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Originally Posted by Merriweather
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There's a pretty big quality gap between HIDDEN FORTRESS and FERN GULLY.

This too.
Holy shit I hate geek revisionism.
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Originally Posted by Matches_Malone
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Star Wars is a boring movie. Empire, now - that was a good one. It did interesting things with its characters and took chances. But Star Wars, for all its spectacle, is like you said - a simple, juvenile, and safe story. The only interesting thing going on is Harrison Ford's performance.

I don't entirely agree (with the conclusion anyway; I pretty much agree with the details) but that's a consistent POV so fair enough. What rankles is when I suspect people are slagging this film off for qualities that older films also had; films that they not only give a pass to but fucking worship. I've only seen Avatar once and haven't revisted Star Wars in many years but at this point I'm not convinced the difference in quality between them is all that great.
There was nothing boring about Star Wars when I went to see it. However it was at the theatre and I was 12. I suspect that's how the majority of the viewing public (those that don't get on a movie message board) see Avatar.
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Originally Posted by Paul C
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I don't entirely agree (with the conclusion anyway; I pretty much agree with the details) but that's a consistent POV so fair enough. What rankles is when I suspect people are slagging this film off for qualities that older films also had; films that they not only give a pass to but fucking worship. I've only seen Avatar once and haven't revisted Star Wars in many years but at this point I'm not convinced the difference in quality between them is all that great.

Also big: STAR WARS had a sense of humour.
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Originally Posted by Merriweather
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Also big: STAR WARS had a sense of humour.

did you not see him pick the loincloth out of his ass that was the height of comedy
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Originally Posted by Merriweather
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Also big: STAR WARS had a sense of humour.

Yeah. I love a good adventure movie, but I can't think of a single good one that doesn't have a sense of humor. Even TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE, which is kind of downbeat, is still a good bit funnier than AVATAR.
No humor? The helicopter face-paint and the little Top Gun/note comparing montage were both fucking hilarious.
STAR WARS also had an actual forward-moving narrative, instead of evil space marines deciding to ramp up their evilness because the third-act arrived.
Also, as basic as Star Wars' story might seem in hindsight, it was coming at the end of the 70s, where the gritty dramas were king. It was a breath of fresh air, especially since most people aged 5-25 had never seen Flash Gordon or Buck Rogers. It was truly something the mass audience hadn't seen before. It had broad characters, but they almost all were distinctive enought to immediatly enter the cultural conciousness. There's a difference between people forever remembering Darth Vader while Quatrich will most likely remain "the bad guy from Avatar".

Avatar is a pop hit, no doubt, something everyone wants to see. But it doesn't even come close to being a Star Wars level achievment with its story or how iit presented it, so put down the revision pens.

Also, it had a sense of humor.
Star Wars also wins on the merchandising front. Nobody is running out to get Quaritch t-shirts and bed sheets.
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Originally Posted by Ryan Bean
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heh.

See maybe this is why people got a little annoyed with you? It's really coming off as you straining against the surging crowd, yelling DON'T YOU SEE?! YOU'RE ALL BLIND, YOU FOOLS! TURN BACK! in a noble, martyr-like effort. People can like it (not think it's an instant classic or masterpiece, but like it) without being head-in-the-sand, cinematic-retards. *shrug* Not that I care all that much.

And for the record, on CHUD there has been a fairly balanced reaction to it. I'm not seeing endless felating around here, PK not withstanding.

Disengage! It's not worth it.
Wow, what a thoughtful and constructive contribution. So nice that you ignored Ryan and I's perfectly calm and rational conversation following the quoted post.
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Originally Posted by Ryan Bean
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Holy shit I hate geek revisionism.

I'm sorry, have we met before?
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Originally Posted by Merriweather
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Wow, what a thoughtful and constructive contribution. So nice that you ignored Ryan and I's perfectly calm and rational conversation following the quoted post.

You refuse to acknowledge any argument that doesn't coincide with your own. There's no conversation. It's just you shouting at people and complaining about an imaginary group of people's opinions that have no basis in the reality of opinion as posted in this thread. There is not a single person in this thread that called this movie a masterpiece. So what are you railing against? I don't get why you're so angry.

The fact that you felt the need to respond to my post also shows that you are just looking to be argumentative. I'm sure you'll reply to this. Have at it. But I won't respond.
In this thread, there are people calling this a classic, saying it's on the level of or better than STAR WARS, saying that Cameron is the best director of the year, and blah blah on and on and on. I'm sorry if I've not gone back and checked to see if the word "masterpiece" was conclusively used. It's funny because I also don't see where I said nobody likes this movie, and yet a couple of pages back I had you and others repeatedly stating that that was my position.

