Escape to the Movies: Avatar

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I preferred thinking of it as a cross between Starship Troopers and Fern Gully.

Bob i am disappointed with you as you pretty much tell us the film sucks but still say that it is a must see.I don't care how good a film looks but without a decent story as avatar doesn't have it just sucks badly.

I'm surprised on how badly you missed this kinda stuff and feel slightly embarrassed for yourself.

I thought this movie was pretty average. Don't get me wrong; it gets 5 stars for visual effects, but only 2.5 for storyline. It does not live up to the hype of a "game-changing" movie. The characters, especially the villains, were two dimensional at best. I expect this movie to be forgotten in under a year. An interesting cul-de-sac on the road of movies.

Also, How come every animal on Pandora has six legs, except for the Na'vi? It's a world chock full of hexapods but the sentient life form is a bipedal quadraped? For a "fully realised" universe this was a pretty massive error.

*edit* - As it has been pointed out I should have said 6 limbs. All higher life-forms on Pandora have 6 limbs except the Na'vi, who have 4. All higher life forms on Earth have 4 limbs, including humans*

orangeapples:
to answer that last question, yes, yes I would.

jk in all seriousness, for me this movie was always a maybe, still is I guess...

no! lol you HAVE to see it. i just saw it and it was amazing! seriously the second best movie ive ever seen haha right behind 2012 but only because the plot of 2012 just tweaked my interest a little bit more than avatar

when i first saw the previews i was like "im never going to see that movie its so stupid" but after i saw it i was like "Wooooooooow"

and to answer the question above "Why do all the animals have six legs except for the Na'vi?"
Thats like saying why dont humans have four legs like all the animals on Earth. They all have six legs on Pandora just like they all have four legs on Earth

mr Awsome:

orangeapples:
to answer that last question, yes, yes I would.

jk in all seriousness, for me this movie was always a maybe, still is I guess...

no! lol you HAVE to see it. i just saw it and it was amazing! seriously the second best movie ive ever seen haha right behind 2012 but only because the plot of 2012 just tweaked my interest a little bit more than avatar

when i first saw the previews i was like "im never going to see that movie its so stupid" but after i saw it i was like "Wooooooooow"

and to answer the question above "Why do all the animals have six legs except for the Na'vi?"
Thats like saying why dont humans have four legs like all the animals on Earth. They all have six legs on Pandora just like they all have four legs on Earth

well, the thing is that you're doing a 180 turn on your outlook from bad to awesome which is why it is great, but I'm only doing a 90 turn from mild interest to awesome which is not that great to me.

and for that last part: kangaroos and birds have 2 legs. Not "all the animals on Earth" have 4 legs

The Wah:
I thought this movie was pretty average. Don't get me wrong; it gets 5 stars for visual effects, but only 2.5 for storyline. It does not live up to the hype of a "game-changing" movie. The characters, especially the villains, were two dimensional at best. I expect this movie to be forgotten in under a year. An interesting cul-de-sac on the road of movies.

Also, How come every animal on Pandora has six legs, except for the Na'vi? It's a world chock full of hexapods but the sentient life form is a bipedal quadraped? For a "fully realised" universe this was a pretty massive error.

Thank you. I'm glad someone else picked up on that.

And by the way, morons who think humans only have 2 legs: true, but we have 4 LIMBS!

that's the complaint. Na'vi have only 4 LIMBS, rather than the 6 everything else had. whether said limbs function as legs, claws, or wings is irrelevant.

damn it

i just saw this one. great movie. but it takes some pages from more than just "dances with wolves" it also rips off "brave heart". i mean come on, the main protagonist unites the conflicting tribes against a single enemy through powerful speeches and displays of bravery.... they almost go so far as to copy the famous line "they cannot take our freedom!"

and yeah, it needed some more plot twists. but what film doesn't when you write a review for it?

Eh, an ok movie, personally I just didn't like it that much.

twistedmic:
So, according to moviebob, we should ignore the poor story telling and archetypal characters (which are somehow able to be 'well developed') just because it has really cool graphics?

Uh, he said that the story had been done before, not that it was bad. In fact, he said they pulled it off well. And archetypal characters have never been bad at all. Just look at TVtropes and see how many of your favourite characters have an archetype.

not really, there was the "hammer-head rhino" creature, it only had four limbs

and also, the villain in this movie at least had some heart. in other movies the villain will abandon all his goals once his initial plan is destroyed, this bad-ass was in it to the bitter end

danielsharpe1634:
not really, there was the "hammer-head rhino" creature, it only had four limbs

Nope.. it had six legs

http://james-camerons-avatar.wikia.com/wiki/Hammerhead_Titanothere

Have a look at the picture of it

I never really had interest in seeing this movie anyway. It's just a story I've heard too many times with a woe is me look at the CGI cat people. Sorry Bob, I love ya but I think I'll sit this one out.

