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Avatar post-release discussion - Printable Version

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- brendan - 01-25-2010

My Avatar experience as told to fellow Chewer Joon:

Brendan:
there was a young boy beside me during avatar who had a big bag of popcorn and candy with a drink.
he kept fiddling with his skittles, i think he was separating the colours.
and at one point he took change out of his pocket and was messing around with it and then stopped. and then when he went to get it up it spilled on the floor and so he sat back down.
then left
came back with a drink

Joon:
I'll bet you wanted to adopt him!

Brendan:
and then when he was done drinking he started looking for his spilled change

Joon:
I'm surprised you enjoyed the movie.

Brendan:
then he left again and bought another drink and i saw him look at the can
and turn it around. examining it. i swear to god he sniffed it at one point too
and then as soon as he finished that he ran off for a bottle of water

Joon:
How did you enjoy the movie?

Brendan:
oh, going back to the skittles, he chocked on some of them and started coughing.i laughed
hahhaha!
like diabolical conan obrien! but not out loud
and every time he came back to his seat you could hear him running up the stairs with his big loud snow boots on but he'd stop a few steps short of the seat and go slow and sit down out of breath, panting while ruffling through his skittle bag again
im done

Joon:
I see

Brendan:
OH WAIT! before the movie started, and i made a joke to my friend about this, it said "put on your 3d glasses now". and what does the kid do?
he runs down the stairs to go get a pair

Joon:
hahahaha

Brendan:
and so did some other people

Joon:
Morons! Or bad employees for not handing it to them.

Brendan:
two others in front of us lost their spot because of their stupidity!

Joon:
HAHAHAHA! Awesome.
Did you see it in RealD? IMAX3D?

Brendan:
RealD. there was a bin that you just took glasses from at the door. the ticket said you would need glasses. it says its in 3D. and there was two bins by the door with glasses. and with all the marketing and talk you would think people would know....
anyways

Joon:
People are dumb.

Brendan:
fuck that kid

Joon:
And it was a kid.
Kids are stupid.



But besides that.... I enjoyed the movie quite a lot. I'm late to the party with comments and I'm sure what I have to say has been said been said many times already.

The story is weak. It is. It's predictable and cliched. Did this stop me from enjoying the movie? No. Not at all. I had a blast. The three hours FLEW by, Zoe Saldana was good and I enjoyed Stephen Lang. He seemed like he was having fun with that role.

The visuals were truly really amazing. I enjoyed the 3D and I loved that Cameron didn't play to the 3D by throwing objects at us. At times the facial gestures and movements were unreal.

I'm glad I caught this on the big screen. I was afraid I wasn't going to get around to it but I'm thankful I did. Did this movie change my life? No, not at all. Does it deserve Best Picture Oscar? No, not at all. But this definitely is a great piece of work. I just don't think it's BP Oscar WIN worthy. Nomination... sure whatever. 10 are allowed now so who gives a shit?

But yeah.... I'd maybe give it an 8/10.


- shan - 01-25-2010

I'm hoping Avatar II is going to be a cross between The Empire Strikes Back and X-Men 2.

X-Men 2 in that the main characters have been introduced in the first film so now they can just leap straight into the story with minimal exposition and The Empire Strikes Back in that it follows a relatively similar pattern.

By that I mean, it seems to me that the Earth "ex-military" on Pandora could certainly have a parallel drawn between them and Blackwater. Obviously they're a relatively small organisation compared to a country but they'll have excellent lobbying connections.

So, before you know it (well 12 years), you'll see the US Armed Forces doing their equivalent of an AT-AT attack on Hoth, a cliffhanger ending and a (hopefully) excellent set up for Avatar III.

But no Ewoks please.


- andrew merriweather - 01-25-2010

Quote:

Originally Posted by Diva
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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.

People respond to this facile nonsense all the time. Look at "The Secret". It doesn't make phenomena such as this any less putrid.


- ben thomas - 01-25-2010

Saw it for the second time over the weekend (still sold out showings a month after release) and really, really enjoyed it this time. Much more so. Even welled up a couple of times.

