Avatar and the Avatar Cadence (James Cameron, 2009-2025)

Discuss films of the 21st century including current cinema, current filmmakers, and film festivals.
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colinr0380
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 4:30 pm
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Re: Avatar (James Cameron, 2009)

#51 Post by colinr0380 » Thu Aug 20, 2009 5:37 pm

Narshty wrote:It looks like 65% Aliens and 35% The Abyss. There seemed to be no imagery or situations that did not directly derive from either of those earlier films.
Not to mention the love story between two star cross'd lovers which will probably end tragically for one but empoweringly for the other (i.e. Terminator, Titanic)

I wonder if there are any flying fish in there so we can cover his whole filmograpy?

rs98762001
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Re: Avatar (James Cameron, 2009)

#52 Post by rs98762001 » Thu Aug 20, 2009 5:38 pm

Is this an adaptation of an L Ron Hubbard novel?

redbill
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Re: Avatar (James Cameron, 2009)

#53 Post by redbill » Thu Aug 20, 2009 5:45 pm

Jar-Jar Begins?

royalton
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Re: Avatar (James Cameron, 2009)

#54 Post by royalton » Fri Aug 21, 2009 2:03 am

Cde. wrote:Fox may have found its Heaven's Gate.
That's what I fear. It could end up in the Onion AV Club's "My [Extended] Year Of Flops" next spring.

I'm of two minds about it. I remember the scriptment vaguely from years ago, and liked the ideas. I'm willing to believe that the CG and imagery looks much, much better in 3-D and on a big screen than on my PC. But what I saw at first glance at the teaser was, this is embarrassing, it looks like Delgo Dances With Wolves, for these FX they spent so much time? I think some of the creatures in the last two Star Wars films looked more realistic.

The shots where Jake(?)/Sam Worthington enters his avatar on the operating table and then says "this is great" and grins were amazing. The rest was extremely dodgy to me, except the shot of Zoe Saldana's(?) character weeping. That looked exactly like her.

Whether or not it looks much better on the big screen or turns out to be a good film, I think the ending shot in the teaser of the two blue stringbeans making out will turn people off and draw giggles, and I think it will probably be a financial failure. I don't think the ordinary moviegoer will take it seriously.

Sadly, I have no ticket for the screenings today. I considered begging outside one of the Times Square multiplexes to get one, but, eh.

Cde.
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Re: Avatar (James Cameron, 2009)

#55 Post by Cde. » Fri Aug 21, 2009 4:36 am

royalton wrote: The shots where Jake(?)/Sam Worthington enters his avatar on the operating table and then says "this is great" and grins were amazing. The rest was extremely dodgy to me, except the shot of Zoe Saldana's(?) character weeping. That looked exactly like her.
Really? I thought that shot was terrible. Some of the latter scenes (like the shot of Saldana's character looking through the leaves) were much more impressive.
I really agree with what you say about the scene where she cries, though. The emotion really registers on her face. On that level, this is a far cry from the Zemeckis mo-cap outings.

It's funny seeing Delgo comparisons, since around the time of the releases of Delgo and Battle for Terra there was actually speculation that they were Avatar rip-offs. Cameron's first draft scriptment has been relatively easy to find on the internet since the mid 90s.
What amazes me is that so many people even remember that movie.
royalton wrote:Whether or not it looks much better on the big screen or turns out to be a good film, I think the ending shot in the teaser of the two blue stringbeans making out will turn people off and draw giggles
A bit of a shame, because I really like the atmosphere in that shot.
I'm also hearing that it does look a lot better on the big screen. Reports coming back from the showings in Australia and New Zealand are extremely impressed and say the trailer completely fails to do justice to the the experience of watching this.
If this is true, it's not too surprising that Fox have held off so long on marketing. In this day and age, how do you sell a film on its visual impact when that can't be properly conveyed with a trailer?

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MyNameCriterionForum
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Re: Avatar (James Cameron, 2009)

#56 Post by MyNameCriterionForum » Fri Aug 21, 2009 6:15 am

It suddenly occurs to me that it might be more interesting if Cameron had directed Tree of Life and Malick had directed Avatar.

Cde.
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Re: Avatar (James Cameron, 2009)

#57 Post by Cde. » Fri Aug 21, 2009 6:24 am

MyNameCriterionForum wrote:It suddenly occurs to me that it might be more interesting if Cameron had directed Tree of Life and Malick had directed Avatar.
Wow...

Now those films would be fascinating. Both of them.
I can picture a Malick directed Avatar fairly easily, but trying to imagine Cameron's Tree of Life is giving me head spins.

ivuernis
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Re: Avatar (James Cameron, 2009)

#58 Post by ivuernis » Fri Aug 21, 2009 8:26 am

So, in Avatar we can travel interstellar space, colonize other planets, breed/clone human-Na'vi hybrids but still can't find a cure for paralysis.

