenhagen. Maybe these things, coupled with the underlying storyline that only i seemed to notice really made me aware of the negative aspects of human beings.
 
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fps

Legend
Typical movie-buff snobbery in here. The movie was incredible. When you go into a movie with a pre-determined idea of what a movie must be in order to be good, you're only limiting your experience.
my pre-determined idea of what a movie must do/have/be in order to be good, or possibly just to prevent it being awful.

1. it must have a script, if it isn't a silent film, which has care and precision in its words, an intelligently written script, that is employed to great effect, whatever that may be.

2. it must have characters with a depth, range and set of qualities that enrich the experience of the story that is being told, and they must be well-acted.

3. it must not preach and bleat. It must raise what issues it has organically, it must be a guide to an audience and not a finger wagging in their faces.

4. it must strive to open a new window on the type of story it tells.

that really is it. Avatar failed on all 4 fronts.
 
Well most critics completely disagree with you, for whatever that's worth. Again, a movie is just an experience, like sex. From the moment sex begins you know how it's going to end. Does that take away from the experience? I don't think so.

You went in with an idea about what the experience must be to be satisfying. I didn't. That's why I enjoyed it so much.
 

BorisBeckerFan

Professional
After having seen it today there really isn't much to say about it. It just kind of sucks. I was expecting the graphics and animation to be alot better. Just look at the mechs from district 9 as compared the mechs in avatar. District 9 is way more realistic. Not that I would know what aliens look like but the execution of how the aliens were made in district 9 makes them look organic as if they actually exist. The aliens in avatar just have that fake cgi look and movement to them. I won't really comment on the story as it just pretty bland. Overall it just wasn't a fun experience for 2 and half hours. Movies imho shoould entertain, draw emotions or reactions and this is just kind of flat.
 

Lejanius

Rookie
Well most critics completely disagree with you, for whatever that's worth. Again, a movie is just an experience, like sex. From the moment sex begins you know how it's going to end. Does that take away from the experience? I don't think so.

You went in with an idea about what the experience must be to be satisfying. I didn't. That's why I enjoyed it so much.
the sex thing is a terrible analogy.

Sex by it's nature is hardwired into our biology. Everything from a way a person smells to how they smile and what color eyes they have can alter your attraction to a person. It is an emotional and unconscious need. You need to have to sex to procreate and continue the species.

It is a need, albeit one that can be suppressed for years (or even a lifetime) if need be.

Enjoying a movie (be it bad or good) is fine but comparing it to knowing how sex ends doesn't work because when you have sex you release thousands of endorphins, emotional and physical responses, and sensations that you cannot duplicate in any other manner.

in other words if you want to feel like you do after and during sex you need to have sex to do it. You may know how it will end every time but you can't replicate the experience any other way.

if you want to feel like you do at the end of a movie you can simulate that response through any number of other activities. Some movies elicit better responses that others.
 

JRstriker12

Hall of Fame
I saw the movie last week in 3-D and I had to say I liked it. I expected to be hugely disappointed, and mainly went for the visual experience, but it was much better than I expected.

It was definitely entertaining. Was it earth shattering or mind bending? No, but as far as this genre of movies go it had all you could ask for: action, aliens, sci-fi elements, mechs, etc. There were even some moments where you felt some empathy for the aliens (I'm not going to spoil it- so I'm not mentioning the particular scene.) I thought the scenery in Pandora was incredible and the floating mountains looked incredible in 3-D.

Have to say Cameron was pretty tasteful in his use of 3-D effects, using it to add depth to scenes and not place an annoying object 3ft from your face the whole movie.

Basically, it was a fun movie to go to hang out with friends on a holiday evening.
 
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Deleted member 25923

Guest
Too many people these days trying to seem sophisticated by saying a film lacks something, as if only amazing films can give them that. They try to glorify themselves as intellectuals by condemning newer films (even the good ones) as complete failures.
 

35ft6

Legend
my pre-determined idea of what a movie must do/have/be in order to be good, or possibly just to prevent it being awful.
In my experience, people either like or hate a film, song, food, person, etc, and figure out why later.
that really is it. Avatar failed on all 4 fronts.
I thought it succeeded on all four fronts. It's a simple story. I think Cameron would be the first to admit that.
^^ you are comparing apples to organges, that is the main problem with Avatar critict's, it is a simple good movie, great FXs and a nice story, cliche? yes! what were you expecting? predictable? of course! it is meant to be understood even by kids. If you want complicated I woud recommend Gone Baby Gone...
Yeah, I don't get it. It's like taking somebody to get a great burger at the beach, the person taking a bite and saying "it sucks compared to El Bulli in Spain." This movie is clearly not an exercise in cinematic existentialism, although the whole notion of avatars could be fuel for thought in terms of what constitutes a person, the soul, dualism (philosophy of mind sort), etc.

