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AVATAR the movie


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Not having seen the film myself I'm hardly an authority, but all the reviews and comments I have read so far about the flimsy plot development do make me question the film's selection for the GG for drama...unless the GG is just another industry mechanism of mutual m@sturb@tion...NOH! TELL ME IT CAN'T BE SO!

Forget it and watch it in the best 3D quality available to you.

Then come back and tell us whether it is the best drama or not.

For me, it is one of the best movies I have ever seen, and the first time that I felt like being in love with a female movie character (and I mean bio-chemically!) for a few days.

Best regards,

Thomm

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Also, the 'hero' of a Hollywood blockbuster of this kind can't be a pencil-pusher - that's not very sexy.

You haven't seen me push pencils. After doing that, I have to chase all the wimminz away with my 3kg 1991 IBM Model M keyboard.

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Forget it and watch it in the best 3D quality available to you.

Then come back and tell us whether it is the best drama or not.

For me, it is one of the best movies I have ever seen, and the first time that I felt like being in love with a female movie character (and I mean bio-chemically!) for a few days.

Best regards,

Thomm

Thomm, you are right in pointing out that I haven't yet seen the film, be it 3D or No D. My problem is that I tend to watch films from an analytical viewpoint, judging them as they progress. I'll find it difficult to set aside what I already know about the plot, while watching the film. I suspect that I'll love the CG graphics and new ways of expressing emotions "remotely" but as for the lack of inherent drama due to the film's use of an old, hackneyed plot and theme...well, it will definitely be something I'll be trying not to let spoil the experience.

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gunnergoz,

There are enough fresh ideas in Avatar to distinguish it from the usual fantasy set-up, even if the story sounds familiar.

Hmmm. I wonder what they were spraying in the theater you attended.

With a two year old daughter and an overtired wife, you do not need to spray much at me ... :rolleyes:

Best regards,

Thomm

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I don't see how a story that cliched, populated with characters that stereotypical, can be award-winning. Big Business has been Hollywood's favorite whipping boy -- after the Catholic church and Nazis, of course -- for ever. The Hurt Locker is so much better written and acted it's in a different league than Avatar.

Avatar certainly looks a lot better. I'll give it that much.

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  • 4 weeks later...
I don't see how a story that cliched, populated with characters that stereotypical, can be award-winning. Big Business has been Hollywood's favorite whipping boy -- after the Catholic church and Nazis, of course -- for ever. The Hurt Locker is so much better written and acted it's in a different league than Avatar.

Avatar certainly looks a lot better. I'll give it that much.

Enjoy this guy's reviews - he nails it...

http://www.youtube.com/user/RedLetterMedia#p/u/7/uJarz7BYnHA

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I'm surprised nobody here has mentioned the novella "Call Me Joe" by Poul Anderson. Crippled human at a distant research facility is technologically linked to a manufactured alien body designed to live in a hostile environment. The human quickly begins to enjoy the freedom of existence in the healthy new body. The human eventually begins to have trouble remembering which existence, human or alien, is real and which is his "dream". Sounding at all familiar?

Maybe this will - at the end the human consciousness is completely transferred to the alien body because the individual would rather live his life as a healthy being in the alien environment than remain in his damaged human body. As a result the human body is cast aside, or more precisely, the human dies.

Did "Avatar" provoke any thoughts at all about what life really is? I think Cameron was presenting the possibility that we are energy/spirits who already inhabit our present human bodies as our avatars. I'm open to another explanation for an independent consciousness that is capable of transferring from one body to another.

I must have missed this in "Dances with Wolves" since so many say that "Avatar" is nothing more than a copy.

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  • 3 weeks later...
Besides, nations other than the US call their 'elite' ship-borne infantry "marines" too, right?

Usually they're referred to as sea infantry or naval infantry. Examples:

Spanish: Infantería de Marina (1537)

French: Troupes de marine (1622)

Russian: Morskaya Pekhota (1705)

But in those designations (the Spanish and the French, at least; I don't know about the Russian), none of the words are cognate with "naval" or "sea". "Infantería de marina"/"Troupes de marine" could be translated as "sea infantry" or "naval infantry", but they are not often referred to as such. Thus you yourself show that some nations other than the United States do refer to their amphibious infantry as "marines".

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That is not relevant, the question (of clearly vital importance!) is whether it makes sense for them to call other branches, such as space troops, as marines or not. 'Space marine infantry' just makes as much sense as 'mountain marine infantry' does. Space infantry (cosmic corps, astral army, stellar soldiers, Raumjägers etc.) would make more sense, because other than in English the word marine is not commonly used as the main noun but as a describer, or it means something totally different.

Eg. German Navy - Deutsche Marine, French Navy - Marine Nationale, Swedish Navy - Marinen etc.

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True. My original point was that although the male protagonist in Avatar is referred to as a "marine", this is simply in accord with sci-fi convention; it need not be seen as any sort of implicit jab against the much-decried wars currently being waged by actual Marines (Royal and otherwise).

Perhaps no less-inaccurate term (with regard to infantry which operate extraterrestrially) has caught on because of the implicit metaphorical view of space as akin to the ocean; in other words, evidently spacefaring is seen to a great extent as an extension of the seafaring that humans have been doing for millenia.

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Perhaps no less-inaccurate term (with regard to infantry which operate extraterrestrially) has caught on because of the implicit metaphorical view of space as akin to the ocean; in other words, evidently spacefaring is seen to a great extent as an extension of the seafaring that humans have been doing for millenia.

I think you may be on to something there. There is a fair amount of otherwise silly anachronism in SF. Look at the amount of swordplay that turns up in the distant future, for instance. Whether or not such weaponry might conceivably be practical in some distant setting is beside the point. It gets thrown in because it has romantic appeal.

In the case of spacefaring as an extension of seafaring, I think the parallel is even more solid. At least psychologically, the carry over should be quite clear. One leaves one's home on a voyage to cross a vast distance that could take a lifetime.

Michael

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There is another aspect that tends to make people think of "marines" in these SF contexts: it is natural to associate the term "marines" with a vision of troops riding vessels to an alien shore, then invading it using special techniques and vehicles...a skill that American Marines are amply famous for world wide.

Similarly, the commonly used term "paratroops" well known to the public, has also been expended upon by SF authors to convey a sense of those fighting men, e.g. Robert Heinlein's "starship troopers."

By now, SF and fiction have done a real PR job (as if historic achievement were insufficient) for the Marines and also to some extent the paratroopers. Perhaps only Special Forces (the Green Berets) has a similar cachet with the public, though perhaps a bit well less known. It is natural for people to associate these terms with certain scenarios. Authors and screenplay writers can now count upon the public's familiarity with these units and readily use it, exploit it and abuse it.

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Similarly, the commonly used term "paratroops" well known to the public, has also been expended upon by SF authors to convey a sense of those fighting men, e.g. Robert Heinlein's "starship troopers."

But the word 'trooper' as connoting an elite soldier has an older pedigree than that, going back to its application to the cavalry who were considered—at least by themselves—as an elite force. I suppose this was due to the original mounted force, the medieval knights, were professional and well-trained soldiers whereas the infantry of that day was usually a grab bag of the peonage armed with whatever sharp or heavy object came to hand.

Michael

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But the word 'trooper' as connoting an elite soldier has an older pedigree than that, going back to its application to the cavalry who were considered—at least by themselves—as an elite force. I suppose this was due to the original mounted force, the medieval knights, were professional and well-trained soldiers whereas the infantry of that day was usually a grab bag of the peonage armed with whatever sharp or heavy object came to hand.

Michael

Granted that, I was simply discussing modern equivalents. By now, cavalry troopers are part of the mythological landscape in the public mind. There is no question that "para-troopers" rode metal steeds into battle in a way reminiscent of their antecedents on horseback. We are always building upon what we know - or, we imagine that we know. Hollywood loves to build upon these stereotypes since it makes storytelling that much easier. The problem lies in that the myths tend to build upon other myths and soon we are lost in a miasma of made up stories that have little bearing with reality.

But such is the world of politics, PR and movie making...

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  • 2 months later...

Just bought the DVD and have to let you know that I found at least one frame in which Neytiri exposes her whole left breast (it happens when she comes to rescue him in the beginning).

Reading how the whole internet is talking about just her nipples, I find this very important news indeed.

Best regards,

Thomm

PS: Here is some remotely related bonus material: http://www.leiasmetalbikini.com/members/whatsnew.html

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By gunnergoz

Not having seen the film myself I'm hardly an authority, but all the reviews and comments I have read so far about the flimsy plot development do make me question the film's selection for the GG for drama...unless the GG is just another industry mechanism of mutual m@sturb@tion...NOH! TELL ME IT CAN'T BE SO!

We bought the DVD the other day. Not having seen the 3D version we sat down for crap-o-rama Pochahontas in Space.