I really feel the integration of live action, effects and other elements is so expertly handled - as is the gradual immersion into the alien world - that as much as I would like Tarantino or the Coens or Bigelow to walk away with a statue in March, I can't really argue with Cameron getting it.

The character of Neytiri - and some of the other Na'vi, but especially Neytiri - is pretty astounding in its believability and emotion. Its quite a feat to not only not make these characters seem jarring or ridiculous, but sympathetic, impressieve, loveable and even alluring.

Wonderful stuff. It might be cool to fight against this film and its reception, but as a lifelong fan of sci-fi, its incredibly rewarding to see something this outlandish become the most accepted film of its period. My girlfriend - who won't even watch the Lord of the Rings films - came to see it (it was in fact her idea) and really liked it. This is a girl who spent last sunday afternoon watching All About Steve.


- andrew merriweather - 01-25-2010

*How* is it outlandish in anything other than its basic design levl?


- ryan c.b. - 01-25-2010

Quote:

Originally Posted by Merriweather
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*How* is it outlandish in anything other than its basic design levl?

I dunno, maybe the fact that we process film through our fucking eyeballs means he has a point there.


- adriandyka - 01-25-2010

What do you mean?


- andrew merriweather - 01-25-2010

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ryan Bean
View Post
I dunno, maybe the fact that we process film through our fucking eyeballs means he has a point there.

Come ON. Blockbuster films are full of weird-looking shit. Giant robots made out of trucks, guys covered black goo with huge teeth, a man made of shellfish with a beard of tentacles. Eight-foot-tall blue people are funny-looking, but when they're packaged in a narrative so derivative it could have "ACTION ADVENTURE 101" stamped on its front page I'm not sure how it's so heartening to see people falling head-over-heels for it. And certainly not from the position of a sci-fi fan. The design aeshetic may be unusual, but I don't see how that's somehow good sci-fi.

Also, can we please stop inferring that people who don't like AVATAR and its surrounding brouhaha hold that opinion because it's "cool"?


- diva - 01-25-2010

Quote:

Originally Posted by Merriweather
View Post
People respond to this facile nonsense all the time. Look at "The Secret". It doesn't make phenomena such as this any less putrid.

Sure, but that wasn't the point of my post. I was responding to AdrianDyka who said there was no way the conservation messages of the film were driving its success. I disagreed.


- andrew merriweather - 01-25-2010

I just think it's a self-sustaining hype monster at this point. 3D got a buttload of people through the door to kick things off, and it's been selling itself on the back of that WOM ever since. Everyone's seeing it and the people whho haven't seen it want to see it so they can talk about having seen it.


- diva - 01-25-2010

Or, you know, people really like it. Why is this so hard to believe?


- andrew merriweather - 01-25-2010

Generally speaking, "WOM" implies that people like it, no? Where did I say that people didn't like it?


- diva - 01-25-2010

No, WOM does not imply people like it; just that people are talking about a film. I guess my assumption was that your use of "hype" was meant negatively. You're suggesting that people are seeing the movie just because other people have seen it, rather than them actually being interested in the film itself. There are a lot of people who are excited to see the film for its own merits (and are seeing it multiple times).


- andrew merriweather - 01-25-2010

Yes, AVATAR is making all this money on the back of artistic merit alone.


- ryan c.b. - 01-25-2010

Quote:

Originally Posted by Diva
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You're suggesting that people are seeing the movie just because other people have seen it, rather than them actually being interested in the film itself.

It's not "suggesting":
Quote:

Originally Posted by Merriweather
View Post
Everyone's seeing it and the people whho haven't seen it want to see it so they can talk about having seen it.




- diva - 01-25-2010

Quote:

Originally Posted by Merriweather
View Post
Yes, AVATAR is making all this money on the back of artistic merit alone.

When did I say "alone"? I'm just trying to get you to expand your frame of reference for this movie. Not everyone is seeing this film because it is "hyped".

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ryan Bean
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It's not "suggesting":

I was trying to be nice.


- andrew merriweather - 01-25-2010

No, not "everyone" is seeing it because it's hyped. But the people who are pushing into the stratosphere are very likely those that are seeing it because so many other people liked it, or didn't like it but are talking about it. It's a "you have to be there" phenomenon. A lot of people want to be part of the craze.


- agracru - 01-25-2010

Quote:

Originally Posted by Merriweather
View Post
when they're packaged in a narrative so derivative it could have "ACTION ADVENTURE 101" stamped on its front page I'm not sure how it's so heartening to see people falling head-over-heels for it.

Maybe I'm reaching for a silver lining here, but is it possible that Avatar's visibility might get at least a few people to re-think science fiction and take a look at truly great films of the genre from recent memory?


- Richard Dickson - 01-25-2010

Quote:

Originally Posted by Merriweather
View Post
No, not "everyone" is seeing it because it's hyped. But the people who are pushing into the stratosphere are very likely those that are seeing it because so many other people liked it, or didn't like it but are talking about it. It's a "you have to be there" phenomenon. A lot of people want to be part of the craze.

A film doesn't make this kind of money without repeat viewing, and I doubt people are going back to a film they don't like just because of the hype.


- andrew merriweather - 01-25-2010

Holy Christ, *where* have I said that no-one likes this film?!


- ben thomas - 01-25-2010

Its simple:

My point was that people who don't normally go and see sci-fi/fantasy films are plonking down extra, 3D money to see this one because a) its one of the first really big films to make 3D an essential, non-gimmick format to see the film in; b) EVERYONE I know who has been to see it (including those who don't normally even go to the cinema) has given it good word of mouth; c) it fulfils one of the basic requirements of most audiences - to take you somewhere you have never been or can never go.

We get these films once in a decade if we're lucky - films that get people to go to the cinema that normally wouldn't ro to see something they wouldn't normally care to see. That this particular one is so damned good is a blessing.

If you didn't enjoy it, fine. But I feel sorry for you. Its so much more fun to be with the crowd than against them in this instance. Transformers this ain't.


- andrew merriweather - 01-25-2010

Jesus, patronising much?


- princess kate - 01-25-2010

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ben Thomas
View Post
Its simple:



We get these films once in a decade if we're lucky - films that get people to go to the cinema that normally wouldn't ro to see something they wouldn't normally care to see. That this particular one is so damned good is a blessing.

If you didn't enjoy it, fine. But I feel sorry for you. Its so much more fun to be with the crowd than against them in this instance. Transformers this ain't.

I agree, Ben. I am over the moon with joy for being able to actually be happy when a film makes alot of money.


Usually I have to get all bitter when Transformers 2 breaks records, but it's positively fantastic to see a film like AVATAR blow Michael Bay out of the water. It's great to see a film that deserves it do so well


- diva - 01-25-2010

Quote:

Originally Posted by Merriweather
View Post
Holy Christ, *where* have I said that no-one likes this film?!

Quote:

Originally Posted by Merriweather
View Post
No, not "everyone" is seeing it because it's hyped. But the people who are pushing into the stratosphere are very likely those that are seeing it because so many other people liked it, or didn't like it but are talking about it. It's a "you have to be there" phenomenon. A lot of people want to be part of the craze.

You are explicitly saying the reason this film is making so much bank is because its an "event" film that everyone wants to see - not because they are interested in the film - but because they want to be in the know. Sure, that may get some people into seats *the first time around* - but any film that is making the type of money Avatar is making is likely due to repeat business (read: people who really enjoy the movie and want to see it over and over again). We see different reasons for what is driving the success of this film. I actually would like to give the film credit, where you seem to be all about some elusive "hype machine".


- phil - 01-25-2010

Don't cry for me, Ben Thomas. I just wasn't meant for these times.

Since we're flinging our anecdotal shit around - I don't know a single person who has seen this twice; I know loads of people who are going who normally do not go to genre movies, because "everyone's talking about it."