When 40 year old men say, at length and passionately, even angrily, that they hate music for 10 year old girls, I have a hard time believing somebody can be so clueless. Of coures you don't like Selena Gomez, you dolt. Who composed better music, The Beatles or Bach? Who is a better jazz pianist, Monk or Tatum? Not everything fits perfectly into your little circles and squares. Everything can't be determined by your little list. Stormo is right...
When you go into a movie with a pre-determined idea of what a movie must be in order to be good, you're only limiting your experience.
Sure, it's valid to dislike Avatar. If you weren't entertained, than you weren't entertained, and there's no disputing that. But the reasons being given for disliking it are IMO bizarre. Story was predictable? Some of my favorite movies were predictable. It's like music, some songs you can hum along to the first time you hear it, it's like you've heard it your whole life. People can also be like this, they are instantly "familiar." The Avatar story is as old as time. So yeah, it's predictable, we all knew the "good guys" would win. And that goes for almost every movie I've ever seen. How is Avatar different in this regard? It's not. I know Indiana Jones is going to survive and accomplish his mission, even if only inadvertently, and the list of movies where I know the good guy will survive and succeed is pretty indistinguishable from the list of every movie ever made.

It's all about execution. Cameron was going for emotion and visual impact. Other people go for twists and turns, and that's fine. This movie wasn't about that. If somebody makes you a great sandwich, don't lament that it's not French Laundry. Put everything in its proper context and understand that all movies or art don't share the same objective. If you like movies with ambiguous morals, unpredictable characters, non-linear structures, and unusual themes, that's cool. I do, too, sometimes. Sometimes I like the world's most peet heavy whiskey, and sometimes I want Coors Lite. Sometimes I like a fancy dinner, and sometimes I love a simple sandwich. Sometimes I'm amazed by my 3 year old nephews vocabulary even though Salman Rushdie could talk circles around him. Damn, put things into context, dudes!!!!

I don't see how people can't praise this movie if for no other reason than how magical it looked. I wasn't a huge fan of Lawrence of Arabia but I can admit it looked fantastic. That was enough for me. Anyway. :)
 
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the sex thing is a terrible analogy.

Sex by it's nature is hardwired into our biology. Everything from a way a person smells to how they smile and what color eyes they have can alter your attraction to a person. It is an emotional and unconscious need. You need to have to sex to procreate and continue the species.
So nothing about us being stimulated in a movie theater is hardwired into our biology? I sure hope that the rest of your post does more to explain why it's a terrible analogy. Ultimately, they are both visceral experiences.

Enjoying a movie (be it bad or good) is fine but comparing it to knowing how sex ends doesn't work because when you have sex you release thousands of endorphins, emotional and physical responses, and sensations that you cannot duplicate in any other manner.
And these things aren't done in a movie? In fact there are many other ways to release endorphins.

in other words if you want to feel like you do after and during sex you need to have sex to do it. You may know how it will end every time but you can't replicate the experience any other way.

if you want to feel like you do at the end of a movie you can simulate that response through any number of other activities. Some movies elicit better responses that others.
People seem to have trouble understanding what an analogy is. It doesn't mean sex and movies are the same, yet what you're doing is explaining how sex is different.

Please tell me how you can replicate the experience of being on Pandora better than watching Avatar in 3D IMAX.

It's obvious that you miss the point completely. Everything is an experience. You went into the 'Avatar experience' with a set of criteria that dictated whether or not that experience was good or not. It was your prejudices that determined whether the experience was positive or negative for you, as you've made clear with your previous posts.
 

35ft6

Legend
Too many people these days trying to seem sophisticated by saying a film lacks something, as if only amazing films can give them that. They try to glorify themselves as intellectuals by condemning newer films (even the good ones) as complete failures.
And a lot of people define themselves by the things they hate and not by the things they enjoy. Cultural Debbie Downers. It's intellectual posturing and 99% of them can't explain themselves beyond a few sentences they hijacked from blogs or a few pseudo-philosophical generalizations that their friends have heard a thousand times and secretly find unbearable. These people are the self proclaimed champions of "keeping it real" in a world of phonies. Sad really. The smartest people I know are almost without fail curious, like to listen more than they criticize/pontificate, and have generous spirits, realizing the world is ****ed and one more ******y voice doesn't exactly make matters better. Like a martial arts master who walks away from a fight, they're the most intellectually capable of identifying and condemning stupidity, but happily choose not to.
 
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Deleted member 25923

Guest
And a lot of people define themselves by the things they hate and not by the things they enjoy. Cultural Debbie Downers. It's intellectual posturing and 99% of them can't explain themselves beyond a few sentences they hijacked from blogs or a few pseudo-philosophical generalizations that their friends have heard a thousand times and secretly find unbearable. These people are the self proclaimed champions of "keeping it real" in a world of phonies. Sad really. The smartest people I know are almost without fail curious, like to listen more than they criticize/pontificate, and have generous spirits, realizing the world is ****ed and one more ******y voice doesn't exactly make matters better. Like a martial arts master who walks away from a fight, they're the most intellectual capable of demolishing dumb people, but happily choose not to.
Exactly!!!!!! They are much more open to the world rather than living narrow-minded!
 
