or Connect
AVS › AVS Forum › Other Areas of Interest › Movies, Concerts, and Music Discussion › Avatar (same thread new title)
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Avatar (same thread new title) - Page 69

post #2041 of 3536
Quote:
Originally Posted by raaj View Post

It's sad that there appears to be no respect to be gotten from presenting a familiar theme in a completely new setting, with new treatment and details.

All that matters is the mile-high 'at a glance' summary of the plot, with no appreciation of the cinematic treatment and presentation of the finer details of the story.

All the discussion about Avatar has been hijacked by the dismissive generalization of the story as 'Dances with Thundersmurfs' from people who claim to be 'connoisseurs of the art of filmmaking', yet there is no appreciation shown to the 'details' of the presentation of the story. I am not talking about the 'wow! graphics'. I am talking about the amount of effort and vision that went into creating the culture of the Na'Vi, and the world of Pandora.

It's like saying Raphael's Madonna of the Meadow is just an uninspired copy of Leonardo Da Vinci's Virgin of the Rocks without any concession to the difference in technique and detail of execution.

No one has hijacked anything. We are discussing the film, the same as you are. My opinon's on the merits of the film are just slightly different than yours. Avatar's world is different than the films it steals from, but it still steals far too much in many people's opinons, for it to be overlooked. It kind of overshadows everything else for me. For you, not so much. Nothing wrong with either point of view, but to be honest, the effort that went into a movie takes a huge backseat to what is on screen. I appreciate everything that went into Avatar, but that doesn't mean it's more important than what I saw when I went to the theater.

I saw a lot of other movies made into this one. I saw a good movie that I was engrossed in, but was still drawn out of, by the stolen parts. Nothing wrong with that, and it's just as valid and point of discussion as any you, or anyone else has. I would really appreciate is all of you that don't care to, or just don't see the un-orioginality, would stop trying to make us that do, feel as though we somehow don't belong in the discussion, or are doing the wrong thing by bringing it up. Just don't respond to our posts if it bothers you that much, otherwise, just respond with your point of view.
post #2042 of 3536
Quote:
Originally Posted by lordcloud View Post

No one has hijacked anything. We are discussing the film, the same as you are. My opinon's on the merits of the film are just slightly different than yours. Avatar's world is different than the films it steals from, but it still steals far too much in many people's opinons, for it to be overlooked. It kind of overshadows everything else for me. For you, not so much. Nothing wrong with either point of view, but to be honest, the effort that went into a movie takes a huge backseat to what is on screen. I appreciate everything that went into Avatar, but that doesn't mean it's more important than what I saw when I went to the theater.

I saw a lot of other movies made into this one. I saw a good movie that I was engrossed in, but was still drawn out of, by the stolen parts. Nothing wrong with that, and it's just as valid and point of discussion as any you, or anyone else has. I would really appreciate is all of you that don't care to, or just don't see the un-orioginality, would stop trying to make us that do, feel as though we somehow don't belong in the discussion, or are doing the wrong thing by bringing it up. Just don't respond to our posts if it bothers you that much, otherwise, just respond with your point of view.

Nobody here is denying that when looked at the surface, 'the mile-high overview' of the story is similar to Pocahontas, Dances with Wolves, The Last Samurai, etc. How it differs from all of those above, and in fact how each of those films differs from the others, is the way the story is told. There is no appreciation of the details of each story.. just the oversimplified similarity of thematic elements shared by all these stories.

That is why I am asking again..

"Do you see Raphael's Madonna of the Meadow and call it a blatant copy of Leonardo's Virgin of the Rocks??"

"Do you see the forests of the African Congo and dismiss it as just another copy of the Amazon rainforest?"

The devil [and the beauty] is always in the details. When I say the discussion has been hijacked by oversimplified criticisms of the story, I am saying I haven't seen enough people give credit to the finer details of the story and act as if similarity of thematic elements and plot constructs is the only thing to be focused on.

