THE INTREPIDS & THE INSTITUTION WEBPAGE

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 Post subject: Re: You WILL believe a blue kitty can fly! (Cameron's Avatar)
PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2010 7:13 am 
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However, the plot and how it's put into the screen has nothing special. Ok, it's not bad, but it's not a masterpiece either.

This to me is a case of "no arguing about taste" - I (and with me many others, even film critics *g*) found the plot to be multi-layered, clever, compelling and moving. Of course not perfect, but then again I have never seen a perfect film.

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After watching the movie twice I can't find any particular scene which I'll consider special, such as Darth Vader vs. Obi-Wan, or Darth Vader saying to Luke "I am your father" , or everytime Agent Smith's saying "Mr. Anderson" . Ok, lame examples but I hope you can see what I mean here.

Again personal taste. To me the army killing home tree, the first flight and the moment Eiwa sends the reinforcements are amongst the greatest moments in my personal film history. I hurt with the Na'vi, flew with Jake and cheered with him when the unexpected help arrived.

Cameron simply managed to get the emotions across in a way that very few directors managed in the past. When Saruman's orcs destroyed Fangorn's trees (LOTRO), I was just smiling and thinking "big mistake" - but when just the one big tree fell, I felt crushed, just like the Na'vi did. This is art!

Quote:
Physiologically the Na'vi are out of place... there are significant differences between them and every other lifeform we see on Pandora. It's not plausable that they evolved in the same environment (which is a shame, as the environment as a whole was interesting and varied enough to be convincing)

We have seen life forms of a very small part of Pandora with less than ten different animal species so far - it is (for example) more than possible that the Na'vi developed on another continent and migrated / spread.
If you visually compare a human to, let's say a spider, a platypus, a bird and a sea urchin, they seem to have nothing in common at all. Still they all developed on the same planet - unless you believe in creative design. *eg*

Plus you have to keep in mind that the planet itself seems to have actively interfered with the way the species developed. I would consider it entirely possible that the species on Pandora are all but genetically engineered.
Or do you guys seriously think that the integrated "USB-jack" in each of the species we have seen so far is coincidence or can be explained by evolution?

I for one am willing to give Cameron the benefit of the doubt here but to be fair - it did not even occur to me to question this aspect of the film before.

Just as a side remark I have to wonder why it is accepted that - for example - the whole Star Trek universe consists of almost identical humanoid aliens, usually only differing in skin colour and the odd tentacle if inconsistency is that important? :D
I am not slagging one of my all-time-favourite series here, I think though that if you criticise Avatar on this, you will have to accept that I question why this only here becomes problematic?

Also it is possible that film 2 and 3 will provide further answers ... only time will tell.

Quote:
and answering that with 'they would have had to ditch the love story' isn't really an answer at all.. I expect people creating fiction to build internal consistency.

As mentioned above, I do not see a blatant break in consistency here, but even if it was, I would have more problems with the hero kissing a big blue Blancmange than a slight problem with anthropology. So yes, for me keeping the love story believable is much more important than IMHO quite shaky and abstract scientific considerations.


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 Post subject: Re: You WILL believe a blue kitty can fly! (Cameron's Avatar)
PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2010 8:00 am 
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Zoser wrote:
Just as a side remark I have to wonder why it is accepted that - for example - the whole Star Trek universe consists of almost identical humanoid aliens, usually only differing in skin colour and the odd tentacle if inconsistency is that important? :D
I am not slagging one of my all-time-favourite series here, I think though that if you criticise Avatar on this, you will have to accept that I question why this only here becomes problematic?


Simply because we do not consider Startrek a masterpiece in everyway, or score it 10/10 :).

Those who point out Avatar's weak points here are basing their arguments on debatable reasons, while this doesn't mean that those arguments are correct, it doesn't mean they're wrong either...

I can think of hundreds of inconsistencies about Startrek, Starwars, Matrix etc. (Isn't it great to see newly encountered aliens speaking English fluently with better accent than mine? :)). These movies/series are my favorites, however, I'd never score them 10/10, and I accepted and loved them with their flaws.