When 40 year old men say, at length and passionately, even angrily, that they hate music for 10 year old girls, I have a hard time believing somebody can be so clueless. Who composed better music, The Beatles or Bach? Who is a better jazz pianist, Monk or Tatum? Stormo is right...Sure, it's valid to dislike Avatar. If you weren't entertained, than you weren't entertained, and there's no disputing that. But the reasons being given for disliking it are IMO bizarre. Story was predictable? Some of my favorite movies were predictable. It's like music, some songs you can hum along to the first time you hear it, it's like you've heard it your whole life. People can also be like this, they are instantly "familiar." The Avatar story is as old as time. So yeah, it's predictable, we all knew the "good guys" would win. And that goes for almost every movie I've ever seen. How is Avatar different in this regard? It's not. I know Indiana Jones is going to survive and accomplish his mission, even if only inadvertently, and the list of movies where I know the good guy will survive and succeed is endless.
Another great analogy: music. Does my foreknowledge of where a song is going degrade the experience? I don't think so. In fact, some music I've learned to appreciate more after listening to it several times.

And to be honest, I wasn't absolutely sure the good guys would win. The truth is that we've become so accustomed to the audience being thrown for loops and experiencing twists that the bad guys winning has almost become somewhat predictable. I think people are just a bit upset that the story went the way people wanted it to: the good guys won. They certainly don't always win. Should Cameron have written the bad guys to win just as not to give people a "Hollywood ending"? I don't think so. Sometimes good guys win. I see no problem with that.

Also, it's not as if the Navi people didn't lose to a certain degree. Their home was still destroyed.

It's all about execution. Cameron was going for emotion and visual impact. Other people go for twists and turns, and that's fine. This movie wasn't about that. If somebody makes you a great sandwich, don't lament that it's not French Laundry. Put everything in its proper context and understand that all movies or art share the same objective. If you like movies with ambiguous morals, unpredictable characters, non-linear structures, and unusual themes, that's cool. I do, too, sometimes. Sometimes I like the world's most peet heavy whiskey, and sometimes I want Coors Lite. Sometimes I like a fancy dinner, and sometimes I love a simple sandwich. Sometimes I'm amazed by my 3 year old nephews vocabulary even though Salman Rushdie could talk circles around him. Damn, put things into context, dudes!!!!
Totally agree. Making an unpredictable ending has itself become predictable. Why must tragedy be the only cultured form these days?
 

Lejanius

Rookie
I fully admit Avatar was fantastic in a visual sense. But a movie also tells a story and in my eyes to be successful at telling a story there are certain things that should be accomplished and Avatar failed enough in all of those aspects that it was boring to me.

No movie is perfect and I enjoyed the likes of Star Trek and District 9 (both had big holes but succeeded enough in the storytelling that I was hooked). You can't compare one movie to another but there are certain storytelling elements that I enjoy and Avatar didn't live up to those. That doesn't mean I am right and you guys are wrong, just means I didn't enjoy it.

I went into Avatar with few expectations and hoping it was good and I was bored. I am by no means a movie snob but I think it is funny that some people claim someone is trying to be intellectual by knowing why you don't like something.

Just because I can quantify why I disliked a movie (and being a writer maybe I understand what elements I search for in a story better than some) doesn't mean I am snob. I love all kinds of movies from stupid movies to really smart ones but I won't buy or see Avatar again.
 

cucio

Legend
You are missing the point, probably in a deliberate manner. The "good guys winning" is macroscopic level. According to that analysis then there would only be two stories: the good guys win or the good guys lose, so how can you be original? This is not the point here.

Avatar fails at a much more microscopic level. The scenes are directly taken from "101 scenes that push the obvious buttons for the aspiring script writer". The argument is preachy, it tries to teach you a "good savage" moral but the characters are so plain and unidimensional than they lose any semblance of credibility and become ridiculous, especially the villains. Those characters may fit the bill in a comic setting, like a Batman or a Dick Tracy, but not in a purported epic.

This wouldn't be that big of a problem if this wasn't a 300M$ production that prides itself of having been 15 years in the making to become the "next big thing". At that, it fails, it is just another ok sci-fi movie.

No one was expecting a Bergman movie here, just a well-told story that hadn't you rolling your eyes every 5 minutes. To put the same recent example some others have cited in the same sci-fi fx ridden blockbuster genre, "District 9" is infinitely more enjoyable in this respect, without being any brainy or metaphysical.

The ad hominem snobbery argument is at the same level as the "people who enjoy this movie are simpletons" and "people who complain about snobbery are only showing their inferiority complex." Useless banter and name calling that proves nothing. Please spare them.

So anyone who didn't got drawn into the, so-called, story was prejudiced? Someone else spots the irony here?

You enjoyed it. We didn't. I think our reasons are clear and eloquently explained. Those reasons are not important for you, fair enough, what's the problem then? Why do you need to feel your enjoyment validated with the bogus claim that this is a well-told story too?

PS: Art Tatum was a better pianist, in the strict sense of the word, but Monk was a better musician.
 

