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CAMERON ON AVATAR 2 & 3: “I’M LIVING IN PANDORA RIGHT NOW.”
#36
AZeroed. I think Rodriguez is attractive and just about the only thing in Machete that didn't have me checking my pulse, but aside from looking good in Avatar, Cameron's inane dialogue did her no favours.
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#37

Until this moment I didn't even remember that Michelle Rodriguez was in the movie. I'm actually amazed that people remember her character's name.

I might have been born yesterday sir, but I stayed up all night!
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#38

Michelle Rodriguez in Avatar = poor mans Pvt Vasquez from Aliens. And that, when you think about it really is saying something.

I do not think part 2 will break boxes in the way the first one did. Alarge part of the reason Titanic was such a success was simply that the elements of spectacle, historic event and hit song meant that it got loads of ticket sales to folk who generally never go to the cinema. Avatars success relied heravily on spectacle and viewers seeing something 'new'. As far as I can tell there is nothing 'new' being offered to audiences in the next Avatar flicks (and something 'new' has been on the cards for all his big hits which are all big markers in fx history).

The flicks will not fail, not by a long shot but top the BO of 1? I Doubt it (unless ticket prices are cranked up along with number of 3D screens showing it but even then I cannot see it).

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#39
AEven more 3D screens this time around, huge international fan base in Europe and Asia, more 3D screens internationally, James Cameron being a master of spectacle and the sales pitch having already set this box office record multiple times.... Doesn't look like a good hand to bet against.

Eta It just seems that if everyone who saw Avatar one goes to see Avatar two, the increased number of 3d screens is going to mean higher ticket prices, and the film is then near certain to make more money.
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#40
A[quote name="Ubik" url="/community/t/147163/cameron-on-avatar-2-3-i-m-living-in-pandora-right-now#post_3482828"]Michelle Rodriguez in Avatar = poor mans Pvt Vasquez from Aliens. And that, when you think about it really is saying something.[/quote]
I'm not going to dispute that, but in a movie like this you take whatever entertaining bit players you can get. She's certainly more engaging than the smarmy more-ethereal-than-thou female lead.
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#41
Quote:
if everyone who saw Avatar one goes to see Avatar two

this is what I am getting at, they will not. A chunk of the box office from 1 was because of spectacle and curiosity of what this 3D big deal was. When release date comes round and its more blue folk in 3D there is far less appeal for the curious 'whats the big deal' folk.

I also know many viewers who either hate Avatar, hate 3D or both and the disdain for 3D continues to grow. Like I said before, there is no doubt it will make mega bucks but guaranteeing it will will top the takings is something I do not buy. Its too similar a prospect based around an already (re)aging gimmick.

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#42
A[quote name="commodorejohn" url="/community/t/147163/cameron-on-avatar-2-3-i-m-living-in-pandora-right-now#post_3482837"]
She's certainly more engaging than the smarmy more-ethereal-than-thou female lead.[/quote]

I honestly really like the beginning of Avatar before she shows up. Once she does, her Mary Sue act becomes beyond grating.
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#43

I wanted to like Avatar. When friends kept telling me it was lame and that it was Dances with Wolves in space, I openly ridiculed them, telling them they didn't know what they were talking about. I've loved all of Cameron's movies, even though T2 goes off the rails halfway through in my opinion. But I saw Avatar and couldn't believe how lazy the script was.

I saw the Na'vi and thought, "Oh, they're Africans. This is awkward." In Lord of the Rings, the filmmakers tried to forge bad guys who couldn't be tied to any culture, partly because it would have been offense, but even more importantly, because they needed to be interesting. They even designed guys who ride the oliphants who originally they feared look too much like Africans and changed them to give them a much more interesting, less grounded in an existing culture look.

And I thought it was weird that no review I read of the movie pointed out what was such a huge problem I had with it, which was that at least 1/3 of the movie was a training montage. Didn't anyone else feel completely let down by that? This huge, big budget epic from James Cameron, a great storyteller, had a huge segment that was basically an on rails training tutorial for Jake? Was there any doubt that he'd end up learning the ways of the Na'vi or learning to fly that dragon?

