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Monu Tripathi
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    1

Have you seen it? Did you like it?
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Monu Tripathi
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Overall, according to me, the movie is very cool: a must watch!
There was so much to "see" in every scene; the world conceived was awesome. The graphics, animation, effects and the details are fantastic. On the downside, I feel, the story was okay. I thought it was tailored to fit the world/environment: the director must have imagined the world first and then written a story.
Mike Simmons
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  10
I've seen it too, and loved it. I agree with your main points: visually stunning, okay story. Well, I liked the story quite a bit as it unfolded, but thinking about it after, it's not terribly original; just a mishmash of elements from elsewhere, with a fairly simple good-guys-vs-bad-guys setup and a big Hollywood ending. But I was so swept up in it all, I didn't care. It was breathtaking. I strongly recommend seeing it in 3-D and on IMAX if possible - it's worth paying a little extra.

Other thoughts:

I was surprised Roger Dean wasn't given some sort of credit for art design of some sort. He's the artist who created many memorable album covers for Yes, Asia, and others. (For those of you familiar with Yes or Asia. Or album covers, for that matter.) After a bit of googling, I see I'm not alone. This page makes the case nicely, with plenty of visual example. Visit that page after seeing Avatar, and the similarities seem obvious.

I laughed to hear them use the name "Unobtainium" with a straight face. Nice.

Did they ever attempt to explain the floating mountains? I may have missed it. I realize that explaining such things is tangential to the point of the movie. But most all the human tech is pretty believable. As is most of the alien stuff, aside from being, well, alien. The creatures look like they could exist and move as they do. But floating mountains? How do those work? They could have said that the unobtainium caused antigravity or something (which would explain why it's so valuable), but apparently not. And the unobtainium wasn't in the mountains; it was below the hometree. So much for that idea.

Shouldn't Michelle Rodriguez' character have been locked up about 2/3 of the way through? Rather than roaming the halls looking to create mischief?

I eagerly await sequels.


Mike Simmons
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Monu Tripathi wrote:On the downside, I feel, the story was okay. I thought it was tailored to fit the world/environment: the director must have imagined the world first and then written a story.

Well, I think in many cases it was probably the other way around - details of the world were designed to fit the story he wanted to tell. Probably some of each. Either way, they're very intertwined.
Gregg Bolinger
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Mike Simmons wrote:...but thinking about it after, it's not terribly original; just a mishmash of elements from elsewhere, with a fairly simple good-guys-vs-bad-guys setup and a big Hollywood ending.


I had the same feeling. But then I remembered reading that Avatar was written over a few years in the 1990's so depending on which story it seemed to copy...however, it was a really typical good-vs-bad hollywood movie. But I thought technologically it was flipping amazing and I want to see it again. It won't be the same when it is released on DVD/Blueray.


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Mike Simmons
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A lot of reviewers have referenced similarities to Dances with Wolves, 1990. Myself, I thought more of The Mission, 1986 (one of my favorite films). Cameron himself has acknowledged thematic similarities with The Emerald Forest, 1985, and At Play in the Fields of the Lord, 1991. There are probably earlier antecedents I'm forgetting - heck, even Tarzan has a lot in common here. I think a lot of key themes were well-established by the time Cameron started on the film. And of course, Roger Dean was well-known long before that.

Not to be too negative about this though - it was awesome, and I will be seeing it again in IMAX.
ankur rathi
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If you don't watch this movie now (in multiplex) you'll regret later.
That’s all I want to say about it.
xsunil kumar
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Rathy, i will also try to watch this movie if i will get tickets on coming weekend.
Shailesh Narkhede
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Posts: 368
I also seen this movie.
Very cool graphics .....even I was seen in 2D mode not in 3D but still Graphics & animations is awesome.
everybody should see AVATAR once..It worth of money you spend it for this.


Thanks,
Shailesh
Norazanita Adnan
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i went n watch on 3D...the effect damn cool..the CGI effect...appears real
Monu Tripathi
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Greg Bollinger wrote:But I thought technologically it was flipping amazing and I want to see it again. It won't be the same when it is released on DVD/Blueray.

I agree; I am going to watch it again
Monu Tripathi
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Mike Simmons wrote:Did they ever attempt to explain the floating mountains? I may have missed it.

No, I don't think they did.
ujjwal soni
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I am gonna watch it this weekend


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fred rosenberger
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  16

Dances with Wolves, Last Sammurai, Dune, Laurence of Arabia, and probably a bajillion other movies.