LiveForever

Banned
Too many people these days trying to seem sophisticated by saying a film lacks something, as if only amazing films can give them that. They try to glorify themselves as intellectuals by condemning newer films (even the good ones) as complete failures.
Oh please. And a lot of people these days cant stand the fact that some else has a different opinion then them. Anyone who disagrees is either a snob, elitist, wannabe intellectuals etc. :roll:
 
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LiveForever

Banned
In my experience, people either like or hate a film, song, food, person, etc, and figure out why later.I thought it succeeded on all four fronts. It's a simple story. I think Cameron would be the first to admit that.Yeah, I don't get it. It's like taking somebody to get a great burger at the beach, the person taking a bite and saying "it sucks compared to El Bulli in Spain." This movie is clearly not an exercise in cinematic existentialism, although the whole notion of avatars could be fuel for thought in terms of what constitutes a person, the soul, dualism (philosophy of mind sort), etc.

When 40 year old men say, at length and passionately, even angrily, that they hate music for 10 year old girls, I have a hard time believing somebody can be so clueless. Of coures you don't like Selena Gomez, you dolt. Who composed better music, The Beatles or Bach? Who is a better jazz pianist, Monk or Tatum? Not everything fits perfectly into your little circles and squares. Everything can't be determined by your little list. Stormo is right...Sure, it's valid to dislike Avatar. If you weren't entertained, than you weren't entertained, and there's no disputing that. But the reasons being given for disliking it are IMO bizarre. Story was predictable? Some of my favorite movies were predictable. It's like music, some songs you can hum along to the first time you hear it, it's like you've heard it your whole life. People can also be like this, they are instantly "familiar." The Avatar story is as old as time. So yeah, it's predictable, we all knew the "good guys" would win. And that goes for almost every movie I've ever seen. How is Avatar different in this regard? It's not. I know Indiana Jones is going to survive and accomplish his mission, even if only inadvertently, and the list of movies where I know the good guy will survive and succeed is pretty indistinguishable from the list of every movie ever made.

It's all about execution. Cameron was going for emotion and visual impact. Other people go for twists and turns, and that's fine. This movie wasn't about that. If somebody makes you a great sandwich, don't lament that it's not French Laundry. Put everything in its proper context and understand that all movies or art don't share the same objective. If you like movies with ambiguous morals, unpredictable characters, non-linear structures, and unusual themes, that's cool. I do, too, sometimes. Sometimes I like the world's most peet heavy whiskey, and sometimes I want Coors Lite. Sometimes I like a fancy dinner, and sometimes I love a simple sandwich. Sometimes I'm amazed by my 3 year old nephews vocabulary even though Salman Rushdie could talk circles around him. Damn, put things into context, dudes!!!!

I don't see how people can't praise this movie if for no other reason than how magical it looked. I wasn't a huge fan of Lawrence of Arabia but I can admit it looked fantastic. That was enough for me. Anyway. :)
The reasons fps gave are not bizarre at all. You just love this movie and find his reasons to be bizarre. By telling us that our reasons are bizarre, what do you expect us to do?. You are offering all these random analogies that are not relevant at all. No one relates watching a movie to those experiences. Watching movies is simple. You go and watch it and you either like it or not.
Anyways, I am most certainly not going to change my opinion on anything to follow the crowd of avatar lovers. Not everyone has the same opinion. People who come here and bash people for liking avatar are wrong and people who bash people for not liking avatar (T&M) are both wrong and annoying.
 
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35ft6

Legend
The reasons fps gave are not bizarre at all.
They are "bizarre" (and maybe that was putting it too harshly) because he's missing the point. Here's another example that might confuse you. I watched and liked The Hurt Locker. Not a great movie, but very good. My friend said he wished there was more action during the bomb diffusing scenes. My response was the whole point of those scenes, the movie's strongest, was how mundane this dangerous job was... how unnerving it was to be watched by civilians... how quiet it was... how it happened right in the midst of every day Iraqi life... to add action conventions, to heighten it, would make it like other action movies. It was the pauses, the incremental challenges, the quiet stares that made the scenes unnerving. Hurt Locker got recognition because it was different from a conventional war movie. Likewise, Avatar is trying to be a simple story about good rising up against evil, and that's all it's trying to be. To fault it for accomplishing what it set out to accomplish is missing the point.
You are offering all these random analogies that are not relevant at all. No one relates watching a movie to those experiences.
The analogies are fine. People who go to McDonald's can complain their Big Mac was terrible, but if they walk out talking about how they expected 5 courses of French cuisine, that's bizarre.
Anyways, I am most certainly not going to change my opinion on anything to follow the crowd of avatar lovers. Not everyone has the same opinion. People who come here and bash people for liking avatar are wrong and people who bash people for not liking avatar (T&M) are both wrong and annoying.
I enjoy this discussion and I'm glad it's not a lovefest. Go someplace more to your liking if you're so rattled. :)
 
