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Avatar post-release discussion - Printable Version

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- hammerhead - 12-22-2009

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Originally Posted by devincf
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I won't see a movie there if I can avoid it. It is truly the shittiest movie experience in LA, even worse than all the yapping douchebags at the Silent Movie Theater.

It's good for one thing at least: showing How the West Was Won in Cinerama. I wish they did that more.


- neoolong - 12-22-2009

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Originally Posted by devincf
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2: After the clans get together the union falls apart, and some clans don't like being led by a sky person. Jake knows that the humans will be back in 6 years with major firepower, so he and his buddies have to do some kind of mission to bring everybody together for good. This one gives Cameron an excuse to go all over Pandora, maybe even to other moons or the big planet.

And if Neytiri gets pregnant, I wonder how the clans would react to their savior injecting sky people DNA into their gene pool.


- atomic ross - 12-22-2009

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Originally Posted by neoolong
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And if Neytiri gets pregnant, I wonder how the clans would react to their savior injecting sky people DNA into their gene pool.

Oh, I'm sure the kid would be some kind of magic Kwisatz Haderach or some Franklin Richards type shit.

Because "the Chosen One" was just about the only motif Cameron didn't rip off in totality.



Yet.


- neoolong - 12-22-2009

Didn't he just do that with Jake?


- Richard Dickson - 12-22-2009

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Originally Posted by TheMantis
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Idea 1. Mankind declares war on Pandora, and the Na'vi are basically screwed. Jake goes on a magical adventure(!) through the galaxy in order to seek some sort of external help for Pandora.

This has been done. It was called Battle Beyond the Stars.


- atomic ross - 12-22-2009

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Originally Posted by neoolong
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Didn't he just do that with Jake?

Eh, Jake was more a Campbellian "hero's journey" archetype, which includes "Chosen Ones" but isn't limited to them.

By "chosen" I mean "magically pre-ordained to do something special despite any real tangible explanation as to how such a situation arose."


- kriegaffe - 12-22-2009

The thing about a new Avatar movie is the whole 'avatar' / body-link element might be dropped. So it would just be Na'vi the movie...


- neoolong - 12-22-2009

Naw. I imagine it'd be soldiers in a bunch of Na'vi or mutant bodies.


- hammerhead - 12-22-2009

In the sequel we find out that Quaritch was Jake's avatar's father. How did you think they made those alien/human hybrids? And how did you think Quaritch got those scars?


- joeypants - 12-22-2009

I nearly shat myself with unintentional laughter during that one montage where Jake's digging into his training and he and Neyteri give each other their take on their flying technique or whatever.

"And.. I bank... like this... so hard." Or whatever it was she says. I don't know why, but that moment was so awkward and got a lot of the wrong kind of chuckles in my theater.


- chris hill - 12-22-2009

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Originally Posted by Kriegaffe
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The thing about a new Avatar movie is the whole 'avatar' / body-link element might be dropped. So it would just be Na'vi the movie...

Yeah, if ever a sequel should need a creative title that doesn't just have a "2" slapped on it, it will be the sequel to Avatar. I don't think there should be a sequel, but if they do make one it should deal with the problem of the dying Earth.

That would be a great title: The Dying Earth, although it may infringe upon the great Jack Vance books in ways. If there is a sequel it should be thematically related to the first, without re-hashing the story. I would be disappointed if the plot were just the Earth forces returning to Pandora in greater numbers. The fate of the Earth, though, was left hanging in Avatar, and it's the logical subject of a sequel, should there be one.

Idea: Jake and some of the other Na'vi travel to Earth as emissaries and discover that Earth was developing a linked world-consciousness over the course of its evolution just like Pandora, but that humans, unable to live in harmony with the world, suppressed or killed "Gaea" long ago. The only way to save the Earth is to... etc.

I can't believe I just typed that. Sorry, guys.


- dreary louse - 12-22-2009

Well, I guess Cameron didn't fail too badly if Chewers are already writing spontaneous fanfic about it, within a discussion that's criticizing his movie.

EDIT: The director is a bit of a dullard yeah, I never felt that Cameron had 'the soul of an artist', to spit a cliche. His films are mechanical with neat and tidy resolutions. Something will soon come up in this thread which is more provocative than an actual Avatar sequel, should it ever come to be.


- neoolong - 12-22-2009

Quote:

Originally Posted by joeypants
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"And.. I bank... like this... so hard." Or whatever it was she says. I don't know why, but that moment was so awkward and got a lot of the wrong kind of chuckles in my theater.

Heh. You said hard.

But seriously, I think that moment would have played better if Neytiri had smoked Jake at flying and it became a teaching moment, because right now it's just kind of there.


- dax - 12-22-2009

"AVATAR is the birth of a new grammar spoken with a pig’s tongue."

From Casanova/Invincible Iron Man writer Matt Fraction's review


- joeypants - 12-22-2009

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Originally Posted by Dax
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"AVATAR is the birth of a new grammar spoken with a pig’s tongue."

From Casanova/Invincible Iron Man writer Matt Fraction's review


Quote:

Originally Posted by Matt Fraction's Review

I refuse to believe that spectacle cannot be wedded with grace.

And while thoroughly lacking grace, AVATAR redefines spectacle.

More or less, yeah.


- chris hill - 12-22-2009

Quote:

Originally Posted by dreary louse
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Well, I guess Cameron didn't fail too badly if Chewers are already writing spontaneous fanfic about it, within a discussion that's criticizing his movie.

EDIT: The director is a bit of a dullard yeah, I never felt that Cameron had 'the soul of an artist', to spit a cliche. His films are mechanical with neat and tidy resolutions. Something will soon come up in this thread which is more provocative than an actual Avatar sequel, should it ever come to be.

I think most have come to criticize, but some have come to praise the film, like me. This is how a discussion should be. Speculation about a sequel is par for the course, along with other more "provocative" questions. At best those who are criticizing can hope to convince people who find few or no faults in the movie that it's not as good as they think it is, and vice-versa. It really hasn't devolved into an exchange of insults yet. There have been a few, but I think the discussion has remained fairly civil so far.

Many have made good points regarding Avatar's weaknesses, and I agree with some of them while continuing to greatly admire the movie. I think the flaws are minor. I was invested in the story despite its predictability. When Jake woke in his human body just after committing to a life-long relationship with Neytiri, who is supposed to be the "enemy," and said something like, "What have I done?" I felt his plight. I know all of that is completely cliched, but it just worked.

Critics can criticize and fans can praise. Nick gets to write a positive review and Devin gets to write a negative one. They were both honest reactions. You say Cameron failed, I say he succeeded. We all think we're right, even though we disagree with each other. That said, I don't think anyone here has stooped to the level of fan fiction. Even Devin speculated, half seriously, about the plot of a sequel.


- dreary louse - 12-22-2009

Er, I use the word "fanfic" as in viewers of this film participating in thinking of ideas for its world, I hope I didn't seem to particularly insult you in your post because fanfic is lame; I mean that people were brainstorming ideas about a theoretical Avatar sequel already, that the film has earned positive and more negative reactions on this board, yet both of which have nevertheless provoked thought of what could happen next in this universe, because Avatar isn't crap.


Avatar 2 - mortal_remains - 12-22-2009

It might be a huge waste of time to come up with a sequel for a movie barely a week old and completely out of my hands. But I love writing, and flexing the imaginative muscle whenever possible.

Unfortunately I am not a genius, and much like Cameron I like to borrow ideas from existing sources.

So here's my quick take on a sequel.

AVATAR 2

It’s been 6 years since Jake Sully became the leader of the Navi, since then Nytiri and Jake have made attempts to Have a child together, so far with no results. (probably a result of Jake's Avatar not being born on Pandora) The Navi have inhabited a new home tree, and all seems well.

But Jake fears that the humans will return fueled by their greed and lust to conquer all whom opposes them. He’s plagued by reoccurring nightmares, walking naked as a human in a sea of dead human and Navi alike. And each time he has this dream he is awoken by an image of an animal in the forest something unseen and ancient to the Navi, A spirit much like our own Native Myth of Wendigo, the protector of the forest.

Dr Max and Norm Spelman still maintain the Human colony where Jake first met his Avatar although the Jungle has begun to reclaim the colony. Here Norm notices a computer read out which indicates that some kind of preprogrammed military operation is about to go off. Which turns out to be a biochemical weapon, with an objective to be released into the central nervous system of Pandora. This Virus downloads itself into the planet, causing the link between Eywa and all living things to be severed. (This Virus was engineered using Grace's research on the Pandoran network)

The ensuing problems as a result of this virus causes the planet to slowly start dying, the animals to go beserk and even the Navi themselves to get sick or driven mad with Rage. This leads to Civil unrest as clans battle other clans for dominion over Pandora. (The only way to be infected is to link to an animal or Eyw via the network.)

Jake realizes that the only way to save Pandora is through the technology mankind possesses.

THE RETURN OF THE HUMANS

Just as the Navi are at their most vulnerable, the humans return, this time in an orbiting Ark, it turns out Earth has become uninhabitable. And the remaining humans have all made their way to Pandora hoping that this planet will be the key to saving their endangered species. (A bit like Battle for Terra)

No longer interested in the unobtanium Selfridge was here to collect, their interest is in teraforming Pandora for their own needs. The captain of this Ark is none other than Jakes old comrade in arms and his ex Fiance Judith Mayweather, She has had an Avatar body Genetically engineered for herself. In fact Mankind has had an entire army built up of Avatar soldiers, but these are no ordinary Navi clones, these have been altered. Their skin is tarry black, reinforced to make them stronger and harder to kill. (Or maybe they just wear cool battle armor) (Overall there is the possibility of a love triangle.)

They are ready to do anything necessary to take the planet of Pandora from the Navi for fear of the Human race becoming extinct.

In the first battle sequence, the avatar soldiers pursue Jake Sully. Finally subduing him and taking him back to the Ark. Turns out his Avatar body had been given a homing device since birth and that’s how the humans hunted him down. This is where Jake has his reunion with Judith. Jake tells her that the planet is dying, and that he needs her help to stop it. Judith is sympathetic, but she reminds him that it’s not her decision to make. We also learn that Judith left Jake when he lost the use of his legs, and he’s very bitter about that, but in the same Respects Judith no longer wanted to be in a relationship with Jake after he had become chronically depressed and suicidal.

Back on Pandora, with Jake gone and no one to lead the Navi, One of the warriors from a rival clan declares himself the leader of the Navi, and exiles Nytiri and a band of others into the jungle where they must survive against a sick hostile planet where both the plants and animals no longer live in Harmonious balance with each other.

Back on the Ark, Judith uses Jakes imprisonment to her advantage, and it would appear that the love she once had for him has been rekindled. Jake feels sympathetic to the humans, he was once one of them, and understands their plight. But there must be a way for humans and Pandorans to coexist in Peace.

Back on Pandora, Nytiri, and her clan is attacked by a rampaging Pandoran animal, and in their bid to escape they come across a cave hidden underneath the Hallelujah Mountains. Nytiri and the Surviving Navi Travel deep into the caves where they discover what appears to be an underground Pyramid which was once an enormous spaceship, Replete with hieroglyphs that portray a once technologically advanced civilization. This civilization Was once the Navi, Thousands of years ago close to their own extinction. The remaining survivors of their planet crash landed on Pandora, unable to breathe the air they soon began to die off, but the planet saved them, changing their genetic make up and allowing them to breath the toxic air. Even developing the Queue in their braided hair that allowed them to link into the planet. Perhaps this same thing could happen to the humans saving them from extinction.

Even more interesting is what appears to be Ancient Alien ships the Navi used to pilot back when they were a race of Technologically superior beings. Perhaps if they still work Nytiri could use these ships to save Jake from the Ark.

Back at the Navi home-tree the self proclaimed Clan leader of the Navi feels they need to wipe out the humans before they have a chance to stop them. He invades the human Colony where Dr Max and Norm Reside and has them rig a nuclear weapon to send to the Ark blowing the humans from Orbit and ridding the Navi people of them once and for all.

Unfortunately if The Humans are killed, then the virus eating away at the planet will never be stopped and both the humans and Navi will subsequently be killed off.

(At this point I’m running out of ideas. Not sure how all Three plot lines would Converge together, and I came up with the idea of this mystical unseen creature Jake dreams about, but I have no idea how that would factor into anything.)

Turns out I have probably wasted enough time thinking about this.


- greg clark - 12-22-2009

Well, it's been a fun thread guys, but we just got our new Iron Man fanfic trailer.


- chris hill - 12-22-2009

Quote:

Originally Posted by dreary louse
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Er, I use the word "fanfic" as in viewers of this film participating in thinking of ideas for its world, I hope I didn't seem to particularly insult you in your post because fanfic is lame; I mean that people were brainstorming ideas about a theoretical Avatar sequel already, that the film has earned positive and more negative reactions on this board, yet both of which have nevertheless provoked thought of what could happen next in this universe, because Avatar isn't crap.

Ah, makes sense. I'm not fond of Cameron's filmography as a whole. I see problems with many of his films that keep them from being taken seriously with intelligent viewers. I wouldn't say he's a dullard, but he does have a blue collar streak running along side his nerdy gadget-obsessed side. For me, the pandering to the mainstream hurt films like T2, True Lies, and Titanic. Strangely enough, Avatar is Cameron's first film for which I think this very mainstream approach works for the film.

I think the divide on opinion of the story structure is too wide to bridge. Regarding the story's traditional or generic and derivative nature, it comes down to whether or not you think that kind of thing should even be done in the first place. And then whether or not it fits a movie like this. Similarly, arguments on the designs of the flora and fauna come down to a matter of taste.

I find the acting and dialogue more defensible. There are a few juvenile moments, but no one in the movie ever acted any more childishly than I, unsurprisingly, see adults act everyday in real life. I really liked Sam Worthington because he can pull off the essential personality requirements for "dumb" heroic action heroes: earnest, brave, cunning, good-hearted. Stuff the audience needs to feel without the dialogue to explain it. Zoe Saldana for the same reasons. Weaver becomes endearing. I was surprised to find that I didn't hate Michelle Rodriguez in this. She toned it down. I thought Lang was fun in a one-dimensional villain way.

I liked the bit where Jake and Neytiri talked about their flight. It seemed genuine to me. The flights were obviously intense and each one was dangerous and exhilarating. It was a good moment of chemistry for them and it showed us that Jake was truly at home among the Na'vi, happy and alive, versus his morose mood at the beginning. Another moment I liked from Worthington: when Jake tells Tsu'tey, "I knew you could speak English." I felt that was an effective mark of their slowly growing trust of each other. I think there are a lot of seemingly banal bits of dialogue which are nonetheless well-placed and work for the story.


- chris hill - 12-22-2009

Quote:

Well, it's been a fun thread guys, but we just got our new Iron Man fanfic trailer.

OK, I'll take the blame for all the sequel pitches. Sorry again, guys.


- jared melton - 12-22-2009

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mortal_Remains
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So here's my quick take on a sequel.

...

Turns out I have probably wasted enough time thinking about this.




- danko - 12-22-2009

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Originally Posted by devincf
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You can't believe that one movie you have not seen got a marginally better review than another movie you have not seen. Truly, the ability to express this kind of opinion is why Al Gore sat up all night inventing the internet.

I did say that it was just a gut feeling, I might change opinion once I've seen both.

Yet I think a trailer that shows Sherlock Holmes wrestling in slow motion and jumping from windows *allows* for a little bit of prejudice (also I hate bastardizations of classic material, as they can imprint distorted visions to the new generations), while I notice that Avatar is drawing people in for second or third viewings.
As I said, there must be something going on beneath this: for Twilight it was the fucked up sexual fantasies of today's teenagers, for Avatar I think it's the plain old love for escapism. Maybe it is just very good at providing that, for the people who desire it.


- sean bateman - 12-22-2009

Quote:

Originally Posted by danko
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I did say that it was just a gut feeling, I might change opinion once I've seen both.

Yet I think a trailer that shows Sherlock Holmes wrestling in slow motion and jumping from windows *allows* for a little bit of prejudice (also I hate bastardizations of classic material, as they can imprint distorted visions to the new generations), while I notice that Avatar is drawing people in for second or third viewings.

SHERLOCK HOLMES is not a bastardization of the original material. Have you read the original material? Have you seen the movie? It's a little late in the game to be discussing what these movies seem to be.


- andrew merriweather - 12-22-2009

Quote:

Originally Posted by Greg Clark
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Well, it's been a fun thread guys, but we just got our new Iron Man fanfic trailer.

Hopefully Cameron can find a role for BLACK MAN (played by Ving Rhames).


- shan - 12-22-2009

Quote:

Originally Posted by devincf
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If Cameron has two more honestly planned out, I bet they go like this:

2: After the clans get together the union falls apart, and some clans don't like being led by a sky person. Jake knows that the humans will be back in 6 years with major firepower, so he and his buddies have to do some kind of mission to bring everybody together for good. This one gives Cameron an excuse to go all over Pandora, maybe even to other moons or the big planet.

3: The humans return with the major firepower, the big battle that changes everything forever.