And to my surprise the movie did NOT suck through the garden hose, it actually is a good movie. Yes, it is Pochahontas in Space. But without the 3D-hype the story IS well structured and the world believeable. Even if the story is predictable the spiritual aspect of the story is not invasive or impropable (within the context of the story). I had read that the movie is supposedly better in 2D than 3D and I for one think any 3D sequence is superfluous to the story.

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I had read that the movie is supposedly better in 2D than 3D and I for one think any 3D sequence is superfluous to the story.

After comparing the DVD with the 3D IMAX experience I am very happy that I went to the latter also (although the current 3D technology is far from perfect!).

Best regards,

Thomm

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After comparing the DVD with the 3D IMAX experience I am very happy that I went to the latter also (although the current 3D technology is far from perfect!).

I do wish we had gotten around to see the 3D version. But from the 2D version it is clear which sequences were done just the 3D tehcnology in mind.

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By Bugged

The 3D effect wasn't overdone - it was a subtle addition to the whole experience.

That is what I have read in reviews: the story works well enough without the 3D. One review even remarked that it would be better for the sake of the story line to first see the 2D version and after that the 3D version.

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By gunnergoz

We bought the DVD the other day. Not having seen the 3D version we sat down for crap-o-rama Pochahontas in Space.

And to my surprise the movie did NOT suck through the garden hose, it actually is a good movie. Yes, it is Pochahontas in Space. But without the 3D-hype the story IS well structured and the world believeable. Even if the story is predictable the spiritual aspect of the story is not invasive or impropable (within the context of the story). I had read that the movie is supposedly better in 2D than 3D and I for one think any 3D sequence is superfluous to the story.

Having finally purchased the DVD and having (ahem) thoroughly enjoyed watching it at least 3 times, I can agree that it was indeed a well crafted film with a plot that was surprisingly satisfying. Old Cameron can really pull you into his films, even when you went in kicking and screaming. Of course, I'm a sucker for sci-fi and bug-eyed monsters, but this film even caught my wife's attention, which is something for an English language film. Did it merit a GG? I'm not sure what the competition was comprised of, but I will say that the emotional impact of Avatar was not as insubstantial as I feared it would be.

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Just my own comments with respect to the story.

Avatar has faced a lot of criticism since it's opening day on the simplistic narrative and the various comparisons ranging from "Dancing with Wolves" to "Pocahontas in Space".

In the original scriptment written by Cameron years ago for the film (then titled project 880), one can see the plot thicken considerably. Just a few of the differences between the film and the original script follows:

- The environmental catastrophe that encases Earth are explored. A news broadcast declaring the death of the last lion in captivity in the beginning rams home the symbol of a dying planet.

- The RDA isn't the only major corporate entity at work.

- We are given more insight into the major characters and they take on a less cookie-cutter form; each with their own complex dispositions and relationships. Some that never made it to the film include a former Avatar operator, a video journalist, the head of the Avatar program and a corrupt bioethics officer.

- The "consciousness" of Ewayah is revealed and it is determined that the Na'vi diety consideres the human presence to be a viral infection. As a result, the planet has been besieging the base with hostile plant and animal life (thus the name, Hell's Gate).

- There is no Unobtanium by Home Tree in the scriptment. Rather, the corporation wants to adapt the Na'vi as a labour force. Wiping out a local tribe would signify to all Na'vi that the human occupiers must be obeyed.

- In the end, Hell's Gate is conquered not just by the Na'vi, but with the aid of a rebelling faction of avatar controlers and humans.

- Earth is warned that any humans who return to Pandora will be infected with a plague that will wipe out humanity.

At first glance, Project 880 holds more promise as being a better film than the final version we saw in the theatres. The differences in the details are striking and one would wonder why Cameron choose to cut large swaths of the original script and give us a much more distilled product.

Having thought about it, I realized why Cameron is the visionary genius that he is.

Can you imagine trying to cram all the added complexities with the shades of grey and moral ambiguities into a 2 and a 1/2 hour film? It would have been a muddled mess.

By simplifying the first film, Cameron is merely providing a prelude; one with just enough plotline and just enough visual effects to achieve a perfect blend that won't distract the audience from the true star: the world of Pandora.

Yes, I said the "first" film. It was planned as a trilogy. Sam Worthington (Jake Sully) and Zoe Zaldana (Neytiri) have already signed on to reprise their roles in the second installment.

With the stage now set, we should see a fair bit more complexity in terms of story from here on out.

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