Movie News

Capone talks a blue streak about the hit-and-miss AVATAR!!!

Published at: Dec. 18, 2009, 6:45 a.m. CST by Capone

Hey, everyone. Capone in Chicago here. Is there anything left to say about writer-director James Cameron's years-in-the-making epic AVATAR? Well first of all let's look at something about that question and notice the term "writer-director." AVATAR is not another special effects-driven studio film made by committee to please a target audience; instead, it is the vision of one man whose ability to wow and entertain us is nearly unrivaled in film history. Sure, thousands of people helped make this movie, but the spectacular 3-D images on the screen come straight from the brain of Cameron, who hasn't helmed a feature film in 12 years. Apparently he simply waited until technology could catch up to the worlds he wanted to create. And let me just add for those critics who have seen it and dismissed it for the most part for all the things AVATAR isn't to see it a second time with fresh eyes and recognize all the things it manages to accomplish quite well. Now make no mistake, I have a small handful of real issues with AVATAR, beginning and ending with the fact that it's so damn derivative--both of Cameron's previous work and some fairly high-profile works by other filmmakers--that it's almost distracting. I've read a couple of critics who compared the movie to DANCES WITH WOLVES, and that's not exactly right. Avatar isn't similar to DANCES WITH WOLVES; it's a fucking carbon copy of DANCES WITH WOLVES at times (I might also throw in a little THE NEW WORLD). Granted, there hasn't been a truly original movie plot for a big-budget studio film since the silent-film era, but holy Christ was I surprised to see this story of a military man sent in to tame an indigenous population and ends up "going native" after falling in love with one of the locals. Some people might not be able to forgive Cameron for this lift, but I eventually looked past it and into a world and palette of images that simply robbed me of words. The future setting for AVATAR is Pandora, a moon orbiting an unknown planet that looks a lot like Jupiter. Planet Earth is without oil, and this world contains the only known source of a mineral (with a name so stupid, I won't ruin the surprise of hearing it yourself) that would seem to be a worthy energy source to save our planet. A military-industrial complex has been firmly established on Pandora. Their main objective is to clear the mining sites of any indigenous peoples and dangerous animals to make way for the biggest bulldozers you've ever seen. The diamond-hard Stephen Lang plays Col. Quaritch, who runs the military, while the weasely Giovanni Ribisi plays Parker Selfridge, representing the mining company. Ribisi's character seems poured from the same mold as Paul Reiser's character in ALIENS, or at least the two characters had the same mother. Speaking of ALIENS, Sigourney Weaver plays Dr. Grace Augustine, who leads a small and largely powerless band of scientists who are not only exploring Pandora but also attempting to learn the customs of the native humanoid-feline-blue race known as the Na'vi in the hopes of negotiating them off their land rather than having them scorched off by the military. Armed only with spears, poisoned arrows and fierce loin clothes, the towering Na'vi are painted as a people connected to the land and creatures around them...literally. They all have long ponytails with filaments that link them to certain plants and animals. It's an interesting concept, but I'm not really sure the conceit pays off in the plot. Perhaps the most useful thing the scientists have developed is the ability to mix human and Na'vi DNA to make Na'vi Avatars that can house the minds of humans. The thinking is that the Na'vi would feel less threatened by creatures that look like them. There's something inherently condescending about that logic, but let's move on. Playing the man caught between three worlds is TERMINATOR: SALVATION's Sam Worthington as Jake Sully, a marine who has lost the use of his legs. When his brother is killed, Jake steps in to use his Avatar, at first as a means to get his legs back. But Col. Quaritch uses Jake's loyalty to have him spy on both the scientists and get in good with the Na'vi to learn where their defensive weaknesses are and the primary sources of the valuable mineral being sought. During his first trip into the wild of Pandora, Jake meets Neytiri (voiced and motion-captured by Zoe Saldana, who played Uhura in STAR TREK), who might be the single best thing about AVATAR. And it's through Saldana's performance that we begin to understand what Cameron is attempting to capture with all of this new technology that forces us to not only reclassify special effects but also, in many ways, to redefine animation. There are entire lengthy sections in AVATAR that are 100 percent digitally rendered--the backgrounds, vehicles, vegetation, characters, everything. I don't have a problem with this, but it made me really ponder where works with this level of special effects fit in the world of film. I liked that Cameron made the human Avatars sort of look like the actors, while the Na'vi characters don't look anything like the people performing the parts. You really notice how lifelike the Avatars appear when you watch Sigourney Weaver, who is quite good and brings a much-needed intelligence to the proceedings. But it's Saldana who steals the show. There's something about her movements and facial expressions that illustrates the precise differences between human behavior and reactions and those of the Na'vi. The way she smiles, gets angry, hisses at a foe or focuses her attention just before she attacks an aggressor is captivating. During any scenes features Neytiri, I could have turned off the sound and simply watched her performance without missing a thing. Much of the final third of AVATAR is a mixed bag for me. We're well aware that the inevitable battle between machine and nature is on the way, and I hate that Cameron has become so predictable. Still, the actual man-vs.-Na'vi war is astonishing and the destruction is massive, and that's all that needs to be said about that. Then there are other moments that didn't work at all for me. The Na'vi teach Jake about riding a Banshee (this particular scene isn't in the final thrid of AVATAR, but the Banshee come into play prominently during the final battle), a dragon-like creature that once chosen is yours for life. Here's my problem: I've never been impressed with CGI dragons. They never look real or any better than some videogame creation, and while the creature isn't technically a dragon, it basically is, and I just wasn't buying it. Any frankly, watched a group of Na'vi flying around mountains and waterfalls on the backs of these creatures is kind of boring. That said, I was largely impressed with the other previously unseen creatures of Pandora, and not just the wild animals but also the flora and fauna, some of which look suspiciously like some of the rare forms of life that live near the bottom of the ocean that Cameron seems endlessly fascinated by. I like the idea of Cameron bringing these majestic and freaky things to play on the surface; it's a great idea. Just get rid of the dragons, dude. The truth is, there's only so much you can read about AVATAR before you finally just have to decide whether to see it or ignore it. I know I need to see it at least one more time to really get my head around it and see which elements hold up and which fall apart. But there's no denying that so much of what you'll see you have never seen before, and not just the Pandora wildlife. Cameron has created war machines, computer technology, and even a wheelchair that simply don't exist, and it's just as fascinating to look around the corners of the screen away from the action to see what little touches Cameron has invented for his canvas. There is so much to like here visually that it almost seems like too much of a good thing to watch AVATAR in 3-D. I said after seeing the first footage from the film at Comic-Con back in July that the immersive nature of the 3-D is quite simply overwhelming at times. That's a good thing. Go see it, come back, and let the endless debate begin. My guess is that you'll go in a skeptic and leave a lot less of one. I'm not saying you're going to worship the screen this film plays on, but I dare you not to be impressed.
-- Capone therealcapone@aintitcoolmail.com Follow Me On Twitter



Readers Talkback

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  • Dec. 18, 2009, 6:47 a.m. CST

    It's good

    by Laserhead

    Not great, and definitely no kind of cinematic game-changer. But it's entertaining and there sure is a lot of neat stuff to look at.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 6:48 a.m. CST

    First?

    by Laserhead

    Odd.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 6:54 a.m. CST

    Just seems like all of the reviewers are saying 'Its good but...

    by Dirk_The_Amoeba

    I will see it tonight. I will not read anymore reviews until i have seent it with my own AmoebaVision.<p> If you can fuck an Amoebas eyeballs, then you can really fuck!

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 6:54 a.m. CST

    Agreed

    by the1980mutant

    Didnt set the bar too high going in. I thought it was well done using familiar archetypes. The film itself is gorgeous and just a great film. More vivid then anything we've seen in a while or perhaps ever.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 7:04 a.m. CST

    I LOVE THIS FILM!!!

    by antonphd

    I feel sorry for anyone who doesn't love the fuck out of this film. Honestly. They have fallen from grace as film watchers. They have become too wise for their own good. When you can't love a film like this... you have lost touch with your humanity. You are a poor lost soul. I'm completely serious. This movie is all heart and strength and love and beauty and awe and grace and mercy and triumph and if you can connect with it then you have because a fucker. Plain and simple. And I feel sorry for you. You are really missing out on life. Not because you missed out on loving this film, but because if you can't love this film then you simply have a problem with loving anything.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 7:06 a.m. CST

    Capone, do you know why the dragons/banshee's don't look real?

    by Marxeffect

    Its because dragons are not real! I saw this last night and was blown away by the FX. I honestly think Cameron has raised the bar significantly for all future effects driven movies. I know the story is a bit obvious and cliched with the comparisons to Dances With Wolves, Dune etc. but I have always felt that even though you know where your going its still all about the journey to get there. As you can tell, I am completely on the positive side of the fence!

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 7:08 a.m. CST

    The story

    by ColonelFatheart

    It seems that there are three ways critics are approaching the story: 1. Who cares? It works. It's an archetypal story retold very well. 2. It's trite, but the experience overwhelms it. 3. It's so bad it distracts from the wondrous effects/production values.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 7:09 a.m. CST

    antonphd

    by Marxeffect

    I am in total agreement with you. Unfortunately though, this movie could never live up to the hype, nothing ever could. If this had been of the radar a little bit more and sprang out of left-field then everybody would have loved it, guaranteed! The only reason that people are nitpicking is because they have been given ample time to prepare for it!

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 7:10 a.m. CST

    *off

    by Marxeffect

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 7:10 a.m. CST

    Best Film...

    by Dead_Geek

    ...video game adaptation EVER!

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 7:10 a.m. CST

    by the way, the girl is the star

    by antonphd

    i've read descriptions of unicorns in books... never has any image of a unicorn ever lived up to the descriptions... the girl, i can't spell her name, she is equal to a unicorn in books... i don't know how else to say that... i was stunned for most of the film by the moving speaking feeling living image that can't be described in words any more than a unicorn can be shown in image the way it can be described in words

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 7:13 a.m. CST

    the 'dragons'

    by cousin.elvin

    and the flying saved this movie for me. i thought they were great! you think it's boring to fly on the back of a dragon amidst floating mountains in 3d? check your pulse, capone.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 7:15 a.m. CST

    this film will make titanic money

    by antonphd

    at the international box office. in america... i think it will rise to 3rd behind Dark Knight and Titanic... it could possibly go all the way... too hard to tell yet... i will say that i can't for the Twilight girls to catch on to this film... they will find out what a real talent can do with fantasy and sci fi. and they will help boost this film's box office in America.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 7:17 a.m. CST

    Limp Dick

    by Mariusz

    Went to the midnight screening at the Acrlight. Avatar, in one word is: SILLY. We've all heard the comparisons to Dances w/Wolves, yes, but that's okay because without that it would really suck! All this movie has going for itself are the special efx. It's not annoying special efx like Matrix Revolutions or similar crap. This shit is awe-inspiring. And the 3D, well, that's on a whole new level of spectacular. But that's it, folks. The narrative is dull, at best. The dialogue is pedestrian. The acting is plain silly. After a 12-year Cameron drought this is what we get? Gotta be shitting me! I'm not impressed. This is the equivalent of the much anticipated Guns N' Roses album: Chinese Democracy. In closing, what a pair of limp dicks.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 7:21 a.m. CST

    antonphd

    by ColonelFatheart

    I think your instincts are right on this. Titanic had an appeal that transcended generations and will be hard to match. Older folks were lined up to see that right next to the teenyboppers. I can't see that happening with a space opera with blue cat aliens and flying dragons. Still, the Oscar buzz and the critical reaction will drive a good chunk of that older group to the theaters out of curiosity. Also, there won't be the teen girl repeat business that Titanic had. Still, Dark Knight-type numbers in the U.S. are very possible.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 7:24 a.m. CST

    If there were no Dances With Wolves...

    by AxeEmAll

    ...or Fern Gully or Dune, all of us would be gushing over Avatar. The film has to be judged on its own merits. All the critics who dislike the film or like it less have the penchant for comparing the film with every other film they watched before. Capone, why did you not complain that Star Wars is a rip-off of The Hidden Fortress? Just sayin.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 7:27 a.m. CST

    Dark Knight - my ass!

    by Mariusz

    No way this trite makes Dark Knight-type #s! You guys are crazy! It'll have a strong opening weekend and prehaps even a strong 2nd weekend, as well. But that's it. It won't even crack 400. This is NO Titanic. It desn't have the Twilight appeal. Meaning little teenage girls won't see it 3 or 4 times ike they did Titanic. At the end of the day, Avatar will be looked at as a box office failure because the studio's expecting it to make a billion worldwide and it's not gonna happen.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 7:35 a.m. CST

    Colonel spot on re 3 types of reviews

    by Miyamoto_Musashi

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 7:36 a.m. CST

    Best film experience in a decade.

    by antonphd

    For those complaining about dialogue... 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 complaints about the dialogue or plot. Because everyone would have accepted 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, 7:39 a.m. CST

    I think its obvious that this film is hit or miss for all of us

    by Marxeffect

    Even though i have no fucking clue why?? Seriously, this was awesome! Yes the script wasn't perfect, yes it had a similar story to some that had come before, but for fuck sake, Cameron has created an entire new world on this movie! He has created a spectacular sci-fi movie and all the geeks on this site, of all the fucking movie sites on the web (because we all know this is where all of us end up) are giving it more shit than any of the fucking remakes that come out of Hollywood ten to a fucking dozen! *Shakes fists*

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 7:40 a.m. CST

    Twilight fans will discover this film

    by antonphd

    Just like they discovered Titanic. Word of mouth. And my wife who loves Twilight LOVED THE FUCK OUT OF AVATAR. And she's going back with me to see it a couple more times. A first for her with any film. Having seen this film now... it is going to be a HUGE hit with Twilight fans once they see it. And it's sure as hell going to get repeat business from guys. This will be number one thru the end of the year without even trying.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 7:42 a.m. CST

    by durka_durka

    So does this mean you're eyeballs weren't fucked? I'll still check it out tho

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 7:44 a.m. CST

    durka_durka

    by Marxeffect

    Consider my eye balls fully satisfied!

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 7:44 a.m. CST

    Harry are we getting a review from you?

    by Miyamoto_Musashi

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 7:45 a.m. CST

    the film is HIT with MOST people

    by antonphd

    and that's who it's aimed at. this will make at least LOTR money if not Star Wars money and maybe even give Dark Knight a run for the money. anyone who thinks that movies don't make a fuck load of money because they don't have award winning dialog and story haven't paid attention to which movies make a fuck load of money. this movie is going to get the Transformers audience and the Twilight audience and that's between 400 and 600 million domestic right there.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 7:47 a.m. CST

    UNOBTANIUM FOR CHRIST'S SAKE!

    by FungGweiShirComeout

    Okay I'm getting tired of critics blasting Cameron for coming up with this ridiculous word for the ore that they're mining on Pandora. The term unobtanium has bee around and in use in the scientific community for a long time. Here's the Wikipedia definition of the term. "Unobtainium is a facetious term for any extremely rare, costly, or physically impossible material needed to fulfill a given design for a given application. The name is a portmanteau derived from unobtainable + -ium (the suffix for a number of chemical elements). Variations include unobtanium and unattainium, with the same meaning." I really get irritated when people claim something rather clever to be "stupid."

