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Author Topic: Avatar (2009)  (Read 4323 times)
Fausto
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« on: December 18, 2009, 06:49:21 PM »

Caught it last night. Yes, it may be, for all intents and purposes, a remake of Dances with Wolves. Yes, the storyline is riddled with cliches. Yes, in some places, the dialogue is awful. Does any of that really matter, or hurt the viewing experience in the least? HELL NO. Seeing this in theatres, complete with 3d glasses, was incredible (granted, this was my first experience with the new 3d, so my opinion may be somewhat skewed in that reguard). Please, see this movie on the big screen while you have a chance.  Thumbup Thumbup
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Jim H
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« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2009, 08:09:43 PM »

Yeah, there were a few weak spots of dialogue, I'd agree.  Most of Cameron's dialog is solid though - makes me think he needs a more critical script editor or something.  Terminator 2 also has a few rough dialog spots. 

As far as Dances With Wolves - notice the Na'Vi chief is played by Wes Studi, who played the villainous lead Pawnee in Dances With Wolves?  Thought that was an interesting choice.  He's a good actor though, so whatever. 

Basically, Avatar is a familiar story told very well.  It's very enjoyable, has great action scenes, and has the best CG in any film ever made.  Sam Worthington is a good hero, Zoe Saldana is great as Neytiri, and Stephen Lang is one of the best and most badass villains in years.

It does have its problems - some bad dialog, some so-so character development (in particular, I thought the treatment of Sigourney Weaver's character is a little odd - she just kind of disappears for long chunks of time, then reappears later), it's pretty predictable, and so on.  But, in the end, for myself these were mere trifles, and not a serious problem. 

I saw 32 films theatrically in 2009, and Avatar was my favorite.  It's on the line inbetween very good and great, I think just barely edging into greatness.

9/10.

PS: I saw the film in 2D, for what is worth.  3D breaks up for me and I see a lot of ghosting, so the illusion is often unconvincing and distracting from the storyline.  But, I'll be seeing Avatar again in 3D, most likely in a few days.
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Fausto
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« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2009, 08:44:49 PM »


Basically, Avatar is a familiar story told very well.  It's very enjoyable, has great action scenes, and has the best CG in any film ever made.  Sam Worthington is a good hero, Zoe Saldana is great as Neytiri, and Stephen Lang is one of the best and most badass villains in years.


Also liked Michelle Rodriguez as Trudy. She didnt get a lot of screen time, and one could argue she's a clone of Vasquez from Aliens, but I still liked the character.
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WingedSerpent
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« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2009, 04:13:15 PM »

When the end credits started to roll, many people in the audience started to clap.  I...put on my jacket and quitely walked out of the theater.

Maybe I just got swept into the hype a little, but I was sort of disappointed in this movie.  It wasn't really a bad movie, just not a very good one.

Setting aside the story, which is what a lot of other people have complained about-here's the shocker- I don't think the 3D made a lick of difference in this movie.  Only a few times did I feel like I was in the same setting as the characters, or something was coming at me ( and even then it was the subtitiles).  Honestly, if I had seen it in 2D, I really don't think it would have made that much more of an entertaining film.  



I can tell already, this is going to be one of those love/hate movies for a lot of people.
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Rev. Powell
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« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2009, 10:57:18 PM »

I have to say, putting extensive CGI and James Cameron---two things I tend to dislike---together does not sound very promising. 
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Jim H
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« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2009, 02:39:33 AM »

I saw it again in 3D.  I have my own problems with 3D, and Avatar had less of these than most...  But they still distracted me from the storyline.  I felt less pulled in than in 2D, as is usual for me.  Unless we get the alternative system with the motorized glasses, this will be the last film I see in 3D for quite a while...

I'd say it is also possible I didn't enjoy it as much because I'd seen it so recently before, or perhaps that it didn't stand up to repeat viewing.  Time will tell how true that is when I see it again on DVD/Blu-ray.
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Neville
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« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2009, 06:28:06 AM »

Saw it yesterday in 2D and was mesmerized. It's true that the script is a patchwork, though. I noticed strong tastes of "Dances with wolves" and "The new world", traces of Miyazaki's "Princess Mononoke" and "Nausicaa" and a bit of "Aliens" and Orson Scott Card in the aftertaste. Not entirely a problem unless you expect a film as revolucionary in its storytelling as it is in its visuals. And well, Cameron has a history of recycling and making covert adaptations, so that's not exctaly unexpected either.

But this little things considered, it is indeed a great film, and despite all its action, a strangely moving one. As I said, we've seen all this before, but I've rarely felt so moved as I was this time. I "blame" this on Cameron, who despite falling on some of his usual mistakes (he really needs co-writers or produces to restrain his magalomania) proves to have matured somehow since his old days, and on the acting by Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana. Their relationship and how it affects those around them is the best part of the film, and I can't imagine other actors in their place.

