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[movie] Avatar

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#1
Plasmic Fury

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Release Date:
US (wide): December 18, 2009
Running Time:
156 Minutes
Genre:
Sci-Fi
Other Genres:
Action, Adventure

Avatar has been considered a new benchmark in modern cinema technology by many critics over the last few weeks. Considering the amount of money put into this movie itís not surprising how it could have achieved this acclaim. James Cameron actually had to spend 2 years just to create the technology which portrays the visually appealing world of Pandora. Iím sure that there were many people lining up to see this movie simply because James Cameron was the man behind it. If you are unaware of his successes you can look to such hits as ĎTitanicí and ĎTerminatorí. Just because this movie had a big director backing it up, it was not my reason for going. I went hoping to experience something different in a movie, something that would separate this movie from its kind - like Star Wars did back in 1977. I had high expectations and hype going into the movie, and Iím glad to say I left having those expectations met.

It was my first time ever seeing a movie in 3D. Iím glad I started the experience with a movie like Avatar. Letís just get the actual cinematography out of the way first shall we? Itís excellent. The world of Pandora is one of the best fictional places Iíve ever experienced on screen. Itís basically a planet filled with a lush environment. Endless forests, beautiful rivers and lakes, colourful plants, inhabitants and best of yet the indigenous race of Naívi. Whoever designed this planet (clearly with the help of James Cameron) is a master of his craft. The whole planet is imaginative and leaves you captivated throughout the entire movie. There was never a time during the movie in which I wasnít visually enthralled. Just simple stuff like the ground glowing underneath the Naíviís footsteps is something you wish happened in real life. Itís easy to get lost into the eye candy.

How does James Cameron use this planet for the movie though, what story revolves around it? Well basically the story is up for a lot of debate. If you are expecting something out of the ordinary then you will be disappointed for sure. This is a classic textbook storyline, it is tried and true and will grasp most of the population for what itís worth. Think Pocahontas and Dancing with Wolves and you will understand exactly how this movie plays out. Personally, I donít think this type of approach was bad for a movie of this caliber. Cameron created an environment to easily sink us into. There is no shame in a simplistic storyline that everyone can enjoy, whether itís been seen or not. I can agree that this movie could have been better if he tweaked the story to be more original and added a mind blowing twist, but for how the story stands I can personally accept and be satisfied with it.


You'll enjoy watching these two on screen


The story is both boosted and hurt by a set of characters that youíll love and hate. The main problem with the cast is the lack of depth most of them have. Youíve got your army general who is a typical American badass, a reluctant Ďpresidentialí type figure who only cares about money, an over the top scientist, a classic unaware but strong willed hero and a loveable heroine. There are more characters but as the movie portrays them youíll hardly care what they have to say. Take for example Norm Spellman, the science nerd. There is really no need for him in the movie, he only explains a few key points during the movie and ultimately ends up being easily forgotten by the end credits. This also applies to Trudy Chacon (played my Michelle Rodriguez). At no point in the movie did I enjoy seeing her on screen. Her character is not explored; we are just lead to believe she wants to be the Ďgoodí guy. While watching the movie she hurts my experience by saying some of the corniest one liners known to man. Sheís not the type of character that can pull it off. Near the end of the movie when she makes her exit you wonít feel bad, thatís for sure.

There are more gripes I have with a few of the other characters, but they are explored more and can be easily forgiven so Iíd rather talk about the great characters and how they drastically improve the story. For one, Jake Sully (the main hero of the story) is an excellent character to be experiencing the story through (even though he is a little cocky). You get to see both sides of the battle, the Indigenous population and his own race of humans. Itís crazy to see how dedicated he was to his own race until he experienced something no other human would have. When we see him get introduced to Neytiri things only pick up and become more enjoyable. Neytiri is the kind of character that compliments the entire story. Like many movies before Avatar there is always the 'typical' damsel which motivates the main character actions (and our own idea's of right and wrong). While the movie does carry on much of a love story it remains highly enjoyable and engrossing. I was so into their experiences together when Jake was not with Neytiri I couldnít wait till theyíd be reunited. Throughout the movie, the most fun you'll have comes when Jake is controlling his Naívi body and you get to experience their culture through his eyes. The movie will quickly and easily sway you to the side of the Naívi, however I do appreciate the firepower and strength the humans display.

Closing Comments
Avatar has definitely raised the bar in terms of visual art and creativity. Seeing this movie in 3D is more than just a treat - it will meet and maybe even break your expectations. The depth, colour, creativity and life of Pandora is insane. It is clear that they focused a lot of their efforts into all of the above and it has paid off handsomely. While the story isnít exactly original it does get bonus points for being told with great pacing, likeable characters and enjoyable scenery. As I said earlier some of the characters improve this story while others hurt it. Fortunately we get to see more of the characters we love on screen and can quickly forget about those we donít. The main reason you see a movie is for entertainment and fun. What youíre getting out of avatar will have both weather youíve seen a movie Ďlike thisí before. There are simply too many things to put you in awe as well as blow your mind. You will be entertained by at least one attribute in the movie I can assure you. If you are able see this movie in 3D you will not regret it. Itís one of those movies where every cent you spend is worthwhile.