Cde.
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Re: Avatar (James Cameron, 2009)

#59 Post by Cde. » Fri Aug 21, 2009 8:34 am

ivuernis wrote:So, in Avatar we can travel interstellar space, colonize other planets, breed/clone human-Na'vi hybrids but still can't find a cure for paralysis.
Hey, there's only so much research money to go 'round!

Caged Horse
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Re: Avatar (James Cameron, 2009)

#60 Post by Caged Horse » Fri Aug 21, 2009 9:10 am

See also: Minority Report, in which eyeball transplants are everday but some people still need spectacles for convenient plot purposes.

The sarcastic reception being given to the trailer over at AVClub.com is most amusing, I must say.

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GringoTex
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Re: Avatar (James Cameron, 2009)

#61 Post by GringoTex » Fri Aug 21, 2009 10:33 am

It looks like Halo: The Movie.

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Shrew
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Re: Avatar (James Cameron, 2009)

#62 Post by Shrew » Fri Aug 21, 2009 11:15 am

A Malick directed Avatar would just be The New World- in Space.

Cde.
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Re: Avatar (James Cameron, 2009)

#63 Post by Cde. » Fri Aug 21, 2009 11:23 am

Shrew wrote:A Malick directed Avatar would just be The New World- in Space.
Which is why it's easy to imagine. Still, would Malick be able to conjure up his trademarked pantheistic awe at nature for natural landscapes that are entirely fictional?
GringoTex wrote:It looks like Halo: The Movie.
I'm guessing that there's a strong link between this and the partly Fox produced Halo movie falling apart.

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Finch
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Re: Avatar (James Cameron, 2009)

#64 Post by Finch » Fri Aug 21, 2009 12:21 pm

I thought this looked wonderful until about halfway through when the battle shots took over: I agree that on a PC screen, it looks very obviously like CGI but I'm willing to accept that it'll look much better in the theatre. I'm intrigued but I'm still far more excited by the prospect of Malick's new film.

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MoonlitKnight
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Re: Avatar (James Cameron, 2009)

#65 Post by MoonlitKnight » Fri Aug 21, 2009 9:53 pm

As with everyone else, I just can't get past the tall, blue cat people/aliens. They just don't look right. Plus, I've always been rather disturbed by humans having feline features, for some reason. :-k

ianungstad
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Re: Avatar (James Cameron, 2009)

#66 Post by ianungstad » Fri Aug 21, 2009 10:12 pm

Looks more like a video game than a movie to me.

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Antoine Doinel
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Re: Avatar (James Cameron, 2009)

#67 Post by Antoine Doinel » Sat Aug 22, 2009 10:46 am

Finally sat down to watch the trailer and.....this film is going to be three hours of that?

Cde.
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Re: Avatar (James Cameron, 2009)

#68 Post by Cde. » Sat Aug 22, 2009 11:30 am

Any impressions from people who saw the preview?

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Zumpano
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Re: Avatar (James Cameron, 2009)

#69 Post by Zumpano » Sat Aug 22, 2009 3:26 pm

Ok, I went to the preview. Like most everyone here, I was extremely underwhelmed by the teaser trailer for all the same reasons mentioned (the characters look ridiculous, Jar-Jar w/ Wolves, battle scenes look like everything else, etc. etc.). All the people in line behind us were talking about the online teaser, and how it looked like shit. It's funny how expectations just crashed between Thursday and Friday with the release of the teaser.

Anyway. My response is mixed on the extended preview. I saw it on a 'real' IMAX screen. Cameron had a little announcement that what we would be seeing would be from the first 1/2 of the film, "no spoilers". The preview opens with the live-action scenes of Worthington (I still want this dude's agent) going to the place/space station/army place where he will be converted into an Avatar body. There are about three short scenes of Live Action photography. A scene involving Worthington, army recruiter, a bunch of army cadets/soldiers (?). A scene with scientists/Sigourney Weaver getting ready to switch Worthington to the Avatar. Then there is a mixed animation/live action where he gets his body (like you see in the teaser), and moves his feet around, stands up around the doctors etc.

Then there are a couple action scenes fully animated on the CGI avatar world (Pandora?). A scene involving the Avatars hunting some creatures and some bigger creatures then turning on them: a chase ensues. Another action scene involving Worthington Avatar wrestling a CGI creature, almost getting thrown off a cliff, etc. And then an action scene involving bows and arrows at night, fire, etc. Then a quick montage of images from the rest of the movie.

So: How did it look?

