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Originally Posted by Merriweather
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And Cameron himself has admitted that the movie was specifically engineered to appeal to as many people as possible. Some of us find that type of approach to film-making insulting.

Many Hollywood film-makers make their films with this approach. They just never say it. The Hollywood film system is built around this. And it's not as if it's obvious in the film - there's no Jar Jar (a character Lucas has said was shoe-horned into Phantom Menace purely to appeal to kids).

You could go the other way on this and say any film-maker would want his film seen by as many people as possible - because what good is creating something no-one ever sees? James Cameron has just proved himself exceptionally good at it.

Again, not a defence of the quality of Avatar, but a theory as to why it was made the way it was.
I usually give Lucas a 'makes the films he wants' pass because he puts up most of the money (so far as I understand). I've got to respect a guy who puts his own finances into movies that nobody seems to like.

Speaking of money, are there any estimates as to how much money Avatar has actually made, like gross take home? I remember hearing it'd have to clear a billion to break even. Is that correct?
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Originally Posted by The Rain Dog
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There's nothing inherently cynical in the theme - tho it is incredibly cliched. The cynicism comes from how simplistically it's delivered. It's utterly perfunctory. Seriously we're talking about prep school level message delivery here, on par with a particularly earnest episode of Captain Planet.

As my friends and I were watching, we kept going back to Fern Gully, which all of us had seen in elementary school. I was in 5th grade. It has nearly the same plot, same characters, and an evil forest levelling maching. I am with Rain Dog, the message was simple, and delivered with all the precision of a space shuttle dropping pallet bombs out of its rear cargo bay.
Being that the movie is supposed to appeal to the widest possible audience, we shouldn't forget kids as part of the target market. Avatar could have been much more adult, much more sophisticated, but then 10 and 13-yr olds wouldn't have been able to follow it. I like that the film appeals to all ages.
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Originally Posted by Chris Hill
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Being that the movie is supposed to appeal to the widest possible audience, we shouldn't forget kids as part of the target market. Avatar could have been much more adult, much more sophisticated, but then 10 and 13-yr olds wouldn't have been able to follow it. I like that the film appeals to all ages.

Up appeals to all ages - it also doesn't cynically pander and bombastically overstate it's message.
Quote:

Originally Posted by MrTyres
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As my friends and I were watching, we kept going back to Fern Gully, which all of us had seen in elementary school. I was in 5th grade. It has nearly the same plot, same characters, and an evil forest levelling maching. I am with Rain Dog, the message was simple, and delivered with all the precision of a space shuttle dropping pallet bombs out of its rear cargo bay.

I've never seen Ferngully, but I saw Avatar at a midnight screening at the Drafthouse and they played a trailer for Ferngully as part of the pre-show entertainment.

I find it sort of odd that I pretty much ran out of shit to say about THE BIGGEST MOVIE EVER! not 30 minutes after seeing it.
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Originally Posted by JacknifeJohnny
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I've never seen Ferngully, but I saw Avatar at a midnight screening at the Drafthouse and they played a trailer for Ferngully as part of the pre-show entertainment.

I've always wanted to hit the Drafthouse, but after hearing that, it's now become a life goal. That's the coolest maneuver ever.
Quote:

Originally Posted by The Rain Dog
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Up appeals to all ages - it also doesn't cynically pander and bombastically overstate it's message.

Hmm, I wonder if Avatar would have worked better if it had explicitly been made as a "kid's" film, but one that, like the Pixar films, was intended to appeal to adults as well.
I doubt we'll ever see a 500 million dollar adventure movie that isn't simplistic. Up was a great movie but a lot of kids at my screening found it utterly boring, that is why it didn't make 2 billion.
Yeah, Pixar should really try and be more like James Cameron.

Smurai Mike, did you just try and compare Cameron's limitations to Spielberg's and Scorsese's? Never mind the fact that post-80s Beard has proven himself one of the most versatile directors working, or that Scorsese actually has a bevy of outstanding female characters in his back catalogue.
LatinoUSA's short segment on what Native Americans think of the Avatar.

http://latinousa.kut.org/2010/02/04/...erican-themes/
Incredible AVATAR protest!

To all those who say the movie and it's message are trite bs... it clearly resonates with these people.


