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Avatar post-release discussion - Printable Version

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- captain mal - 12-16-2009

Quote:

Originally Posted by Policar
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Maybe you don't agree with his priorities and you certainly don't have to like his movies, but he has a consistent and smart track record with just a few flat-out flops (True Lies....).

A friend recently pointed out that True Lies is Cameron's third-highest-grossing film ever (behind T2 and Titanic), and it was also #3 at the domestic box office in the year that it was made (behind Forrest Gump and The Lion King). Not sure how many people realize that. I certainly didn't.


- subotai - 12-16-2009

where the fuck were these whiners when Dev put Miami Vice on his 2006 10 worst list? get your shit straight, people. I could give a rat's ass about Avatar.


- matches_malone - 12-16-2009

Quote:

Originally Posted by Policar
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Cameron can't tell a morally ambiguous, nuanced character study and have you cheer as he blows stuff up all at once.

Neill Blomkamp can. Quentin Tarantino can. Steven Spielberg can, when he wants to. Richard Donner knew how to do it. It's not about a trade-off. The simple fact is, some - many! - filmmakers do it better than James Cameron. They can tell excellent stories and still have spectacle. Saying that one must be sacrificed for the other because James Cameron doesn't know how to do it is disingenuous.


- joeypants - 12-16-2009

Quote:

Originally Posted by Matches_Malone
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Neill Blomkamp can. Quentin Tarantino can. Steven Spielberg can, when he wants to. Richard Donner knew how to do it. It's not about a trade-off. The simple fact is, some - many! - filmmakers do it better than James Cameron. They can tell excellent stories and still have spectacle. Saying that one must be sacrificed for the other because James Cameron doesn't know how to do it is disingenuous.

Thank you. I hate this line of logic that says "you knew goddamn well going in what his faults were, now DON'T YOU DARE take issue with them!!!!!!!"

Why not? Why not want a James Cameron film to be as good as it possibly can be?


- martin s - 12-16-2009

Quote:

Originally Posted by Matches_Malone
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Neill Blomkamp can. Quentin Tarantino can. Steven Spielberg can, when he wants to. Richard Donner knew how to do it. It's not about a trade-off. The simple fact is, some filmmakers do it better than James Cameron. They can tell excellent stories and still have spectacle. Saying that one must be sacrificed for the other because James Cameron doesn't know how to do it is disingenuous.

They can, and usually not by having the gross domestic product budget-size of three medium-sized African countries while doing so. But since Cameron did, he clearly created a masterpiece. Even if the technical aspect outweight the rest.


- captain mal - 12-16-2009

Quote:

Originally Posted by Matches_Malone
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Neill Blomkamp can.

Neill Blomkamp did. We have yet to see if he can.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Matches_Malone
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Steven Spielberg can, when he wants to.

When has Spielberg ever done this?


- martin s - 12-16-2009

Quote:

Originally Posted by Captain Mal
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When has Spielberg ever done this?

There's a dude called Indiana Jones.


- matches_malone - 12-16-2009

Quote:

Originally Posted by Captain Mal
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Neill Blomkamp did. We have yet to see if he can.

Fair enough


Quote:

When has Spielberg ever done this?

Raiders. Close Encounters. Fucking Jaws. Do I need to continue?

Saving Private Ryan. Minority Report. E-fucking-T.


- captain mal - 12-16-2009

Quote:

Originally Posted by Martin Savage
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There's a dude called Indiana Jones.

Sorry, did you just call Indiana Jones a "morally ambiguous, nuanced character study?"


- martin s - 12-16-2009

You forgot Munich.


- captain mal - 12-16-2009

Quote:

Originally Posted by Matches_Malone
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Raiders. Close Encounters. Fucking Jaws. Do I need to continue? Saving Private Ryan. Minority Report. E-fucking-T.

I can't say that I've ever seen a morally ambiguous Spielberg film, with the possible exception of Munich, which was hardly an action-hero flick of the type that Cameron trades in.

Close Encounters
wasn't an action movie, nor Jaws, nor E.T. Saving Private Ryan wasn't either, really, but even if you wanted to call it that, it certainly wasn't morally ambiguous. I've all but wiped Minority Report from my memory, so maybe you're right about that one.


