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Author Topic: Avatar  (Read 1936 times)
akiratubo
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« on: May 19, 2010, 12:02:06 AM »

I finally got around to seeing this.  It isn't bad at all.  I was entertained throughout, though I'm glad I waited for the $1 theater.  I don't think it would have been worth $10 for a ticket, nor can I imagine what seeing it in 3D would have added.

The CGI wasn't any better than, say, District 9 imho, though of course the CGI in Avatar was on a much greater scale than D9, or perhaps any other movie besides the 2005 King Kong.

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't cheering for Quaritch during his fight with Sully.  Obviously, I don't have the correct mindset to throw my support to the Na'vi.  Quaritch was the old warrior, he was the badass, he was the one fighting against the odds.  Sully had a superstrong, superagile, superdurable alien body ... and he would have been fine even if that body were destroyed.  Quaritch had a robot suit and was in much greater immediate danger.  Also, Sully betrayed his own people.  Damn right I was rooting for Quaritch.  (Sorry, folks, but humanity needed the unobtanium to survive.  If it means throwing some aliens out of their treehouse to get it, so be it.)

Also, am I the only person who wondered what the Na'vi were thinking when Sully was disconnected from his Na'vi body?  Did they think it was just a little weird when his body was just lying around as if it were dead?  I was also a bit disappointed that when Sully and Neytiri had sex they didn't do the "bond" thing.
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Jim H
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« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2010, 03:49:24 AM »

Quote
The CGI wasn't any better than, say, District 9 imho,

Well, I'd disagree with that - look at things like background shots, there are numerous times where the prawns can be seen to slightly float on terrain, and other numerous problems of polish.  You've also got some weak CG towards the end, like the CG pig and some of the explosion/deformation CG.  They also wisely made the aliens insect-like, which makes them far easier to render realistically.  Mammals/birds/reptiles are much harder because the skin/muscles move so much more, and human-like aliens are the hardest because of how good humans are at distinguishing what's real in that regard.  Of course, this doesn't make the prawns any less believable.

District 9 is a pretty incredible technical accomplishment though, especially considering its $30 million budget.

Quote
Also, Sully betrayed his own people.

Well, arguably they betrayed him first.  At the point he was still sort of stuck in the middle, he was assaulted and thrown in prison.

Quote
(Sorry, folks, but humanity needed the unobtanium to survive.  If it means throwing some aliens out of their treehouse to get it, so be it.)

This is something I wish they'd gotten a little more into.  From what has been stated elsewhere, it's used for power, especially for space flight.  If humanity can't survive without power from a rare element that's not found on earth and is incredibly rare, it deserves to die off.  

But regardless, I didn't think they set it up that way.  Unobtanium was useful and extremely valuable, but if it was so important to continued life for humans on earth, it seems extremely unlikely they'd leave it in the hands of a single corporation who wanted to mine it for profit.

I will say I quite liked Quaritch too though.   TeddyR
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akiratubo
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« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2010, 06:26:33 PM »

This is something I wish they'd gotten a little more into.  From what has been stated elsewhere, it's used for power, especially for space flight.  If humanity can't survive without power from a rare element that's not found on earth and is incredibly rare, it deserves to die off.

They may not strictly need the unobtanium, it's probably just the best alternative.  Kind of like gasoline engines vs. coal-fired steam engines.  For humanity to survive, in the universe of the movie, it'll need to leave Earth and colonize other worlds.  If the unobtanium increases humanity's chances to do that, they have every right to take it to survive.  If the Na'vi couldn't stop them, well, that sucks.  It was a situation with no good outcome possible.

I think the humans did what they had to do.  They weren't villains at all.  The humans offered to give the Na'vi education, medical care, technology, etc, it's not like they just showed up and indiscriminately started killing them off.  They even sent in Sully to attempt diplomacy ... which he made no attempt to do.  No, he was too busy playing with animals and chasing some tail.  Quaritch even tried to minimize Na'vi casualties when he attacked the tree home.  He didn't decide to launch a general attack until Sully rallied the Na'vi to attack the humans.  (Way to go Sully, send those Na'vi into a hopeless battle.  Don't use your newfound Big Man status to, I don't know, get the Na'vi to NEGOTIATE a peaceful resolution with the humans, or anything.)

Avatar was actually morally complex.  The humans and the Na'vi both did what they had to do with neither side being completely sympathetic nor villainous.  But, really, Sully can kiss my ass.
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Newt
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« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2010, 07:45:46 PM »

If the unobtanium increases humanity's chances to do that, they have every right to take it to survive. 

Wow.  Just wow.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2010, 07:48:41 PM by Newt » Logged

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akiratubo
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« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2010, 12:17:58 AM »

Like I said, I don't have anything like the mindset to enjoy this movie as intended.  I was still entertained, though.   TeddyR
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Jim H
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« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2010, 02:47:49 AM »

Quote
For humanity to survive, in the universe of the movie

I'm still wondering where you got this in the movie.  I don't recall it ever being framed this way.  We see Earth is a craphole, but no where is it suggested the resource will in any way fix the situation.  It'll mostly just line corporate coffers.
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AndyC
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« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2010, 01:06:51 PM »

Is it just me, or did anyone else think the CGI Na'vi treatment was actually an improvement on Sigourney? Everybody else looked weirder, but when her avatar first appeared, my first thought was "You know, on her face, somehow that works."
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Flick James
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« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2010, 01:51:42 PM »

I haven't seen it, but I'm laughing at "unobtanium." Is it pronounced like "un-obtain-ium?" If so, that's like something from a 60's sci-fi B movie. I'm going to get started on my script about the substances "inconcevium" and "unbelievite."
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AndyC
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« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2010, 03:20:30 PM »

I haven't seen it, but I'm laughing at "unobtanium." Is it pronounced like "un-obtain-ium?" If so, that's like something from a 60's sci-fi B movie. I'm going to get started on my script about the substances "inconcevium" and "unbelievite."