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 7:49 a.m. CST

    2001 is proof that a purely visual experience ...

    by ColonelFatheart

    (reposting from Massa's thread) ... 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, 7:50 a.m. CST

    The BEST FILM OF 2009

    by AxeEmAll

    so says James Berardinelli. This guy is so hard to please that the only other film he gave four stars to this year is Inglorious Basterds. He is aware that the plot is not original, yet he loves it, and he even likes the love story here than that of Titanic.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 7:51 a.m. CST

    The storyline has to be predictable...

    by zinc_chameleon

    for the same reasons that Rock'n'Roll eclipsed Jazz. Too much new stuff all at once, and you lose your audience. The 3d world of Pandora is so overwhelming that the average family paying bucks to go to an IMAX needs grounding in a plotline they can understand.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 7:51 a.m. CST

    When can we get the first results from its BO

    by ominus

    opening day, today? at the end,thats what really matters.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 7:53 a.m. CST

    It's simply the best cinema experience in years

    by kwisatzhaderach

    Going back to see it again next week. Jawdropping.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 7:53 a.m. CST

    Unobtanium was more fun in THE CORE

    by palimpsest

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 7:53 a.m. CST

    My Review

    by ominus

    <p>yes i am an attention whore: <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. 18, 2009, 7:53 a.m. CST

    I agree about Neytiri

    by alienindisguise

    She was the only character who seemed to be acting at all. i thought the faces of the Na'vi were expertly done but I hated their bodies. They seemed way too scrawny to me and their movements were'nt as fluid as the facial expressions were. Overall I felt Cameron was just shoving shit in my face to try and detract from the piss poor script and atrocious dialogue throughout. I hope another writer comes in for the sequel. From 1 to 5 I give it a 2 and 1/2.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 7:54 a.m. CST

    Yeah its my best of the year too.

    by kwisatzhaderach

    1) Avatar <p> 2) Inglourious Basterds <p> 3) Public Enemies <p> 4) The Hurt Locker <p> 5) District 9

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 7:55 a.m. CST

    Uh, what he/she said

    by palimpsest

    And box office mojo updates about noon pacific time, BO watchers...

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 7:55 a.m. CST

    After this im looking forward to Harry's gushing review!

    by Marxeffect

    I think this film deserves it.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 7:55 a.m. CST

    ominus - great review

    by kwisatzhaderach

    And you hit the nail on the head - the movie has SOUL. Bags of it.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 7:58 a.m. CST

    first impressions

    by deckardthx

    After seeing it some hours ago now in Australia and Having happily worked inside the film industry for over 20 years ... Avatar has again given us all a Benchmark to attain ... it has at moments the joyous ability to allow our imagination to feel free and at the same moment make us understand how to make this art-form better

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 7:59 a.m. CST

    antonphd

    by Skyway Moaters

    Your "if you can't love this" post may be the stupidest screed I've ever read in my life. <p> It's a movie. <p> In terms of the art of film making, "Avatar" is a mighty impressive achievment. In the larger scheme of things, IE: life, it is utterly, UTTERLY, unimportant.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 8:01 a.m. CST

    Ominus

    by Marxeffect

    Review or essay? Only joking, good review. parallels my thoughts exactly . . . scarily close to my reaction actually. Nice work!

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 8:03 a.m. CST

    Explain the Na'vi to me...

    by Sailor Rip

    They look just like people with some facial differences and are blue. Right? Why not just paint people blue and save 100 million on cgi? I can understand creatures and such but if they're just blue people, just paint people blue. <p> I was looking at a still of one and it looked like a real person then it occured to me, maybe it is. <p> Is it the height difference? Because Jackson did that with real people and forced perspective in LotR and it looked great. <p> I don't know, I haven't seen the film yet so maybe they are a lot different than us and would require cgi but it just seems Cameron wanted to make the most realistic not person humanoid. And he can, it's his money. Just saying is all.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 8:03 a.m. CST

    Skyway Moaters

    by Marxeffect

    If you don't think that movies are important enough, then my friend, you are on the wrong site. Try ESPN!

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 8:07 a.m. CST

    Sailor Rip

    by kwisatzhaderach

    The Na'vi are 10 feet tall.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 8:09 a.m. CST

    Sailor Rip

    by Marxeffect

    Its not just the size. There whole body shape is actually different (such as a scarily small waste!) I have admit but at one point I asked myself why they didn't just use painted actors or 'man in suit' but you kind of find out why when all the action begins. They are also a hell of a lot more graceful than humans in the way they move and I don't think anybody could have replicated that perfectly. Plus it probably helps them blend into their environment a lit easier

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 8:10 a.m. CST

    if navi are blue and live in a green

    by Potatino

    If navi are blue and live in a green forest wouldn't that be crap camouflage? I'm no scientist but wouldn't any potential predator pick them off very easily? How does a blue species survive in a green forest for more than a generation or two or long enough to evolve and become smart and stuff? Eh I'm confused... I'll still watch this movie on the weekend.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 8:13 a.m. CST

    Just remember you said that about BO #s Mariusz...

    by Skyway Moaters

    ... because you will be eating those words by Feburary.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 8:13 a.m. CST

    Great. Great. More AVATAR.

    by RICHARD_GERE_RAPED_MY_GERBIL

    I really can't get enough of hearing about AVATAR. No, seriously. It's what i come to this site for. AVATAR. Yeah. I love this whole AVATAR thing. Let's get some more AVATAR reviews on here. We all love AVATAR. Give us more AVATAR. In fact, let's replace every second word of any article on here with AVATAR. That AVATAR make AVATAR interesting AVATAR you AVATAR?

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 8:23 a.m. CST

    My Revew Of Avatar

    by Media Messiah

    Avatar brings back serious maturity to science fiction/fantasy filmmaking, tonally, something that George Lucas and Steven Spielberg abandoned years ago, in favor of selling toys and capturing big merchandising deals, at the expense of losing substance in story. Zoe Saldana is brilliant as Nayteri...native princess of a Na'vi tribe (a pre-industrial race of blue alien beings...on a far off planet)...and Sam Worthington...as a human turned Avatar driver, proves he is a charismatic presence to be reckoned with as Jake. For the uninitiated here, in brief, Avatar bodies resemble the Na'vi, bodies which humans can wear as fully integrated biological suits that mate Na'vi and human DNA in a perfect synergy, allowing humans to experience, and interact in, and with, the eco-system of Pandora...an alien world that a human military vanguard has taken up station upon in order to steal a rare element, that being Unobtainium. The human race has exhausted its many resources...and now sees this rich energy source as its one salvation--a salvation that they are willing to perpetrate mass genocide to, ironically, obtain. <BR><BR>Saldana delivers a humane performance, more irony, as the entry point character into the Na'vi culture, and Pandora...as she guides Jake, her soon to be love interest, through spiritual tribal rituals, and tests of courage which fashion the mettle of our would-be hero. Jake, in his normal life...as a human, spends much of his time in a wheelchair; a paraplegic military vet, jaded by his circumstance. This is a time of deep space travel, one hundred years in our future, but resources are few, and like today's modern world, the great wealth of medical miracles are reserved for the wealthy, and the well connected. Shortly after arriving on Pandora, Jake is offered a deal by the residing military commander, deliver intel about the Na'vi for military use, and he will be given an expensive operation that will make him whole again. Joining with a scientific team, led by a skilled researcher, played with great empathy, and at times...balls, by actress Sigourney Weaver, Jake quickly is thrown into his first adventure on this strange and dangerous planet. In the recent past, the science team had made contact with the Na'vi...with the aid of Avatars, teaching them English and establishing some form of trust between us...and them, until the human military fractured the fragile, but growing, courtship. After Jake is separated from the scientific team...and a small military escort, he is launched into a fast moving sojourn...alone, amid the man eating creatures of Pandora. There, he soon meets the aforementioned Nayteri...who takes quick interest in the stranger after a series of spiritual signs reveal him to be worthy of further exploration. Within a day, Jake is initiated into the Na'vi culture and becomes a fruitful pawn for the evil human military commander...and a somewhat unwitting curse for the Na'vi--and "fireworks"...that is where the movie begins. <BR><BR>For the the first time in cinema history, that I can remember, a physically disabled man, is made the hero of an action adventure/blockbuster, and manages to get the girl; a large triumph in itself, as the disabled are often hidden in our society, and diminished in favor of the so-called able bodied. Jake is bold and brash--someone who acts on impulse as much as inner integrity, his greatest weapon, and defense. This film is big and loud, but it is also lush and soft--it's humanity calls us to remember our own, in the face of the military brute strength and corporate greed that has advanced our culture, yes, but at the cost of destroying the cultures of others, and now, which serves to endanger our very own eco-system, that is now in collapse. This is the heart and spirit of the story of Avatar...and it only grows in epic proportions throughout its running time. Avatar is truly a science fiction epic. It is Apocalypse Now...meets Braveheart, The Last of The Mohicans, and Dances With Wolves...the latter of which has been briskly mentioned by other reviewers in reference to the reflected tribal themes and imperialist invasion of aboriginal cultures, and the rape of their lands by techno superior governments in search of riches, themes which echo from our history, as well as our present, in the form of military campaigns like "Shock and Awe" (Shock and Horror), the operational code name of the first strike offense that the U.S. launched in the initial days and nights of latest Bush led Iraq War. <BR><BR>Star Wars: A New Hope...and The Empire Strikes Back, spoke of fantastic, albeit, warm spiritual and intellectual nuance, something that was lost in latter, poorly executed Star Wars films, from Return of The Jedi...to the Star Wars prequels, the spirituality and intellect portions of story that serviced the first two Star Wars films so well, were voided in favor of selling toys, however, with Avatar, celebrated director James Cameron returns from a 12 year absence to give us a blockbuster with substance and a unapologetic conscience, one designed to play to adults, while raising children up to consider the adult perspective via the eyes of an intellectual yarn, one evoking the message of honor, spiritualism, responsibility, and heroism.<BR><BR>This film reveals that science fiction can deliver a smart blockbuster and not sell-out to the lowest common denominator, in exchange for cheap gags, and lesser story, ala films like Transformers and it sequels, or the lackluster JJ Abrams helmed Star Trek film, with the hope to move more tickets, or profit from product tie-in deals...featuring Happy Meals or sugar cereals. Avatar is rumored to have cost over 300 million dollars, and you see it all on screen...unlike say, Trek, which looks like a made for TV movie?<BR><BR>My only problem with the film is its chief marketing draw, and that would be found in the form of its highly anticipated stereo visual imaging. The 3D effects gimmick which director Cameron promised would be fully immersive for audiences, is anything but that? To the contrary, the 3D effects are a distraction, and annoying. I recommend either taking your 3D glasses off, or seeing this film in a 2D theater, as it, the film, is that good--it is above gimmicks, and 3D isn't on the same the plateau of magnificence as this film, or the motion capture tech that infuses its realms.<BR><BR>The theme song by Leona Lewis, although sappy...when played-out of context from the film, is actually every bit as good as the Celine Dion theme song from Titanic. James Horner's score is big and robust in every way you have come to expect from his work, and then some. <BR><BR>The effects work displayed in Avatar is a Tour-de-force, and near seamless, and the design of the environment of Pandora is so detailed and expansive, that it puts the recent Star Wars films to shame. I can predict in advance that WETA will win the FX race for Best Special Effects...hands down, others need not apply--it is as simple as that.<BR><BR>To the acting performances. All were strong...as one might hope, and Sam Worthington has more than proven himself a great leading man, but it is Zoe Saldana, and Weaver who deliver performances that are Oscar caliber, and demand nominations, and specifically...they not only deserve the noms, but the wins for Best Actress, and Best Supporting Actress, respectively. Likewise, visionary director James Cameron, should snag nominations and wins for Best Film, Best Director, and best original Screenplay, as this film has a voice that is saying something of great import, and needs to be heard. Our planet is Pandora, this is the primary and riding allegory of the film. We are killing our planet, and ourselves, by failing to live in harmony with our surroundings and each other, choosing greed, and corruption, over common sense, the sharing of the wealth and medical care (with the less fortunate), while embracing peace. It is global suicide for us to strive for anything less than benevolence, and Cameron has dared make a 300 million ode to the Earth...and to the human race. This film is an S.O.S. (Save Our Souls) in the guise of a big entertainment film, thus, it is an honorable work of art, that he has spun, employing the forum of filmmaking to do so--a message film which speaks to the young generation, telling them to "Wake-up, before it is too late!" Yes, this film offers the epic grandeur...and romance of Titanic, but with the adventure of T2, Aliens, The Abyss, and True Lies. It is all of those films rolled into one...and we are all the more lucky...for it. God Bless Jim Cameron!!!

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 8:25 a.m. CST

    it IS best cinema experience ever...

    by So What?

    I'm going again! I NEVER do that.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 8:26 a.m. CST

    Just got my tickets

    by HootDad

    Seeing it tonight in IMAX 3D. Can't wait. And heck, I LIKED DwW!

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 8:27 a.m. CST

    Whine whine whine whine

    by drturing

    11 year olds dressed as schoolgirls slaughtering men leaving gore in their wake, now that's entertainment, but a visionary epic that dares to imagine an entire alien world in 3d that isn't a sequel or a remake, well it's just not good enough for the douchelords at AICN who love to give good reviews to anyone who kisses their ass or is their "friend". For the sake of fuck, before Dances With Wolves there was A Man Called Horse, the literature of Rudyard Kipling, John Carter of Mars, etc... But because you fucking nerds live in such a narrow minded ideology where only recent cultural history seems to matter...

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 8:27 a.m. CST

    AVATAR's storyline - A thought

    by Sonny_Williams

    Since this story takes place in a totally alien environment, I have to think that Cameron wanted something familiar and comforting for the audience to ground themselves. And when you get right down to it, that's been a constant in JC's films - everyday people in extraordinary circumstances, yet facing the same age-old personal interactions as all of us. That's why Joe Sixpack can connect with these characters; we've been there before.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 8:28 a.m. CST

    nuance

    by deckardthx

    There is subtle textures to the facial inflections that left me awe struck ... a touch of a cheek will sub surface undulate reinforcing the mastery of a this mo cap ... it is unlike anything I've seen before.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 8:31 a.m. CST

    Sorry, zinc_chameleon

    by Sonny_Williams

    Your post didn't pop up until after I posted. Once again, great minds think alike!

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 8:32 a.m. CST

    Incoherent review

    by Punchbunny

    this is a terrible incoherent review. I can't understand why anyone would even think twice about seeing this. It's worth at least ten bucks to you. Shut all this bullshit out and go along with the ride.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 8:33 a.m. CST

    FUNNY HOW THE AVATAR BRIGADE HAVE CHANGED THEIR STANCE

    by mrdck

    In the months leading upto Avatar's release, the pro Avatar pussys had nothing but praise for Cameron's storytelling abilities, berating the likes of Bay and Abrams for empty spectacle. "ooooh no one can tell a STORY like Big Jim! aaaahhh his characters are so well fleshed out! Wow! his story arcs are so well defined!" And now Avatar has been revealed as an empty firework display, I'm now hearing " Well, it ws NEVER about the story, it's all about the SPECTACLE. Film is a VISUAL MEDIUM afterall!" What a buch of pathetic shallow pussys. They are now acting like perverts at a brothel praising th prettiest whore. Laughable.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 8:38 a.m. CST

    to mrdck

    by deckardthx

    Have you seen the film yet?

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 8:40 a.m. CST

    to deckardthx

    by Punchbunny

    Exactly. This is split down the middle between people who have seen it and who like bitching. For those who have seen it it's hard to imagine a better spent ten bucks at the cinema this year.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 8:42 a.m. CST

    I'm looking forward to seeing this..

    by Dranem

    But it seems that the same reason people hated the Star Wars films (even the beloved OT) is the same reason they love Avatar- good special effects but nothing too original otherwise. I'm almost wondering if people who fell in love with this before they saw it and bought into the hype of it being a "game changer" aren't just lying to themselves a little bit. If the best thing is the 3-D special effects on the big screen, how much legs does this really have? I don't want to watch this on DVD or TV if I need to plop on 3-d glasses each time. That being said, I just want to be entertained and have a movie experience in the middle of December. The summer movie season is a long way off, and I love stuff like this to tide me over!

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 8:43 a.m. CST

    Story vs storytelling

    by ColonelFatheart

    The Odyssey is a great story. But what would you rather have? The words of Homer tell you the story, or some schmuck just giving you a synopsis? A story in and of itself can be unoriginal, but it's how it's TOLD that makes the difference. People confuse story and storytelling all the time. Spielberg made his reputation as a great cinematic storyteller. Where his movies particularly original in terms of plot? Not necessarily. But they were visionary works that were propelled by excellent storytelling.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 8:44 a.m. CST

    Media Messiah.........you lost me at...

    by Righteous Brother

    The theme song by Leona Lewis, although sappy...when played-out of context from the film, is actually every bit as good as the Celine Dion theme song from Titanic. WHAT THE FUCK??

