Ain't It Cool News (

Massawyrm falls in love with AVATAR's rich world of Pandora

Hola all. Massawyrm here. If there is one complaint that will resonate with absolute certainty throughout every serious discussion of AVATAR it will be the derivative nature of the work. Make no mistake about it; AVATAR is not a deftly original work of fiction. Cameron has even gone so far to say so. The film is based heavily upon the science fiction he grew up reading like JOHN CARTER OF MARS, as well as a number of films including specifically LAWRENCE OF ARABIA. Absent from what he’s mentioned is Frank Herbert’s DUNE, which most of you are familiar with via David Lynch’s 1984 film of the same name and mirrors the AVATAR protagonist’s hero’s journey pretty point for point. And while early jokes by SOUTH PARK have seeded people’s thoughts with notions of DANCES WITH WOLVES, that film is itself a derivative work borrowing from some of the same influences as Cameron and ultimately only shares pieces of structure with it. This isn’t DANCES WITH WOLVES. It is DUNE – give or take a few plot elements. So the question for many people will not be how well Cameron told THIS story, but rather how many times they’ve seen this story before and their tolerance for seeing it again. Because really, there isn’t much new in terms of story here. That critique is valid. So why is it that I am passionately in love with AVATAR? Because everything else is as wildly original as we were promised. You have never seen a film that looks and feels anything like AVATAR. The CG, live action and 3D elements are so perfectly fused that they are inseparable. One element never overshadows the others. It is all given equal weight and feels lifelike and real every step of the way. If there is one element that stands out as the most talked about and noteworthy of the film, it is the eyes. WETA has perfected their performance motion capture technology to the point that they get real, honest to god performances out of digital creations. There are guys I have spoken with already that have all but fallen in love with the Na’Vi princess (of sorts) played (so to speak) by the already incredibly beautiful Zoe Saldana. Her voicework combined with the realistic facial expressions work in tandem to form a fully realized CG character. Meanwhile, Cameron’s reliance upon 3D is a real breath of fresh air. There is not one gimmick – NOT ONE – that involves shooting at the audience or trying to get you to duck. The cheap tricks that many films have been relying upon this past year (such as MY BLOODY VALENTINE and THE FINAL DESTINATION) are entirely absent here. The 3D is about depth of field and giving you a sense of geography. It is entirely environmental, a way of bringing you into the movie rather than having the movie come out to you. And the effect is masterful. I’ve seen a number of 3D films this year, and usually the ham-fisted nature of the 3D rendering and direction caused eyestrain about an hour or so into the film. But here everything is so smooth that I’ve sat through two screenings of this near 3 hour epic and never once had to take off my glasses or even close my eyes for a few moments. But most interesting to me was the fact that this very much felt like a film someone spent 10 years making. Pandora isn’t just a neat place to visit; it is the epitome of great science fiction. The entirety of this distant moon (which orbits a gas giant) has a biology that makes sense. And while they never take a moment to explain it to you, the nerdier a science dork you are, the more you will take away from everything Cameron has created. This is a guy who has spent countless hours at the bottom of the sea exploring “alien” environments. He has witnessed ecosystems most of us have only read about. And here he has created one of his own based upon his many passions and skill sets. Pandora, as a moon, would have two different things governing its daylight: its rotation and the time it spends in the umbra of its parent planet. This leads to a planet that spends a much smaller amount of time in sunlight than it does out of it. So the ecosystem is based very heavily upon bioluminescence, something Cameron uses to beautiful effect. Meanwhile the lower gravity has led to increasingly larger creatures and beings, making humans rather diminutive invaders. Every animal you will see, from the tiniest bug to the largest herd beast, has its own personality, defense mechanisms and place in the food chain. Watching Avatar doesn’t just take you on an adventure. It transports you to a whole new world – which is, after all, one of the very reasons we watch and read sci-fi. Of course this is all before you even begin to touch upon the rich culture of the Na’vi. I say this to you now: you have officially attended your last convention which did not have people in blue body paint, speaking Na’Vi to one another while occasionally uttering the phrase “Hometree.” The Gnostic Taoist ecological spiritualism of the Na’vi will appeal to a lot of people. Their belief system is deep, rich and draws from a number of different philosophies here on earth, combining Native American mysticism with pagan concepts of a Mother Earth and a smattering of Asian philosophy – all wrapped in a warrior monk package and dressed up with tribal chic. Although I must admit I wince at the notion that I will one day walk into a debate conducted in both Klingon and Na’vi about the frailty of human beings and the best ways to go about killing them. There are a lot of folks who will try to make political hay out of the “message” of the movie. Some will try to pin it on Iraq or Afghanistan, while others will scream about environmentalism. But doing so requires conveniently forgetting about certain details, like the army not being the army at all, but ex-military mercenaries on corporate payroll. The ideas here are universal, not specific, and will mean as much 20 years from now as they do today. Wars and incursions have almost always been fought over resources, so trying to say that the corporate mission for “Unobtanium” is a direct comparison to oil in the Middle East only carries weight until you begin to look into almost every war we’ve had, pretty much since the dawn of time. AVATAR is seven different kinds of bad ass. Every action sequence is a nail biter and every major set piece will wow you. Cameron creates such rich, dynamic characters while giving each their own moment in the sun that you can’t help but love them all – hero or villain. Truth be told, Stephen Lang’s Colonel Quaritch is one of the single baddest mother fuckers to appear on film in years – and easily one of the greatest villains of the decade. He’s a villain so great you admire him as much as you hate him – a perfect Cameron character and one that will put Lang on the map of geeks the world over. Everyone is in top form here, from Sigourney Weaver to Joel David Moore. Even Sam Worthington and Michelle Rodriguez turn in great performances under the careful watch of Cameron. This is a great movie – a truly wonderful piece of science fiction that must be seen BIG and in 3D. No waiting for DVD on this one. Love it or hate it, this was the way this film was designed to be seen. Handily one of the best films of the year, AVATAR is a must see. A worthy addition to the geek pantheon, I look forward to the next week and a half of solid discussion about this film. Until next time friends, smoke ‘em if ya got ‘em. Massawyrm
Got something for the Wyrm? Mail it here.

Or follow my further zany adventures on Twitter.

Readers Talkback
comments powered by Disqus
    + Expand All
  • Dec. 17, 2009, 9:18 a.m. CST

    This is the only AICN review that matters

    by Chakraborty

    Massa is an every man...and Avatar is an every man type movie.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 9:19 a.m. CST

    I'd like to read Quint's, though...

    by Chakraborty

    ...and Vern should write one, too.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 9:19 a.m. CST

    I'm the King

    by Chakraborty

    You're all queens. <p> Discuss.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 9:20 a.m. CST

    I want to give it a chance

    by TorgoTheWhite

    But I just know that, while I am watching this movie, I'll be wondering how many decades we will have to wait for Cameron to get around to making another film. After Titanic, he spent the last ten years on diving trips and wasting film making skills. Will it be another ten? Or twenty?

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 9:22 a.m. CST


    by LabattsBleu


  • Dec. 17, 2009, 9:23 a.m. CST

    oh...this is a 'dishonest' review because its so positive right?

    by LabattsBleu

    Sorry, I joke, I joke...

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 9:25 a.m. CST

    If I can't get to this in IMAX 3D...

    by I am_NOTREAL

    then it's probably not worth it, because I'd be sacrificing so much of the experience. And the nearest theater that fits the bill is over an hour away, in a huge mall at the peak of Christmas shopping season. Hmmm.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 9:27 a.m. CST

    i wish...

    by cousin.elvin

    i could look past the clichee-ridden story and the ethno-kitsch like massawyrm, but i can't! was anticipating this movie for years (!) and it was a let down. cameron used EVERY clichee in the book, every single one. made me cringe several times. the film looks fantastic, but that's about it.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 9:27 a.m. CST

    Oh yeah.

    by knowthyself

    Bring it on!!!

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 9:28 a.m. CST

    Can't wait till tonight!

    by screenplay3

    Great review!!! Where the is Harry's review?!!?

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 9:29 a.m. CST

    Perhaps Cameron realized....

    by knowthyself need the familiar in order to introduce such an unfamiliar world? The straight forward plot is merely just a way to get you easily into what for the most part is a very strange new world for the viewer.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 9:30 a.m. CST

    AVTAR is like the anti-MATRIX. You plug-in and escape...

    by FlickaPoo

    ...into a lush, primal, and meaningful existence...leaving a damaged body and gray industrial corridors behind...<P>Please discuss.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 9:33 a.m. CST

    thanks Massa

    by Miyamoto_Musashi

    good to see some more reviews on this site, and always enjoy your reviews. <p> Can we get a top 25 for the decade ?

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 9:34 a.m. CST

    Stephen Lang as a great villain?

    by Darkman

    I don't know about that. Witness his Party Crasher (one of the biggest douchebags in the history of film) in the otherwise pretty good THE HARD WAY.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 9:36 a.m. CST

    You nailed it Wyrm. To me, that is AVATAR in a nutshell...

    by FuckMichaelBay

    ...and now I smoke a huge bowl of chronic in your honor. Well done!

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 9:37 a.m. CST

    Just remember this next year....

    by conspiracy

    When you are at Comic-Con, and have finally landed that fat girl dressed like a Na'vi, the one covered in blue fun fur..., I want to to remember that Fabric dye doesn't was off.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 9:37 a.m. CST


    by ColonelFatheart


  • Dec. 17, 2009, 9:38 a.m. CST

    stephen lang is not a great villain in this

    by cousin.elvin

    he basically just spurts out one-liners an shoots things.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 9:39 a.m. CST

    IMAX or bust

    by Shub-Wankalot

    I truly want to see this on IMAX. Plots and themes from many flicks are derivative, but its the execution, imagination, and interpretation that separates a film from the pack. Star Wars in many ways is derivative, but I still enjoy it for what it is, and for its bold creativity and audacity.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 9:39 a.m. CST

    AVATAR is definately not STAR WARS

    by cousin.elvin

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 9:40 a.m. CST

    Dune comparisons

    by ColonelFatheart

    Will a new Dune adaptation pick up steam if Avatar is a hit?

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 9:44 a.m. CST

    for all the people anticipating AVATAR

    by cousin.elvin

    read mr. beaks review. unfortunately, it's spot-on.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 9:44 a.m. CST


    by eric haislar

    The reason he did the diving was to make this film. He went to the bottom of the ocean to see how life survived and evolved the closest you can get to a alien world.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 9:45 a.m. CST

    So it's not a movie for you to enjoy the story,

    by estacado1

    but it's for you to immerse yourself in the beautiful world of pandora. That is just a lame excuse to like a movie, and a VERY lame excuse to call a movie GREAT. If JC created a mockumentary narrated by David Attenborough exploring Pandora, will it be an even greater movie than Avatar? When push comes to shove, a movie should immerse you in its story, AND its environment, not just the latter. The environment should be used to support the story, not as a standalone wonder to be visually enjoyed.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 9:45 a.m. CST

    And Star Wars is definitely not AVATAR

    by Shub-Wankalot

    And Star Wars is definitely not Blade Runner. Who gives a shit. I enjoy each movie on its own merits.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 9:47 a.m. CST


    by syn_flood

    I think this review is significantly more spot-on. Thanks anyway.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 9:51 a.m. CST

    Who wants to bet....

    by Chakraborty

    ....that Harry mentions crying and shedding tears during this movie?

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 9:52 a.m. CST

    Dune S-U-C-K-S!

    by gruntybear

    And I mean the boring-as-fuck Frank Herbert source material, not David Lynch's "I did the best I could with the lifeless, soul-killing, revelatory-only-to-pimply-12-year-old-shut-ins 'classic sciffy' story" film. And I'm sorry, but as soon as Cameron or ANY DIRECTOR (looking at you Speilberg) starts going on about how their current crapfest is just an "homage" to classic "sciffy" that they grew up with as a boy, you know you're in for some hackneyed, cliche-ridden dreck. Enter Thundersmurfs! And . . . scene.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 9:53 a.m. CST


    by cousin.elvin

    what i meant was that in the next few years, i'll happily rewatch star wars but i sure as hell won't see avatar again! because it's not a good movie. and that's coming from someone who was anticipating that film for months!

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 10 a.m. CST

    cousin.elvin, you've seen it?

    by Blue_Demon

    How'd you swing that?

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 10 a.m. CST

    Since you promised, vomit-boy.

    by Subtitles_Off


  • Dec. 17, 2009, 10:02 a.m. CST

    Why do your reviews make me want to commit murder?

    by gingerella

    "Pandora, as a moon, would have two different things governing its daylight: its rotation and the time it spends in the umbra of its parent planet. This leads to a planet that spends a much smaller amount of time in sunlight than it does out of it. So the ecosystem is based very heavily upon bioluminescence, something Cameron uses to beautiful effect." Get that Director dick out your mouth. Has anyone told this clown that all this shit is made up? Pandora doesn't exist. Fucking loony.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 10:02 a.m. CST

    Man, I can't wait!

    by Blue_Demon

    This looks kick-ass...

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 10:04 a.m. CST

    The Hero's Journey is so vague it can be applied to any story...

    by GoodTimeBobby

    ....Avatar is not Dune....Avatar is Avatar...You may as well say Avatar is a rip-off of Breakin 2: Electric Boogaloo, Where Sam Worthington is Ozone, the Na'vi are the young urban dancers, and Pandora is the rec center that is in danger of being bulldoxed by the greedy real estate developers (The Company).

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 10:04 a.m. CST


    by Shub-Wankalot

    Well that's your prerogative and opinion. You don't like the movie, fine. Other film-goers' mileage may vary. And if I enjoy Avatar, I will buy the blu-ray. But I sure as hell won't let others dictate what I should or shouldn't watch. I've been misinformed too many times by naysayers who are very hell-bent on persuading others to avoid a movie they don't cherish. I'll form my own opinion when I see it on IMAX, thank you. I suspect I'll enjoy much much more than you.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 10:05 a.m. CST


    by Blue_Demon

    True, it's all made up, but Cameron (or any science fiction writer worth his salt) makes stuff as close to realistic as possible. Harlan Ellison called this "verisimilitude" (if I spelled that correctly.) Not the truth, but the SEMBLANCE of the truth. Or would you rather the writer not bother to fill up the worlds he makes?

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 10:08 a.m. CST

    can't wait till Saturday and Motoko you seen this yet ?

    by Miyamoto_Musashi

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 10:09 a.m. CST


    by cousin.elvin

    i live in germany, world premiere was yesterday.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 10:11 a.m. CST

    Thanks for the great spoiler-free review

    by gotilk

    ..from someone on the site I trust. *whew* I was getting worried for a while there.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 10:11 a.m. CST


    by gingerella

    I'd rather the reviewer reviewed the film rather than putting on a 7th grade lab coat and spouting the Directors psuedo-science at me. And that pre-emptive defence of the film being a simple gulf/Afghan war allegory is frankly embarrassing.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 10:13 a.m. CST

    Im going tonight!

    by Marxeffect

    Can't wait now, thanks Massa.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 10:13 a.m. CST


    by cousin.elvin

    i'm not trying to spoil your movie going experience! it's worth watching and there are some classic scenes in it. it's just that i went in with very low expectations concerning the story and cameron significantly surpassed these expectations. i was one of the biggest fanboys yesterday, fyi. i think you'll be able to enjoy this film more if you know the deficits.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 10:13 a.m. CST

    Don't know about anyone else

    by tomimt

    but I do find the ongoing feud between the trolls and the avatrds to be more interesting than the movie itself.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 10:15 a.m. CST

    Stephen Langs' best performance...

    by Fish Tank

    Last Exit to Brooklyn.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 10:15 a.m. CST

    Hey, I'm perfectly comfortable hating the shit out

    by gotilk

    of corporate "contractors". And if you think you're sharp by regurgitating the talking points of shills that are currently blowing out of proportion the rejection of a single journal by the scientific community based on them publishing "controversial theories" to "spark debate" rather than following the fucking SCIENTIFIC METHOD, you're not only full of horseshit, but a duped, brainless retard to boot. Enjoy. I hope you live to fry with the rest of us.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 10:16 a.m. CST

    oh yeah

    by Shub-Wankalot

    and the idiots commenting on the trolls and avatrds no less...

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 10:27 a.m. CST


    by finnmacc

    Saw this tonight, perth Australia here... this movie not only transported me to the weirdly beautiful world of Pandora that Cameron has created it also took me bacjk to when I was 12 to 14 and saw Raiders, Bladerunner and The Thing for the first time on the cinema.. that feeling that u want to get straight back in line and see it again and NOW... storyline was a little by the numbers, the spectacle and the beauty was worth the price and then some.. this is what movies are meant to do.. aw .. inspire..and make you smile like a boy again.. I will betaking my kids to see it this weekend. what a resume.. Abyss, Terminators 1 and 2, Aliens, even true Lies... king of the world indeed

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 10:28 a.m. CST

    Avatar was INSANE

    by kwisatzhaderach

    You've really never sen anything like this before. <p> It IS a game-changer. Cameron, as usual, didn't bullshit. He's just a fucking legend.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 10:30 a.m. CST


    by kwisatzhaderach

    Fail. Of the highest possible level.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 10:30 a.m. CST

    Fish Tank....

    by Chakraborty that book and the author. I want to watch that film, but it's not even available on Netflix.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 10:31 a.m. CST

    Massawyrm is the only reviewer I respect...

    by SayNoToRemakes

    At least he doesent create god-awful top 100 lists that fail to include some of the best films of this decade while praising steaming piles of shit like "Bring it On".

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 10:36 a.m. CST

    ...I like how we mostly argue about this shit before...

    by FlickaPoo

    ...the movie comes out. It's like foreplay.<P>After we actually see the damn thing we roll over and go to sleep...

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 10:36 a.m. CST

    "every war we’ve had, pretty much since the dawn of time."

    by DoctorWho?

    A simple fact most people cannot grasp.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 10:37 a.m. CST

    Stephen Lang

    by ColonelFatheart

    Man, I'm still having trouble reconciling Freddy Lounds and Happy Loman with Col. Quaritch.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 10:39 a.m. CST

    sneak peeks in Oz wednesday night

    by finnmacc

    and it opened here thurs night. when will they ever invent 3d specs that dont kill ur nose OR specless 3d!

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 10:40 a.m. CST

    Damn Gotik

    by DoctorWho?

    Sounds like something touched a nerve. <p> It's always amusing to watch the the dogmatically religious react hysterically when their dubious faith is challenged.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 10:42 a.m. CST


    by cousin.elvin

    i'm not trolling. i wish i would have enjoyed it as much as you have, i really do! i've read the script 3 years ago and have never anticipated a movie as much as this one. it just didn't work for me and this is BOTHERING THE SHIT OUT OF ME!

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 10:43 a.m. CST

    normal theater

    by inb4scriptgirl

    I'm planning on seeing this at a normal theater (in 3D) since an IMAX is no where near me. Is it still worth it or should I take a two hour trip to the closest IMAX?

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 10:43 a.m. CST


    by Out of your element

    Massawyrm says its good, then I really know i'll enjoy it. fUCK THA HATERS!!!!!!

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 10:44 a.m. CST

    Im a 3D Virgin!

    by TheManWhoCan

    Never even kissed let alone fingered a 3D movie. Does the 3D actually work? Ive heard it hurts. Is that true? What does the cinema screen look like with the glasses off? Have my tickets booked anyway(for next week, pain in the ass, have to wait till the other half has finished collage exams and i've have grown out of seeing movies more than once in the cinema).

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 10:44 a.m. CST

    Reading the script might be part of the problem@cousin elvin

    by Chakraborty

    It would be hard not to be bored by the story and dialogue when you've already read it and been thinking about it for 3 years. Think about it.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 10:45 a.m. CST


    by mrdck

    Just like that charming fable, Avaturd is now revealing itself as a CG shit storm. Turd and Ace of Wands where art thee? Hiding under your mommy's bed jerking off furiously to the Terminator soundtrack for comfort. HA HA FUCKING HA. HornorSilk, join me for a celebratory drink, my friend. We fought the good fight.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 10:47 a.m. CST

    Completely agree tomimt

    by ILikeScotch

    Personally, I have a feeling I'm going to be disappointed in Avatar. I'm a substance over style kind of guy, and Avatar seems like the exact opposite. I'm debating seeing this in IMAX 3-D. If the story is as derivative as I've heard, I know I will be disappointed and feel like I wasted my money. However, IMAX 3-D is the only way this movie should be seen it seems.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 10:49 a.m. CST

    mrdck....reality called. He says you two are strangers.

    by Chakraborty

    Fought the good fight? Celebratory drink? Jesus Christ, do you need a hobby...

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 10:49 a.m. CST

    Massawyrm is AICN's best reviewer

    by Rupee88

    dude just almost always is logical and articulate and thoughtful and delivers.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 10:50 a.m. CST


    by cousin.elvin

    the script had it's problems but unfortunately cameron didn't really improve on it. but yeah, i guess i was just too hyped up!

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 10:52 a.m. CST

    Ii'll give AVATAR a second chance though

    by cousin.elvin

    i really WANT to like that movie!

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 10:53 a.m. CST

    A wee bit apprehensive

    by Colonel Smith

    Waited forever for this film. It'd better be good, as I told my date she could choose any film apart from bloody Twilight. Might come back to haunt me.....

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 10:53 a.m. CST


    by secretcylon

    The 3d in UP gave me vertigo (in a good way.) Felt like I was truly up in the air and was "afraid" of falling. Other times it was distracting and felt like I didn't know where to look, etc. I'm trusting Cameron to deliver amazing 3d and it sounds like he has.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 10:55 a.m. CST

    cousin elvin, that's the conundrum about sites like AICN

    by Chakraborty

    Early movie news is basically about getting all hyped about upcoming films early on. The people who come here are the ones who loves these movies the most, but by reading so much about them so far before they're released, some of us end up decreasing our ultimate enjoyment of those films when they actually come out.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 10:57 a.m. CST

    Saw it this morning - sensational

    by wildphantom07

    Most of you are going to go crazy for it. Nothing I say can prepare you. <p> The haters will nit-pick but what's new? <p> It was much, much more than I ever hoped it would be.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 11:04 a.m. CST


    by gotilk

    It touched a nerve. Not so badly though. It's just frustrating to know how these things work while people with television time yack on like they have even the slightest clue how the scientific method works, let alone how journals work. They act like it's this huge "gotcha" when it happens every friggen day in the scientific community. A few people got duped by a couple of press releases taken seriously when they should have been ignored as tripe and now every other douche on the Internets thinks they're a climate change expert. Look, contest theories, challenge facts and hypotheses, but before adding your 2 cents, make sure you really know what's going on. And if you're going to run a scientific journal, don't be surprised that you're being ostracized for allowing crackpots to publish. That's all. Everyone is acting like these evil scientists were "covering up" something when in reality, they were subjecting that journal to the exact same standards they require of every journal. And "sparking debate" is NOT a valid reason for publication in a recognized, peer-reviewed scientific journal, period. I have no climate change "religion". If it's proven to be an inaccurate hypothesis or theory, I'll accept THAT, unless it's proven wrong. Through SCIENCE, not politics.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 11:04 a.m. CST

    Why the ammonia in the atmosphere?

    by Rectal Blowout

    Is it from all the cat piss?

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 11:06 a.m. CST

    And Old Story Told Well


    Even with no new twists or embellishment . . . such a story can be a delight, told perfectly, with expertise and finesse. Which it sounds like Cameron has done here, and I expect he has. I'm a huge fan of epic tellings of well-trod material, so I'm looking forward to this.<br><br> But not too much. I was disappointed by Titanic, after being too excited about seeing it, so I try to keep my expectations tamped down.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 11:09 a.m. CST

    gingerella cannot read

    by gotilk

    Did you miss the word "would"? I'm leaving now because I have a feeling the ragetards are going to piss me off and I need my sleep.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 11:10 a.m. CST

    Man Made Global Warming Is a Fraud


    Knew it well before the emails leaked. On the other hand, a clean environment is in everybody's best interest, so clean air and water standards are always a good thing. On the other hand, carbon dioxide is not a pollutant, and is far less a culprit in the "Greenhouse Effect" than water vapor, which I hope we don't ban. And, on the next hand, there is a lot of money to be made in carbon trading and carbon credits, which has severely skewed the argument in recent years, and the motivations of many of the participants. If you stand to make millions in the carbon futures market, then you're going to believe in anthropogenic global warming, no matter what.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 11:13 a.m. CST

    So Beaks didn't like it, most others do...

    by Quake II

    I guess majority rules here. I would see it even if every "critic" in the world said it was worse than Biodome. I mean, it cost 400 million to make, the least I can do is spend 9.50 to see what Cameron did with past 10 years of his life.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 11:14 a.m. CST

    Excellent review, Massa.

    by LoneGun

    Just excellent. You were able to sell me on this flick without giving anything away. Can't wait to see it.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 11:23 a.m. CST

    To IMAX or not to IMAX

    by Sonny_Williams

    Keep in mind that this is not TDK with scenes actually shot in the full IMAX format, it will be letterboxed. I weighed this and the fact that the Bullock IMAX here in Austin is not that conveniently situated; that's why I'm going with the Tinseltown about 5 miles from the house. It's RealD, pretty huge screens in their 3D auditoriums, kickass sound. That's my 2 cents.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 11:27 a.m. CST

    letterboxed IMAX

    by knowthyself

    Is still friggin HUGE.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 11:28 a.m. CST

    Spidercoz...yup. I loved TPM when I first saw it.

    by knowthyself

    Saw it three times that summer. Then on video I was like....WTF? Was I high?

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 11:31 a.m. CST

    Cameron and scripts

    by Hipshot

    Every writer I know thinks they could have improved Cameron's scripts. And they may be right. But the truth is that a script isn't a work of art. It is a blueprint for a work of art. From that point of view, you have to examine the full set of skills a writer/director/SFX genius brings to the table. Viewed that way, Cameron is as good as any genre filmmaker we've ever had. And he goes beyond genre. Flawed? Sure. Unbelievably brilliant? You bet. And damn, I'm glad he's making movies. Seriously, who besides Kubrick (or maybe Spielberg) would you compare him to, in terms of being an all-around threat?

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 11:32 a.m. CST

    Chakborty I salute you

    by mrdck

    I salute you sir for having balls to show up when your kinsmen Ominus, Ace and Turd have gone mysteriously AWOL. Also, I like you Indians, I find you to be affable and also handy in solving my IT problems. So I shall not skewer you.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 11:33 a.m. CST

    by gotilk

    I will agree that the direction we're going in to battle warming might not be economically viable ( see recent solutions that involve huge, space-program level initial research grants for alternatives rather than economy-crushing and ultimately self destructive carbon offset trading, etc) but be sure you're not making yourself look like and absolute nutter idiot in regard to those "gotcha" e-mails that everyone is spouting about. When the dust settles, you'll find out I was right about them. Absolutely dishonest, blatant quote mining and misrepresentation.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 11:36 a.m. CST

    IMAX or not.

    by gotilk

    My experience with Avatar day was IMAX 3d and it was transformative. Hard to say without knowing if there are frame-rate, projection and resolution differences between that and realD. I can just say that my IMAX experience really was outstanding and immersive.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 11:41 a.m. CST

    Happy Holidays, mrdck

    by Chakraborty

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 11:41 a.m. CST

    So if you wear glasses...

    by ebonic_plague

    ...and not contacts, can you still use the 3-D glasses, or am I SOL for the 3-D? I heard different things, was wondering if anyone who's seen it can comment, I'd like to see the IMAX 3-D but not gonna bother if I can't use it.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 11:45 a.m. CST

    My top 10 of the decade........

    by Quake II

    I'm no elitist film snob so don't have the qualification to be a "critic", but for what it's worth I do enjoy all kinds of films. #10.CQ #9.The Dark Knight #8.Catch Me If You Can #7.There Will Be Blood #6.BlackHawk Down #5.Star Wars Ep III #4. Before Sunset #3.No Country For Old Men #2.Munich #1. Bring It On (kidding). Truth is, the #1 spot rotates weekly so I can't list a #1 movie. You can fill in the #1 spot for me.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 11:46 a.m. CST

    Ewoks vs. Empire

    by daggor

    Every discussion about Avatar has to bring this up.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 11:49 a.m. CST


    by gotilk

    I wore the 3d glasses over my existing glasses and the effect was perfect. No fatigue, nothing. Perfect.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 11:55 a.m. CST

    16 hours....

    by BendersShinyAss

    and counting

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 11:59 a.m. CST

    Massawyrm is the only AICN reviewer I read any more

    by SnowDogs

    I agree with the vast majority of his reviews. Everybody else, not so much.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 12:04 p.m. CST

    I saw it - It's Good.

    by A G

    No more than Good. The supporting cast are pointless and add virtually nothing to the very familiar storyline. It is disgustingly long considering how many times we have heard this story before. Imagine hearing the story of Jesus, the shepherds and the three wisemen etc. but the person telling it takes 3 fucking hours to stitch it all together. It takes hours to tell this story we all know. IT IS SO FUCKING LONG.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 12:04 p.m. CST

    I don't have the energy to get into another...

    by Jaka

    ...Avatar talkback. I'm just going to put this one on the side of the glowing reviews, opposite the non-glowing reviews, while I keep walking the middle line. I'm starting to think there may be more hope of me loving it this much, but every time I really start to believe that I read another less than stellar review that once again tempers my excitement. So I'm on that middle line until Sunday.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 12:05 p.m. CST

    Sweet, thanks for the tip, gotilk!

    by ebonic_plague

    My eyeballs are already feeling frisky.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 12:07 p.m. CST

    Avatar pre-sales heating up ...

    by ColonelFatheart

    Ahead of Star Trek, but still lagging behind Transformers 2 and New Moon. Not bad for a previously unknown property whose leads are giant blue cat people. If this movie is anywhere near as exciting as we've heard from the bulk of the reviews out there, and the awards buzz continues, there will be a 3D/IMAX frenzy and it will have legs into March.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 12:07 p.m. CST

    I will never watch this again at home

    by sheepshagger

    Unless I have the facility ( and money ) to build an IMAX screen in my home. Watched this last night and it Fucked.Me.Up. So glad it wasnt a dud.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 12:10 p.m. CST


    by gotilk

    It doesn't go right for the full-on. It does some heavy petting first, then some erotic dry-humping of the retinas. Before you know it, 5 min opticalorgasm. It creeps like that. I joke, but I'm somewhat serious. And what I saw was less than 15 min. I cannot wait until tomorrow.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 12:10 p.m. CST

    I haven't seen it but it's already my #1 fave movie, is that wro

    by Hey_Kobe_Tell_Me_How_My_Ass_Tastes

    How can it be wrong when it feels so right? How?

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 12:18 p.m. CST

    Very enthusiastic review

    by Teddy Artery

    Exactly why I want to see this several times in IMAX.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 12:21 p.m. CST

    I SEE YOU...

    by bright boy

    Was it just me or everytime they delivered this stupid line did anyone else get visions of Travolta's fat hand going over his daughter's face in Face Off?

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 12:24 p.m. CST


    by ebonic_plague

    Sounds like Cameron's going to be my ocular baby daddy. I'm going to have to start referring to my right eye as Linda and my left as Gale Anne.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 12:26 p.m. CST

    avatar sucks

    by Ash_Williams

    i like massa and think he is a great reviewer, but here he is wrong. i think he likes it because he currently plays dungeons and dragons. avatar = transformers 2. fact.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 12:28 p.m. CST

    gungans vs trade federation

    by Ash_Williams

    seen it. done it. no thanks cameron

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 12:30 p.m. CST


    by slone13

    Your shit is weak. Give it a rest, chump.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 12:31 p.m. CST

    You can't trust any reviews here.

    by RattleMan

    I read this site for the news. I don't trust the reviews because I'm sure the tools who run the site are paid off in different ways. Anyway... I will not go see this steaming hunk of dog shit that Cameron wants to call a movie. You are idiots if you do go see it.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 12:32 p.m. CST

    Falling in Love with the princess?

    by hallmitchell

    You guys are playing The Sims too much. Then again, how many guys play The sims?

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 12:33 p.m. CST

    Visuals 10/10, Story 4/10

    by hallmitchell

    Catch in 3D at a cinemaa or don't bother about it.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 12:34 p.m. CST

    I liked Star Trek and UP better.

    by hallmitchell

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 12:36 p.m. CST

    I haven't seen it yet, but...

    by inkingeekX

    I don't see the "Dune" connection. IMHO, Dune was about a prince removed from his throne by a coup, and then said prince raises an army to take back what is rightfully his and to get revenge for the death of his father; along the way, he happens to fulfill a prophecy and become somewhat of a messiah to the indiginous people. Haven't seen any bits of that kind of plotline in the trailers. And for everyone that will inevitably correct me, I know that Paul was not a prince, he was the son of a Duke but I was just being general.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 12:36 p.m. CST

    Colonel Quaritch - is a cartoon.

    by hallmitchell

    Baddest dude of the decade. Come on.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 12:44 p.m. CST

    by shodan6672

    Using "anthropogenic" instead of the more conversational "man made" does not make you post any less ignorant. It just makes you seem more pompous.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 12:46 p.m. CST


    by shodan6672

    I think he is referring to the acquisition of the extremely valuable spice in Dune.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 12:49 p.m. CST

    Unobtainium huh? Didn't Delroy Lindo make

    by SID 8.0

    his tunnel drill out of that in "The Core?" That thing could withstand the heat of the Earth's core so I guess it would be pretty valuable. Hell I'd kick those blue bastards off their spot for it too.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 12:51 p.m. CST

    Just saw it - GREAT

    by thommcg

    Plot point dialog mightn't come across with much subtlety, but it's a ridiculously immersive & entertaining film. I can't really speak of the special effects because it was like I watching something occurring just outside. A totally seamless, organic visual experience. Those moaning about originality of the story, should at least appreciate that it's not a Roland Emmerich film...

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 12:53 p.m. CST

    shodan6672, thanks

    by inkingeekX

    for the clarification. On that note, Every tale in the world has been told-the key is to find a new way to tell it. Can't wait for midnight to see how cameron tells his.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 12:53 p.m. CST


    by theKRELL

    Cheer up Douchebag, yer mommy bought you new Phantom Menace pillowcases and sheets for Christmas. But she said, from now on, you need to 'finish your business' in a sock!

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 12:54 p.m. CST


    by Sonny_Williams

    I wear glasses and have had no problem with either the polarized glasses or the LCD blinker glasses. The LCDs are heavier though so I'm hoping for Polaroids when I do AVATAR (or is it when AVATAR does me?)

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 12:56 p.m. CST

    Yeah, but he loved Taken, so what does that say?

    by coconutgroves

    This one is going to blow then. One of the year's best? Come on Massa, you know you can't put this above Taken your love Liam Neeson. I will never forgive you for that review. You owe me $20. Wait, I was at the Alamo. You owe me $100.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 1:02 p.m. CST

    Dune is far too complex...

    by MJohnson

    ....a science fiction story for someone like James Cameron to ever even attempt. Now, his ex-wife, Kathryn Bigelow, might be able to do it justice...

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 1:10 p.m. CST

    Massawyrm loves "Avatar"?! MASSAWYRM?!!

    by blakindigo

    I'm stunned…And, no I'm not joking…

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 1:11 p.m. CST

    In the words of Padme... It's over Viceroy.

    by JeanGrey_X23_lesboSex

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 1:13 p.m. CST


    by Napolean Solo

    hahahahahahaahaha Avatar is Breakin 2!!!!!!!!!!! That was classic.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 1:14 p.m. CST

    A good film, but not a great one...

    by foxthebloodied

    The middle dragged, though it's hard to tell what they could have cut. The effects were fantastic, the 3D non-gimmicky and the action exciting. Not the best film of the year (I'm in Britain so I get to go with 'Let The Right One In') but certainly a good one.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 1:20 p.m. CST


    by Kontarsky

    Unless the villains are interesting as the Harkonnens and Corrinos, PLEASE. Someone seriously needs to read the book Dune and stop watching the film. Dune is far too in-depth reading to transfer to film ever. The end. Too much lore, too much heady writing. No screenwriter has the chops to pull it off. That said. I was trusting Mass until I noticed he didn't like Firefox. Now I can't trust his reviews anymore than the next person here. That said, Taken's a great film. Why does someone keep posting the same shit "but he likes taken" here EVERY TIME HE POSTS A REVIEW?

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 1:21 p.m. CST

    Somewhere between Mr Beaks and Massa's reviews lies the truth

    by AsimovLives

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 1:24 p.m. CST

    interested to see how pirates

    by Player_Two_has_entered_the_game

    get around the 3d issue when trying to bootleg it haha

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 1:28 p.m. CST

    The opening is too rushed IMO

    by kwisatzhaderach

    Looks like we'll be getting a Dir Cut from Cameron at some point. The scenes with Sully in the bar wearing the Harley t-shirt as seen in the trailer are missing in the final cut. The opening is very rushed, needs to breathe more...

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 1:28 p.m. CST

    The problem with Avatar

    by Kizeesh

    is that several years from now, we won't all be sitting watching 3D televisions.<p> Sorry it just won't happen. Which made it ridiculous when I chucked the Avatar game in my 360 and saw the 3D tv settings on the options menu.<p> 3D is not going to take over as some sort of standard. Hence it's a current cinematic trend, as it has been 3 or 4 times before. thus as good as avatar looks,(and I'm betting it'll be brilliant to look at) it will still inevitably end up being a pretty but CGI intensive film with a really predictable and done to death plot.<p> Can anyone here actually name 1 single film that has stood the test of time onthe merits of it's special effects alone? (And no Titanic doesn't count as it had a decent story)<p> I doubt it,(but if you can think of one let me know) which is why Avatar will fade out of public consciousness as soon as the 3D craze fades away.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 1:33 p.m. CST


    by theKRELL

    Avatar was also released in a 2D format. There will be pirates....Aaaarrgghh.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 1:35 p.m. CST

    D-Day is here! The Bomb is coming!

    by jaysin420

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 1:37 p.m. CST


    by ColonelFatheart

    No ... the truth lies wherever you feel about the movie. Wherever I feel about it. Wherever anybody feels about it on their own terms.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 1:39 p.m. CST

    Back from the theatre, just a few moments ago.

    by Motoko Kusanagi

    I couldn't get enough. Can't wait to see it again next week, this time in 3D.<p>:-D

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 1:40 p.m. CST



    Will it be a revolutionary game changer for a man such as myself who cannot perceive 3D on film?

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 1:43 p.m. CST

    Manhola Dargis' rave in the NY Times:

    by ColonelFatheart

    "Few films return us to the lost world of our first cinematic experiences, to that magical moment when movies really were bigger than life (instead of iPhone size), if only because we were children. Movies rarely carry us away, few even try. They entertain and instruct and sometimes enlighten. Some attempt to overwhelm us, but their efforts are usually a matter of volume. What’s often missing is awe, something Mr. Cameron has, after an absence from Hollywood, returned to the screen with a vengeance. He hasn’t changed cinema, but with blue people and pink blooms he has confirmed its wonder."

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 1:43 p.m. CST

    So Full Price or Better Than Sex?

    by Xanthious


  • Dec. 17, 2009, 1:46 p.m. CST

    Sorry.. not a fad this time around.

    by gotilk

    I know your panties are all in a bunch about it not being one, but this is a fad like sound and color were. And if anyone thinks the "end-all-be-all" for 3d will be 3d SCREENS at home has some learnin' to do. Back to the shed with you.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 1:49 p.m. CST

    what film are you people seeing?

    by slappy jones

    it was so bad. every performance is terrible, the story is predictable to a ridiculous extent, the effects are all it has going for it. For everyones bitching and moaning about CG over the years i find it mind boggling that people are giving this film such high praise.It was embarrassingly awful on every single level. Worthington is not only a bad actor as a hman but he can;t act as a mocapped alien, weaver has never been worse ever. I mean she is normally great but she is terrible the action is boring. Its a remarkably bad film and I cannot believe the pass it is being given. and I was not a prerelease hater. I love cameron. I was so excited but I hated the film. It is for me the worst film I have seen this year.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 1:51 p.m. CST

    Anyone Who Thinks Its Going To "Bomb" Is A Fucking Moron

    by Crow3711

    Seriously...get over your own bias and realize your opinion will have zero effect on box office. Unless "bombing" means not being as successful as Titanic (which is impossible) then fine, act like a snotty douche. But that's not a bomb. It's going to make its money back world wide with plenty of profit. Not astronomical. It's not going to be the highest grosser of all time at all. But anyone saying its going to "bomb" is objectively a fucking moron too blinded by their own hubris. People are excited for this, combined with the marketing and surprisingly good (overall) word of mouth, its going to be a huge success. Again, you're just fucking stupid. Sorry.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 1:52 p.m. CST

    Kontarsky you took the words roight out of my mouth

    by DoctorWho?

