AVATAR (Now w/ Worldwide Eyeball Rape)

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Re: AVATAR (Now w/ Worldwide Eyeball Rape)

Postby John-Locke on Sat Jan 02, 2010 11:36 am

I'm going to see Avatar again tonight, not for the story so much as to return to Pandora and all it's visuals. I think the best thing about Avatar is the use of 3D and how it gives so much depth to the image, I could even imagine Kubrick being excited by the possibilities and I can't wait to see Auteurs use these tools on a non CGI heavy project, I'd like to see someone like Aronofsky or Anderson or Verhoven or Scorsese or whoever doing their usual stuff with this added depth.
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Re: AVATAR (Now w/ Worldwide Eyeball Rape)

Postby minstrel on Sat Jan 02, 2010 1:02 pm

John-Locke wrote:I'm going to see Avatar again tonight, not for the story so much as to return to Pandora and all it's visuals. I think the best thing about Avatar is the use of 3D and how it gives so much depth to the image, I could even imagine Kubrick being excited by the possibilities and I can't wait to see Auteurs use these tools on a non CGI heavy project, I'd like to see someone like Aronofsky or Anderson or Verhoven or Scorsese or whoever doing their usual stuff with this added depth.


I agree! I'd love to see this kind of 3D used in other types of movies.

But you know what I'd REALLY love? I'd love to see, not just the 3D, but the motion capture used in the upcoming Thor movie. If you're going to do an all-out fantasy movie about gods in Asgard, Cameron has shown how to do it!
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Re: AVATAR (Now w/ Worldwide Eyeball Rape)

Postby Bloo on Sat Jan 02, 2010 2:06 pm

AVATAR
A Bloo Review

When you've been following and hearing about a movie for 12 years (like many of us have) you tend to go in with expectations. I remember seeing the first images of the Na'vi, I remember the casting decisions, I remember reading about people reading and their reactions to the scriptment. and I remember thinking, "this is either going to be amazing or a huge dissapointment" I don't think there would be any middle ground with Avatar.

I was not dissapointed.

On the hour long drive home while discussing this with friends, I made the following point "James Cameron is a storyteller as opposed to a filmmaker. Storytellers often take a familiar story and add their own twist to it." That is what I think Cameron has done here. He pulls a little bit from lots of different stories to create a tapestry. You can lean forward and pull out a magnifying glass and look and examine a tapestry and see all the little threads OR you can take a few steps back and look at the amazing story unfolding before you that is beautiful and amazing. Yes one can see the basic outline of the "aggressor goes native" story here (see movies such as Dances with Wolves or A Man Called Horse. If you look closer you can see elements drawn from other science fiction ,from Poul Anderson (his short story Call Me Joe shares some striking resemblances, he also wrote a novel called The Avatar) and Robert Heinlein, or from Star Wars or various animes. Added to the mix is a healthy dose of Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness,The Bible and Jewish history (personally I was reminded of the Jewish stand against the Romans at Masada), and Native American and African ceremonies, mythologies, and beliefs. All togather they compile a story that is engaging. I cared about the characters and wanted to know what happened to them. I cheered when they fought back with massive bows and arrows and massive flying dragon beasts.

The acting at times was wooden but at other times amazing. I honestly forgot I was watching Zoe Saldena, CCH Pounder, and Wes Studi as the Na'vi. Sam Worthington was alot better then I expected after his performance in Terminator Salvation. Sigounary Weaver was really good. And as broadly drawn as Stephen Lang and Giovanni Ribisi were, they sold it.

The Visuals are a thing to behold. Much like Kenneth Branagh used 70mm to give his Hamlet scope and an epic feel, Cameron uses the 3D technology like few have before. Yes there are a few "pop out" moments but mostly it's used to give depth and scope and scale to a world that came out of his imagination and a computer (or 2 or 3...thousand). Pandora really is unlike any movie I've seen before. Star Wars you look at Tatoonie and you see desert or you look at Endor and you see forest. Pandora is unlike any of that. A Gas Giant hangs almost omnipresent in the sky, plants illuminate or revert into the ground upon touch, animals soar or run or crash. And it's all, well this seems to be my theme for this review, amazing.
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Re: AVATAR (Now w/ Worldwide Eyeball Rape)

Postby Leckomaniac on Sat Jan 02, 2010 3:25 pm

For those keeping score at home, AVATAR grossed another $25 million on Friday. That pushes it's total up to $308 million domestically making it the second highest grossing film of 2009. The final weekend tally will end up somewhere between $59-62 million for the weekend Without doubt, it will surpass TRANSFORMERS 2 as the number 1 film of 2009 before it is through. Furthermore, it is poised to topple Spider-Man's $45 million as the #1 highest grossing third weekend ever...even adjusted for inflation.

The box office figures do not lie. People are enjoying this movie at an unprecedented level. This is not some front loaded blockbuster. This is something we haven't seen since TITANIC.

On the subject of "game changer" I would like to add something anecdotal. My father saw AVATAR. He didn't want to. He knew nothing about the "hype" and hated the idea of seeing a film in 3D. He went because we forced him and he adored it. I have never heard my father rave about a film like this. He tells anybody who will listen how it is something he has never seen before. He truly was amazed. Obviously, he is not an expert and can't make any judgements proclaiming this a "game changer," but later that night we were watching Wolverine: Origins on on Blu Ray. We have a 60" plasma flat screen with incredible speakers so our set-up is pretty theatre like. He had seen Wolverine and kind of dug it the first time around. As we watched it, post-AVATAR, he looked at me and goes "I don't think I can watch this anymore. It looks like such shit compared to AVATAR." And he went to bed.

Is my dad average or typical? I have no idea. But knowing my dad, to see him have such a strong reaction to a film is really unheard of and it makes me think that just maybe...Cameron pulled it off.

Just my two cents.
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Re: AVATAR (Now w/ Worldwide Eyeball Rape)

Postby minstrel on Sat Jan 02, 2010 6:27 pm

Leckomaniac wrote:On the subject of "game changer" I would like to add something anecdotal. My father saw AVATAR. He didn't want to. He knew nothing about the "hype" and hated the idea of seeing a film in 3D. He went because we forced him and he adored it. I have never heard my father rave about a film like this. He tells anybody who will listen how it is something he has never seen before. He truly was amazed. Obviously, he is not an expert and can't make any judgements proclaiming this a "game changer," but later that night we were watching Wolverine: Origins on on Blu Ray. We have a 60" plasma flat screen with incredible speakers so our set-up is pretty theatre like. He had seen Wolverine and kind of dug it the first time around. As we watched it, post-AVATAR, he looked at me and goes "I don't think I can watch this anymore. It looks like such shit compared to AVATAR." And he went to bed.


