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Ingvanye
02-16-2011, 11:22 AM
:e2violin:Just wondering....

Is it just me? I can't bring myself to watch James Cameron's Avatar. I saw the write-ups, the ads and read the blurbs, and to me it's Andre Norton's Janus.

I know, after googling this, that there are others who feel it's been ripped off other SciFi authors, but I just see so many similarities to Janus. I'm a terribly loyal Norton fan and I would have loved to see the Janus books made into films, especially after the "Beast Master" botch up. Now that won't happen because Cameron got in first.

Does anybody else feel the same?

If this has already come up before, do forgive me, I haven't been here long enough to read everything.:Shrug:

seun
02-16-2011, 03:16 PM
Don't blame you for not wanting to watch it. And you're better off posting something like this like over in the Movies forum. ;)

Manuel Royal
02-16-2011, 04:12 PM
Somehow I've never read Andre Norton, though I know the name. Like a lot of others, I saw Avatar as being similar to works by Poul Anderson and Clifford Simak, not to mention a couple of Outer Limits episodes. James Cameron has no original ideas, but he's a great director visually, so he gets to make $200 million movies with weak, derivative scripts.

jaksen
02-16-2011, 05:43 PM
Yeah but it's a trope, a useable trope, a trope that hasn't run out of trope-worthiness yet. It's the same plot line as Pocahantas and Dances With Wolves. It's tiresome in some ways to see 'the white man' become one with the indigenous population and then he's the 'one to save them...'

Poor indigneous folk, can never save themselves...

But as I said, it's a trope that keeps on going so somebody out there (lots of somebodies) like it.

I finally watched it when it was on HBO, which I pay for, so I didn't have to pay 'extra' to see it.

fireluxlou
02-16-2011, 05:57 PM
http://failblog.org/2010/01/10/avatar-plot-fail/

It's good in 3d is all I'll say. I just enjoy it for what it is.

WriteKnight
02-16-2011, 06:18 PM
I saw it only because I have friends in the FX industry who did work on it, and because one has to keep abreast of what's current - just to have discussions with agents and producers.

Visually interesting accomplishment. Story almost put me to sleep.

Cranky
02-16-2011, 07:17 PM
Don't blame you for not wanting to watch it. And you're better off posting something like this like over in the Movies forum. ;)

I haven't watched it, either, and don't plan to. Ew. And we're heading on over to the movies forum, folks, so buckle your seat belts and hang on! :)

Grrarrgh
02-16-2011, 07:30 PM
I saw it only because I have friends in the FX industry who did work on it, and because one has to keep abreast of what's current - just to have discussions with agents and producers.

Visually interesting accomplishment. Story almost put me to sleep.

This. Except for the part about having friends who worked on it. :) Very pretty, but I really hated it. Unobtainium? Really? Then Michelle Rodriguez showed up and I just accepted that it would never get any better.

JohnnyGottaKeyboard
02-16-2011, 10:07 PM
It's the same plot line as Pocahantas and Dances With Wolves. Actual lines by me and friend as we watched Avatar...

"If she starts singing Color of the Winds, I'm outta here."

"Wow. This is a lot like Last of the Mohicans. I mean, isn't that Wes Studi?"

Manuel Royal
02-16-2011, 10:25 PM
It did have a genuinely good sf idea -- that all the plants and animals on the planet Pandora could link their nervous systems together and share consciousness. Reminds me of some of the better stuff ... from the 1950s. Movies tend to be way, way behind the literature in a given genre.

Zoombie
02-16-2011, 10:28 PM
Okay, three things.

1) Avatar earns brownie points for me for having THE MOST REALISTIC INTERSTELLAR SPACESHIP EVER DEPICTED ON THE SCREEN (http://www.projectrho.com/rocket/realdesigns.php).

Seriously, the first ten seconds of the film had me drooling. Om nom nom real spaceship design om nom nom.


2) While cliched, boring, stupid and racist, at least Avatar put the pieces together competently. If you want an example of boring, cliched and stupid AND racist that put the pieces together INCOMPETENTLY...then watch Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.

3) They should use the 3d technology and FX capacity to make A Deepness in the Sky movie. Do it. Dooooooooooo iiiiiiiiiittttttt.

Closing notes: District 9 was better.

LivingDork
02-16-2011, 10:38 PM
2) While cliched, boring, stupid and racist, at least Avatar put the pieces together competently. If you want an example of boring, cliched and stupid AND racist that put the pieces together INCOMPETENTLY...then watch Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you!
I thought I was the only one offended as all get out by those robots.

McTheebs
02-16-2011, 10:48 PM
I have yet to see it either and probably never will, unless it just happens to be on TV.

I wasn't impressed with the plot, but more than that, I was very much disgusted with how much was spent to make the movie and how much it earned.

There is no way that half a billion dollar movie should even break even, let alone become the highest grossing movie ever.

I remember how happy I was when I found out that it didn't win best picture.

roseangel
02-16-2011, 11:35 PM
The story and characters are quite forgettable.
Visually very stunning, some good music, but we would be halfway through the film and the only characters name that I remembered was the MC, (Jake, right?) and if his name hadn't been mentioned so much, I probably wouldn't remember his either.
It was 100% predictable, no surprises, and very very derivative.