This film will live and die by the wonder of the 3D look. I have not seen "Coraline" in the 3D this year, but I did see "Up". This is light years away from "Up"'s 3D. Seriously. There would be absolutely no reason to see this film in 2D unless you just wanted to see a shitty movie. I can say I have truly not seen 3D like this before. Some of it is astounding.

I think I can understand why people might think that this is a "game changer", or why someone like Soderbergh would be completely blown away by this. I think they can really see the potential with the live-action photography. I think the live action 3D was way more impressive than the CGI stuff. In those first couple scenes where it is all live action characters and objects; the 3D really put a new definition to DEEP FOCUS. All those pedestrian looking live action shots from the teaser come across totally different in this 3D setting. People like to say "It makes it look like you're there". Yes. It makes it look like you're there. You are looking at the hologram from "Jedi" or CNN right in front of your face. I couldn't help but think that Greg Toland would shit his pants and say to himself: "Now, that's deep focus."

Not to say the CGI 3D stuff wasn't impressive. It was; and the 3D aspect of the animated characters made them look a little better than they do in the teaser. But not much. They still look like Shrek. Actually, I think Shrek looks more lifelike. They need to take these four months and work on the character designs a little more. But the action/chase scenes were well done, of course. It's nice to see some action scenes where shots last longer than a second of screen time. I'm sure it would've been a lot more exciting if I had been emotionally invested in the character(s), but really when was the last time that happened in a modern action movie?

Final verdict: I'm mixed. This film looks absolutely ridiculous. The dialogue, story, acting, seem cheesy beyond belief. Expectations are outta control based on Cameron's past work, the hype, and the amount of time he's spent working on this. This story is not going to blow your mind or make you rethink the human condition (though I'm not sure about this since they barely showed anything that resembled "story"). BUT, I think the 3D is something that is new and exciting, especially in those live-action scenes. It did make me hopeful for other filmmakers to use this technology to make all sorts of films, not just these CGI-actionfests. I don't want to add to the 'second coming of "The Jazz Singer"' hype, because I'm not sure if it is that industry-changing, but I do think that any film student/fan would want to at least check the film out to see what it's trying to do technically. I wouldn't like to see every movie made like this in the future; but I think it would make something like "Transformers 2:Electric Boogaloo" a lot more tolerable.

eerik
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Re: Avatar (James Cameron, 2009)

#70 Post by eerik » Sat Aug 22, 2009 3:37 pm

Cde. wrote:Any impressions from people who saw the preview?
Saw the preview twice. It was was much better than watching the 2D teaser, but it still is a big disappointment. It is definitely the best 3D experience I've had and the CGI enviroment looked good, but the creatures did not. Na'vis and avatars look like silly "cat people". Their skin is clean, smooth and flat which makes them look fake. They just don't blend in with the enviroment. Other creatures were just ugly.

Na'vis seem to be a stereotypical "ancient race", who live in idealistic harmony with the nature. They don't have modern equipment and they use bows for hunting. Even their hairstyle is very similar to ancient americans and africans. Dialogue was just silly.

But without any doubt I will go see it in December.

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Zumpano
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Re: Avatar (James Cameron, 2009)

#71 Post by Zumpano » Sat Aug 22, 2009 4:14 pm

Another thing. The music was probably temp; but was awful keyboard/keyboard-generated orchestral music. That really cheapened the feeling. Also, the spaceship/jet fighter stuff seen in the teaser was not in the preview.

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Re: Avatar (James Cameron, 2009)

#72 Post by MichaelB » Sat Aug 22, 2009 4:58 pm

MoonlitKnight wrote:Plus, I've always been rather disturbed by humans having feline features, for some reason. :-k
You're not the only one.

(Jump to 8:56, otherwise the link will be meaningless)

Cde.
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Re: Avatar (James Cameron, 2009)

#73 Post by Cde. » Sun Aug 23, 2009 5:01 am

colinr0380 wrote:
Narshty wrote:It looks like 65% Aliens and 35% The Abyss. There seemed to be no imagery or situations that did not directly derive from either of those earlier films.
Not to mention the love story between two star cross'd lovers which will probably end tragically for one but empoweringly for the other (i.e. Terminator, Titanic)

I wonder if there are any flying fish in there so we can cover his whole filmograpy?
Well, uh...

...yes, there are.

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Oedipax
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Re: Avatar (James Cameron, 2009)

#74 Post by Oedipax » Sun Aug 23, 2009 3:16 pm

Reminds me of Kitty Cat Man.

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Zumpano
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Re: Avatar (James Cameron, 2009)

#75 Post by Zumpano » Mon Aug 24, 2009 11:41 am

Ebert is not impressed, and contradicts what I said about the action scenes.

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