Page 2 of 6 FirstFirst 1234 ... LastLast
Results 16 to 30 of 87

Thread: Avatar 2009

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    13,275
    I'm glad to see you didn't drink the Kool-Aid. You make a lot of good points: AVATAR'S lack of impressiveness or originality in some of its key elements, notably the storyline or narrative, the content vs. the look and setting. Make no mistake the visuals and the setting are beautiful and make AVATAR one of the fun mainstream blockbuster watches (and far from the usual run of the genre) for the year, but also far from fully achieved enough to become a classic, as you state.

    AVATAR has many predecessors; including those you mention, A MAN CALLED HORSE is another going-native film with powerful content. Many have noted how derivative AVATAR is in content, which is funny since its fans are insisting that there has never been anything remotely like it, that it's a whole new threshold of film-making!

    You're also right about how AVATAR is unoriginal and timid in presenting us with such human-like aliens, and its surprisingly limited use of Na'vi by Jake even after he "goes native." This is a paradox given that (as I noted before) Cameron engaged a linguistics professor at USC to create a whole new language (1,000 words) for the film, that he then chose to resort to the rather ridiculous excuse that the Na'vi people have all been taught English by Grace, so Jake can go on speaking English to them most of the time. In THE EMERALD FOREST also Tommy, who becomes Tomee, naturally speaks only the Invisible People's language after he's joined and been raised by them.

    The whole thing is that joining a people in surrogate/avatar form is only joining them provisionally, not fully.

    Indeed storyline is always of essential importance in any film that has one. If a film has no storyline, okay, we can appreciate it purely for its look or setting.

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    13,275
    Do most people prefer BLADE RUNNER'S Director's Cut absence of voiceover? I don't; I like the voiceover, the way it adds to the hardboiled noir feeling. This is a good point, that Jake's "journal" is in terms of the information it explicitly conveys to us, unnecessary. However it's used to show that he is being spied upon, so that Quartrich finds out he's gone native and sets out to stop him. It also makes the audience feel more intimate with Jake, so there's more focus on his personal experience and we're not too swept away by the rich scenic aspects of the movie. In that sense the voiceover has two values to the filmmakers. Nonetheless you are right that what he says is often too obvious for words.

    I think that Cameron has made clear in so many words that he has to dumb down his ideas for his intended mass audience.

    But I think a worse fault of AVATAR is that it turns into a video-game battle that even one of its greatest admirers in print, David Denby, admits goes on "forever"; that what early in the movie is a situation with rich enough psychological aspects -- I especially sympathize with how Jake jumps into the avatar life to enjoy being (vicariously) a whole, vigorous man again -- degenerates into a Good Guys vs. Bad Guys balls-out shootout.

    Didn't that happen in STAR WARS? While A.O. Scott in his Charlie Rose interview about AVATAR talks about how as a youth STAR WARS defined movies for him and took him into a whole new cinematic world, I can remember watching it with my father (as an adult) while he kept dozing off and I couldn't, but sympathized as the battles and tiresome explosions kept going on and on and on. Spectacular visuals again, turned into boredom.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 12-20-2009 at 09:43 PM.

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Utah, USA
    Posts
    1,638

    Bladerunner Voice-Over Question

    According to Paul M. Sammon writing in "Future Noir: The Making of Blade Runner" (1996) in Chapter XIII about what has become one of the most controversial aspects of the movie stated that most people preferred the absence of a voice-over (pp. 291-99) though he was surprised that there was a substantial minority who thought otherwise.

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    13,275
    Thanks; I didn't know that. I don't understand it, because the original studio version had the voiceover.

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Utah, USA
    Posts
    1,638

    Blade Runner Voice Over Summary

    According to Sammon, there were three total recording sessions for Harrison Ford's voice-over which he himself detested. Two prior to the Denver/Dallas sneak previews which released a workprint version of the movie that contained a few lines of voice- over. In part, as a result of a mixed public response, a third voice-over session was undertaken that increased the voice-over narration significantly for the original theatrical release. This voice-over of the original release, that was taken out for the director's cut that was released years later, has been criticized according to Sammon by various people involved with the production and that supposedly "the majority of viewers find BR's narration grating and intrusive."

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    13,275

  7. #22
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    1,552
    First of all, I do not like Kool-aid. I do not drink it. When I enter a theater, I do so with a blank slate, or as close to one as I can get. Every film has strengths and weaknesses. When I criticised "The Ten Commandments" as being extremely weak in acting to the point of being pretentious, I was barbecued for my blasphemy. In the case of "Star Wars" Lucas took the plot from a western. It is far from original in any shape or fashion. Nor is the acting even close to Academy level. However, it was nominated for Best Picture of the year. Why?