    If you guys want Dune read the book. There's too much there to ever transfer to film. <p> If they focus one one aspect there will surely be something that will be missed. <p> It makes LOTR look like like Krull.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 1:52 p.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    Don't give me any of that "truth is subjective" nonsense. I'm not some hick that gets impressed with basic philosophy 101. The truth lies where reason is. and neither Massa nor Mr Beaks's reviews sounded reasonable. Massa is the midnless gushing, and Mr Beaks's is somebody tryinghard to be hip and "kool" by not joiningthe hoi polloi. Both reviews read phoney and mindless. The truth will be soemthing different from what this two poseurs have writen so far. Better reviewers in this site have yet to post their thoughs.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 1:54 p.m. CST

    It may be the McPaper, but USA Today states

    by skimn

    "For all the grandeur and technical virtuosity of the mythical 3-D universe Cameron labored for years to perfect, his characters are one-dimensional, rarely saying anything unexpected. But for much of the movie, that hardly matters." And they give it 3 stars, which sounds appropriate. THE BEST MOVIE OF THE YEAR, NO, DECADE!!!...umm, maybe not fanboys. I think you're confusing eye jism with drool.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 1:55 p.m. CST

    How long before we get Avatar vs. Predator?

    by KongMonkey

    You know FOX is gonna wanna milk these blue fuckers dry, with or without Cameron.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 1:58 p.m. CST


    by theplant


  • Dec. 17, 2009, 2 p.m. CST


    by ColonelFatheart

    When it comes to "liking" or "disliking" a movie, yes, truth is pretty fucking subjective. Now, when we're talking about facts, the truth is not subjective. If anyone's spinning nonsense, it's you with this idea that "the truth lies somewhere in the middle." Now THAT sounds like Philosophy 101 nonsense, or even worse, "conventional wisdom."

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 2:02 p.m. CST


    by SunTzu77

    I can't wait until I catch Avatar on DVD! I can't wait to see the Kwisatz Haderach lead the smurfs to victory against the evil "drill baby drill" people on planet Arrakis... oops I mean Pandora! The Harkonnens are being lead by Newt Gingrich! and Paul Muad'Dib's father is the Duke Al Gore.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 2:07 p.m. CST

    My problem w/ AVATAR reviews

    by filmcans

    The movie doesn't have a ton of surprises, but I enjoyed the few it did have. 99% of the reviews I've seen have ruined the handful of little plot points that were unexpected. THANK YOU for NOT doing that. That's how ya review a movie, right there.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 2:08 p.m. CST

    If you think this review is too gushing...

    by Jaka

    ...go read Drew's over at HitFix. Yikes. Way too over the top in the praise for me. It may end up being how I feel after watching it, but I NEED to go in with my expectations MUCH lower than that.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 2:10 p.m. CST

    Stop with the Smurf BS!

    by Jaka

    Did anybody actually ever watch the damned Smurfs?!? They were smaller than mushrooms! Navi are TEN FEET TALL. It was a stupid comparison the first time somebody used it, now it's just effin' annoying.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 2:14 p.m. CST


    by BringingSexyBack

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 2:15 p.m. CST


    by antonphd

    it looks like the alien chicks are topless in this movie. is that correct? or am i gonna get shit for taking my brother?

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 2:16 p.m. CST

    Zoe this one and....

    by theKRELL

    Zooey Deschanel in the sequel...<P>Win Win

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 2:17 p.m. CST

    Not going to read the review

    by Colin62

    Because Worm sucks at his job. But I do plan to see the film anyway. Cameron is good at his job.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 2:17 p.m. CST


    by Jaka

    I can't tell. Sometimes it looks like they are, sometimes it doesn't. Zoe's character included. *shrug*

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 2:19 p.m. CST

    Well, my locak 3D IMAX...

    by Jaka

    ...has it tonight at 12:01, but is not allowing tickets to be purchased online beforehand. To my knowledge, they've don't usually operate that way. That means they're expecting a messy line. Which means I think I'll drive over later and see if there are any tickets left at the box office, or if they're just going to start selling them at, like, 11:00 PM. Might be fun to see it in a huge ass, completely full theater.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 2:20 p.m. CST

    Locak? Really. I meant local.

    by Jaka

    At least those keys are next to each other.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 2:21 p.m. CST

    I guess Harry has no love for old Roy.

    by Ingeld

    Perhaps if we tell him that he had a cameo in the original Star Wars as the fourth stormtrooper from the left, his passing would get a mention.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 2:24 p.m. CST


    by BringingSexyBack

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 2:28 p.m. CST


    by theKRELL

    Even though they're not doing the online ticketing for that showing, they may be selling the tickets on site for it. Too dark and cold to wait outside for me, got my tickets for the first showing on Friday, and at matinee prices. Whatever you do, I hope you enjoy it, for me it's 22 hours till showtime!

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 2:28 p.m. CST

    I said this someplace else on AICN, but...

    by Jaka

    ...since most people seemingly just post whatever they want in the talkbacks without ever actually reading them, here's my theory on Roy. He was a business man. Most of what he did was behind the scenes. It related to being a board member, owning stock and/or leaving the board and leading revolts so he could get somebody new in the "big chair" to once again save the company that shared his name. And he actually did that more than once. However, for the most part, he really didn't make films. Just a few shorts, I believe. So while he may have some importance to the company, he didn't have nearly as much to the film community at large as his uncle did. Or even as much as some of the classic animators who worked for him. That's my two cents as to why no major AICN write-up. Now that I've said that they'll probably be one posted in the next ten minutes. And now back to your regularly scheduled Avatar debate. Apologies for going off topic...

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 2:29 p.m. CST

    Thanks for correcting the political assumptions

    by cylon_conspiracy

    <p>Many of the reviews I've read say this is deliberately an attack on the Bush administration and Iraq in particular. 50% of the audience might love that idea, 50% might not. I was on the fence about this movie but now I'm looking forward to it. I really don't like to be preached to in a movie. I am also really interested in this "gnostic/taoist" religion they came up with... I love seeing cultures created out of thin air.</p> <p>I've actually never seen a feature film in 3D before... just seems weird to me. I HAVE to see this in 3D?</p>

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 2:30 p.m. CST


    by theKRELL

    I think the Roy Disney TB will immediately follow the Ed McMahon...

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 2:31 p.m. CST


    by BringingSexyBack

    Thank fuck for Massawyrm.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 2:32 p.m. CST


    by theKRELL

    You sing it buddy, I got your back(up)!

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 2:32 p.m. CST

    Thank KRELL

    by Jaka

    I've been very careful to not believe too much hype in either direction - just keep walking my own middle line. It was a lesson I learned with some difficulty when waiting three years for The Phantom Menace. And I actually like that film, more after a few years to let my anger subside. But I learned then to keep the anticipation and acceptance of reviews (both good and bad) in check. I too hope you enjoy it immensely, though.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 2:33 p.m. CST

    *S ^^

    by Jaka


  • Dec. 17, 2009, 2:37 p.m. CST

    Jaka..........thanks, mate...

    by theKRELL

    but I think I will enjoy it 'immersively.'

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 2:38 p.m. CST


    by Ingeld

    Or the Art Carney one for that matter. I got banned by Father Geek for repeatedly pointing out that oversight.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 2:39 p.m. CST far these AVATAR talkbacks are a little disappointing...

    by FlickaPoo

    ...I expected all of talkbackerdom to show up en masse...rank upon rank...everyone standing on a hill and defending it to the death, with the exception of the usual berzerkers swinging at anything that moves...<P>I expected the boards to drip with a soupy mix of mud, blood, and semen...

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 2:43 p.m. CST


    by theKRELL

    If you want to see a soupy mix of mud, blood, and semen....check your underwear....I kid, I kid, love ya man, couldn't resist.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 2:43 p.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    Why would i give a care abotu what others liek or dislike for me to measure the quality of a movie? There's more to it then just the gushings or pannings of some nerd.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 2:44 p.m. CST

    The TBs can only be anticlimatic

    by cylon_conspiracy

    This movie has been hyped for months and months... people got it out of their systems. Now that the actual movie is out, it's like "oh".

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 2:44 p.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    I would say fuck Massa, actually.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 2:45 p.m. CST

    ...theKRELL, that's funny because...

    by FlickaPoo

    ...I meant to add "and foamy santorum" but I forgot.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 2:51 p.m. CST


    by theKRELL

    Stop, you're making JackAsh_William drool!

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 2:53 p.m. CST

    I loved Avatar

    by kwisatzhaderach

    If you're a fan of sci-fi/fantasy I don't get how you couldn't like this film. And in 3D - well, I just have never seen anything like it before. Amazing.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 3:07 p.m. CST

    People who say that there's nothing like it

    by estacado1

    never watch nature documentaries. If you've watched enough of them, you can see where JC got his inspirations from. And if you know where the ideas come from, then the environment in the movie isn't as mindblowing as it could be without that knowledge. I watch a lot of documentaries, and the environment int the movie doesn't impress me much, the story is weak, so there's isn't much to take away from this movie. And the floating lands have been done numerous times before, and the one in Chasseurs de dragons is more impressive art-wise.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 3:08 p.m. CST

    Comandante kwisatzhaderach

    by AsimovLives

    That you liked the movie gives me hopes. Because rarely i have disagree with you. You teached me well, master.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 3:09 p.m. CST

    The more AICN relies on Variety and IGN

    by DigitalDong

    The worse the reviews a movie gets from them. I'm sure if they got more scoops as opposed to linking information from else where they'd be jizzing all over this movie. Can't wait for fat-ass's review where he talks about being a little fat-ass, taking his dad with him, and brings up other references that have nothing to do with the movie on hand.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 3:11 p.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    What, you think the geeks in here watch nature documentaries and TV series? There's no zombies or gay macho men blowing up shit in those docs and shows, therefore, they don't watch them. This guys take history lessons from 300. Don't be too surpised if the geeks here don't recognize the inspirations for Cameron in creating the Avatar's Pandora world.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 3:12 p.m. CST


    by theKRELL

    keep repeating that shit over and over to yourself, and who knows, maybe someday even you will believe it!

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 3:13 p.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    I'm more worried that AICN relies more and more on their opinions on movies from the studio's marketing departments. As examplefied by the enthusiastic embracing of that abomination of a movie i'm well known for bashing about.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 3:16 p.m. CST

    Whadda you gotta do to get an obit around here?

    by RoyDisneysGhost

    Help a brother out. Oh and by the way AICN staffers, McMahon has a message for you, but I don't want to pass it on in such a public forum, ya know if there's any children reading and all, man's got mouth like a sailor. Seriously tho, I haven't felt this rejected ever since I was asked to leave the Disney Board. Which reminds me, Michael Eisner, if you're reading this, enjoy life while ya can because from what God tells me your afterlife ain't gonna be all that grand where you're goin', if ya know what I mean. I kid, I kid.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 3:16 p.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    estacado1 does have a point, one needs to be pretty ignorant of nature to not get where Cameron got his inspiration for Pandora's life and consider it a complete original creation.<br><br>And the thing is, that is the least of the problem. doesn't matter is Pandora's lifeforms are based on sea creatures. that's unimportant. what's importan tis what Cameron does with his inspiration and how he utilizes it in his movie. It will be the execution that will tell the quality of the movie and Cameron as a filmmaker.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 3:18 p.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    It does upset me that sems today the only way that studios can market movies is by building hype. I think it hurts more then it helps, really. It robs us of our sense of discovery, if you understand what i'm saying.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 3:23 p.m. CST


    by theKRELL

    That you Ingeld?

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 3:24 p.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    Yeah, so Roy Disney died, good for him.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 3:25 p.m. CST

    Eh ya mean, good for me.

    by RoyDisneysGhost

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 3:29 p.m. CST

    IMAX @ Palms

    by My best friend

    I have my tix for Sunday at the Palm's IMAX here in Las Vegas. As noted in older talkbacks, there are a lot of fake IMAX's but not this one! They have approximately (only) 11 rows and the screen is HUGE!! Make sure to go to a real IMAX for this one!

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 3:30 p.m. CST


    by Ingeld

    Not me. Obviously, there are others who think forgetting about good old Roy is an oversight.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 3:33 p.m. CST


    by BringingSexyBack

    "... that I will one day walk into a debate conducted in both Klingon and Na’vi about the frailty of human beings and the best ways to go about killing them." <p> El-oh-el man. <P> I've never attended any convention outside of the auto convention, but if this is what I can expect going into a geek convention, color me there.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 3:34 p.m. CST

    Trying to decide if I should see this at midnight...

    by SoylentMean

    or wait until tomorrow afternoon. Both showtimes are not sold out. I also hope I don't puke because of the 3D.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 3:36 p.m. CST


    by BringingSexyBack

    but it is a story that is worth telling on behalf of so many oppressed people. Look up Bagua Massacre and what is happening in Peru. It's like Avatar but with brown people.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 3:56 p.m. CST



    I watch nature docs and TV series :P

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 4:04 p.m. CST


    by justanothermoviefan

    Every review seems to be the same. The F/X are mindblowing. Well, if you have $300 million, they damn well should be. Should a film be rewarded for looking the best? How can a film win Best Picture (nominated so far) without the screenplay or any of the actors being nominated, or even mentioned when discussing the film? I can't wait to see it though.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 4:08 p.m. CST

    Seen it

    by vadakinX

    It's's ok. The story really isn't up to much. It's as unoriginal and predictable as people have suggested. Worthington has absolutely zero personality. <p> Effects wise it's pretty good. It becomes easier to believe the Na'vi are real as the movie goes on, right up until we get our first real intimate scenes between the Na'vi and humans, at which point the believability is lost. <p> Regarding the 3d, this was the first film I've ever seen in 3d. The very first. I avoided 3d showings of various movies over the past 2 years because I knew Avatar was coming.... <p> What was all the fuss about? <p> For the first 10 minutes everyone looked like cardboard cut outs. Once my brain figured out what was going on I got into it. But there was no immersion. Don't get me wrong, it's a novel effect but it wasn't a game changer. <p> Now I didn't watch this in Imax. I watched it the way most of the people who see Avatar will see it. Bog standard 3D. It was fun, but I was never drawn in. maybe if I'd watched it in Imax it would have been different but if that's the case then this movie is a failure. You don't make a movie designed for the 10% of the audience lucky enough to see it in Imax. You make it for the other 90%. <p> The 3d was nice but nothing more. The story was predictable but it was an entertaining film. <p> I'd give it a solid 3 out of 5. This Oscar BS has to stop though. For all the motion capture wizardry, Worthington still looked like a plank, whether as a human or a big blue thundersmurf so best acting is out of the frame. <p> Best Picture? Not a chance. The film has no substance whatsoever. If The Dark Knight couldn't get nominated then this should have no chance. <p> Original Screenplay? Well putting aside the debabte about how "original" it really is, the script is full of predictable plot points, cliche'd dialogue and has a real sense of deja vu. It's not even worth a Golden Globe nom. <p> Best Director? Naw. As much as James Cameron invested in making Pandora a real and believable place, ultimately it was a wasted effort. The fact that the story falls on its ass makes the rest of it pointless. Sorry Jim but 3D is just the Chimney, without the foundation of story underneath the entire house collapses. <p> So let's forget the Oscar crap. The film is a solid 3 stars. It's entertaining and well paced. Not much substance, not much in the way of character (Saldana did stand out at times though) and the 3D is novel but not necessary. <p> It's good to see Cameron back but this is definitely not one of his best. But it is enjoyable.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 4:08 p.m. CST

    That does it

    by ATARI

    If Massa is giving it a "thumbs up", then I am going to the theater to see it.<br> <br>

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 4:09 p.m. CST

    By DVD, do you mean Blu-Ray?

    by ATARI

    I'm done buying DVDs, Blu-Ray all the way.<br> <br>

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 4:23 p.m. CST

    What bothers me the most about this movie...

    by PolyesterRage

    Is that it took 10 years to get made, and everyone is still pretty much saying the same thing; that the story is cliched, predictable, and corny. So, I don't get it. What the fuck was going on for 10 years, that JC couldn't make an actually original story, with original characters, that is also set in an original world? <br><br>Graphics may be pretty and amazing at the moment, but they never stand the test of time. It's how they work with the story that really makes the movie. Bad special effects are forgivable. A bad story? Much less so.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 4:25 p.m. CST



    I have no interest in seeing AVATAR and checked out what else was happening at the cinema tomorrow.<p>I've got a choice of Twilight, a musical, a lame comedy staring Hugh Grant and Horseface J Parker or some movie called Crazy Heart which i know nothing about.<p>Jeez. It's like the cinemas have just given up on us non-Avatards.<p>I sad.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 4:29 p.m. CST



    I have yet to see the film, but i am betting that your review will express my exact sentiments, nice one, it will be absolutely ridiculous if it gets nominated for best picture when The Dark Knight did not.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 4:29 p.m. CST


    by blakindigo


  • Dec. 17, 2009, 4:31 p.m. CST

    The best way to enjoy a sci-fi convention..

    by seniorspeilbergio

    especially a star trek convention is to burn a big fatty right before you roll in. It's the only way to go. Every obsessed sci-fi geek becomes a road show unto themselves.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 4:32 p.m. CST

    avatar still looks stupid

    by Ash_Williams

    this movie looks lame. james cameron is out of touch. i hope this is camerons 'swan song'. he really needs to retire.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 4:34 p.m. CST

    avatar changes no game at all.

    by Ash_Williams

    cameron is just following in the footsteps of george lucas.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 4:34 p.m. CST

    saturday morning cartoon

    by Ash_Williams

    yep. still applies.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 4:38 p.m. CST

    this situation sucks

    by Ash_Williams

    cameron is setting a horrible president here. he is confirming that it is ok to make movies like transformers 2. movies where the only thing that matters is the visuals. story, acting and dialogue be damned. sad.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 4:39 p.m. CST

    Fuck. Massawyrm likes it.

    by Spazatronik2000

    It sucks.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 4:41 p.m. CST

    Pardon me for being skeptical of what AICN's call cliched

    by AsimovLives

    Last time a movie used very old cliches to tell a story, they all falled in love with it and had no problem with it. Yes, i'm talking about Jar Jar Abrasm's SHIT TREK again. But for AVATAR and suddently a cliched story is now bad? A little consistency is too much to ask?<br><br>But what i ahve learned about AICN and their reviewers is that they don't seem to have much of an idea of what a cliched story is. Seems, many times, they mistake cliche for a simple structure. You cna have a veery completly strutured story, and it's all played with the oldest cliches imaginable. You cna have a simple story but it can be engaging and exciting.<br><br>What i'm getting from reading this reviews is that the story of AVATAR is simple. But does that necessarily means it's SIMPLISTIC? The two are not the same. You cna tell an intelligent, convulted and ambitious story and tell it very stupidly, like Zack Snyder did with Watchmen.<br>Or you can tell a simple story and do it very intelligently, like Ridley Scott did with Blade Runner and Alien, Michael Mann with Heat and James Cameron with Aliens.<br>And i fear the AICN reviewers have lost their way and understanding of this differences.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 4:41 p.m. CST