This movie stands next to Blade Runner as one of the few moments in cinematic history that Hollywood got SF right. I'm disappointed only by the fact that I'll be surprised if another SF movie this good comes along in the next 30 years.

Spygon:
Bob i am disappointed with you as you pretty much tell us the film sucks but still say that it is a must see.I don't care how good a film looks but without a decent story as avatar doesn't have it just sucks badly.

I'm surprised on how badly you missed this kinda stuff and feel slightly embarrassed for yourself.

No, he got it right. It's like Joseph Campbell said, there are really only four good hero stories in the world. Everything is just a variant on them. This is one of those variants; a damned good one.

I just came back from seeing the movie, and I wasn't really impressed, I thought Ferngully did it better

Mairsil the Pretender:

The Wah:
I thought this movie was pretty average. Don't get me wrong; it gets 5 stars for visual effects, but only 2.5 for storyline. It does not live up to the hype of a "game-changing" movie. The characters, especially the villains, were two dimensional at best. I expect this movie to be forgotten in under a year. An interesting cul-de-sac on the road of movies.

Also, How come every animal on Pandora has six legs, except for the Na'vi? It's a world chock full of hexapods but the sentient life form is a bipedal quadraped? For a "fully realised" universe this was a pretty massive error.

Thank you. I'm glad someone else picked up on that.

And by the way, morons who think humans only have 2 legs: true, but we have 4 LIMBS!

that's the complaint. Na'vi have only 4 LIMBS, rather than the 6 everything else had. whether said limbs function as legs, claws, or wings is irrelevant.

damn it

Five if you count the tail.

I just watched this film and i would say this has the best cinematrogaphy since Lord of the Rings. The epic overviews of the canopies of Pandora down to the lush green of the inner jungle are compounded by absolutely amazing camera control. The only thing comparable is possibly the Return of the King. I also think its the best use of CG yet, because its well used and incredibly realistic, but not completely overblown and overused like in Transformers 2 where i thought i would get a combination of ocular hemhorraging and epilepsy from the amount of explosions and moving robot parts on the screen. The plot does seem kind of James Cameron-ish in the sense thats its kind of simple and uncomplex but is incredibly well told. But i think the weakest point of the story was dialogue. Unlike Aliens where practically every single line spouted was quotable, the voiceacting is only a few steps up from a typical summer action film. But i think thats kind of a good thing since the story emphasizes the power of action over words.

Absolutely boring film. After about 20 minutes in the jungle, the 'wow' of the visuals wears off and you just don't care about the one-dimensional characters, the shallow dialogue, or the cardboard predictable plot.

Want to see a better film? Splice Dances with Wolves and Pocahontas with a dash of Jane Goodall documentary (whom Sigourney Weaver channels throughout the whole film, as if the natives are somehow 'apes' despite Weaver being portrayed as on their side) and then end it with the Ewok fight scene from Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. There you have a much better film that has actual creativity, since they at least predate this film by over a decade.I spent the whole first half hoping the film would redeem itself in the second and was sorely disappointed. I spent the entire second half (including the fight sequences) bored out of my skull it was so predictable.

Cameron may well have spent plenty of time creating a world to set this film in, but that's apparently all he did. The script is completely phoned in. They seriously use the following two lines "We must fight for our children, and our children's children." and "We will fight terror with terror". And no, there is no subtlety with which either side says this, nor any nuance to the characters or plot, in these particular scenes or otherwise. No twists. From the moment all the characters are introduced you can easily dictate who will be on what side, and who will die/live/love/lose etc. Its a cookie cutter plot polished with a pretty CG veneer. The greatest and ONLY surprise in the entire film (spoiler alert) was that I expected the expendably human male to die in the end fight sequence instead of the female. Wow, shocking stuff. (spoiler over)

There was plenty of material that could have been covered in this colossally long picture- missionary schools and attempts to 'fix' or 'teach' the natives, patriarchy and sexism, something as simple as industrialization vs environmentalism, or even militarism. You would think something this hyped would pay more then token service to any of these themes, and they have BEAUTIFUL setups for them to be discussed. But they don't; a small exception is the bash-you-over-the-head symbolism of a large tree being destroyed as being 'bad'. Are we sure Cameron didn't let his kids write this while he was busy spending thousands of dollars getting someone to make up a language for this film? Or was he too busy explaining to the 3d modeler's how best to use blaxploitation techniques to cover all types of 'natives' and not just Africans?