This is exactly what I meant in my earlier post about WHY Avatar is a game changer! It changed the audience! (Pacino, I'm talking to you!)
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Re: AVATAR (Now w/ Worldwide Eyeball Rape)

Postby Seppuku on Sat Jan 02, 2010 9:16 pm

I've gotta say, practically anything will look like the bee's knees if you compare it to Wolverine: Origins.

And I don't really know about all this game-changing business. That phrase is actually kind of annoying. What game does it change, and to what? Monopoly to Snakes & Ladders? Half Life 2 to Spyro the Dragon? Enough with the parroting already!
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Re: AVATAR (Now w/ Worldwide Eyeball Rape)

Postby The Todd on Sat Jan 02, 2010 9:54 pm

Seppuku wrote:And I don't really know about all this game-changing business. That phrase is actually kind of annoying. What game does it change, and to what? Monopoly to Snakes & Ladders? Half Life 2 to Spyro the Dragon? Enough with the parroting already!


IPAMPILASH!

Unless EVERY SINGLE MOVIE FROM HERE ON OUT is filmed in IMAX 3-D with Cameron's new cameras, he hasn't changed shit.

Citizen Kane was a "game changer". Welles introduced lighting, camera angles, and other filming techniques that weren't seen before, but are still used today.
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Re: AVATAR (Now w/ Worldwide Eyeball Rape)

Postby DaleTremont on Sat Jan 02, 2010 10:12 pm

I don't know. Maybe my eyeballs don't function properly or something but Avatar was the first movie I ever saw in 3-d and while the first 10 minutes or so I was definitely reveling in the novelty of it, I don't feel like it fundamentally changed my movie-going experience.
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Re: AVATAR (Now w/ Worldwide Eyeball Rape)

Postby tapehead on Sat Jan 02, 2010 10:19 pm

The Todd wrote:
Seppuku wrote:And I don't really know about all this game-changing business. That phrase is actually kind of annoying. What game does it change, and to what? Monopoly to Snakes & Ladders? Half Life 2 to Spyro the Dragon? Enough with the parroting already!


IPAMPILASH!

Unless EVERY SINGLE MOVIE FROM HERE ON OUT is filmed in IMAX 3-D with Cameron's new cameras, he hasn't changed shit.

Citizen Kane was a "game changer". Welles introduced lighting, camera angles, and other filming techniques that weren't seen before, but are still used today.


Welles mostly borrowed his techniques from German Expressionist cinema - watch films like Fritz Lang's Metropolis and 'M' and you see many of the deep focus or 'depth of field' and close up telephoto shots as well as distinctive low angle shots, years before Citizen Kane. There's no doubt however that Gregg Toland was an amazing cinematographer, and that CK was the first time these kind of techniqus were used in a Hollywood Movie. It's not true at all, as your statement implies, that every film after Citizen Kane was indebted to it's techniques, or used them at all in fact. It is true that, to paraphrase, AVATAR has changed things somewhat; Cameron Introduce lighting and camera techniques and methods of production and composition that haven't been seen in such a wholly integrated and cohesive way before (and his 'e-motion' face expression motion capture technique, is, to the best of my knowlege, a genuine innovation). The Game, howver, is the same as always; "the game's out there, and it's play or get played. That simple."
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Re: AVATAR (Now w/ Worldwide Eyeball Rape)

Postby The Todd on Sun Jan 03, 2010 4:08 am

Leckomaniac wrote:For those keeping score at home, AVATAR grossed another $25 million on Friday. That pushes it's total up to $308 million domestically making it the second highest grossing film of 2009. The final weekend tally will end up somewhere between $59-62 million for the weekend Without doubt, it will surpass TRANSFORMERS 2 as the number 1 film of 2009 before it is through. Furthermore, it is poised to topple Spider-Man's $45 million as the #1 highest grossing third weekend ever...even adjusted for inflation.

The box office figures do not lie. People are enjoying this movie at an unprecedented level.


The Todd is glad that the youth of today (as well as other people of all ages) are drawn in by smoke and mirrors and a gimmick, instead of a good story and great acting. Makes me excited for the movies of the future!

If Plan 9 From Outer Space was filmed with Cameron's 3D and motion-capture technology, it would STILL be the worst movie of all-time. So take that "game changer" and stuff it.
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Re: AVATAR (Now w/ Worldwide Eyeball Rape)

Postby Bloo on Sun Jan 03, 2010 6:10 am

I took two friends of mine to see it, we are a group of writers, actors, directors, musicans. We are theater people, art people. I'm the only sci-fi geek in our group of friends, the only one that follows movie news and searches this stuff out.

I could quote Rotten Tomatoes stats all day and they wouldn't believe it.

it took a positive review from the fucking New Yorker to get my almost 40 year old friend and his wife to see it and even after that they went in skeptical. My friend Bill flat out said he was expecting to hate this, he doesn't go in for special effects, he doesn't go for explosions, he goes in looking at the story and the emotional connection to the char.



they came out believers, blown away by the story the acting and the effects

our ages 32, 33, and 39.
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Re: AVATAR (Now w/ Worldwide Eyeball Rape)

Postby Eywa on Sun Jan 03, 2010 7:46 am

The Todd wrote:
Leckomaniac wrote:The Todd is glad that the youth of today (as well as other people of all ages) are drawn in by smoke and mirrors and a gimmick, instead of a good story and great acting. Makes me excited for the movies of the future!

The Todd is frustrated that only he knows just how bad a film Avatar really is, and bitter because no one cares what he thinks. :lol:
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Re: AVATAR (Now w/ Worldwide Eyeball Rape)

Postby The Todd on Sun Jan 03, 2010 5:46 pm

Eywa wrote:The Todd is frustrated that only he knows just how bad a film Avatar really is, and bitter because no one cares what he thinks. :lol:


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Re: AVATAR (Now w/ Worldwide Eyeball Rape)

Postby Leckomaniac on Sun Jan 03, 2010 5:54 pm

AVATAR has crossed the $1 BN mark!.

James Cameron will now own the top two highest grossing films of all time.
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Re: AVATAR (Now w/ Worldwide Eyeball Rape)

Postby travis-dane on Sun Jan 03, 2010 7:26 pm

Leckomaniac wrote:AVATAR has crossed the $1 BN mark!.

James Cameron will now own the top two highest grossing films of all time.


Cameron is the man afterall. He deserves it. A billion in three weeks is great.
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Re: AVATAR (Now w/ Worldwide Eyeball Rape)

Postby Cpt Kirks 2pay on Sun Jan 03, 2010 7:57 pm

Between Avatar and The Abyss, Cameron has made 1 billion and 1 dollars.
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Re: AVATAR (Now w/ Worldwide Eyeball Rape)

Postby Nachokoolaid on Sun Jan 03, 2010 8:02 pm

Cpt Kirks 2pay wrote:Between Avatar and The Abyss, Cameron has made 1 billion and 1 dollars.