Plot spoiler below:


















Race 'a' is oppressing race 'b'. member of race 'a' learns about race 'b', falls in love with their culture, and becomes their leader/best warrior they've ever seen in a revolt against race 'a'. Many people on both sides die. 1-on-1 battle between the person and his former boss/superior officer/friend/whatever. Big celebration in the end.



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Gregg Bolinger
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Monu Tripathi wrote:
Mike Simmons wrote:Did they ever attempt to explain the floating mountains? I may have missed it.

No, I don't think they did.


Unobtanium is a superconductor, in the movie the BEST superconductor. Superconductors can float in the presence of a magnetic field. Mountains on Pandora are apparently loaded with unobtanium so can float in the powerful magnetic pockets that dot the moon's surface. The film shows these magnetic fields can interfere with technology, just as they would in real life.
Monu Tripathi
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Gregg Bolinger wrote:
Monu Tripathi wrote:
Mike Simmons wrote:Did they ever attempt to explain the floating mountains? I may have missed it.

No, I don't think they did.


Unobtanium is a superconductor, in the movie the BEST superconductor. Superconductors can float in the presence of a magnetic field. Mountains on Pandora are apparently loaded with unobtanium so can float in the powerful magnetic pockets that dot the moon's surface. The film shows these magnetic fields can interfere with technology, just as they would in real life.


Monu Tripathi wrote:I agree; I am going to watch it again

I have to!
Maneesh Godbole
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Joined: Jul 26, 2007
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    8

Saw it. Felt a bit bad about the plot.
Humans never learn do they? Now that there are no more countries left to rape, its other worlds now. No wonder the aliens have never contacted us. They feel we are war mongering, land grabbing, greedy savages with no culture. Crass and uncouth.


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PrasannaKumar Sathiyanantham
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I watched this movie in 3d in sathyam cinemas in chennai(for guys who don't know about it the best theatre in Tamil Nadu India). The film is a great one in terms of visualization and action (final 30 minutes). But i want to watch the film in a better theatre because if we give rating to the theatres similar to windows vista rating in pc i will give only 2 out of 5 for sathyam cinemas . The movie will be great if watched in a digital 3d theatre.

The bad things about this film

1)the emotions part.It falls really short of terminator 2 and titanic because we are not able to attach ourselves to those aliens because no time for us . The climax ight alone occupies 30 minutes of the film..

If you ask to rate this film it will come behind terminator2 and titanic only.Also the storyline very pathetic for a film with great sound effects and great visualizations. Hence when i came out of the cinema hall i was disappointed because i expected more from cameron.

But i going to watch the film again for new year(going to start my new year with avatar)


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fred rosenberger
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  16

Here's an article by a guy who got an early script treatment. He meticulously details the differences in the film and what he read. The film seems drastically different. It's long, but worth a read.

And in case it isn't obvious, there are many, many, MANY spoilers in the article.
Gregg Bolinger
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fred rosenberger wrote:Here's an article by a guy who got an early script treatment. He meticulously details the differences in the film and what he read. The film seems drastically different. It's long, but worth a read.

And in case it isn't obvious, there are many, many, MANY spoilers in the article.


Well now I want to see Project 880. Or at least read a book based on it.
Pat Farrell
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fred rosenberger wrote:Plot spoiler below:Race 'a' is oppressing race 'b'. member of race 'a' learns about race 'b', falls in love ...


How original. It was a very old plot when Shakespeare used it 400 years ago in Romeo and Juliet. Perhaps with a bit of The Taming of the Shrew thrown in. Or any of literaly thousands of movies.
Monu Tripathi
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Pat Farrell wrote:
fred rosenberger wrote:Plot spoiler below:Race 'a' is oppressing race 'b'. member of race 'a' learns about race 'b', falls in love ...


How original. It was a very old plot when Shakespeare used it 400 years ago in Romeo and Juliet. Perhaps with a bit of The Taming of the Shrew thrown in. Or any of literaly thousands of movies.

Exactly; It is more of a visual delight than anything else IMO.
David O'Meara
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Monu Tripathi wrote:Exactly; It is more of a visual delight than anything else IMO.

And that's my view too. I could critique the storyline and provide my own input on shallow characterisation and plot flaws, but I'm someone that rarely goes to the cinema and I went to be entertained. I was entertained. Not sure I'd sit through it a second time, but then I have never watched Titanic a second time either.
John Smith
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I was not impressed with "Avatar". It's "Platoon" for the 7-year old kids.
Jeanne Boyarsky
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I finally went to see it (3D). Luckily I went to the first showing of the day. The second started 15 minutes after the credits of the first ended and there was a line in the street. (Not enough space inside to have people wait.)