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 Post subject: Re: You WILL believe a blue kitty can fly! (Cameron's Avatar)
PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2010 8:26 am 
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....Is Zoser, defender of Avatar, still broadcasting?.....Turn down the noise...People are trying to sleep.
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Last edited by AnnaPuna on Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: You WILL believe a blue kitty can fly! (Cameron's Avatar)
PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2010 8:30 am 
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Thanks, I can see better where you are coming from - and in this case we are closer to agreement than I thought - because to me 10/10 means it is the best possible film (strictly IMHO) in the real world.
I have accepted that I will never see a film where everything is 100% perfect, as I believe that such a film is not going to ever be made - simply because there are always too many different interests at work.

And more importantly the audience is too diverse, even within people who generally are similar in their tastes - like us for example. In most cases we like and dislike the same films, but there are always instances like this one where one of us likes a certain aspect, another one hates it.

In short - I think that a masterpiece does not have to be perfect - otherwise there will never be one. And that would make the category "masterpiece" useless. :)

BTW keep your fingers crossed for me - I have a bet going with one of my colleagues that she will not hate the film. If she does, I pay the ticket. ;)


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 Post subject: Re: You WILL believe a blue kitty can fly! (Cameron's Avatar)
PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:07 am 
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Zoser wrote:
BTW keep your fingers crossed for me - I have a bet going with one of my colleagues that she will not hate the film. If she does, I pay the ticket. ;)Zos


......I hate it.....Pay my ticket? [smilie=tumbleweed.gif]

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 Post subject: Re: You WILL believe a blue kitty can fly! (Cameron's Avatar)
PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:29 am 
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Two problems:
1) We had no bet there.
2) You are lying. :)

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 Post subject: Re: You WILL believe a blue kitty can fly! (Cameron's Avatar)
PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2010 10:04 am 
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Zoser wrote:
Two problems:
1) We had no bet there.
2) You are lying. :)
Zos


No problems:
1) I always lie..Everyone does.
2) We had no bet there <----- see!!! Lying :shock:

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 Post subject: Re: You WILL believe a blue kitty can fly! (Cameron's Avatar)
PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2010 11:29 am 
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There's going to be a film 2 and 3???

One of the things I really (and I mean REALLY) liked about Avatar was that it came to a full conclusion. They completely avoided the habit of Hollywood to leave themselves an obvious hook for a sequel and I really felt it didn't need one.

I'm a little disappointed if they have them planned.

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 Post subject: Re: You WILL believe a blue kitty can fly! (Cameron's Avatar)
PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2010 11:35 am 
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While I share your concerns regarding sequels in general, I am giving Cameron the benefit of the doubt. If he really had at least a good story arc pencilled spanning three films from the beginning, it would not be the same as making more films just because the first one was a tremendous success.

Here is what Cameron said (Source):
"Actually, when I pitched this to 20th Century Fox four-and-a-half years ago, I said, ‘You know, we’re going to spend a lot of money and time and energy creating not only a process but the assets, the CG assets, we call them - all the models of every rock and tree and plant and creature and the muscle rigs for all the creatures and the facial rigging for the main characters and all that’… huge, millions and millions of dollars. So it really makes sense to think of it as the potential start of a franchise, if you will, or a saga that plays out over several acts, each movie being an act of that saga."


We'll see ...
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 Post subject: Re: You WILL believe a blue kitty can fly! (Cameron's Avatar)
PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2010 12:37 pm 
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Sorry your posts not very clear did you see it in 3D or not :?: :P

You've brought up another good point there is a distinct lack of set pieces in the film or memorable lines and what there is is overloaded by the Visual effects i wonder in 6months - a year how will people remember avatar even if they'll remember avatar.

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 Post subject: Re: You WILL believe a blue kitty can fly! (Cameron's Avatar)
PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2010 1:00 pm 
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I have no doubt that Avatar will be remembered - not only in 6 months but also in 6 or even 60 years. :)

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 Post subject: Re: You WILL believe a blue kitty can fly! (Cameron's Avatar)
PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2010 10:38 am 
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Zoser wrote:


Quote:
Physiologically the Na'vi are out of place... there are significant differences between them and every other lifeform we see on Pandora. It's not plausable that they evolved in the same environment (which is a shame, as the environment as a whole was interesting and varied enough to be convincing)

We have seen life forms of a very small part of Pandora with less than ten different animal species so far - it is (for example) more than possible that the Na'vi developed on another continent and migrated / spread.
If you visually compare a human to, let's say a spider, a platypus, a bird and a sea urchin, they seem to have nothing in common at all. Still they all developed on the same planet - unless you believe in creative design. *eg*

Plus you have to keep in mind that the planet itself seems to have actively interfered with the way the species developed. I would consider it entirely possible that the species on Pandora are all but genetically engineered.
Or do you guys seriously think that the integrated "USB-jack" in each of the species we have seen so far is coincidence or can be explained by evolution?