And yeah, I tend to get argumentative when people waltz in and paint me as a troll or a retard because I *gasp!* don't like the film that they like. We've actualy managed some discussion in here about the film's pros and cons whilst you were gone, though, so feel free to continue to sit this one out, popping in daily for your scheduled insult or smartass response.
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Originally Posted by Merriweather
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Wow, what a thoughtful and constructive contribution. So nice that you ignored Ryan and I's perfectly calm and rational conversation following the quoted post.

Calm and rational? I'm fucking foaming at the mouth and I might have just punched my house in half out of sheer rage.

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Originally Posted by Matches_Malone
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I'm sorry, have we met before?

No... and I have no idea if that's always been your position (re: SW is boring). I've just seen a bit of it recently and it reminds me of hipsters who look down on hipsters whilst being the ultimate hipster. Sorry.
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Originally Posted by Ryan Bean
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No... and I have no idea if that's always been your position (re: SW is boring). I've just seen a bit of it recently and it reminds me of hipsters who look down on hipsters whilst being the ultimate hipster. Sorry.

Fair enough.
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Originally Posted by mcnooj82
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Wait, so now there's someone who thinks Cameron's action is hard-to-follow?

Yeah, what?
I have now been to see it a third time. I really didn't care to see it again until it comes out on blu-ray, but my little nephew was begging me to take him. Normally, I get bored when I see a movie too many times in short period but I found the story was still as engaging the third time around. I was surprised how many little details I spotted that I missed the first two times.
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Originally Posted by Merriweather
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I'm taking the budget as $500million mainly because that seems to be the accepted figure by pretty much everyone outside of Fox's accounting department.

That's because Fox is probably considering only the budget directly tied to Avatar.
Which, is reasonable.
Don't forget that Cameron pioneered at least 4 different technologies (I'm quoting by heart, I may be inexact):
  • The new High def 3D Camera (partially with his money, then of course with Sony, I don't know about Fox here frankly)
  • The improved face-specific motion capture system
  • The virtual cam
  • The simul cam
All of these technologies will be used for other movies, and likely licensed to other filmmakers. So they are general investments rather than "movie budget", which you'd tie to Avatar as they were pursued because of Cameron.
And think of the possibilities! The improved motion caption alone (which is the simplest) can be used -I think- to finally handle properly the aging-deaging effects in all movies requiring flashbacks/flashforwards.
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Originally Posted by Ryan Bean
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Calm and rational? I'm fucking foaming at the mouth and I might have just punched my house in half out of sheer rage.

Calm down, man. Don't make me put you down Old Yeller-style.
Bay already used that virtual cam tech for Transformers 2. See the evil Cameron hath wrought!?
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Originally Posted by Paul C
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Seems to me there's actually a lot of consensus on what the film's strengths and weaknesses are. Whether you enjoy the film or not seems to depend on whether the strengths appeal to you enough for you to forgive the weaknesses. Also I get the feeling whether you consider making a film to appeal to the widest possible audience to be an acceptable goal for a filmmaker may count for a fair bit.

...

Agreed, but I don't think Avatar did a bad job of conveying personality through visuals, particularly with Saldana's performance. Again, they're simple characters but on a performance level the Navi convince as living, emotional characters; not gobsmacking feats of unforgettable characterisation maybe, but enough to make most of the story beats work (Weaver's death was the only major one that really stuck out to me as falling flat).

I think you're on the right track with that first paragraph Paul, and where we had different responses to the movie is summed up in the second because almost every single one of the story beats hit me as being substandard compared to other films of this type - the only exception being Neytiri's heartbreak. I felt all the others - from the deaths to the heroic arrival of Jake on the Jesus dragon and his battle speech (although to be fair a lot of other films seem to have underwhelming battle speeches when they try to get some of that Henry V/Braveheart vibe going on) - were wasted moments because the characters meant so little to me.


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Originally Posted by Merriweather
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Also big: STAR WARS had a sense of humour.

Huge in fact, it's a massive boon to any sci-fi adventure's charm if it's not a slog though earnestness. And while Solo is the stand out character to me Vader, Leia, Obi Wan, even the droids and a minor Imperial officer like Tarkin have more engaging or interesting personalities than everyone in Avatar except Neytiri.

I enjoyed Avatar just fine and while the comparisons at base level with other films I like better are ball-tearingly obvious, I find Avatar's weaknesses to be significantly greater than those other films it keeps getting compared to. Forgiveable enough to have a good time with, but not ignorable when it comes to discussing those comparisons.
I don't get it. I don't get how this film has had such immense staying power.
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Originally Posted by Alan "Nordling" Cerny
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That has over a million hits?
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Originally Posted by Bucho
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Huge in fact, it's a massive boon to any sci-fi adventure's charm if it's not a slog though earnestness. And while Solo is the stand out character to me Vader, Leia, Obi Wan, even the droids and a minor Imperial officer like Tarkin have more engaging or interesting personalities than everyone in Avatar except Neytiri.

Agreed. If you haven't seen this, you should:

http://chud.com/articles/articles/21...CKS/Page1.html

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Originally Posted by TheMantis
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I don't get it. I don't get how this film has had such immense staying power.

For the average movie goer who only sees a few movies a year, this is an exciting film. It's got action, adventure, fantasy, romance, and an inspiring "we're all connected" message. I posted this earlier, but I know grown adults who say "I see you" to each other. Not ironically. People really like this film, flaws and all.
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Originally Posted by Diva
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People really like this film, flaws and all.

I'll take it a step further, and say most of the people who are in love with the movie simply don't see any flaws. They just love it. It may even be the perfect movie to them.

I'm not saying people here feel that way, just that some people here can't wrap their heads around audiences feeling that way.
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Originally Posted by Nexus-7
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I'll take it a step further, and say most of the people who are in love with the movie simply don't see any flaws. They just love it. It may even be the perfect movie to them.

I think this is it. The people I've spoken to (in real life, not around here) who love the film aren't the types who analyze movies. They see a film, it makes a positive or negative impression, they love it or don't care for it, and that's the end of the review. "I love it despite its flaws" isn't something that comes out of the mouth of the average filmgoer.
Metacritic's new rating:

"Universal Acclaim With Caveats"
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Originally Posted by Greg David
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"I love it despite its flaws" isn't something that comes out of the mouth of the average filmgoer.

Actually, none of my friends or family are hardcore movie fans, and almost every one of them gave this exact review. "The story wasn't all that original but it wasn't bad, the effects were amazing and I had a great time watching it."

Between the effects, the 3D and the cultural phenomenon itself, which has become almost a self-fulfilling prophecy, there's no stopping this movie. I barely have time to see any movie in the theater, much less see them twice, but I really want to see Avatar in 3D IMAX again once the crowds die down. Love it or hate it, you can't deny that there's an Avatar "experience" that studios are going to spend the next 10 years trying to recapture.
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Originally Posted by Scratch
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Love it or hate it, you can't deny that there's an Avatar "experience" that studios are going to spend the next 10 years trying to recapture.

I'm hoping for an Oscar-bait trilogy:

Dances With Retards
Dances With Hobos
Dances With Beautiful Actress Who's Uglified Herself With Prosthetics
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Originally Posted by Greg David
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I think this is it. The people I've spoken to (in real life, not around here) who love the film aren't the types who analyze movies. They see a film, it makes a positive or negative impression, they love it or don't care for it, and that's the end of the review. "I love it despite its flaws" isn't something that comes out of the mouth of the average filmgoer.

Everyone I've talked to who liked Avatar has given it the review of "I love it despite it's flaws". That seems to be the universal opinion among Avatar fans. I don't think I've heard anyone here or in real life describe it as a "perfect movie" or anything like that. Most everyone goes: "The story is alright....but you have to see it, it looks amazing!"

Also, there's plenty of people who analyze movies who loved Avatar. I don't think we should start calling its massive audience ignorant and then move on. Lots and lots of intelligent film lovers enjoy this movie.

I also think that the earlier comparisons between Avatar and the original Star Wars pretty spot on. The Star Wars trilogy had no real "depth" until Empire. If Avatar 2 is a similar jump up in quality, the original Avatar's reputation will only go up.
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"The people who see this film as a genuinely great piece of cinema are dismissive or apologetic of its shortfalls, and in some cases are even holding them up as examples of why the film works."

If anyone here is interested in actual arguments, I'll elaborate on the dialogs issue.
Often movies that reportedly have great dialogs have, in fact, way too smart dialogs. While I'm amongst those who appreciate this kind of approach, as great dialogs are fun and quotable, it's another element that constantly reminds you that you're watching a work of fiction.
Characters don't say what they happen to think instantly, they enunciate a carefully planned sequence of words designed to be cool, to impress or to be clever.
In a movie that tries to be immersive, that uses a cast of unknown to sell you the *characters* better (I know there are budget issues too, but I'm with Cameron and his method on this: I'm telling you, people with me felt sad for the paraplegic actor who played Jake!!!!! ), a more natural approach to the spoken lines may indeed, actually, work best.

Although I'll agree that SOME lines could have been improved anyway (but I've seen a dubbed version, not the original one, so the jury's still out)