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LiveForever

Banned
They are "bizarre" (and maybe that was putting it too harshly) because he's missing the point. Here's another example that might confuse you. I watched and liked The Hurt Locker. Not a great movie, but very good. My friend said he wished there was more action during the bomb diffusing scenes. My response was the whole point of those scenes, the movie's strongest, was how mundane this dangerous job was... how unnerving it was to be watched by civilians... how quiet it was... how it happened right in the midst of every day Iraqi life... to add action conventions, to heighten it, would make it like other action movies. It was the pauses, the incremental challenges, the quiet stares that made the scenes unnerving. Hurt Locker got recognition because it was different from a conventional war movie. Likewise, Avatar is trying to be a simple story about good rising up against evil, and that's all it's trying to be. To fault it for accomplishing what it set out to accomplish is missing the point.The analogies are fine. People who go to McDonald's can complain their Big Mac was terrible, but if they walk out talking about how they expected 5 courses of French cuisine, that's bizarre.I enjoy this discussion and I'm glad it's not a lovefest. Go someplace more to your liking if you're so rattled. :)
On the contrary, I find many avatar fans to be rattled.:) jk, I dont mind people praising avatar. I have not said anything personal about the films fans. I was just sticking up for myself by letting everyone know that I have genuine reasons for not liking the film. I dont want to be seen as movie snob, you know. Especially when so many of my favorite movies are not exactly considered popular. Sorry if I was a bit brash .
 
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Deleted member 25923

Guest
Oh please. And a lot of people these days cant stand the fact that some else has a different opinion then them. Anyone who disagrees is either a snob, elitist, wannabe intellectuals etc. :roll:
From what i've seen on this message board and others, many people are snobs, elitists, wannabe intellectuals.
 

35ft6

Legend
On the contrary, I find many avatar fans to be rattled.:) jk, I dont mind people praising avatar. I have not said anything personal about the films fans. I was just sticking up for myself by letting everyone know that I have genuine reasons for not liking the film. I dont want to be seen as movie snob, you know. Especially when so many of my favorite movies are not exactly considered popular. Sorry if I was a bit brash .
No problem, man. You weren't brash at all, and I put the smiley face in case I came off that way.

Personally, just from a visual standpoint, I have a hard time understanding why this film wouldn't be considered a success simply for how beautiful and innovative and ground breaking it was. The CGI world he created was the most impressive I've ever seen and by an incredibly huge margin. I could watch a silent version of Avatar with nothing but included and deleted scenes of Pandora's landscape and creatures. I would call this child like wonder. I was truly amazed in a way that I haven't been in a long time and maybe ever. The Matrix was probably the last movie that really amazed me, not necessarily the CGI per pe, but it introduced a lot of new visual style to the action movie lexicon, and likewise, even if a person couldn't connect with the story and wooden acting, I would think they might deem the movie a success for being so visually groundbreaking.

Anyway, again, I get it, not everybody is going to like it. But I take exception to some of the reasons. They say the movie was predictable but only if you summarize it in a very broad way (at which point, I would argue nearly every single action movie or love story is predictable). Sure, from the trailers, we knew he would side with the natives, fall in love, and there would be a battle. You didn't need to see the movie to confirm the certainty of those elements, and to express disappointment after seeing it as if you weren't sure those things would happen is puzzling.

But the important thing for a movie is how does the movie go about executing the things you KNOW you're going to see? How does it express these story points? In going about the business of being a simple tale of a boy who finds his true self inside of an alien body on an different planet, there were a lot of great moments that nobody could have predicted. For example, in every movie like this the hero is going to be introduced to his new world, and Avatar did it wonderfully. Learning about the plants... how to deal with animals... the plants that glow... becoming one with horses and dragons... using leafs to break your fall... drinking water caught in the plants... was any of this really predictable? Did somebody at home really say 4 months ago "I bet this movie has a scene where he attaches the end of his pony tail to a dragon's tentacle to form a mind meld." Really!? So you knew he would be shown around the place -- but did you like how they did it? I sure did.

I feel like in a lot of art forms, to do the simple things is the hardest. A lot of times I'll meet a person and they'll say they're an artist and if they suck almost without fail they're creating non representational abstract stuff. In screenwriting, I meet a lot of hacks who talk at length about how they don't understand 3 act structure and don't care to, and they're going to turn Hollywood on its head. Good luck goateed dude working at Best Buy. To me it's way easier both in terms of craft and maintaining your sense of self by making something "unconventional" thereby preemptively dismissing your critics who can't understand you're ahead of your time... that your idea isn't mainstream hollywood vomit... you're a maverick... that you're trying to do something different. Not saying this doesn't sometimes happen, but 99.9999999999% it's simply a hack who refuses to do his homework and study the basics first. Hey, Picasso painted some crazy stuff but he was only credible because the dude could draw. There was no question he intended his paintings to look that way, and it wasn't his way of rationalizing and even glorifying an inability to render recognizable forms. Picassos come along very rarely, every person who paints gibberish can't claim to be an abstract expressionist. Sorry. Every person who can't write a coherent story can't claim to be a subversive screenwriter. And there are a lot of people like that floating around hollywood. Maybe someday I'll start a thread about some of the gems my reader friends have wrote coverage for.

