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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13328 Posts

Posted - 01/05/2010 :  13:19:55  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
My review:

I was treated to a showing of Avatar last night. Iím happy I saw the movie in Imax 3D. The visuals are state of the art, and James Cameron has always been good at pulling out as much cluck for the buck in that department as any director working today.

The world he has created is both beautiful and fascinating and, dare I say it, filled with woo. The world he created practically runs on woo. But hey, Iím more than willing to suspend reality for a good science fiction film.

The problem is that the special effects must do all of the heavy lifting because the story is weak with elements borrowed from Dances with Wolves all the way to a few of Cameronís own films. I canít think of a single plot idea in the movie that I havenít seen before. And often done better. Add to that, sadly, is his ability to create two-dimensional characters and give them awful, laugh out loud dialog ala Titanic.

Going in I thought about past Cameron science fiction movies. Movies like The Terminator, T2, or Aliens, and how much I enjoyed them. I was primed to like Avatar because I figured that Sci-Fi is safe turf for Cameron, a genre that he has delivered on before. But time marches on, and so do our expectations, (mine anyhow) and it seems to me that if your goal is to make the most expensive movie ever made come to life, it might due to let go of some bad habits, like using lots of action as a cover for a weak plot and terrible dialog. Frankly, I donít think Cameron is capable of writing good dialog and perhaps itís time for him to spend some money on writers. And given the size of his budgets, my guess is he could afford the luxury of a good script.

But hey, it wasnít a total blowout. The movie is gorgeous and in Imax 3D itís a jaw dropper from beginning to end, which is a lot more than I can say for Titanic. (Actually, the story Cameron wrote for Titanic was so jaw droppingly vacuous that I couldnít wait for the fucking boat to sink.)

So go ahead. Plunk down your money. Itís a fun ride, even with its flaws, of which there are manyÖ


Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project

Dr. Mabuse
Septic Fiend

Sweden
9644 Posts

Posted - 01/05/2010 :  14:01:14   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Dr. Mabuse an ICQ Message Send Dr. Mabuse a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'll have to state an "amen" to Kil's report.

However, there's something I'd like to add:
In Sweden, the minimum age for viewers was set to 11 years. (Don't know about elsewhere)
It should give an indication to what demographic section of the population this flick is aimed. Teenagers who weren't even born when Dances With Wolves hit the screen (and who probably never saw it) won't be bored to tears by the familiarity to the "common" plot vehicle white-man-infiltrating/stuck in-native-society-then-gets-turned-by-it. The latest movie I saw with this theme was The Last Samurai.

But as Kil indicated, if you are capable of ignoring the familiarity of the plot (and woo) or are a teenager who haven't seen too many "old" movies, then Avatar will give you a wild ride! Despite the downers in Kil's and my review, I really enjoyed Avatar, and it didn't feel like a 2+ hours movie.

Dr. Mabuse - "When the going gets tough, the tough get Duct-tape..."
Dr. Mabuse whisper.mp3

"Equivocation is not just a job, for a creationist it's a way of life..." Dr. Mabuse

Support American Troops in Iraq:
Send them unarmed civilians for target practice..
Collateralmurder.
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dglas
Skeptic Friend

Canada
397 Posts

Posted - 01/05/2010 :  14:45:11   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send dglas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
This is something I've been noticing in my dotage - that what's old is older still. We are rehashing and recapitulating to old ideas and themes (often old stories) with an alarming paucity of originality. There is a reason for this - thee is almost nothing new under the sun, and the ideas (I don't just mean plot elements, but deeper issues) we have leaned on for so long are a dry well. The pat answers are stale beyond belief and without relevance to a newer age. Fresh ideas don't come easy, when we work so hard to forge everything in one well-worn, tired old mold. That it all relies on money-based assessments, what you end up with is a distinct lack of risk-taking films with interesting ideas to put forward. In this way, the money-mentality becomes a lodestone to growth and speculation.

This could be an exciting new time, with exciting new ideas and understandings, but ...

--------------------------------------------------
- dglas (In the hell of 1000 unresolved subplots...)
--------------------------------------------------
The Presupposition of Intrinsic Evil
+ A Self-Justificatory Framework
= The "Heart of Darkness"
--------------------------------------------------
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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 01/05/2010 :  16:16:13   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote

Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13328 Posts

Posted - 01/05/2010 :  16:25:59   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ha!!! That's pretty much it, Mooner.

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 01/05/2010 :  16:43:42   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Kil

Ha!!! That's pretty much it, Mooner.
It was really your idea, Kil.

After reading your fine review, a one cluster of my neurons was chewing on "woo," while another was digesting "Dances with Wolves." A third cluster compared the sounds, and made the synaptic connection. The rest was just fifteen minutes of image gathering and Photoshopping.

Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
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BigPapaSmurf
SFN Die Hard

3192 Posts

Posted - 01/06/2010 :  06:32:22   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send BigPapaSmurf a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Agreed on all fronts.

I will say though no matter what the critics say, the guy knows how to make a shit load of money.

"...things I have neither seen nor experienced nor heard tell of from anybody else; things, what is more, that do not in fact exist and could not ever exist at all. So my readers must not believe a word I say." -Lucian on his book True History

"...They accept such things on faith alone, without any evidence. So if a fraudulent and cunning person who knows how to take advantage of a situation comes among them, he can make himself rich in a short time." -Lucian critical of early Christians c.166 AD From his book, De Morte Peregrini
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Paulos23
Skeptic Friend

USA
446 Posts

Posted - 01/06/2010 :  06:47:55   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Paulos23's Homepage Send Paulos23 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
One thing i did like about the file was the way scientists where portrayed. They where scientists, full of questions and wonder. It seamed that they didn't know what was going on, but they did. They just couldn't communicate is well enough to the natives, or in time to the cooperation to make it clear they where beginning to understand what was going on in the jungle.

You can go wrong by being too skeptical as readily as by being too trusting. -- Robert A. Heinlein

Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. -- Aldous Huxley
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 01/06/2010 :  07:46:55   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ok, ok. I've put it on my To Borrow List and will be waiting on the DVD. If I like it, I'll buy one of my own. It sounds like a pretty neat flick.

I don't understand this 3-D stuff. Do you have to wear those funky, bi-colored, celluloid spectacles like you did in the '50s?




"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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pleco
SFN Addict

USA
2996 Posts

Posted - 01/06/2010 :  10:30:08   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit pleco's Homepage Send pleco a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I liked it - though the plot was standard.

I didn't think much of woo though - I thought there was a scientific explanation for everything - all the life on that world had evolved with a mechanism for communication - and that the complexity of the nodes on the world had given rise to another type of intelligence as an emergent property.

Oh, and corporations are evil (though corporations help Cameron make a shitload of moola)

Anyway, it was a good watch and worth seeing in 3D.

My 2 pesos.

by Filthy
The neo-con methane machine will soon be running at full fart.
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pleco
SFN Addict

USA
2996 Posts

Posted - 01/06/2010 :  10:33:31   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit pleco's Homepage Send pleco a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by filthy

Ok, ok. I've put it on my To Borrow List and will be waiting on the DVD. If I like it, I'll buy one of my own. It sounds like a pretty neat flick.

I don't understand this 3-D stuff. Do you have to wear those funky, bi-colored, celluloid spectacles like you did in the '50s?






No, now you wear funky, almost clear spectacles. The 3D with this technology is light years ahead of the red/blue technology.

by Filthy
The neo-con methane machine will soon be running at full fart.
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bngbuck
SFN Addict

USA
2437 Posts

Posted - 01/06/2010 :  10:43:29   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send bngbuck a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Filthy.....

The new specs are made of substantial polarized plastic with each lens orthogonally (at a 90 degree opposed angle) polarized from the other. Reverse polarization in the dual lens projection system prevents the right eye from seeing the left image and vice-versa.

Voila, left eye sees left image, right eye sees right image, and the result is stereoscopic vision from a planar projection screen!

It really works!
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13328 Posts

Posted - 01/06/2010 :  10:54:18   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by filthy

Ok, ok. I've put it on my To Borrow List and will be waiting on the DVD. If I like it, I'll buy one of my own. It sounds like a pretty neat flick.

I don't understand this 3-D stuff. Do you have to wear those funky, bi-colored, celluloid spectacles like you did in the '50s?





I'd be interested to know how this plays without 3D and on a small screen. I mean, if you take away a big part of the wow factor, will the effects still be enough to make up for the films deficiencies?

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 01/06/2010 :  11:30:48   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Kil

Originally posted by filthy

Ok, ok. I've put it on my To Borrow List and will be waiting on the DVD. If I like it, I'll buy one of my own. It sounds like a pretty neat flick.

I don't understand this 3-D stuff. Do you have to wear those funky, bi-colored, celluloid spectacles like you did in the '50s?





I'd be interested to know how this plays without 3D and on a small screen. I mean, if you take away a big part of the wow factor, will the effects still be enough to make up for the films deficiencies?
My wild guess: Probably so. The brain inserts its own version of 3D into flat images like video, just as it suspends disbelief in black-and-white movies. But it would still be better in real 3D. And 3D will very soon be standard for watching BluRay video, due to higher refresh rates now available in HD screens.


Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
25803 Posts

Posted - 01/06/2010 :  22:00:33   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Mooner, others have already called it Dancing with Smurfs.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 01/06/2010 :  23:41:53   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Dave W.

Mooner, others have already called it Dancing with Smurfs.

Edited to add:


Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
Edited by - HalfMooner on 01/07/2010 06:53:09
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