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Originally Posted by FrankCobretti
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From the LA Times:

Reporting from Los Angeles and Beijing - "Avatar" may be too popular for its own good in China.

The communist nation's state-run movie distributor, China Film Group, unexpectedly began pulling the blockbuster science-fiction picture from 1,628 2-D screens this week in favor of a biography of the ancient philosopher Confucius.

When the film is anti-corporate rape of the enviroment....

And China looks like this....

[IMG][/IMG]

I'd ban Avatar too if I didn't want a second peoples revolution
Jenn Lyon (Survivor: Palau) has passed away today due to cancer. Coby Archa (Survivor: Palau), her bestie, posted this note on Facebook. Apparently, the messages in Avatar helped Jenn have peace with her cancer:

Quote:

Originally Posted by Coby

Today at 1:20am
Jenn has passed away..

Jenn Lyon is my best friend. I can't say I am her's because she has a long line of people who love her and want to call her their own. She is the most beautiful woman I have ever seen on the inside and out. We met playing a silly game called Survivor where she was misunderstood by me because of her beautiful looks and sweet passive attitude. Something her mother told me had happend to Jenn her whole life, people judging her pretty shell. Funny how looks can be a curse.

I asked Jenn what she would like to do before she...
we never said die, Jenn is too stong to even speak in those terms. This is a person who has faught cancer face to face for almost 5years, die isn't in her arsenal. Her answer wasn't fly to the moon, or meet Madonna, it was simple and clear...
"I want us all to go to the mountains with snow all around, everyone can stay in their own seperate little cabins. We can come out and have snowball fights and spend Christmas there together." That was it.

I was there when we shaved each others heads at her first chemo treatment. I was there when she she found out the cancer had come back in her bones on my birthday when she was visiting me in Texas. We had just gotten tattoo's together on our inner arms, hers to cover where her port was inserted. I was there when she was in the hospital last year and I had 'Victoria' from Twilight give her a suprise visit. She was there for me when I moved to LA and she loaned me the money to do it. She caroled me at Christmas and I always tried to make her laugh. She always accepted me for who I am and I always tried to learn from her. I was lucky to be there a lot.

Has anyone seen Avatar? It was one of the last things Jenn and I did together. The movie looks light and cheesy - eye candy for the masses. But what we didn't know was the theme of the Na'vi people. That nothing dies. We are all energy flowing into the Earth and we are all connected. That tree roots hold the memories of the people passed, that animals can feel their ridders, that people travel through a tunnel of light when passing by while being chanted on by their tribe. As I sat next to Jenn, knowing that she had just had news of only having a short time left, I wondered how she would handle it. All this death and beauty headed at her face in all its amazing technicolor 3D glory! I looked over at her worried but she had a sirine smile on her face. From then on we talked about it everytime we saw each other. How that simple movie could make her feel..safe. We always signed our texts, " I see you". That line was spoken from Neytiri as she held the little, white, human crippled form of Jake in her big blue strong arms. It was the last thing I said to Jenn as I wrote it on a note I left on her pillow. " I see you."

Her beautiful shell was still a curse in the end. I often thought when we went to the doctors that poeple didn't take her illness or pain as serious because she was still so pretty. But it was just her Avatar. I write this not only for myself in some sort of therapy but for what Jenn believes in. In writing about this I am connecting our story to the branches. I am feeling the Earth. I am rallying the tribe to chant as Jenn passes her energy into the light.

We love Jenn!!!

I see us all in the perect snow, with our own cabins, having the biggest snowball fight. Survivors, big blue Na'vi and Jenn running in the snow with her 2 dogs jumping about her. Everybody put on your 3D glasses because this is about to blow your mind.

Quote:

Originally Posted by FrankCobretti
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From the LA Times:

Reporting from Los Angeles and Beijing - "Avatar" may be too popular for its own good in China.

The communist nation's state-run movie distributor, China Film Group, unexpectedly began pulling the blockbuster science-fiction picture from 1,628 2-D screens this week in favor of a biography of the ancient philosopher Confucius.

Ive heard there's also the factor that the Confucius film is state sponsored or financed, i think.
Also, surely a movie about natives being opressed and forced to be relocated and have their cultural legacies destroyed would have no impact in China.
Before we assign too insidious a motive to this:

Quote:

However, David Wolf of Wolf Group Asia, a media consultancy based in Beijing, said the decision to pull "Avatar" had more to do with the upcoming Chinese New Year holiday.

"There's certain windows in the year that are held for domestic films," Wolf said. "We're coming up on Chinese New Year, so this can be expected."

The week-long national holiday, also known as the spring festival, begins the weekend of Feb. 13. China has only 4,000 screens, which places run times at a premium.

Wolf said that most foreign films get a 10-day run before being pulled. Executives at Fox had expected "Avatar" to play much longer, however, due to its massive popularity. It is already the most successful movie of all time in China, having grossed a record $76 million, according to the studio.

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Originally Posted by Diva
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Jenn Lyon (Survivor: Palau) has passed away today due to cancer. Coby Archa (Survivor: Palau), her bestie, posted this note on Facebook. Apparently, the messages in Avatar helped Jenn have peace with her cancer:

Touching story. I'd bet it's not the only one, either.

Not that the flick should be above criticism for that reason, of course. I just like to hear about any movie giving a dying person some comfort, whether it's Avatar or Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla.
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Originally Posted by Richard Dickson
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I Fuck You

Gets my vote.
Sigorney's Beaver
I bet if you pronounce it like a cockney person, it would sound like you're saying "Have a " something

Come up with something dirty to rhyme with "tar" and you have your adult film title


PS I'm going again at 7 30 pm tonight! Cannot wait
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Originally Posted by Princess Kate
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PS I'm going again at 7 30 pm tonight! Cannot wait

God for you Kate, still waiting for the chance of a second viewing (too crowded still)
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Originally Posted by danko
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God for you Kate, still waiting for the chance of a second viewing (too crowded still)

It's been tough finding a day when I can get a ride, otherwise I'd have gone sooner
Being Avatar kind of a delayed blast in Italy (it's been out a week today), I'm reporting now a discussion I've just had with a friend of mine who saw the movie yesterday.
I was surprised about how much we agreed about everything, since we usually have very different tastes. I should add that he didn't follow the production or the hype (barring some from me) and so basically knew nothing of the movie or what he was about to see.

He was completely blown away by the movie, and defined it a new milestone of moviemaking.
It was very pleasant to debate how we found the movie compelling, passionate and immersive, and how the plot didn't seem useless to us at all, since it felt truly genuine while the immersiveness of the experience made it truly believable and relevant. The simplicity of the dialogs might actually have helped in this regard.
We both argued that Cameron's scenes are so effective that you don't feel like the director is *trying* to get you excited, sad, angry, or whatever. Such feelings are totally injected into your brain and you do not find yourself doubting them.
Again we agreed on another point: we both found the main flaw in the 3D itself (!), not because it didn't work, but because it didn't *always* work (some live action scenes looked like they had some issues); yet again we both found the overall use of the 3rd dimension tactful and not unnecessarily invasive.

I could go on, we raved about it for like 45 minutes
It was nice to have such a complete understanding about something, for once
Overall I take it in Italy the effect is the same as everywhere else: we have our good share of critics whining about pocahontas, the "superficial" visual focus of the movie and all, while theaters are packed and I keep hearing reports of applauses too. People surely applauded at my screening, I was there (I didn't join though, since I'm always very self-conscious, ehm)
Quote:

Originally Posted by danko
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Being Avatar kind of a delayed blast in Italy (it's been out a week today), I'm reporting now a discussion I've just had with a friend of mine who saw the movie yesterday.
I was surprised about how much we agreed about everything, since we usually have very different tastes. I should add that he didn't follow the production or the hype (barring some from me) and so basically knew nothing of the movie or what he was about to see.

He was completely blown away by the movie, and defined it a new milestone of moviemaking.
It was very pleasant to debate how we found the movie compelling, passionate and immersive, and how the plot didn't seem useless to us at all, since it felt truly genuine while the immersiveness of the experience made it truly believable and relevant. The simplicity of the dialogs might actually have helped in this regard.
We both argued that Cameron's scenes are so effective that you don't feel like the director is *trying* to get you excited, sad, angry, or whatever. Such feelings are totally injected into your brain and you do not find yourself doubting them.
Again we agreed on another point: we both found the main flaw in the 3D itself (!), not because it didn't work, but because it didn't *always* work (some live action scenes looked like they had some issues); yet again we both found the overall use of the 3rd dimension tactful and not unnecessarily invasive.

I could go on, we raved about it for like 45 minutes
It was nice to have such a complete understanding about something, for once
Overall I take it in Italy the effect is the same as everywhere else: we have our good share of critics whining about pocahontas, the "superficial" visual focus of the movie and all, while theaters are packed and I keep hearing reports of applauses too. People surely applauded at my screening, I was there (I didn't join though, since I'm always very self-conscious, ehm)

Your views are much the same as mine! Viva la 3D revolution!


In other news, I saw it for the second time last night at a REAL D theater. It was almost as good as my first time viewing it, and I had almost no eye strain. Weird.
Something I've been thinking about a bit: what do people think of the opinion that perhaps the generic plotline serves the film better than a more original one would have? Maybe because we've already been transported to a different time and place and culture and 'people', a more out-there plot would have left audiences cold?
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Originally Posted by Ryan Bean
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Something I've been thinking about a bit: what do people think of the opinion that perhaps the generic plotline serves the film better than a more original one would have? Maybe because we've already been transported to a different time and place and culture and 'people', a more out-there plot would have left audiences cold?

I talked to a few friends who told me that they were so mesmerized by the visuals they found it difficult to pay attention to the dialogue or what was going on. The visuals are so overwhelming for some people, especially on first viewing, that a more "out there" plot might completely lose them.

It's not a new strategy for heavily visual movies to take. I believe that the storyline to Moulin Rouge! was kept very simple for similar reasons. The spectacle is so new, that a familiar story helps keep the audience grounded. I'm pretty sure that Baz Lurhmann talks about it somewhere on the Moulin Rouge! DVD, but I haven't watched the extras on that for years.
The movie was already a risk, so we were never likely to get anything avant-garde. A more out-there or interesting plot is a moot point, but when the effects in a few years are no longer as impressive, the cliche nature of the script may lead to this feeling dated.
That and Luhrman has a major hard on for La Boheme
That and Luhrmann never met a stupid cliche he couldn't resist cramming into his movies. Having overwhelming visuals is never an excuse for having a stupid, ham handed story, ever.
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Originally Posted by Greg Clark
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That and Luhrmann never met a stupid cliche he couldn't resist cramming into his movies. Having overwhelming visuals is never an excuse for having a stupid, ham handed story, ever.

I wouldn't say that Moulin Rouge! (or Avatar for that matter) have stupid, ham handed stories. They tell familiar ones in new ways. As long as the execution is solid (and I think it is in both movies), I don't have much of a problem with the strategy.

Australia had a stupid, ham handed story. Moulin Rouge's story, I thought, was fitting to the material.
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ryan Bean
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Something I've been thinking about a bit: what do people think of the opinion that perhaps the generic plotline serves the film better than a more original one would have? Maybe because we've already been transported to a different time and place and culture and 'people', a more out-there plot would have left audiences cold?

I would say it seem to work for movies like Star Wars, and Avatar. I think the two movies have a lot in common. I like both movies, but they are what they are.
Quote:

Originally Posted by Greg Clark
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That and Luhrmann never met a stupid cliche he couldn't resist cramming into his movies. Having overwhelming visuals is never an excuse for having a stupid, ham handed story, ever.

What exactly is stupid or ham handed about Moulin Rouge! ?? You're quite off base.
Not to derail.
I dont think a more complex story would have hurt the movie, but I am really sure it would not have done much good either.
See, the movie is overlength, yet it seems to work on repeat viewings, closely together, for a great many people. This alone indicates that its somewhat properly paced, at least in the eyes of the public for which it was made.

A more complicated, complex or just involved storyline would likely before long have taken the place of the gorgeous visuals, the emotional scenes or the excellently staged action. While yes, you CAN tell storyline in such scenes, its something a lot of Joe Average moviegoers likely would find distracting from what they came to see (that is, 3D visuals, Pandora and action), rather than a worthy addition.

The storyline is not bad. To anyone who hasnt seen Dances with Wolves and a handful older films, it doesnt even feel cliche ( I asked quite a lot of people in my area, and the consensus seems to be the story is quite ok, surprisingly so for a blockbuster).

On the other hand ,you CAN throttle a movie with a convoluted or complex storyline, and definitely lessen its mass appeal. There is the very real risk of damaging the movie in its flow. A somewhat basic, cliche storyline that is easy to follow, yet delivers enough justification so the movie doesnt feel too artifical and centered around showing off digital set pieces, may not rock anyones boat, but it sure doesnt run the risk of taking away from anything.

And seriously, most of the beloved movie sagas do not really score for great plotlines and original ideas either. Star Wars was mentioned, and Lord of the Rings certainly doesnt break a lot of molds either.
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ryan Bean
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Something I've been thinking about a bit: what do people think of the opinion that perhaps the generic plotline serves the film better than a more original one would have? Maybe because we've already been transported to a different time and place and culture and 'people', a more out-there plot would have left audiences cold?

I don't think a genre film needs a less generic plotline to be a more interesting movie. What it needs is to inhabit the space between those well-worn story beats with interesting, engaging characters. That one fundamental improvement could have served Avatar significantly better than what it ended up with. It could have been a contender for classic status instead of feeling like a pretty and thrilling effects demo.
I'm not sure the theory that visuals distract too much is entirely fair.
I can accept that it may be the case for some people, so yes, maybe the linear plot worked for them for this reason.
And I can fully accept that many would find the plot unoriginal and simple: I can see where they're coming from.

But I think we must consider at least another category: those who got sucked into the world and felt it almost real (this effect was granted by the 3D alright, but also by the *richness* of the details).
For example, when Jake returns to his body after having experienced such extraordinary and vivid adventures, only to find himself "trapped" in the device with paralized legs again, I swear I felt the loss myself.
So what I'm trying to say is: you won't criticize the "simpleness" of the story if you feel that it's almost happening to you. You're less spectator, and more "directly" involved. And the story IS powerful if you can believe it.
I'm sure this kind of immersiveness was the very goal from the start.

Again, of course it doesn't click like this for everyone. It's like having different resonance frequences.
That's my final take on the whole issue, at least
Good points all around.

danko I have to agree... for example, when the big Home Tree was leveled, I surprisingly felt that loss. It's not like the film took a lot of time examining the emotional depth or subtext of what the tree meant, but it was all immersive enough that it more than made up for it.
Maybe this sounds ridiculous but I think the movie hit on something that pretty much all of mankind knows deep down inside and thus makes it resonate with most people:
We are all living this unsustainable lifes on the backs of others, destroy more than we rebuild in nature and sooner or later the day of reckoning will come.

When you see this big tree being cut done, the movie just takes our cultural heritage and knowledge about this stuff and uses it to deepen the emotional connection. Just the knowledge of the rainforest being destroyed dozens of hectars each day is enough to make that scene deeper than it is.

There is a reason humans still feel relaxed and safe when they walk through a forest or have plants around them. it comes from tens of thousands of years living with and within them. You can't take that away with two hundred years of industrialization and city building. The movie uses that gut feeling well methinks.
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Originally Posted by Blueharvester
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Maybe this sounds ridiculous but I think the movie hit on something that pretty much all of mankind knows deep down inside and thus makes it resonate with most people:
We are all living this unsustainable lifes on the backs of others, destroy more than we rebuild in nature and sooner or later the day of reckoning will come.

When you see this big tree being cut done, the movie just takes our cultural heritage and knowledge about this stuff and uses it to deepen the emotional connection. Just the knowledge of the rainforest being destroyed dozens of hectars each day is enough to make that scene deeper than it is.

Maybe people are responding to the environmental message, but I have my doubts that the message is driving the movie's success. Aside from the Avatar forum weirdos, there isn't a lot being written on the film's supposed green agenda.
People's conscious and subconscious motives are rarely the same. Just because people aren't writing about the "green" message doesn't mean they aren't being affected by it. However, I think people are explicitly responding to the message. I know perfectly sane people who now say "I see you" to each other. For some people, this message is quite powerful and speaks to their personal ideology. If you look outside of the internets, people are responding to this movie for more than its effects.
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Originally Posted by Diva
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I know perfectly sane people who now say "I see you" to each other.

They are doing it for giggles though, right?

I guess I may be at fault here, in not wanting to think that the absolutely basic environmentalism in Avatar is enough for people to respond to in such an emotional way. Perhaps that is me being snobbish about it.
It's a feelgood movie and the love story is only part of that. I think being able to root for the hippy stuff for a couple of hours without actually having to do any actual work to address the way you're living is part of what people are digging about the escapism Avatar affords them.
"If I could like project my hopes & dreams into an alien blue cat on the faraway planet of Pandora, I would totally save the environment and stuff. Well, Pandora's environment. They should make a facebook game or an iphone app, so I could totally do that. Because, ya know, I totally care about the environment. Well, Pandora's environment. And I totally care about making sure my blue cat wears the cutest outfits."
Haha, yeah something like that Darkmite. Except it's not like a conscious thing, it's a feelgood movie, not a thinkgood one. It's not a thinkanything one.
Finally saw this last night and even went to see it in 3D to ascertain once and for all if this great new way of the future would be lost to me. The good news for me is, it kinda worked actually, in that I got a little bit of depth and 3Dness out of the affair, tho not as much as the friends I was with. The bad news is I'll be taking painkillers to 3D screenings from here on in as the piercing headache I had throughout wasn't the most fun I've had.

Oh the movie? Yes it was very pretty. Very very pretty. Zoe Saldanas performance was the only one that registered with me on anything like an emotional level so I'll give props to her. Other than that - well, it was really very pretty.

My friends and I kept making jokes about shoving our usb sticks into usb ports for most of the afternoon and the big jiggly jiggly dance the na'avi do to transfer someones body into a na'avi body was one of the best laughs I've had in ages.
This is going to become such a landmark film for me, considering that the movie has started my general apathy towards big budget blockbusters. I could feel this attitude coming when I went to see films like Star Trek and Terminator Salvation, but it seems as though such emotions have culminated into this worthless, predictable drek.
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Originally Posted by The Rain Dog
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Oh the movie? Yes it was very pretty. Very very pretty. ... Other than that - well, it was really very pretty..

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Originally Posted by The Rain Dog
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My friends and I kept making jokes about shoving our usb sticks into usb ports for most of the afternoon and the big jiggly jiggly dance the na'avi do to transfer someones body into a na'avi body was one of the best laughs I've had in ages.

I saw this in Imax 3D and these two quotes were exactly what my friends and I came away with. The 3D was gorgeous and well used. I didn't once feel something was gimmicky, unlike the NASA Hubble mission trailer's few 'I am going to poke you in the eye with my 3D telescope' moments. The film is beautiful. The CGI is fantastic.

But I couldn't help but laugh inappropriately throughout the movie. The dialogue was cliched beyond all imagination. Every plot point was obvious and predicatable. It felt like a more expensive version of Fern Gully. The space shuttle as bomber, the 'dragon' helocopter ship that looked like Gamera, and the Avatar camp, which seems to have 8-9 other avatars, but we never meet those people again, all lead up to...what? Good guys win, bad guys lose? We left a man we could trust behind in the mining base station. What was his name again? Oh yeah, Nameless DoGooder1.

The more I am laughing at the story, the more I start laughing at the visuals. The DaVinci helocopter lizards, for example. Fun to look at, but what biological purpose does that serve. The little guys looked like they wanted to vomit. Is there only one giant Lionflyer? Evil 6 legged dachshounds? If you are about to bomb the holy of holies, why are there ground troops involved? Before I realized the bad guys were marching in on foot, I asked my friend what were the Horselords from the plains going to do from the floating mountains.

I was laughing as they Circle of Life'd Sully twice, once as he entered the clan and once as he became a Na'vi. I left the theater laughing. One of my group demanded a refund of 30 dollars cash or strips of Cameron's hide.

Beautiful visuals, but completely lacking in any story merit.
I liked the part at the end when the ewoks defeated the empire with sticks and stones.