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Author Topic: Avatar (2009)  (Read 28724 times)
Dust Devil
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« Reply #30 on: November 11, 2009, 06:18:40 PM »

You got to remember that IMAX tickets and 3D showing tickets are more expensive than regular tickets.

I don't have to remember anything: I don't have the money to go to the cinema. Cheesy

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« Reply #31 on: November 11, 2009, 09:25:53 PM »

I don't have to remember anything: I don't have the money to go to the cinema. Cheesy

with being po you do lose memory

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« Reply #32 on: December 12, 2009, 08:22:17 AM »

I'm guessing this is a pretty fair appraisal:

Quote
AP review: Effects wow but story limps in `Avatar'
Dec 11 11:45 AM US/Eastern
By JAKE COYLE
AP Entertainment Writer

 
When a film brashly asserts that it will change moviemaking forever, one feels the urge to either take its "king of the world" arrogance down a notch or hail it as the masterpiece it claims to be.

But—and forgive us if this sounds too much like the dialogue in President Obama's war room—what if there's a third option?

James Cameron's 3-D "Avatar" has all the smack of a Film Not To Miss—a movie whose effects are clearly revolutionary, a spectacle that millions will find adventure in. But it nevertheless feels unsatisfying and somehow lacks the pulse of a truly alive film.

"Avatar" takes place in the year 2154 on the faraway moon of Pandora, where, befitting its mythological name, the ills of human life have been released. The Earth depleted, humans have arrived to mine an elusive mineral, wryly dubbed Unobtainium.

The Resources Developmental Administration, a kind of military contractor, is running the operation. At the top of the chain of command is the CEO-like Carter Selfridge (an excellent, ruthless Giovanni Ribisi), who's hellbent on showing quarterly profits for shareholders. His muscle and head of security is the rock-jawed Col. Miles Quaritch (Stephen Lang), who curses Pandora's inhabitants (the Na'vi) as savages and considers the place worse than hell.

In fact, it's a paradise. In Pandora, Cameron has fashioned a sensual, neon-colored, dreamlike world of lush jungle, gargantuan trees and floating mountains. Its splendor is easily the most wondrous aspect of "Avatar."

Cameron, like the deep sea diver that he is (his only films since 1997's "Titanic" have been underwater documentaries), lets his camera peer with fascination at the glow-in-the-dark plant life, the six-legged horses and—especially beautiful—the nighttime frog-like creatures that, when touched, open a bright white sail and spiral into the air.

It's this sense of discovery—in Pandora, in the wizardry of the filmmaking—that makes "Avatar" often thrilling.

Our main character is Jake Sully (Sam Worthington), a brawny former Marine who lost the power of his legs in battle on Earth. His scientist twin brother has just died and Sully, having a matching genome, is invited to replace him in a mission to Pandora.

He joins a small group of scientists led by Dr. Grace Augustine (Sigourney Weaver) who are attempting to learn more about the Na'vi by conducting field studies and doing a bit of undercover science. They've created avatars of themselves to go about Pandora as a living, breathing Na'vi, while their human bodies lie dormant in a sort of tanning bed (they return to them when their avatars sleep).

The Na'vi are a 10-foot-tall species with translucent, aqua-colored skin, 3-fingered hands and smooth, lean torsos. They have long, neat dreadlocks for hair and wide, feline foreheads. The smart freckles on their brow faintly light up like tiny constellations.

With beady headdresses and skimpy sashes, the Na'vi are clearly meant to evoke Native Americans, as well as similarly exploited tribes of South America and Africa. They pray over slain animals and feel at one with nature. Their tails (oh, yes, they also have tails) even connect—like nature's USB port—to things like mystical willow branches, horse manes or the hair of pterodactyl-like birds.

It's no coincidence that the Na'vi chief Eyukan is played by the Cherokee actor Wes Studi, whose credits include "Dances with Wolves," perhaps the film most thematically akin to "Avatar."

"Avatar," which Cameron wrote as well as directed, is essentially a fairy tale that imagines a more favorable outcome for the oppressed fighting against the technology and might of Western Civilization. Sully, who quickly takes to life as a Na'vi, begins to feel his allegiances blurred.

Though he has promised Quaritch to spy on the Na'vi (their home lies atop an Unobtainium deposit), he begins to appreciate their ways. He also falls for Neytiri (Zoe Saldana), the Na'vi princess and the one who introduces him to the tribe.

Many Na'vi are suspicious of Sully—"a demon in a fake body"—but they eventually embrace him. They accept him as a leader, even though he occasionally goes limp and vacant when his human body isn't connected. This off-switch makes for questionable leadership skills—as if George Washington had been a narcoleptic.

The inevitable battle has overt shades of current wars. Quaritch, drinking coffee during a bombing with a cavalier callousness like Robert Duvall in "Apocalypse Now," drops phrases like "pre-emptive strike," "fight terror with terror" and even "shock and awe," a term apparently destined to survive for centuries in the lexicon.

These historical and contemporary overtones bring the otherworldly "Avatar" down to Earth and down to cliche. The message of environmentalism and of (literal) tree-hugging resonates, but such a plainly just cause also saps "Avatar" of drama and complexity.

It's also a funny message coming from such a swaggering behemoth of technology like "Avatar." As for the effects, they are undeniable. 3-D has recently become en vogue, but only now has it been used with such a depth of field.