PAMP!

But I'm happy for Cameron. THIS is how you make a blockbuster. All the Michael Bay's and Stephen Sommer's can bow down to the master.
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Re: AVATAR (Now w/ Worldwide Eyeball Rape)

Postby justcheckin on Sun Jan 03, 2010 9:04 pm

Finally saw this today... AWESOME! I loved it. I think that the visual effects were awesome and some very cool techno gadgets that speak to Terminator and Aliens.

There was a scene though that may me chuckle... toward the end when Colonel Quaritch is in the big robot fighting with Jake at the mobile lab... he pulls out a big knife. It's a huge robot sized knife and all I can think is... "That's not a knife, this is a knife" (in an Aussie accent).
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Re: AVATAR (Now w/ Worldwide Eyeball Rape)

Postby The Vicar on Sun Jan 03, 2010 9:19 pm

Nachokoolaid wrote:But I'm happy for Cameron. THIS is how you make a blockbuster. All the Michael Bay's and Stephen Sommer's can bend over for their master.


Edited for accuracy. And to fuck w/ Sommers & Bay. Heh heh.
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Re: AVATAR (Now w/ Worldwide Eyeball Rape)

Postby The Todd on Sun Jan 03, 2010 9:56 pm

The day :Wed, Jan 6th
The time: 7:00 PM
The place: my local United Artists theater with IMAX

The Todd is going to see Avatar in IMAX 3D.
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Re: AVATAR (Now w/ Worldwide Eyeball Rape)

Postby Leckomaniac on Sun Jan 03, 2010 10:07 pm

The Todd wrote:The day :Wed, Jan 6th
The time: 7:00 PM
The place: my local United Artists theater with IMAX

The Todd is going to see Avatar in IMAX 3D.


It is like the climax to a Western. The final showdown. Two enter, only one leaves.

This time...it's personal.
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Re: AVATAR (Now w/ Worldwide Eyeball Rape)

Postby Bloo on Sun Jan 03, 2010 10:08 pm

justcheckin wrote:Finally saw this today... AWESOME! I loved it. I think that the visual effects were awesome and some very cool techno gadgets that speak to Terminator and Aliens.

There was a scene though that may me chuckle... toward the end when Colonel Quaritch is in the big robot fighting with Jake at the mobile lab... he pulls out a big knife. It's a huge robot sized knife and all I can think is... "That's not a knife, this is a knife" (in an Aussie accent).


oh man I giggled at that part too
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Re: AVATAR (Now w/ Worldwide Eyeball Rape)

Postby Bloo on Sun Jan 03, 2010 10:57 pm

The Todd wrote:The day :Wed, Jan 6th
The time: 7:00 PM
The place: my local United Artists theater with IMAX

The Todd is going to see Avatar in IMAX 3D.


cue a Bill Conti score
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Re: AVATAR (Now w/ Worldwide Eyeball Rape)

Postby Cpt Kirks 2pay on Sun Jan 03, 2010 11:25 pm

Bloo wrote:
The Todd wrote:The day :Wed, Jan 6th
The time: 7:00 PM
The place: my local United Artists theater with IMAX

The Todd is going to see Avatar in IMAX 3D.


cue a Bill Conti score


Consider yourself cue'd. Play this Rocky music, The Todd, as you drive slowly to the theatre...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-8yN_HUU9Y
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Re: AVATAR (Now w/ Worldwide Eyeball Rape)

Postby The Todd on Sun Jan 03, 2010 11:37 pm

The Todd thought this was funny:

James Cameron Responds to Critics of 'Avatar' Smoking Scene:

James Cameron, the director of "Avatar," is not one to do things half-way. Asked for a response to those who objected to the movie's scenes, in which the scientist Dr. Grace Augustine, portrayed by Sigourney Weaver, puffed on a Smokey Thingie, Mr. Cameron wrote this:

"I wanted Grace to be a character who is initially off-putting and even unpleasant. She's rude, she swears, she drinks, she smokes. She is not meant to be an aspirational role model to teenagers, in fact our young protagonist, Jake, through whom we experience this story, finds her to be obnoxious at first. Also, from a character perspective, we were showing that Grace doesn't care about her human body, only her avatar body, which again is a negative comment about people in our real world living too much in their avatars, meaning on-line and in videogames. In addition, speaking as an artist, I don't believe in the dogmatic idea that no one in a movie should smoke. Movies should reflect reality. If it's okay for people to lie, cheat, steal and kill in PG 13 movies, why impose an inconsistent morality when it comes to smoking? I do agree that young role-model characters should not smoke in movies, especially in a way which suggests that it makes them cooler or more accepted by their peers. In the same way that I would never show lying, cheating, stealing, or killing as cool, or aspirational, I would never portray smoking that way. We need to embrace a more complex set of criteria than simply the knee jerk reaction "smoking is bad, therefore cannot be shown." It should be a matter of character, context, and the nature of the portrayal. I think the people who are earnestly trying to do some good in this area would be more supported by the artistic community if they were less black and white in their thinking. Smoking is a filthy habit which I don't support, and neither, I believe, does Avatar."

Stanton A. Glantz, director of the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education at the University of California, San Francisco, argues that "Avatar"'s smoking scenes amount to millions of dollars in free advertising for Smokey Thingie manufacturers. Besides, the very notion of a chain-smoking environmental scientist strikes Mr. Glantz as a gratuitous bit of fantasy.

"I know lots of environmental scientists like the Sigourney Weaver character," he said in a phone interview last week. "Not a single one of them smokes cigarettes."


The Todd does take exception with the following, though:
James Cameron wrote:I do agree that young role-model characters should not smoke in movies, especially in a way which suggests that it makes them cooler or more accepted by their peers. In the same way that I would never show lying, cheating, stealing, or killing as cool, or aspirational, I would never portray smoking that way.


The Todd did kinda aspired to be like Harry Tasker in True Lies who I do believe lied and killed and looked pretty fucking cool doing it.
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Re: AVATAR (Now w/ Worldwide Eyeball Rape)

Postby Nick on Mon Jan 04, 2010 5:19 pm

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Re: AVATAR (Now w/ Worldwide Eyeball Rape)

Postby Fievel on Mon Jan 04, 2010 5:56 pm

The Todd wrote:The Todd does take exception with the following, though:
James Cameron wrote:I do agree that young role-model characters should not smoke in movies, especially in a way which suggests that it makes them cooler or more accepted by their peers. In the same way that I would never show lying, cheating, stealing, or killing as cool, or aspirational, I would never portray smoking that way.