The plot was fine. Not terribly original, but there's a ton of plot reuse in movies. I don't see the complaining about "aliens/monsters attack humans and they fight" plots being lame. Hmm, wonder how that will end.

The special effects and world were amazing. I liked they provided some moments that were just about the scenery from a flyover view. My guess is many found that dull. And I really liked how the beginning of the credits were 3D scenes.

There were a few too many previews at the beginning. We got the normal 2D previews (which included a 2D preview for the 3D Shrek movie - odd) and then two 3D previews. It was like - start already. The movie is long enough without adding that much to it.

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Bert Bates
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loved it, loved it...

plots? Well there aren't that many plots in the world anyway - this seemed like a fine example of the hero's journey.

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Ernest Friedman-Hill
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In general, I loved the experience, and I love what it means about entertainment in the future. There really are no limits anymore as to what we can see on a screen.

What I didn't like were the places where imagination didn't go far enough. Why are the aliens so similar anatomically to us? Yeah, they're skinny and blue and tall and what, but they have two hands, two eyes, two ears, and as far as I could see, two breasts as well, all in the same positions they occupy in the human species. The other animals on the planet have multiple eyes, random numbers of limbs, joints that bend the other way, but the intelligent species is way too humanoid. What nearly spoiled it for me was the kiss. She seemed to understand it immediately. They kiss? On the lips? Really?

Do you suppose the idea is that we wouldn't sympathize with the characters if they were less like us? What if they had twelve limbs and eyes all over their torsos -- would that have spoiled the movie? Was identifiable human sex appeal essential to mass acceptance?


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Mike Simmons
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Interesting point - I hadn't even questioned that part, as I'm so conditioned to seeing humanoids as the norm in SF movies and TV - historically, supposedly, because it's just not practical to try to create truly alien-looking beings using human actors. With limited exceptions. I hadn't even noticed that the usual rationales for this don't really apply in this film.

EFH wrote:Do you suppose the idea is that we wouldn't sympathize with the characters if they were less like us? What if they had twelve limbs and eyes all over their torsos -- would that have spoiled the movie? Was identifiable human sex appeal essential to mass acceptance?

I suspect the sex appeal factor is the biggest contributor. It may not have been essential, but it helps the movie appeal to more people, translating to bigger box office. This is probably akin to asking why we don't have summer blockbusters featuring average- or ugly-looking humans as action heroes (or their love interests). The key characters are intended to be characters we want to either be, or be with.

As for sympathizing with the characters - well, they probably could have made more alien-looking critters that we would root for, just because they were so darn cute or pitiable. This could have been a movie about a planet of puppy dogs or teddy bears, for example. But I think there's a lot of benefit to having real actors portraying characters, in terms of conveying information through facial features and body language. (Insert jabs at "real actors" in Avatar here.) ;) This in turn gives an incentive to give the characters human-like faces and bodies. I think that's still a significant consideration, even if there's no longer a need for human actors to physically fit inside an alien suit.

I suppose they could also try letting CGI animators handle body movements, and let actors just handle facial expressions. Let some sort of morphing software handle mapping actors' human faces to characters' alien faces. This of course assumes that the aliens have something that could be called "faces", and that facial expressions are roughly analogous. Is there any logical reason why a smile should mean the same thing to an alien as to a human? Probably not, but from a filmmaker's perspective, it's probably worthwhile to cheat a bit and make the aliens at least a bit anthropomorphic. Probably, the more anthropomorphic they are, the better they can communicate emotions to us.

Further, the Na'vi were often clearly intended to evoke a variety of human peoples - Native American, African, Maori, etc. Plot analysis aside, this shows fiairly clearly in costume design and facial features. This (admittedly heavy-handed) connection would be harder (and perhaps more offensive) to make if the Na'vi looked too non-human.

But ultimately, I still think "someone you want to either be, or be with" angle is the prime consideration here. Especially since the main character needs to want to become one of the aliens. Doesn't work nearly as well if it's a race of octopi, silicon-based lava creatures, or subterranean fungus.
Jeanne Boyarsky
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The humanoid thing is definitely interesting. Cartoons of course have differently looking beings. Usually animals and not penguins. They are usually meant for kids and don't have to include violence/sex appeal though.

Ernest Friedman-Hill wrote:Do you suppose the idea is that we wouldn't sympathize with the characters if they were less like us? What if they had twelve limbs and eyes all over their torsos -- would that have spoiled the movie?