My long winded point is that in this climate, I really like Avatar for being clearly understandable and above all else, sincere. It's audacious in this way. Courageous of him. And smart, he made a movie I really liked. Lucas tried to be too clever and came up with 4 stinkers in a row, Crystal Skull being the fourth. Yes, smart. Sometimes the best way to be smart is by not trying to hard to be clever, just be sincere.[/rant]
 
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35ft6

Legend
And yes, I'm spending a lot of time "defending" this movie. Yes, I am totally gay for it. And no, I'm not taking this discussion seriously. I really am glad it's not a lovefest although I have a hard time understanding how a person can watch Avatar in 3D and like it on some level.
 

LiveForever

Banned
No problem, man. You weren't brash at all, and I put the smiley face in case I came off that way.

Personally, just from a visual standpoint, I have a hard time understanding why this film wouldn't be considered a success simply for how beautiful and innovative and ground breaking it was. The CGI world he created was the most impressive I've ever seen and by an incredibly huge margin. I could watch a silent version of Avatar with nothing but included and deleted scenes of Pandora's landscape and creatures. I would call this child like wonder. I was truly amazed in a way that I haven't been in a long time and maybe ever. The Matrix was probably the last movie that really amazed me, not necessarily the CGI per pe, but it introduced a lot of new visual style to the action movie lexicon, and likewise, even if a person couldn't connect with the story and wooden acting, I would think they might deem the movie a success for being so visually groundbreaking.

Anyway, again, I get it, not everybody is going to like it. But I take exception to some of the reasons. They say the movie was predictable but only if you summarize it in a very broad way (at which point, I would argue nearly every single action movie or love story is predictable). Sure, from the trailers, we knew he would side with the natives, fall in love, and there would be a battle. You didn't need to see the movie to confirm the certainty of those elements, and to express disappointment after seeing it as if you weren't sure those things would happen is puzzling.

But the important thing for a movie is how does the movie go about executing the things you KNOW you're going to see? How does it express these story points? In going about the business of being a simple tale of a boy who finds his true self inside of an alien body on an different planet, there were a lot of great moments that nobody could have predicted. For example, in every movie like this the hero is going to be introduced to his new world, and Avatar did it wonderfully. Learning about the plants... how to deal with animals... the plants that glow... becoming one with horses and dragons... using leafs to break your fall... drinking water caught in the plants... was any of this really predictable? Did somebody at home really say 4 months ago "I bet this movie has a scene where he attaches the end of his pony tail to a dragon's tentacle to form a mind meld." Really!? So you knew he would be shown around the place -- but did you like how they did it? I sure did.

I feel like in a lot of art forms, to do the simple things is the hardest. A lot of times I'll meet a person and they'll say they're an artist and if they suck almost without fail they're creating non representational abstract stuff. In screenwriting, I meet a lot of hacks who talk at length about how they don't understand 3 act structure and don't care to, and they're going to turn Hollywood on its head. Good luck goateed dude working at Best Buy. To me it's way easier both in terms of craft and maintaining your sense of self by making something "unconventional" thereby preemptively dismissing your critics who can't understand you're ahead of your time... that your idea isn't mainstream hollywood vomit... you're a maverick... that you're trying to do something different. Not saying this doesn't sometimes happen, but 99.9999999999% it's simply a hack who refuses to do his homework and study the basics first. Hey, Picasso painted some crazy stuff but he was only credible because the dude could draw. There was no question he intended his paintings to look that way, and it wasn't his way of rationalizing and even glorifying an inability to render recognizable forms. Picassos come along very rarely, every person who paints gibberish can't claim to be an abstract expressionist. Sorry. Every person who can't write a coherent story can't claim to be a subversive screenwriter. And there are a lot of people like that floating around hollywood. Maybe someday I'll start a thread about some of the gems my reader friends have wrote coverage for.

My long winded point is that in this climate, I really like Avatar for being clearly understandable and above all else, sincere. It's audacious in this way. Courageous of him. And smart, he made a movie I really liked. Lucas tried to be too clever and came up with 4 stinkers in a row, Crystal Skull being the fourth. Yes, smart. Sometimes the best way to be smart is by not trying to hard to be clever, just be sincere.[/rant]
I agree that this movie was revolutionary. I have never seen a more Hi Def movie in my life. The aerial scenes of pandora made it seem like I was looking down on it from a hot air balloon or helicopter. This movie is probably gonna be a trend setter for future movies. The artwork I will admit was GOAT. My only complaints was the story but I wont deny even for a second, that this movie is second to none from an artistic standpoint.
 
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35ft6

Legend
This movie is probably gonna be a trend setter for future movies. The artwork I will admit was GOAT. My only complaints was the story but I wont deny even for a second, that this movie is second to none from an artistic standpoint.
Cool. Fair enough. But do people think Cameron waited 15 years for technology to progress so he could make a movie about blue people talking about deep philosophical stuff in 3D? You know, subtle back stabbing, political intrigue? Or rather, did he wait for advances so he could create insane visuals, a believable alien planet and kick ass battles between machine and dragons? I don't include you in this group Liveforever, but it seems like some people walked out wishing they had seen a movie that really didn't require $300 million and cutting edge technology to make.