I don't want to believe that Avatar 2 and 3 will be good because I don't care. I could not believe how boring and predictable Avatar was, only because I admire James Cameron so much. The opening ten minutes of The Terminator are more exciting than anything in Avatar.

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#44
A[quote name="stunt poop" url="/community/t/147163/cameron-on-avatar-2-3-i-m-living-in-pandora-right-now#post_3482938"]Was there any doubt that he'd end up learning the ways of the Na'vi or learning to fly that dragon?[/quote]
Speaking of, what a fucking letdown that was. "Okay, I'm gonna rope and break this ultimate badass parrot dragon thing that's top dog on a planet full of top dogs, and that'll show everybody how awesome I am, aaaand...cut away before a God-damn thing happens." The hell?
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#45

"I'm gonna easily jump on this mythical dragon and exploit the Na'vi belief system so that they'll fight for me: the white guy who's better at Na'vin' it up than they are!"

OK THAT'S IT.

THIS MOVIE IS AWESOME.

Fuck this movie.

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#46
ATo be "fair" to Cameron, the treatment for the film was apparently more complex and fleshed out and didn't have so much of a "white guys can do anything vibe". It had the lead "earning" his place instead of taking goofy, mythical shortcuts. Then Cameron probably realized how much fucking money his film was going to cost so it became considerably dumber. Not an excuse, just a reason. It worked, even while making the story generally worthless as a side effect.

He is an alumni of the Corman school.
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#47
Quote:
Originally Posted by commodorejohn View Post


It's possible, sure. But I'm not sure it's going to happen. The thing is that looking at Cameron's body of work, there's a pretty noticeable tendency for him to get more lost in spectacle the more budget he has to work with. The Terminator was Cameron just barely out from training under Roger "I Wipe With Old Newspaper Because It Saves Money" Corman, working on only somewhat more than a shoestring - friggin' The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai had nearly three times its budget - and it was tight and focused. By comparison, by the time he got to Terminator 2 he was getting to do megabudget Hollywood blockbuster fare, and while Terminator 2 still kicks ass, it's not quite so laser-focused or breathlessly-paced. Titanic was sprawling - it worked, because it's not an action movie and could use the room to breathe, but it definitely did spend a lot of time having people stroll around a very lovely, very expensive boat while they talked about 1900s women's-lib and art and whatever.

So then there's that twelve-year break from feature films. For all the hype and all the money that went into it, for as much of a "thing" as it was at the time, what we ultimately got was a very pretty, fairly well-paced (but not remotely as tight or focused as oldschool Cameron) spectacle blockbuster with a story that's been constantly, pithily, but not at all inaccurately summarized as "Dances with Smurfs." And it just kinda makes some of us wonder "what, that was it?" Twelve years we waited for the return to action filmmaking of the guy who defined action filmmaking for a decade, and that's what we got?

It is possible that it's just a bit of a stumble on returning to a genre he hasn't worked in since Dark Angel, and that Avatar 2 will have worked out the issues. But...then again, considering that A. we're getting two more of a movie that was only just "pretty fun but rather empty" instead of something new, and more importantly B. now he's going to have even more money to play with, and we've seen what that does to his sense of restraint, my hopes are not high.


I actually like T2 much more than T1, on all levels. I think the story is more emotionally engaging, and I felt it was better paced. It's always gripping and involving, but it stops to catch it's breath when Linda Hamilton goes to Mexico for 20 minutes to hide out from the T-1000.

I definitely acknoweldge that Avatar's story isn't daring or new, but still, it works. You care about the basic conflict and the film's message is very solid. I know people like to rag on movies with social messages, but seeing as we have members of the senate who suggest it's a bad thing women got the vote, TItanic and it's message is as timely as ever. Sadly I've learned these past few years that the rest of the country isn't as enlightened as the isolated pocket I grew up in.

Same goes for Avatar and it's anti corporate pro environment message. I call those story elements 'care worn' rather than cliched because they still work and I cared about what happened to the characters.

In Avatar 2, he'll have all the money in the world to spend, and not a single suit breathing down his neck over how accessible the film is or isn't. I'd expect the film to be an improvement on every level from the first. Seriously, Cameron has never made a bad film, and he's never made a water based movie that was anything less than one of the most exciting films of all time.