    by ominus

    <p>Finally the long-awaited day for the Avatar premiere came,and losing no time i grabbed my ticket for the first screening today. First of all I would like to state that i am a long-time huge fan of Cameron's work,i love all his films and i was sure from the start that Avatar was not going to let me down in any way. But dont misunderstand me,I might be a fanboy of specific franchises,genres,works or artists,but i have never let that cloud my judgment over the movies i watch. I am a cinephil,i love movies,and when i spend my time on a movie,i want the movie to worthy of it,i dont want to disappoint me,otherwise i will trash it regardless of who made it. So enough with the clarification,lets get to the review. <p>Lets start from the most obvious question. Is it the visual awesomeness that Cameron promised us? you already know the answer for that which is a huge affirmative. Cameron has delivered 100% what he promised in the technical part of the movie. He was not lying when he was talking about jaw-breaking visuals,CGI quality never seen before. The CGI is simply the best i have ever seen in a movie (or videogame) until now. Simply the best,period. It sets the bar for the sfx a lot higher,and it will become the reference point of measurement for the upcoming spectacle movies of the next decade (yes decade). It was obvious from the start,that the real protagonist of the movie is Pandora itself. And the CGI does the best job to give bones and flesh to the vivid imagination of Cameron's cgi artists,who must be applauded for their magnificent work,in order to create a visceral,living and complex ecosystem of grand proportions,both fascinating and threatening. Dense,lustful vegetation,rich wildlife,living creatures climbing,eating,drinking,playing with their youngs,enormous detail in everything,from the small leafs flying here and there,tree branches moving because of the wind,water drops falling from flowers and insects crawling on tree trunks. But that is just Pandora at the day. At night the same environment changes,becomes something entirely different. Its then when the bio-luminescence kicks in and the unlimited imagination of the cgi artists is fully unleashed: vivid colors,dreamlike scenery sequences (my favorite is when they are walking on the tree trunk,and in the background you watch Pandora's enormous and luminous primary planet),wonderful play of lighting and shadow,again huge detail in everything,like when Jake walks,and the dark green grass under his every footstep,glows. <p>But imho where CGI stands as the best work of photo-realism in a movie,is during the scenes in the floating mountains and especially when Jake and Neutiri fly together with their Banshees. I just cant describe it with words,i really could not tell if the scenery was real or not.And then we have the Navi,the unfortunate target of a much dismay from Cameron's doubters. Well once again they were wrong. Just like with Pandora's environment,the CGI artists have also made a terrific work with the creation of the Navi. Although when you see them for the first time,interacting with the humans,they bring an impression of fake,after a while you and specifically when Jake enters the forest ,its then that you compl forget about being fake,weird or cartoony. Their detailed texture,their muscular movement,their facial expression,their big,very detailed,living eyes (the most difficult thing to cgi draw),the way they walk,they interact,all these things are wonderfully orchestrated together in order to create the most living,breathing cgi characters you have witnessed in a film. And these Navi are not just a replica of each other,with small difference just to give the impression of variety. No,the artists werent lazy,they tried to make every Navi as an individual with its own physical distinguishness .From all the Navi, Neutiri is the most detailed and expressive (and sexy too) Navi,with Jake coming as second. <p>And finally we have the 3D aspect of the film. Many doubters accused Cameron of using the 3D as a gimmick,a bait for the spectacle lovers. But yet again they were wrong. I have to admit that when i watched the movie's screen preview on August,although i was thrilled by the CGI photo-realistic visuals,i was very disappointed with the 3D view of the film. Well i watched the movie in a different theater with a bigger screen (unfortunately not IMAX :( ) and better 3D equipment,and i have to say that the experience is completely different and that the 3D is truly an integrated part of the movie. <p>I have to remind you that Cameron said in an old interview of his,that he was not going to use the 3D excessively but only when he thought it was necessary for the narration of the story,with the classic 2D filming used in other parts of the film which didnt require 3D.And he did just that. For instance the indoor sequences although they have some 3d perspective (like when Quaritch debriefs the marines),you might say that it only works as a gimiick,it really is not needed. But its when Jake gets to his Avatar body and gets outdoors,it is then that 3D shows his teeth. <p>First of all when Jake wakes up in his Avatar body,through his eyes we immediately get the POV perception of a 3meter tall bipedal creature,height,depth,his relative size with the humans,everything registers quickly in our brain with the help of 3D.The immersion is strong and gets stronger when Jake get out to the open environment of Pandora. The camera angles and the rotation of the camera are used in such a way that the 3d perspective gives the impression to the movie viewer that he is Jake's place,in the center of the environment,and from his perspective he witnesses the beauty and the richness of his surroundings. For me the most obvious scene of that,was during the night,when Jake started to observe the bio-luminescence of the forest.,and the camera started rotating around his body. I really felt that i was in his place. <p>But i believe that the use of 3D apart from creating a more immersive, experience of the realistic and living Pandorian natural environment, it also helps in another level: i have already said that the Pandora ecosystem reeks of life,there is a lot of detail and a lot of motion. Imho the same scenes of Pandora in 2D would have become crowded,noisy with all that plethora of information. But 3D separates the scenes into three levels: in the foreground we have small elements like the flying bugs or leafs,or the flowers at the edges of the screen which enhance the perspective of depth,there is the middle level where the main scenery exists and then there is the background where we watch the rest of the detail of it. I think that helps to separate the information,and help the audience to grasp and marvel better the beauty of Pandora,since they can assimilate the rich images quicker. <p>So was the 3D CGI perfect? Ofc not,for example I though that some animals like the wild dogs,the rhinos and especially Thanator didnt have a very detailed texture,it looked a bit plastic. On the other hand the Banshees and the Horses were beautifully drawn and animated. The chase scene with Thanator was very thrilling and immersive (I really bent my head during the chase to avoid a leaf thrown at me,when Thanator reaped a tree),but the camera was very close to the creature,the action was rapid,and I was getting a blurry view of what happening,the chase scene looked like out of focus. But that maybe it was because I wear glasses,i asked my friend if he had the same problem which he denied. <p>But at the end you dont care for such minor flaws,not when you get to witness the most breath-taking,beautiful and strongest scene in the entire film. Its when Jake and Neutiri fly together with their banshees around the flying mountains. I can not describe that scene,you have to see it with your own eyes,to experience it yourself. I understand why Cameron considers it his most favorite one. (and btw Raimi and Blizzard take notice on that specific scene) <p>Thats all for the technical part of the movie. Now its time for the important part,the story of the movie. <p>I have to agree that the story is not original,yes its like Pocahontas/Dancing with Wolves,yes the characters are your expected archetypes (but not stereotypes) from such a story,yes it has the cliche messages about how bad capitalism/imperialism is,the safe-guarding of our planet,the respect of the different cultures etc,yes the dialogue is a bit hockey at some times,yes the film is not as much scifi/action driven as some hardcore fans of Cameron would want to be Frankly all these things are a small part of the whole package,the greatness of the movie manages to outshine all its minor flaws. and I also believe that all the stories have already been told during the humankind's history,and that nowadays we repeat the same old stories,again and again,doing it with unlimited different ways. And how well you tell a story is more important than the story itself. And Cameron is a master storyteller and with this movie,he proves that he still is. <p>As it is Cameron's trademark,the movie starts immediately,no intro credits,not even the title. With the use of Jake's personal diary and flashbacks we immediately get the necessary information about the who,the what,the why,etc.The people who were nagging all the time about the 'obvious' plot holes and inconsistencies of the movie,like the wheelchair,the treatment of his legs,etc,should relax and understand that Cameron has make a tremendous effort to create a believable world,with everything making sense and establishing strongly the Verisimilitude of the movie (you hear that director of the much overrated Distric 9?) The story is divided,lets say,in two parallel routes or parts. There is the story from the human side,and then there is the story the Navi side,and in the middle there is the protagonist of the movie,Jake Sully.Apart from the main story,we get smaller stories for the secondary characters which give depth to their personalities and explain the motives of their actions. For example there is a scene where through some photographs and a bit monologue from Sully we discover a more sensitive side of the Weaver's strict character,we learn her relationship with the Navi and what happened before the events of the movie. And all that from a small scene. But that scene is not only for character disclosure,but it plays its own role in the development of the story. Its all these small details,some photographs,the scars in Quaritch's head,etc,all these small things during the movie,which Cameron uses all together masterfully in his storytelling, in order to develop his characters and progress his story. <p>I do have some personal grips with the story. Unfortunately the characters of Ribisi and Rodriguez are in the background of the events,most of the time in the film.I really wanted more exposition from them,especially Ribisi's character. <p>The other problem I had,is that Cameron at some points of the film,he transcends from one scene to another in a bit of sudden way. Two examples: Sigourney when learns that Jake has replaced his dead brother in her project,she goes to Ribisi,who is the boss of the whole operation,to complain,and while you would expect,as usually happens in most of the movies,a long and loud confrontation between them,what happens is Ribisi immediately goes to his office,shows his flying rock on his desk,explains the reason why they are on Pandora and the sequence stops exactly there with Weaver looking at him with an annoyed face. Another similar example is when Jake is introduce to Neutiri's tribe. At first they dont want him there,but when Neutiri tells to her parents,who are the leaders of their tribe,that she witnessed an omen about Jack,they immediately decide to give him a chance and command Neutiri to teach him their ways. You would expect that the leader and at least some of the elder clan members would want to talk first about the subject,before taking any kind of decision,but that didnt happen,the decision was made very quickly. <p>I believe Cameron considered these scenes as time consuming,and for time saving reasons he gave them little gravitas in order to get fast in the important parts of the story and to have enough time to show to the audience the spectacle of Pandora .Besides he doesnt overdone with it,he only does these quick jumps in the story 2 or 3 times,they dont become irritating. <p>But what is Cameron's true achievement in the movie,is that he managed to create real characters out of CGI constructions. His Navi dont only look and feel alive,but they ARE individual characters with their own distinctive personalities,they are characters that you care for,that you might relate to and that you want to learn what it will happen to them during the movie. <p>How Cameron achieves that? He uses masterfully the facial and body movements of Navi during their interaction,he focuses on small details which might be simple,but are very common to us humans. For instance there is a scene where Neutiri watches Jake-Navi and her eyes give a hint of a hidden attraction for Jake. Later when she and Jake talk together,you can understand from the way they smile and look to each other,that now exists a mutual attraction. But at the some time,we get a shot of the rival,who watches this,and his facial expression betrays his anger about the developing situation. There is the scene before Neutiri and Jake make love,where they walk,and Jake being a bad boy grabs her tail to annoy her,and Neutiry runs smiling. And that specific scene for me at least,gives the best example of why Cameron waited so many years for the technology to mature. The movement and the interaction of the characters in that scene is so fluent,so natural,their smiling,how the look,they laugh,that a lesser photo-realistic CGI and motion capture technique would have negate the emotion and the realism of the human behavior,which those two cgi characters bring in that specific scene. <p>Its all these delicate details,small movements in the face,the eyes,the smile,its through all these that the emotional status of the Navi is expressed and makes them so human,so real,so alive. <p>I would like to make a comment here though. I was a bit disappointed with the love scene between Jake and Neutiri. It was very short and cut abruptly even before it started. No dont laugh,i am not a pervert,but Cameron did one of the most erotic love scenes in cinema,in his Titanic movie,and i was very interested to see how would approach the first love scene between two CGI characters in his new movie. and since Jake makes love with an alien female,using an alien body,it would be interesting to see his reaction from a scifi point of view.I dont know,but maybe Cameron did film a bigger version of the scene,but then he decided that the audience was not ready to watch that kind of interaction between two CGI characters (yes i know the Japanese dont have such problems) and probably would laugh,ignoring the true purpose of the scene. So he decided to cut it in a shorted version,and his decision is not wrong. Regardless, it doesnt matter,because imho,Cameron immediately after the love scene,gives us but the most scifi and character exposed,scene in the entire film.The scene is short with a brief monologue,but i dont know,it really did it for me as a scifi geek. <p>About the actors. Well as you expect from such a talented assembly,they all did solid performances. As it was obvious from the start,Weaver incarnates again her iconic character,Ripley,She is a geek scientist,but like Ripley she is tough,non compromising,persistent and with a strong maternal instict. Moreover her Navi version is the most identical (and sexier!) to her human physical appearance,and its really like watching Weaver in blue makeup acting. Impressive. <p>Ribisi is,you guessed,Burke from Aliens. He does a great job with it,despite his limited time in the movie. Rodriguez once again proves why she usually gets roles of tough but hot women. <p>Sam does a good job as the melancholic but proud marine,and he really transfers to the audience,his emotional status while being torn between his human comrades and his Navi friends. And dont forget that the Navi are motion captured actors,thus their movements and expressions are based on the real actors. Jake and Neutiri (especially her) do a wonderful job as the Navi,they really help the whole procedure to bring humanity in their cgi counterparts. <p>But the real star of the movie,is Strephen Lang. Lang, a very talented but underrated actor,literally steals every scene he is in,he simply outshines everyone else. He is the epitome of bad-ass,hard as nail,military leader who is determined to do the job regardless the cost. What Lang manages to pull out,is that although he is an cold blood,bad ass motherfucker,he is so cool,crafty and determined to to do his job,that not only you like him but you even cheer for him to win. Besides,Lang's Quaritch is not a bad guy,as many wrongly assume. Like Judge Dredd or Inspector Javert,he is a man of qualities and strong personality,but because of fate, he ended up serving the wrong system. And Lang,through his masterful acting,manages to bring that kind of villain in the big screen. <p>I wont bother to talk about the action,Cameron is and remains a master of the art of action,his action set pieces are big,massive,they reek of adrenaline,excitement and coolness,while remaining comprehensible,you can follow the action because he doesnt use at all the shaky camera stylization (you hear that Bay and co?),and he uses slow-mo rarely and only when its necessary to watch the character's specific reaction during a action sequence. In the last part of the movie,all hell breaks out,i wont say anything else than its one of the most epic fantasy/scifi battles you have ever witnessed in the big screen (you hear that Lucas?).As someone correctly said ,its the mother of all battles. <p>To sum up what Cameron manages,is to tell a story with engaging storytelling in a awe-inspiring fantasy world. His story remains interesting during the whole time of movie,the pacing and the buildup is well crafted,the story never becomes bloated or shallow,never too slow or too fast to follow. He develops interesting ,both navi and humans,characters,which you care for and you want to know what will happen to them during the movie. And finally he gives diachronic social,ecological and universal (but no political) messages without becoming preachy. And all the above are happening in a mythical,wondrous world,which he fully explores bringing in the big screen breath-taking images of amazing imagination. <p>So the final question is: Is Cameron's Avatar a game-changer which revolutionizes the cinema? <p>Lets clarify something first. the art of cinema has not changed much for the last forty years. Despite the birth of new genres or film-making techniques or cinematography styles,the quintessential artistic rules of creating a movie (how you set your frame,montage,etc,) remain the same,and frankly i dont think that they will ever change,just like the basic rules in music,literature,painting,etc have not changed. <p>Cameron has never claimed in his interviews that his goal with Avatar is to rewrite the book of film-making. What he wants to achieve with Avatar is to bring the people back to the cinema,to understand that they will never receive the full experience of the movie,if they watch it in a downloaded,pirate copy on their pc monitors. And I believe he succeed on that. <p>He proved that the 3D CGI is more than a technology used only as a gimmick for the movies,an extra eye-candy bonus for the audience. It is a tool which can be used effectively to create a visceral,life-like world,where imaginary but real-like characters inhabit it,and in a very immersive way you experience their stories. He also proved that such an experience is impossible to be achieved in its full degree,nowhere else than in a well-equipped cinema. The medium (cinema here) regains its role of defining the final shape of the artist's work and its importance in delivering and enhancing the full experience of the artwork to the audience. <p>An artist is restrained by its tools. And every tool which liberates the artistic skills and the full vision of an artist,is a welcomed gift. Its a fact that legendary film-maker acknowledge (Kubrick comes to my mind) and if film-makers like Lucas,Spielberg,etc understand Cameron's true meaning of its achievement,realize the full potential of the 3D CGI technology and start using seriously it as a tool for enhanced storytelling and immersive experience for their audience,and not just for visuals,then this will lead to a new era of cinematic spectacle with content,and yes its then that Avatar can be considered as a game-changer. <p>Final words. <p>Avatar is a visionary masterpiece.period. It has flaws but they are trivial .What really matters is that,apart from its epic spectacle,it has BALANCE and SOUL. It does deserve oscar nominations,apart from the obvious technical ones,for best film and best director. it wont get them,and maybe it doesnt deserve to. Lang must get an oscar nomination for supporting male actor. It revolutionizes the sfxs to their next level and show new boundaries for the film-makers to reach. It also proves that Cameron has the balls,in an era of endless remakes,comic adaptations,sequels,prequels and reboots,to make a huge film with original story and cgi characters as his protagonists. <p>Avatar is targeted at everyone,the kids,the adults,the elders,it has something to offer to each and everyone of the them So leave your prejudice for the cartoony NavI and your nitpicking outside,open your mind,get your friends,your family,your partners and go watch it,preferably in a 3D IMAX theater or wherever you can. <p>Go,watch it,enjoy it.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 4:45 p.m. CST

    JackAsh_Williams ...

    by theKRELL

    knows nothing of 'changing'. He hasn't changed his underwear in months!

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 4:49 p.m. CST


    by PolyesterRage

    Since when are unoriginal plot, characters, a cliche message, and hokey dialogue "minor flaws?" It sounds like...basically everything that isn't the visuals has a lot of problems.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 4:50 p.m. CST

    Just got back from London Imax...

    by BiggusDickus

    Three words for you, fellow geeks:<p>Fuck. Ing. Hell.<p>Forget the story, you already know it - it IS Dances With Wolves. And Braveheart. And The Last Samurai, Starship Troopers, Dune and on and on. Doesn't matter.<p>What matters is the 3D rollercoaster ride of visual wonder that old Jimbo takes you on, with every penny up there on the screen.<p>Total and utter escapism, though to be honest, I'd've paid fifteen quid just to see Michelle Rodriguez in a vest in 3D...<p>After the teaser, I was howling this film down with witty 'Thundersmurfs' comments. After seeing it, I'm seriously considering a big fuck-off 120HZ monitor for when the Blu-Ray comes out. Stunning...

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 4:55 p.m. CST


    by BurnHollywood

    Jeezus Khrist, Rodriguez looks cute in a flight suit...

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 4:56 p.m. CST


    by theKRELL

    Many thanks for taking the time to give such a detailed synopsis. Kudos to you. man.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 4:57 p.m. CST

    Not having seen the movie....

    by yomomma

    I think a truly mind-blowingly original story (which in this day and age means WEIRD) to go with crazy blue aliens and their world of jungles and flying jelly fish would have pushed the film into being too weird to be commercial. He had to go tame on the story with the budget and new technology he used. <P> It's not a critical disaster, so it WILL make a ton of money and popularize Cameron's new tech, meaning some more groundbreaking artist will be able to take it and run with a really original story within the next few years.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 4:57 p.m. CST

    Seeing this tomorrow...

    by Fa_Tass_DinoMolester

    I've been labeled a "hater" of this film, but I'm going in with no expectations or bias. So I'll let the film either win me over... or not. If it's the later, I reserve the right to bitch incessantly without the assholes harassing me for it. If it's the former, I reserve the right to completely go back on my previous opinions and do a 180 without the assholes harassing me for it!

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 4:59 p.m. CST

    And let's face it...

    by yomomma

    Hollywood isn't spending $300 million to make novelty hungry geeks happy. If the last decade has taught us anything, it's that the movie going public pays good money for more of the same. And it sounds like Cameron just made the BIGGEST more-of-the-same ever.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 4:59 p.m. CST

    Man, can't wait. Seeing this tonight in 3D. Midnight's too far a

    by CodeName

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 5:01 p.m. CST

    Massawyrm falls in love with AVATAR's rich world of Pandora

    by Ash_Williams

    translation. like most reviewers massa fell in love with the visuals. the story, writitng, acting and dialogue? crap.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 5:03 p.m. CST

    ominus, fucking hell, you troll

    by Ash_Williams

    stop posting your shitty ass "review" in every fucking talk back. ita horribly written and an obvious masturbation fantasy to cameron. get a life, trolling douche

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 5:04 p.m. CST

    theKRELL is my #1 fan

    by Ash_Williams

    he cant get enough of me. hi, theKRELL! see, i mentioned your name! dont faint from joy!

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 5:05 p.m. CST

    avatar = transformers 2

    by Ash_Williams

    Nerd_Rage_Retard_Strength was right

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 5:06 p.m. CST

    avatar apologists unite!

    by Ash_Williams

    and bury your heads in the sand (or up your own asses) which ever fits best.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 5:07 p.m. CST

    It's good, ok, it's just not great, overall

    by corplhicks

    Best CG of it's kind. Nail biting scenes. Cameron deserves an Oscar for the development of the technology that made this movie possible, but that's the only Oscar. Acting is good, not great Effects amazing. Story good. yeah, it's been told before, but that's the point ! Humans have been doing exactly what happens in this movie for thousands of years. it has ZERO to do with the Middle East and oil because that paranoia just is false to begin with-- if we wanted the oil so badly, where is it fools-- how do you hide tankers? Whatever. Anyway, what this story is is really a metaphor of the Europen discovery and colonization of Central and South America. That's the closest time in history this seems similar to. There are bits and pieces of genius here, and I have little doubt that it will make several hundred million dollars. And it's definitely a "must see", but I wish some of the story, dailogue, and acting were a LITTLE better. Overall, I gives this movie 3 1/2 out of 5 stars.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 5:07 p.m. CST

    the reason avatar "fans" get mad at me

    by Ash_Williams

    is because they know im right. and it kills them :(

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 5:08 p.m. CST

    BurnHollywood true !!

    by ominus

    man the first thing i noticed on her,was how her butt was looking when he was walking with her flight suit.i am not joking.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 5:08 p.m. CST

    a 7 out of 10 rating =

    by Ash_Williams

    not a game changer. it = meh...

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 5:08 p.m. CST

    I wholeheartily agree EXCEPT (**SPOILERS**)

    by Maniaq

    I counted TWO cheap 3D tricks - the first was Giovanni Ribisi's golf putts (two of them) at the beginning and something else, which I can't quite remember what it was now, much later in the movie. I keep thinking grenades, but surely it can't be that? <p> I kept hearing Dances With Wolves over and over again - and believe it or not I'd never seen it before - so I actually made a point of watching that film yesterday and you know what? <p> It's almost NOTHING like it <p> I think both are visually good looking, share a commom theme (with so many other works, some not even mentioned yet) but really beyond that... nothing. <p> And yes, it's moments like Jake slapping the leaves because it makes them glow that had me - and most of the audience - absolutely SUCKED INTO this world that Cameron has obviously spent a lot of time creating <p> and yes I admired the very BADASS Bad Guy much more than I hated him (if at all) - whether you agreed with his principles or not, he stuck to them. He was there to do a job - and that's it. He never reneged on his deal with Jake (Jake did) and there was a VERY IMPORTANT moment when Jake gave him a choice (not really an ultimatum - more of a request) and he could easily have said no. He didn't - proving he WASN'T a monster - and gave Jake the opportunity to talk the Na'vi into getting out of his way, peacefully...