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 8:45 a.m. CST

    Media Messiah great "honest" review

    by Miyamoto_Musashi

    In all seriousness with all the crap you get from everyone including myself, got to commend you on spending the time to put down your thoughts. <p> I will see it tomorrow and let you know my thoughts.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 8:45 a.m. CST

    to Punchbunny

    by deckardthx

    20 bucks in Aus .. Including glasses But i think that's it, as with all film ..the experience is KING

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 8:46 a.m. CST

    Capone

    by peter_dickinson

    Dude, please tell me you wrote this review and shelved until now because if this is what you came up with after the entire world has already chimed in then you're even more derivative than Cameron.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 8:49 a.m. CST

    Media Messiah your top 5 for the year?

    by Miyamoto_Musashi

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 8:52 a.m. CST

    Dances with Wolves = more common then you think

    by Alientoast

    Almost the entire history of mankind can have elements of "man from X nation/tribe/empire/power trying to get in good with another nation/tribe/empire/power and ends up liking it/"betraying" their home. Hell, maybe not even trying to get in good. Maybe they are just supposed to be enemies/different and they end up getting along really well. While the movie Dances with Wolves is only 20 years old, the concept in Wolves is thousands of years old.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 8:54 a.m. CST

    Very good ominus, but tell us how you REALLY feel...

    by Skyway Moaters

    ... about "Avatar" :p <p> On the contrary Marx, I'm passionate about film and personally think that "Avatar" is a masterpiece. The fact that I've seen it this early on should indicate my enthusiasm. My comment to antonphd was concerning context and perspective. And there never was a film, and never will be, that "pleases all the people all the time".

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 8:56 a.m. CST

    I thought Avatar was going to be the ...

    by Trannyformers_Apologist

    GREATEST MOVIE OF ALL TIME???? Avatar should have atleast 98% RT rating.<P>Will reinvent the way movies are experienced <P>Epic masterpiece<P> mind-blowing<P> Photo-real<P>Jaw-dropping<P>CGI unlike anything you have seen before<P> Like dreaming with your eyes open<P> Revolutionary<P> Cameron's Lawrence of Arabia<P>Game-changer<P>This generation's Stars Wars<P> <P> Truly amazing<P> Prepare to be blown away<P> Breathtaking <P>Like a highly addictive drug that had left my mind yearning for more<P> Can't stop dreaming about it<P> This movie had activated parts of my brain that were previously untouched by conventional, two-dimensional films<P> <P> Somebody was lying...

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 8:56 a.m. CST

    Very good ominus, but tell us how you REALLY feel...

    by Skyway Moaters

    ... about "Avatar" :p <p> On the contrary Marx, I'm passionate about film, and personally think that "Avatar" is a masterpiece. The fact that I've seen it this early on should indicate my enthusiasm. My comment to antonphd was concerning context and perspective - there never was a film, and never will be, that "pleases all the people all the time", not even "Avatar".

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 8:57 a.m. CST

    Huh?

    by DadTimesTwo

    "And let me just add for those critics who have seen it and dismissed it for the most part for all the things AVATAR isn't to see it a second time with fresh eyes and recognize all the things it manages to accomplish quite well."

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 8:58 a.m. CST

    Avatar's Box Office

    by drompter

    Is a simple rule of three. If regular audiences were impressed, to the point they became big BO hits, with WORTHLESS CRAP such as Twilight, New Moon, Transformers 2 and other jewels, with their silly and unispired stories, souless and bland characters and those bloated collections of diarrhea inducing sequences that were their action scenes, just imagine what a movie like Avatar, which despite its imperfections still craps all over 95% of what have passed as entertainment in the last 10 years can do. I saw the movie in a complete packed teather with all kinds of audience, from young to old and it was palpable that everyone had a good time. My worts estimation is US$400 million. Anyone who thinks Avatar will make less than that is simply hallucinating.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 8:58 a.m. CST

    It tried to fuck our eyeballs

    by Sithdan

    ...but couldn't get it up.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 8:59 a.m. CST

    Retarded.

    by we_pray_for_mad_skillz

    "CGI dragons don't look real." <p> Really? <p> That's what you come up with? You should be ashamed of yourself.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 9:01 a.m. CST

    Daring talkbackers not to be impressed = braver than me {g}

    by JasonPratt

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 9:04 a.m. CST

    I love this site for comments like

    by Miyamoto_Musashi

    "That's what you come up with? You should be ashamed of yourself." <p> no one holds back

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 9:06 a.m. CST

    I wasn't really feeling it, tbh.

    by Mostholy

    It looks amazing, so there's that. But the story and dialogue really are hard to swallow at certain points. If anything, it reminded me of PJ's King Kong -- great visual experience and a fun roller coaster...but ultimately marred by lazy writing and bad dialogue.<br /><br/> If it makes my top 10 of the year , it'll just barely sneak in. It's definitely behind In the Loop, Moon, A Serious Man, The Hurt Locker, Coraline, and District 9 right now, and it may fall behind Fantastic Mr. Fox, Inglourious Basterds, and a few others.<br /><br /> FWIW, I love all of Cameron's previous movies except True Lies.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 9:08 a.m. CST

    Decent film, not a masterpiece

    by Gateway5

    Saw the local midnight show a few hours ago and to me, Avatar felt like a film from 1996 but with current day visual effect and animation. Many people compare the story the Dances with Wolves, and that's right, but I also saw a lift from the many historical epics the Dances spawned, like Braveheart and Gladiator (which was the high water mark of the recent historical epic line of films). Another thing, this movie has no sense of humor, it took itself too seriously. Anyway, just a good film, not a masterpiece.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 9:08 a.m. CST

    Speaking of Dance With Wolves...

    by drompter

    It was released almost 20 years ago. That most teens or twenty somethings feel dissapointed that Avatar's story burrows a lot from it is the least of Avatar's marketing department worries.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 9:09 a.m. CST

    Anyone see it in 2D?

    by STLost

    I don't know if I can see it in 3D....so does it still kick butt in regular 2d?

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 9:13 a.m. CST

    Meh

    by Shawn F.

    I wish I could get past how pedestrian the non-visual effects stuff was, but I couldn't.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 9:14 a.m. CST

    Skyway Moaters

    by Marxeffect

    Fair comment! I am just struggling with the thought of people disliking this movie. I left last night feeling quite passionate about how much I enjoyed the experience that I just had (and yes I said experience rather than movie). DRANEM - I would have still loved this if I had watched in in 2D, it wouldn't have taken very much away from it. You tend to forget about the 3D for the most part anyway.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 9:15 a.m. CST

    Aww poor mrdck...

    by Skyway Moaters

    ... and the other haters. "Avatar" is a big success and you just can't STAND it. Your worldview is shattered. Wah wah. Get a fucking life.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 9:17 a.m. CST

    Stephen Lang has always been great

    by cookylamoo

    Ever catch Last "Exit to Brooklyn?" That should have been Lang's breakout film but I guess Jennifer Jason Leigh's little boobs stole the show.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 9:18 a.m. CST

    Miyamoto_Musashi: My Top 4 Films Of The Year

    by Media Messiah

    My top 4 films of the year are: Observe and Report, Avatar, The Hangover, and He's Just Not That Into You. This was the year of the comedy, but Avatar blew its way into the top 4, although it, obviously, is not a comedy, however, so far...I have no top 5, with respect to film.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 9:20 a.m. CST

    Miyamoto_Musashi: PS

    by Media Messiah

    Thank you for your comments on my review. I hope you like/love Avatar. I applauded at the end.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 9:25 a.m. CST

    I found it quite entertaining.

    by Breotan

    Avatar's plot is a hell of a lot better than Star Trek's and you guys creamed your pants over that movie.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 9:26 a.m. CST

    2D

    by Breotan

    I saw it in 2D. It was pretty damned good, visually. Definately worth seeing on a big screen. I'm gonna catch the 3D on Friday.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 9:27 a.m. CST

    Come on ....

    by GINGE_MUPPET

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 9:28 a.m. CST

    ........................

    by GINGE_MUPPET

    That was the most negative review I have read in a long time ..... why try to hide the fact you don't like it???

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 9:29 a.m. CST

    no problems anyone that puts a review on this site has balls

    by Miyamoto_Musashi

    i am referring to the talkbackers, who can't ban ayone, not the people who actually work on this site. <p> Its funny your choice of movies, I was giving my wife crap for her choosing, He's Just Not That Into You in her top 5. Her's is comprised of that, District 9, Okuribito (Departures), Revolutionary Road and Up

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 9:29 a.m. CST

    RighteousBrother: Thank You For Pointing That Out

    by Media Messiah

    The line should have read as follows: <BR><BR>The theme song by Leona Lewis, although sappy...when played-out of context from the film, is actually every bit as good as the Celine Dion theme song from Titanic, in comparison, when heard in proper context--during the closing credits of Avatar. James Horner's score is big and robust in every way you have come to expect from his work, and then some.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 9:32 a.m. CST

    At least the Na'vi

    by I am_NOTREAL

    aren't stupid teddy bears, GEORGE.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 9:39 a.m. CST

    HARY'S REVIEW, EXERPT

    by theycallmemrtibbs

    " The scene when the Na'vi teach Jake about riding a Banshee brought tears to my eyes as it reminded me of my years as a young Na'vi running around carefree on Pandora."

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 9:41 a.m. CST

    Miyamoto_Musashi

    by Media Messiah

    I missed District 9, and Up, is not a favorite of mine, not at all, but He's Just Not That Into You is about the human spirit, where it counts the most, and that is love. Although Up shares that theme also, it becomes sidetracked with silliness and long stretches of boredom. As animated films go, it can't approach the greatness of Happy Feet, from several years back, but I think what your wife related to, concerning Up, was the loyalty within the true love that the old couple had, and that is a beautiful thing, as it means, that you have a wonderful wife--don't let her go, ever!!! You are truly blessed...as she has a good heart, and that is hard to find, trust me, I know!!!

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 9:44 a.m. CST

    mrdck

    by kwisatzhaderach

    The story is soulful and involving. It's the Hero's Journey. JJ tried and fucked it up. Bay and McG don't even know what it is.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 9:46 a.m. CST

    closest we have gotten to a Harry review

    by Miyamoto_Musashi

    I mean its only Harry's site and its only one of the biggest movies of the year, can completely understand why we haen't seen a Harry review yet

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 9:46 a.m. CST

    Good point about star trek

    by knowthyself

    That movie had a plot you could drive a truck through. But it was "different" so nobody picked on it very much. Avatar might be a typical story but at least it probably makes more sense than Spock in an ice cave.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 9:50 a.m. CST

    Yup, it's a recycled plot. I'm OK with it.

    by beane2099

    It's a good plot. Also, the "evil company" partnered with the military thing is like a throughline for most of Cameron's work 'cept Titanic and Piranah II (and maybe True Lies). It was a bit long, but I didn't notice that until it was over. Loved the Pteranodragons, the hammerhead rhinoceri, the land sea horses, the giant trees, the glowy shit. Good stuff. But honestly, I'm not even sure why half the people on this site even go to the movies. I see the same people dog out every movie they see. I'm guessing it's a widespread case of "kick the dog".

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 9:52 a.m. CST

    Unobtanium not as stupid as it sounds

    by JackRabbitSlim

    Just in case any of you care... <p> The mineral Capone refers to is called unobtanium and it is not a Cameron original. When I was at University of Toronto in late 80s, some of the guys in chemistry classes referred to unobtanium as something that was real but far too costly to actually get. An example would be lead that had been molecularly altered into gold, the cost per ounce being vastly more expensive than the resulting gold.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 9:53 a.m. CST

    And its been explained prior

    by JackRabbitSlim

    Ignore previous post

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 9:54 a.m. CST

    I just wish Arnie had been in there, somewhere

    by pokadoo

    ...even CGI Arnie.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 9:57 a.m. CST

    Err...

    by theghostofdonsimpson

    "Perhaps the most useful thing the scientists have developed is the ability to mix human and Na'vi DNA to make Na'vi Avatars that can house the minds of humans. The thinking is that the Na'vi would feel less threatened by creatures that look like them. There's something inherently condescending about that logic, but let's move on." I thought the thinking was that they would actually be able to breathe Pandora's air without dying? But I guess that was just a secondary consideration.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 9:58 a.m. CST

    Hey Mariusz, You Are Dumb Cunt.

    by Spacezilla

    Avatar Is the equivalent to Chinese Democracy? Really? That Cunt, is the highest praise you could have EVER given to Avatar. <P> Chinese DEmocracy is one of the greatest albums ever released by anyone. It is a goddamn masterpiece (No shit). One the hand is you, Dumb Cunt... <P> Now I really can't wait to see Avatar. Got my Tickets for the Muvico Digital 3D tonight. I am listening to If The World right now Dumb Cunt.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 9:58 a.m. CST

    Worst sentence ever

    by Life Proof

    "And let me just add for those critics who have seen it and dismissed it for the most part for all the things AVATAR isn't to see it a second time with fresh eyes and recognize all the things it manages to accomplish quite well." Ridiculous.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 10 a.m. CST

    Cooky - great Lang reference

    by JackRabbitSlim

    Lang will always be to me that pathetic guy in Brooklyn. Tragically underappreciated perf. Icky, but in a wrenchingly moving way.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 10:02 a.m. CST

    About the whole dirivitive thing...

    by tufluc

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 10:02 a.m. CST

    Great review:

    by darth_aig

    http://www.avclub.com/articles/avatar,36459/

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 10:03 a.m. CST

    About the Whole dirivitive thing...

    by tufluc

    O.K. wow this is getting tiresome. I fully agree that there are many aspects of this film that are dirivitive, but comparing it to Star Wars? Jeeze! Look, years ago Bill Moyers did a documentary on Joseph Campbell, the writer of "Hero with a thousand faces", the interview was held at skywalker raanch, and in it they spoke of the archtypes that appear and reappear throughout human history. That there are certain stories, certain types of character's and situations that speak to people on a fundemental level. That "tunes" in on our psyche if you will. Lucas was a student of Campbell, and proudly stated that his ideas were based on emulating these archtypes and concepts. As well as on previous movies that he admired, like the Hidden fortress. This has been done and will be done many times. Cameron is obviously making a story that does once again take on the whole "imperialism (scientific exploitation) bad", "native sovereignty( animism/spirtuality) good" chestnut. Thats just the kind of filmmaker he is. Anyone who has ever watched any of his previous films would know that. What he has done however is to take that often done modern story and wrapped it around an "original" setting, not based on any book, not a sequal or yet another "re-imagining". He has also used a much derided tech-medium (3D) and used it in a way not seen before, with artistry, heart, and real imagination. he has taken all of this and created something truly transporting. Is it shakespear, of course not. But to call it a Star Wars Clone, or Dances with Smurfs, or ferngully in space or any of the other things I've heard people call it is ridiculous. You know what, i take that back. There is a way in which this reminds me of Star Wars. Not since I saw that movie as a child have i felt so delighted afterwards. Not since sitting in a theater as a child had I felt as if I'd actually visited an alien world for a few hours and forgotten I was watching a movie. Dances with wolves never did that. The Star Wars prequals certainly did not. Avatar impressed.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 10:04 a.m. CST

    It also seems to lift Princess Mononoke

    by Demosthenes2

    No?

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 10:13 a.m. CST

    Word down at the LA steam room is that Paul...

    by moonlightdrive

    W. S. Anderson is currently working on a re-imagining of 2008 comedy classic You Don't Mess with the Zohan.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 10:13 a.m. CST

    Harold, Step Up

    by Luscious.868

    Where's a full review and a talk back dedicated to the movie? You're slippin bro ..

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 10:16 a.m. CST

    according to Capone, the cgi dragons are...

    by TheBaxter

    a failure on an epic scale. but he really liked the movie!