The Todd did kinda aspired to be like Harry Tasker in True Lies who I do believe lied and killed and looked pretty fucking cool doing it.


Word has already leaked that Cameron is going to remaster and release True Lies and replace the guns with walkie-talkies.
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Re: AVATAR (Now w/ Worldwide Eyeball Rape)

Postby Leckomaniac on Mon Jan 04, 2010 6:00 pm

Fievel wrote:
The Todd wrote:The Todd does take exception with the following, though:
James Cameron wrote:I do agree that young role-model characters should not smoke in movies, especially in a way which suggests that it makes them cooler or more accepted by their peers. In the same way that I would never show lying, cheating, stealing, or killing as cool, or aspirational, I would never portray smoking that way.


The Todd did kinda aspired to be like Grande Rojo Tasker in True Lies who I do believe lied and killed and looked pretty fucking cool doing it.


Word has already leaked that Cameron is going to remaster and release True Lies and replace the guns with walkie-talkies.


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Re: AVATAR (Now w/ Worldwide Eyeball Rape)

Postby travis-dane on Mon Jan 04, 2010 6:05 pm

Leckomaniac wrote:
Fievel wrote:
The Todd wrote:The Todd does take exception with the following, though:
James Cameron wrote:I do agree that young role-model characters should not smoke in movies, especially in a way which suggests that it makes them cooler or more accepted by their peers. In the same way that I would never show lying, cheating, stealing, or killing as cool, or aspirational, I would never portray smoking that way.


The Todd did kinda aspired to be like Grande Rojo Tasker in True Lies who I do believe lied and killed and looked pretty fucking cool doing it.


Word has already leaked that Cameron is going to remaster and release True Lies and replace the guns with walkie-talkies.


And the horse with a magical unicorn.


And the lead bad guy will be replaced by The Todd.
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Re: AVATAR (Now w/ Worldwide Eyeball Rape)

Postby The Todd on Mon Jan 04, 2010 7:36 pm

When James Cameron has The Todd buried away some place with all the copies of Piranha Part Two: The Spawning that he could get his hands on, you'll all be sorry!
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Re: AVATAR (Now w/ Worldwide Eyeball Rape)

Postby The Todd on Tue Jan 05, 2010 4:54 am

Avatar arouses conservatives' ire

It's no secret that "Avatar" has been stunningly successful on nearly every front. The James Cameron-directed sci-fi epic is already the fourth-highest-grossing film of all time, having earned more than $1 billion around the globe in less than three weeks of theatrical release. The film also has garnered effusive praise from critics, who've been planting its flag on a variety of critics Top 10 lists. The 3-D trip to Pandora is also viewed as a veritable shoo-in for a best picture Oscar nomination when the academy announces its nominees on Feb. 2.

But amid this avalanche of praise and popularity, guess who hates the movie? America's prickly cadre of political conservatives.

For years, pundits and bloggers on the right have ceaselessly attacked liberal Hollywood for being out of touch with rank and file moviegoers, complaining that executives and filmmakers continue to make films that have precious little resonance with Middle America. They have reacted with scorn to such high-profile liberal political advocacy films as "Syriana," "Milk," "W.," "Religulous," "Lions for Lambs," "Brokeback Mountain," "In the Valley of Elah," "Rendition" and "Good Night, and Good Luck," saying that the movies' poor performances at the box office were a clear sign of how thoroughly uninterested real people were in the pet causes of showbiz progressives.

Of course, "Avatar" totally turns this theory on its head. As a host of critics have noted, the film offers a blatantly pro-environmental message; it portrays U.S. military contractors in a decidedly negative light; and it clearly evokes the can't-we-all-get along vibe of the 1960s counterculture. These are all messages guaranteed to alienate everyday moviegoers, so say the right-wing pundits -- and yet the film has been wholeheartedly embraced by audiences everywhere, from Mississippi to Manhattan.

To say that the film has evoked a storm of ire on the right would be an understatement. Big Hollywood's John Nolte, one of my favorite outspoken right-wing film essayists, blasted the film, calling it "a sanctimonious thud of a movie so infested with one-dimensional characters and PC cliches that not a single plot turn, large or small, surprises. . . . Think of 'Avatar' as 'Death Wish' for leftists, a simplistic, revisionist revenge fantasy where if you . . . hate the bad guys (America) you're able to forgive the by-the-numbers predictability of it all."

John Podhoretz, the Weekly Standard's film critic, called the film "blitheringly stupid; indeed, it's among the dumbest movies I've ever seen." He goes on to say: "You're going to hear a lot over the next couple of weeks about the movie's politics -- about how it's a Green epic about despoiling the environment, and an attack on the war in Iraq. . . . The conclusion does ask the audience to root for the defeat of American soldiers at the hands of an insurgency. So it is a deep expression of anti-Americanism -- kind of. The thing is, one would be giving Jim Cameron too much credit to take 'Avatar' -- with its . . . hatred of the military and American institutions and the notion that to be human is just way uncool -- at all seriously as a political document. It's more interesting as an example of how deeply rooted these standard issue counterculture cliches in Hollywood have become by now."

Ross Douthat, writing in the New York Times, took Cameron to task on another favorite conservative front, as yet another Hollywood filmmaker who refuses to acknowledge the power of religion. Douthat calls "Avatar" the "Gospel according to James. But not the Christian Gospel. Instead, 'Avatar' is Cameron's long apologia for pantheism -- a faith that equates God with Nature, and calls humanity into religious communion with the natural world." Douthat contends that societies close to nature, like the Na'vi in "Avatar," aren't shining Edens at all -- "they're places where existence tends to be nasty, brutish and short."

There are tons of other grumpy conservative broadsides against the film, but I'll spare you the details, except to say that Cameron's grand cinematic fantasy, with its mixture of social comment, mysticism and transcendent, fanboy-style video game animation, seems to have hit a very raw nerve with political conservatives, who view everything -- foreign affairs, global warming, the White House Christmas tree -- through the prism of partisan sloganeering.

But why is it doing so well with everyday moviegoers if it's so full of supposedly buzz-killing liberal messages?

"It has the politics of the left, but it also has extraordinary spectacle," says Govindini Murty, co-founder of the pioneering conservative blog Libertas and executive producer of the new conservative film "Kalifornistan." "Jim Cameron didn't come out of nowhere. He came on the heels of all the left-wing filmmakers who went before him, who knew that someone with their point of view would have the resources to finally make a breakthrough political film. But even though 'Avatar' has an incredibly disturbing anti-human, anti-military, anti-Western world view, it has incredible spectacle and technology and great filmmaking to capture people's attention. The politics are going right over people's heads. Its audience isn't reading the New York Times or the National Review."

I suspect that's a good explanation. But if I were trying to get to the bottom of conservative complaints with "Avatar," I'd offer three more key reasons why the film has set the right's hair on fire:

Glorifying soft-headed environmentalism: If you hadn't noticed, the conservative movement has become the leading focal point for skepticism about global warming. The Wall Street Journal's ardently right-wing editorial pages have been chock-full of stories ridiculing everything including government sponsorship of alternative energy, nutty Prius enthusiasts and scientists who allegedly suppressed climate change data that called into question their claims about global warming (a flap the WSJ dubbed "Climategate").

Ever since Al Gore took center stage with his documentary, "An Inconvenient Truth," conservatives have been falling over one another in their attempts to mock liberal planet savers, taking special pleasure in slamming Hollywood environmentalists who fly private jets or live in huge houses. (As soon as Climategate erupted, two Hollywood conservatives surfaced, asking the academy to take back Gore's "Inconvenient Truth" Oscar, even though, inconveniently, the Oscar had actually gone to the film's director, not Gore.)

So Cameron's giddy embrace of a primitive people who live in harmony with their land -- and his scathing portrayal of a soulless corporation willing to do anything, including kill innocent natives, to steal and exploit their planet's valuable natural resources -- is the kind of anti-technology, pro-environment dramaturgy that sets off alarms.

Godless Hollywood triumphs again: Conservatives have complained for years that Hollywood ignores, laughs at or disrespects religion. And to be fair, they are not so wrong. It's almost as rare to see a film with a sympathetic portrayal of an openly religious character as it is to see a film with a leading role for an African American actress. I think it's a stretch to call Hollywood godless, but it would certainly be fair to call it an extremely secular world.

Conservatives are always quick to point out that when someone actually made an openly religious film -- and of course we're talking about Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ" -- it made hundreds of millions of dollars. Of course, they usually fail to mention that when Hollywood made 2005's "The Nativity Story," a sweet, very respectful religious drama, it earned $37 million in the U.S., just about what it cost to make. Ross Douthat is probably right. Moviegoers are far more comfortable with a fuzzy, inspirational form of pantheism than they are with an openly biblical message.

Hollywood's long history of anti-military sloganeering: There is no doubt that "Avatar" portrays its military contractor characters as barbarous mercenaries, willing -- even eager -- to wipe out innocent natives in their pursuit of Pandora's precious resources. It almost feels as if Cameron is drawing parallels, not only to the Iraq war, but to Vietnam. But while Hollywood often makes antiwar movies, "Avatar" is something different -- a peaceful warrior film, celebrating the newly aroused consciousness of a Marine turned defender of a higher faith.

What's fascinating is that the American people, who have almost always shown strong support for our foreign wars, would happily embrace a film that portrays its military characters in such an unflattering light. My guess is that audiences have seen past the obvious because the film is set in a faraway, interplanetary future, not in present-day America. When Russian political dissidents wanted to criticize their oppressive regimes, they would often write stories or make films that were set in the past, inoculating themselves by using a 15th century czar as a stand-in for the tyrant of the day. Cameron has done the same thing, but by moving forward into the future, creating a safe distance for his veiled (and not-so-thinly veiled) social messages.

"Avatar" has, of course, far more on its mind than its politics. It's a triumph of visual imagination and the world's first great 3-D movie. But it is fascinating to see how today's ideology-obsessed conservatives have managed to walk away from such a crowd-pleasing triumph and see only the film's political subtext, not the groundbreaking artistry that's staring them right in the face.
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Re: AVATAR (Now w/ Worldwide Eyeball Rape)

Postby papalazeru on Tue Jan 05, 2010 6:11 am

Nick wrote:Image

Original Size


Nick, that's classic!

I would like to thank you because I've stolen it and put it on Facebook. :D

Cracks me up on every read.
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Re: AVATAR (Now w/ Worldwide Eyeball Rape)

Postby magicmonkey on Tue Jan 05, 2010 6:11 am

HAHA! Right-wing critics should be shot. It amazes me that folk just can't wrap their heads around humanitarianism and see themselves, as well as humanity in general as its own worst enemy... and try to make shit better. Big deal. The rest is just obfuscation.
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Re: AVATAR (Now w/ Worldwide Eyeball Rape)

Postby Bloo on Tue Jan 05, 2010 6:48 am

magicmonkey wrote:HAHA! Right-wing critics should be shot. It amazes me that folk just can't wrap their heads around humanitarianism and see themselves, as well as humanity in general as its own worst enemy... and try to make shit better. Big deal. The rest is just obfuscation.


is that a humanitarian statement? shoot those that disagree? sounds kind of...dictorship to me

I'm slightly kidding, you guys jump down the conservetive's throat when they say something stupid or critize something that they don't agree with but you come in with "conservetives should be shot"

even the Na'Vi showed compassion when they shipped off the survivors back to earth at the end of the movie

just maybe we could ALL learn something from Jimmy C?
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Re: AVATAR (Now w/ Worldwide Eyeball Rape)

Postby TonyWilson on Tue Jan 05, 2010 8:31 am

Those critics are dumb as balls, for all the messsages about noble savages (oh haha) and living in peace with nature mean nothing when it's just a way the audiences can feel enlightened and shit while giving Rupert Murdoch another billion dollars to continue his pestilential propaganda that's a billion times more effective than an action movie about being nice to fucking smurfs. If they had a brain cell between them they'd be telling everyone to go see it and thus keep funding Fox/News International's insidious shit. This film is a triumph for corporations and marketing, there's nothing genuinely left wing about it.
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Re: AVATAR (Now w/ Worldwide Eyeball Rape)

Postby SilentBobX on Tue Jan 05, 2010 9:14 pm

Nick wrote:Image

Original Size



Hilarious, but seriously, put that back on Cameron's desk before he knows it's gone.


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Re: AVATAR (Now w/ Worldwide Eyeball Rape)

Postby Bayouwolf on Wed Jan 06, 2010 2:18 pm

Saw it again yesterday evening in glourious IMAX.

I was wow'ed the first time I went to Pandora. This time I was floored.

Avatar is one of those films you need to see twice in the theater. There is just so much to take in... I'm certain the IMAX print isn't any different than the digital 3-D print I saw on opening day, but I literally saw new things I hadn't noticed the first go round.

I'm not so sure this will translate well onto the small screen, but it's just about the most immersive film I've ever been to.
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Re: AVATAR (Now w/ Worldwide Eyeball Rape)

Postby Fievel on Wed Jan 06, 2010 2:31 pm

You saw it twice the right way.
I went from IMAX 3D to a regular screen in 3D..... and I kept falling asleep during the first half.
Granted, I didn't have a good night's sleep, but the film seemed to drag on until about the time that Jake picked his bird.
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Re: AVATAR (Now w/ Worldwide Eyeball Rape)

Postby Bayouwolf on Wed Jan 06, 2010 2:44 pm

Fievel wrote:You saw it twice the right way.
I went from IMAX 3D to a regular screen in 3D..... and I kept falling asleep during the first half.
Granted, I didn't have a good night's sleep, but the film seemed to drag on until about the time that Jake picked his bird.


I was wondering how that would play out if I did it the other way around...
I was just too busy looking at all the small things this time. I'd seen the story, but the world is still ripe to explore...

I almost want to see it again in 2D format, just to see if the film suffers as much from a less vibrant background...
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Re: AVATAR (Now w/ Worldwide Eyeball Rape)

Postby Jabbadonut on Wed Jan 06, 2010 8:31 pm

The Todd wrote:Avatar arouses conservatives' ire

It's no secret that "Avatar" has been stunningly successful on nearly every front. The James Cameron-directed sci-fi epic is already the fourth-highest-grossing film of all time, having earned more than $1 billion around the globe in less than three weeks of theatrical release. The film also has garnered effusive praise from critics, who've been planting its flag on a variety of critics Top 10 lists. The 3-D trip to Pandora is also viewed as a veritable shoo-in for a best picture Oscar nomination when the academy announces its nominees on Feb. 2.

But amid this avalanche of praise and popularity, guess who hates the movie? America's prickly cadre of political conservatives.

For years, pundits and bloggers on the right have ceaselessly attacked liberal Hollywood for being out of touch with rank and file moviegoers, complaining that executives and filmmakers continue to make films that have precious little resonance with Middle America. They have reacted with scorn to such high-profile liberal political advocacy films as "Syriana," "Milk," "W.," "Religulous," "Lions for Lambs," "Brokeback Mountain," "In the Valley of Elah," "Rendition" and "Good Night, and Good Luck," saying that the movies' poor performances at the box office were a clear sign of how thoroughly uninterested real people were in the pet causes of showbiz progressives.

Of course, "Avatar" totally turns this theory on its head. As a host of critics have noted, the film offers a blatantly pro-environmental message; it portrays U.S. military contractors in a decidedly negative light; and it clearly evokes the can't-we-all-get along vibe of the 1960s counterculture. These are all messages guaranteed to alienate everyday moviegoers, so say the right-wing pundits -- and yet the film has been wholeheartedly embraced by audiences everywhere, from Mississippi to Manhattan.

To say that the film has evoked a storm of ire on the right would be an understatement. Big Hollywood's John Nolte, one of my favorite outspoken right-wing film essayists, blasted the film, calling it "a sanctimonious thud of a movie so infested with one-dimensional characters and PC cliches that not a single plot turn, large or small, surprises. . . . Think of 'Avatar' as 'Death Wish' for leftists, a simplistic, revisionist revenge fantasy where if you . . . hate the bad guys (America) you're able to forgive the by-the-numbers predictability of it all."

John Podhoretz, the Weekly Standard's film critic, called the film "blitheringly stupid; indeed, it's among the dumbest movies I've ever seen." He goes on to say: "You're going to hear a lot over the next couple of weeks about the movie's politics -- about how it's a Green epic about despoiling the environment, and an attack on the war in Iraq. . . . The conclusion does ask the audience to root for the defeat of American soldiers at the hands of an insurgency. So it is a deep expression of anti-Americanism -- kind of. The thing is, one would be giving Jim Cameron too much credit to take 'Avatar' -- with its . . . hatred of the military and American institutions and the notion that to be human is just way uncool -- at all seriously as a political document. It's more interesting as an example of how deeply rooted these standard issue counterculture cliches in Hollywood have become by now."

Ross Douthat, writing in the New York Times, took Cameron to task on another favorite conservative front, as yet another Hollywood filmmaker who refuses to acknowledge the power of religion. Douthat calls "Avatar" the "Gospel according to James. But not the Christian Gospel. Instead, 'Avatar' is Cameron's long apologia for pantheism -- a faith that equates God with Nature, and calls humanity into religious communion with the natural world." Douthat contends that societies close to nature, like the Na'vi in "Avatar," aren't shining Edens at all -- "they're places where existence tends to be nasty, brutish and short."

There are tons of other grumpy conservative broadsides against the film, but I'll spare you the details, except to say that Cameron's grand cinematic fantasy, with its mixture of social comment, mysticism and transcendent, fanboy-style video game animation, seems to have hit a very raw nerve with political conservatives, who view everything -- foreign affairs, global warming, the White House Christmas tree -- through the prism of partisan sloganeering.

But why is it doing so well with everyday moviegoers if it's so full of supposedly buzz-killing liberal messages?

"It has the politics of the left, but it also has extraordinary spectacle," says Govindini Murty, co-founder of the pioneering conservative blog Libertas and executive producer of the new conservative film "Kalifornistan." "Jim Cameron didn't come out of nowhere. He came on the heels of all the left-wing filmmakers who went before him, who knew that someone with their point of view would have the resources to finally make a breakthrough political film. But even though 'Avatar' has an incredibly disturbing anti-human, anti-military, anti-Western world view, it has incredible spectacle and technology and great filmmaking to capture people's attention. The politics are going right over people's heads. Its audience isn't reading the New York Times or the National Review."

I suspect that's a good explanation. But if I were trying to get to the bottom of conservative complaints with "Avatar," I'd offer three more key reasons why the film has set the right's hair on fire:

Glorifying soft-headed environmentalism: If you hadn't noticed, the conservative movement has become the leading focal point for skepticism about global warming. The Wall Street Journal's ardently right-wing editorial pages have been chock-full of stories ridiculing everything including government sponsorship of alternative energy, nutty Prius enthusiasts and scientists who allegedly suppressed climate change data that called into question their claims about global warming (a flap the WSJ dubbed "Climategate").

Ever since Al Gore took center stage with his documentary, "An Inconvenient Truth," conservatives have been falling over one another in their attempts to mock liberal planet savers, taking special pleasure in slamming Hollywood environmentalists who fly private jets or live in huge houses. (As soon as Climategate erupted, two Hollywood conservatives surfaced, asking the academy to take back Gore's "Inconvenient Truth" Oscar, even though, inconveniently, the Oscar had actually gone to the film's director, not Gore.)

So Cameron's giddy embrace of a primitive people who live in harmony with their land -- and his scathing portrayal of a soulless corporation willing to do anything, including kill innocent natives, to steal and exploit their planet's valuable natural resources -- is the kind of anti-technology, pro-environment dramaturgy that sets off alarms.

Godless Hollywood triumphs again: Conservatives have complained for years that Hollywood ignores, laughs at or disrespects religion. And to be fair, they are not so wrong. It's almost as rare to see a film with a sympathetic portrayal of an openly religious character as it is to see a film with a leading role for an African American actress. I think it's a stretch to call Hollywood godless, but it would certainly be fair to call it an extremely secular world.

Conservatives are always quick to point out that when someone actually made an openly religious film -- and of course we're talking about Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ" -- it made hundreds of millions of dollars. Of course, they usually fail to mention that when Hollywood made 2005's "The Nativity Story," a sweet, very respectful religious drama, it earned $37 million in the U.S., just about what it cost to make. Ross Douthat is probably right. Moviegoers are far more comfortable with a fuzzy, inspirational form of pantheism than they are with an openly biblical message.

Hollywood's long history of anti-military sloganeering: There is no doubt that "Avatar" portrays its military contractor characters as barbarous mercenaries, willing -- even eager -- to wipe out innocent natives in their pursuit of Pandora's precious resources. It almost feels as if Cameron is drawing parallels, not only to the Iraq war, but to Vietnam. But while Hollywood often makes antiwar movies, "Avatar" is something different -- a peaceful warrior film, celebrating the newly aroused consciousness of a Marine turned defender of a higher faith.

What's fascinating is that the American people, who have almost always shown strong support for our foreign wars, would happily embrace a film that portrays its military characters in such an unflattering light. My guess is that audiences have seen past the obvious because the film is set in a faraway, interplanetary future, not in present-day America. When Russian political dissidents wanted to criticize their oppressive regimes, they would often write stories or make films that were set in the past, inoculating themselves by using a 15th century czar as a stand-in for the tyrant of the day. Cameron has done the same thing, but by moving forward into the future, creating a safe distance for his veiled (and not-so-thinly veiled) social messages.

"Avatar" has, of course, far more on its mind than its politics. It's a triumph of visual imagination and the world's first great 3-D movie. But it is fascinating to see how today's ideology-obsessed conservatives have managed to walk away from such a crowd-pleasing triumph and see only the film's political subtext, not the groundbreaking artistry that's staring them right in the face.


As a registered Republican, and an avowed conservative, I can say this about "Avatar." I loved it. It changed the way I see movies, and anything less than what the film delivered from a visual perspective will be disappointing. It is a turning point in filmmaking, and those who don't see that are not thinking clearly. As for its "message," I didn't really find anything that hasn't been said in hundreds of films prior to this. Noble savages "good," evil corporate exploiters "bad." It wasn't a new message, and it wasn't one I disagree with, either. This movie wasn't political, in my opinion. It is a triumph of visual style and has changed the way we see movies, whether you like it or not, forever.

I think the real truth is that liberals and conservatives want the same thing. We just disagree on how to get it.
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Re: AVATAR (Now w/ Worldwide Eyeball Rape)

Postby RogueScribner on Thu Jan 07, 2010 7:30 am

So after several delays, I finally got around to seeing Avatar in 3-D tonight. I have to go to work soon (and I need to shovel the driveway first), so I'll keep it short and sweet:

The 3-D did add a layer of enjoyment to the movie, but the movie was still the movie. It's good popcorn, maybe even great popcorn, but it isn't anything substantial, and that's what disappoints me. The movie could have been a great work of art, but more attention was paid to the technical aspects of the production than the screenplay, which is where it suffers most. Avatar isn't a bad movie, but it's not Star Wars either. Not even close. It may be setting the new standard for VFX and 3-D composition, but from a storytelling standpoint, it's a road that's been traveled many times before.

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Re: AVATAR (Now w/ Worldwide Eyeball Rape)

Postby darkjedijaina on Thu Jan 07, 2010 9:37 am

Whuh? So, I saw it on Tuesday night in IMAX, and OMGZ.... I LOVED it. Yeah, it's a story that's been told a few times, but in this way? With this pretty-ness? Hrm. I don't know why some people no likey. This is the movie Star Wars prequels should have been. This is what Transformers should have been. I dunno. Just good movie-making IMO. This is how you do it. I hadn't felt this way about a movie in a long while. This and Star Trek were the movies that made me go WOW. That's how it's supposed to be done.
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Re: AVATAR (Now w/ Worldwide Eyeball Rape)

Postby Jabbadonut on Thu Jan 07, 2010 5:51 pm

I don't know about anyone else, but I sure as heck would like to live on Pandora. I fell totally in love with the place. D'oh . . . :)
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Re: AVATAR (Now w/ Worldwide Eyeball Rape)

Postby minstrel on Thu Jan 07, 2010 6:04 pm

RogueScribner wrote:Avatar isn't a bad movie, but it's not Star Wars either. Not even close. It may be setting the new standard for VFX and 3-D composition, but from a storytelling standpoint, it's a road that's been traveled many times before.
B+ (7.5/10)


WHAT??????

I suggest you watch Star Wars again. It doesn't hold up. It's comical and silly and at times almost unwatchable. We all know that Avatar travels storytelling roads that have been traveled before, but Star Wars did too. (See that doc with Bill Moyers interviewing Joseph Campbell about just HOW many times Star Wars has been told before.) Jeez. To me, 2001 is still impressive, but Star Wars shrinks with every viewing. I know it blew everyone's minds in 1977, but don't hold it up as a great piece of original storytelling in 2010.
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Re: AVATAR (Now w/ Worldwide Eyeball Rape)

Postby so sorry on Thu Jan 07, 2010 6:30 pm

minstrel wrote:
RogueScribner wrote:Avatar isn't a bad movie, but it's not Star Wars either. Not even close. It may be setting the new standard for VFX and 3-D composition, but from a storytelling standpoint, it's a road that's been traveled many times before.
B+ (7.5/10)


WHAT??????

I suggest you watch Star Wars again. It doesn't hold up. It's comical and silly and at times almost unwatchable. We all know that Avatar travels storytelling roads that have been traveled before, but Star Wars did too. (See that doc with Bill Moyers interviewing Joseph Campbell about just HOW many times Star Wars has been told before.) Jeez. To me, 2001 is still impressive, but Star Wars shrinks with every viewing. I know it blew everyone's minds in 1977, but don't hold it up as a great piece of original storytelling in 2010.


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Re: AVATAR (Now w/ Worldwide Eyeball Rape)

Postby RogueScribner on Thu Jan 07, 2010 6:43 pm

minstrel wrote:
RogueScribner wrote:Avatar isn't a bad movie, but it's not Star Wars either. Not even close. It may be setting the new standard for VFX and 3-D composition, but from a storytelling standpoint, it's a road that's been traveled many times before.
B+ (7.5/10)


WHAT??????