Too cool. No wonder the red Chinese were so afraid of Cameron's enviro-epic
Well Princess Kate, I loved the movie and I defended it, but THOSE guys make me want to side with Devin
Quote:

Originally Posted by mcnooj82
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LatinoUSA's short segment on what Native Americans think of the Avatar.

http://latinousa.kut.org/2010/02/04/...erican-themes/

This is great. Thanks!
Quote:

Originally Posted by danko
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Well Princess Kate, I loved the movie and I defended it, but THOSE guys make me want to side with Devin

I think it's cool to see them get their message out there by attaching their cause to a globally recognised film phenomenon. I'm not saying I'd don the blue paint myself, just that it's cool they are doing it.
Fuck you, sky bitch!!!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yk2vR8w2sjc

EDIT: Whoops! Must've not been paying attention to the main page today. Thanks Diva.
Devin posted that on the main page.
Standard DVD and fairly bare bones blu-ray on April 22, Earth Day.

Value added and 3D blu-ray releases in November.
I enjoyed watching the film, but have no interest in it if it's not 3D on the big screen. Appeals to me about as much as watching a video of Universal Studios BACK TO THE FUTURE ride (which is now dead from what I understand).
Same here. Robbed of the sheer spectacle, I can't imagine what it has to offer on home video.

Although I am curious, is this going to be the lame route that Coraline went with on its 3D Blu Ray release? They went with the old-style dual-colored paper glasses crap. Have they actually managed to make newfangled 3D work on Blu Ray for Avatar?
The word is that it's going to be the first home video release to work with these 3D enabled television sets, and that PS3s will be able to be updated.
Yes, it's not a matter of "making it work"-- full-color 3D on TV works just fine, it just requires a dedicated system. Obviously, manufacturers are counting on Avatar's popularity to motivate folks to upgrade.

Coraline was released in anaglyph because that's all that 99% of home viewers are currently equipped to use. Going with purple/green instead of magenta/cyan was a bad idea, though.
Man, I caught this when I was in NY last week in the interest of a friend who still hadn't seen it.

I figured, "well, at least I could see what it's like on a real IMAX screen, that should be worth something."

Nope. I literally wanted to claw my eyes out from sheer boredom. I had no idea what an endurance test a 2nd viewing would be. And IMAX theaters have such little leg room and fairly uncomfortable seats I felt like a dick trying to get up mid-movie and go kill time in the lobby. Tried to take a nap, but again... seats weren't really suitable for that.

That movie, to me, is so overindulgent it's painful. Far, far too long. And yet as so many have stated all along, doesn't feel like it contains enough info as it should. Which almost makes me want to say it's not long enough, but good Christ, I could never go there.

After the weeks/months of hype from the press and other people, my friend really hated it as well. It's a phenomenon to be sure, and a significant film in that way. But I'll be damned if I can gel with it.
Quote:

Originally Posted by joeypants
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That movie, to me, is so overindulgent it's painful. Far, far too long. And yet as so many have stated all along, doesn't feel like it contains enough info as it should. Which almost makes me want to say it's not long enough, but good Christ, I could never go there.

It's not the length. It's the content. We get so little actual character development and non-telegraphed plot points that it feels empty.

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It's a phenomenon to be sure, and a significant film in that way. But I'll be damned if I can gel with it.

I really cannot figure out why it's so massively popular and successful. I don't hate it - it's not actively terrible or anything, the vast majority of its running time - but really don't get the ongoing appeal and love it's receiving.
Subliminal messaging. The 3D glasses are like a reverse of Roddy Piper's THEY LIVE shades.
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Originally Posted by MichaelM
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It's not the length. It's the content. We get so little actual character development and non-telegraphed plot points that it feels empty.

Oh, I know. It really is horribly over-long as it is. I could get more on board with the whole "aw shucks, just have fun with the pretty things draped with cliches" thing if it was closer to 2 hours. My fucking god, is this thing an endurance test for me.



Quote:

Originally Posted by MichaelM
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I really cannot figure out why it's so massively popular and successful. I don't hate it - it's not actively terrible or anything, the vast majority of its running time - but really don't get the ongoing appeal and love it's receiving.