I for one am willing to give Cameron the benefit of the doubt here but to be fair - it did not even occur to me to question this aspect of the film before.

Zos


I wanted to respond on a couple of point here...

If you visually compare a human to a spider, a platypus, a bird and a sea urchin you would be able to notice a number of similarities, especially between the human and the 'higher' lifeforms you listed there. The human, bird and platypus all share a number of common features (4 limbs, a tail although in humans it is now dissapeared but still vestigially present in the skeletal structure) and significant commonality on sensory organs (in terms of basic numbers and placement)). My biggest beef with the physiology of the Na'vi is that they have, for no apparent good reason, lost their extra set of arms. Eveything else we saw on Pandora which was a complex animal had 6 limbs, they had just 4! We also frequently saw multiple eye clusters, but again the Na'vi have lost this extra sensory input.

The whole 'USB Jack' thing is somewhat bizarre, but evolution does throw out the whacky. It at least was internally consistent, as every complex animal seemed to feature it (although again here the Na'vi have just one where everything else has a pair) so I'm less inclined to question it (suspension of disbelief really is helped by internal consistency!)

All I'm really saying is that when making sci-fi I reckon movie directors and producers should pay a little more attention to building internally consistent worlds!

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 Post subject: Re: You WILL believe a blue kitty can fly! (Cameron's Avatar)
PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2010 12:27 pm 
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To add to Ebons point and to go back to the love story angle for a second

The love story could have happened even if they went with a more fitting design for the Na'vi* (extra arms / eyes) because the the love story was not between human and Na'vi but between Avatar and Na'vi, I think it would have actually made the love element stronger had the Na'vi differed more from the human norm because the love was based on Jake's understanding and acceptance of the Na'vi and their ways so for him as a human to make a connection with a creature that was not human to the point that he falls in love with it would be far more poinyant if he was overcoming there physical as well as spiritual and social differences.

As to sequels personally it sounds like a bad idea to me for its flaws Avatar is nicely self contained and stands on its own and well we all know what happens with sequels they normally dilute whatever greatness the original had. However studios being studios even without Cameron's good points would be wanting a sequel because it brought in the cash. So should we get a sequel i recon well see a exploration of the Na'vi history on Pandora and there relation ship with there "god" and i suspect we'll discover that its not a case of straight up evolution.


*No one is suggesting they should be some kind of blob creature or blamonge as thast would also be a rather lazy design and even more out of place in the pandora setting.

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 Post subject: Re: You WILL believe a blue kitty can fly! (Cameron's Avatar)
PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2010 9:47 am 
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At last i’ve seen it and it was “Wow!” I loved it.
We saw it in 2D and Jasmine was saved from a numb bum by her Dad who took her to see Planet 51.

Overall this film had everything i wanted. :D

I won’t enter into lengthy banter and pick holes in it.
“It’s a FILM”. With a little imagination and thought provoking from the film it’s easy to believe. if you want hard core evidence to back up story plots then go and watch a Documentary instead.
Films are there to entertain. You can compare Avatar characters to our present real life people and our historical events, but it’s all irrelevant to me. Just because it has humans in it doesn’t mean it is supposed to be “us” in our future. It’s all fictional. It’s a Story. Pick up the book, read it, enjoy, put it on the shelf.

Within the limits of an already long film i think Cameron done a fantastic job. I felt the emotions of the film and was swept away by the visuals.

I have an unspent book voucher and i am off to the book shop today to buy “The Art of Avatar”
http://www.waterstones.com/waterstonesw ... r/6794666/

Film: 11/10 from me =D> =D> =D> =D> =D>

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 Post subject: Re: You WILL believe a blue kitty can fly! (Cameron's Avatar)
PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2010 11:56 am 
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Glad you liked it Betty.... and please don't mistake our (or at least my) criticism to mean we didn't.

I really enjoyed the film (went to see it more than once). I'm well aware that I'm picking on very minor points... although I feel somewhat justified in doing so as this project had such a long timeline.. there isn't really much of an excuse for getting these kind of details wrong other than 'oh, we didn't think about that', which is just a bit of a shame for such a lavishly realised world.

I have no problem with information which is just completely absent too (in fact sometimes I prefer it... midichlorians anyone? :wink:)... I just like to see a decent attempt at internal consistency. That doesn't mean it has to be consistent with reality, but with the reality that's being presented. To me it's a sign of sloppy writing when that internal consistency is lacking (and to be fair it's not hugely lacking in Avatar, which just makes the few glaring points where it is stand out for me more).

But don't get me wrong.. I loved the film.

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 Post subject: Re: You WILL believe a blue kitty can fly! (Cameron's Avatar)
PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2010 7:00 am 
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Ebon Hawk wrote:
My biggest beef with the physiology of the Na'vi is that they have, for no apparent good reason, lost their extra set of arms. Eveything else we saw on Pandora which was a complex animal had 6 limbs, they had just 4! We also frequently saw multiple eye clusters, but again the Na'vi have lost this extra sensory input.


Yesterday I watched the film again and I have one last point to add here - otherwise I think this discussion has run its course. And I for one enjoyed our little spar. :)

What I wanted to point out is that the most "Na'vi"-onoid species, the Lemurs, also had only two eyes and - I will have to confirm this later this week when I see the film again with one of my mates - two arms. So I do believe that Cameron and/or his creature department has invested more thought into this than he is given credit for. :)

Again, will have an eye out and see if I saw correctly yesterday.

Zos

P.S. Congratulations on the two Golden Globes for best director and best film - it is good to see (IMHO) outstanding quality rewarded for once! :)

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 Post subject: Re: You WILL believe a blue kitty can fly! (Cameron's Avatar)
PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2010 1:43 pm 
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tada :D

But it seems the reason for the Na'vi appearance has already been answered else where (play boy of all places) the Navi were intentionally made to look more human (4 limbs, hair, breasts etc etc) by Cameron or at least some one on the production staff so as we could better relate. so basically there a victim marketability and the producers being to chicken to use a alien design in case it impacted figures which seems a bit sad :(

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 Post subject: Re: You WILL believe a blue kitty can fly! (Cameron's Avatar)
PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2010 2:16 pm 
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Seems like four limbs and two eyes to me ...

Again, I do not see a problem here - they are sufficiently alien for my taste and I do not feel the film lost anything. :D

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 Post subject: Re: You WILL believe a blue kitty can fly! (Cameron's Avatar)
PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2010 3:21 pm 
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Zoser wrote:
Seems like four limbs and two eyes to me ...

Again, I do not see a problem here - they are sufficiently alien for my taste and I do not feel the film lost anything. :D

Zos


It had legs as well :P

Im just convinced were going to descover in the next film that either the Na'vi arent native to the planet at all or are native and the entire echo system has been been manipulated.

Sufficiently Alien yes probably (i've certainly seen worse) but that's not the point the point is they dont fit with there environment hell they fit in about as much as this guy

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actually thinking about it

Image colour this guy blue and he would fit in better :D

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 Post subject: Re: You WILL believe a blue kitty can fly! (Cameron's Avatar)
PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2010 3:53 pm 
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Oh come on now Betty :)...

It is a cheesy movie with huge visual effects. It is entertaining, yes, I didn't get bored even 1 second of it. But, from its dialogues to its twists in the plot, from its characters to its predictability at the end, it's all cheesy :)...

I watched it 3 times now, once on a regular 3D cinema, once in Imax and once at home. The only topic I discussed with other viewers is how the visual effects were great, nothing about the scenario...

Visual effects: excellent, 3D environment: excellent, 3D presentation: very clever, in terms of marketing. Take those away, it's Pocahontas :). I expect Snowwhite and 7 dwarfs in Pandora as a sequel, oh and in 4D :)...

Is this enough to put an end to this discussion? :)...

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 Post subject: Re: You WILL believe a blue kitty can fly! (Cameron's Avatar)
PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2010 11:16 pm 
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technically you can allready watch a film in 4D blast :mrgreen:

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 Post subject: Re: You WILL believe a blue kitty can fly! (Cameron's Avatar)
PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2010 7:02 am 
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Apart from the "cheesy" bit I fully agree with you Blast, this one has been discussed thoroughly and it comes down to personal taste and opinion.
You will not convince me that it is not the greatest film of its genre since many years and I will not convince you it is.
History will certainly tell in time ...

So shall we close this chapter? :D
Zos

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 Post subject: Re: You WILL believe a blue kitty can fly! (Cameron's Avatar)
PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2010 9:56 am 
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Yes lets move on to picking at something else :D

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 Post subject: Re: You WILL believe a blue kitty can fly! (Cameron's Avatar)
PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2010 7:02 pm 
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Hi y'all,

My colleagues officially declared me to be an Avatard today *g* and to celebrate the occasion I would like to share this excellent documentary about Avatar, which can be found on Yahoo! Movies.

Prepare to be amazed! :)
Zos

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 Post subject: Re: You WILL believe a blue kitty can fly! (Cameron's Avatar)
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 12:52 pm 
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Thanks for the links Zos. It’s fascinating to see behind the scenes. I’ve finished reading through the book The Art of Avatar which contains some of the production artwork and some insights into the designs of the creatures, machines and of course the Na’vi. At one stage there were 120 illustrators working on the film! I wish I could own some of their artwork, it’s truly amazing.

I really want to see the film again…argh!

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 Post subject: Re: You WILL believe a blue kitty can fly! (Cameron's Avatar)
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 2:37 pm 
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Maybe I have to get the book as well then - thanks for the hint. :)

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 Post subject: Re: You WILL believe a blue kitty can fly! (Cameron's Avatar)
PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 3:54 pm 
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EDIT: sorry guys. Had to correct some typos and some phrasing in this:
Phew. Thanks Zos/guys. Just read the whole lot and;

1) Can’t believe you spent so much time nit-picking
2) Can’t believe you didn't discuss some of the bigger issues in the movie

But I have to say, I loved this movie, I don't always agree with you, my good friend Zoser, but I do wholeheartedly on this occasion. Avatar is without doubt a modern masterpiece. The votes are in, the tickets counted and Avatar is the biggest grossing movie of all time guaranteeing comparisons for many decades to come. This movie isn’t going anywhere out of the spotlights any day soon.

I mostly agree with Zoser’s comparison with Star Wars though. Not because is I think “Avatar is a better blockbuster than Star Wars” or vice versa. That’s a discussional cul-de-sac. The fact is that Star Wars was a defining memory for a whole generation. Arguably two. And that movie lingers in a very warm place in all our hearts. Probably in the same way that other ‘masterpieces’ have for previous generations. Think: The Wizard of Oz and A Wonderful Life which still captivate some people, apparently, over 50 years after they were made. Star Wars itself is over 30 years old for God’s sake. But no, Avatar is a movie of this generation, this age, this outlook and these times – when we should all be more concerned about our planet that ever before. The related twin threats of terrorism and corporatism spiralling around our planet – and the heart of this movie – like two strands of malevolent DNA. It’s this sober reflection of our times that gives Avatar the emotional resonance it needed to overcome the movies obvious shortcomings.

It’s probably no exaggeration to say that the Avatar movie is an avatar of our times.

I couldn’t help imagine my little daughter watching this movie. She’s only 3 (now) so couldn’t possibly watch it but if she could she would marvel at the intricate balance and beauty of life on Pandora and the obscene way that the corporatists (let’s call this particular avatar what it is: capitalism) are happy to destroy life and harmony for the sake of greed, profit and further capital.

“How could we be so stupid?” I can imagine her asking me.
“How can we, The People, let corporations get away with killing the trees, that tree, like that?”