    I'll tell you why.... the damn visuals, that's why!

    John Barry's sets, John Dykstra's special effects, and Richard Elund's models were unique and impressive in 70mm and anamorphic Superpanavision. However, thirty years later, Lucas had to go back in and change them digitially to reflect how much things have changed (such as visible lines that followed traveling mattes). When "Lord of Rings" first came out, we were blown away by the hordes of men that flooded onto the battlefield, again a new special effect and impressive visuals. Bingo! Nominated for Best Picture of the Year!

    It's not that I drink some mind altering drink or join with some cult, I believe some people have their intellectual blinders on!
    Colige suspectos semper habitos

  8. #23
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    1,552
    73 million at the BO. Third best BO ever in the history of film for this time of year... and like Oscar said... had the snow storm not been so severe... "Avatar" picked up another 16 million in sales yesterday on Monday, not reflected in the totals below.

    And where the hell is Johann? You've been trumpeting this horn for weeks. Have you seen this movie or not?

    The numbers by "The Numbers News":

    "Fox have announced their estimate for the opening weekend of Avatar: $73 million. The daily breakdown is estimated as Friday $27 million, Saturday $25.65 million, Sunday $20.35 million. Despite falling short of the most optimistic predictions, in part thanks to poor weather on the East Coast, the movie ranks high among the best opening weekend for non-franchise movies. It stands to open in third place on that list, behind The Passion of the Christ and December record holder I am Legend, and takes the record for the biggest opening for a wholly original production. IMAX sales are reportedly through the roof, with every single seat sold throughout the weekend. International sales are also extremely strong, with Fox reporting $159.18 million so far for a worldwide total of $232 million."

    available also at this link:

    http://www.the-numbers.com/interacti...hp?newsID=4690

    Last edited by cinemabon; 12-22-2009 at 03:04 PM.
    Colige suspectos semper habitos

  9. #24
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Ottawa Canada
    Posts
    5,499
    I haven't seen the movie yet.
    But I'm enjoyng all the posts about it...
    "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" - Pink Floyd

  10. #25
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    13,275
    I don't see what the box office has to do with the merit of the movie or how that plays into this thread that was supposed to be not promotional.

    Johann, why not yet?

  11. #26
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Ottawa Canada
    Posts
    5,499
    I've got crowd-a-phobia right now.
    Maybe Christmas day?
    "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" - Pink Floyd

  12. #27
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Ottawa Canada
    Posts
    5,499
    I know without even seeing AVATAR that it is an awesome film.
    The trailers give you that much.
    Chris might have a point about it being silly and that the Na'vi are plastic. You can see from miles away that they are CGI.

    I think the main thing to remember with this movie is that Cameron said he put everything in it that he's ever wanted to see in a movie.
    So we're experiencing James Cameron's vision, end of story.
    Either you give it up or you don't.
    He's Canadian and he's got real cinematic balls and I give it up for his work. He's not my favorite filmmaker, but he was inspired to become a director by Stanley Kubrick & George Lucas.
    I just watched The Terminator this week to "bone up" on Cameron and he's been a visionary for a long time.
    His filmography is damn impressive, and his latest film from all I've read is the most impressive of all.

    Running time might be an issue. I've made a mental note about it.
    I'm in London Ontario for the holidays, and I think I'll have to wait to see it back in T.O. (in 3-D). Not too many awesome theatres in London...
    "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" - Pink Floyd

  13. #28
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    13,275
    Thanks for commenting anyway. And this is stimulating. It is interesting to compare Cameron to Kubrick and Lucas. He genes from both, but he came out different.

  14. #29
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Ottawa Canada
    Posts
    5,499
    I'm just glad that this kind of movie is being made. By anyone.
    Huge scale vision, like Lord of the Rings, which inspired Cameron too- he saw the rendering of Gollum and figured it was time to make his ultimate major epic sci-fi film.
    The cost is staggering, but I trust that it all went up on the screen.
    "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" - Pink Floyd

  15. #30
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Ottawa Canada
    Posts
    5,499

    Me wanna wish you a Merry Christmas

    Happy Holidays to everyone, before I forget.
    It's been another interesting year.
    Hope the next decade destroys the last one.
    I'm still stunned by what happened from 2000-present.
    What an insane ten years...

    Keep going to those movies and keep posting!

    With eggnog in hand, I salute all members. Cheers.
    "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" - Pink Floyd

Page 2 of 6 FirstFirst 1234 ... LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •