Movie News

Mike Russell Beholds The Power, The Glory And The Ignominy Of AVATAR!

Published at: Dec. 18, 2009, 2:30 p.m. CST by mrbeaks

Beaks here...

My pal (and occasional AICN contributor) Mike Russell sent in this rather detailed review of AVATAR a few days ago, but I held it back because it's a) loaded with spoilers and b) mixed-to-negative. In other words, please do not read this review until you've seen the film for yourself. And please do not mistake this as me piling on. I would've run Mike's review regardless of what he thought of the film because he can break a movie down better than anyone; even if you disagree, I think you'll find his misgivings to be anything but empty, Cameron-hating snark. Also, I really love the Q&A format he's applied here (especially since he's being interrogated by another great movie-mind). But before I hand you over to Mike, I need to reiterate that there are huge fucking spoilers lurking throughout this piece. Proceed at your own risk.



Beaks! Mike Russell here. I saw AVATAR last week. Really only found it groundbreaking on a visual level and very much NOT groundbreaking on a story and character level. Wasn't going to write a review, but then our mutual friend Andre Dellamorte caught me in chat and asked me what I thought -- he hadn't seen it yet. And I sort of ended up reviewing AVATAR for him in IM. At length. Andre encouraged me to flesh out our conversation and put it online. So here you go. Post it if you feel like running a counterpoint to all the praise this flick's been getting -- because I have a really specific set of beefs with how binary and simple-minded it gets. (Cameron's blue-sky mid-'90s scriptment had more texture and character than the final cut, I think. Maybe the lesson here is: Don't read scriptments.) I kept the IM conversation format, but it's edited and expanded, and I took out all the digressions where we yammered on about the awesomeness of RedLetterMedia's YouTube movie reviews of "Star Trek" and "The Phantom Menace." -- Mike Russell, CulturePulp.com (You may remember me from such AICN posts as "The Really Long Conversation with Steve Lieber with Steve Lieber about 'Whiteout'" or "The Really Long Conversation with Scott Dunbier About 'Bloom County.'")

MIKE RUSSELL HAS NOT CHOSEN 'AVATAR'... HERE'S WHY...



Andre_Dellamorte: You see AVATAR?

Mike_Russell: Yep. You?

Andre_Dellamorte: Nah. Everyone I could go with was at BNAT. What's your take?

Mike_Russell: Disappointed, frankly. And I've basically been the exact opposite of those pre-emptive haters trying to out-do each other with ThunderSmurf jokes. I loved the promise of Cameron's 60-page scriptment from the mid-'90s. I went to "Avatar Day" (which featured footage from the first half of the movie), and the 3-D IMAX pretty much swallowed me whole. I expected the Cameron ideas to compensate for the Cameron dialogue, as usual. But when I finally saw it in a theater, I felt like the movie kind of pulled an inverse-TITANIC. The last hour was the one that lost me. So much hard work to create so much cinematic loveliness for such a binary, derivative, unsurprising narrative sledgehammer. But it looks fucking amazing. I can see why people are flipping for it, but I wonder if they're flipping for the world-building over the story or characters. I actually enjoyed "Sherlock Holmes" more, I think -- I was digging the whole Joel Silver '80s-buddy-comedy-in-1800s London vibe. It was pushing my nostalgic geek buttons.

Andre_Dellamorte: Yeah, I've been hearing nothing but raves for at least a month on "Holmes." I keep hearing "Star Wars" comparisons on "Avatar," but though there's obviously a lot of good buzz, the AV Club kids didn't seem to go for it, and neither did [REDACTED] or [REDACTED].

Mike_Russell: The big comparison for me wasn't "Star Wars" or "Ferngully" or "Delgo" or whatever -- it was "John Carter of Mars" (war hero astral-projects on alien world full of six-legged animals, goes native, becomes warlord). While I was watching the blue Nav'i warriors galloping on their six-legged horses, I was thinking, "Somewhere. Andrew Stanton is sweating and/or upping both his game and his processing power." I loved the first hour and change, when Jake Sully arrives on Pandora and plays both sides and ingratiates himself with the Nav'i tribe and you're just happy to see ALIENS-style military hardware onscreen again. It's got this beautiful travelogue quality. I even leaned over to my buddy Bill and said, "I can't believe people were bagging on this sight-unseen. It's kind of awesome, yeah?" And then there was a moment where AVATAR just kind of lost me. There it is.

Andre_Dellamorte: Do you remember the moment?

Mike_Russell: Yeah -- do you care about getting spoiled?

Andre_Dellamorte: No.

Mike_Russell: Well, sir, I will tell you. It was the moment when the two hot digital blue people commenced to fuckin'. Everyone in the theater burst out laughing.

Andre_Dellamorte: Yeah, that would do it.

Mike_Russell: After that, the movie gets increasingly simple-minded, bordering on didactic. The humans get EEEEEEEVIL. The savages get Noble. At that point, the movie stops being "John Carter of Mars" and starts becoming the Ewoks vs. the Empire on a massive, ultraviolent scale. That's pretty cool. But it ALSO becomes a movie no one talks about any more, "Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within." Like "Final Fantasy," this has wildly praised cutting-edge CGI and lovingly photographed military hardware in the service of a story in which eco-hating military cynics and Gaia or the Planetary Hive-Spirit or whatever figure really prominently. Frankly, I found myself getting so tired of having James Cameron shove The Nobility of Nature down my throat that I perversely started wanting Col. Quaritch [Stephen Lang's supertough human corporate-fighting-force leader] to kick a bunch of blue ass -- despite, you know, loving nature myself. This probably speaks ill of my mindset.
,br> Andre_Dellamorte: So, the whole outsider-turned-leader thing is as stupid as it looks?

Mike_Russell: Well, "stupid" doesn't describe the whole experience of this flick. I mean, let's be fair: It's spectacular to look at, and there's a LOT of pleasure in getting lost in the unprecedented Cameron/WETA production design -- especially in IMAX. I was deriving a lot of this pleasure myself. The action scenes are staged by a guy with a stunning gift for complex geography. If you see it, see it in 3-D IMAX. I'm definitely going to pay to see it one more time on the biggest goddamn screen I can find, with glasses. But spectacle isn't story -- it's an amusement-park ride. And for me, the story payoff was lacking. The bottomless advance praise this thing has been getting is mystifying to me -- the story just doesn't seem worth getting all that worked up over. I mean, come on -- a dull lead (Worthington is fine, totally competent but nothing special) on a hero's-quest / change-of-heart adventure in which NOTHING is surprising. The plot runs on rails. Other than the absolutely porn-tastic military tech, Cameron has done everything in AVATAR better elsewhere, and with more psychological complexity.

Andre_Dellamorte: Examples, please.

Mike_Russell: Well, for starters, the Ribisi character was 18 times more interesting when Paul Reiser was playing him and he was named Carter Burke. Ribisi plays the corrupt corporate suit on the Pandora base. