The Trouble City Forums
Avatar post-release discussion - Printable Version

+- The Trouble City Forums (http://citizens.trouble.city)
+-- Forum: Specific Cinema (http://citizens.trouble.city/forumdisplay.php?fid=5)
+--- Forum: Films in Release or On Video (http://citizens.trouble.city/forumdisplay.php?fid=78)
+--- Thread: Avatar post-release discussion (/showthread.php?tid=120288)



- damon houx - 12-22-2009

What shocked me most was how boring this film was. There's nothing going on under the surface, except maybe James Cameron's desire to be a gay fish. The action beats are fine, I guess, but I was just thoroughly underwhelmed thoroughout. This is sub-Miyazaki/Princess Monoke. Quatrich makes an impression because he's modeled on the R. Lee Ermey asshole type, and Weaver makes an impression, even if her characters is a bit incoherent. I'm sure that Cameron worked out an entire system for how the universe works, but none of that really translates to great storytelling.

If this were in Japanese, no one here would care about it.


- joeypants - 12-22-2009

There were large chunks of the film where I was almost bored to tears as well.

Thinking back on it, about the only thing that really kept me interested was the baggage of it all. The whole feeling of "so this is Avatar. This is what's been bandied about for all this time."

It was interesting on that sort of level. I have to imagine though, that if I were just watching this as a movie, not an event/hyped up hyperbole machine/etc., then I would've been supremely bored for most of the film.

The visual feats are pretty amazing at times, and pretty damn "top shelf" at the worst of moments. But in a film this bloated, it's not enough to hold interest against a story this boring.


- filmnerdjamie - 12-22-2009

Quote:

Originally Posted by joeypants
View Post
There were large chunks of the film where I was almost bored to tears as well.

Thinking back on it, about the only thing that really kept me interested was the baggage of it all. The whole feeling of "so this is Avatar. This is what's been bandied about for all this time."

It was interesting on that sort of level. I have to imagine though, that if I were just watching this as a movie, not an event/hyped up hyperbole machine/etc., then I would've been supremely bored for most of the film.

The visual feats are pretty amazing at times, and pretty damn "top shelf" at the worst of moments. But in a film this bloated, it's not enough to hold interest against a story this boring.

My thoughts exactly.


- a. lively - 12-22-2009

I agree completely with Nick's review. This was a fabulously well-done movie, pulp though it may be.

The story was clichéd as hell; I didn't care. Sometimes using a tried-and-true formula is OK, if it's done well. The characters were fun, and the world so well crafted that I was pretty much in awe during the entire film.

The sheer number of kinetic action shots during the finale completely blows away what I've seen in any other film to date.

Call me easily entertained if you will.


- ryan s~ - 12-22-2009

Quote:

Originally Posted by Andre Dellamorte
View Post
The action beats are fine, I guess, but I was just thoroughly underwhelmed thoroughout. This is sub-Miyazaki/Princess Monoke.

Exactly. All this talk of world buildng and creativity in Avatar and it doesn't even approach Miyazaki.


- eyeball kid - 12-22-2009

The more I think about the film, the more my thoughts drift towards the negative. Think about Cameron's other films. There was nothing in Avatar as moving as Bud's text message to his wife, the terminator sacrificing himself in T2, the romance in Terminator, etc.

The first 15-20 minutes of Aliens contains more drama, tension, and characterization than the whole of Avatar. Ripley's nightmare was more exciting than any action scene in Avatar.

The whole thing felt inert and perfunctory. Even the action, though clear and geographically logical, felt that way to me. No impact. No stakes. No drama.

I will say this though: I can't stop turning the film over in my head and trying to figure out why it doesn't work for me. So there's something there, even if it's just a desire to understand Cameron's thinking.


- zollicoffer - 12-22-2009

I almost fell asleep throughout the film. That's my review.

Why this thread is 21 pages is beyond me.


- sean bateman - 12-22-2009

Quote:

Originally Posted by joeypants
View Post
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.