Alternately, if Cameron's politics are as totally bugfuck nuts as they appear to be in AVATAR, the humans come back at the beginning of 2 and wreak major havoc, by the end of the movie they repel the humans and capture the ships and in 3 they go to Earth and liberate the planet from evil humans and return it to nature.

Or in 2 it's shown that either the Na'vi once had major tech or that there is a Chariots of the Gods type thing where an alien race left major tech behind, and Sully and teh boys have to get it and repel the humans with it.

Well, drawing from numerous real world examples eg: the Sudanese kicking out the British, the Iranians kicking out the British and the US in the 50's etc etc, what would realistically happen is (especially if the 'unobtanium' was as valuable and as important as made out to be) they'd return in such force that everything would be exterminated with extreme prejudice if they had to. Given the huge technological and numerical advantage, that really wouldn't be a big problem.

If it was a choice between Earth dying and pounding Pandora into a parking lot, well our history has the answer to that question.

"Nuke the site from orbit, it's the only way to be sure."

What could make an interesting sequel is using the diplomatic route to prevent this and negotiating a peaceful solution that makes everyone happy (or at least equally unhappy) instead before the unscrupulous minions of Blackwater ... I mean Xe ... I mean SecFor or whatever they were called in the movie convince the US Government ... I mean the Earth Government (the United Nations?) that the Pandorans hate America ... I mean the Earth and come up with a UN resolution that says it's OK to blow them all up.


- joeypants - 12-22-2009

Seriously, how terrible was that score though? I don't think, even if you're championing the film, you can objectively say that's not one of the shittiest scores in years for a major tentpole film.

You can say "I enjoyed and look past the shitty score," but there's no other way to slice it. It's fucking terrible.

I would've enjoyed the spectacle a hell of a lot more than I did (which, I did enjoy quite a bit) if it didn't have that painfully unsubtle/cheesy score behind it.


- ludwig - 12-22-2009

Quote:

Originally Posted by joeypants
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Seriously, how terrible was that score though? I don't think, even if you're championing the film, you can objectively say that's not one of the shittiest scores in years for a major tentpole film.

You can say "I enjoyed and look past the shitty score," but there's no other way to slice it. It's fucking terrible.

I would've enjoyed the spectacle a hell of a lot more than I did (which, I did enjoy quite a bit) if it didn't have that painfully unsubtle/cheesy score behind it.

On a scale of "1,2 or more than 2", '1' being awesome, '2' being not that great, 'more than 2' being whatever terrible adjective you'd wish to use whilst describing said score, it was definitely 'more than 2'. Generic, bland, jarring at times, thematically incompatible with anything Cameron might have been trying to achieve with his movie.


- joeypants - 12-22-2009

I did really enjoy pieces of the film though. I don't want to seem like I'm just jumping on the dogpile here with little piecemeal insults. I want to write about my positive thoughts, just need to find time to collect them, so to speak.

I just felt that this film fits the definition of "mixed bag" in the worst way possible. What good stuff there was... well, it was pretty amazing. Not a giant leap forward, but cool in a spectacle way, nonetheless.

But the bad stuff was bottom of the barrel, all things considered. Time really is not going to look favorably on this thing.


- ludwig - 12-22-2009

Quote:

Originally Posted by joeypants
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I did really enjoy pieces of the film though. I don't want to seem like I'm just jumping on the dogpile here with little piecemeal insults. I want to write about my positive thoughts, just need to find time to collect them, so to speak.

I just felt that this film fits the definition of "mixed bag" in the worst way possible. What good stuff there was... well, it was pretty amazing. Not a giant leap forward, but cool in a spectacle way, nonetheless.

But the bad stuff was bottom of the barrel, all things considered. Time really is not going to look favorably on this thing.

I can guarantee you someone is going to come up with a fan edit of this film that reduces the length to 25 minute and is nothing but the best "wow" effects shots.


- joeypants - 12-22-2009

It really felt like there was a massive miscalculation at the script stage.

The film feels like it's moving way, way too fast at almost all times. The overall story/narrative, as is, feels like it needed at least another hour to play out at a suitable pace.

However, there's no fucking way I'd want to see that cut. It simultaneously feels about 40 minutes too long as it is.


- barkatthemoon - 12-22-2009

Anyone get the feeling that Quaritch had something to do with the death of Jake's brother?


- jacknifejohnny - 12-22-2009

Nope.


- Richard Dickson - 12-22-2009

Seems like a reach.


- joeypants - 12-22-2009

Dude, there is nothing even approaching that kind of underlying subtlety in this movie.