I was blown away by this movie. It was much better than I was expecting. I loved the 15 minute sneak preview but part of me still feared that it was going to try to be all pretentious and not be that fun. That's why I loved Iron Man. I get it, everybody is trying to add a new spin to superheroes, to make their story existential and deep, the heros conflicted, but that approach is washed up. It worked with Batman to some extent, but I would still rather watch Iron Man again than Dark Knight, and don't even get me started on Superman returns and Ang Lee's The Hulk. Just give me action. If I want depth and ambiguity I can do a double feature of Cache and Lost Highway.
 

35ft6

Legend
Cool. Fair enough. But do people think Cameron waited 15 years for technology to progress so he could make a movie about blue people talking about deep philosophical stuff in 3D? You know, subtle back stabbing, political intrigue? Or rather, did he wait for advances so he could create insane visuals, a believable alien planet and kick ass battles between machine and dragons?
Scratch that, I was more amazed by the eyes of the Navi, the blades of grass, the texture of the trees, the waterfall, the musculature and nostrils of the animals, and how even when Navi and real actors were on the screen at the same time, I didn't feel a disconnect.
 

LiveForever

Banned
Cool. Fair enough. But do people think Cameron waited 15 years for technology to progress so he could make a movie about blue people talking about deep philosophical stuff in 3D? You know, subtle back stabbing, political intrigue? Or rather, did he wait for advances so he could create insane visuals, a believable alien planet and kick ass battles between machine and dragons? I don't include you in this group Liveforever, but it seems like some people walked out wishing they had seen a movie that really didn't require $300 million and cutting edge technology to make.

I was blown away by this movie. It was much better than I was expecting. I loved the 15 minute sneak preview but part of me still feared that it was going to try to be all pretentious and not be that fun. That's why I loved Iron Man. I get it, everybody is trying to add a new spin to superheroes, to make their story existential and deep, the heros conflicted, but that approach is washed up. It worked with Batman to some extent, but I would still rather watch Iron Man again than Dark Knight, and don't even get me started on Superman returns and Ang Lee's The Hulk. Just give me action. If I want depth and ambiguity I can do a double feature of Cache and Lost Highway.
You know, maybe you are on to something. I just had a really hectic college semester come to an end and I never really got any time to read up on avatar or even watch the trailer. All I heard was the hype and I randomly got dragged along with some friends to go see it. I probably went in with some unreasonable expectations and hindered my experience. Oceans 11 is one of my favorite movies of all time and it is similar to avatar in that it has a lot of style. I think I will check avatar out again later. lol. Also the last few movies I saw gave me some unrealistic expectations. In the past 6 months, I have seen fight club, memento, silence of the lambs, Godfather, Se7en, Usual Suspects etc. lol.:) That is prob why I wasnt blown away.

Btw did you watch D9? Avatar reminded me a lot about that movie. I think Avatar was better because the ending of D9 was really sad IMO. :(
 
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35ft6

Legend
^ Yeah, I really liked D9. And the special effects were just so darn subtle... amazing! I was blown away by the special effects. But I actually thought the movie's conceit wasn't quite strong enough to sustain a movie, it seemed "small" like it was more suited for television. Almost as amazing as the special effects is how much the lead actor grew on me. I thought he was a bit of a ham at the beginning and it bothered me, but as he started falling apart and transforming, his performance completely won me over.

Another guy got a movie deal based on a short featuring a very similar CGI style:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-dadPWhEhVk
 

35ft6

Legend
I probably went in with some unreasonable expectations and hindered my experience.
And you know what, I might have been in just the right mood to watch Avatar. I was visiting my parents for the holidays, the weather was crappy, the mid west was kind of depressing me and some escapist fare was just what I needed.
 
Just came back home from watching it

The Verdict:
+ Sweet Effects
+ Great visual representation and creativity with Pandora and its wildlife
+ Outrageous battle scene

- Alien sex
- Predictable
- Main characters are boring and unlikable
- A few annoying chracters useless to the progression of the story that should've been cut entirely
- Outrageous Battle scene

SPOILER (the antagonist survives a 4" knife that shanked his neck and two 5 ft long arrow shots, thats outrageous in the bad way)
 
D

Deleted member 25923

Guest
Just came back home from watching it

The Verdict:
+ Sweet Effects
+ Great visual representation and creativity with Pandora and its wildlife
+ Outrageous battle scene

- Alien sex
- Predictable
- Main characters are boring and unlikable
- A few annoying chracters useless to the progression of the story that should've been cut entirely
- Outrageous Battle scene

SPOILER (the antagonist survives a 4" knife that shanked his neck and two 5 ft long arrow shots, thats outrageous in the bad way)
The knife missed.
 

CyBorg

Legend
I was definitely disappointed, but loved some of the visual ideas in Avatar. I saw it in 3-D Imax.

Loved:

- the way the indigenous characters and 'avatars' are rendered. Very "real" - and we connect emotionally

- the scene where Sully tames the bird .. wonderfully shot and kept me on the edge of my seat

- the first tree (the one that is taken down) is constructed with a wonderful asymmetry that draws you in .. the tree looks old by virtue of the memory that is suggested by its 'bend' .. compare it to the other tree, which is perfectly symmetrical, classical - still nice, but it didn't grab me

Did not care for

- The one-dimensional "GI Joe" character - Quaritch; a friend says he's very much like another one of Cameron's characters from the Abyss (I should revisit that one). I had a similar complaint about a villain in District 9 - at least Raul Julia's Bison was for yuks. But this...