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 10:23 a.m. CST

    Wow, some very mixed reviews

    by Abominable Snowcone

    coming in from everywhere. This write-up seems to confirm my suspicion that the movie is very cartoon like, with a borrowed "Dances With" plot--yet so many TBer comments continue to say it "impressed"

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 10:29 a.m. CST

    I saw it in 2D and LOVED it.

    by tradeskilz

    Loved it so much im going to make a day out of it and travel to the nearest city that shows it in 3D. Went to a midday screening so the theater was mostly filled with dead-beat teenagers with no jobs and 90% of those were males. However at the end i heard a couple of teenage girls talk and they raved on about how much they loved it.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 10:34 a.m. CST

    A five hundred million dollar movie with a ten cent plot

    by SmokingRobot

    Sorry, JC, I've had enough liberal propaganda in movies to last me several lifetimes. I'm going to pass on this one. And Kevin Costner should sue you, AND WIN, just like Harlan Ellison sued you AND WON.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 10:35 a.m. CST

    "not just wild animals but the flora and fauna"

    by chronicallydepressedlemming

    What do you think fauna is?

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 10:40 a.m. CST

    Spacezilla

    by DoctorWho?

    I appreciate and respect your love for Chinese Democracy. But best album EVER? <p> May I ask what year you were born?

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 10:41 a.m. CST

    smokingrobot

    by tradeskilz

    I felt the same way you do but after having seen it im converted. If you choose to see the movie as nothing but liberal propaganda and insist on making those connections while watching you will no doubt be annoyed. I however let all that go and decided to have a good time. And i did. The story might be paper thin compared to Memento or whatever but i think it serves the movie adequately. I liked all the caracters and the love story was really good. Hell even the bad guy was fucking awesome. I'd watch a Cameron movie with that guy alone.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 10:47 a.m. CST

    CAMERON SHOULD HAVE MADE PIRAHNA 3-D INSTEAD

    by mrdck

    Then he could have proclaimed "It's the best flying-fish-in-3D-movie ever made! I'm the king of the wooooooorld!!!" *belches*

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 10:53 a.m. CST

    oh before i forget. I saw plenty of wet eyes

    by tradeskilz

    not from proverbial occular intercourse but from summoned emotions from the audience. Proven by the lame attempts at wize-cracking from the teenage boys in the audience who with cracked voices, responding to an emotional state the only way they can. With sarcasm or jokes. (hey you guy two seats left from me, wiping your eyes then laughing nervously at your own wize-crack after an emotional scene is a dead give away)

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 10:59 a.m. CST

    The sory DOES detract from the overall experience.

    by Ironhelix

    If you're ok with the ENTIRE story being lifted from another work, then you have no true appreciation for the craft of film making. The fact that this film has been in development for so long, and STILL has such a weak-ass story, is PROOF that Cameron simply didn't give a fuck about it. The bottom line is that I was supposed to be so blown away by the imagery, that I wouldn't notice that the entire story is a derivative piece of shit. Well sorry, but my imagination is insulted by the thought that AVATAR thinks it can outdo it. This movie is beautiful and entertaining, but nowhere near what it could have been if they had spent more than a week hammering out a plot.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 11 a.m. CST

    Luscious.868

    by ColonelFatheart

    Seconded. Where the fuck is the TalkBack?

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 11:07 a.m. CST

    I'm really looking forward to Avatar but...

    by ufoclub1977

    James Cameron ever wowed me... in the past he always seemed like a follower. It was Speilberg and Lucas that did wowing. Especially Speilberg in terms on consistency. Aliens is a very clever commercial superbowl pop version of Alien, The Abyss was a clever very well directed rehash of the concepts of wow from Close Encounters, Terminator was a rehash of fembots from Bionic Woman, Buck Rogers, Halloween... but very well done with a low brow pop sense... I think Avatar is where he is really going to shine... with his own wows instead of rehashed enhanced wows based on others' pioneering wows.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 11:07 a.m. CST

    above

    by ufoclub1977

    I meant "never" not "ever"

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 11:11 a.m. CST

    Ironhelix

    by tradeskilz

    Yeah any movie geek will demand nothing but perfection from cameron at this point but incase you havent noticed, ALL Cameron films have weak scripts but all of them are still good. The general population (and especially women) will love this. You know those people who doesnt care about the fact that the story is derivative of dances with wolfes or who doesnt care that Giovanni Ribsi plays with his putter in the command central or that the bad guy drinks coffee in his battleship. You know, non anal retentive people. Its a fucking good movie and i enjoyed the hell out of myself for 3 hours which is something i cant say for when i watched 2012 or Transformers 2 even though those movies have awesome sfx also. I bought in to the characters and the love story hook line and sinker and i know the other people wathcing it with me did also. Well fuck, what do you guys know anyway? You faggots with your Harry Potter and Pixar fixations. Fuck you.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 11:17 a.m. CST

    Harry Knowles...Where Are You???

    by Media Messiah

    We demand your review!!!

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 11:23 a.m. CST

    The other thing about the plot that annoys me...

    by FluffyUnbound

    ...above and beyond the Dances With Wolves ripoff bit, is the entire notion that if humanity has interstellar flight we would need to rape the planet of some poor dumb blue schmucks for an energy source. If spaceflight on this kind of scale is possible, we could harvest more of every possible mineral than we could ever use out of the asteroid belt and the Oort cloud. Or the equivalent regions of about a hundred billion other empty star systems. MAYBE I would buy that we want to wipe these guys out to move into their biosphere, but mining? No way. This isn't as big an irritant as the DWW stuff, though, because just about everyone who writes about space travel makes really basic and stupid economics mistakes - but still.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 11:29 a.m. CST

    FluffyUnbound

    by eric haislar

    No your missing the point the material they are mining is insanely valuable. Think if your neighbor had like a billion dollars sitting outside his house. How tempting would it be to just go there and take a couple hundreds. No one would notice.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 11:34 a.m. CST

    The Story

    by Shaner Jedi

    the reason a story like this is still around and still gets used over and over is because people LOVE stories like this. Just like Star Wars. Unoriginal story told in a new way.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 11:34 a.m. CST

    Dances With Wolves

    by PresidentLeprechaun

    I bet if you were to research 1000s of years of human storytelling, you could find different versions of that same story told in different ways. Also, for all the critics complaining about how the story isn't that fresh, when John Carter of Mars comes out, will you be as critical on its story? I mean it was pretty groundbreaking for its time, but it's not all that fresh by today's standards. And why not just write off all traditional classic stories? I mean what's the point of watching Ridley Scott's Robin Hood, I know that story already.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 11:46 a.m. CST

    Mostholy

    by frozen01

    Ouch. I was bored out of my mind watching PJ's King Kong. I'd never checked my watch in a movie theater before and I found myself doing that every five minutes during KK.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 11:49 a.m. CST

    "Dragons aren't real"

    by Kaitain

    Marxeffect: <p> "Capone, do you know why the dragons/banshee's don't look real? Its because dragons are not real!" <p> Well, that's kinda funny, because the warrior bugs in Starship Troopers aren't real, but they LOOK real, whereas the Gungans in The Phantom Menace also aren't real, AND they don't look real. <p> The lighting, weight and movement on the Troopers bugs sells their believability to me, whereas the Gungans look entirely synthetic, like a cartoon drawn from a witness describing an encounter with a claymation creature in horrible make-up.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 11:52 a.m. CST

    Ironhelix

    by Kaitain

    "ALL Cameron films have weak scripts but all of them are still good" <p> The script for The Terminator is not only good, but *very* good. <p> "Aliens" is in no way a weak script, other than being a (quite well-disguised) retread of the original movie.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 12:03 p.m. CST

    erichaislar

    by frozen01

    I think the point of FluffyUnbound's post is that it would cost so much to get that mineral that the "insane value" would evaporate very quickly. Remember, just because we can do something doesn't mean we can do it cheaply. So, to use your analogy, this would be like flying to the moon to get gasoline when you could have just siphoned it from your neighbor's car.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 12:07 p.m. CST

    one thing people forget...

    by inkingeekX

    is that costner wasn't sent to, "tame the indigenous population" he was sent to that fort as one last joke by a suicidal officer. The natives just happened to be the only people around, so he slowly gravitated toward them. At least that's what I came away with. The hero in this film, however, IS purposely sent to spy and get close to the natives.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 12:08 p.m. CST

    whos's to say they hadn't surveyed

    by tradeskilz

    thousands planets before they finally found that precious mineral of sufficient quantity on pandora.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 12:08 p.m. CST

    HUH?

    by corplhicks

    Capone, you wrote this, "I don't have a problem with this, but it made me really ponder where works with this level of special effects fit in the world of film." What are you talking about? Technology evolves, and the ways stories are told evolve. If it's done right, then good. We will stay have our Woody Allen type movies where boy and girl are talking over a coffee in New York, during the winter in a cafe with zero special effects, but if films like this open our eyes up in wonder and tell a story via the metaphor like this then is that really a problem. By the way,do you have a real argument why you feel the fictitious flying creatures didnt' look "real" from a physics standpoint or something like that, because I for one thought they were incredible. Even the "they wouldn't think to look up line" because no one hunts them was priceless.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 12:13 p.m. CST

    frozen01

    by eric haislar

    Of course but in the film the material is so rare and valuable to quote "This is why we're here, because this little gray rock sells for twenty million a kilo." So the cost would be minimal to them.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 12:17 p.m. CST

    Unobtainium is NOT stupid

    by DanielPlainviewOnVacationInBoston

    Only someone who doesn't understand the word thinks it is. It is quite commonly used in science to describe new/unknown or rare materials. I'm not even some weird Avatar fanboy, but to say that the use of "unobtanium" is stupid just shows an astounding lack of knowledge on your part.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 12:24 p.m. CST

    wow

    by areyueffinkiddinme

    You guys used to be so much meaner. What has happened to society if the meanest cunts can't lacerate a bad movie? Watching the trailer, the CG looks like its from 1992. All rubbery and whatnot. I ask you plainly, nerds, what the fuck?

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 12:26 p.m. CST

    Unobtainium and Dances with Wolves

    by corplhicks

    I agree with DanielPlainview's comment. Also, does Capone really think that Cameron would wait 2+ decades then re-make Dances with Wolves. Give me a break. There is so much truth to the concept that history repeats itself that this story will likely be able to be told for millenia to come. it's not dances with wolves, it's Cameron's vision. At the very least, the circumstances by which Jake ends up posing as a na'vi are different. Either way, people who knock this very fine film I suspect are nitpicking. Cameron has made an excellent movie here. Someone on aintitcool wrote it will die in 2 week at box office. I doubt that. I suspect several hundred million dollars of profit. Come on, if you don't like this movie, what DO you like?

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 12:28 p.m. CST

    areyouffinkiddinme

    by corplhicks

    1992 CG??? You're joking right-- try seeing the movie, then talking. Your comments are idiotic. What 1992 movie looked like this exactly?

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 12:28 p.m. CST

    Unobtainium

    by rahtard

    Unobtainium actually exists, it is not as stupid as you think. It is the first trademark and product that Oakley made. Its a rubber compound that gets tacky when wet, and was used to produce their first motorcycle grip and is still used today in ear and nose pieces for their sunglasses. So don't trash Cameron for the name, trash Oakley.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 12:31 p.m. CST

    Anyone Notice..?

    by Hipshot

    Right now, "Avatar" and "Titanic" have exactly the same percentage positive. I'd say Cameron hit it out of the park. Again.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 12:31 p.m. CST

    Oops!

    by Hipshot

    I meant to say "on Rotten Tomatoes"

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 12:34 p.m. CST

    ok so heres the deal

    by beast2121

    since 95% of the people on here post douche things I will as well. 1. Giovanni Ribisi is basically Paul Reiser from Aliens 2. I was rooting for the humans to kick the bitch ass navi's ass. 3. The bad guy was a beast. 4 James Cameron is a liberal who loves the environment, hates the war on iraq, and feels bad for the native americans. 5. the SFX blew my dick off. 6. The Abyss is Cameron's worst film. 7. The movie was groundbreaking but I can see why people don't like it, predictable, cliche, lame ass aliens. 8. The navi are basically a bunch of hippie indians 9. The film is anti corporate america similar to that of T2 and mainly Aliens. 10. I think a lot of the characters were recycled from aliens, which i feel is Cameron's masterpiece. Aka michelle rodriquez, the spanish chick from aliens, paul reiser, the bad guy would have been played by michael biehn im guessing if he was casted. I just wish Cameron WOULD have casted these guys. 11. The people on this site are tools who keep hating just because they want it to fail. 12. James Cameron is still the man. 13. The only question is which vagina would you rather stick your dick in, Navi Ellen Ripley or Human Ellen Ripley???

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 12:34 p.m. CST

    corplhicks

    by areyueffinkiddinme

    The trailer looks like "What Dreams May Come." The rubbery animation of the blue girl jumping on her dragon looks so bad, like Peter Parker hopping rooftops when he first learned he had spidey strength in SpiderMan 1. I said 1992 for dramatic effect. WTF?!?!?!? Am I alone here? The animation looks rubbery in the trailer! Am I blind? I dont think so!

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 12:35 p.m. CST

    It's holding strong at 82%

    by Rectal Blowout

    on both RT and metacritic. After a lot of reviews. There are a lot of great films around that mark. Regardless of what the haters say, the majority of people are very positive about Avatar. And this fits in perfectly with all of JC's other films. They are all around that mark. So if you like JC's films then this is really no different.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 12:38 p.m. CST

    Unobtainium

    by Jared

    I don't think unobtainium is really explained because if its qualities were expounded upon and we find that it's the answer to the galaxy's energy crisis and ends poverty well then it detracts from the evil corpos vs pure nature people story. I didn't expect a nuanced discussion when I walked into the theater and thoroughly enjoyed the film.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 12:40 p.m. CST

    RectalBlowout

    by eric haislar

    Top critics it's 95%.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 12:41 p.m. CST

    beane2099

    by beast2121

    i totally agree, i dont know why some people even write on here since they shit on the movie before it comes out, when the talkback goes up, and then they shit on it after they see it just to try and get their point across. And to the guy talking about chinese democracy...highly underrated CD. I dont think people gave it a chance, its badass

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 12:41 p.m. CST

    I've to say I disagreed with you...

    by GUNHED81

    It's fucking awesome in almost every ways... more likely around 98% of it. the other 2% are... I WANT SOME MORE!!! And the second part, I want to be in hologram room (like STAR TREK) and watch the fucking-awesome AVATAR!!! Yep, thats my other 2% missing from being 100%!

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 12:43 p.m. CST

    I love how liberals ...

    by ColonelFatheart

    ... are slammed for loving the environment. Logic then dictates that conservatives hate the environment. Right? Is that you're getting at, guys? Ok, so let's say, for argument's sake, that accelerated global warming and climate change are natural and not man-made phenomena, that still leaves you guys arguing that pumping poison into the air and water is a good thing. To think otherwise, you'd have to be a "loony liberal fag hippy." Remember: perhaps the greatest voice for conservation (conservation, conservative ... huh?) in the 20th century was Teddy Roosevelt, a Republican president.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 12:43 p.m. CST

    RectalBlowout

    by areyueffinkiddinme

    96 percent from top critics now. That is amazing.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 12:48 p.m. CST

    Colonel

    by Jared

    Liberals aren't slammed for loving the environment. They're slammed for perpetuating an unestablished alarmist position that significant changes in climate are the direct result of human activity. It just smacks of human arrogance in my opinion that we believe we are having such an effect. Cycles of warming and cooling are the norm for this planet.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 12:51 p.m. CST

    Unobtainium

    by Rectal Blowout

    <P> regardless of it being a real term, I've read the wikipedia, it sounds silly and to millions of people that will watch Avatar and hear that name and won't research it will think the same. It sounds stupid. They will think it sounds silly enough to not really exist except just for the movie. So there would be no reason to look it up. </P> <P> Regardless if JC is right or not, people won't know that. May as well be called it "Hardtofindium". </P> <P> I would of called it something else. Like "Brineilium". What does it mean? Nothing, I just made it up in the time it took to write this. But it sounds better and could be considered an element not found on Earth. </P>

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 12:55 p.m. CST

    Storytelling not important? Since when?

    by SirBiatchReturns

    There's a reason you can't just record visuals and put them on screen: BECAUSE YOU NEED A PLOT.<p>It's weird: I'm kinda torn about how I'd like this film to succeed. On one hand, I really want this film to do super well because it's clearly a large scale film. It has a daring vision which isn't trying to sell me toys etc. It's just a guy (Cameron) trying to make the most powerful filmmaking he can. And I really respect that.<p>But on the other hand, if this film succeeds, then people are gonna think: 'story doesn't matter.' Derivative plots bother the shit out of me, so if this does really well, it might be the nail in the coffin for good original ideas and more of CG/Effects heavy work.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 12:55 p.m. CST

    Good glory Hallelujah: I'm back from an orgy!

    by AudaAbuTayi

    Never thought I would try one, being faithful and all but... this wasn't the one-on-one intercourse I was expecting. People's blood was dripping from their sockets to their grins as I left the session and I understood that we all had our optical nerves aroused hard. Wonderment: like Star Wars, like Blade Runner, like 2001... Yeah, though I was a skeptic, I am now one elated fucker. The only thing I didn't like about the experience? The 3D. Truly, I felt it was an obstrusive gimmick despite the fine framing of it all. I want to see this film in 2D now, because it was so detailed and dense that the third dimension was a bit much for one trip. Aside from that, CGI has now reached the best level of optical FX (for the modest price of 500 million dollars but there you have it) and this film is technically flawless. Sure, some people might bitch about the story -Cameron's no Robert Bolt or Charlie Kaufman- Worthington's accent, manichean portrayals of characters, Horner's typical pomp... whatever. Honestly, I couldn't care less. It's like visiting another world and complaining that it's a little too humid for your skin. A week ago, I was hauling my ass across a primary rainforest in the Carribean and I saw the alien counterpart of that forest today. A year ago, I made my last night-dive and I've just been to one in the middle of the afternoon. If you like your epics big and done well, if you like nature documentaries and travelling to other sides of our planet, if you like sci-fi, botany (or even gardening), scuba-diving and you hate Smurfs, Thundercats and Ribisi in your grown-up films, you will love this experience. Not just after you've seeen it once. You will love it twenty years from now. And your kids might not understand half of it but they will be blown away. Enjoy: this is a great Christmas present.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 12:56 p.m. CST

    What top critics have it 95-96%

    by Rectal Blowout

    is it a selected few or from another movie review site? I know Richard Roeper gave it a A- and Ebert liked it, but where is that 95% coming from?

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 12:57 p.m. CST

    RectalBlowout

    by areyueffinkiddinme

    from rottentomatoes.com

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 12:57 p.m. CST

    Tenenbaum

    by ColonelFatheart

    While I obviously agree that warming and cooling cycles are the norm for the planet, data shows that it's been accelerated due in large part because of production of greenhouse gases (and don't go and cite that climategate email bullshit; that was a very small sample and hardly disproves piles of climate science). But again, even if that's not true, why argue against emissions limits or environmental preservation. Go ahead and call it vanity or alarmism, but please at least acknowledge that pollution is wasteful, fatal and destructive. There's a frigging garbage island the size of Texas floating around the Pacific, for Christ's sake! That can't be good for anybody. The problem with the opposition to the liberal environmentalists is that there's hardly a soul in the conservative political establishment that seems willing to act simply out of logic or conscience.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 1 p.m. CST

    SirBiatchReturns

    by eric haislar

    No one has said the story is bad. It's just a familar one that has been told time and time again. Everyone for the most part who has seen it has said it's a very well told story. What is important is not how original the story is but how it is told.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 1:02 p.m. CST

    Gottcha - I see what you mean

    by Rectal Blowout

    thanks.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 1:03 p.m. CST

    RectalBlowout

    by eric haislar

    It basically cut's out any jo blow who has a movie blog and only leaves people Like Ebert.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 1:05 p.m. CST

    The economics of unobtainium

    by FluffyUnbound

    My point is that it wouldn't be valuable in a spacefaring society. Because nothing would be. If we're able to travel from star system to star system on the scale shown in this movie, no mineral of any kind would be scarce. It's a simple matter of the relationship between the amount of minerals in the solar system relative to the size of the population. Add in the other solar systems in our reach at that point and the proportions become even more absurd. And even if unobtainium is some unbelievably rare mineral that only exists in this one place, anything we could possibly use it FOR could just be replaced by something else it's easy to find. They say that it's used for energy - great. No matter how efficient an energy source it is, we could just replace it with an inefficient energy source available in greater quantities. There's probably enough uranium in the solar system for us to build a small asteroid out of the shit if we gathered it all. And that's just one solar system. "Energy crisis" scenarios stop making any sense once we make it out of Earth's gravity well, and don't make any sense again after that until a few billion years from now when the last stellar incubators start getting exhausted.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 1:06 p.m. CST

    Colonel

    by Jared

    I agree pollution is wasteful and energy efficiency is obviously a good thing. I just don't believe that SUVs and industrial emissions are going to end life as we know it. The global warming hysteria has had a chance to make its case and the majority of people just don't buy into it. Polls show it ranks way down the list of things people are worried about. If they truly thought it was a threat it'd be a priority to everyone despite what other shit they had going on in their lives. For God's sake the best and brightest leaders in Copenhagen can't even come to an agreement these past two weeks.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 1:09 p.m. CST

    Don't get me wrong, I'll cut Cameron slack on the unobtainium

    by FluffyUnbound

    ...because as I said, everyone who writes non-hard sci-fi makes the same dumbass mistake. [Strictly speaking, interstellar trade in just about ANYTHING doesn't make any economic sense, for a number of reasons.] I forgave nuBSG for the fact that the military tactics on the show made no sense in the light of the jump technology, so I can forgive AVATAR if the basic maguffin makes no sense.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 1:09 p.m. CST

    DoctorWho?

    by Spacezilla

    1974. I think I said one of. Man when I was 17 and discovered the Beatles, I was obsessed with them and could stop listening to them. Present day I, expecting to hate Chinese Democracy, have fallen absolutely in love with it. I can't go more then a few days before needing to listen to again. I really don't remember being this way about an album before. Not quite like this.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 1:10 p.m. CST

    An important thing to remember about the story...

    by Ballbag

    is that a massive majority of cinema-goers are younger and wont have seen The last Samurai nevermind Dances With Wolves! Im talking my 14 year old daughter to see it on Sunday in 3D and I already know that she will find the visuals AND the story completely spellbinding. Much of this films audience will be the same.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 1:10 p.m. CST

    Either see it in 3D or don't worry about it.

    by hallmitchell

    Don't wait for DVD or Blu Ray or 2D.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 1:11 p.m. CST

    Uh

    by Spacezilla

    Correction "I think I said one of. Man when I was 17 and discovered the Beatles, I was obsessed with them and could NOT stop listening to them"

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 1:12 p.m. CST

    Colonel Fatheart

    by Nirgaul

    It doesn't logically follow that conservatives hate the environment because liberals love it. Those political ideologies aren't necessarily opposites when it comes to sentiment, rather implementation. But your post was clearly an emotional one, so I'm glad you got that out of your system.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 1:15 p.m. CST

    RectalBlowout

    by skimn

    I just read a review that mentioned unobtainium, and I thought the exact same thing. What? Couldn't call it "werealloutofite"? Cantgetchium?<p>But what does it matter. I'm getting my tickets for this weekends IMAX. And although it won't do Titanic or TBK business, I'll bet just as Titanic did repeat business with teenage and young women, and TDK did the same with the comic-con crowd, watch the stoners return time and time again for this. Hell, I did it the summer of Star Wars.."Whddya wanna do...(toookke)..hey, lets go see Star Wars...Yea!!"

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 1:21 p.m. CST

    What ever energy used

    by Rectal Blowout

    <P> to get to the closest star system in a matter of years would make sense to use it on Earth for an energy source. It's another silly concept. And wars wouldn't even be war with that type of technology. </P>

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 1:23 p.m. CST

    Looking Forwards

    by Walter_Burns

    Am looking forwards to this one - not had a chance to see it yet but should be able to in the next week. Appreciate that the plot etc may not be 100% original - but it soundls like its still considerably better than we get in the vast majority of FX blockbusters. As long as the internal logic doen't totally break down, and the film looks stunning - I'm there. From all I've seen/read so far it looks like this will deliver - and then some.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 1:28 p.m. CST

    Watching this movie last night...

    by Rocco Curioso

    was like being a child all over again, waking up on Christmas morning. Gazing out the window to see the snow falling, gleeful and filled with anticipation of the best kind, and racing downstairs to see what presents were under the tree.<P>I asked Uncle Jimbo for Santa to bring me a G.I. Joe with Kung Fu Grip. Instead I got a Cabbage Patch Kid dressed as a G.I. Joe. Imagine my profound disappointment.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 1:37 p.m. CST

    the special effects were 95% perfect

    by Magic Rat

    the only misses were the light tree and those six-legged dog things. But overall it was an excellent, excellent film.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 1:40 p.m. CST

    it was

    by sokitome

    cheezy at points, very predictable, and simple.....I LOVED EVERY FUCKING MINUTE OF IT... i don't know why.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 1:45 p.m. CST

    The accusation was that it is based on

    by Dingbatty

    Poul Anderson's "Call Me Joe." See here for reference:<p> http://tinyurl.com/yzbfect<p>So how much is it like that?

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 1:49 p.m. CST

    sokitome

    by eric haislar

    Best review i have seen all day.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 2:04 p.m. CST

    The Avatar Apologists

    by Castlemonster

    are truly pathetic to behold. Was nothing learned from the prequel fiasco? No wonder Hollywood spews out such mindless garbage nowadays. They have an army of proudly moronic zombie-groupie enablers with the cinematic standards of a six year old.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 2:12 p.m. CST

    I'm just glad that the AGW movement

    by Castlemonster

    is inevitably crashing down into a great flaming heap of wreckage in Dopenhagen. I was half afraid I wouldn't live to see the day because of the relentless idiocy of the 52 percenters. Now if the left-wing idiots would all move into dome cities like in Logan's run and leave the sane humans to savor their existence in peace. They're basically living in an echo-chamber, already.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 2:13 p.m. CST

    The whole theater laughed

    by jdhasson

    at Jake and Natiyra's moment at the end when she's holding him.

  • Spielberg called "Avatar" "the most evocative and amazing science-fiction movie since 'Star Wars.'"

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 2:22 p.m. CST

    Let me see if i get this straight:

    by AsimovLives

    Everybody at AICN, and i mean EVERYBODY, loved the shit out of Jar Jar Abrams's SHIT TREK, and they did their fucking best to dismiss or even ignore any faults the movie had.<br><br>Meanwhile, came AVATAR, and what we get so far is one totally positive review (Massawurm), one mixed (Capone) and one which is for all porposes a negative review (Mr Beaks.<br><br>Am i supposed to infer from this that Jar Jar Abrams's RETARD TREK is a better movie then AVATAR? Is that it? Is that what AICN is telling?<br>And can i be skeptical about that? Can i just not buy into that at all?

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 2:24 p.m. CST

    Jar Jar Binks was a "gamechanger" too...hmm

    by Metropolis

    Just because something is technologically new like AVATAR's effects, doesn't mean it isn't capable of letting you down. Saw it at midnight, both cinemas were packed, got my popcorn and iced cold coca cola, and waited about an hour for it to start. There was an odd energy going on within the theatre, as the crowd was waiting for the show to begin, as people weren't sure how to feel. At least with Batman, or Transformers (no matter how crappy), there is a tangible expectation where fans "hoot" and "holler" getting ready for the curtains to open, but with AVATAR, everyone seemed to be just waiting with a kind of "I heard it's supposed to be the best CGI ever and that it cost the most ever and that it will probably be the best ever" mentality, but no one's really sure what the fuck they're about to see. I live in Vancouver Canada, and funny enough the stereotype of Vancouverites being the North American version of Amsterdamtonians is very true. Every second person that passed me as they took to their seats reaked of pot smoke. I guess maybe this film has found an audience with drug users hoping for a "trip". I'm not a drug user, but I swear, after seeing Ripley fight the Alien Queen in Aliens, I felt like I was on some kind of "movie" drug where amazing scenes in great films last with me forever and take me to a natural "high" that only the great film moments can. Han using the lightsaber to cut open the Taun Taun, Ash's boomstick, The Predator fighting Arnie hand-to-hand, Gwyneth's head in the box, and nothing... I mean NOTHING even comes close to that in AVATAR. The characters are okay, but that's not good enough, the story's worst atribute is that it is incredibly predictible. I heard Jack Nicholson once say that the best thing he can ever experience when working on a set is to "be surprised", and I think the same can be said of a movie watching experience. District 9 surprised me, it was badass, and went where I didn't expect it to, like a good story does, hell...like a good joke does even. It's predictibility that's the death of this film for me. I don;t really care how great the CG looks. Jar Jar looked pretty good when Phantom Menace came out, but that didn't redeem him of the film for me. Hype is truly a killer of films, it's a fact, the days of seeing a film without 5 trailers ruining it for you are over unless you live in a cave. I remember seeing Labyrinth at the theater as a kid knowing nothing about it, and it blew my fucking mind! People need to get back to the honest side of the film-going experience. I find that there's a good portion of uneducated film goers who think a movie's good based on the fact that the trailer says it is, and that's total bullshit. You should be an empty vessel when you go into a film, with as little expectation as possible, ready for wherever it's going to take you. I tell my friends all the time that you can't expect Citizen Kane from Duce Bigalow and vice versa, but that it doesn't mean you can't enjoy both. AVATAR has been ringing in my ears for many years now, a mystery shrouded in James Cameron's secret bubble, and at the end of the day all I wanted was a good film that game me those feelings that the Alien Queen battle, or the crazy long free dive Ed Harris did in The Abyss (which in my opinion was Jame's Cameron's masterpiece, his 2001 if you will), but AVATAR failed to do so. Good films have me thinking about them far after the film is over, and only hours later AVATAR has been wiped from my memory. I even love having spectacle films to show off on blu ray and I don't think I'd even want to have AVATAR in my collection when it comes out. There are many fantastic achievements that this film attain with no holds barred, but I just can say that I think AVATAR is a good film. I admit I'm tough on films, but I do have a strict rule that every film must be judged for what it is. I knew roughly what I was getting into, and didn't leave satisfied. Upsetting. Don't buy into hype, see every film with an open mind, and be true with your gut feelings, it's the only way films will continue to be made that inspire us.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 2:25 p.m. CST

    And fuck's sake, Capone, you don't get the Unobtanium reference?

    by AsimovLives

    What the hell, is withn this AICN so-called SF fans? Everybody at AICN makes this claims they are Sf fans,a nd yet they act all upty and anoyed with the "unobtanium" reference? I mean, i'm supposed to conclude they never once heard of it? What kind of Sf fan wouldn't? What kind of Sf are this people? Do this people think that SF starts and ends with STAR WARS, with some digression to 2001 for sight scenery? What the hell, dudes! Et tu, Capone? I expected better from you, man. I'm disapointed.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 2:26 p.m. CST

    Rectal blowout

    by tradeskilz

    "What ever energy used to get to the closest star system in a matter of years would make sense to use it on Earth for an energy source. It's another silly concept. And wars wouldn't even be war with that type of technology." Maybe the energy source they use in those interstellar ships are the very thing they want to mine on pandora? You see? You guys are only focusing onthe negative and finding logic flaws etc which in itself is just lame in a soft sci/fi movie. I know all the geeks want a hard fact sci/fi but come on, do you really think the general audience want to hear about engineering scematics, alcubier drives and xeno evolutionary theory etc?