It depends. I'm currently reading Joe Haldeman's "Marsbound" (finished it; reading for a second time because it was so good.) The alien is a huge "multi-limbed, potato-headed creature that walks like a spider". Ugh. A little creepy the first time I thought of it. I then started imagining it as a small My Potato Head with too many arms and legs. This is not what the author described. And I don't know that I'd want to see a movie with what the author described for three hours. Or maybe I'd get used to it during promotions on TV and get used to it?

I think part of this is us being conditioned that other looking aliens are monsters. Unless they are cute, they are the enemy. Plus you don't usually show human's kissing/having sex with alien looking things. Even in "V", they are in the human costume when anything happens.

Maybe over time, we will gradually get more alien looking characters? If it happened slower than "here's a scary looking alien that is the good guy", we'd have time to get used to it.

As far as customs and traditions go, we have to understand them. And the humans in the movie need to be able to communicate with the aliens. Unless we resort to telepathy or a magic translation device, that's a problem. I want to see a movie version of Kevin Anderson's Saga of the Seven Suns. The aliens in there have a great variety. And there is a cross species romance, so they don't have to worry about that with the elemental aliens.
Mark Spritzler
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    6

I saw it at a real Imax 3D and loved the film. Yeah we know what happens in the plot. But it is still a lot of fun to watch and the 3D was perfect.

The cool thing with our theater was that they would kick anyone out if their cell phones went off for a call or text, and there were no previews.

I saw it right next to Disneyland.

Mark


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Jeanne Boyarsky
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Mark Spritzler wrote:and there were no previews.

Lucky! They clearly sent all the previews to our theater!
Mike Simmons
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No previews at my theater either. Neener, neener.
Jose Campana
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But I love previews !

I love one particularly that I saw the other day, I don't remember the movie it came with, But I do remember the title, and it was the preview for Nolan's new film, Inception
which by the way looks awesome !

And by the way again, that psychological elements found in Nolan's films would be awesome when mixed with an artful picture such as Avatar.


PS. Sam Worthington is like the new Bruce Willis(maybe some other actor, but you get the idea) or something; He's getting so many great roles !
Gregg Bolinger
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I read somewhere (still trying to find it) that JC went the direction he did with the Navi to immediately pull sympathy for them from the audience. We were supposed to know right away that they are the good guys and the humans are the bad guys. So they needed to be more humanoid. District 9, on the other hand, had to try harder and it took the movie a bit longer because the prawn were so alien. Especially the faces.
Bert Bates
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ohhhhh... District 9.....

Also an awesome movie - in some ways better than Avatar - District 9 impressed me on a lot of levels, including the fact that by the end I really liked the aliens - despite their more thorough alien-ness
Mike Simmons
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Yeah, District 9 is a great movie, one of the best of the year. It has a lot in common with Avatar, yet in several ways they are polar opposites. District 9 is much, much more original, with a much less predictable plot. Really, for most of the film I had no idea what was going to happen. (Not so with Avatar.) And the visual effects are used very differently. In Avatar, effects are used to make you go WOW, isn't that AWESOME!!! In District 9, they're used much more subtly and more convincingly. It's, more like, oh, that what an alien colony on Earth would look like. Now I know. Even when the events onscreen would lend themselves to Big Impressive Visuals, D9 takes a relatively low-key approach, in such a way that you are almost never aware that you are looking at a special effect. Instead, D9 makes you believe that what you see is simply the way things are. They're just showing you what actually happened. Firefly and Battlestar Galactica are also notable in this respect - but I think D9 perfected the approach, without the all the shaky-cams.

Having said that, I think Avatar is more enjoyable for repeat viewing. It's a great big roller-coaster experience.

Oh, and I still need to see the other big Christmas release, Sherlock Holmes. Downey did a great job in Iron Man, and I've heard a lot of good things about his performance here. Along with some more traditionally British chap by the name of Jude Law, playing some guy named Watson. Whatever. Sounds like good fun.
Mike Simmons
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And while I loved Avatar, I also got a kick out of this:

Jeanne Boyarsky
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Mike,
Wow. That is going on twitter!
sudipto shekhar
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........A true Time Pass ...... well atleast that is the reason I went to watch the movie... and it server the purpose well....

Regards, Sud.
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Vikas Kapoor
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Mike Simmons wrote:...I eagerly await sequels.

What do you expect in sequel? Another human invasion? or Invasion of Navi to planet earth for revenge?
 
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