As for the visuals, they alone are worth the ticket. You won''t see a more beautiful film in ages, no matter what.
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Jack
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« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2009, 07:40:42 AM »

I used to be a gigantic sci-fi fan, but after a decade of CGI spectacles...I might pick up a used copy of this DVD when it hits the 10 cents mark.  Oh who am I kidding, no I won't.
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« Reply #8 on: December 23, 2009, 09:13:17 AM »

I saw this last night, in 2D. As others have said, the storyline is predictable, but solid, particularly compared to many movies coming out in the last decade. The CGI is incredibly well done; I haven't seen any that looks more credible. Granted there was too much bioluminescence for my taste (did everything have to glow somehow?), but it worked overall. I'm glad I didn't see this in 3D, though: With my (mild) vertigo, I'd have been nauseous through about half the film.
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Neville
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« Reply #9 on: December 23, 2009, 09:26:24 AM »

I had the chance to watch it in 3D, but a friend who came with me had already, and told me that it wasn't worth it. He complained that there weren't too many instances of 3D and that the glasses gave him a monumental migraine. Other people around the net also mention the 3D glasses to be too heavy and unconfortable.

It sorts of annoys me, because in theory the movie was originally developed to be shown in 3D, and also becasuse... well... duh... I'm a 3D virgin (unless Imax counts), there it goes, and I can wait to see a 3D film in theatres. But now, 2 hours 45 with unconfortable, headache inducing glasses... that doesn't sound like the future of entertainment, it sounds like the Inquisition.
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Zapranoth
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« Reply #10 on: December 24, 2009, 05:24:30 PM »

Some of the commentary has a feel of backlash against hype to it, to me.

I hadn't seen a 3D movie since Treasure of the 4 Crowns (remember that?)... Saw Avatar today in 3D.

I echo what I have read from others who have seen it.  The plot is familiar.  But -- hear this -- the hype is true.  You have never seen anything that looks like this movie, and it is strangely moving, indeed.   You can pick the plot apart in places, and if that's the kind of moviegoer you are, well you can do that.  But I enjoyed it very much, and I cannot imagine the work it took to create the world that I just saw.

So go see it!  If you are going to see it, don't screw around watching it on a screen at home, not if you can see it on a very very big screen first!
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Jim H
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« Reply #11 on: December 24, 2009, 07:39:26 PM »

Some of the commentary has a feel of backlash against hype to it, to me.

I hadn't seen a 3D movie since Treasure of the 4 Crowns (remember that?)... Saw Avatar today in 3D.

I echo what I have read from others who have seen it.  The plot is familiar.  But -- hear this -- the hype is true.  You have never seen anything that looks like this movie, and it is strangely moving, indeed.   You can pick the plot apart in places, and if that's the kind of moviegoer you are, well you can do that.  But I enjoyed it very much, and I cannot imagine the work it took to create the world that I just saw.

So go see it!  If you are going to see it, don't screw around watching it on a screen at home, not if you can see it on a very very big screen first!

Yeah, I'd agree there is a degree of hype backlash.  There's certainly legitimate criticisms to be sure, but I've noticed a few online reviewers tearing up Avatar who loved the new Star Trek film.  That's baffling to me, as they both have notable script problems.  Star Trek has enormous gaps of logic and plot holes (I think Avatar's story logic is generally quite believable, within context, and I didn't notice any glaring plot holes), while Avatar has spotty dialogue and other issues.  If nothing else, Avatar wins for not having any shaky cam and not covering the entire screen with lense flares.

Both are good films I enjoyed, for what that is worth, though I do like Avatar more.

Quote
I used to be a gigantic sci-fi fan, but after a decade of CGI spectacles...I might pick up a used copy of this DVD when it hits the 10 cents mark.  Oh who am I kidding, no I won't.

Fair enough on that score.  What's pretty interesting about Avatar's spectacle is how low key much of it is.  Yeah, there's a big battle at the end, and there are giant aerial shots of Pandora and what not, but aside from these key scenes, much of the spectacle is more akin to a nature documentary or a travel film.  I found that pretty refreshing, actually.
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D-Man
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« Reply #12 on: December 25, 2009, 11:59:05 PM »

I decided to see it today, in 3-D, and I was surprised at how much I ended up enjoying it.

I seem to be in the minority when I say the 3-D really added to the experience.  I see so many people saying "Ohhh it's a gimmick!  It's a gimmick!"  Hey...I grew up in the era of Jaws 3-D, Amityville 3-D, and Friday the 13th 3-D...Real-D is way more than a gimmick when it's used right, and the fact that people would even think to compare a movie like Avatar to garbage like the films I just mentioned is a huge slap in the face to everyone who obviously put so much hard work into this film. 

Yes, the story is familar...but in this case, that's a positive.  The environment is so strange, and so unfamiliar, that you need a familiar storyline to keep from alienating the audience, or making them too uncomfortable.  Too often, I see films that try too many new things at one time, and it's just too taxing for the viewers. 

James Cameron has often spoken of Ray Harryhausen as an influence of his, and that certainly shows here.  Harryhausen always went for "fantastic" over "realistic" when it came to his creations, and Cameron clearly wanted his "fantastic" to look as good as possible. 

Plus, if you've read about Clash of The Titans, you know that Harryhausen wanted the character of Calibos to be completely animated, even when speaking, but the technology wasn't there yet...Avatar, to me, is an even bigger realization of Harryhausen's idea.

   
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Fausto
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« Reply #13 on: December 26, 2009, 03:22:34 PM »

Small | Large


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Flick James
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« Reply #14 on: December 29, 2009, 03:51:30 PM »

They said it was going to change the way movies are made. Sadly, that's probably true.
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