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Thread: Avatar 2009

  1. #76
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    Defending the Undefendable

    A circular argument at best when one comes to argue about the validity of box office receipts and then ends up stating that AVATAR has made more money than any other movie as a concluding statement. The fact that AVATAR has made more money than any other movie considering all the variables involved still isn't very meaningful statement as regards the movie itself...

    While I have rated AVATAR an 8 on a 10 point scale, as a fascinating and visually delightful movie, nevertheless, Marshall McLuhan's the "Medium is the Message," where the 3-D and the visual effects become the popular, Disneyland entertainment of the current fashion, the world's LSD trip...where a passing technical breakgrhough is sought over substance, the collision of mental thought and emtions for primitive sensory delights...we find ourselves in the sci fi world of Fahrenheit 451 (1966) looking at wall screens that offer only a mirage of substance over an illusion of brilliant intellectual stimlution while books are banned and burned.

  2. #77
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    Tabuno, I find you and I are totally on the same page about Avatar and its "success."

  3. #78
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    Uncertainty Principle

    It's perhaps the Hiesenberg Principle of the observer affecting the observed or random probability of chance that two events intersect in the time/space continuum.

  4. #79
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    I still haven't seen AvAtAr yet. It literally is a phenomenon, this movie.
    In Toronto over the weekend I gave up trying to see it. Maybe in another 2 weeks?
    When you are first in line when the doors of the Scotiabank theatre open in the A.M. and you're immediately told that the only screening available is 1030PM THAT NIGHT, I get angry.
    I'm glad that the movie is doing killer box-office. I think that is just fantastic. But it's pretty retarded that you can't get a ticket 7 weeks after it opens. I hate movie theatres that are filled up to capacity or near-capacity.
    Usually I go to the movies alone, and to listen to jerk-offs and jackasses natter away about sheer meaningless crap before the movie drives me up the wall. And an odd thing always happens in these packed theatres: the talking gets louder and louder as the movie gets closer to beginning.
    Why is it that whenever people get to a movie theatre they feel the need to ramp up and amp up their already mundane conversation?
    I mean that shit hits a fever pitch EVERY TIME.
    I want to seal off the place and gas the fuckers.

    I want my 13 bucks back for Rob Marshall's NINE. I felt like I was watching a commercial for erectile dysfunction.
    Judy Dench was horrible. What was she doing???
    Kate Hudson was so out of place it was like watching Paris Hilton audition for Fame.
    And Daniel day-Lewis? My God, what posessed him to do this role? It's like the Twilight Zone.
    Nicole Kidman was in it. I think.
    Penelope Cruz's performance was the most interesting/saucy thing in the movie. And Fergie was good. She's a music performer anyway,
    nailed it to the blackboard with ease. Sultry Mama she is.

    Terrible movie, NINE is.
    A slick, polished turkey.
    "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" - Pink Floyd

  5. #80
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    I find it ludicrous to mention McLuhan (whom I studied at OSU and read "Understanding Media" in which he mentions the phrase "the media is the message" should have any bearing on this case. I mean, what is it about the success of this film that bothers you? Clearly, the mere mention of money in the same breath means something else. Take "Psycho" for example. This film had the lowest budget of any Hitchcock movie and yet had the highest return of all his films. Does success diminish its content? Then take a film like "Blair Witch Project" or even "I am curious, Yellow," where the budgets don't add up to the price of a Lamborghini. They were highly successful outtings, but in their case the content was crap. Your criteria for judging or misjudging a film based on its BO, or your argument that "Avatar" should be judged so, baffles me. But to mention any connection to McLuhan is so far removed... you either haven't read "Understanding Media" or you've watched too many Woody Allen movies.

    If this discussion is going by the way of McLuhan, then I suggest all of you about to participate brush up on your literature, because if I have to post on Marshall McLuhan, I will be dusting off my college paper notes... and you don't want to go there.
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  6. #81
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    Marketing and Subliminal Advertising

    How something is packaged regardless of its content influences public opinion greater than most rational people realize. How something looks can provoke positive beliefs in how good a product is and in this case a film may be. So the medium can make a message even better than it really is. Supposedly psychological tests have demonstrated this to be so according to Brian Nosek, a psychologist at the University of Virginia.