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 2:26 p.m. CST

    Yeah, but how does Avatar play in 2-D?

    by Orbots Commander

    My guess? It's a 'meh' sci-fi actioner in plain old 2D. And at the end of the day that's what you should determine the movie's quality on, not how immersive the 3D fauna are. <p> Eventually, after its theatrical run, it'll be a DVD and Blu-Ray release. Without its Imax and 3D crutches, I see a bargain bin future for Avatar.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 2:31 p.m. CST

    Will we get a prequel with Neytiri as a kid?

    by Dingbatty

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 2:47 p.m. CST

    tradeskilz

    by AsimovLives

    No, the geeks don't want hard-SF. If thety did, they wouldn't the the bunch of Star Wars nerds they are. nor would they had been so forgiving of Jar Jar Abrams's BULLSHIT TREK.<br><br>The truth of the matter is that with al this discussions, the majority of the so-called SF geeks here are revealing to be pretty ignorant on the genre they are supposed to be fans. and in all their diatribels they have revealed to be anythign but enthusiasts of hard-SF. Bet most of this people get bored watching 2001, and don't think that MOON is all that too much, and boring too, not enough action.<br><br>The more and mroe i read about the geeks' reaction about AVATAR, and speacilly the unobtanium mcguffin, i realsie how most of this so-called Sf fans are anything but. For SF fans, they are incredibly ignorant of the genre. I can't call them SF fans at all. Not on the genre as a whole, no i can't.<br><br>If AVATAR has brough something positiv,e is tyhe easy ability to detect and identify who are the real SF fans and the posseurs. and one of the litmus tests is easy: those who know what unbotanium is in regard to SF and engeneering,a nhd those who never heard about it and complain. That's how you seperate the real Sf fans from the ones who are in name only.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 2:54 p.m. CST

    How to improve Avatar

    by DufusyteII

    Jake needed to be wasting away and getting sicker and weaker as he neglects his "real life" and chooses to live more in his avatar. This was hinted at, but it should have been dramatic so that by the time his lover Neytiri finds his real body in the trailer (or whatever it was), she sees just a shriveled weak wasted worm of a man, and nothing like the strong warrior she fell in love with. And then, in that context, she looks upon him and says, "I see you!" and she embraces him with love because she has come to love the spirit of the man, and not just his warrior prowess. And then have him near death at the end, but the tree does its magic and then you have a real happy ending, both a tragedy (his real body dies from neglect) and hope (rebirth at the tree). This would give the film and the love story much more needed punch.<p><p>Otherwise, as it stands, I did not believe the love story. Neytiri seems to just go for the strongest warrior, and that is very superficial on her part. As soon as Jake falls on hard times (suspected as a betrayer) she dumps him. And then as soon as he swoops in on the biggest bird, she loves him again. She is like a girl who goes for whoever is driving the snazziest car. That is just superficial, and I wanted to see her go beyond that, and love Jake even as a worm (see above). That would have been growth in her character; sad it never happened.<p><p>Other gripe is that Cameron likes his women to be Rambo. Ok, you have one female rambo per movie (e.g. Sarah Connor), but in Avatar *every* woman is rambo: Neytiri, Rodrigez, and Ripley. The film needed someone to play a girl (not a Xena). So I was hoping Neytiri would become somewhat more feminine (in the traditional sense). Even the love scene was cut short. The actress voicing Neytiri seemed to be all venon, and 99% of her lines are spat out. So this hurt the love story aspect, since she was a spitting cat and never became a cuddly cat. And for most humans, it's all about the love story, cf. Titanic, which remains Cameron's greatest triumph, and my favorite.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 2:56 p.m. CST

    As epic as this film might seem to some...

    by LastOfTheV8Interceptors

    ... I think when John Carter eventually gets here it's gonna one-up the crap outta Avatar in technological achievement and story. Just speculation at this point because I haven't actually seen Avatar yet and I haven't seen any of PIXAR's John Carter stuff either ...just a strong gut feeling I get. Regardless if Avatar fails or succeeds as a complete film, I can't help but think that it will ultimately succeed at raising the bar for movies from a visual standpoint (for people willing to spend that kinda money anyway.)

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 3:15 p.m. CST

    tradeskilz

    by FluffyUnbound

    Actually, ordinarily I wouldn't expect hard sci-fi and am very, VERY willing to tolerate logic flaws in the pursuit of a good story [I was a huge nuBSG fan despite the fact that the story set-up makes no sense in light of the core technology used], but this case is a little different because of Cameron's social and political commentary. Basically he's saying, "Western Man is so depraved that even if he makes it into space, he'll rape the wilderness and kill the aborigines all over again, because technology is evil and capitalism is evil and we all need to merge our brains with Nature like the noble Navi" or whatever. And that message is significantly undercut if the TRUTH is that if the end result of western technological development is to turn us into a spacefaring species, that many types of scarcity will end and the kind of conflict depicted in this film will become impossible because it won't make any economic or political sense.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 3:20 p.m. CST

    DufusyteII

    by AsimovLives

    I guess you wanted AVATAR to be more dramatic... even mroe melodramatic, in a sense. Your ideas are not bad, though.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 3:24 p.m. CST

    DufusyteII

    by tradeskilz

    You are right, that would have been a better love story element. Also i must admit that your analysis does sway me a little but ultimately it didnt bother me while watching it which is what counts. Repeat viewings will tell if you are right.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 3:24 p.m. CST

    Lol, do you not understand storytelling

    by TiberiusThor

    Sorry to say this but you have done how many reviews???! What story is fuckin original, we have been telling stories through religion, folktales,music you name it since the dawn of human existense. We tell the same story over and over, pasted down generation to generation, really if some of you don't get it you are all fucked to wander in ignorance for all time. Take some time and think of stories you read, books, comics, all about love, greed, revenge etc.,music all copied country songs done in rap, rock n roll song done in country. Some people can tell the same story better than others, and I believe Cameron has. My 10 cents.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 3:24 p.m. CST

    Spacezilla, you're a douche...

    by Mariusz

    I'm not as offended by you calling me a "cunt" as I am by your mere ignorance in thinking Chinese Democrazy (that's what I call it, btw) is one of the greatest albums of all time! You are completely INSANE and need to further your music education by taking a music appreciation course at your local college, my friend! I love (the REAL) G N' R as much as the next guy, but you need to revisit their older catalogue and rethink your retarded stance on Chinese Democrazy. You have zero taste in music which further enforces what I think of you for liking Avatar.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 3:25 p.m. CST

    How to improve Avatar more: Jake

    by DufusyteII

    It's all about the characters, and the character I sympathized the most with was the military dude Quaritch: a fatherly figure trying to protect his people and do his job. You can tell he has a simple mind and does not grasp the treehugger persoective, but you can forgive him that since he is not a man of great enlightenment. You can't fault him for lacking a higher level of consciousness to tune in with the trees. He's meat and potatoes, and it's kind of sad to see him go.<p><p> Meanwhile the girl Neytiri seemed superficial as noted above, so I didn't really like her, and she is not the kind of girl/character I would ever fall in love with. <p><p> Jake was kind of equivocal since he seemed to be playing both sides, and you get the feeling that if the Marines had beat the Na'vi, then he would have quickly assimilated back into human society. He is duplicitous, and when he gets caught on tape smashing the video cameras, you know he wished he could have remained sneaky, and he would have prefered to have not been outed. So he was very comfortable playing both sides, (which makes him a despicable character) and he was embarrassed to be outed. I would have prefered him to take a stand, rather than been caught on tape to his chagrin. I would have liked him to be wasting away (see above) and then get into a shoving match with Quaritch, which would have shown his courage to take a stand, but it would simultaneously been pathetic since he was a wheel bound skeleton, and then later in the final man to man fight have him enter into a shoving match again with Quaritch, but this time in his avatar body, where the tables are turned. So anyway, the Jake character was kind of spineless, and Quaritch's summary of him is true: he found "local tail" and went with it. In a sense Jake is as superficial as Neytiri: they both side with whoever is winning, with whoever is driving the biggest car, and whoever is paying out the most.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 3:27 p.m. CST

    Cameron NEEDS dialogue lessons from Tarantino

    by Mariusz

    Just a thought...

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 3:33 p.m. CST

    AsimovLives, Star Trek

    by SirBiatchReturns

    was shit

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 3:35 p.m. CST

    To those who have seen it...

    by FluffyUnbound

    ...other than having legs and the girl, what sells the protagonist on the Navi? What is it about their society that he comes to admire, and how is it shown on screen? That was the part of LAST SAMURAI that I actually thought was better done than DANCES WITH WOLVES - during the time spent in the Japanese village, it was completely plausible to me that Tom Cruise was blown away by the society he encountered there, while in DWW we're just sort of supposed to assume that being an Indian is great. How is that part of the story handled in this one?

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 3:45 p.m. CST

    SirBiatchReturns

    by AsimovLives

    A man of my own kind. And your nick is hillarious. I almost coughed a lung laughing. Good job.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 3:46 p.m. CST

    Were any Scenes shot with the IMAX Cam???

    by JeanGrey_X23_lesboSex

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 3:48 p.m. CST

    eustisclay

    by AsimovLives

    That's because Close encounters is a real SF movie, while Star Wars is more of a fantasy movie that's just set in space.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 3:49 p.m. CST

    I don't think so

    by Rectal Blowout

    regarding using IMAX cameras.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 3:51 p.m. CST

    This will make massive coin

    by Happyfat73

    My guess is it'll slot somewhere just behind the Dark Knight at #3 (let's not forget that Dark Knight's numbers had just as much to do with the demise of Mr Ledger, coupled with his amazing performance as with the film's quality)... </p> This will beat Twilight, though. It has more universal appeal... and those who dismiss that because the 12 year old girls won't go for the repeat viewings... well... the 12 year old BOYS are gonna eat this shit up and scream for more. I wish I was 12 again... heck, Avatar made me feel 12 again.</p> Admittedly though, I', a sucker for big honking epics with big hearts and eye-fuckery. Whatever you think of Avatar's plot... you can't deny the epicness of its epictude.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 3:59 p.m. CST

    FluffyUnbound

    by Happyfat73

    To address your question...*mild spoiler* ...in Avatar, Jake "goes native" partly for the reasons you mentioned- the legs and the girl - but he also undergoes the Na'vi rites of manhood and actually becomes one of the tribe.</p> Now, I actually didn't have any problems with Jake's motivations - he's got some of the most honest motivations in the film. If I had a problem with character motivations - it was with how well the Na'vi accepted Jake into the tribe - when they meet him, they perceive the Avatar's as unnatural - like demons. Their changing opinion of him is kind of glossed over, except as manifested by Neytiri's affection. Then again, he DOES do something that impresses the fuck out of them, which I won't spoil.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 4:09 p.m. CST

    The purpose of the avatar....

    by REVENGE_of_FETT

    Is not to console the Na'Vi because they look like them. It's because only the Na'Vi physiology can SURVIVE on Pandora. Shit I haven't even seen the fuckin' movie yet and I know that!

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 4:45 p.m. CST

    The Navi lose.....right?

    by Onin Solstice

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 4:56 p.m. CST

    Onin Solstice

    by AsimovLives

    No, the Na'vi win. Thouigh Cameron said he had more ideas to expand the whole AVATAR saga to a 3 movies saga. THus, a sequel could be a sort of revenge of the humans, which would return to wreck vengence and hunt down and kill off all the na'vis once and for all, and the humans who sided with them.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 5:02 p.m. CST

    What happened to you Quint?

    by the_shogun_gunslinger

    You used to be someone I could trust.. <P> Saw it at midnight last night and loved it. I knew Cameron would show all the "Bays" of the world how REAL action is done, but damn I'm still shocked as to how immersive this movie was. Pandora was like a living breathing world and I could not for the life of me dicerne what was real and CG 99% of the time. The 3D depth of field was brilliant and a refreshing change from the usual point-a-knife-at-the-audience nonsense lesser directors are so fond of doing. <P> Can't believe Sam Worthington actually pulled it off. After T4 I was worried about Avatar... I mean, jesus he was AWFUL... but leave it to Cameron to actually get a real impressive performance from him (both in AND out of his avatar body) <P> Bottom line, loved it and I'll see it again. As for the "dragons" not looking "real"... seriously Quint... get your fucking eyes checked.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 5:04 p.m. CST

    AsimovLives

    by the_shogun_gunslinger

    Seriously? Did you just tell post the end of the film THE DAY IT WAS RELEASED??!?! <p> WTF IS WRONG W/ FUCKHEADS LIKE YOU?

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 5:24 p.m. CST

    the_shogun_gunslinger

    by AsimovLives

    Dude, i haven't seen the movie yet. But D'UUHHHH!! You expected a different ending? The ending of the movie is out for quite a while already. Deal with it.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 5:25 p.m. CST

    Fluffy...(and beware of spoilers here)

    by BASEMENT_CHEETOH_EATER

    Beware: Some spoilers are used to answer you. It's a bit weak here as well but it's his love for Neytiri that seals the deal. His 'love affair' with their culture and this she-warrior (shaman) occur in about 3 months (his assigned time with the Na'vi); it's done too hastily so you won't fully buy it - it holds about the same intellectual realism as Dances with Wolves (and far less than Last Samurai). The fact that he's going to be given new legs by the military for his service negates his legs being a motivation. It was a bit of a weak spot (one of a few).

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 5:27 p.m. CST

    Stephen Lang HAS always been great

    by CherryValance

    but never that hot. What happened there? Even my mom was like "didn't he used to look nerdy?" lol</p> <p>(I didn't read through this talkback yet. I'll go back as soon I post this.) Early on in this I started questioning the casting of the leads. I wasn't feelin' it, so to speak, and I put that on them. I didn't like Saldana at all and while Worthington seems okay in general, he wasn't drawing me in. I determined that my problem was that neither of them were fabulous enough for me. And then I started thinking about why, with all the actors available to him, Cameron would chose these two. I never came up with a good answer and it bugged me for most of the film. Because I felt as though it was disconnecting me from the story. And the fact that everyone else and everything else around them was so spectacular really made it puzzling to me.</p> <p>The story, I think I made excuses for. I mean we can watch Chosen One after Chosen One and if there is enough different about the story, it can be great. So the fact that it's the same raping of the native lands for some resource story shouldn't be a problem if it's done right. I agree about that. So when I didn't care, I blamed the casting for why I wasn't connecting with the Nav'i but maybe there wasn't enough in the story. Overall I just feel bad because there is just so much work in this thing. And what he has achieved is fantastic but I know I left that theater conflicted about what I was even going to say to people about it. It's like I don't want to tattle that it's not that wonderful.</p>

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 5:28 p.m. CST

    And Shogun...on the dragons...(and the review)

    by BASEMENT_CHEETOH_EATER

    This is Capone's review...not Quint's. As far as the dragons..I agree with him on the large red one (which wasn't rendered as well as the smaller green blue variety). They didn't distract me...and to be fair, I felt they were rendered better than the stilted chess-piece looking horses which showed little life. They were probably my biggest issue with the otherwise great CGI.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 5:30 p.m. CST

    Cherry,,,

    by BASEMENT_CHEETOH_EATER

    (this is ScottinDC by the way)...I completely agree about the casting of Worthington - he lacked charisma in an almost supernatural manner. And it became a distraction throughout the film (and basically nullified the emotional impact of the last third). Makes me worry he'll ruin Clash of the Titans too. The guy is simply dull.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 5:37 p.m. CST

    Happyfat73

    by Castlemonster

    Right, well, none of those other movies were 15 years in the making. So that would mean Avatar not being nearly as successful. The return on a stupid sausage-factory Will Ferrel movie would dwarf it. If Camoron doesn't kick ass on all of them, Avatard can be only be said to be an abysmal failure. Camoron probably just threw the last 10+ years of his life away for a disposable epic. And now he'll always be surpassed by other directors that learned from his mistakes, as well as his hard-earned innovations.<p>Of course, he'll be a rich left-wing bastard for the rest of his life, anyway....

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 5:55 p.m. CST

    Snarky ... that's because it's not a great film

    by BASEMENT_CHEETOH_EATER

    ...merely a good one. It's entertaining but hollow...it's like a chocolate easter rabbit. Delicious but totally hollow inside. And Worthington did nothing to warrant being a leading man. He's dull...just very very dull.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 5:59 p.m. CST

    Castlemonster

    by Happyfat73

    You have a valid point. I think, though, that Avatar feels like a film that took 10+ years to make... it feels like something that had blood, sweat and tears poured into it (production-wise, anyway, the script was simple and effective but very familiar)</p> I think that passion from the creator and crew shows through and does separate it from soulless product, like Transformers 2 and GI Joe. LOTR was like that too - the dedication that came from every department shines through.</p> Films are like alchemy. I think Abrams' Star Trek was a really great, fun film - it had some of the most ridiculous contrivances and plot holes I've ever seen - but it succeeded on the chemistry of the cast and the confidence of the filmmaking and I loved it despite its flaws.</p> Similarly, I think Avatar has a sense of that alchemy about it - the sheer mastery of craft on display (and the heart on its sleeve) transcends the pedestrian plotting and broadly-drawn characters. I can see the film's flaws, but they are not nearly enough to affect my enjoyment. Like I said earlier though, I am a sucker for epics with heart, and this film delivers on that in spades.</p> Plus, you shouldn't dismiss the raw power of the visual magnificence on display. Cameron's scripts may be unsophisticated, but his understanding of the visual language of action cinema is almost peerless.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 6:02 p.m. CST

    GREAT point zinc_chameleon

    by Waka_Flocka_Flame

    FLOCKA!!!