- andrew merriweather - 01-25-2010

So now large amounts of people liking something is indicative of its quality?


- princess kate - 01-25-2010

Quote:

Originally Posted by Phil
View Post
Don't cry for me, Ben Thomas. I just wasn't meant for these times.

Since we're flinging our anecdotal shit around - I don't know a single person who has seen this twice; I know loads of people who are going who normally do not go to genre movies, because "everyone's talking about it."

You know me, Phil. I've been exactly twice. And I intend to go again.


- therewillbezodiac - 01-25-2010

Avatar has had near unaniamous critical praise and word of mouth. It's a lot more complicated then just it making a lot of money.

Transformers 2 made a ton of money - but was also critically hated and had subpar word of mouth.

The response to Avatar is much different to the response to most big blockbusters that make their money quick and then no one goes to see them after the first couple weekends.

You can say that something making a lot of money isn't indicative of quality (and I will agree), but when just about everyone in the entire world falls in love with something at the same time - well, there's usually something to global phenomenons. Most movies that make a ton of money don't even come close to that status.


- diva - 01-25-2010

Who is talking about quality? The conversation is about how much money the film is making and whether it is related to hype or genuine interest. The correct answer is both, but you seem to be ignoring the latter. I've pretty much added my piece. If you want to talk about the movie's content, there's 20+ pages of thread devoted to it.

Or what Zodiac said.


- andrew merriweather - 01-25-2010

Quote:

Originally Posted by Diva

Who is talking about quality?

Quote:

Originally Posted by Diva
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I actually would like to give the film credit

Hurm.


- andrew merriweather - 01-25-2010

Also, weird definition of "unanimous praise". There's a LOT of people here who didn't fall in love with it, plus several critics of note. We're not talking THE GODFATHER here - even those who did fall head over heels often put qualifiers in their reviews like "oh sure, the writing's occasionally dodgy and the narrative's nothing new, BUT....".


- therewillbezodiac - 01-25-2010

Quote:

Originally Posted by Merriweather
View Post
Also, weird definition of "unanimous praise". There's a LOT of people here who didn't fall in love with it, plus several critics of note. We're not talking THE GODFATHER here - even those who did fall head over heels often put qualifiers in their reviews like "oh sure, the writing's occasionally dodgy and the narrative's nothing new, BUT....".

The negative reviews are a small handful. Positive reviews that point out flaws don't count, as every movie ever made has had flaws.

Even the people here that didn't like it are a small but vocal handful. Most appreciated the movie on some level, even if some elements didn't work for them. You don't have a very good argument if you're saying "well, yeah, the critics loved it...but not like they loved The Godfather!" That's maybe the most praised movie of all time (or at least top five). Avatar doesn't need Godfather reviews to have unanimous praise.

You're gonna have a hard time convincing me that Avatar is not widely loved.


- Richard Dickson - 01-25-2010

Merriweather, no one is saying you have to like the film.


- andrew merriweather - 01-25-2010

"Widely loved" and "unanimous praise" are not the same thing. And again, AMERICAN IDOL is widely loved. MacDonalds is widely loved. Celine Dion is widely loved.

EDIT: Holy shit, what is with you people? Please don't act as if I'm the only person in the world who doesn't like this film.


- ben thomas - 01-25-2010

Quote:

Originally Posted by Merriweather
View Post
Jesus, patronising much?

Didn't mean to be, but I can see how that came across.

What I'm trying to get at is lots of times, things become phenomenons and you (I/we) can be left behind not liking it, convinced the general public have fallen victim to a fever dream. That's frustrating and rather than constantly banging your head against the wall of general public opinion, one can wish you just liked the damn thing but can't get over certain aspects of it that you don't like.

I don't have that with this film; it seems you do. I wish you didn't, but you do.

Also, to address your other point, ineed making lots of money and getting bums in seats does not equal quality. However, regardless of your own opinion of it, you must be able to see that it is an incredibly well made film and therefore, again your personal enjoyment aside, has a level of quality worthy of merit.