- What the narrative refuses to tell us about Sully's society is unfortunate because it affirms the good guy-bad guy dichotomy. This took something away from my experience of the film. For all we know, the indigenous people have a society and a forum (also "network"), but the other guys do not. There is a suggestion, however, somewhere in the film that Quaritch does have to answer to public opinion. But we're left in the dark. Cameron makes it easy for us to dislike one side by painting it in broad strokes. It's tiresome

- And then the whole Pocahontas, 'noble savage' effect. We're not treading any new ground here. Cameron gets away with it because the indigenous here are a fictional race.

(I also forgot to mention that I hated most of the weapons in the film - because they look dated and not like something one would expect in the future .. awful robot-suits, predictable guns, etc)

And, yes, I know that few of us were expecting great storytelling from Cameron. He is primarily a director of stunts, with an eye for fantastic imagery.

But just imagine how much better his films would be if he could invest in richer cosmologies and then work the images to suit those ideas. Something with fewer characters like Quaritch.
 
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FuriousYellow

Professional
- The one-dimensional "GI Joe" character - Quaritch; a friend says he's very much like another one of Cameron's characters from the Abyss (I should revisit that one). I had a similar complaint about a villain in District 9 - at least Raul Julia's Bison was for yuks. But this...
That's exactly what I thought. The character was very similar to Michael Biehn's gung-ho Navy Seal character in the Abyss, but even more cartoonish in his uncompromising and antagonistic jarhead mentality.

There were other things in Avatar that reminded me of his other movies like the military ships and mechs which had similar shapes to the ones in Aliens. Even the alien world reminded me of the undersea world in Abyss.

The plot didn't tread any new ground to be sure. It was amalgam of other movies like Dances with Wolves and Last Samurai where the main character initially disdains the indigenous people and through immersion in their culture comes to respect and love them. It was a safe story for his movie and one I'm sure most audiences would enjoy. It wasn't meant to be too thought provoking and was meant for family entertainment.

There's nothing more I can add about the visual effects other than they have to be seen in 3D to fully appreciate them. I don't know if it's quite as revolutionary was what Pixar did for animation, but it's extremely impressive nonetheless and I look forward to seeing what else can be created from this technology.
 

Elina

Rookie
I saw Avatar yesterday at a 3D theater. It was fascinating with all the 3D effects. The story itself was not much surprising, but I've seen worse. ;) But I can imagine that there will be several 3D movies coming soon. :D
 

Fedace

Banned
I saw Avatar yesterday at a 3D theater. It was fascinating with all the 3D effects. The story itself was not much surprising, but I've seen worse. ;) But I can imagine that there will be several 3D movies coming soon. :D
Wow,, Finland has 3D theaters ??? you guys are more tech advanced than i thought ?? lol:)
 

FlamEnemY

Hall of Fame
Avatar, in 3D.
A mixture of excitement and an unpleasant anxiety filled me when I went to the cinema. I really, really wanted to relax and let the movie take me to a trip in an unimaginable world and I feared that it would ultimately fail, as did so many motion pictures before it.
You see, it's not easy to make me pay attention, it's kind of hard for me to lose myself in an artificial world presented to me on the big screen. Books, no problem. But not many movies make me stay silent and focused, caring for what happens.
So there I was, almost three hours later, and I couldn't believe my eyes. Wow. The film was exactly what it had to be. Pandora was alive, it was there, almost waiting for me to smell a flower, to feel the wind, to hear the jungle living around me. There were the Navi, glorious and powerful, and they seemed totally convincing. Everything seemed to click into place.
This movie is not about deep questions, it's not about making you think (despite some good ideas, namely the "way" of the Navi), but making you live with the characters in this utterly beautiful world. It succeeds.

I completely understand why someone might not like this film. But one shouldn't expect too much from it really - at least not too much outside of the CGI and the atmosphere, which is so vivid and alive you can almost touch it. Sometimes I hear people complaining how the film is dull, there are reviews on IMDB about the film being a "turning point for the worse", but it isn't. It's simply the old story told in this new, beautiful voice. As such, one can't expect great plot complexity, amazing character development and so on. The movie is fine for what it is and what it set out to be. I thoroughly enjoyed it, I'm glad I watched it and was able to free my mind for a couple of hours.
 

HellBunni

Rookie
I saw the movie in IMAX 3-D.
the effects were nice and cool.

but the plot needs some work.

spoilers.
..
...
....

1.) Why doesn't the main guy transfer before the last battle??? Since he already chose his side.

2.) OMG, does any of them know how to actually fight a battle? Inferior weapons, inferior numbers, plenty of cover, => hit and run tactics. Not charge head in and get slaughtered.
 

malakas

Banned
just came back from the cinema.Didn't see it in 3D though.
I think it was an ok movie,but nothing remarkable that will stay with me for long.3.5/5 stars from me.
 
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