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 6:05 p.m. CST

    it

    by Maniaq

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 6:07 p.m. CST

    it's NOT Dances with Wolves!

    by Maniaq

    there's no fucking SCIENCE TEAM in Dances with Wolves - it shares only the most SUPERFICIAL resemblance to that film... <p> somebody said Pocahontas - I haven't seen that one, so maybe?

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 6:12 p.m. CST

    The problem is it was 15 years in the making.

    by ReportAbuse

    That might be a good thing from the technical standpoint but a bad thing from the storytelling standpoint. The technology might finally have caught up with Cameron's vision, but his vision didn't evolve past its original outline. Why should I be expected to look past clunky, lame storytelling and weak characterizations when that is the EASIEST thing to fix ... as easy as me typing these words. That's the sort of thing you fix in preproduction and all it takes is letting better writers do some work on it. The story was lame and trite when Cameron first wrote it and what excuse does he have for not improving it in all that time? I don't want to hear that it was aimed deliberately at the 14-18 year old demographic because the fact is I don't particularly want to sit in a theater surrounded by those smelly kids thanks very much. Okay, it makes a fine demo reel for what the future of 3D cgi could look like -- but then UP and CORALINE were already more impressive than this even with their p.c. (pre-Cameron) technology. I can imagine the next BATMAN installment with Gotham City looking as good as Pandora looked and now we're talking something that really would be exciting to look forward to and it would actually work on more than just the raw visual level.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 6:13 p.m. CST

    Harry might as well...

    by Mariusz

    ... post a pic of him sucking Cameron's cock 'cause that's what his "review" will amount to.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 6:16 p.m. CST

    Maniaq...

    by BASEMENT_CHEETOH_EATER

    Really? I mean...really? A military person spends time with a native people, falls in love with one of their kind, learns their ways and fights on their side (with most of them using native primitive weaponry while he uses a gun)...umm need I go on? It's ridiculous to call it superficial. That's so intellectually dishonest. Hell, it even lifted the "warrior brother who at firsts hates him but then fights at his side". I mean..let's be reasonable...the similarities are NOT superficial merely because some scientists and mechs appear. The narrative was virtually identical.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 6:16 p.m. CST

    "Plus, you shouldn't dismiss the raw power of the visual magnifi

    by Castlemonster

    Roger that. And I was mixed about Star Trek, as well. I'd long thought a reboot could be great and the look of the film didn't disappoint me but I hated some of the ideas--even though I think some people's obsession with the sanctity of the "canon" is completely absurd. I talked to my good friend yesterday, who saw it for the first time with his family, and the stuff he said kind of lightened my attitude about it. He had to explain everything to his girlfriend and her kids, who somehow went through their lives without seeing STTOS. And it occurred to me that I might have enjoyed it more if I'd had the opportunity to see it sort of through the eyes of someone who was unfamiliar with the original. Still, it has a few points that are weak to me no matter what. I wish they could have brought the lead characters together over the course of a couple more movies rather than slapping them together so hastily and implausibly.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 6:18 p.m. CST

    Even the military reading his log....

    by BASEMENT_CHEETOH_EATER

    In Dances with Wolves, they find evidence of his going "native" in his diary...in Avatar its his "video diary". Swap paper for bytes and it's, yet again, the SAME PLOT DEVICES. I enjoyed the movie..but let's not pretend it wasn't derivative and unoriginal.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 6:36 p.m. CST

    Avatar is just the next generation version of Ep 1: TPM

    by Alfie Boy

    Tell me how it differs from the Gungan's battle with the Trade Federation's Droid Army? This flick is shit.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 6:57 p.m. CST

    Gussied up Furry Fanfic

    by GhostDad

    I can't wait for all the deviantart pics of Na'vi with 9 penises.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 7:05 p.m. CST

    You Know What I'd Love...

    by mcclaneriggs

    I'd love it if Aintitcool got a team of editors to clean up these damn reviews so we don't have to stumble over sentences like, "Any frankly, watched a group of Na'vi flying around..." The reader reviews are one thing but when the roster of regular "writers" on the site turn out shit like this, it simply undermines the authority of the site and indicates that while newsprint dies, the web is far from there to pick up the slack. These essays, reviews could be around forever. So it would be nice if generations to come didn't think we were a bunch of semi-literate dopes. The future of journalism is here. So sites like this and the people who run them need to step up the game to meet it.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 7:13 p.m. CST

    Alfie Boy

    by Happyfat73

    It differs because the stakes are clear and everything in Avatar leads logically (if simply) to the final battle... the Gungan battle in Episode 1... well... it is preceded by zero narrative logic, there is no sense of what is at stake, and we're not quite sure what motivates any of the characters.</p> In fact, the narrative issues with TPM are pretty much the exact opposite of Avatar's narrative flaws. Avatar is simplistic, nearly to the point of being pure archetype, whereas TPM is so convoluted and illogical, that it really becomes just sound and noise with no meaning. Savvy?

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 7:20 p.m. CST

    Yes, areyueffinkiddinme, you are blind...

    by Skyway Moaters

    ... and dumb as a rock too.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 7:23 p.m. CST

    Sorry, no savvy.

    by Alfie Boy

    Both have dopey story lines, and are testaments to the visual technology of their respective times. Ep. 1 had somewhere to go. Avatar doesn't. Kemo-savvy? :)

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 7:51 p.m. CST

    Alfie, if that's your take...

    by Happyfat73

    ... then it's as valid as anyone else's opinion. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.</p> We'll have to agree to disagree though, because I found the convolution of TPM's plot to be an insurmountable barrier to engaging with the film - it was an immediate disappointment to me.</p> Avatar, however, was able to engage me with a simple story, well told, and carry me with it for just under 3 hours. I can see the flaws in the script, but they weren't enough to scuttle it for me (unlike dreck like TF2, which, like TPM, was incomprehensible and had no narrative logic or momentum).</p> Ultimately, engagement is a very personal thing - you either engage or you don't. I engaged and had a thoroughly excellent time at the movies. Others didn't. The world keeps turnin'.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 8:03 p.m. CST

    This movie plain SUCKS...

    by Mariusz

    Get over it, people. Move on with your lives. 'Nuff said.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 8:11 p.m. CST

    Have you seen it Mariusz?

    by Skyway Moaters

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 8:18 p.m. CST

    ...impressed.

    by jameskpolk

    I love the last line of the review, where we are challenged not to be "impressed" by the spectacle and the imagery of the film.<br><br>He spent what 800 million dollars on this. It damn well better be visually impressive. Why couldn't Cameron have shaken out a dollar or two for an improved script while he was at it?

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 9:19 p.m. CST

    Of course, I saw it, Skyway Moaters!

    by Mariusz

    Check one of the first posts on the thread. Saw it at midnight at The Arclight in Hollywood.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 9:26 p.m. CST

    Absolutely! And wasn't TF2 Uber-Dreck!

    by Alfie Boy

    They should do a Phantom cut of the TF movies. The sum total of watchable material from both films wouldn't fill the equivalent of a 12 minute Castle Super-8 roll and wouldn't include 1 human performer!

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 10:37 p.m. CST

    The movie is a ride. Go see it.

    by snakecharmer

    Don't listen to the haters. The spectacle is on another level.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 10:49 p.m. CST

    let

    by Gidney

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 10:49 p.m. CST

    let

    by Gidney

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 10:55 p.m. CST

    Let's be clear people:

    by Gidney

    It is a very pretty movie. It is not a very good movie. If, however, someone catches Al Gore growing a pony-tail so he can stick it in an iceberg, well then all is forgiven. Let's hope for at least a decade lull in the production of condescending/bigoted noble savage plotlines.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 11:21 p.m. CST

    Avatar fucked my eyeballs!

    by The_Crimson_King

    no, seriously, this is a really fucking cool movie, I can't imagine someone watching this movie and not being impressed with the beauty of it, Avatar fucked my eyeballs and I liked it!

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 12:16 a.m. CST

    AVATAR = Final Fantasy film with human actors inserted

    by TheGhostWhoLurks

    How is this NOT true? This stuff is NOT new, people.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 12:40 a.m. CST

    What Did I Think

    by RefutetheHype

    Posted here too: Here's the poop. I don't want to hate a movie. But you are working a shopworn paradigm, as are Rogue et al. What you see as my inability to plant my ass in a seat and enjoy two hours of colors, to me is a fight about what kind of entertainment I value. I plant my ass in a seat every time I watch a movie I love, and there are plenty of those. Whether the movie is GHOSTBUSTERS or THE KILLING FIELDS. I love movies, cinema, film, flicks and whatever else you want to call them. But lately I have noticed that more and more movies are being made that in no way challenge the status quo. I want to THINK. I get off on using my brain. You know how they say to excite a man you have to jerk off his dick but to excite a woman you have to jerk off her mind? It's true. I can't just sit there and have my eyeballs raped. No matter how good the "sex" is, rape is rape. And that's how AVATAR makes me feel. I felt assaulted but never invited. I felt bludgeoned but never wooed. I felt like the movie was a big dumb caveman knocking me in the head with a hammer and telling me UG YOO WILLA LIKEY ME when I wanted chocolate and flowers and a tuxedo and a corsage and a horse-drawn carriage taking me to the prom. I wanted the skilled hands of a lover, and I got the dumb pawing of a drunk freshman. AVATAR felt like it was a movie made by boys who were asked what they think a girl's movie ought to be. "It should have blue butterflies!" It felt like it was written by a bunch of eight year olds who've seen some action movies. "GET TO THE CHOPPER!" Is it anti-American and populist pro-Tealiban? Yeah, it totally is. But that's not its biggest failing. It's slow and dullwitted and clumsy. There are so many moments where the visuals are like Michael Jackson clutching his penis in concert - there's a lot of fireworks, but the movie really is grasping at nothing.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 12:40 a.m. CST

    Was trying to give you the benefit of the doubt Mariusz...

    by Skyway Moaters

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 12:42 a.m. CST

    THE NUMBERS ARE IN!

    by RefutetheHype

    Midnight Showing Box Office:<p><p> The Twilight Saga: New Moon $26.3 million<p>Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince $22.2 million<p>The Dark Knight $18.5 million<p><p>Avatar 3.7 million<p><p><p>THE NUMBERS ARE IN.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 12:47 a.m. CST

    So, refutethehype, um, I guess you didn't like it huh?

    by Skyway Moaters

    Clever screen name btw...

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 12:47 a.m. CST

    So, refutethehype, um, I guess you didn't like it huh?

    by Skyway Moaters

    Clever screen name btw...

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 12:47 a.m. CST

    So, refutethehype, um, I guess you didn't like it huh?

    by Skyway Moaters

    Clever screen name btw...

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 12:50 a.m. CST

    Whu? Sorry for that triple post. Not sure what happened there...

    by Skyway Moaters

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 12:51 a.m. CST

    SKYWAY, thanks

    by RefutetheHype

    Didn't like it, no. Was it the worst movie ever? It was less entertaining than TROLL 2, really. I had more fun at TROLL 2, and so did the BEST WORST MOVIE audience I attended seeing it with the cast and crew there. It was a warm experience, with SHIT effects and TERRIBLE delivery, because the movie has a good heart and is so much fun and is not cynical at all about what it is trying to do. AVATAR was an empty machine, a robot without a soul doing a slick dance, it was like watching a glossy version of ROBOSAPIEN doing his dance. And audiences have rightly turned away from it, as the numbers are beginning to show.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 12:53 a.m. CST

    Oh, and as for the name

    by RefutetheHype

    I've lurked since the site began, and my real first name is Rita (that's all you're getting!). It sort of is a play off my real name.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 12:56 a.m. CST

    Every story is derivative...

    by strosmer

    of Gilgamesh.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 1:04 a.m. CST

    I knew it and called it months ago!!!

    by joshuavance1701

    FUCK you turgid pricks sucking this movies taint that criticized Trek as shallow and empty! <p> Fuck you running! <p> I knew it, I called it and you cunts can't stand it, this movie is a fucking BOMB of mediocre proportions.<p> Star Trek has kicked the shit out of this inflated overhyped Watchmen turd of a bomb. Hey Assimov and Kwits, how do you like DEM apples raw-ass pricks? Bwaaaaaah hah hah hah does it hurt? Does it?

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 1:05 a.m. CST

    AVATAR officially a BOMB

    by joshuavance1701

    Bwwwah hah hah hah

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 1:17 a.m. CST

    There's Hope For People Yet

    by RefutetheHype

    They were too smart to fall for Big Jim Slim Jim's wiles. I have hope for people again!

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 1:47 a.m. CST

    Guess your sarcasm detector is broken huh hype?

    by Skyway Moaters

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 2:15 a.m. CST

    lighten the fuck up people

    by The_Crimson_King

    Jesus...

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 5:52 a.m. CST

    A pretty even handed review Capone...

    by Brundlefly

    (SPOILERS) however i disagree totally about the 'banshees' - i found them utterly believable - there's one shot in the film where the orange badass banshee (the name escapes me) looks TOTALLY photo-real - with slobber and cracked skin, I had to catch myself because I was leaning forward in amazement, scrutinizing that shit - photo-fucking-real. The script is slightly hackneyed - i will admit to that - it IS familiar in it's story but it's the classic 'hero's journey' and begs comparison with 'Dune' ,definitely, in so far as an outsider becomes the leader of an alien race, but all that aside, the FX are fucking incredible - and if Cameron has done only one thing, he's pushed the CG capabilities for film so far along that this sort of tech will be cheaper and more commonplace a few years down the track. It's a hell of a cinematic achievement. There are few films that can create such a sense of awe. A real spectacle.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 6:40 a.m. CST

    joshuavance1701

    by AsimovLives

    Just say it one more time. Just say it. Say it, that your beloved pieceof shit Jar Jar Abrams's RETARD TREK is better then AVATAR. Say it again, bitch! Prove again you are the retard you really are. Do it! DO IT!

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 7:30 a.m. CST

    Best Animated Film

    by posbasso

    Just sayin....

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 8:43 a.m. CST

    Why am i not surprised

    by rogueleader66

    Refute didn't like it. Was there any ever doubt she wouldn't? It never had a chance, she was going to hate it no matter what and if she did in fact like it, we would have never known.<P> Still not understanding the personal investment you have in this movie's failure Refute. Trying to figure out what you gain by this movie failing. Numbers from a midnight screening? That's your criteria for failure? If that is so, it's weak. Tell us why, no bullshit, straight up. Why do you want this movie to fail and why is it so important to you that it does? What effect will it have on your life? After all, it's just a movie. There are many more things in life that are way more important, but apparently not to you. Waiting for your response....