  7. #82
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    McLuhan’s understanding of the media that delivers the medium or message, was framed by his knowledge that satellite communications had made us more a “global village.” However, that level of understanding would pale in comparison to what he would say today about the internet (which did not exist in its current form since he died in 1981). Even more, since he was more focused on the medium that delivered the message, the iphone would further complicate matters, since the “hot” media he so described (such as film) is combined in its content on such devices, and computers such as laptops contain both hot and cold forms. All film is hot, and if McLuhan had seen an IMAX theater, he would have said, HOT HOT HOT! In this case, anything an IMAX theater projected would have the same significant impact on its audience due to its size and image clarity (especially by adding realism such as 3-D). But that would go for any film in that format or any format. McLuhan would not say that one film is more significant than another because it is the delivery system that is the medium, not the content.

    For once, we agree
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  8. #83
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    It seems rather superfluous to me to write a review of AVATAR at this stage. I mean, IMDB has collected 352 reviews from critics and an astonishing 2,170 reviews from "users". So, I reiterate the obvious: AVATAR is a monumentally entertaining immersive and sensorial experience. I can picture Chris thinking: "Argh! Dummy drank the Kool-Aid! Bought into the hype!" I tend to regard myself as a guy with eclectic tastes but I recognize I respond most enthusiastically to low budget, minimally plotted, subtly socially-conscious dramas with psychologically complex characters and ambiguous endings. The best films I watched in 2009 (The American GOODBYE SOLO and the Argentinean New Wave films THE HEADLESS WOMAN and LIVERPOOL) fit that mold. However, once in a while comes a grand fantasia out of Hollywood that sweeps me off my feet. I am a fan of the Lord of the Rings trilogy and the first and last versions of King Kong, for instance. Likewise, I found AVATAR irresistible.

    Not just the visuals, mind you, but the romance and the critique of imperialism that form the core of the narrative. I realize that the story mostly follows an archetypal template. Yet that is part of the reason for the film's universal reach and the specificity of the imagined milieu rendered with painstaking craft sustained my attention for the duration. Out of the 6 pages of comments in this thread, it is cinemabon's recounting of his (and his son's) emotional reaction to the scene in which the HomeTree is destroyed that resonates with me. One of the great things that cinema is capable of doing is to arouse emotions within the viewer. This one just could not remain detached and distanced during the destruction of Pandora. The CGI bombing scenes reminded me of the all-too-real bombing of Cambodia seen in the Oscar-winning documentary Hearts and Minds (1975).

    The political allegories in AVATAR are clear, and central to my modest reservations about the film. There are two antagonists:Giovanni Ribisi's organization man and Colonel Quaritch. The former barely registers and the latter seems scarcely human; a barely personified Thanatos. Ideologically, it feels uncomfortable to me to "hate" a soldier and not the "suit" giving orders from earth for the enrichment of himself and his class. We don't get to see the real villain(s) in AVATAR. There has to be a Dick Cheney in it but we don't get to see him.

  9. #84
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    Stereotypical

    Personally, it's hard for me to really resonate with a movie that uses stock characterization and predictable storylines that seem to be idealiized beyond reality (even taking into account that it is a sci fi movie). We've seen the story all too often before - we the bad guys against the bad guys in order to promote some socially concientious goodness. Not a lot to really contemplate here. I got more out of Ripley saving her cat in ALIEN (1979) in terms of emotional resonance than anything in this movie besides the fabulous special effects or for another more effective socially redeeming movie take Golden Globe Signourney Weaver's performance, storyline, and script in GORILLAS IN THE MIST (1988).

  10. #85
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    I still haven't seen the film yet and I probably won't write a review either, like Oscar.
    I'm impressed with my ability to resist seeing this behemoth. Gold star for hype avoidance! (Even tho I've hyped it personally!)