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#48
AThe Abyss, if that's what you're referencing, is a lot of things, but not until today have I ever seen it referred to as "one of the most exciting films of all time".

I don't hate Titanic, but what it did for Cameron impacted the quality of Avatar in a way that I can't help but see as negative, despite it making him richer than God *twice* over.
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#49

What drives me crazy about Avatar is that the scriptment for Project 88, or whatever it was called early in development, was SO much more interesting and cool. Remember all the chatter about what an immersive world Pandora was going to be, how much work was going into creating the environment and so on, and then in the actual movie it was all just boring blue cat people and dogs with six legs, the kind of thing anyone could have crapped out in five minutes? There's actually much more cool, creative and alien beasties that were developed but never used. There's also stuff like answers to the question of what happens if your Avatar is killed. It sounds like Cameron basically kiboshed all this stuff as the budget went up because he had to guarantee a hit, so he gave it the most simplistic, Kindergarten-level story he could manage.

Part of me has a vague hope that some of these more interesting ideas could find their way into Avatar 2 and 3, that now that the groundwork has been laid he could play around with more interesting story ideas. But probably not. I'm sure he's going to spend another billion dollars on new tech instead.

ETA: What Jackknife Johnny said. I don't think it's an excuse at all, it's a sign of someone who's become a technician rather than a filmmaker.

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#50
Quote:
Originally Posted by JacknifeJohnny View Post

The Abyss, if that's what you're referencing, is a lot of things, but not until today have I ever seen it referred to as "one of the most exciting films of all time".

I don't hate Titanic, but what it did for Cameron impacted the quality of Avatar in a way that I can't help but see as negative, despite it making him richer than God *twice* over.


The Abyss isn't just one of the most exciting films I've ever seen, it's one of the best. Titanic also has long stretches that are exciting as anything I've ever seen in a film.

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#51
AIt's not that Avatar's story is cliched so much as that it's hardly developed. You can make an old story feel new if you work at it, but Avatar is too busy throwing pretty scenery and eco-preaching at the viewer to do much more than go "oh, and these are the Bad Guys, they like making money and killing things and probably eat babies, I dunno, and then there are the Good Guys who love nature and go to Tree Internet Heaven when they die, now let's do another sweeping vista instead of going into it any further." It's the kind of writing you'd get from an eight-year-old.
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#52

I take eco preaching seriously when one of the two political parties in this country is the party of "drill baby drill".

And I think that the care worn story elements were punched up with remarkable visuals, 3D immersion and Cameron's unparalleled mastery of action. Seriously, the action in the third act of Avatar is mind boggling. The villain with the mech who uses a giant two foot long combat knife? What's not to love?

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#53
AWhat's not to love is that I can't work out why I should care what happens to these people, because there's hardly any development given to them. Just making the Bad Guys a bunch of mustache-twirling baby-eating Captain Planet villains does not automatically compel me to root for the Good Guys, especially when half of the Good Guys are smarmy, irritating '90s Magical Nature Injun caricatures. To borrow an excellent turn of phrase from a beautiful piece by Mark Twain, I find that I (mostly) dislike the good people in it, am indifferent to the others, and wish they would all get drowned together.
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#54

Kill ALL the Na'vi.

SLAUGHTER THEM WHOLE.

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#55
ABut watch out for their braids! They'll fuck ya with 'em!
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#56

This is not a word I like using, but in terms of slang, the word that I feel best describes AVATAR is:

LAME.

Really.  Truly LAME.

LAME TO THE MAX.

I apologize profusely, Cameron.

Not James Cameron.

Cameron Hughes (because I recall you calling people out for lazy use of the word before)

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#57

I'm in.  Cameron can choreograph a decent action sequence in his sleep.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JacknifeJohnny View Post

To be "fair" to Cameron, the treatment for the film was apparently more complex and fleshed out and didn't have so much of a "white guys can do anything vibe". It had the lead "earning" his place instead of taking goofy, mythical shortcuts. Then Cameron probably realized how much fucking money his film was going to cost so it became considerably dumber. Not an excuse, just a reason. It worked, even while making the story generally worthless as a side effect.