- matches_malone - 12-16-2009

Quote:

Originally Posted by Captain Mal
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Sorry, did you just call Indiana Jones a "morally ambiguous, nuanced character study?"

No, but it is an excellent story.


- martin s - 12-16-2009

Here's the point: Spielberg can deliver action, technical prowess and entertain while not creating an empty and shallow movie.

Just look at Jurassic Park. Not my favorite of his, but a damned fine step forward in technical terms, and a fun movie.

And Munich is a better movie than all the Cameron movies put together. Including Terminator. Not that I don't enjoy my James Cameron movies, really.


- policar - 12-16-2009

Yeah, I forgot that E.T. and Inglourious Basterds have great extended sci-fi shoot-outs on far-away planets or with shape-shifting robots. Your only remotely valid example is Indiana Jones, as that's the only genuine "action" film you cite, and that's not a "morally ambiguous, nuanced" film.... Cameron's films are broad like Star Wars is broad. You could cite LoTR (boring!) as a fantasy epic with deep characterizations, except even those films don't have them--except to the extent that an audience who has already read the books brings that emotional baggage with it.

That said, you have every right to hate Cameron's movies! In fact, you don't even have to see them if you don't want to. Just don't expect your reasons for hating them to hold much sway over his fans.


- matches_malone - 12-16-2009

Quote:

Originally Posted by Captain Mal
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I can't say that I've ever seen a morally ambiguous Spielberg film, with the possible exception of Munich, which was hardly an action-hero flick of the type that Cameron trades in.

Close Encounters
wasn't an action movie, nor Jaws, nor E.T. Saving Private Ryan wasn't either, really, but even if you wanted to call it that, it certainly wasn't morally ambiguous. I've all but wiped Minority Report from my memory, so maybe you're right about that one.

Don't get myopic. The point Policar was making was that in order to have big spectacle you have to sacrifice a great story and characters. This is incorrect. Spielberg has proven many times that a great story can be told and include spectacle in abundance.


- kriegaffe - 12-16-2009

District 9 is the film that really shames Avatar. Both have good action beats, an invented alien race and a convincing world. But D9 also has very interesting and sometimes flawed characters. The plot is far less conventional and ambitious in mixing several genres (pseudo doc, horror, fugitive-on-the-run, action). And it's basically more intellikgent than Avatar.

Avatar is still worth watching, but it's not great.


- martin s - 12-16-2009

And Policar pops once in a while on the boards, posts retarded shit, and goes back into hibernation. It's like a non-funny version of Pennywise.


- policar - 12-16-2009

No. In order to facilitate emotional attachment in explicitly foreign (i.e. sci-fi/fantasy) worlds and especially during massive action set pieces the director has to fall back on traditional storytelling (i.e. not Tarantino-esque) devices and broad archetypal characterization...

Close Encounters has a "great story" and "characters," whatever descriptors that broad and meaningless even mean.... It's also a beautiful, spectacular film. But it's in a whole different category from Cameron's films.


- brad millette - 12-16-2009

Seriously, do you realize that you're arguing that movies have to be dumb? That's amazing. I'm really happy for you.


- captain mal - 12-16-2009

Quote:

Originally Posted by Matches_Malone
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Don't get myopic. The point Policar was making was that in order to have big spectacle you have to sacrifice a great story and characters. This is incorrect. Spielberg has proven many times that a great story can be told and include spectacle in abundance.

I wouldn't dream of getting myopic, Matches.

I agree with the larger point, and I would add that Cameron has done the same thing with flicks like Aliens, T2, True Lies, and Titanic. "Great story," being, of course, a relative notion. Whether Avatar continues this tradition, I don't yet know, but I'm hoping for the best.


- devincf - 12-16-2009

Get this nonsense out of the post release thread, please.