The discussion of positives of the movie spans multiple aspects, while the critics of the movie have nothing more to say than that the story was borrowed, plagiarized, stolen, whatever. No matter what positives people start discussing, they are countered with the same oversimplified criticism of the story.
post #2043 of 3536
Quote:
Originally Posted by raaj View Post

The devil is always in the details. When I say the discussion has been hijacked by oversimplified criticisms of the story, I am saying I haven't seen enough people give credit to the finer details of the story and act as if similarity of thematic elements and plot constructs is the only thing to be focused on.

That's all fine, kudos to Cameron for putting in the effort, but it still doesn't take away from the fact that some found it to be a bit derivative.

No amount of pointing out how this or that is unique to the film is going to counteract how a person felt while watching it, because it is part of their feelings. It is their impression that they took away. If you don't like that, tough, it's what we have to deal with when living in a society where opinions are expressed.

What you can do is talk about the stuff that did work for you that make the film unique, but to fixate on others opinions as being "wrong" is a waste of time. Because those opinions are not going to change. They really can't change, so why waste time? The people who say it is derivative aren't trying to change your opinion. People on both sides have said they'll have to agree to disagree.

Avatar is not a perfect film. So what? Does it make your personal enjoyment of it any less? No.

Quote:


The discussion of positives of the movie spans multiple aspects, while the critics of the movie have nothing more to say than that the story was borrowed, plagiarized, stolen, whatever. No matter what positives people start discussing, they are countered with the same oversimplified criticism of the story.

I don't think it's oversimplified criticism, I think it's a valid point. Cameron did well on a lot of the film, but wiffed on a couple other aspects. It has similarities to other films, sometimes in a good way, sometimes in not so good ways. I bet you could criticize the Raphael painting and still admire it in the exact same way.
post #2044 of 3536
Simple or complex criticism isn't the same as dislike. I posted a thread a while back asking folks if they were more of a critic or a fan of movies. This thread is a perfect example of that general question.

Any movie fan has some of both. For me, I gave up on the strong critical side of movie watching because it took away the entertainment, which being a fan and not in the industry is why I watch movies in the first place.

Did Avatar entertain me? Absolutely. Will I see it again (3rd time) in the theater? Likely. Will I buy it at home? No doubt. Was it a simple story that seemed to borrow a few too many elements? To me, yes very much so. Does that change my ability to enjoy, support, and be positive about the overall entertainment? Nope, but I won't ignore the fact that it is unoriginal.

I've posted before that I think we should cut Hollywood some slack on this. I have no issue with saying that yes, it borrows too much, and that it's still ok with me. If we expect every Hollywood movie to break new ground in terms of story we are deluding ourselves. Let's walk and chew our gum at the same time.

By the way, John Smith Dancing With Pocahontas In Ferngully (C) warrenP 2010, is my preferred title.
post #2045 of 3536
Quote:
Originally Posted by raaj View Post

Gary, I've seen the movie three times so far, but don't remember anywhere the human militia were referred to as soldiers of a national or earth-bound army. Jake is mentioned as a former marine, but I don't remember where Quaritch talks of fighting for a country. I believe he only says 'have you forgotten whose side you are on?' and 'how does it feel to betray your own people'.

I'm curious to hear from others if I overlooked reference to a nationality of the fighting force, instead of just being 'humans' fighting the 'blue monkeys'.

My point was that many reviews of the film called the mercenaries "soldiers" and even drew parallels with the exploitation of Middle Eastern Petroleum and Pandoran "Unobtanium". You will even find such generalizations within this thread. But anybody making such is clueless.

I think you are right, I think Quaritch said "your own people".
post #2046 of 3536
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary McCoy View Post

My point was that many reviews of the film called the mercenaries "soldiers" ...

The screenplay calls them "Marines" itself. And Jake the Marine (there are no "ex-Marines," he notes) calls himself a "warrior" at one point.
post #2047 of 3536
Quote:
Originally Posted by raaj View Post

Nobody here is denying that when looked at the surface, 'the mile-high overview' of the story is similar to Pocahontas, Dances with Wolves, The Last Samurai, etc. How it differs from all of those above, and in fact how each of those films differs from the others, is the way the story is told. There is no appreciation of the details of each story.. just the oversimplified similarity of thematic elements shared by all these stories.