Some of you (but mostly Blaster and Mess I think) were asking where the great scenes are in Avatar compared to Star Wars? Well hello? Didn’t you see that one? I can’t believe how moved I was by that passage of the movie. I was moved to the point of seething with anger as the corporatists moved their gunships in on the Na’vi and their homeland. I was actually shaking with rage. Amazing that a movie, especially one so average in some respects (and let’s not pretend that Avatar or Star Wars is a literary or intellectual masterpiece), could generate so much emotion in me. Is anyone here trying to tell me that the Star Wars bar scene, perhaps the most famous scene of that movie, is somehow more emotionally moving or memorable? Or the scene where Princess Leia and co are trapped in the rubbish vat with the giant octopus-thing? Great scenes, yes, but come on guys. You’re forgetting that you were teenagers when you first saw Star Wars. Avatar delivers a highly discernable almost palpable examination of where our modern consciences should be.

"Where were you daddy, when they cut down the rainforests? What did you do when the ice-shelf was collapsing daddy? How many of the thousands of species a year are dying that you tried to save?" These are the raw emotions that underlie the blockbuster veneer of Avatar. Is it obvious? Of course it is. Has it been done hundreds of times before? Well actually no.

EDIT: I have now read several negative reviews comparing Avatar with Dances With Wolves in the sense that Avatar is “Dances With Wolves in Space”. Well, Dances With Wolves was a great movie, close to a movie masterpiece in its own right, but Kevin Costner was apologetically looking backwards to a time and events that probably never happened. In contrast Avatar is very much looking at today and the future and in replacing the war hero (Costner) with a war cynic and paraplegic we get a better pull on the heart-strings – something that’s so close to cliché that many other directors would have failed to make it work. This is a hallmark touch of all Cameron’s movies – most noticeably in Titanic, a movie universally panned and predicted to sink faster than the ship itself by the critics, before it went on to smash all known box-office records – and it’s one of the reasons Avatar has moved a far wider audience than your typical ‘sci-fi/action’ blockbuster.

Isn’t it amazing that the Hollywood system can raise and spend over $300million making an anti-warfare, anti-corporatist, anti-authoritarian blockbuster with a paraplegic and Mother Nature as is its main protagonists – and with at least a passing nod towards supporting terrorism?* Well yes it is! It’s bloody amazing. And I doubt any other director anywhere else is the world could have pulled that off.

*I am surprised none of you mentioned this. Avatar isn’t perfect, of course, but there were only two main elements of the movie that could have been thought through differently for me. The Na’vi themselves seemed incredibly warlike considering that they were supposed to be living in complete harmony with the world around them. This rendered them more primitive than the story would seem to have needed – if you simplify the story even further. I was also surprised that the only solution the Na’vi could think of was also primitive. I deliberately hadn’t read any reviews before seeing the movie and so was secretly hoping that Mother Nature herself would have come up with something. In a way I was reminded of that other early masterpiece of popular cinema: The War of The Worlds; where the Martians were defeated by our own oxygen. It simply killed them. A wonderful end and riposte in what was another war-based sci-fi blockbuster. I was hoping as I watched the moview, that the floating seed pods, perhaps released from the dying Tree (I’m so sorry I can’t remember all the actual names from the movie) would have seeped into the corporatists engines and gas masks and quietly killed them all off. Not the blockbusting ending we all secretly crave but would have been a more poetic and perhaps even realistic ending to the movie.

Well done James Cameron. I hope he scoops the lot at this year's Oscars.

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 Post subject: Re: You WILL believe a blue kitty can fly! (Cameron's Avatar)
PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 7:27 pm 
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An eloquent and impassioned comment X :D

I agree with all of it... especially the emotional impact of the assault on Hometree... that scene is extremely powerful. That I was nitpicking over details of the physiology of Pandoras fauna really is a testament to the fact that there weren't for me any major things to pick up on.

Yes, they could have made the N'avi less warlike... but then if you actually go back and look at them they weren't really all that warlike. They were fairly simple hunter-gatherers... very obviously modelled on the idea of (if not the reality, who can say) of native americans and other native peoples. They tried to live in harmony with their ecosystems occupying a spot as a predator (although clearly not a top predator... there were certainly other candidates for that!) As far as their warlike response to the corporate incursions go, they are highly understandable as the response of a tribal people to incursions into their territory by outsiders... incursions which continue to escalate.