    In the Toronto Star a few days ago they had a picture of a guy in Na'vi makeup and "costume", in all blue makeup, complaining about his country's displacement of his "people". (They named the country but I forget what it was- somewhere in South America? Maybe?). Apparently a whole horde of people protested in that get-up. The film has serious resonance on our little blue marble.
    I sense serious political tones in it and I plan on seeing it in the first week of March. (Still selling out in IMAX here in Toronto- unbelievable)
    There's a "man behind the curtain" like Cheney in it? Hmmm.

    I think I'll love it.
    "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" - Pink Floyd

  11. #86
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    Thank you Oscar for your remarks. The man who touted Avatar's horn is "still resistant" I find incredulous. Tsk, tsk, Johann.

    Few movies in film history resonate with their audiences the way this film has. To be cynical and disregard those feelings on an intellectual basis is to deny ones feelings about any event... the skater who fights to be on the podium after a decade of sacrifice only to fall at the last second and have their hopes dashed away is a vicarious moment, not only for the skater but us. We feel the pain, the loss, the emptiness that follows and the terrible sense of failure that no matter what we do, we face this foe of fate that robs us of glory. "It was not meant to be." The reason I came out in favor of this film from the start, and I believe I made this abundantly clear many times, had nothing to do with the plot. We've gone over that time and again. It had to do with something much deeper than that. It concerns emotion... the kind of gut wrenching emotion that some people refuse to recognize in themselves, because to do so, would make them feel vulnerable. Well I happen to cry when I see something that calls for it, such as the skater who falls or the tree that falls, and to deny that "Avatar" is not some gut wrenching emotional event and a once in a lifetime happening, is to deny that child in ourselves that calls a spade a spade when we see it. If we are to seek out the truth in our lives, then we must recognize that part of us that is vulnerable, and let it out when called upon. For only then are we human and part of this larger tribe called humanity.
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  12. #87
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    "THAT"S HOW YOU SCATTER THE ROACHES" -Col. Quaritch


    AVATAR


    Incredible movie. I waited a retarded amount of time to check Avatar out and it did not disappoint.
    Wow.
    In 3-D it is nothing short of breathtaking.
    I was just bowled over with the gorgeous 3-D renderings.
    The art direction (colors, character/vehicle designs, vegetation, MOONS!, etc.) was just incredible.
    Everything I want in a movie is here, except there are two things that kind of annoyed me (yet are quite forgivable):
    1. It seeems to me that Jake is plucked from nowhere to be the intel hero. Why? Why is he chosen? a crippled marine?
    His mental state hasn't been analyzed enough. It seems like they just picked him out of a hat. Maybe I missed why he's the man for the job.
    2. The Na'Vi accepted him pretty damn fast into their tribe. I had trouble with how they reason.They are extremely primitive, yet their communications and abilities to express themselves is quite developed. I was expecting maybe a little more "caveman" and a little less spiritual/native indian superimposition. But again, quite forgivable. James Cameron has suceeded in telling an interesting story about human folly transposed onto a fantastic forbidden planet.

    That giant tree falling towards the end....holy shit. Just like the Titanic, falling to the depths!
    Loved Avatar. I wasn't going to write a review but I had to comment on it. It is an astonishing achievement in motion picture history.
    Everything was aces to me, each sequence was beautiful to behold. I often wondered how Cameron's SFX teams produced such amazing, believable images. The CGI was more believable than the great stuff we saw in the new Star Wars trilogy. Special effects are at a level now that surpass anything in the past. During Avatar I had flashbacks to when I first saw Jurassic Park, and The Phantom Menace. But Jake Sully's Avatar destroys the likes of Jar Jar Binks and Boss Nass. More believable and more interesting.
    Just a fantastic film.
    Avatar deserves all of it's recognition.
    James Cameron has shoved the medium forward.
    Last edited by Johann; 03-31-2010 at 03:32 PM.
    "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" - Pink Floyd

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