That is why I am asking again..

"Do you see Raphael's Madonna of the Meadow and call it a blatant copy of Leonardo's Virgin of the Rocks??"

"Do you see the forests of the African Congo and dismiss it as just another copy of the Amazon rainforest?"

The devil [and the beauty] is always in the details. When I say the discussion has been hijacked by oversimplified criticisms of the story, I am saying I haven't seen enough people give credit to the finer details of the story and act as if similarity of thematic elements and plot constructs is the only thing to be focused on.

The discussion of positives of the movie spans multiple aspects, while the critics of the movie have nothing more to say than that the story was borrowed, plagiarized, stolen, whatever. No matter what positives people start discussing, they are countered with the same oversimplified criticism of the story.

No one has to give credit to anything if they don't want to. This is a discussion of the movie, good and bad. If you feel the good is under represented, then give your opinions, but don't tell anyone that they shouldn't because they aren't all positive, and trust me, the positives are all one note as well. You don't hear people that are bringing up the simple plot complaining that no one is mentioning it enough.
post #2048 of 3536
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee Stewart View Post

It always amazes me when people say Avatar is like Dances With Wolves. I can see a distant similarity but that's about it.

Jake actually transforms into Na'vi, much in the way Costner's character converts to Native American lifestyle and leads them against his 'own'; they're quite similar, but that didn't stop me from enjoying it. However, Avatar is virtually nothing like Pocahontas..
post #2049 of 3536
Quote:
Originally Posted by rezzy View Post

Jake actually transforms into Na'vi, much in the way Costner's character converts to Native American lifestyle and leads them against his 'own'; they're quite similar, but that didn't stop me from enjoying it. However, Avatar is virtually nothing like Pocahontas..

You mean nothing like the historical character and story of Pocahontas, or the Disney version (or nothing like either)? Interesting (and good I would add) how very different some of the thoughts are on this. For me, I think there are plenty of similarities to the Disney version...
post #2050 of 3536
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dbuudo07 View Post

+1 and I've seen it 6 times. No mention of country in that scene.

6 times!! Btw within the 6 times was one of them in 2D?
post #2051 of 3536
Quote:
Originally Posted by warrenP View Post

You mean nothing like the historical character and story of Pocahontas, or the Disney version (or nothing like either)? Interesting (and good I would add) how very different some of the thoughts are on this. For me, I think there are plenty of similarities to the Disney version...




Historically speaking, Pocahontas intervened on the behalf of John Smith and spared his (head) life from being taken by her people. The two supposedly married and she later tragically died from smallpox in England (of course, germ-warefare was just one of the tactics the colonists used to oust the natives from the land).

So I guess it's like neither. But with Disney being what it is, there's always a sappy ending.
post #2052 of 3536
Quote:
Originally Posted by rezzy View Post

Historically speaking, Pocahontas intervened on the behalf of John Smith and spared his (head) life from being taken. The two supposedly married and she later tragically died from smallpox in England (of course, germ-warefare was just one of the tactics the colonists used to oust the natives from the land).

So I guess it's like neither. But with Disney being what it is, there's always a sappy ending.

That's why I was curious... I agree that historically speaking there is pretty much nothing.
post #2053 of 3536
Quote:
Originally Posted by Franin View Post

6 times!! Btw within the 6 times was one of them in 2D?

Yes, the 3rd time was 35mm 2D.
post #2054 of 3536
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dbuudo07 View Post

Yes, the 3rd time was 35mm 2D.

I have been thinking of making my third viewing a 2D version to see the difference.

What did you think of the movie in 2D? I know when i have seen clips at home on tv in 2D it still looks damn good to me.
post #2055 of 3536
Yankeeman,

It is still amazing in 2D for me. The missing depth and envelopment from the 3D is the only difference. The CGI, story, characters and everything else that I love is still there.