- darkmite8 - 12-16-2009

Quote:

Originally Posted by Aranion
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Quick question for those who have seen the film: is it safe for early teens? I have a nearly-14 year old and 12.5 year old, and wanted to know if there's any violence or sex that would be questionable.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kriegaffe
View Post
It's probably ok. A very little bit of swearing. Lots of blue ass and blue side boob, and a bit of kissing. There's violence (deaths, gunfire and people being shot with arrows, scary monsters) but it's generally bloodless. There's no torture or real nastyness.

Blue side boob? And they're putting AVATAR toys in happy meals? Awesome.

It would appear that Devin allowed his baggage and all the hype to effect his viewing experience more than Nick. I kinda wish I could purge all the pre-backlash before seeing it myself.


- policar - 12-16-2009

Quote:

Originally Posted by Brad Millette
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Seriously, do you realize that you're arguing that movies have to be dumb? That's amazing. I'm really happy for you.

I don't think Terminator 2 is "dumb." I think anyone who demands pulpy-sci fi or comics book movies be "serious" needs to reexamine his life and that anyone who looks for verisimilitude in a parable is missing the point entirely.


- ryoken - 12-16-2009

Im watching this tomorrow, but I'll say that I enjoyed Nick's review more, but I ended up liking Devin's just as much, despite not agreeing with the reasons for the lower score.
Nick convinced me to see the film in 3d, but Devin also convinced me that the movie wont be a "gamechanger" for the future of film either.
That said, i'm out of this thread till tomorrow night, while hoping I get a solid, enjoyable time at the theater tomorrow.


- devincf - 12-16-2009

How do you not agree with my reasons for giving a movie YOU HAVE NOT SEEN a lower score?


- MichaelM - 12-16-2009

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kriegaffe
View Post
It's probably ok. A very little bit of swearing. Lots of blue ass and blue side boob, and a bit of kissing. There's violence (deaths, gunfire and people being shot with arrows, scary monsters) but it's generally bloodless. There's no torture or real nastyness.

OK. Thanks.


- policar - 12-16-2009

Sorry for diverting things a bit too much... I'll watch the movie before writing any more.


- bhww - 12-16-2009

At this point, the only way I'd watch Avatar would be if I informed the space marines win. Everything seen so far on the blue space furries makes me want to see them bombed.


- dimitril - 12-16-2009

Quote:

Originally Posted by Brad Millette
View Post
And yeah, if James Cameron personally cures some kid's cancer, good for him. But it has NOTHING WHATSOFUCKINGEVER TO DO WITH THE MOVIE. So shut the fuck up about his possibly imaginary philanthropy.

The crux of that was whether or not Devin's antipathy to Cameron as a person affected his review. I agree that it shouldn't have gone beyond that argument, but when people started defending an attack on stuff I believe was positive, I lost it. Again, I apologize for going OT.


- dimitril - 12-16-2009

Quote:

Originally Posted by BHWW
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At this point, the only way I'd watch Avatar would be if I informed the space marines win. Everything seen so far on the blue space furries makes me want to see them bombed.

They're not furry.


- devincf - 12-16-2009

I am begging you to take this out of the post release thread.


- dimitril - 12-16-2009

Fair enough. Thanks for putting up with us, Devin.


- matches_malone - 12-16-2009

We're talking about Jessica Biel's nipples over in the pre-release thread. Come on in!


- ryoken - 12-17-2009

Quote:

Originally Posted by devincf
View Post
How do you not agree with my reasons for giving a movie YOU HAVE NOT SEEN a lower score?

Just because I do not agree doesnt mean I wont be proven wrong when i watch the actual movie; i didnt like you admitting you had a negative opinion on the character effect/design before walking into the theater, for example.
But if you want, i'll stop reading your reviews till after I've seen the movie, even though i usually read em to decide if i should watch it, something that has worked pretty good so far.
Also, i didnt see you complaining when I said your GI.Joe review made would make me go see a movie i though looked retarded before it (and you were right with that one).


- tati - 12-17-2009

After the first wave of reviews i was excited for the film after months of not caring at all. Maybe the trailers were really misleading and there was a great movie there.
But after Devin and now Beaks have written their not to favorable reviews (beaks even calls it the lesser of Cameron's efforts) my expectations are back in line where they were with the trailers. I look forward to the visual spectacle. That's pretty much it.