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 11:18 a.m. CST

    Rogue

    by RefutetheHype

    Thank you for replying with a modicum of sanity. Do I want AVATAR to fail? Yes. Why? It represents SO much that's wrong with an art form that I love, so many bad trends. It represents CG replacing story. It represents religious dogma and groupthink over reality. It represent liberal apologist rhetoric about Iraq and Afghanistan and even Vietnam. It represents an attack against capitalism, freedom, liberty. It represents an attack on science and humzn integrity. It portrays humans as horrible creatures who are evil and terrible. It represents gross male arrogance (Jim Cameron). It represents violence as the solution to problems, not compromise and working things out in a peaceful fashion. It represents SO much that is wrong with our culture, with the way we teach our children and with the way a lot of people view the world. It represents trends toward crowded scenes of special effects, with no attention span, with SO many bad things. In fact, it really sort of felt to me all along like the nadir of those things.<p><p>I guess in my fantasy, this movie would be disregarded, hated, loathed by the public at large (I had hoped critics would reject it, too, but Cameron's apologists are legion, and even the best reviews did say it was actually sort of weak in a lot of ways).<p><p>My hope is, once AVATAR is not a successs, it will indeed CHANGE THE GAME, but in a way no studio expected. That the days of huge fight scenes with CG will disappear. That the days of violent anti-USA movies would be marked as ending with AVATAR. That people would wake up and reject its ideas and studios would start reading scripts that have heroic Americans protecting the world from the predatory Meuslix SOBs who are cutting off clits to make women passive.<p><p>See, AS a woman (and thank you by the way for being one of the only posters to refer to me as "she." I'm not fond of males and to be lumped in with them bugs the livingshitz out of me) I get pissidoff when people tell me I have to wear a big black shawl over my body and have my clit sawed off or burned off without anesthesia (Iran, folksies) because I had one girl's night. AVATAR says, hey, America is in the wrong here, and IRAN RULES! Don't try to win the hearts and minds of the public there, it's BAD to fignht people who bow to their god seven times a day!<p><p>So as you can see, there are a LOT of personal stakes I have against this flick, and a lot of reasons I want it to fail. When it fails, it represents a lot of ideas moviemakers have to be false about what the public wants and what it doesn't want. It is my hope that its failure, given the big stakes of the budget, might lead to better messages for our children.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 5:42 p.m. CST

    Crikey

    by JTStyler

    It makes me sad seeing so many people excuse a tired, oh so tired plot with excuses like 1 The effects were amazing 2. It's a hero's journey 3. Dissenters just hate cinema 4. It's for a 14 year old mindset. Avatar is a missed opportunity, visually spectacular, narratively dead. Name one surprising plot point in that movie. One. Lead meets natives. Lead learns native's ways. Lead is chased by animal that plays massive role in the end battle. Lead is chosen one. Lead falls in love with native. Native is already betrothed. Lead betrays natives. Natives disown lead. Lead comes back and starts rebellion. Come on people, do not fall for this.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 5:45 p.m. CST

    Tired of people quoting rotten tomatoes.

    by JTStyler

    5. Oh and please do not quote rotten tomatoes. Remember a 3/5 review is counted as a positive. Hell Star Trek and Iron Man, solid films both all have score above 90%. These are not masterpieces. And most of the positive reviews out there have caveats about the plot. Best sci-fi film this year is still District 9, hands down.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 8:33 p.m. CST

    Ace of Wands

    by JTStyler

    I agree a fresh telling of an old story is always desirable. There is little new and fresh about the narrative beats in Avatar. This "Dances with Wolves" brush people have been tarring Avatar with is simplistic but close to the point. The crushing predictability of the film is what severely handicaps this film for me. I could not help but roll my eyes when Worthington began giving the speech I have heard before in a thousand movies. The animal bit where those rhinoceri-type creatures come back to help out in the war is incredibly cliched and frankly beneath Cameron. District 9 can not be so simply summed up, just like it's lead character. Avatar is still a good film but I suspect hindsight will show this film to be a false messiah.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 8:45 p.m. CST

    Now about District 9

    by JTStyler

    Now your post attempting to sum up District 9 is interesting. However, tell me something, is District 9 a PREDICTABLE movie? I think you will find it is not. However from the moment, Jake meets Neytiri, you know exactly how this film is going to play out. There are no curveballs, no plot digression, simply a standard Hollywood plot from start to finish. Humourous attempts to learn new culture? Check. Romance? Check. Jealous rival? Check. Public betrayal? Check. Heroic, people-rallying speech? Check. I'll take 10 District 9's over Avatar any day. One thing Avatar will never be remembered for is it's screenplay. For a "masterpiece", that's not acceptable.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 8:48 p.m. CST

    Oh

    by JTStyler

    And I forgot to add. Hero's guide to brave new world? Happens to be female, a warrior and a princess to boot! Give me a break!

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 9:52 p.m. CST

    REFUTETHEHYPE

    by frank cotton

    makes several good points. politely. some nameless other, from a supposedly polite culture, and possibly a soccer hooligan, mainly just curses and rants. negative points

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 10:33 p.m. CST

    Hey Assface smooches,

    by joshuavance1701

    Star Trek is infinitely superior to Avatar you tainted cunt. Better critical rating, and when all is said and done, higher domestic box office. You can take that to the bank and suck my dick you fat flea-ridden whore. <p> Avatar is a BOMB hahhahhah hahhah Where are the fucked eyes? Where is the records for box office? Where is the universal critical acclaim? What game has been changed? <p> You fucking turds.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 11:03 p.m. CST

    RefutetheHype

    by Brundlefly

    I appreciate your perspective on the trend of CG overtaking drama - but I'm guessing from what you say that you haven't seen 'Avatar'. Just experience the film and THEN give us your opinion.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 11:23 p.m. CST

    RefutetheHype is a drippy cunt!

    by I am the Terminator

    FACT!!<P>Pwned! Second fact!!<P>aha ha! fucks!!

  • Dec. 20, 2009, 5:56 a.m. CST

    Ace of Wands

    by JTStyler

    SO we are now saying that Cameron has essentially made a narratively stagnant film to cater for the lowest common denominator and that's OK! I am here to judge the film and the film alone not budgetary concerns or appeal to Joe Public. That's Transformers-talk. All I am asking for is the script to show 1/10th of the effort put into the world-building. I HAVE seen a lot of sci-fi and I can tell you that it is obvious Sharlto Copley's character is not the straightforward stereotypical bore that Worthington's character is written as. Jake Sully starts off well but ends up in stereotype-land once he meets Neytiri. Oh and who says big blockbusters can not do intricate, layered stories and still satisfy large audiences - I give you the Dark Knight. When 3D becomes commonplace, all one will be left with in Avatar to marvel at is the story which is frankly poor. Crikey, the characters are so 2D, it hurts. Avatar is frankly Cameron's 4th best film behind T1 and 2, Aliens and maybe even the Abyss. Not every film has to be surprising but this level of narrative laziness lets Avatar down badly. And as a screenplay, Avatar is not worthy of the word, masterpiece. A solid film I think but no more.

  • Dec. 20, 2009, 7:48 a.m. CST

    Saw AVATAR last night. My opinion of it:

    by AsimovLives

    Generally, i liked it. I'm going to say that i'm thankful i went to the mvoie with my cautious optmiist attitude. It served me well. Because if i had gone to it expected the "eye-fucking" masterpiece many hoped, i would feel disapointed. On the other hand, had i walked in wantin to hate it, i would walk out of it thinking it was much better then i expected. As such, i sit in the same place of the bus many do now, in the mixed reaction group. But i think i do have a bit of some different ideas to my mixed opinion of AVATAR. My major complaina bout the movie will be a strange one to mnay, but here it is: i just think that Pandora is not alien enough. There's just too much Earth-like stuff in it. I can understand that all creatures in there are based on marine or exotic creature on Earth. I like that concept. I just wished they had gone futher. Like, say, having octopuses walking around the trees jumping from branch to branch. Basically, all creatures i see in the movie are just Earth creeatures with some more grills and legs added on. And this same complain goes for the Na'vi: they are too human. Same human reactions, same human emotions, they laugh, they cry, they mourn.... it's too human, not enough alien. Like many, i wish i had seen at least one short scene on Earth. Like in Aliens, when we see a bit of Ripley's life in just that her apartment scene. It's short, but it's's enoguh to tell us everything she's going for. The story is stillw ell told withoit it, but i think it might had given us a better connection to Sully's life, and why he jumped at a chance to go to Pandora, other then "just" his disability. I wish that Sully didn't need to had been a marine. This "dumb but strong idiot who'sa natural to some stuff and learns a new skilla dn excelts even over the natives and saves the day" story type is just a it too over-played for me. I wish that Sully would had been even cmore constrasted to his Avatar, in that Sully would be some college nerd kid, so to make even a bigger difference his pathetic human shell and magnificent his Avatar body. The things i liked is, of course, the excelency of the visuials, and how well the 3D is used. I liked the story, on the whole. Yes, it's simple. But so is the stories of many SF movies from the 70s i live. Like THX-1138, SILENCE RUNNING, ROLLERBALL and ALIEN. And STAR WARS, of course. All those movies have pretty simple stories. but they are all told in a remakrably sophisticated and intelligent way. Simple stories but with a very rich enviroment to be played. In many ways, AVATAR is a 70s SF movie told today. Small wonder, since the 70s where the formative years of James Cameron. Unlike many, i think i prefered the human scenes to the Na'vi scenes. I can't exactly say why, but seems that, contrary to many, i rekon the heart of the movie are in some of those scenes, and none with the na'vi princess and whatever. One interesting thing about the movie's major villain, the coronel, is that he's the only human character in the whole movie which personalises Pandora. Everybody else talks about the planet, the forest, the creatures, the minerals. But the coronel is the only one which calls it all Pandora, as if it's one single entity. It's clear he has a personal beef with the whole planet. He is, in fact, the Ahab character of the movie. And when he learns from sigourney Weaver's character that indeed the whole planet is interconnected, then it's when he goes to town and plays revenge on what it did to him. The character is completly on a vendetta. I think it's a good idea. For the coronel, all this stuff is personal. Again, i want to thank Cameron for making the scientists intogood guys. A lesser filmmaker would turn the scientists as corrupt and evil as the rest of the corporate stooges. For Cameron, it's not science which is evil. Quite the contrary, all the scientist characters are the ones veeing for a diplomatic solution, and they are the humasn who understand better what's going on with the place and the errors of the approach the corporation does. In the end, it's they who still are allowed to stay on the planet, the only humans which the Na'Vi accept as guests. The evildoears are those who truen dscience into greedy commerce (the corporate stooges), and the people who sell themselves without pangs of conscience (the mercenaries). Frankly, and give the way the world is today, this is the part of the movie i have the least problem accepting. There's so much more i could be talking about the movie. Too much for just one post. But in the end, i like dit. It's not one of Cameron's best, i'm afraid. It's not his worst. Maybe in the future the movie will be better received. Or dismissed. And it's not my favority SF movie of this year either. I liked and generally was more in awe of MOON and DISTRICT 9, to tell you the truth.

  • Dec. 20, 2009, 7:51 a.m. CST

    joshuavance1701

    by AsimovLives

    Do it again. dod it again! Prove it again what a stupid idiot you are. Praise Jar Jar Abrams' RETARD TREK over AVATAR. Do it again. Show off your stupidity and imbecillity. Do it. DO IT! The laughs will be very welcome. DO IT!

  • Dec. 20, 2009, 11:52 a.m. CST

    ! WOW !

    by LT Weezie

    We went to see AVATAR (no, see is not the right term, EXPERIENCE is more like it), last night in front of a full-house at Albuquerque's newly remodeled and upgraded Century Rio Cinema 12. The wait in line was akin, though not exactly, to the first few days when STAR WARS burst onto the scene back in 1977..complete with line jumpers who were immeidately extracted from the theatre by the management to thunderous applause! I was a bit concerned about the 3D, but I soon adjusted and it was amazing. This film would be fantastic without any 3D, and I can't wait to see the Blu-Ray treatment on my humongous screen HDTV. I did not notice anyone leaving due to nausea, as I have read in other reports, and it was hysterical to look back and see an auditorium full of Buddy Holly-look alikes. It may have been an "old story", but I never tire of these. It needs to be told again and again, and thank you, Mr. Cameron, for reminding audiences around the world that we too, are a part of this living and diverse universe, and need to respect and protect every aspect of it...and it does not matter if you are blue, green, or purple, or if you have two or six legs, skin, feathers. or fur.

  • Dec. 20, 2009, 11:57 a.m. CST

    Ace of Wands

    by JTStyler

    I will not stoop to insulting you or your knowledge to make my points. I am better than that. It is clear that we will have to agree to disagree. I wish you a good day, sir.

  • Dec. 20, 2009, 12:34 p.m. CST

    Capone...

    by aRTCy

    As soon as you realize that there is nothing new under the sun, the better off you will be.

  • Dec. 20, 2009, 1:55 p.m. CST

    I just noticed this:

    by AsimovLives

    Seems the extreme attitudes, total love or total hate for the movie, is just coming from USA alone. Seems the rest of the world has a more ambivalent attitude toward it.

  • Dec. 20, 2009, 3:28 p.m. CST

    quick review:

    by redkamel

  • Dec. 20, 2009, 3:37 p.m. CST

    the actual quick review

    by redkamel

    If I could pick one movie, ever, to see in a theater, its this. (I'm 27 btw. Star Wars is about even, mostly for historical purposes). The world is real. The Naavi don't look fake. The effects and characters are totally badass, and I really felt more into this movie than many, many other movies. Yes, even the CG characters. <p> The 3D works, and works well. After a while you don't notice it...you just feel like you are IN the movie. <p> The plot may be derivative. But what movie isn't? I dare you to name ONE movie where you basically didn't know the plot after watching the trailer, or had never seen it before. I agree its not the most original plot. But its no less derivative than any other movie. And it has very very few plot holes. I usually ferret those out pretty quick. If there were, they weren't obvious, or were explainable after a seconds thought. <p> There were a few scenes that would have been nice to have been longer. The love scene, for one, although it was weird watching CG alien love. A few battle scenes could have been lengthened, or a few other attacks. It would have been nice to have more terresterial fighting..I mean, it is a jungle planet. <p> But those complaints are small. 16 dollars WELL SPENT. Cameron really is a master. I loved every minute of it, and I was truly sorry when the movie ended. And I almost cried a few times. Last time that happened in a movie, was UP, and the time before that, I was 12 watching Arnie give a thumbs up as he lowered himself into molten metal.

  • Dec. 20, 2009, 8:25 p.m. CST

    I saw more postive reviews for this than most of

    by saber12

    the movies I saw this year. Avatar is getting better reviews than most movies starring George Cloony.

  • Dec. 20, 2009, 9:18 p.m. CST

    2D Viewers Make Sure Digital Projection

    by kenernest63

    With a lazy eye I had no other option but 2D. But the movie was on film, entirely soft and out of focus for the entire presentation. Be sure you'll be viewing a digital projection, we missed out on the great visual everyone goes on about, at least the way they should have been seen.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 1:08 a.m. CST

    Assilhoff stinks

    by joshuavance1701

    Hey ass munch, you stink of jizz and piss cunt. Your testicles have yet to drop, all three of them you trisby 21 chromosome lacking fuck face. Fuck you AND Avatar. Avatar is a fucking overhyped, overbloated, mediocre BOMB. Successful openind weekend my fucking ass, more like damage control from the studio bitch. Star Trek has a higher critical rating AND higher opening weekend gross you fat mal-adjusted cunt, how do you like DEM apples bitch?

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 2:30 p.m. CST

    Complaining about complaining about ...

    by LurkersUnveiled

    I don't generally post to these sites, but I've been reading this one for years and decided to make an account just for this post (and yay me, decided to make an account on a day when the site is moving slower than dirt). To those of you complaining about people complaining about unobtanium: get over it. Yes, unobtanium is a real word. It's a word used to facetiously describe an idea (apparently the person who posted the definition didn't bother to read the definition). It is not a word that any scientist in this field would apply to a specifically identified mineral. Besides, regardless of whether or not it is a real word, it still sounds stupid (and worse, lazy) to the general public. I had this same problem (among many others) with the fake Latin-sounding words in Chronicles of Riddick. If you're making things up (And isn't that your job as a writer of fiction?) then just make things up. Things like "unobtanium" are just lazy.

  • Dec. 23, 2009, 11:39 p.m. CST

    Disappointed

    by mrdinky

    it wasn't terrible, but I had pretty high expectations. or let me put it this way: with the exception of piranha, this is easily the worst James Cameron movie I've seen. but to be fair, I didn't actually like THE ABYSS; I just think it was a better movie. AVATAR was right down my alley, and it was...well...I won't be returning for a second viewing. I sure as hell wouldn't pay another $16 to see the damn thing again. Much prefer the TERMINATORS and ALIENS. already own them. :-)

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