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 5:10 p.m. CST

    PolyesterRage you miss the point

    by ominus

    for me all the stories are not original and they have the same characters.i believed i made that clear in my review.Personally i dont consider it a problem,but you are freely to view it as such.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 5:10 p.m. CST

    83% on RT

    by Ash_Williams

    and still dropping.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 5:11 p.m. CST

    Said it once, I'll say it again...

    by BurnHollywood

    This whole movie's fortunes turn on whether the moviegoing public wants to see Tolkien's elves duke it out with Cameron's Colonial Marines.<p> I find it worrisome that the film's tack-on romance and prettiness seems to be what's chiefly being marketed...really, it's the battle sequences he's likely to handle well, and what WILL put asses in seats.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 5:15 p.m. CST

    Thanks ominus—I don't fully agree with you on some points

    by blakindigo

    particularly the story and character aspect, but a well thought out and honest review. I'm in COMPLETE agreement about the VFX and the visuals and I hope that people will recognize this film as a 'game changer' in that respect. It seems like many people underestimate the challenges of giving viewers a truly unique experience and for all it's flaws "Avatar" does give audiences a glimpse into a more engaging and encompassing cinematic experience. A film like this will polarize audiences and in this case, I think it's a worthwhile debate.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 5:17 p.m. CST

    83% on RT with 116 reviews.

    by snakecharmer

    Reviews Counted:116 Fresh:96 Rotten:20 Average Rating:7.4/10

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 5:18 p.m. CST

    The military

    by fitzcarraldo2

    "But doing so requires conveniently forgetting about certain details, like the army not being the army at all, but ex-military mercenaries on corporate payroll." Uh, Halliburton? Blackwater?

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 5:19 p.m. CST

    in america

    by Ash_Williams

    a 7 out of 10 is a C. a C is barely passing. great work cameron! no summer school for you!

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 5:19 p.m. CST

    Maniaq—can you elaborate more on the —

    by blakindigo

    "Dances with Wolves/Avatar" comparison? Because both are fresh in your mind I think it's valuable to hear more from your direct comparisons.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 5:20 p.m. CST

    Ash_Williams—holy shit! That was actually FUNNY!

    by blakindigo

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 5:21 p.m. CST

    Holy Shit, Massa wrote a review I agree with

    by Antz

    I would have to agree 100% with this review.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 5:22 p.m. CST

    blakindigo, my humor is hard to get

    by Ash_Williams

    sometimes i have to throw one out there for the masses

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 5:24 p.m. CST


    by Trannyformers_Apologist

    "The technical wizardry is at the service of a recycled plot and a script rife with cardboard characters...and dialogue that sounds as though it had been lifted from the pages of a third-rate comic book. <P>This digital world feels like a video game environment and, in the 3-D format at least, begins to create visual overload. The film's performances are also very inconsistent.<P>Cameron has fared better than most in wedding cutting-edge special effects with ... genre storytelling, but Avatar, his supremely goofy science-fiction/action spectacular, finds him lost in a $250 million aquamarine light show."

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 5:25 p.m. CST


    by PolyesterRage

    Yeah, I'm going to find a blatantly unoriginal story, and characters, and everything else but the technology a problem. As it should be. There's no excuse for spending 10 years on a movie and not even being able to come up with an original premise. And, to me, it doesn't even sound like he's telling an unoriginal story in an original way, or taking it in any new directions. It sounds a whole lot like he just put it in space. <br><br>Now, I think sometimes it's possible to get away with a slightly done story if the characters are at least original. But if you say even the characters are done to death, well, why should I spend $11 to see a movie where, except for the graphics (which I'm sure are amazing), I've already seen everything?

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 5:26 p.m. CST


    by JohnRyder

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 5:29 p.m. CST

    Great review

    by Magregus

    Love you Massawyrm

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 5:31 p.m. CST


    by Ash_Williams

    itsexpensiveium. ilikeitalotium. itslikesexium. itsametaphorforgasalineium. nextbestthingtogoldium. bluecatpeoplepoopium. fuelium. uranium... oh, wait....that one is too obvious.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 5:32 p.m. CST


    by PolyesterRage

    And you can't honestly believe that Rick in Casablanca is the same character as Max Fischer in Rushmore is the same character as Alvy Singer in Annie Hall is the same character as Captain Jack Sparrow is the same character as Luke Skywalker, etc. etc. I mean, unless you go very broad and say "Well, they are all protagonists who have some sort of quest in their life and do something." But that statement is so abstract as to be rendered meaningless.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 5:42 p.m. CST about UrAnusIum?

    by FlickaPoo

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 5:43 p.m. CST

    Is Jake Sully the same character as Lieutenant Dunbar?

    by ominus

    Is Neutiri the same character as Stands With A Fist? <P>Is Colonel Miles Quaritch the same character as Colonel Walter E. Kurtz? well?

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 5:43 p.m. CST

    ...nah, that's easy to get.

    by FlickaPoo

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 5:47 p.m. CST

    Is Dancing with Wolves the only story ever told

    by ominus

    with that specific theme? Does it own the copyright for the main theme of its story? what about Pocahontas? Should be compared to Wolves,or Wolves is simply a rip-off because Pocahontas is a true story,told long before Wolves,thus Wolves is a cliche story and should get the praise it gets? WELL?

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 5:48 p.m. CST

    should=should not

    by ominus

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 5:50 p.m. CST

    Quatrich kicking open the door

    by CharyouTree

    to shoot at them fleeing was cool as fuck.<p>I did get the feeling quite a bit had been trimmed from the movie too.<p>Also does anyone remember reports of a supposed 8 min POV scene of Jake running through the jungle that was supposedly the most complex awesome scene in the movie, the omission of that and a few choice scenes from the scriptment are my only real dissapointments. I just thought it was ok/good at first, but strangely enough I do have a strong urge to watch it again, more so than any movie in a long while, it must be like crack for your eyes.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 5:52 p.m. CST

    Just as I had predicted.

    by MajorFrontbum

    A typically shitty story, along with some fake looking, cartoon-like effects, doesn't constitute a good movie. People are dazzled by the "light Show" and the name "James Cameron" just like a small child is dazzled by the idea of Santa, the Tooth Fairy and Oprah Winfrey. Simply put, the whole thing is massive pile of C*R*A*P* and a colossal waste of time, resources and labour.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 5:53 p.m. CST

    crack kills

    by Ash_Williams

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 6 p.m. CST

    Um, what?

    by PolyesterRage

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 6:03 p.m. CST

    Darnit, hit the button too soon...

    by PolyesterRage

    Ominus, if you're saying that the characters in Avatar are different and original, then doesn't that refute your earlier point, and in fact, your earlier statement in the review?

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 6:03 p.m. CST

    Maybe we get a directors cut Bluray edition?

    by ominus

    who knows.But i will definitely watch it again,i just can not get enough of it.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 6:04 p.m. CST

    Michelle Rodriguez

    by Underdogthe3rd

    Michelle Rodriguez was never that beautiful. Really.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 6:07 p.m. CST

    I'm a 3D Virgin

    by cylon_conspiracy

    Not including Captain E-O. I thought 3D movies were exclusive to IMAX.. is 3D becoming standard in regular theaters? Yes it's a dumb question but I don't know. Save me time by answering.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 6:08 p.m. CST

    I saw it with 3 die hard Cameron fans

    by sansara07

    They were all disappointed. They rated it as cameron's fifth best film (after Aliens, T1, T2 and Abyss). And these guys worship the ground Cameron walks on. No one at my screening cheered or applauded at the end. Everyone (including myself) felt slightly nauseous by it all, and just wanted to get out of there. No one I spoke to said they would be going to see it again. The consensus seemed to be "once is more than enough". Honestly, I was bored during sections of it. I kept wanting the climax to come. I even took a toilet break and made a phone call. When I sat back down I didn't feel like I missed much. When the end did come it felt like a relief. It felt a lot longer than two and a half hours. I can't see this film being another Titanicesque phenomenon. When even the geeks were jaded how can you expect the regular Joe and Jane to lap it up? I made a prediction it would make $600m globally, but I now think that might be optimistic. It's not Cameron's Phantom Menace, but it is like Spielberg's War of the Worlds.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 6:11 p.m. CST


    by STanH

    Looking forward to AVATAR for all the right reasons I think, but besides DUNE there is a story debt from Poul Anderson's CALL ME JOE. Basically a paraplegic becomes an artificial life form to explore Jupiter. Apparently there is a call from some fans for Anderson to be credited on the film - a la Harlan Ellison on TERMINATOR. There's a story about it here:

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 6:12 p.m. CST

    3D ...

    by ReportAbuse

    Well, some cinemas are going the cheapo route by having two large screens side-by-side and you have to keep your eyes crossed for the duration of the movie. I can see some lawsuits developing over this practice though, from people whose eyes freeze that way. It'll be like "The Jerk" times a hundred.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 6:20 p.m. CST

    Great review Massa

    by Player01

    Exactly what I thought.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 6:24 p.m. CST

    Oh, Wyrm, you were one of the good ones...

    by Raymar

    C'mon even pinkos like Beaks are saying that Avatar is a clumsy, preachy allegory. Is it any coincidence when Cameron gave up on becoming a U.S. citizen just because of Bush's presidency?

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 6:35 p.m. CST

    sansara07 the fans got disappointed

    by ominus

    because,as Cameron correctly said,they didnt get the movie they had in their mind. <p>Personally i consider it his second best after the Abyss.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 6:35 p.m. CST


    by pauduro

    how dare you compare The Muad'Dib to a CGI CAT man thing ther is NOTHING to compare to in the story have you ever READ dune not the movie i ges not and for the GEATE CGI and 3D well in a BAD axident i lost an eye so no 3D for me so if thats what you and all the AVATARDSSS have to wet them selfs for THE VITUALS well you sir have to put your movie critic carier on a wast basquet

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 6:37 p.m. CST


    by cylon_conspiracy

    LOL! I'm not going that route. Too risky.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 6:39 p.m. CST

    The Abyss had Cameron's best dialogue

    by DoctorZoidberg

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 6:49 p.m. CST

    All of you would be gushing over Avatar...

    by AxeEmAll

    ...f there were no Dances With Wolves, Dune, or Fern Gully, or if there were no Vietnam or Iraq War. The most prudent thing to do is to judge the movie on its own merits as a storytelling medium. Not a single Hollywood story is original guys. Heck, even the biblical story of Noah is original. Almost every ancient culture has its own FLOOD myth, very much similar to Noah's.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 6:51 p.m. CST

    MY BAD

    by AxeEmAll

    NOT even Noah is original

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 6:53 p.m. CST

    Expensive visuals and giant CGI beasties mean nothing

    by Kizeesh

    Revenge of the Sith had those, as did many others.<p> I disagree with Ominus' fanboy review, there is no justification for a weak story through improved visuals. They had 10 years of prep to come up with a story that wasn't 99% predictable from seeing the trailer.<p> Hell the videogame has a better written story and characters.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 6:53 p.m. CST

    Something you've never seen before?...

    by ObiBen

    ...or something you've never seen for a duration of 2h before? (Purely technically speaking, of course)

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 6:55 p.m. CST

    Michael Bay sucks big time!

    by AxeEmAll

    Wait till you watch Scully's Avatar slugging it out with the "avatar" robot controlled by Quaritch. It makes Bay's Optimus-Megatron battle in Transformers 2 look like kid's stuff.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 6:55 p.m. CST

    Hey, Wyrm is STILL good

    by CodeName

    Great Avatar review.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 6:58 p.m. CST

    Cameron is tempted to make Alien 5 per youtube

    by CodeName

    Watch on youtube.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 6:59 p.m. CST

    ominus you are right

    by sansara07

    in saying the fans did not get what the Cameron return to sci-fi film they were expecting. My friends told me how they were hoping Avatar would have the look and feel of Aliens, T1 and Abyss but it is something very different to that. My impression is a lot of Cameron fans will feel very jaded by Avatar, because it is not the "old" Cameron that they feel nostalgia for.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 7:03 p.m. CST



    Hee hee. Nice, Ash!

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 7:03 p.m. CST

    And THIS is a review.

    by TheMarineBiologist

    Thank you, Harry Knowles, for hiring reviewers to write some of the reviews on your site.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 7:11 p.m. CST

    ...if there were no Dances With Wolves, Dune, or Fern Gully.

    by PolyesterRage

    So, basically, people would be loving this film if it was original? That's a terrible defense!

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 7:11 p.m. CST

    Thanks, this is in line with genuine critics...

    by quantize

    who acknowledge the film's flaws and haven't let their pompous psuedo intellectual arrogance ENJOY IT....such as that knob-breath Beaks and the gaggle of micro-weens like Ash_Williams (surely becoming the AsimovLoser to Avatar)

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 7:13 p.m. CST


    by BringingSexyBack

    Did Rodriguez yell "Let's rock!!!!!!!"?

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 7:14 p.m. CST

    PolyesterRage are you addressing me?

    by ominus

    and i am still waiting for your answers to my questions.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 7:15 p.m. CST

    quantize, bwahahahahahaaha

    by Ash_Williams

    so, "genuine" critics love the movie. and "fake" critics don't? that, my friend, officially makes you an avatar apologist. join the ranks...

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 7:17 p.m. CST


    by BringingSexyBack

    Here's a Good People medal.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 7:18 p.m. CST

    BringingSexyBack, good people medal?

    by Ash_Williams

    you cant give those out if you are not a good person. duh.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 7:20 p.m. CST


    by BringingSexyBack

    if Ash is any indication of their roster.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 7:21 p.m. CST

    ominus, I was talking to AxeEmAll

    by PolyesterRage

    And I already did reply to you. But you were the one who didn't answer me, I assumed you just ignored my questions and moved on.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 7:21 p.m. CST

    Agree with this review 100%

    by holden_oz

    The main thing people seem to be going on about is, "Is it worth the price of admission?" <P> Answer is a resounding YES.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 7:23 p.m. CST

    BringingSexyBack, while your giving out

    by Ash_Williams

    'good people awards' why dont you regale us with your favorite racist jokes?

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 7:24 p.m. CST

    yes i saw your reply but i would like a

    by ominus

    clear answer to my questions,rather than a diplomatic avoidance.a simple yes or no suffice. :)

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 7:24 p.m. CST

    BringingSexyBack, your conspiracy

    by Ash_Williams

    theories are old now. you really are stupid huh? i've never even been to that site, idiot. who pays you to post the inane bullshit that you put up here?

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 7:25 p.m. CST

    Oh yeah, and to follow up on that...

    by PolyesterRage

    I never drew the Dances with Wolves comparison, anyways. I just said that everyone's saying Avatar is unoriginal, which pisses me off because there were 10 freaking years to do more with the story. There's really no excuse.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 7:28 p.m. CST

    because, when you have great cgi

    by Ash_Williams

    you dont need a good story (or acting or dialogue). at least thats what all the avatar apologists are syaing.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 7:29 p.m. CST

    This is unbiased fair review. Mr Beaks had an agenda!

    by Orionsangels

    Which was bring down Cameron. He's always hated Cameron. Mr Beaks, grow up!

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 7:30 p.m. CST

    Star Wars

    by Shaner Jedi

    was a classic , unoriginal tale. But what made it great was "how" it was told. So Avatar can have a classic tale and still be a great film. It's all in how it's told.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 7:31 p.m. CST

    3D Visuals, 2D characters

    by evil__ash

    Saw it yesterday. Visually amazing, but a tedious story. I didn't care about any of the characters, nor did I buy into the cultural background of the creatures. The foreshadowing of the plot twists were as subtle as a sledgehammer. Michelle Rodreguiz's character was pointless (and she had some of the corniest lines you'll hear in a movie this year). Overall it was an amazing cinematic experience, but there is no way I would want to see it again. I was frequently bored by the centre-stage action, and found myself looking at the detail in the background of the screen instead. It will be interesting to see how this movie is reviewed once it is released on DVD format. Without the incredible 3D effects, the failings of the story, acting, and editing will come to the fore.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 7:33 p.m. CST

    Hell, even you said it was unoriginal, ominus

    by PolyesterRage

    Your only defense was the old, "well, everything is unoriginal when you get down to it," which is a cop-out if I ever heard one. That's just a weak excuse to accept mediocrity and the same-old, same-old. If anything, that should be a call to action to do something new!

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 7:34 p.m. CST

    I can't believe ANYBODY is still responding to...

    by Jaka

    ...Ass Williams. Seriously. Just ignore it and it will go away. And Ass, seriously, you need some help on the mental frontier. And I'm not being a dick, I'm 100% serious. If you put this much time into something that mattered you could actually make a difference in this world.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 7:43 p.m. CST

    Re unoriginality of the story

    by Miyamoto_Musashi

    Think a lot of people are saying the right thing, there is no original stories anymore (at the core, basic premise), my favourite movie of all time, Star Wars, is clearly a classic fantasy tale. <p> As others have mentioned one of the oldest texts that western society, refers to very often, the bible of course is a collection of fables, that were based on fables from other older societies and belief systems. <p> Surely its about the execution, its about connecting audiences with the characters and then how much they think about the movie after leaving the cinema. <p>

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 7:47 p.m. CST

    you still dont answer...

    by ominus

    its ok,its obvious you do get my point,after all my questions use the logic of the ones you asked me first. <p>Polyester my point is that the characters represent archetypes,but they dont become stereotypes because they posses their own distinctive personalities and characterization. <p>Its like James Bond,or Doctor Who or even the super-heroes in the comics.During the passage of time,we have witnessed different incarnations of the above characters,with each one of them holding its own,unique elements,while retaining the core trademarks of the original character which becomes the archetype. <p>You cant say that 616 Captain America as a character is identical with the character Ultimate Captain America,because they arent,but on the other hand you cant say that they are entirely different because they are not. <p>At the end its all about your personal perception of such situations.If you believe that Jake Sully is a cliche character,because when you watch him in the big screen is like watching Lieutenant Dunbar,then thats fine with you. <p>But allow me to perceive him as a new,original character who follows familiar archetypal trademarks,but he is no way Dunbar or someone else from another movie who follows the same archetype.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 7:48 p.m. CST


    by evil__ash

    Yes, I agree with what you have said. But...the implementation is poor here. The characters have no depth to them. We've seen the story many times before (fine), but we've also seen the story *develop* in the same way before. The way in which Cameron introduces several elements of the plot are cheap and bordering on tacky. Prime example (**MINOR SPOILER**) is the way in which Jack Sulley examines the skeleton of the giant Ikra about half way through the movie. He is told that it was claimed/tamed by a mythical Na'avi, and that it was very powerful, and that only five others have managed to tame one since time began. Gee...I wonder if he'll end up taming one and riding it into battle at the end of the movie? It was clumsy foreshadowing at best.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 7:54 p.m. CST

    Yeah, ominus, I'm sorry, but I'm pretty sure the character...

    by PolyesterRage

    Of the white man who ventures into a group of natives, is slowly charmed by their (inevitably) peaceful and nature loving way of life, and is won over by a beautiful native woman who teaches him to paint with all the colors of the wind and feel the beauty of nature and blah a stereotype at this point.<br><br>If Cameron did something new and exciting with that stereotype; turned it on it's head and made it something new, then great, awesome! sure doesn't sound like he did. It sounds like he's just that exact same stereotype.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 7:55 p.m. CST

    Captain Fatheard-ignore Assholelives.

    by Sal_Bando

    The only thing he knows is how fuck rear-end goats in Almaada Portugal. That's it. Period.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 7:57 p.m. CST

    And the irony is that we accuse Cameron

    by ominus

    of lack of originality,when for the last 10 years the only thing we dont get from the rest of Hollywood is fucking originality. <p>instead of applauding the guy for his efforts to bring us something entirely new,he becomes the target of such ridiculous accusations.i really,really cant think the way some people think,not just the haters here in these talkbacks,but everywhere else where other people and mainly some professional critics trash the movie for such idiotic reasons. <p>Really i am fed up with all this crap,if your problem is that the Avatar is not 'original',then dont watch it and stay in your home until X-men:first class is made.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 8:01 p.m. CST

    Also, re: originality of stories

    by PolyesterRage

    I don't really go along with the idea that all stories have been done already, simply because when you reduce a story to it's basic premise you usually end up stripping everything away that makes the story original, new, and interesting. Problems arise when the entire story, not just the basic premise or vague points like "a quest," has already been done in the exact same way before.<br><br>Anyways, that's my two sense.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 8:03 p.m. CST

    PolyesterRage in such a classic story

    by ominus

    what changes would you like to see? Jake finding out that Neuteri is cheating on him with his rival? <p>Quaritch becoming enlightened from the Holy Tree and totally changing his attitude towards the natives? <p>its a classic story,you dont mess with it,unless you want to make a pure arthouse film for the 100 people who are going to watch it.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 8:06 p.m. CST

    ominus, yes but:

    by PolyesterRage

    In the ten years that we were getting spoonfed Hollywood crap, JC could have been coming up with just that totally original, completely unseen, new, thing. Instead, he came up with an original setting (and I don't hear anyone arguing that the setting is beautiful and fully realized, and I applaud him for at least that), when he could have also been coming up with an original premise and story.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 8:09 p.m. CST

    But I don't see it as a classic story...

    by PolyesterRage

    It's a story that's been completely done to death in only the past like...20 years. And I think the idea that only 100 people would see it if Cameron did something new is kind of what's wrong with movies today.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 8:14 p.m. CST


    by TehCreepyThinMan

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 8:16 p.m. CST

    Original telling of a familiar story - District 9

    by evil__ash

    I walked out of the theatre after watching Avatar, into the DVD store beside it, and bought the 2-disc version of District 9. Now there is a wonderful example of a story with familiar elements, told in a refreshing way. There is no excuse for the paper-thin plot used in Avatar.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 8:24 p.m. CST

    Really? District 9 is released on 12/22

    by Jaka

    But that was an interesting story.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 8:32 p.m. CST

    District 9 does thump Avatar for story

    by sansara07

    Having watched Avatar, I did feel the story was something I had seen in at least a half dozen ST:TNG episodes. There is nothing wrong with Cameron using a familiar story, but I expected him to do SOMETHING unexpected with it. Knowing how the film was going to play out was depressing. Considering this film has been fermenting in Cameron's brain since 1994 (perhaps even sooner) he should have looked beyond the obvious choices. I felt Avatar needed a sting in it's tail. Total annihilation of the NaVi would have got us all thinking. But he chose the easiest routes and that was unforgivable.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 8:34 p.m. CST

    Nope. District 9 is out already

    by evil__ash

    At least, it is in Lower Hutt, New Zealand.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 8:40 p.m. CST

    PolyesterRage i cant say i disagree with what you say

    by ominus

    and i think thats the main reason many fans of his,got disappointed and trash him now.They wanted him back to his scifi roots,to give them something entirely new,like what he did 25 years ago,to make a 'Terminator' for the modern generation. <p>and i say this,because initially,i also got disappointed when i heard for the first time,that he decided to film Avatar instead of Battle Angel Alita (the 'Terminator' of the modern generation imho),and i found out what Avatar was really about. <p>But consider this: Cameron instead of capitalizing his ultimate success with Titanic,he paused his career,persuaded his personal dreams,waited and helped for the 3d cgi technology to mature,and then he makes the big come back,with a very ambitious project with the purpose of creating a cinematic breakthrough. <p>That project is a personal debt for Cameron,he does want to bring people back to cinemas and establish 3D cinema as the new king of entertainment. <P>And i ask you: For your project to succeed you need to become a massive hit,you need a large amount of people to go and watch it,you need the audience,not just the professional opinion of some film critics. <p>Which means that your project must be targeted at the demographic spectrum,as wide as possilbe. <p>And you have two options for your project: Battle Alita,which is a lot more hardcore and violent scifi in a technocratic,cyberpunk world,which means it will appeal to fewer people. <p>and then you have Avatar,with a classic story and familiar characters,in a natural environment combining fantasy and scifi elements,which can be enjoyed from a lot more people,from kids to elders. <p>what will you be your safer choice for your project of your life? the less original but more appealing Avatar,or the more original but darker Alita? <p>i believe thats how Cameron thought and finally changed his mind (maybe his producer helped with that)and we got Avatar. <p>so what am trying to tell,is that sometime we should see the things from the perceptive of the artists,and understand the reasoning behind their decisions and the motive of their actions. <p>i am not trying to make any excuses for anyone,i just want to look at things with the correct way.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 8:41 p.m. CST

    Between, Avatar, Disrict 9 and Moon...

    by seniorspeilbergio

    I feel like hollywood is slowly crawling its' way back to original storytelling and a higher level of quality overall. Let's hope.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 8:42 p.m. CST

    Distric 9 with its own Unobtainum

    by ominus

    the black fuel that is,which does everything from moving spaceships to transforming humans into aliens.right. <p>ps.i like very much D9,but its very flawed.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 8:45 p.m. CST

    I went from having zero interest in this film...

    by AmericanWerewolf becoming highly intrigued by it. Thanks Talkbackers! Now I just have to talk my wife into it...

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 8:46 p.m. CST

    Ah, can't speak for NZ

    by Jaka

    It's out in the states on 12/22. Another reason I should move to NZ, then. I'm really looking forward to owning that one.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 8:52 p.m. CST

    The Na'vi belief system

    by jimmy_009

    Ugh. This literally makes me cringe: "combining Native American mysticism with pagan concepts of a Mother Earth and a smattering of Asian philosophy – all wrapped in a warrior monk package and dressed up with tribal chic." So basically something we've seen a million times over in every movie, book, or cartoon that teaches us about how we're all one with the environment. It's such a fucking cheesy cliche.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 8:54 p.m. CST


    by CodeName

    I'm with you on this one. I'd like to see Hollywood continue making/supporting films like D9, Children Of Men, Moon and Avatar.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 8:54 p.m. CST

    But Terminator was new and I've heard that people kind of liked

    by PolyesterRage

    So I don't know, ominus. I understand the logic in the idea of "playing it safe." At the same time, in Cameron's own career, Terminator blew so many people away because it was entirely new. I can see why anyone in the biz would be worried to do something new. Nobody has faith in the public anymore. Everyone seems to have this idea that Joe Public will only go see "safe" movies that have been rehashed a million times. But if that were true, how can something like District 9 can, like evil_ash said, take a familiar story, do it in a new way, for far less money than Avatar did, and make away with big bucks? By all understanding of the public, NOBODY should have seen that movie. But they did, and not only did they see it but they ate it up.<br><br>I guess it's just regrettable to me that there seems to be this stigma against originality, even glimmers of it, in movies these days. Even when all signs point to the fact that people will go see movies that aren't just the same old shit, so long as they're good. And again, it's just hard for me to forgive Cameron for that when his own career was made by doing something new and awesome. Not just technologically, but story-wise too.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 8:56 p.m. CST

    You know what else is a cheesy cliche?...

    by jimmy_009

    Using apostrophe's to make names and word more exotic, like Na'vi. Sounds the name of an alien race a 12 year old girl thought up. Don't get me wrong, I'm excited to see this movie, but there's a lot of hurdles I'm jumping to get to that point.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 8:58 p.m. CST

    Children of Men..

    by seniorspeilbergio

    Great addition to that list, man. Forgot about that one.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 9 p.m. CST

    I'll say it again...

    by Jaka

    ...I have GOT to see Moon. It's on the list, I assure you.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 9 p.m. CST


    by CodeName

    Man, predators would totally waste the Na'vi. But man.. talk about the ultimate playground for a predator -- Pandora!

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 9:01 p.m. CST

    re: Unobtainium and the black fluid in D9...

    by PolyesterRage

    I don't have any real problem with these Macguffins. They're blatant plot tools, but as long as they're integrated well into the film and I believe in the necessity of them, then I can give them a pass.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 9:02 p.m. CST

    I like how most of us just type Navi

    by Jaka

    Instead of Na'vi. However, as a constant reader of Star Trek books, I've kind of become immune to apostrophes in the names of persons, places and things.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 9:04 p.m. CST

    Cameron should license Pandora for future Predator films

    by CodeName

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 9:07 p.m. CST

    I'll see it in a week or two ...

    by ReportAbuse

    After some of the brouhaha has died down and the lines are gone. I'm expecting to see a 160 minute CGI demo reel which I will probably walk away from imagining how this great technology could work in a better film which hopefully someone will make in the near future. At some point the discussion will have to shift to the long term value of Avatar after it's out on blu-ray and available for home viewing. If it's only appeal is on 3D IMAX we're basically talking about an event or a theme park ride and as such it's like comparing apples and oranges to compare it to other movies.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 9:14 p.m. CST

    I decided to wait until Monday

    by Jaka

    I have a 3D IMAX screen REALLY close to my house. Drove by this afternoon to judge the reception and the box office people were stressed! lol It's sold out tonight and tomorrow night and they guessed every showing this weekend would sell out ahead of time as well (I'm just referring to the 3D IMAX). I'm free on Monday so I'm going to try and catch it then.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 9:34 p.m. CST

    LOL@ Haters

    by MandrakeRoot

    HAHAHAHAHA. Face it. You were wrong. Cameron delivered, like usual. Audiences and critics alike are praising this movie as a classic. Film is a VISUAL MEDIUM. Do people keep forgetting that? Not to mention tons of critics and fans have found the story quite satisfying and emotional, because the story here IS more then serviceable, but that is not the point. This will be looked back upon like Star Wars is today, guaranteed. Do you think people love Star Wars for it's brilliant dialogue? "Let the force be with you". Get real, it was the visuals and sense of adventure. Break it down and Star Wars is as cliche as it gets. Avatar is NOT a "wow look at the FX! movie". It uses beautiful imagery to paint gorgeous pictures that say more words then any dialogue could. Massa's review is spot on. <p> I love how the haters like to point out the 83% on RT like it's some sort of failure. HAHAHA! Give me a break, fuck off with that nonsense. And do yourself a favor, check out the Top Critics scores while your over there. Oh wait, what does it say...96%? Oh no shit?...and then head over to MetaCritic, a site that only puts top critics reviews up. Oh what's that? Universal Acclaim? Yeah, fuck off. Cameron has created something here which NO other person on this planet could do. In anyones hands but Cameron this would have been a disastrous failure, but he has made it a monstrous success. <p> It doesn't matter though. Keep doubting Big Jim all you want, your the assholes who look like idiots. There's a reason why he's making the classics and your furiously shanking your fist at a CPU screen. He's now stretched his streak to 7 great films in a row, while continually pushing cinema forward with each one, a true pioneer. Unheard of. But keep hating and convincing yourself the fans are "lying" to themselves. It's obvious that is all your holding onto. Have fun tonight whacking off you losers, anyone with half a brain will be witnessing history.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 9:34 p.m. CST

    Is it better than Titanic?

    by Chakraborty

    I don't like Titanic, but I'll admit, it was a great experience watching Titanic the first time is there anyone out there who thinks Titanic is better? Gonna see it tomorrow morning.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 9:41 p.m. CST

    Box Office Mojo...

    by Jaka

    ...has one of the few % based ratings systems that I ever see with any kind of frequency. Based on going there for years and my own tastes in film, if their A-C ratings = a TOTAL of 75% when added TOGETHER, it's usually been a fair guide in leading me to movies that I'll at least enjoy. Right now they're at almost 86% in just the A bracket. Here's the link The number of votes will be in the thousands in the next couple weeks, so I'll keep checkin' it. But I'm still going on Monday regardless. <br><br>The interesting thing to me in general is that the extreme haters seem to think they've won some kind of war because every person who sees it, critic or not, isn't proclaiming it "the greatest movie ever made!" The reality is that there were only a few hardcore worshipers, just like there's only a few hardcore haters. Most of us were right in the middle somewhere, and that's exactly how the ratings are averaging out.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 9:41 p.m. CST

    It is what it is: entertainment

    by Player01

    If you want a good time at the movies, go and see Avatar. It's 'great'! It's that simple. If you want good scifi, I advise you go forth and read Vernor Vinge.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 9:42 p.m. CST

    PolyesterRage see?

    by ominus

    its all about personal perspective.i thought the black fuel was lazy writing from the director/writer.He might used it for time saving reasons,but he harmed the verisimilitude of the film.But the film had other bigger problems,the black fuel was just the tip of the iceberg.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 9:56 p.m. CST

    Predator in Pandora

    by ominus

    <P>the predators hear of a strange, alien planet with a very hostile environment and very dangerous wildlife.the only intelligent creatures there,are some blue cat-like humanoids,called the Navi.they are tall,strong,flexible and can use Pandora's environment and wildlife to their advantage.these native savages seem to be formidable adversaries for the predators. <P>the Predators are skeptical about this,since Pandora is a bit far away from their home-planet,and most importantly the planet's strong magnetic fields doesnt allow their advanced weaponry to operate there.they will be on a disadvantage. <P>but when they hear that their favorite prey,the humans, is also en route to Pandora to colonize it,they get ecstatic and without a second thought they pack their luggages and fly to Pandora. ITS HUMANS/NAVI HUNTING SEASON

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 9:59 p.m. CST

    I don't see how it's any lazier than "Unobtainium"

    by PolyesterRage

    At least they didn't call the black fuel, "Macguffin," unlike Unobtainium which is just straight up named for the plot device.<br><br>And anyways, I don't see how the originality of Avatar is a personal perspective, because even people who like the film are saying that it has a totally unoriginal story and message. The only personal perspective that seems to be involved is whether or not you think that good visuals can excuse a weak and hackneyed story, with stereotypical characters.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 10:01 p.m. CST

    "Because unobtanium is real duuuuude"

    by Jaka

    Haven't you seen the wiki page? <br><br>Yes! Total sarcasm. Please no beating about the head and shoulders.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 10:02 p.m. CST

    Avatar and JC on Charlie Rose - PBS

    by Rectal Blowout


  • Dec. 17, 2009, 10:07 p.m. CST

    Good lookin' out Rectal

    by Jaka

    I set the DVR to record it. The show airs earlier in the day here but I didn't know JC was on. I wonder if Charlie has seen it yet? Be interesting to see what he asks him. "So James, what's with the 'unobtanium'"?

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 10:08 p.m. CST

    Yeah, watching Charlie Rose right now.

    by mistergreen

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 10:08 p.m. CST


    by PolyesterRage

    That actually made me laugh out loud. Awesome use of the sarcasm.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 10:17 p.m. CST

    PolyesterRage its lazy writing because

    by ominus

    it does whatever the director wants in order to progress his story.its fuel,it changes human dna but it can be healed,it takes 20 years to gather it,it is only enough to move a small spaceship,and although some quantity of it is used unnecessarily,it still is enough to move one small its the miracle liquid,the ultimate mcguffin device. <p>i am talking about what you think of the McGuffin device in say its time saver,i say its lazy writing.we perceive it differently. <p>besides the mcguffin in Avatar had one single purpose,not multiple,and that purpose is never clearly explained.Its just the key plot point,around which the whole story moves on. <p>and District 9 is not an original story.Alien Nation anyone?

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 10:22 p.m. CST



    It's not working anymore. I'm not happy.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 10:36 p.m. CST

    Avatar on Night line too

    by Rectal Blowout


  • Dec. 17, 2009, 10:37 p.m. CST


    by PolyesterRage

    I don't think saying, "it takes 20 years to gather," or "enough to move a small spaceship" is very fair. Those are just parts of the of the story. That's like saying "Unobtanium" is lazy because characters have to go to an alien planet to get it, and it's extremely valuable to them. Those are just parts of the narrative device. I can't argue with the "turning Wikus into an alien and also being fuel," thing, because that is true, but, like we were saying about personal opinion, I think the rest of the plot and characters <br><br>And people have already spoken about the similarity between Alien Nation and District 9, and nobody said that D9 was completely and totally original. The difference was that it put a twist on a familiar story (not only of alien invaders, but of conspiracy and government oppression) by having Wikus turning into an alien himself, and also with the pseudo-documentary style. Also, Wikus was a completely three-dimensional character. There was nothing stereotypical about him, and Sharlto Copley was amazing.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 10:37 p.m. CST

    Sigourney Weaver on Craig Ferguson

    by Rectal Blowout


  • Dec. 17, 2009, 10:40 p.m. CST

    Crap, I have to go...

    by PolyesterRage

    Got a German exam at like, 10am tomorrow. It was awesome discussing with you, ominus. I'm amazed that it managed to not devolve into a flame war or something. I don't think I've ever had a real long-term discussion with someone on AICN. Sweet ass. Anyways, gnight!

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 10:53 p.m. CST

    tomorrow night

    by Rectal Blowout

    Conan O'Brien: Sam Worthington, Jimmy Kimmel: James Cameron, Craig Ferguson: Michelle Rodriguez Bonnie Hunt: James Cameron, Michelle Rodriguez,

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 11:20 p.m. CST

    Just saw it.

    by drompter

    Movie is incredible, haters can go suck their own cocks. Need to see it again. Please, watch on 3D no matter what.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 11:28 p.m. CST

    Just finished watching Jim on Tavis Smiley and he said

    by GQtaste

    People thought I was scared after Titanic that I couldn’t outdo myself and did a bunch of underwater documenties. He stated that wasn’t the case: I already had “my FU money.” So I wasn’t freighted to do another film. How bout that? “My FU money.” He’s got some balls that’s for sure.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 12:13 a.m. CST

    We Want Harry!!! Where Is The Masterful One's...

    by Media Messiah of Avatar???!!!

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 12:29 a.m. CST

    Avatar - off to the midnight IMAX 3D showing.

    by snakecharmer

    It's sold out so it should be fun.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 12:46 a.m. CST

    by LabattsBleu

    "of lack of originality,when for the last 10 years the only thing we dont get from the rest of Hollywood is fucking originality. instead of applauding the guy for his efforts to bring us something entirely new,he becomes the target of such ridiculous accusations.i really,really cant think the way some people think,not just the haters here in these talkbacks,but everywhere else where other people and mainly some professional critics trash the movie for such idiotic reasons. Really i am fed up with all this crap,if your problem is that the Avatar is not 'original',then dont watch it and stay in your home until X-men:first class is made. "<br><br> kudos to Ominus...if that is the criticizing of Avatar, then you might as well stop going to any film as they are derivative in some aspect...<br><br> Untouchables ripped off Battleship Potempkin, Dances with Wolves ripped off a Man called Horse, Ferngully ripped off DwW...yada, yada, yada...<br><br> The fact (yes fact) that people are ripping Avatar because it isn't a "game changer" points to the fact that it actually is: has there been any film since TLotR or the Matrix where a debate like this could even be argued?! <br><br> Consequently, it is a game changer, otherwise you'd shut your piehole because it would sound asinine even suggesting that fact.<br><br>Stay home haters; Avatar won't need your pity (or hate)

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 12:56 a.m. CST

    forgot to add - on RT, hit "top critics"

    by LabattsBleu

    which end up at 96% fresh, leading to two conclusions: One, the dead weight "critics" trying to get website hits are lying as those who don't need the hits love the film or 2) they are towing the party line for "access" or corporate reasons...<br><br>watch the film the way was supposed to be and decide....

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 1:48 a.m. CST

    At last, an "honest" review

    by Wookie_Weed

    Just my way of saying "fuck off" to the haters. Great review, Massa.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 2:40 a.m. CST

    Na'vi Vag

    by dsea83

    Did anyone else see blue vagoo in the scene when Jake Sully first gets to Hometree? I swear I saw one of their drop cloth/crotch guard things sway to the side to reveal a bit.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 2:41 a.m. CST

    My eyeballs didn't get fucked, but they got a handjob.

    by KarlKolchak

    Just got home from the IMAX Here's my take, short and sweet:<p> The plot was thin, but it was THE MOST SPECTACULAR FUCKING MOVIE I have ever seen.<p> If you're gonna see this, go see it at an IMAX.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 2:59 a.m. CST

    Blu-Ray 3D specifications finalized ...

    by ReportAbuse

    "The specification for 3D Blu-ray has been finalised by the Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) so it shouldn't be long until we can all fork out another wodge of cash for new kit if we want to buy into 3D. Jumping on the 3D bandwagon, the BDA has decided we need our headaches to be created in full 1080p high definition and is attempting to thwart the traditional format war by coming out with a standardised spec as quickly as possible. The specification uses the Multiview Video Coding (MVC) codec, an extension to the ITU-T H.264 Advanced Video Coding (AVC) codec currently supported by all Blu-ray Disc players. MPEG4-MVC compresses both left and right eye views with a typical 50 per cent overhead compared to equivalent 2D content. It also provides details on other features such as 3D menu navigation and subtitles." http://bit. ly/8ySy7K

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 2:59 a.m. CST

    Avatar summed up...

    by SunTzu77

    It's a 3D movie with a 2D story and 1D acting.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 3:05 a.m. CST

    Acting Was Fine

    by Saluki

    1D acting? Sam Worthington is going to surprise alot of people. The guy has a voice others would kill for.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 3:06 a.m. CST

    Just saw it

    by sonnyfern

    I thought it was absolutely amazing. Epic beyond belief. The crowd was cheering at the end. I hope Cameron doesn't wait another freaking 12 years to make another one because this kind of made all the other big-blockbusters look like crap.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 3:07 a.m. CST

    Avatar summed up...

    by dsea83

    "It's a 3D movie with a 2D story and 1D acting." I would reverse the last two. The acting is much, much better than Cameron's script. Awesome movie, but Cameron has Lucasitis when it comes to dialogue.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 3:07 a.m. CST

    Yeah and I like Sam Worthington too

    by sonnyfern

    I don't get all the bad acting claims, I thought, espcecially considering all the CG, that it was damn fine. If people don't get at least a little choked up during the first military're just cold heart BASTARDS :- )

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 3:10 a.m. CST

    1D Story Maaaaaybe

    by Saluki

    Yeah, I could buy people not digging the storyline. Fine, fine. But this flick even made Michelle Rodriguez likable. She dropped the Tough Girl Trying Prove Herself angle, and was just here to kickass.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 3:12 a.m. CST

    Saw it last night..

    by So What?