HouseboundWriter
02-16-2011, 11:48 PM
Somebody bought it for me on DVD for Christmas and I just have no ambition to watch it at all. It could be the over hyped media attention the film received which almost always puts me off seeing a film but I think it was simply when ever anyone was talking to me about how great the film was they never once mentioned anything to do with the plot just the special effects. If it was akin to Andre Norton’s Janus I would maybe give it a go as that is a great story but something tells me it is just a watered down dumb down version of that epic tale.

Jcomp
02-17-2011, 12:04 AM
I stand firmly in the camp of people who believe it's a pretty good sci-fi popcorn flick. Not great. Not awful. Pretty good. For one of the most watched films of all time, there are surprisingly few people in this camp with me.

I also reserve the right to heap additional praise on the film if it indeed proves to be have provided the financial windfal necessary for Cameron to finally make that damn live action Battle Angel he's been promising for ages. As it is, Avatar's success is helping get At the Mountains of Madness made, so it earns a point there as well.

Rhoda Nightingale
02-17-2011, 12:04 AM
I was made to see this at the theater--twice--against my will. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't that great either, and the one thing that drives me crazy about it is the number of people who talk about it like it's the *~~BEST MOVIE EVAR~~* which is a matter of opinion to start with, and more importantly not even CLOSE to the truth.

Well, okay, that, and a couple other things: visually stunning, I will give it that. However, correct me if I'm wrong here, but isn't this the same motion capture technology they used in Lord of the Rings? It's more streamlined with Avatar, sure, but it's all done by WETA Digital, and they've been consistently mind-blowing since The Frighteners. Give credit where it's due, is all I'm saying.

And lastly: "It's not just some Pagan Voodoo--it's real!" Um, excuse me, I'm sitting right here. (Rhoda is Pagan, and almost walked out at that line.)

Zoombie
02-17-2011, 12:22 AM
Seriously, A Deepness in the Sky, the movie.

Make it! Someone make it!

robeiae
02-17-2011, 04:42 AM
I stand firmly in the camp of people who believe it's a pretty good sci-fi popcorn flick. Not great. Not awful. Pretty good. For one of the most watched films of all time, there are surprisingly few people in this camp with me.
*hands Jcomp a S'moreTM*

seun
02-17-2011, 01:43 PM
It doesn't surprise me the amount of people who think it's the greatest film ever made simple because it's so visually impressive. I felt the same about The Matrix.

Looked pretty. Sod all going on below the surface.

robeiae
02-17-2011, 05:24 PM
Wait, have we switched to Titanic now?

Cyia
02-17-2011, 05:34 PM
It's good in 3d is all I'll say.

This was my thought.

I watched it on DVD when it came out, but ended up fast forwarding through most of it. There were some things I could tell would have looked amazing in 3-D on the big screen, but it definitely wasn't a "story" movie.

Camilla Delvalle
02-19-2011, 03:10 PM
I saw this movie for the first time a few days ago. This means you are now the only one in the world who has not seen it. The others are right in that the story is not very original, and it is easy to predict what will happen. I found it a nice story anyway and the visuals were pleasing to me. I would not recommend against watching if you feel like doing it.

Celia Cyanide
02-19-2011, 09:51 PM
when ever anyone was talking to me about how great the film was they never once mentioned anything to do with the plot just the special effects.

The thing is, though, movies are good for all different reasons. Sometimes it's the plot. But that is not the only reason, and it's certainly not the reason a movie is "supposed" to be good. Some of the best movies have pretty basic plots, but have something else about them that make them interesting. There are some great plots that for poorly executed.

Example: I thought In The Bedroom was a great film, but what was great was the performances. The plot was not that remarkable. It was about a couple dealing with the murder of their son.

The thing about Avatar that impressed me was that James Cameron used the 3D technology better than anyone I had ever seen before. He was considering the entire 3 dimensional space the whole time he was filming, and I could see that long before we saw the aliens. 3D technology could become a very interesting and useful tool for filmmakers, but the only way that will happen is if we learn to use it as more than a gimmick. He seems to be the only person who has mastered this thus far.

Having said that, I thought Sigourney Weaver sucked. She's a great actress, but that was the worst performance I had ever seen of hers.

roseangel
02-20-2011, 12:33 AM
The thing about Avatar that impressed me was that James Cameron used the 3D technology better than anyone I had ever seen before. He was considering the entire 3 dimensional space the whole time he was filming, and I could see that long before we saw the aliens. 3D technology could become a very interesting and useful tool for filmmakers, but the only way that will happen is if we learn to use it as more than a gimmick. He seems to be the only person who has mastered this thus far.

Having said that, I thought Sigourney Weaver sucked. She's a great actress, but that was the worst performance I had ever seen of hers.

Honestly, to me, the characters and their actors were entirely incidental.
They were vehicles for the sfx and the world he had created, which I thought was gorgeous.
So see it if you want to see amazing visuals, the story and characters don't get in the way of enjoying that.