As many have stated, I really think as far as mass audiences go, it comes down to being the first well-done 3D spectacle marketed to such a wide audience. I'm not begrudging those like Nick and everyone else who genuinely enjoy it. But I think as far as this insanely massive, record breaking appeal goes... mark it down to the 3D.
Careful, joey! That's like a red rag to a bull to some.
Worldwide: $2,389,264,639

Seriously? That's a half billion more than TITANIC. Even if you eliminate that for the increased 3D ticket prices, that's still a lot of moolah.
Again, though, when adjusted for inflation, it's not even in the top ten (It's #16). Basing popularity on modern dollar take is supremely misleading.
Cameron spoke too soon:

James Cameron caused quite a stir when he said to the Wall Street Journal that Avatar would come out on Blu-ray in April in a "barebones" release and then in November in a 3D edition. On Thursday night, a spokesman for 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment notified the WSJ: "3D is in the conceptual stage and Avatar will not be out on 3D Blu-ray in November
Quote:

Originally Posted by Barkatthemoon
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Cameron spoke too soon:

James Cameron caused quite a stir when he said to the Wall Street Journal that Avatar would come out on Blu-ray in April in a "barebones" release and then in November in a 3D edition. On Thursday night, a spokesman for 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment notified the WSJ: "3D is in the conceptual stage and Avatar will not be out on 3D Blu-ray in November

I imagine that James Cameron's reaction will look a little something like this.
Quote:

Originally Posted by MichaelM
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I really cannot figure out why it's so massively popular and successful. I don't hate it - it's not actively terrible or anything, the vast majority of its running time - but really don't get the ongoing appeal and love it's receiving.

Given its emptiness and the underwhelming characters I really can't fully wrap my head around the scale of its popularity either but with the benefit of some hindsight these seem to be the film's strengths -

1. Romance for the ladies, explosions for the boys. "From The Director of Titanic And Terminator" apparently had enough cultural cache, along with "This is an entirely new kind of movie experience" to do the job of getting peeps past the goofy look of the na'vi and into the theaters.

2. Enough people bought that successful initial hype and enjoyed the ride enough that it blew up past critical mass so quickly that its word-of-mouth event horizon expanded rapidly and outran what negative feedback there was. The idea that even if you don't get blown away by the story you'll be blown away by the ride is enough to get Joe and Jane Moviegoer to the box office.

In a lot of ways the success of the film seems to run in parallel with the dumbness of other aspects of pop culture. Look at what's popular in TV and on the charts and even in people's mouths and you'll see that quality-wise a movie that's artistically eqivalent to the likes of Nickelback, CSI and MacDonalds can do very well. Take that fast food format and put it in a futuristic context (because everyone wants to be up with the latest tech) with a name they trust at the helm and it blows sky high.
Quote:

Originally Posted by joeypants
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Man, I caught this when I was in NY last week in the interest of a friend who still hadn't seen it.

I figured, "well, at least I could see what it's like on a real IMAX screen, that should be worth something."

Nope. I literally wanted to claw my eyes out from sheer boredom. I had no idea what an endurance test a 2nd viewing would be. And IMAX theaters have such little leg room and fairly uncomfortable seats I felt like a dick trying to get up mid-movie and go kill time in the lobby. Tried to take a nap, but again... seats weren't really suitable for that.

That movie, to me, is so overindulgent it's painful. Far, far too long. And yet as so many have stated all along, doesn't feel like it contains enough info as it should. Which almost makes me want to say it's not long enough, but good Christ, I could never go there.

After the weeks/months of hype from the press and other people, my friend really hated it as well. It's a phenomenon to be sure, and a significant film in that way. But I'll be damned if I can gel with it.

My local Imax theater is in a furniture store, and all the seats are tempur-pedic memory foam with lots of leg room. Weep with envy.
I'm still trying to figure out why Avatar connected with people so sharply (smart, respectable people that I know). Another comparison that came to mind is Matrix Revolutions, which the world seems to agree was a disappointment. Yet Revolutions and Avatar have a lot of cosmetic similarities (I'd actually give the Revolutions mechs the edge), and both films feature similar narrative and editorial shortcommings. Was it really just the 3D and the more pleasingly pretty imagery (vs. the more gritty imagery of the Matrix), or am I totally missing something else and more important?