He is an alumni of the Corman school.

Do you have any idea how much imaginary money I would pay to see a Cameron directed a remake of It Conquered the World?

Quadrillions of imaginary dollars.

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#58
AI'll say this, the making of doc on the Galaxy of Terror blu-ray has some wonderful bits on the enormous but talented kind of Type A asshole Cameron is.
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#59
A[quote name="MrBananaGrabber" url="/community/t/147163/cameron-on-avatar-2-3-i-m-living-in-pandora-right-now/50#post_3483272"]I'm in.  Cameron can choreograph a decent action sequence in his sleep.


[QUOTE name="JacknifeJohnny" url="/community/t/147163/cameron-on-avatar-2-3-i-m-living-in-pandora-right-now#post_3483197"]He is an alumni of the Corman school.[/QUOTE]
Do you have any idea how much imaginary money I would pay to see a Cameron directed a remake of It Conquered the World?

Quadrillions of imaginary dollars.[/quote]
Who do I give all my money to to make that happen?
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#60
Quote:
Originally Posted by JacknifeJohnny View Post

I'll say this, the making of doc on the Galaxy of Terror blu-ray has some wonderful bits on the enormous but talented kind of Type A asshole Cameron is.


Interesting, the book I read was full of praise for him by a large list who got their start through him. No hint at arseholyness. I must seek out and see...

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#61

Cameron hires Josh Friedman (Sarah Conner Chronicles)  to help write Avatar 2.  Sweet.

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#62

Is there any way we can persuade him to kill off Sam Worthlesston in the opening scene and replace him with someone with more charisma?

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#63

Does it even matter? It's all digitally rendered blue cat people anyway. WETA can probably be persuaded to add facial expressions to his face.

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#64
A[quote name="MrSaxon" url="/community/t/147163/cameron-on-avatar-2-3-i-m-living-in-pandora-right-now/60#post_3556439"]Is there any way we can persuade him to kill off Sam Worthlesston in the opening scene and replace him with someone with more charisma?
[/quote]

You can get you're wish but you can only pick Taylor Kitsch or Channing Tatum. Sorry that's what my psychic link up to James Cameron told me.
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#65
Quote:
Originally Posted by KaylaisMagic View Post


You can get you're wish but you can only pick Taylor Kitsch or Channing Tatum. Sorry that's what my psychic link up to James Cameron told me.

How about Kitsch's fellow Battleship actor, Discount Matt Damon? Can I have him??

"Mai name is Jesse Plemons and I'm the second best Matt Damon in Hollywood today."

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#66
Quote:
Originally Posted by commodorejohn View Post


You know what, if the entirety of Avatar 2 was just Trudy turning out to be not dead and getting to pilot a combat sub or something, I would be completely okay with that.

Am I too late to endorse this? With Rodriguez as the lead, Avatar 2 must be...A PREQUEL!

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#67

http://www.deadline.com/2013/08/fox-jame...r-sequels/

I guess they are doing 3 films.  Each one written by another writer.  The production cost could be around 1 billion.  Nuts.

Cameron has set War Of The Worlds scribe Josh Friedman to write one film;Rise Of Planet Of The Apes‘ Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver to write another; with the third to be written by Shane Salerno, who wrote and directed the upcoming documentary Salinger and who previously worked with Cameron on a remake ofFantastic Voyage at Fox. The writers will collaborate with Cameron separately and co-write three separate movies with him.

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#68
AUgh!!! This is sounding really disastrous! Cameron comparing it to Godfather? This sound destined to be awful!

http://badassdigest.com/2013/12/16/james...godfather/
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#69

LOL, people find any reason to dog pile this guy.  He wasn't comparing his film to Godfather quality wise, but as a shorthand for the family theme.  What was he supposed to compare it to?  Madea's Family Reunion?

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#70

http://www.darkhorizons.com/news/30121/c...+-+News%29



You can read the story here.



Also, they're not spending $1B on the three films. Estimated budget for all three is $415M, which isn't horrendous, considering.



That said, is there anyone really clamoring for 7.5 hours of Pandora? The most enthusiastic reaction I've seen from RL or online friends is "It was OK" or "It was fun."

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