A simple example of how this film had too much tech and gloss and not enough creativity- There are horse-like and dog-like creatures on Pandora. Fine, I'll accept that, convergent evolution and all that. The film goes out of its way to show breathtaking shots of these creatures moving with their SIX legs on the ground. The animators went far enough in their modelling to show that the creatures moved differently than our own versions of them. Did Cameron write them to behave any differently? No. Did they do anything with their extra limbs in combat? No. Was there any reason to make them different from our own except for its own sake? No. It would not have been hard to integrate the differences of the creatures of Pandora into the story line to paint a better portrait of how intertwined the life on Pandora is. But clearly that effort was not there.

It disgusts me that films like this provide ammo for people who feel CG makes filmaking too easy and thus detrimental to good narrative and storytelling, since crap like this will easily draw more attention from the adult masses then something like 'Up'.

Edit: To the above post. Cameron is a good directly, I doubt anyone begrudges him that. But to give him credit for the cinematography in a completely CG film is to give credit to a painter for the quality of his canvas. Cameron got his shots custom, made to order, as he wanted them and that gives no reason to applaud.

Dances with wolves? Fuck no, I always say Fern Gully. However at this point I'd be lying if I said I wasn't interested.d

Bob REALLY needs to stop being a dick and stop ripping off ZP... FAST.

I might watch this once it's been out on DVD for a few months.

lordlee:
Yes, yes Avatar is very nice.

BUT WHAT ABOUT PRINCESS AND THE FROG? Disney makes a glorious return to 2D animation and you don't even give it a nod? For shame Bob, for shame.

Ha. Ha ha.

Good one.

ZAch055:
You all must remember that this movie has more rendered characters and rendered scenes then any other movie. Its also, I think, one of the most expensive movies ever made.

And what does remembering that have anything to do with....well, anything?

As for how I feel about his review...it was very lackluster. Just do your job MovieBob. We aren't here to listen to you whine about how somebody is going to mimic South Park, or claim to be the first ones that realized it was Dances With Wolves with blue cats running around. We're here to actually listen to a review about the film. And to be completely honest, throwing in that filler for the first minute and 30 seconds really ruined it for me. As well as the whole deviantart deal.

Next time, just review the damn movie.

I like you.

I saw his interview on Attack of the Show, and I had to admit that I really didn't give a shit. He spoke about how the film was "15 years in the making, and 4 years realy full steam" and how hes been working with some 3D camera company since 2001 to get this all together. I really didn't care.

Oh well, I most likely won't see it, unless of course my father wants to see it. Hes paying though.

Edit: Sorry for the double post

Up is also one of my favorite movies of all time.

bartholen:
"The plot was kept so basic to not distract us from all this immersion"?????!!!!????

I laughed my ass off when I saw Avatar's trailer. If there's one thing I can't stand about movies, it's clichés. What does Avatar have that hasn't been done a billion times before? Kinda reminds me of Gears of War: compensating poor story with amazing visuals. If I don't care about the characters or their motivations, I can't give less of a shit about the rest of the whole movie.

Please, somebody tell me that Avatar has some unique twist, turn, moment, character, new idea or ANYTHING that would make me want to watch massive battle scenes again. What I've seen thus far doesn't give away any of the previously mentioned.

And before you all start ripping my post to pieces: my opinion is based entirely on what I've seen and heard about the movie, I haven't seen it.

Poor Story and Amazing Visuals?

You mean the guaranteed formula to producing a game of the year massive success?

All you do is take basic controls, slap on a weekend story written by a few stoners, and then have your graphics department drill a few million dollars into it. BAM You just made back millions of dollars. I hope you are happy.

But that's neither here nor there since he is talking about a movie. Just wanted to point out that in the gaming world that is all you need.

With good enough graphics you can sell anything...I don't quite know why.

THANK YOU
I just got home from watching it at the theater with the group of friends that I've marked down as my "movie watching friends" and you got it spot on. Granted much more articulately expressed but this get's my opinion of the move perfectly
edit: and yes.............Dam you Bob yes I would

also that crack about deviantart was hilarious

I donnow, it LOOKS entertaining. I'll grant it that much.