Imagine if this was in full 15/70IMAX 3D, or 2D... I'm drooling just thinking about it That would definitely be the most expensive movie ever made.
post #2056 of 3536
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dbuudo07 View Post

Yes, the 3rd time was 35mm 2D.

Did you enjoy it in 2D or preferred the 3D?
post #2057 of 3536
Franin,

If I had a choice between the two, I'd choose a properly setup 3D theater. But I would still like to own and watch a 2D copy on Blu Ray until I get my own 3D setup at home.
post #2058 of 3536
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dbuudo07 View Post

Franin,

If I had a choice between the two, I'd choose a properly setup 3D theater. But I would still like to own and watch a 2D copy on Blu Ray until I get my own 3D setup at home.

I guess that will be awhile for most as to replicate what you all saw in the theatre is going to cost big $$$$$.
post #2059 of 3536
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dbuudo07 View Post

Yes, the 3rd time was 35mm 2D.

I thought about seeing it in 2D, but am afraid that the story will be such a blatant unoriginal copy of the 3D version, that I won't enjoy it.
post #2060 of 3536
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarshallW View Post

I thought about seeing it in 2D, but am afraid that the story will be such a blatant unoriginal copy of the 3D version, that I won't enjoy it.

Ha haa haaaa! That was priceless!!
post #2061 of 3536
Later today, Avatar will pass Dark Knight for #2 all-time domestic:

http://www.boxofficeguru.com/blockbusters.htm
post #2062 of 3536
$1.706 Billion Worldwide & counting. By the end of its run it will have made more than the the previous top two grossing films of 2009 COMBINED, "Harry Potter & The Half Blood Prince" (#9 all time) and "Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs" (#16 all time); which made $934M and $887.6M and were both massive hits.
post #2063 of 3536
Ice Age 3 ==== 887m?
WOW, would never have guessed that.
post #2064 of 3536
what amazes me is that Avatar has a serious posibility to top Titanic, which i thought would be impossible to beat.
if Avatar can do next weekend around 30 million i think it will be a sureshot to pass Titanic at least domestic.
post #2065 of 3536
Quote:
Originally Posted by d3code View Post

what amazes me is that Avatar has a serious posibility to top Titanic, which i thought would be impossible to beat.
if Avatar can do next weekend around 30 million i think it will be a sureshot to pass Titanic at least domestic.

I hope it does. I've been waiting forever for a movie to top Titanic.
post #2066 of 3536
Quote:
Originally Posted by oink View Post

Ice Age 3 ==== 887m?
WOW, would never have guessed that.

Yea those are pretty horrible movies, but for some reason the young folk love the Ice Age series ....
post #2067 of 3536
Quote:
Originally Posted by d3code View Post

what amazes me is that Avatar has a serious posibility to top Titanic, which i thought would be impossible to beat.
if Avatar can do next weekend around 30 million i think it will be a sureshot to pass Titanic at least domestic.

It's looking as if it will pass $555M this weekend... and it's doing around 3-4 million a day during the week...

It should cross Titanic around Feb 5th... and should keep going for another couple of months past that.

As I said back when the film opened, the lack of any real competition is going to be looked at as one of the keys to it's success (against the naysayer who said it would start tanking when school went back into session after the holidays...)
post #2068 of 3536
Quote:
Originally Posted by FilmMixer View Post


As I said back when the film opened, the lack of any real competition is going to be looked at as one of the keys to it's success (against the naysayer who said it would start tanking when school went back into session after the holidays...)

Lack of competition may be a factor, but with these numbers it hardly explains it.
The key might be the same guy that did Titanic, did Avatar.
Hmmmm....I wonder what THAT might mean.
post #2069 of 3536
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary McCoy View Post

I percieve a huge difference in one regard (although I do understand why that some people would not).