The movie is also a notable advance for performance capture, which is how the Na'vi were created. As was done with Gollum in "The Lord of the Rings" and King Kong in "King Kong," the Na'vi were made with cameras and sensors recording the movements of the actors and transposing them onto CGI creatures.

Seldom has this been done in a way that captured the most important thing—the eyes—but Cameron employed a new technology (a camera rigged like a helmet on the actors) to capture their faces up close. The green, flickering eyes of the Na'vi are a big step forward, but there's still an unmistakable emptiness to a movie so filled with digital creations.

Ultimately, the technology of "Avatar" isn't the problem—moviemaking, itself, is an exercise in technology. But one need look no further than Wes Anderson's "Fantastic Mr. Fox" to see how technique—whether it be antique stop-motion animation or state-of-the-art 3-D performance capture—can find soulfulness at 24 frames per second.

"Avatar," a 20th Century Fox release, is rated PG-13 for intense epic battle sequences and warfare, sensuality, language and some smoking. Running time: 161 minutes. Two and half stars out of four.

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« Reply #33 on: December 12, 2009, 12:01:05 PM »

Avatar? Doesn't this movie star Kevin Costner as an American soldier who befriends the Indians and learns the errors of his white ways?

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« Reply #34 on: December 12, 2009, 01:28:33 PM »

Wes Studi played one of the evil Pawnee Indians in Dances With Wolves, yes? Therefore that's an odd comment to make.

Thanks for the article Jenkins. I might see this at some point out of curiosity but it will have to wait.

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« Reply #35 on: December 12, 2009, 07:25:38 PM »

yea thanks

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« Reply #36 on: December 12, 2009, 09:40:03 PM »

In fact, it's a paradise. In Pandora, Cameron has fashioned a sensual, neon-colored, dreamlike world of lush jungle, gargantuan trees and floating mountains. Its splendor is easily the most wondrous aspect of "Avatar."

Cameron, like the deep sea diver that he is (his only films since 1997's "Titanic" have been underwater documentaries), lets his camera peer with fascination at the glow-in-the-dark plant life, the six-legged horses and—especially beautiful—the nighttime frog-like creatures that, when touched, open a bright white sail and spiral into the air.

It's this sense of discovery—in Pandora, in the wizardry of the filmmaking—that makes "Avatar" often thrilling.


That all sounds very nice but the trouble is it was done on a computer.
The camera never viewed any of this.
"Thrilling" is hardly the word I would choose when talking about a computer generated camera view zipping through a computer generated world.

The only way I'll be seeing this movie is at an IMAX theatre in 3-D.
But being that the nearest IMAX to me is in a hell hole (Fort Lauderdale)... I think I won't even bother.

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« Reply #37 on: December 13, 2009, 04:03:51 AM »

Wes Studi played one of the evil Pawnee Indians in Dances With Wolves, yes? Therefore that's an odd comment to make.

Thanks for the article Jenkins. I might see this at some point out of curiosity but it will have to wait.

From what I've read, the script is the weakest part. and it's basically Dances With Wolves in Space. Maybe it's not, there's always that possibility, right? I'll have to find out on DVD.

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« Reply #38 on: December 13, 2009, 04:19:12 AM »

I'll have to find out on DVD.

I wonder why more filmgoers won't be taking the route you've chosen.

If you've seen the 4 minute trailer (like those going to see the film next weekend undoubtedly have) you would know that you don't need to spend money to see the film because you've already seen it.

You get the beginning, middle and end with those short 4 minutes.

Anybody else wondering why the greedy humans don't just use their massive gunships to wipe out the tecnologically challeneged natives as opposed to going through the trouble of infiltrating them?

Perhaps I can answer my own question...

Then there wouldn't be a 2+ hour movie.

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« Reply #39 on: December 13, 2009, 06:23:48 AM »

Anybody else wondering why the greedy humans don't just use their massive gunships to wipe out the tecnologically challeneged natives as opposed to going through the trouble of infiltrating them?
Apparently, the cat people are living on top of a huge deposit of Unobtanium, and if they blow the pooh out of the catpeople they'll lose the mineral they're trying to get. Why they can't just go mine the stuff somewhere else on the planet, I dunno.

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« Reply #40 on: December 13, 2009, 10:21:05 AM »

The Universe needs fewer cats. That's reason enough to wipe 'em out.

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« Reply #41 on: December 13, 2009, 10:42:48 AM »

Yeah, when I see the film, I'm definitely gonna be rooting for Stephen Lang and the boys.

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« Reply #42 on: December 13, 2009, 12:49:51 PM »

It would be something not quite cliche though, so I doubt it will happen.

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« Reply #43 on: December 13, 2009, 05:53:46 PM »

Comment from another review:

"If I wanted to hear endless nonsense spewed from something good-looking, I'd watch The Tyra Banks Show."

http://chicago.metromix.com/movies/movie_review/avatar-review/1662350/content

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« Reply #44 on: December 17, 2009, 06:38:04 PM »

http://cinemablend.com/new/Teaser-Trailer-For-Avatar-Is-Finally-Here-14445.html

Trailer. Dorky crap from the looks of it (and not in a good nerdy way)

I'm only just latching onto the trailers etc now and it all looks very naff and  hideous.Not my kind of movie so i hope it does disasterously. Huh

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