    It was bloody incredible, best cinema experience I've had.I was very cynical about this film. I was wrong.....10/10.Wow!!!!

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 3:15 a.m. CST


    by SunTzu77

    Are you serious???? I bet you guys thought Sam was awesome in T:Salvation. The film is 99.9% visual candy... that's it. I saw it... only because I didn't pay for it.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 3:15 a.m. CST

    If you can't enjoy Avatar

    by kwisatzhaderach

    you'd be as well just packing it all in.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 3:15 a.m. CST

    saw midnight screening

    by Jared

    wow. wow. wow. the effects and visuals were incredible. definitely just witnessed the next evolutionary step in big budget film making. Imagine the Star Wars, Star Trek, Aliens, Matrix, etc. movies that could be made with this technology.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 3:16 a.m. CST


    by SunTzu77

    She played a toned down Letty from Fast and Furious.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 3:18 a.m. CST


    by SunTzu77

    Out of 10? A 5.5... and that's only because of the special effects.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 3:18 a.m. CST

    Battle for Terra (2009)

    by ReportAbuse

    I don't think this one has been mentioned yet -- from IMDB: "Mala (Evan Rachel Wood) is a precocious girl living on the beautiful planet Terra, a place where peace and tolerance are celebrated. Unbeknownst to Mala and her fellow Terrians, the last inhabitants of Earth have exhausted the resources of their planet and those of three others, and are now searching for a new home. This Earthforce has discovered that the use of a Terraformer will make Terra habitable for humans but poisonous for Terrians. .... Hoping to save her father, Mala captures and hides a crashed human pilot named Jim (Luke Wilson). While Mala nurses Jim back to health, the two forge a friendship and a plan that could save both the human race and the planet of Terra. Soon, however, they realize that peace will not be secured unless they can combat both the Terraformer and dark political forces that will stop at nothing in their drive to achieve power for power's sake."

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 3:22 a.m. CST


    by SunTzu77

    Good call... forgot about Terra.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 3:24 a.m. CST

    Anytime we were in Pandora.....

    by KeepFuckingThatChicken

    The movie was excellent. But back in the human world, the movie was BORING. Matrix meets Princess Mononoke....lil bit of Ferngully.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 3:29 a.m. CST

    Battle for Terra ?

    by Todaysfate

    So what. Cameron thought of it first. He wrote the story in 1995.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 3:42 a.m. CST

    Cameron's Mistake

    by Todaysfate

    His only mistake was that he's obviously let elements of the story HE thought of leak over the years to buddies who in turn produced similar stories and yes VIDEO GAMES based on his original ideas from 1995. There was nothing like AVATAR in 1995. Nothing. Yes ... the story is VERY similar to Disney's Pocahontas, also out in 1995, but the basic themes of these movies, like Ferngully, like Dances with Wolves, like the Battle for Terra are proven to be the most widely received and universally appreciated themes for fiction. If you want to move people and teach a lesson to the young ones, these sorts of themes will do it. If you are going to make a movie primarily intended to showcase a new leap in filmmaking, visual effects and presentation itself (3D), it would make sense to choose the most universally understood plot and not try anything that could actually undermine what this movie is really trying to do, which is get people back in the cinema.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 3:43 a.m. CST

    Ah Massa, how quickly we forget...

    by white_vader twileks. Tut.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 3:48 a.m. CST

    "Avatar" throws down the gauntlet

    by Jared

    Speilberg, Lucas, Jackson, et al won't take this sitting down. The bar has been raised. All the big budget hollywood effects movies of this past year seem trite compared to the spectacle of "Avatar".

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 3:48 a.m. CST


    by Todaysfate

    Even though we are just now coming to be aware of AVATAR, it’s very possible that this work has been inspiring other people in the industry since the script leaked 10 years ago. AVATAR and James Cameron may be responsible for more of what we have seen over the years in the areas of both sci-fi and fantasy then we are giving him credit for.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 3:48 a.m. CST

    Gotta shake it off.. I'm falling in love with zeros and ones.

    by CodeName

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 3:54 a.m. CST


    by Spazatronik2000

    the phantom menace review.. LMFAO

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 3:56 a.m. CST


    by CodeName

    I agree. In the Predator documentary, Cameron gave Stan Winston the idea to give the predator mandibles while they were on a plane together. I do believe Cameron is responsible indirectly for a lot of the stuff that we've been seeing in films.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 3:57 a.m. CST

    Worth the money!

    by Colonel Smith

    More like David Attenborough's "Life" than anything else. Story was somewhat silly and very tree-huggerish, but what a ride. Well worth the money. BTW, thought Sam Worthington was very good in the role - am I the only one?

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 4:01 a.m. CST

    Star Wars defense

    by dsea83

    The first 3 Star Wars movies are still considered "classic" movies and the acting in those movies is far worse than the acting in Avatar. Sam Worthington > Mark Hammill anyday. Is the acting great? No. Is the script pretty bad? Yeah. Does it have giant leopards fighting mechs in beautiful 3D? Yes. And thats all that matters. They might as well have the technical Oscars in James Cameron's living room this year to save everyone the hassle.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 4:13 a.m. CST

    is Sam Worthington better than Harrison Ford, too?

    by Spazatronik2000

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 4:17 a.m. CST


    by Todaysfate

    Don't be so sure ... I mean ... does anyone really believe that the Golden Compas had better visual effects than Transformers. Bay involvement or not?

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 4:19 a.m. CST

    Stan Winston

    by Todaysfate

    ... designed the na'vi ... so take it up with him if you think the blue cat people are silly.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 4:25 a.m. CST

    cylon_conspiracy - Yes go see in 3D

    by thommcg

    It's not poking-your-eye gimmicky, it's quite natural depth of field. I can't imagine seeing this "flat".

  • It's great and I will watch it again and probably again on the big screen. Story wise... well.. you know.. However no one seems to mentione it is a bit like a Princess Mononoke, boy goes to the forest, sees princess warrior, experience magical, spiritual jungle, chased by huge ferocious beasts that turn out to be not 'bad' etc. Still a majoir achievement by ALL the Technicians, Engineers, artists involved.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 4:38 a.m. CST

    Sam Worthington is Hollywood's shiny new dong...

    by AnalFissure

    ...and the Tinsletown suits won't be happy until each and every one of us have sucked it hard.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 4:45 a.m. CST

    gonna see it 8am

    by TooWhippy

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 4:49 a.m. CST

    Saw a midnight screening

    by MandrakeRoot

    Great film. Everything missing from blockbusters these days, a real adventure movie. I don't think the plot was "thin", just familiar. I mean so many big-budget action movies come out that have no plot whatsoever, just a bad guys with an evil plan and good guys try to stop them. Avatars story was much more then that, it had decent dynamic, it progressed logically as the story progressed. There were no pointless side-plots or useless scenes, and the flow of it felt natural for the most part. Everyone knows how the story turns out, but it's the things that happen within the story that make it different, in this case the whole sci-fi angle made it slightly different from any other variation on this plot. So yeah I'd say the plot was OK, and definitely serviceable, not "awful" as many people think. <p> This is one movie that really does not need an amazingly original plot. It wouldnt have hurt to have made it a little more original, but this film has so much greatness going on it's not a big deal. <p> The acting was pretty great all around the board, except the few cheesed-out dialogue lines that no actor could make shine. Worthington was fantastic, and yes he has the coolest voice, I actually liked his half/half accent. Saldana was a revelation as Neytiri and she totally sold a character that could have been disastrous. She was born to play that role. Weaver solid as usual, Lang was badass, Rodriguez was lighthearted for a change and was quite good. <p> The visuals are mindblowingly real, it really is incredible. And the tech they invented really makes you feel like Cameron filmed it live-action. It's got a feel that no other CGI film has ever had, and it made it feel so realistic. The visuals were so much more then just eye-candy, many scenes in Pandora were more emotional and artistic then any dialogue could ever have made. <p> Oh and someone said the live-action parts were boring, but how? They for the most part came and went so fast and were necessary to move the plot forward. Plus the live-action CGI parts were seamless...truly amazing. This film really is phenomenal and it's incredible to think Cameron pulled this thing off so well. Huge applause from ymy crowd afterword...this is the way blockbusters should be done. Cameron has once again easily breezed by the competition and has taken cinema to dizzying new heights. Bring on Avatar 2!..but not of course until I watch this another 10 times.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 4:51 a.m. CST


    by SeXX ED

    I have not but once in life witnessed the future of the cinematic form unfold before my eyes - until tonight. Yes, the ever-so-godly James Cameron has delivered on absolutely EVERY SINGLE promise that he's made on this film. Trust me, it is a fucking HUGE game-changer, just as Star Wars in '77. It has a big heart, wonderful characters, and ferocious artistry that simply hasn't been seen before. It's "Big Jim's" magnum opus, and a love letter to everyone that believes with all their being in the power of the movie-going experience. I absolutely love everything about it. As a fledgling filmaker, it has left me with no doubt that I'm in the right business, and changed my life. Enjoy everyone, and thanks for listening. Edwin.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 4:54 a.m. CST

    just a few words...

    by kobain

    best line: (Michelle's)"I can fire too, BITCH!" perfect, just perfect.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 4:54 a.m. CST

    re:Predators on pandora

    by sansara07

    Now THAT is a film that would get me excited. My problem with Avatar is that the general concept never registered that highly on my geekometer, and even after I saw it I felt the same way. But Predator skirmishes with NaVi would give me a massive geek boner. Someone at Fox pitch this to Cameron now!

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 5:18 a.m. CST

    Avatar made BAY piss his pants, Lucas start...

    by snakecharmer

    drinking heavily, and Spielberg is going announce his retirement. haha. Jackson might be the only one that might take Cameron up on the challenge he just put on screen. I'm having fun but Cameron put something up on screen you can only really experience in 3D and on a huge screen. GO SEE IT. It will give you a GEEK GASM. haha.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 5:22 a.m. CST


    by Breotan

    CGI characters are "almost" there. Give it a few more years. That being said, Hollywood is getting a whole lot better with special effects.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 5:23 a.m. CST

    Word of mouth is going to be good on this.

    by snakecharmer

    I'm expecting to go back during the week at some point. It will get at least two viewing from most people. There is just so much to take in.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 5:25 a.m. CST

    HornOrSilk - Just go see it.

    by snakecharmer

    You'll like it. I meant the best way to enjoy it is in 3D. I'm sure it's great in 2D.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 5:29 a.m. CST

    Once again Cameron schools Hollywood hacks

    by Colt19801980

    Just got back, where to begin? First the bad...dialogue was terrible in places, typical Cameron...they need to start shooting and projecting 3D at 48 fps because motion blur was very distracting during fast movement...Cameron uses ALOT of handheld during action sequences, which is something he's not really done before and the 3D suffers because of it...I figured he'd have locked down his camera more as I'm sure he's well aware of the limits of 24 fps 3D at this point, oh well. Some of the pacing moved too fast in certain spots...either that or it just needed to be half an hour longer. Maybe I was just so flabbergasted by the visuals I didn't take in enough of the story and felt it moved too quick. I think it's the latter. Sound FX were great but derivative of Jurassic Park dino roars. That's about all the bad. The good more than makes up for it. Lets start with the visual FX. HOLY. FUCKING. SHIT. Game changer, yes...from now on you're either doing AVATAR calibre visual FX or you're doing shit. Plain and simple. Cameron has raised the bar so fucking high, it's going to take someone like Spielberg or Lucas or Zemeckis or Jackson to come close. The visuals in this make Lord of the Rings look like a goddamn coloring book. It's that good. Pandora was was like you were actually there...the richness and realism of the depth during some 3D shots was so good, you'd swear you were not in a movie theater but on that planet. But that stupid motion blur kept rearing its ugly head and ruined some of it. 48fps!!! The story was affecting...not my cup of tea, but affecting like Titanic was affecting in a manipulative way. That's not really a criticism as much as an observation. Music was okay...I wish Cameron would stop using Horner with his derivative music. John Williams was made for this flick...Overall, the movie was a once in a lifetime experience, it was unbelievable in parts, breathtaking, pulse pounding, and the last act was some of the best action ever put to digital celluloid. This is the Citizen Kane of FX movies. 9 out of 10.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 5:35 a.m. CST

    Hope people go with an open mind.

    by snakecharmer

    'cause the film is a freaking roller coaster. And the last 30 minutes 'caused me to have a huge smile on my face. Big applause at the end of my screening.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 5:37 a.m. CST

    HornOrSULK - Just go.

    by snakecharmer

    Your eyes will get fucked and have a GEEK GASM.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 5:39 a.m. CST

    Real 3D

    by Fizzay

    I gotta be honest, it was hard for me to like this movie with the 3D glasses on. I often found myself taking them off because it made the scene too dark and distorted. Am i the only one who wishes this fad would go away?

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 5:40 a.m. CST

    HornOrSULK is trying to get an argument going.

    by snakecharmer

    Nah. Avatar was too much fun for you to get me in a bad mood. haha. Good try though. Peace.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 5:42 a.m. CST

    I wasn't bored, either.

    by Breotan

    Sometimes I notice how long I've been sitting in those uncomfortable movie theater seats, but not this time. The movie held my attention the whole time and the characters were very believeable. Get ready for the wave of pretenders to peddle their CGI wares.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 5:44 a.m. CST

    It was really very very good

    by jdhasson

    I want to see pictures of Zoe Saldana in her mocap suit.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 5:46 a.m. CST

    Avatar copy cats are coming. Bay i'm looking..

    by snakecharmer

    at you!

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 5:48 a.m. CST

    I dunno...

    by Fizzay

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 5:49 a.m. CST


    by SeXX ED

    True that, my brother! So happy to see her in a decent role, haven't loved her since GIRLFIGHT.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 5:50 a.m. CST

    by Fizzay

    I just have a hard time believing 3D is the new wave of the future. Didn't this already fail back in the 50's? Although I do remember a certain Billy Zane who wore 3D specs in the future...

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 5:54 a.m. CST


    by Colt19801980

    You're half right. Movies are primarily a visual medium...but story is paramount 99.99% of the time because movies have become theatrical, stagey and plot oriented. That's not a criticism. Avatar is an awesome movie...just like the Abyss is an awesome movie despite it's script flaws. Spielberg once said that aspiring filmmakers should watch movies with the sound OFF...if they could still follow the plot, then the movie works. Dialogue doesn't mean shit if you don't know how to convey intention with camera and blocking of actors in a scene. That is a VISUAL component of filmmaking and it's why Avatar works despite its script flaws. It's why I gave it a 9 out of 10. I'm not excusing the script...I'm saying the movie still works marvelously in spite of it. if the script were better, I would have given it a perfect score. And yes, the problem with Hollywood is visuals over story...but when you turn the sound off on those movies, you don't know what's going on. And that's why they suck. Avatar is in a league all by itself.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 5:57 a.m. CST

    Just caught a midnight screening...

    by Rocco Curioso

    And yes, my eyeballs were fucked senseless by the visuals. Unfortunately, I was blueballed by the acting and the storyline. The only performance with any weight to it came from(no surprise)Stephen Lang. But the way it unfolded was just entirely too cliched. Would someone please tell me WHY everytime there's a movie about greedy & ruthless white trying to exploit boonga-boonga people, the savages ultimately triumph because of their pure hearts and ironclad spirits? Thank God and Sonny Jesus the real world isn't like that.<P>Anyway... on some obscure yet basic level, I may have just seen the most expensive ABC After School Special ever made. Best get crackin' on Battle Angel Alita, Jim.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 5:58 a.m. CST


    by SeXX ED

    I'm not gonna be able to sleep tonight after bearing witness to that historic spectacle. But when I do, I'll rest easy with the thought that every poon-less motherfucking TWILIGHT licker that made a brief career out of needlessly hating on this masterpiece is soaking their Robert Pattinson pillow with well-deserved tears. WELCOME BACK, BIG JIM - KEEP ON LIVING THE DREAM, BABY!!!

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 5:59 a.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    Again i want to congratulate you for your very thoughful and inteligent review. Doesn't matter if in the end i'll agree or not with you, it was a great read.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 6:02 a.m. CST

    The C-C-Colonel Q-Q-Quarich C-C-Condundrum

    by white_vader

    ... is that he looks so damn much like Robert Patrick with the hair and the eyes and general look of the character I do a double-take every time I see him!

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 6:15 a.m. CST

    What an amazing experience..

    by Ganymede3001

    I stand corrected on the Navi CGI. Neytiri is best digital creature ever created. The emotions she elicited looked, and felt real. What an amazing performance by Zoe Saladana. I can't wait to see this again.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 6:39 a.m. CST

    I can't wait for Zoe Saldana

    by jdhasson

    to take up Halle Berry's mantle in the Swordfish reboot.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 6:50 a.m. CST

    Where is the AVATAR talkback??

    by ColonelFatheart

    And the staff reviews???

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 7:16 a.m. CST

    2001 is proof that a purely visual experience ...

    by ColonelFatheart

    ... can be just as profound, if not moreso, than a movie with great dialogue/plot. What's the plot of 2001? Just a traditional, three-act storyline right out of myths. The dialogue? There isn't much anyway, and save for HAL, it's not much interesting (which is part of the point, I know). But I watch that movie, possibly my favorite, to be taken into another dimension. If Avatar can do that, with some epic, kick-ass action thrown in, I'll be a true believer.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 7:33 a.m. CST

    Best film experience in a decade.

    by antonphd

    For those complaining about dialogue... shut the fuck up and try using your brain... the story is being told by Jake... a marine grunt... the dialogue is perfectly natural as the story being told by Jake. And Jakes talking to who? A military pilot, some scientists who speak down to his level, a cocky general and a bunch of warrior aliens trying to communicate at Jake's level. Dialogue was pitch perfect. And as for story... it's a classic tale told a million times for thousands of years. This could easily be a Homer tale if Homer could have been alive today to tell stories by film. To complain about the plot of an adventure film is just about as stupid as complaining about the dialog of this film. The story is pitch perfect as well. If this had been a pixar film there would be zero discussion about the dialogue or plot. Because everyone would have decided that it's still just a kid's film. Well guess what? This is a film meant for all ages all over the whole world. And it hits that target perfectly.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 7:53 a.m. CST


    by SeXX ED

    ... you're gonna get just that, I promise you. This is the greatest theatrical experience I've ever had. IMAX 3D is the only way to go, my man.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 7:53 a.m. CST

    Well that's ironic Colonel,

    by white_vader

    because Cameron's a big Kubrick and 2001 fan, and those floating mountains are totally knicked from the 2001 concept art! They've apparently been done in other places but I'll lay money Cameron got it from 2001. I reckon Stanley woulda appreciated it though.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 8:22 a.m. CST

    I excited to see this and all, but

    by kafka07

    God I'm sick the the lame advertisements. And I really hate Worthington's stupid blue face.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 9:40 a.m. CST


    by kwisatzhaderach

    Avatar is actually all about emotion and soul. So you're talking out of your ass banging on about video games. Video games are basically Cameron movies anyway, they just copied him. but no video game ever made has soul. <p> See it. Now. In 3D. Be amazed. See it again.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 10:02 a.m. CST


    by SeXX ED

    I can't get back to that theater soon enough.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 10:11 a.m. CST

    As to the Phantom effect...

    by tufluc

    Bull, I was there in '97, I remember that feeling. What i also remember is that I had no desire to see that movie agai soon afterwards. I was not transported. I did not feel as if i left a part of myself back in that theater. i want to go back to Pandora and experince it again. I wnat to see what i missed the first time around. I actually "want" to spend another 14 bucks to see this film again. "Phantom effect!!" I think you would have to "be" a phantom not to have enjoyed this flick.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 10:17 a.m. CST


    by BringingSexyBack

    I want to be eyefucked too.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 10:48 a.m. CST

    Avatar's msg

    by TiberiusThor

    Great review, and i totally agree with you about what Avatar is about. You nailed it bud. We will never change our human nature now or in the future. Wars will always be fought over land, resources, religion, and all manner of beliefs.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 11:33 a.m. CST

    Pandora design

    by skimn

    I know of Cameron's underwater influences, but isn't it really a bunch of Yes album covers come to life? Is Roger Dean still around?

