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  1. #101
    Gotta catch you all! Blackmail!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcmartinez84 View Post
    I'm not on the soapbox because it's popular. I like many things that the masses like and I willingly admit that. However, I thought this movie was crap. Visually appealing to people who like shiny, glowy things. For me it was shine/glow overload. The quality of CG was great. It all looked like it could be real objects, their movement was fluid...

    I still kinda think it was all done for the money since there wasn't a whole lot of originality in it. I've said it before, but even the 3D was just a publicity stunt. Honestly, what about the movie would have been less appreciated without the 3D glasses? Nothing.
    Once again, I agree.

    I also like many things that the masses like. For instance, Star Wars 4-6, made a great use of human archetypes. The scenario was very well conceived, and there were a real team of competent designers behind this movie, people with taste -even if SW is not scientifically accurate-.

    I also have to confess I liked Star Trek (the original serie), including the latest movie. Once again, what is really interesting are the characters and their interaction, something Avatar severely lacks.

    ---

    Avatar also lacks humor, it is totally humorless. There's not even a single joke within it. And this is perhaps the greatest flaw of all, because it makes this movie looks even more ridiculous. And James Cameron genuinely thinks it is serious.

    This is paradoxically why it is so laughable, why it looks so pretentious, and why I see no way to redeem it.

    ---

    And about the scenario:

    "A man who only drinks water has a secret to hide from his fellow-men" -Baudelaire

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  2. #102
    half mystic, half skeksis jenocyde's Avatar
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    @Blackmail, sft and funny!

    But somehow I still liked this movie. Go figure.

  3. #103
    Don't Judge Me! Haphazard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackmail! View Post

    Avatar also lacks humor, it is totally humorless. There's not even a single joke within it. And this is perhaps the greatest flaw of all, because it makes this movie looks even more ridiculous. And James Cameron genuinely thinks it is serious.

    This is paradoxically why it is so laughable, why it looks so pretentious, and why I see no way to redeem it.
    Really? I thought it was hilarious.
    -Carefully taking sips from the Fire Hose of Knowledge

  4. #104
    Gotta catch you all! Blackmail!'s Avatar
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    And the last of my scientific rants.

    ---

    Since some competent biologists wrote to Cameron and his crew to make them understand that the atmosphere of Pandora cannot contain even traces of NH3 and HCN -ever smelled Ammonia? it would be an incredibly stinking moon-, they have changed their version on their official site.

    Their new idea is to pretend the culprit would be CO2: Insanely large amounts of CO2 (18%).

    It could fit better with the supposed symptoms. Plus, CO2 is chemically neutral with Dioxygen and Dinitrogen.

    But once gain, it doesn't really work. Because:

    1/ In a biologically hyperactive environment, CO2 is progressively absorbed and turned into living matter, charcoal or CaCO4. And this process is even accelerated in the presence of large bodies of water (water absorbs easily the CO2). After a few million years of biological activity, you would only have traces amounts of CO2 in the atmosphere, just like you have on Earth.

    2/ And even more annoying, CO2 is a dense, heavy gas. When you find only traces amount of it -like on Earth-, winds are powerful enough to scatter its few molecules everywhere. But with 18%... well... things would go very differently. Since it is heavier than Dinitrogen and Dioxygen, it would "fall" and concentrate just above the sea level, on low altitudes. Which means that in the jungle where the story is supposed to happen, the atmosphere would be almost exclusively made of CO2, something that is not possible since we see fires occuring.

    ---

    Last rant.

    How do you design a creature for Avatar?

    Simple.

    Take a horse, for instance. Paint it in violet. Add some CGI texture. Add two eyes and two legs to make it look more "alien".

    And voilà, that's it.
    During the whole movie, nothing has been invented. Everything has been borrowed from real Earth life.

    Very crude designs, almost children-like.

    It doesn't matter if the "horse" would gallop and charge just like an ordinary horse, and not like a true hexapod: the general audience is not supposed to notice this.
    And furthermore, the general audience must understand that

    Na'Vi= Horses+Bows= Native Amerindians

    It doesn't matter to know that the closest specie known to mankind (the Neanderthals) would not know how to properly handle a bow, because the muscles of their arms weren't attached the same way than ours.
    It doesn't matter if Na'Vi look ridiculously anthropomorphic in the process, and seem biologically even closer to modern Men than Neanderthals were.
    "A man who only drinks water has a secret to hide from his fellow-men" -Baudelaire

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  5. #105
    Senior Member Tiltyred's Avatar
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    If you love trees, if you love horses and you've ever ridden, if you've ever dreamed of flying, if you've ever fantasized that you wake up in a perfect body in a perfect world where you are treated as a god, if you love the idea that the earth is a living organism, you would like this movie. Just the vicarious visceral experience of those things was worth the price of admission. I saw it in 3D in a theater with good sound, and fell completely into it from the start.