Unobtainium is a real term used by scientists and engineers for a hypothetical substance that possesses whatever impossible qualities you choose to give it, for the sake of illustration, argument or whatever. Kind of an inside joke. Avatar uses it as a tongue-in-cheek way of saying the mineral is purely a McGuffin, and we shouldn't worry about what it is or why it's so important.

It was also used in The Core, for the impossible substance that could withstand the heat and pressure in the Earth's core. They could waste time coming up with an explanation for it that nobody other than WyreWizard would care about, or they could just acknowledge it's impossible with a bit of a wink, then get on with the story.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2010, 03:26:47 PM by AndyC » Logged

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Jim H
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« Reply #9 on: May 27, 2010, 04:47:23 PM »

Is it just me, or did anyone else think the CGI Na'vi treatment was actually an improvement on Sigourney? Everybody else looked weirder, but when her avatar first appeared, my first thought was "You know, on her face, somehow that works."

You might also notice her Avatar looks more like she does than most of the others.  I'm thinking it's an earlier avatar, one with more human DNA than the later ones.
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Flick James
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« Reply #10 on: May 27, 2010, 04:50:22 PM »

I haven't seen it, but I'm laughing at "unobtanium." Is it pronounced like "un-obtain-ium?" If so, that's like something from a 60's sci-fi B movie. I'm going to get started on my script about the substances "inconcevium" and "unbelievite."

Unobtainium is a real term used by scientists and engineers for a hypothetical substance that possesses whatever impossible qualities you choose to give it, for the sake of illustration, argument or whatever. Kind of an inside joke. Avatar uses it as a tongue-in-cheek way of saying the mineral is purely a McGuffin, and we shouldn't worry about what it is or why it's so important.

It was also used in The Core, for the impossible substance that could withstand the heat and pressure in the Earth's core. They could waste time coming up with an explanation for it that nobody other than WyreWizard would care about, or they could just acknowledge it's impossible with a bit of a wink, then get on with the story.

I didn't know that. It does seem like something from a 50's sci-fi B movie, though. I have a hard time saying "unobtanium" with a straight face.
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dean
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« Reply #11 on: May 27, 2010, 09:54:22 PM »


You know, people give 3D crap, but in this movie it was used very well; it wasn't the tacky 'arrow flying at your face' every five minutes.  It was used especially in subtle ways: like a photo that was 3D rendered that just added some depth to the whole piece. 

If I were to recommend 3D to anyone it'd be this movie.
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« Reply #12 on: May 27, 2010, 10:18:29 PM »

I can't say I was rooting for humanity, mostly since I felt the movie was an allegory for what Europeans did when they discovered the New World.

Either way, the ending was a downer. I mean, sure the Na'vi won and got to keep their culture and their world, but humanity was essentially sent to go extinct on Earth. Well, probably not. Knowing us we probably came back with a much, MUCH bigger army soon after, nuked several key sites from orbit, and took the planet over anyway. I somehow doubt an army of animals would do much good against a nuclear bomb.
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dean
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« Reply #13 on: May 27, 2010, 10:50:16 PM »

Knowing us we probably came back with a much, MUCH bigger army soon after, nuked several key sites from orbit, and took the planet over anyway. I somehow doubt an army of animals would do much good against a nuclear bomb.


I still also like the alternative ending shown here:

http://www.howitshouldhaveended.com/videos?bcpid=51434042001&bclid=41247345001&bctid=87892043001

Hehe... Game over man, game over...
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AndyC
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« Reply #14 on: May 28, 2010, 07:39:00 AM »

I can't say I was rooting for humanity, mostly since I felt the movie was an allegory for what Europeans did when they discovered the New World.

Either way, the ending was a downer. I mean, sure the Na'vi won and got to keep their culture and their world, but humanity was essentially sent to go extinct on Earth. Well, probably not. Knowing us we probably came back with a much, MUCH bigger army soon after, nuked several key sites from orbit, and took the planet over anyway. I somehow doubt an army of animals would do much good against a nuclear bomb.

That thought had occurred to me as well. The atmosphere is already poisonous to humans, they obviously don't give a crap about the local ecology, they'll do anything for the mineral, and they appear to have huge resources. Where are the nukes? Apart from bad publicity (controllable, I would think) and maybe a few moral qualms, there would seem to be no downside for them. And yeah, maybe they didn't have nukes with them because they didn't see any danger of being wiped out or expelled from the planet altogether. Maybe the corporate dweeb in charge wouldn't have gone that far. But the board of directors is sure as hell not going to just give up. There's probably a ship carrying tactical nukes already leaving Earth, with a new administrator who is a bit more of a cold-hearted bastard.
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