Edited by Plasmic Fury, 02 January 2010 - 02:50 PM.


#2
The Colonel

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Besides the visuals, the movie didn't impress me at all. The acting felt forced, the script was awful, and the story had nothing to set it apart from similar movies. I've enjoyed other movies in 3D much more, such as the Toy Story double feature in 3D.
And like that, he was gone.

#3
ya_ba

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QUOTE (The Colonel @ Jan 2 2010, 09:54 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Besides the visuals, the movie didn't impress me at all. The acting felt forced, the script was awful, and the story had nothing to set it apart from similar movies. I've enjoyed other movies in 3D much more, such as the Toy Story double feature in 3D.

That's just... Well, weird.
It wasn't the best movie I've ever seen - and after a while, thinking about it, I wouldn't give it a 9, but you're exaggerating.
Dude, it was based off another movie, but you can practically say that about half of the other movies that are out there now.
Either they are based on a book or another movie.
It's not necessarily a bad thing, they are actually trying to perfect what they've already prodduced once.
Look at it this way - and you'll enjoy the movie more than you have before icon_razz.gif
I promise.

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#4
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Fern gully icon_sad.gif
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#5
Dirge

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QUOTE (Vorrik @ Jan 2 2010, 09:34 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Fern gully icon_sad.gif

Pretty much.

Everyone says its just visuals. Everything is too cliche for most people's liking. Fail.


#6
Plasmic Fury

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The story really ruins it for you guys eh?

I find it hard to believe that you guys didn't enjoy yourselves while watching it. The visuals and creativity sort of make the story acceptable for me. I do agree that the movie could've been better (and a 10/10 for me) if they really pushed something mind blowing with the story.

Edited by Plasmic Fury, 02 January 2010 - 12:51 PM.


#7
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I liked the story because:

1) I understand basic plot elements

2) I'm not going to jump on the jaded nerd bandwagon... ever...

3)

#8
Plasmic Fury

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^

For a black chick she is quite hot. I liked her in Star Trek too.

QUOTE (Dohregard @ Jan 2 2010, 01:58 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
2) I'm not going to jump on the jaded nerd bandwagon... ever...


Also what's that supposed to mean? I'm thinking you're hinting that people are just automatically saying the story is bad cause thats what everyone else is saying. I would tend to agree if thats what you meant.

Edited by Plasmic Fury, 02 January 2010 - 02:42 PM.


#9
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QUOTE (Plasmic Fury @ Jan 2 2010, 01:09 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Also what's that supposed to mean? I'm thinking you're hinting that people are just automatically saying the story is bad cause thats what everyone else is saying. I would tend to agree if thats what you meant.



yes icon_razz.gif

I sometime have the same thoughts as the nerd bandwagon, but I've never rode on it.

#10
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Pretty much what doh said and the visuals were unbelievable. Can't wait to see it again but in 3D.
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#11
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QUOTE (Dohregard @ Jan 3 2010, 07:45 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
yes icon_razz.gif

I sometime have the same thoughts as the nerd bandwagon, but I've never rode on it.

So your saying peoples opinions are swayed just like that because they are all on a bandwagon and live some sort of borg like existence?
if so thats pretty cool.


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#12
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QUOTE (Dohregard @ Jan 2 2010, 02:58 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
2) I'm not going to jump on the jaded nerd bandwagon... ever...


Your on these forums, nuff said


]

#13
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QUOTE (darkhen @ Jan 5 2010, 11:34 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Your on these forums, nuff said

this forum is a wagon of nerds not jaded nerds.
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#14
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Pocahontas/Fern Gully+Firewire hair+CG budget of eleventy billion smackers = Avatar. They should be birched for their extraordinary budget and godawful story.

It's a visual feast and a lobotomy in one. So in comparison to every other 'blockbuster' film from the last 3 years, I'd say average.
Mind you, average in a world of sh*t isn't really much to brag about. This movie borders on insulting.

I keep looking for great stories that knock my socks off, and I haven't found ANY in new releases.

#15
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QUOTE (enzo213 @ Jan 6 2010, 07:32 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Pocahontas/Fern Gully+Firewire hair+CG budget of eleventy billion smackers = Avatar. They should be birched for their extraordinary budget and godawful story.

It's a visual feast and a lobotomy in one. So in comparison to every other 'blockbuster' film from the last 3 years, I'd say average.
Mind you, average in a world of sh*t isn't really much to brag about. This movie borders on insulting.

I keep looking for great stories that knock my socks off, and I haven't found ANY in new releases.


We've had plenty of great movies this decade.

#16
Plasmic Fury

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QUOTE (enzo213 @ Jan 6 2010, 02:32 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Pocahontas/Fern Gully+Firewire hair+CG budget of eleventy billion smackers = Avatar. They should be birched for their extraordinary budget and godawful story.

It's a visual feast and a lobotomy in one. So in comparison to every other 'blockbuster' film from the last 3 years, I'd say average.
Mind you, average in a world of sh*t isn't really much to brag about. This movie borders on insulting.

I keep looking for great stories that knock my socks off, and I haven't found ANY in new releases.