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 11:33 a.m. CST

    The Secret of Pandora (SPOILER)

    by corplhicks

    *** SPOILER ALERT **** . . . . . . . . . . . . The secret of what is really going on on the moon of Pandora as stated in the film by Sigourney Weaver's character is nothing short of fascinating and brilliant-- that a planet can function as a neural net and have a consciousness is downright amazing. That its inhabitants can tap into this is a wonderful idea. The movie is excellently done on many levels, from the corporate D'bag who you see kind of gets it at the end, to the fact that these are not soldiers run by a government but mercenaries there for money, etc.. the movie just offers so much, not in teaspoons, but in heaping tablespoons that you gobble up eagerly. It's gonna make several hundred million dollars at least, is my prediction. WETA deserves a lot of credit because obviously Cameron saw how well they did Gollum and knew these guys would take it to the next level. They did. Some of the dialogue is a not perfect, but that may be because we are forced to accept immediately that the Na'vi culture is rich and full and real and yes they are very different than the humans. so the way they talk and how they speak takes a bit getting used to but that's the point-- they aren't "blue monkeys" they are humanoids who live in the jungle but are as intellectually advanced as humans. this movie has noting to do with Oil, Iran, Iraq, or whatever. At the most, it is about European discovery, Colonization and exploitation of the Americas. Cameron is brilliant. Period.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 11:48 a.m. CST

    After seeing this, a new Star Wars is guaranteed.

    by Ganymede3001

    This movie visually eviscerates anything George Lucas has done. There's no way George is going to sit there and take it up the ass from Jim Cameron.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 12:02 p.m. CST

    A new Star Wars is guaranteed

    by corplhicks

    I was hoping for that anyway-- like to see an episode 7-9 although Jedi pretty firmly established that the Sith are dead, the Empire is defeated, and the Republic is rising again. Hard to backpedal away from that. But enough about SW, this is the era of Avatar. Cameron has produced genius; fork over your $ 15 for 3D, smuggle in your own popcorn and water, and enjoy.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 12:09 p.m. CST


    by BringingSexyBack

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 12:15 p.m. CST

    Kontarsky, kizeesh

    by inkingeekX

    Kontarsky, just a quesrion. I have read the books, and I was curious if you've seen the sci fi miniseries? The effects were not great, hell, not even good really, but I thought it did the books justice. Kizeesh, many hi-def televisions being sold right now have a stereoscopic 3d option, but I believe it's actually intended for gaming purposes. Sony makes a great 47 inch for around $1300. I played the Avatar game on it and it's really cool. The game itself isn't as interesting without the 3d...

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 12:21 p.m. CST

    The only way I'd want to see a new Star Wars

    by SithMenace

    is if Lucas relinquished his "absolute power" and made it a collaborative effort again. He can flesh out the story and have design approval, but he needs to hire a director and scriptwriter, give up the 90% cgi schtick, and sit back and run his billion dollar company. <p>If it's done the same way as the prequels, I won't even go see it.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 1:17 p.m. CST

    BSB, the glasses a very different.

    by Ganymede3001

    The ones at my IMAX were much smaller than the real3D ones, lighter and more comfortable. I kept my glasses this time around:) No recycling here.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 1:19 p.m. CST

    HornOrSilk You Are A Fucking Moron

    by Spacezilla

    And you are basing that on what? SOme Dreamworks 3D animated movie? Are you really that stupid? This isn't gimmicky 3D you dumbfucking hillbilly.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 1:33 p.m. CST

    The 3D was so good in this movie that..

    by Ganymede3001

    When people in the front rows got up to go to the bathroom or whatever it looked like they were in the movie walking through Pandora lol. Did anyone else experience that?

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 1:35 p.m. CST

    It's the best summer movie of the year...

    by Red Ned Lynch just happened to come out during the holiday season. Saw it. Enjoyed it. Worthy of neither the venom dripping hatred or slavish praise some have given it. Overhyped? Sure. Worth all the time and money that went into it? Maybe not. Worth $12.00 a ticket to take the family to see. Most definitely. You know, sometimes that's enough. Sometimes that's more than enough, especially given the sort of "tentpoles" Hollywood has been producing lately.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 2:20 p.m. CST

    SeXX ED

    by kwisatzhaderach

    The more I think about it, the more impressive it gets. Cameron has balls of steel. Cinema event of the decade, and effectively brings down the curtain on the decade of disappointing blockbusters from The Phantom Menace onwards. <p> Visionary.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 2:40 p.m. CST

    Comandante kwisatzhaderach

    by AsimovLives

    I have wanted to ask you this:<br>What do you think of the people who are bitching about the cliched story of Avatar, it's 2D characters and the unobtanium mcguffin, and yet they defened and loved and appologised for the clcihed story for Jar Jar Abrasm's Shit Trek, it's 2D characters and the silliness of the red matter mcguffin? I'd like to know your opinion on that.<br><br>Another question: every reviewer at AICN loved and praised the SHIT TEEK movie. However, for AVATAR, we are getting mixed reviews from different reviewers, one possitive from Massawurm, one mixed by Capine and one negative by Mr Beaks. What you have to say about that?<br>Are we supposed to think that AICN is claiming that SHIT TREK is a better movie then AVATAR? What do you have to say to that?

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 3:04 p.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    Well, then you think can you offer me one possible explanation for why SHIT TREK got universal praise in here but AVATAR doesn't? Because, friend, i have to admit, that is puzzling me. The conclusion i'm reachign here is that AICN is seelling the idea that SHIT TREK is a better movie then AVATAR. Maybe even a much better movie. With the inference that Jar Jar Abrams is abetter director then James Cameron. You know what i mean?

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 3:20 p.m. CST

    Dune? Never crossed my mind once

    by BenBraddock

    I just don't see the supposed similarities.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 3:23 p.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    Very good answers. I think i understand now. Thank you, friend.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 3:39 p.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    Don0t jkind the nonsense that Massa writes. Apparently,and if the whole AICN crew is to be believed, before DANCES WITH WOLVES, there had been no movie or story about a white/civilized guy gone native and identify and join the native to fight against his once own kind. For the AICN people, crew and most geeks, SF only really started with Star Wars, and nothing major was made before 1980.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 3:40 p.m. CST

    Don0t jkind = don't mind

    by AsimovLives

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 3:47 p.m. CST


    by BenBraddock

    Haha, yeah, you're not wrong. I didn't mind the fact that apart from the avatar concept, the story was a very familiar one. Ever see John Boorman's "Emerald Forest", for example?

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 4:29 p.m. CST


    by BringingSexyBack

    I'm putting the word out and trying to set up a family outing for this. Hope to see it Sunday.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 4:30 p.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    Emereald forest was the very first movie i watched alone in a theater, all of my own. I was 13 then. That movie gives me good memories. And i'm still waiting for a proper DVD or blu-ray edition of it to give it justice to that terribly underated movie.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 4:35 p.m. CST

    You're comparing this to Palmer Eldritch?

    by Player01

    ARE YOU BATSHIT INSANE???? PKD is laughing, somewhere....

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 4:40 p.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    I know exactly what you mean. And it's great to know i'm not the only one here who read The 3 Stigmata Of Palmer Edritch. Though personally, i liked THE CLANS OF THE ALPHANE MOON better.<br><br>You know, despiste all this i have said before, i'm not in the happy camper loverboat AVATAR group. I call myself cautiously optimistic. but i still can't help to be a bit skeptical about it too. I'm one of those who wee disapointed with the trailers, you see? But said that, the whole bnegative stuff said about the mvoie rings phoney, even from the people who claimed saw it.<br><br>No, I don't expect the movie will awe me as ALIENS did to my 15 years old self. No, i dont think the mvoie will redefine the way audiences willunderstand how movies should be like. I'm certain i'll be far more awed and impressed with Christopher Nolan's INCEPTION when it will be released. But i don't buy the AICN's AVATAR anti-hype that's going on now. It's phoney. It's suspect. And given their previously slavish praise of such a dumb movie (Jar Jar Abrams's SHIT TREK) made by such a weaker and less talented filmamker as Jar Jar, all this suddent complains from the AICN crew and collaborators about AVATAR's less then sophisticated story reeks of bullshit. And it's pissing me off. I don't why, but it's pissing me off. I hope you know what i mean.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 4:44 p.m. CST

    Avatar, A Grand Failure

    by lucasdefender

    Saw it midnight last night. One of the worst movies for all the hype its getting. Who cares if the visuals are amazing if in the end the story is bad-worse, embarassingly awful. Honestly, one of the worst stories I have ever seen executed on screen. And this just makes me so mad because it COMPLETELY deflated my shock and awe from the visual effects. I really tried to stay with it and I just couldn't. AWFUL! OFFENSIVE! I was one of the believers too, gosh dang it. Thanks for liking crappy films, critics. I will take The Phantom Menace 10 times before I take this piece of beautiful TRASH! At least Lucas knows a good story.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 4:44 p.m. CST

    And HornOrSilk...

    by AsimovLives

    ... there's an actual movie called Star Wreck. It's a finnish comedy which mocks, in a good way, some stuff from Star Trek Nex Generation and Babylon 5. and it's pretty funny. -and ironically, despiste all the joking and caricatur,e it stuill feels far more respectuful to Star Trek then the fucking bullshit that Jar Jar Abrams shat this summer. so, next time you decide to rightfully insult the stupid fucking hack Jar Jar's abortion of a movie, don't call it by a name that is actually from a pretty good SF comedy. The full name of that movie is STAR WRECK: IN THE PIRKINING.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 4:53 p.m. CST


    by lucasdefender

    I did not like Star Trek and thought it was poop but trust me, it was waaaaaaay better than this piece of crap. I am not exaggerating. the only good movies I've seen this year was Hurt Locker, Serious Man, a few others, but Avatar is one of the most epic failures ever made. Out-does Waterworld for me. not kidding. Probably collectively has the worst dialogue in a big budget film - ever. You will look with longing eyes to Wolverine:Origins- an admittedly terrible movie. Pirates 3, Spiderman 3, gosh dang it, X-men 3 is better made. Not lieing. beautiful visuals and thats all. You are far better off going on a 3-D ride at Universal Studios or something. At least on that ride you will know what you're getting. Avatar pretends to be film but it is Cameron having no clue as he wanders through beautiful visuals for 3 hours WITH HORRIBLE STORYTELLING AND DIALOGUE.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 4:54 p.m. CST

    The AVATAR score so far at AICN:

    by AsimovLives

    Two negative reviews, one mixed, one positive.<br><br>AICN really is selling hard the idea that Jar Jar Abrams's RETARD TREK is a better movie then AVATAR. This shit blowns my mind!

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 4:56 p.m. CST


    by lucasdefender

    My previous post was supposed to be for you.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 4:57 p.m. CST

    Don't get me wrong.....

    by lucasdefender

    Star Trek did suck the big one.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 4:57 p.m. CST

    Asimov will you stop obsessing over Star Trek?

    by Ganymede3001

    Why does every discussion you have eventually evolves to your disdain for Star Trek? We've read the 10,000 reasons you dislike Star Trek 10 million times already. Just accept the fact that your opinion is in the small minority.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 5:01 p.m. CST

    Saw it again today

    by Colt19801980

    My review stands...Citizen Kane of sci-fi movies.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 5:04 p.m. CST

    lucasdefender - "At least Lucas knows a good story."

    by snakecharmer

    wow. " I will take The Phantom Menace 10 times before I take this piece of beautiful TRASH!" Ok. You might not like Avatar but are you for real about PM? hahahaha.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 5:15 p.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    Only when the level of bullshit in this place lowers to satisfying levels.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 5:15 p.m. CST

    It's a visceral film...but not a GREAT movie


    ...and that's the biggest indictment I can make of it. It's just one dimensional too often; and Worthington is so boring that it detracts from the movie's fun (and pacing).

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 5:21 p.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    I read it, though, so don't worry. But no, i don't buy it for a second that James Caemron made a worst mvoie then Jar Jar Abrams's SHIT TREK. Only two men directed worst movies then that abortion, adn their names are Michael Bay and Roland Emmerich. Cameron could make a movie about paint drying and it would be 100 times better then the top best efforts from Jar Jar Abrams. And i find it insulting that anybody would forgive and even defend the shallow cliche bulslhit from SHIT TREK, and then feel irritated by the simple story in AVATAR. It's very fucking insulting.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 5:22 p.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    I guess you are not too hot for CLASH OF THE TITANS, then.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 5:33 p.m. CST



    I'm officially worried for that film, ya. Worthington has now been very boring in two blockbusters....he couldn't carry T4 and he barely makes any impression at all in Avatar (hell, Zoe Saldana is more interesting and she's 100% rendered throughout the whole film). It's a shame, really.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 5:45 p.m. CST

    A Very Good Popcorn Movie

    by bobjustbob

    Should of been released in the Summer. Reminded me a lot quality-wise to Iron Man. Serviceable (but predictable) enough story to provide a framework to hold some stunning visuals together. I thought Joe Saldana's character was the best performance but all the characters were not very deep. <p> Much better than a Bay/Shyamalan/Abrams shitfest, but no Kubrick masterpiece either. Entertaining but shallow. FWI, I'm not a Cameron fan. I loathe ALIENS2/THE ABYSS, TITANIC/TRUE LIES. T1 & T2 and barely watchable. Haven't seen the man-eating fish story.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 6:19 p.m. CST

    Joe Saldana was indeed superb.

    by Anti-fanboy

    Excellent grip work.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 6:55 p.m. CST

    Cameron paid Massawyrm off

    by melonrobotics

    Cameron must have paid massawyrm for the glowing bio luminescent review. Eye candy is no excuse for crappy narrative and dialog. Cameron couldn't make the film because he had to wait for technology to catch? Big fucking deal...that's the story of every sci-fi directors life.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 10:25 p.m. CST

    Magnificent film

    by Chakraborty

    Saw the film this morning, here are some of my spoiler-free thoughts: <p> Definitely a game-changer. Cameron accomplished with CGI the next giant leap since Jurassic Park, that had been attempted many times but has only now been done. This is the first fully realized film with believable CGI characters, and where the audience is fully immersed in that world. The characters and creatures in the film have weight, and are not just pixels. And all the CGI scenes are driven by the character, story, and emotions...and are not just pretty graphics. <p> Terry Gilliam called the Star Wars prequels "dead things". Avatar is alive, and it has a soul. <p> Cameron has also shown that he has far surpassed his contemporary sci-fi directors like Lucas and Spielberg. His curious, scientific mind which led him to the depths of the ocean to explore alien worlds, has driven his imagination, and combined with his thoughts on the future of humanity. He has evolved as a person, and therefore, as a filmmaker. His contemporaries have become complacent. <p> There's so much more to say, but one thing I want to address is the story. It is a good story. A compelling story, and it has spiritual undertones. People have been saying that similar stories have been told before, but the thing is, it is a story that keeps repeating itself over and over throughout history, from the imperialism in early America, to modern-day imperialism. Yet, despite being a familiar story with lessons all of humanity should have learned, nothing has stopped history from repeating itself...therefore it's a story that cannot be told enough. And Cameron tells it in a unique and compelling fashion. <p> As I was leaving the theater, a couple guys were saying, "that was like an amazing ride at Universal or Disney that I would gladly pay between $35 to $50 dollars for", and...they are right. It's a film that must be seen on IMAX 3-D, and you get so much more for the 11 dollars you spend. Yet, even if you were not to see it in this medium, it is still great...BUT, this is a historical moment in cinema, and you wouldn't want to miss the opportunity to see this film in the best possible format.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 8:59 a.m. CST

    Even the AVATAR detractors conceide on one thing:

    by AsimovLives

    That the realization of the world of Pandora is well done and it's immersive, at least for the first moments. and how can a filmmaker achieve that? Well, only if onehas experienced something in real life that caused in him a great sense of wonder. In Cameron's case, it was his travels to the bottom of the seas. It struck in him a deep emotional impact and fascination for the things he saw which he never ever dream existed. and it speaked his imagination when he build the world of Pandora. and this is why he and his CGI team were able to create such an imersive and well realized world.<br><br>The truth is, too many filmmakers today working in Holywood have an extremely limited life experience. adn their movies reflect that. It's all this plastic stuff, helped with over-elaborated CGI but withy no soul. and the soul of a mvoie cames from a filmamker who has lived life and can project that to his movies, to the way he presents his stories. Cameron has lived life, and he is projecting his experiences to the screen, evne if by an elliptical way. And they show. All his movies, evne his lesser works, have a soul to them that's absent from nany of the so called big directors, many of them hacks supported and defended by AICN crew and geeks, like Jar Jar Abrams, Michel Bay, McG, Brett Ratner, Roland Emmerich, etc, etc. Yes, this guys are bashed a lot in here... but also defended. And all this tools never once put an heart to their movies, it's all shallow plastic entities with no heart or soul or brain.<br>This is why i think it's great that a filmmaker like Cameron exists and is making movies. Big blockbuster movies. Adne ven he he fails, his failures are far moe interesting and alive then most of the aforementioned hacks sucesses. Give me a James Cameron failure anyday of the week. AVATAR mgith fail as a stopry and as a movie, but it certainly will have something that, with the exception of MOON and DISTRICT 9, has been pretty scarse to be found in the SF movies made this year: HEART AND SOUL. Give me a failure with heart over any plastic souless sucess anyday.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 5:33 p.m. CST

    James Cameron inspired ppl?

    by SunTzu77

    You're saying James Cameron Avatar script inspired other films? His basic story is a mix of Dune (1984) and Ferngully (1992)... both done before Cameron wrote Avatar. The only thing Cameron may have done to inspire other film professionals... is the utilization of his new tech... but I just don't think studios will be dumping more cash into trying to shoot more films with the new 3d tech.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 7:07 p.m. CST

    By that argument Asimov...

    by white_vader

    he should be able to make a hell of a film about wifebeating and driving fast cars! <p> And for the record, even he admits his marines in Aliens are nothing like actual marines, because he didn't know anything about them. While it's reasonably true that writers write what they know, when it comes to science fiction that's obviously not generally possible (and you're not telling us anything that hasn't already been said 20 times in this TB alone about the deep sea stuff) hence the genre being based on the lynchpins of metaphor and allegory, and the greatest examples of the genre are books and films that predict things rather than extrapolate through that integral and underrated quality known as imagination (italics there). How many times have we heard of scientists actually being inspired by these works? Arthur C. Clarke may have been a man of science, but he had the crucial ingredient too. Otherwise it's just projection. I loved Moon too, and it's sci-fi in it's best existential/metaphorical sense. <p> I loved District 9 too, but I don't think ANYONE should be referring to it for story praise. It's incredibly hackneyed and unimaginative - an apartheid story - set in South Africa? Come ON! Before you go crazy though, I loved it to bits, and that premise didn't actually turn out to be so important, or the clichéd "see through the other person's eyes/walk in their shoes character arc. To me, it was more about the characterisation and tone, and it did that fantastically well. And in the end, hell, even if it was set in South Africa, the rationale that it was because aliens always land in America is a perfectly fine reason too. The reasons I mention these clichéd story structures in relation to Avatar should be obvious. District 9 was greater than the sum of it's parts. And it had death by flying pig. With respect to Avatar though, I'm not ragging on you, don't misunderstand. Sometimes you don't have to be a weatherman to know which way the wind blows is all. I'm glad you loved it, and I'm hanging out to see it too. It opened on your Tuesday here, and I just haven't been able to get there! Full IMAX-o-rama for me. Cheers dude.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 7:12 p.m. CST

    Oh... there is one thing I'm very scared about in Avatar

    by white_vader

    - this is anal, but is it true the subtitles are in the Papyrus font? Please God don't let that be true. You want something that would have dated your movie 15 years ago? That would be it! <p> Signed, typography snob.

  • Dec. 20, 2009, 1:18 p.m. CST


    by tgmee

    Avatar is the most beautiful movie I have ever seen. I've already seen it twice and at both the audience clapped and cheered. I think it's going to make a butt load of money.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 10:14 a.m. CST

    This review...

    by Marathoner spot on.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 9 p.m. CST

    I agree with Maniaq

    by hippolyta

    The golf putt did take me out of the film. But other than that I didn't notice anything.

  • Dec. 23, 2009, 1:29 a.m. CST

    Just saw it and loved it.

    by Joey_Jo_Jo_Junior_Shabadoo

    Still need time to process everything, but overall it was phenomenal. Didn't care too much for the "300" style action slow down in a couple scenes though.

  • Dec. 31, 2009, 5:26 p.m. CST

    The 'failure' that made 600 million and counting..

    by quantize

    yeeeeeep. The tastes of the entire planet of course are shit and the sausage gripping losers of the AICN talkbacks are IN THE KNOW.

  • Jan. 21, 2010, 2:55 a.m. CST

    I'm hoping you were high while watching this...

    by Kirbymanly

    Because I think in about 2 - 5 years you are going to regret writing this review. It's not that great. Cameron brought the visuals to the table but forgot to tell a story that involves character and good acting. If you think Sam worthington is a good actor in this film... your standards are pretty low. The word "dull" kept coming to mind.