But quite frankly the whole deal of 'Evil Industrial Invaders' VS 'Hippie Peace Loving Natives' leaves a baaaad taste in my mouth just thinking about it.

This is the same reason I will never willingly watch a Michael Moore movie, I don't care how entertaining it is if the basic premise is making me furious while I'm watching it.

Oh lord... Deviantart...

If you have the chance to see this movie in IMAX, do it. You will not be disappointed in any way.

Well said! I saw the movie before the review and you took a non-biased approach that summed it up pretty well. Nicely done sir.

WAAAY too much hate on this movie.

it was breathtaking. sure, the story isn't original, but seriously, originality is near extinct now so fuck it.

Go see it. Go see it now.

I'd say watch it, but don't look at it as the "next evolution" in movie making.

Visually? Redefined the standards (especially if you see it in IMAX 3D).

What hurts it for me is not just the clìche ridden characters and plot. We've seen standard allegories, when told well, make for good films (District 9 comes to mind).

What hurts Avatar is when you combine the cookie-cutter story with its LENGTH. Taking 2 and a half hours to wrap up a story you could unfold in your mind within the first 5 minutes left me bored at certain parts. The plot points are standard and while told very well, it just took so long to connect the dots that I sort of had a migraine.

Again though, go watch it...you won't hate it and maybe even love it. I'm in between really loving it and kinda liking it. The length of a film is not proportionate to its quality in my opinion, but if you like things drawn out you might find yourself in the "loving it" crowd.

ostro-whiskey:
I generally agree with Movie Bob, but this is bs. This movie is just visual masturbation, I would prefer to spend my money on a flm that actually has depth, and can immerse me.

It should have been pointed out that this movie is designed to appeal to people with a limited mental capacity.

Troll.

And yes, I am falling for your troll. I am hardly a person of "limited mental capacity" and I thoroughly enjoyed Avatar. Of course, you don't know me, and need not take my word for it that I am quite intelligent. Let me make a couple points however...

First, Roger Ebert has given Avatar 4 out of 4 stars and stated Cameron is "king of the world" again. I would like to see you call out Roger Ebert as someone of "limited mental capacity." Go ahead, try to do that. Back up your assertion with some kind of fact to that matter while you do it, though, or you just prove you're a pathetic troll.

Second, you obviously haven't seen the movie, how can you pretend to have anything of relevance to say about it? I will not ever take any criticism seriously when the individual hasn't even seen, read, or *been there* to actually know what they are talking about.

Your attempt at a jab is facile, and you should be ashamed to ever post here again.

I first thought of Fern Gully when I saw trailers for this movie

Seneschal:

Amazon warrior:
Wow. Apparently, I managed to completely miss all the good-press/bad-press build-up for this film. As a result, I went to see it with almost no preconceptions. In fact, I primarily went to see it because I live in Germany and it's almost the first time for ages that my local cinema's shown any decent OV English-language films and I wanted to encourage them to show more! (I still haven't seen "Up", it just didn't seem to come out in English round here. Grizzle.)

Anyway, I enjoyed it, for the most part. It was a gorgeous, gorgeous film (yes, I am a bit of a graphics whore, and I'm cool with that!) with likeable characters in a very integrated, complete-seeming world. I saw it in 3D but I'd actually be interested to see it in 2D - maybe there was something duff with the cinema's 3D projection system, but towards the end I was feeling headachy and nauseous (something I didn't notice in the one other 3D film I've seen), which really detracted from the experience for me. If I hadn't felt that way, I don't think I would have noticed the length of the film.

Yeah, it's been said that the extensive CGI, the better-than-reality graphics and the 3D made people feel nauseous.

At least, for once, it isn't because of the fucking shaky-cam! Avatar has really great, long shots that let you savor the visuals.

Ah, so it wasn't necessarily just me. The two friends I went with didn't seem bothered, but they were sitting more towards the centre than I was, maybe that made a difference.

Mind you, maybe this had something to do with it...! :p

Why yes, yes I would do her. The only question is how do you get blue kitty fur out of bed sheets, and how deep will the cuts be?

Bob's review is the only piece of journalism so far which has come close to describing the way I experienced this film. There's a a lot of cynicism and bitterness about Avatar amongst British critics. Yes, it's a story which has been told before, but if 3 beautiful hours and $300m is what it takes to pique young people's curiosity about the plight of native Americans, and latterly Western neo-imperialism, then so be it. This is epic, immersive film-making with a laudable moral core.

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