    I loved Jake Sully, his friendliness and earnestness and eagerness, and was ecstatic for him and wanted to be him. I thought Neytiri had a Bambi-like charm (when she wasn't smacking him around). I loved the hissing and the ears back. I loved how agile they were. Their long, thin bodies reminded me of the aliens in Close Encounter a little.

    Sigourney Weaver waking up out of stasis already in bad-ass mode, demanding a cigarette was a funny hollah-back. There were some references to Dances With Wolves, too, another of my favorite movies, and definitely to Tolkien, a favorite author.

    I just a few months ago cut my hair short after having it in longish red cornrows, so I was pissed that I cut my hair! I had Avatar hair and didn't even know it. I loved the hair and the headpieces and the detail on the bows and arrows, and the phosphoressence of the freckles. I would love to have been a kid seeing this. I would be all into it, learn the language, paint myself blue, the whole nine yards.

    It was great fun and I would love to go again.

  6. #106
    Gotta catch you all! Blackmail!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haphazard View Post
    Really? I thought it was hilarious.
    I've always said INTJs have a weird sense of humour.
    "A man who only drinks water has a secret to hide from his fellow-men" -Baudelaire

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  7. #107
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackmail! View Post
    Avatar also lacks humor, it is totally humorless. There's not even a single joke within it. A
    "Oh shit."

  8. #108
    Feelin' FiNe speculative's Avatar
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    Am I the only one who doesn't find it impressive that people can compare the story of Avatar to other stories? After all, didn't Shakespeare say there's only something like seven plots, and all stories use one of those seven plots?

    I thought Avatar was very entertaining and enjoyable. It doesn't really make you "think," it makes you "feel..."
    "How can I be, all I want to be,
    When all I want to do is strip away these stilled constraints
    And crush this charade, shred this sad, masquerade"
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qGeq5v7L3WM

  9. #109
    Don't Judge Me! Haphazard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by speculative View Post
    Am I the only one who doesn't find it impressive that people can compare the story of Avatar to other stories? After all, didn't Shakespeare say there's only something like seven plots, and all stories use one of those seven plots?

    I thought Avatar was very entertaining and enjoyable. It doesn't really make you "think," it makes you "feel..."
    As they say, bad writers borrow, good writers steal.

    A story doesn't need to be completely original in plot to be good. It just has to be original in telling. So, the thing that was unique was the CG -- whether that was enough is up to the viewer.

    Did anybody else think that the slow-motion in this movie was used strangely? For some reason, that's the one bad thing that really, really stuck out to me...
    -Carefully taking sips from the Fire Hose of Knowledge

  10. #110
    Emerging Tallulah's Avatar
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    Okay, I finally gave in and rented Avatar. I have to assume that 99% of the appeal of it has to be the visual effects as experienced in 3D on the big screen, because I was overwhelmingly underwhelmed. It just wasn't a good movie, imo. I didn't care about the characters at all, and almost every scene was taken from another movie. And I don't mean the idea was gently borrowed and re-cast into something more meaningful. I mean, each scene was taken directly from somewhere else in a recognizable way.

    Even the animals were just "what if a rhinoceros mated with a hammerhead shark?" Or "hey, let's add a couple of extra legs to a horse!" I didn't feel a great sense of creativity. I feel like someone like JK Rowling is much better at creating creatures and worlds that don't exist and then making them seem possible.

    Nothing about this movie felt new or particularly heartfelt. I was kind of embarrassed for Sigourney Weaver. She was clearly phoning it in.

    The following is essentially what I said to my roommate a few minutes ago, Tarantino comparison and all, and then I came across Ivy's post stating it perfectly:

    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    I don't mind if a movie is derivative, if they do something interesting with the story. Somebody like Tarantino can be extremely derivative, paying homage to this or that old style/story/structure, and still manage to add something original to the mix. Less cheesy dialogue, even, could have brought Avatar up a couple of notches. Or more nuance to the military and industrial characters, instead of just making them "Bad Guys."
    Derivative is fine, but you have to take the derivative elements and create something original, a new way of interpreting the old thing. Making it all CGI isn't a new way of looking at the idea. It's just cosmetic.

    Word about the military bad guy, too. When you can envision someone as a Pixar character with absolutely no exaggeration involved, you know the character is not very dimensional.
    Something Witty

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