I suggest you watch Star Wars again. It doesn't hold up. It's comical and silly and at times almost unwatchable. We all know that Avatar travels storytelling roads that have been traveled before, but Star Wars did too. (See that doc with Bill Moyers interviewing Joseph Campbell about just HOW many times Star Wars has been told before.) Jeez. To me, 2001 is still impressive, but Star Wars shrinks with every viewing. I know it blew everyone's minds in 1977, but don't hold it up as a great piece of original storytelling in 2010.


I didn't mean to imply that the story to Star Wars is original or anything, only that the movie truly was a game changer and unlike anything anyone had seen before. It wasn't just the VFX. Lucas made sci-fi/fantasy cool again. For better or worse, he changed how Hollywood operates. He tapped into the common mythology we all have ingrained inside of us. I don't feel like Cameron made a movie in the same league as Star Wars, and this is coming from a guy who routinely puts Star Wars down because he's secretly a Trekkie at heart!

Cameron took stock heroes and villains, mixed up some Afrindian native stuff, and whipped it all together in a day-glow package. Maybe I'm getting cranky in my old age (I plucked a gray nose hair this afternoon), but save for one moment in Avatar I never really felt emotionally invested in what was going on. And I can't love a movie that lacks that connection. All the eye candy in the world will never make for a great movie, IMO. There's gotta be something more.
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Re: AVATAR (Now w/ Worldwide Eyeball Rape)

Postby minstrel on Thu Jan 07, 2010 7:00 pm

RogueScribner wrote:Cameron took stock heroes and villains, mixed up some Afrindian native stuff, and whipped it all together in a day-glow package.


And Lucas took stock heroes and villains and didn't even mix in some Afrindian native stuff, and whipped it all together in a slightly less than day-glo package.

Look, we're not going to be able to compare the two films in terms of their influence until Avatar has been out for thirty years. But right now, to me, Avatar has the edge because it doesn't make me cringe in certain parts. Like, every shot in Star Wars that includes C-3P0 makes me cringe. Along with many others. Like when Chewbacca (whose very NAME makes me cringe) turns around and growls at the little robot following him, and the robot scurries away in fear. Ugh. That isn't what Star Wars should have been. That's Spaceballs. Even Mel Brooks couldn't properly parody Star Wars because it was such a parody itself.
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Re: AVATAR (Now w/ Worldwide Eyeball Rape)

Postby Brit Pop on Thu Jan 07, 2010 9:47 pm

Wthout going into detail my general tiredness level will not allow at this late hour...

The SFX were very good, the script and acting of a few people had me cringing.

Its Jeopardy time...

"Sinclair C5... the Mini Disc... Avatar"

"Things that did not live up to the hype"

"CORRECT"


Maybe as a film fan I'm getting too old... maybe the demographic for all mainstream films are persons of a teenage... maybe I should have dropped that acid before going in to see this movie...

Is the worst type of corporate bad person someone who plays golf in the control room and uses the term 'blue monkeys'? (at which point I totally switched off!

Avatar is a bit like Titanic... remove all scenes with actors and just leave in the SFX and you have a passable movie... coincidentally another Cameron movie.

I guess age adversly affects all directors, compounded by when they earn enough money to use CGI predominantly.

Cameron, Lucas, Jackson... I'm looking at you!!!

End Of Line.

(ps - the noise the Pandora horses make, is the noise velociraptors make when they call out for attention, exactly the same noise... its quite distracting - like a wilhelm!!)
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Re: AVATAR (Now w/ Worldwide Eyeball Rape)

Postby justcheckin on Thu Jan 07, 2010 11:07 pm

RogueScribner wrote:
minstrel wrote:
RogueScribner wrote:Avatar isn't a bad movie, but it's not Star Wars either. Not even close. It may be setting the new standard for VFX and 3-D composition, but from a storytelling standpoint, it's a road that's been traveled many times before.
B+ (7.5/10)


WHAT??????

I suggest you watch Star Wars again. It doesn't hold up. It's comical and silly and at times almost unwatchable. We all know that Avatar travels storytelling roads that have been traveled before, but Star Wars did too. (See that doc with Bill Moyers interviewing Joseph Campbell about just HOW many times Star Wars has been told before.) Jeez. To me, 2001 is still impressive, but Star Wars shrinks with every viewing. I know it blew everyone's minds in 1977, but don't hold it up as a great piece of original storytelling in 2010.


I didn't mean to imply that the story to Star Wars is original or anything, only that the movie truly was a game changer and unlike anything anyone had seen before. It wasn't just the VFX. Lucas made sci-fi/fantasy cool again. For better or worse, he changed how Hollywood operates. He tapped into the common mythology we all have ingrained inside of us. I don't feel like Cameron made a movie in the same league as Star Wars, and this is coming from a guy who routinely puts Star Wars down because he's secretly a Trekkie at heart!

Cameron took stock heroes and villains, mixed up some Afrindian native stuff, and whipped it all together in a day-glow package. Maybe I'm getting cranky in my old age (I plucked a gray nose hair this afternoon), but save for one moment in Avatar I never really felt emotionally invested in what was going on. And I can't love a movie that lacks that connection. All the eye candy in the world will never make for a great movie, IMO. There's gotta be something more.


It comes down to both of these movies being archetypes... Pocahontas, Dances with Wolves... whatever, the story is repeated a great deal. The same (imo) for Star Wars... evil government with rebels that wish to free the people under rule of said government (Robin Hood, Matrix). The thin emotional connection comes from wanting to be on the side of the underdog and seeing some of yourself in those characters. What makes these movies push the industry standard is not the intriguing plot or the emotional connection to the characters. Lucas and Cameron both set out to make movies that couldn't be done with the current technology on hand and so things were created, invented if you will, to create the intended outcome. I think Avatar will get or has gotten the industry excited just like Star Wars did but I think the average common person (like me and you and maybe him over there) has no idea or concept of the leaps in technology. We are all used to "eye candy" and we expect it to be better with each passing movie. Just like I expect some godly awesome ipod in 5 years. The difference is that I don't think anyone was expecting the level of effects that Star Wars produced, we are now always expecting it with new movies like Avatar. I really think that Avatar has revolutionized 3D in the right direction.
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Re: AVATAR (Now w/ Worldwide Eyeball Rape)

Postby Retardo_Montalban on Thu Jan 07, 2010 11:14 pm

Brit Pop wrote:Is the worst type of corporate bad person someone who plays golf in the control room and uses the term 'blue monkeys'? (at which point I totally switched off!



Yeah, Paul Reiser did a better job as a soulless corporate shill. Giovanni Ribisi could have done it, but he was talking in that hick accent and swaggering way too much.
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