As for the ending.. well it is very hollywood. In a way it was the foreign world striking back, just in a more macroscopic and directed way than that seen in War of the Worlds (where 'mother nature' strikes in a pretty non-directed fashion). It only makes sense in the context of a genuinely connected ecosystem, which we conveniently discover through the course of the film is exactly what Pandora is... essentially one massive collection of symbiotic relationships, despite superficial predatory interactions. The more I think about it the more impressed I am with their design of a 'sentient' ecology.

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 Post subject: Re: You WILL believe a blue kitty can fly! (Cameron's Avatar)
PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 11:56 pm 
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Nicely post X but i would disagree on the terrorist overtones as none of the smurfs actions seemed to be directed as causing terror and were something more akin to gorilla warfare. though thinking about it the destruction of the home tree by the humans could be considered a act of terrorism.

Quote:
which we conveniently discover through the course of the film is exactly what Pandora is... essentially one massive collection of symbiotic relationships, despite superficial predatory interactions. The more I think about it the more impressed I am with their design of a 'sentient' ecology.


See this was probably the biggest let down for me the idea of a living planet is so very very old I've come across the idea numerous times in other works of fiction its just not really new from the moment they mentioned the trees having a symbiotic relationship i just new the planet was going to turn round and bight the humans. What will be interesting is how they evolve the idea in the future films I mean they cant just stick to stranger joining the clan story because its done jacks (or was it jake) transfer into his smurf body brought that chapter to a nice close and re-opening it would IMO be a terrible mistake.

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 Post subject: Re: You WILL believe a blue kitty can fly! (Cameron's Avatar)
PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 7:49 am 
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Thank you X, this was wonderful to read - some of it I have said myself, but not with as much verve and skill. And it would seem that both of us had the same reaction to the attack on home tree - I was also physically shaking with anger and dismay when I saw this. Actually it gets to me every time I see the film again and I can feel their sorrow and despair after it has fallen.

What made it more real for me that the humans in the film were not simply evil - they weren't demon-worshippers or (don't take this in a bad way *g*) Sith-Lords - they were human.

I meet at least one guy just like administrator Selfridge every morning at work - not evil, but willing to do whatever it takes to achieve the quarterly goal. If the economy was worse and being fired would mean getting you into real trouble, would he destroy a tree filled with primitive people? You betcha!
There are many Selfridges around these days - just look at how many lives the bank managers have destroyed in the crash.

This is why I originally called Avatar a masterpiece - it manages to engage you with a very simple but utterly believable story (well, it does not need to be more complex) plus ... it essentially makes you fall in love with a couple of blue pixels!

I see where your argument regarding terrorism comes from and I wholeheartedly agree with you. One of the wisest men of our time, the late Sir Peter Ustinov once said, “Terror is the war of the poor, and war is the terror of the rich.”. Terrorism and War are flip-sides of the same coin and they both are part of the "DNA-string of evil" image you have conjured up, X.
This of course would be an entirely separate discussion ... ;)

The only part I disagree with you X is the "warlike" bit - I argue that the Na'vi are not warlike at all. If they were, they would have banded together and attacked the humans ages ago - this is what humans would have done.
They are aggressive and they can kick ass if need be, but just remember the scene after Neytiri killed the "hyenas" - she was saddened and furious and sad she had to do this. Just remember what she said: "They sad only. They did not need to die."
She would have bypassed them without either side having to end up hurt or dead, but Jake did not have the skill or inclination. It didn't even occur to him.

The Na'vi are fighters because they have to be - they fight only when attacked. If they weren't, Pandora would have shit them out dead with zero warning!

Also it is clear that they are "primitive" by choice, not by lack of reasoning. If they were to establish some kind of "civilisation", it would hurt their mother, so they do not.
Of course that means that they are ill equipped for dealing with devices like helicopters - they would lack the understanding and knowledge of their weaknesses. But once Jake pointed them out, they adapted to them perfectly.

The epic battle in the end was one of my favourite bits of the film, so I am glad that it actually happened, an ending as in "War of the Worlds" would have been disappointing for me.
I was wondering how they were going to turn this around with basically only Jake himself left and then the cavalry arrived - which left me positively whooping in my seat. It was like the Rohirrim arriving in the nick of time at Minas Tirith - one of the all-time great rescue scenes!


Bottom line: glad you seem to love this film as much as I did and I am sure history will prove our assessment right! :D

Zos

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