Watch "The Prestige"


#17
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QUOTE (The Colonel @ Jan 2 2010, 03:54 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Besides the visuals, the movie didn't impress me at all. The acting felt forced, the script was awful, and the story had nothing to set it apart from similar movies. I've enjoyed other movies in 3D much more, such as the Toy Story double feature in 3D.

This.

The film had nothing going for it except the visuals. Honestly, if one more person tells me I didn't like it because I didn't see it in 3D or because I wasn't open minded about it, I'm going to smack them. I saw it, and it was extremely mediocre.

QUOTE
Dude, it was based off another movie, but you can practically say that about half of the other movies that are out there now.
Either they are based on a book or another movie.

First, no, it's completely possible to tell an original story. Plenty of movies do it every year.
Second, there's a difference between loosely basing a film on something, and basically ripping the plot from other films, but with blue cat people. This was the latter. It was uninspired, derivative, the story itself had no imagination, and the acting was nothing special. People just don't see that because they're too distracted by "OMG TEH 3D VIZUELS, WOAH CGI!". As an aspiring film maker, the success of Avatar actually pains me.

Cameron didn't do anything special. Anyone with time and money could have made this. Not just any film maker; anyone. His biggest accomplishment is having enough past success to convince a studio to allow him that time and money, and to convince audiences that it's actually good because it has a big name director behind it.
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#18
Plasmic Fury

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QUOTE (TubularLuggage @ Jan 6 2010, 03:20 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
First, no, it's completely possible to tell an original story. Plenty of movies do it every year.
Second, there's a difference between loosely basing a film on something, and basically ripping the plot from other films, but with blue cat people. This was the latter. It was uninspired, derivative, the story itself had no imagination, and the acting was nothing special. People just don't see that because they're too distracted by "OMG TEH 3D VIZUELS, WOAH CGI!". As an aspiring film maker, the success of Avatar actually pains me.

Cameron didn't do anything special. Anyone with time and money could have made this. Not just any film maker; anyone. His biggest accomplishment is having enough past success to convince a studio to allow him that time and money, and to convince audiences that it's actually good because it has a big name director behind it.


Many would agree that a great story is what makes and carries the movie. While I agree that Avatar's story is nothing special, the fact that this movie is still so much fun to watch void of having an original tale is impressive.

It proves that although the story was basic, the visuals alone can carry a movie.

It's your opinion that the story ruined it, but for most people they still had a blast for experiencing visuals like they haven't before. Having fun and being entertained is the point of watching a movie is it not?

Edited by Plasmic Fury, 06 January 2010 - 03:38 PM.


#19
TubularLuggage

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QUOTE
It proves that although the story was basic, the visuals alone can carry a movie.

It's your opinion that the story ruined it, but for most people they still had a blast for experiencing visuals like they haven't before. This is mainly the point of watchig a movie is it not?

On this, we're going to have to agree to disagree, because I could not disagree more.

Basically the entire point I've been trying to make is that visuals alone are NOT enough to carry a movie. The most important elements of a film are story and characters. The visuals are just one element. Any hack can impress people with some pretty pictures, but it takes a real talent to craft an original story and good characters.
Years from now, people will look back on Avatar and wonder why the hell it was such a big deal, because the visuals won't be impressive anymore.

I'm not saying good visuals can't improve a film, but they should be used to compliment an already great film, not to hide the hack effort of a formerly talented director.

Edit: Being entertained is certainly one goal of a film. A film isn't automatically good though just because some people found it entertaining. Some people found Paul Blart: Mall Cop and Meet the Spartans entertaining. That obviously doesn't make them good though. Good films actually need artistic merit. Instead of any sort of artistic merit, Avatar's reason for existing is to test new tech and make some money. As low grade entertainment, it's fine, but as far as films go, it's crap.

Edited by TubularLuggage, 06 January 2010 - 03:47 PM.

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#20
Plasmic Fury

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QUOTE (TubularLuggage @ Jan 6 2010, 03:40 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
On this, we're going to have to agree to disagree, because I could not disagree more.

Basically the entire point I've been trying to make is that visuals alone are NOT enough to carry a movie. The most important elements of a film are story and characters. The visuals are just one element. Any hack can impress people with some pretty pictures, but it takes a real talent to craft an original story and good characters.
Years from now, people will look back on Avatar and wonder why the hell it was such a big deal, because the visuals won't be impressive anymore.

I'm not saying good visuals can't improve a film, but they should be used to compliment an already great film, not to hide the hack effort of a formerly talented director.


You're right about the line I bolded. Having an unoriginal story and unexplored characters is what stopped me from giving this movie a 5/5. The truth is that James Cameron can get away with a recycled story and still make tons of money by showing impressive visuals.

They entertain for now, and truthfully I'm satisfied and impressed by experiencing visuals like I haven't before. I would respect and praise James however, if he could've pulled off a more intriguing story and epic twists. By no means should James Cameron be praised as a good writer for Avatar, that would be a joke.

I can also see people saying 20 years from now "For the time, Avatar's visuals were great"

So it gets credit for that.

Edited by Plasmic Fury, 06 January 2010 - 04:01 PM.





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