A soldier is somebody who serves his country and risks life and limb to preserve the civilians and the way of life that he is sworn to protect. The cavalry officer in Dances With Wolves was indeed a soldier, until he deserted and committed treason with the enemy Indians. The Tom Cruise character in The Last Samurai was a soldier, as long as he was following US orders. Even if those orders were to train foriegn troops, they were lawfull orders.

Everybody in uniform in Avatar was a mercenary. That is a hired gun, somebody who fights for money and not for patriotism. Just as the Blackwater thugs in the Middle East today are mercenaries. This was made clear in the opening 5 minutes of dialogue before Jake rolls off the lander onto Pandora.

To those of us who wore the uniform in the service of our country, the distinction is an important one. In fact, the dialogue in Avatar shows that James Cameron himself either does not understand or perhaps does not care about this difference. The scene where Colonel Quaritch asks Jake Scully if he had "betrayed his country for a piece of tail" (or words to that effect) indicates that the script was in fact confusing soldiers with mercenaries.

As others have mentioned, you are mistaken about that dialogue in Avatar. I will also point out that Tom Cruise's character in The Last Samurai was likewise a mercenary. He was not sent to Japan on US orders. He was a former soldier hired by the Japanese government to train their military.
post #2070 of 3536
Quote:
Originally Posted by raaj View Post

Nobody here is denying that when looked at the surface, 'the mile-high overview' of the story is similar to Pocahontas, Dances with Wolves, The Last Samurai, etc. How it differs from all of those above, and in fact how each of those films differs from the others, is the way the story is told. There is no appreciation of the details of each story.. just the oversimplified similarity of thematic elements shared by all these stories.

OK then, let's move on from the broad similarities to other films. Let's talk about the details of the plot in Avatar.

Let's talk about how cartoonishly over-the-top the villains in the movie are. What exactly is their motivation for wanting to wipe out the natives? They want the "Unobtainium", which we're told is valuable. That's it? Why is it valuable? Why is it worth committing genocide over? These are questions never addressed.

Quaritch in particular is evil just for the sake of being evil. Why does he need to move against the Na'vi right then, when he has a man on the inside in a position to negotiate? Seems as though humans had been mining the Unobtainium for decades, and were continuing to mine it from other parts of the planet. What's the rush to kill off all the Na'vi right at that moment? Never addressed.

So, now that he's decided to start a war against the Na'vi seemingly just for the hell of it, let's talk about the idiocy of waging that war as a ground offensive on hostile terrain when he has the equipment and technology to just bomb the hell out of the Na'vi remotely. What kind of brilliant tactical mind is that?

James Cameron is literally the man who wrote the line, "I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit." in Aliens. And yet that doesn't occur to him here? Huh.

Let's talk about the complete implausibility of the Na'vi being able to successfully defeat the humans with just spears and arrows. (Oh, I just adored the magical armor-piercing spears they developed in time for the climax.) The only reason that the Na'vi won the battle is because the soldiers were utterly incompetent at their jobs, and put themselves in a position where they could be easily defeated. How convenient.

Did James Cameron not read his history books? The Native Americans weren't able to stave off the white man and protect their lands. The white man decimated them and stole all their land. With the circumstances presented to us in this movie, that is exactly what should have happened here.

Which of course brings us to the most annoying aspect of the movie, its misguided political correctness. Avatar is, like Dances with Wolves and The Last Samurai, just another ridiculous liberal guilt fantasy. It's a movie made by a wealthy and powerful white man who wants to apologize for the actions of his ancestors (actions that in fact directly allowed him to become so wealthy and powerful). So he has concocted a silly fantasy where a heroic white man (his narrative avatar) can save the poor helpless Noble Savages who aren't capable of taking care of themselves. The whole point of this fantasy is to assuage his own feelings of guilt and present himself as the hero. How wonderful for him. What he doesn't realize is just how condescending and insulting that fantasy is.

But, you know what they say. You can't spell "Naive" without Na'vi.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
AVS › AVS Forum › Other Areas of Interest › Movies, Concerts, and Music Discussion › Avatar (same thread new title)