I loved the movie but the score legitimately hurt it. Horner should be ashamed of himself.


- devincf - 12-22-2009

We're like two decades late for him to start feeling that way.


- bitches leave - 12-22-2009

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sean Bateman
View Post
I loved the movie but the score legitimately hurt it. Horner should be ashamed of himself.

Hard to believe he had to spend 15 times the amount of time on this soundtrack than on Aliens.


- sean bateman - 12-22-2009

Quote:

Originally Posted by devincf
View Post
We're like two decades late for him to start feeling that way.

SNEAKERS, APOLLO 13, and TITANIC had great scores. Just because a guy used to be James Horner doesn't mean you have to hire him. You could say the same about Elfman, but Horner's a much worse example.

Why didn't Cameron hire Giacchino? Loyalty? Afraid to jinx it by changing it up?


Avatar thoughts - mortal_remains - 12-22-2009

I thought it was a solid film that felt familiar in a nostalgic way, entirely new in the advancements of visual storytelling and above all else fun the way movies should be. Could the characters have been more developed? Yes, Could the story have been more original, most definitely. Is the dialogue bad? It’s not exceptional but it’s not distracting.

Take in consideration that the moment you see a movie for the first time the originality of it disappears and it becomes unoriginal, same with predictability. Once that first viewing is done you will no longer be surprised. Avatar takes all of its influences and amalgamates them in such a way that it felt like I was watching a classic. It made me feel like a kid again and that’s a rare thing to do especially when the magic of being a kid seems to diminish, as you get older. That sense of awe and wonder is on Pandora and I hope to be able to visit the planet again. 8.5/10

The biggest gripe I have with Cameron's film is that the influences he borrows from would have been a stronger trip to the cinema. But now that James has beat them to the punch those stronger storylines if they ever make it to a theater will be considered the rip off.

Take for instance the Miyazaki references, Avatar is basically a mish mash of Princess Mononoke and Nausicaa. In Mononoke you have the Gods of the forest going up against the humans who are mining the land for Iron to make weapons for war. The great thing about Miyazaki is that he fashions each character to have a good reason to be doing what they are doing. No one is a true villain. The People mine the land to make weapons because they need a way to fight an oppressive counter culture.

In Nausicaa the similarities are huge. There's the jungle itself, teaming with life, giving off a toxic miasma that is unbreathable to the humans. Which also is made up of Bioluminescant plants. There's a symbiotic relationship with all living things in the jungle. There's the Airships used by the humans etc...

I love Animation, and Miyazaki's work. But if someone did a Great interpretation of his film in Live action peoples minds would literally be blown away by the originality on display.

Cameron's Avatar feels like a missed opportunity for something greater, but it is still pretty awesome. I think the reason a lot of people are reacting so positively to what they are seeing is because they can't remember the last time they watched a movie quite like it. Its not like Star wars, Star Wars is more of a fantasy film then a science fiction film. It's not like District 9 because that was based on our home planet. This is a fully realized world, a world that feels like it exists, it has a lot in common with a national Geographic and Discovery channel program and I think that's the biggest draw.


- hammerhead - 12-22-2009

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sean Bateman
View Post
SNEAKERS, APOLLO 13, and TITANIC had great scores.

2 1/2 hours of fake Enya? Really?


- devincf - 12-22-2009

I hope no one does a live action version of a Miyazaki film because it would be a tragedy to have people's minds literally blown away while watching it. We would be left with theaters full of vegetables. A terrible tragedy.


- sean bateman - 12-22-2009

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hammerhead
View Post
2 1/2 hours of fake Enya? Really?

The TITANIC score was corny at times and repetitive, but yes, I really like it.


- matches_malone - 12-22-2009

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mortal_Remains
View Post
It's not like District 9 because that was based on our home planet.

That is the least of the reasons why this is not like District 9.


- danko - 12-22-2009

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sean Bateman
View Post
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.

I read the first book several years ago, and admittedly I don't remember any details. Definitely the feel of the character seems completely wrong BTW, judging by the trailer at least (after all, it's what they're trying to selling me).
Seriously - Sherlock Holmes! That's not what anyone would expect to see, I'm sure.

I would have seen the movies if it were possible.
For reasons better left untold, Italy seems to be the only country with a delayed release for Avatar (15 January).
So for now I speculate...


- ratty - 12-22-2009

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sean Bateman
View Post
SNEAKERS, APOLLO 13, and TITANIC had great scores. Just because a guy used to be James Horner doesn't mean you have to hire him. You could say the same about Elfman, but Horner's a much worse example.

Why didn't Cameron hire Giacchino? Loyalty? Afraid to jinx it by changing it up?

He could have gone back to Silvestri. THE ABYSS was a great mixture of action cues and haunting sci-fi mood music.


- sean bateman - 12-22-2009

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ratty
View Post
He could have gone back to Silvestri. THE ABYSS was a great mixture of action cues and haunting sci-fi mood music.

Silvestri's half the composer he used to be, but I can't see him putting out anything as useless as this score or the APOCALYPTO score.


- matches_malone - 12-22-2009

Quote:

Originally Posted by danko
View Post
I read the first book several years ago, and admittedly I don't remember any details. Definitely the feel of the character seems completely wrong BTW, judging by the trailer at least (after all, it's what they're trying to selling me).
Seriously - Sherlock Holmes! That's not what anyone would expect to see, I'm sure.

At the risk of further derailment - that's kinda the point.


- sean bateman - 12-22-2009

Danko's ideal trailer:

"COMING THIS SUMMER FROM WARNER BROS.... A MOVIE YOU'VE SEEN A HUNDRED TIMES BEFORE... WE DON'T WANT TO RUFFLE ANYONE'S FEATHERS...."


- bitches leave - 12-22-2009

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hammerhead
View Post
2 1/2 hours of fake Enya? Really?

Puhleease. Sissel Kyrkjebo has more talent in her left nipple than Enya.


- damon houx - 12-22-2009

I'm pretty sure I would have liked this film more if Jake didn't become a Na'vi at the end.


- lazerranger - 12-22-2009

Saw the movie on Saturday and needed a little time to fully process and digest the movie before I attempted to jump into the water of this thread.

To cut a long story short, I really enjoyed the experience and felt the movie was very good even if I could see why certain people have their criticisms of the movie (it's pretty basic well trodden story, not exceptionally original alien designs etc).

I felt it did enough to make me able to ignore those problems though; I quickly became attached to the Jake and Neytiri characters, loved the moments when the 3D really immersed the audience into the experience and got a huge kick out of the trademark James Cameron action sequences towards the end of the movie (yes even...actually especially the Machete). It also managed to make it's pretty long length near invisible as

I'd give it a solid 8 (9 if you're able to get into a Imax 3D screening), I think the crowd that says it's going to lose it's shine in a few years are probably right but it's still never going to be Cameron's worst film (I'd give that to True Lies, even though I still get a kick out of that movie).

If Cameron had swallowed his pride and let a writer with a bit more flare for dialogue and character polish this movie, it could have been the next Lord of the Rings but what we have is still very good and in my top five movies of the year.

My girlfriend who doesn't like most Sci-Fi also got a kick out of the movie and was able to buy into the romance and the character building during the the first two acts allowing her to be invested in the action towards the end.

Not sure if anyone cares about the UK Box Office here but I was pretty impressed by this

Quote:

James Cameron's Avatar has topped the UK box office on its debut weekend on release.

The science fiction epic pulls in £8.5 million, making it the third-largest opening of 2009 behind Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince and New Moon. It is the largest opening for an original feature since last year's Hancock.

1. (-) Avatar - £8,509,050

http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/movies/n...-top-spot.html


- pbar - 12-22-2009

Quote:

Originally Posted by Matches_Malone
View Post
That is the least of the reasons why this is not like District 9.

The first being that this is an actual good film.


- john shade - 12-22-2009

Regarding the pathetic score, Cameron should of used the Wagner/Horner duo. Das Rheingold did wonders for Malick's epic of colonization, The New World.


- matches_malone - 12-22-2009

Quote:

Originally Posted by halofan1
View Post
The first being that this is an actual good film.




- devincf - 12-22-2009

hahahaha


- hammerhead - 12-22-2009

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bitches Leave
View Post
Puhleease. Sissel Kyrkjebo has more talent in her left nipple than Enya.

Too bad she didn't write the music, which was fake Enya.


- andrew c - 12-22-2009

Other than almost falling asleep, I knew it wasn't working for me when I spent at least 10 minutes throughout taking my glasses off and putting them back on and taking them off again, comparing the 3D with the blurry screen.


- thomas treasure - 12-22-2009

Quote:

Originally Posted by John Shade
View Post
Regarding the pathetic score, Cameron should of used the Wagner/Horner duo. Das Rheingold did wonders for Malick's epic of colonization, The New World.

Horner disagrees.

Excerpts from an interview:
Quote:

Originally Posted by James Horner

I would sum up Terry [Malick] as a brilliant photographer - and that is where it stops.
...
And there is no reason in the world why [The New World] could not have been as great love story as Titanic was. That was the premise he got hired on and that is the premise he promised everybody he was going to deliever.
...
He didn’t have any experience with real film music being presented to him. Even in Thin Red Line it was all cut up. Here I was writing music for him which he would say was beautiful and great and sounded great on the piano, whatever. But I knew - and I warned everybody - this man does not have a clue what to do with movie music or how it works, not a clue. He is gonna to hear his first cue and not know what to do with it and I warned everybody.
...
When we scored the movie he completely disassembled everything. The score made no sense anymore and he started to stick in Wagner over scenes and a Mozart piano concerto over an Indian attack everybody to a man thought he was insane. By this time I was no longer on, I basically said "**** you" so I just did say a four letter word.
...
And that was something we all learned about the great Terry. I never felt so letdown by a filmmaker in my life.

Quite a thing to read James Horner trash-talking Terrence Malick.


- danko - 12-22-2009

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sean Bateman
View Post
Danko's ideal trailer:

"COMING THIS SUMMER FROM WARNER BROS.... A MOVIE YOU'VE SEEN A HUNDRED TIMES BEFORE... WE DON'T WANT TO RUFFLE ANYONE'S FEATHERS...."

That's twisting my words COMPLETELY.

I welcome new and surprising material (see for instance Kick Ass...), and I could even, in some cases, accept derivative stuff and "reinterpretations"... but from a movie whose fucking title says SIMPLY: "SHERLOCK HOLMES", I expect a honest attempt to bring an iconic character to the screen.
It's called "respect", where I live.
That said, I will probably enjoy the movie, since it seems a funny flick and I like Downey as much as the next guy.

But enough with the OT, ok


- devincf - 12-22-2009

You said yourself you don't know anything about the iconic character. You read 'the first book' but don't remember anything about it. Why do you have an opinion on this? You have complete ignorance on the subject.


- damon houx - 12-22-2009

Can anyone come up with a through-line with the most interesting elements of the film? Jake becomes native permantantly, and the bad guys are basically Americans, who blow up the World Trade center. If Jake is our Avatar, is this Cameron commenting on white fantasy, or is it his? My feeling is that Cameron doesn't know what he did, he just saw the archtypes. My read is he was way more into designing his own planet, and the plot, etc. was secondary. But if someone can weave a coherent commentary out of the film, that'd be cool.


- Teitr Styrr - 12-22-2009

Like a whole mess of people I fell somewhere between Devin and Nick's reviews. I loved the spectacle but was not one time surprised.

For example as soon as Jake thought "I need to step it up..." to get back in the good graces of the Navi, I knew he was going to tame that big ass red dragon.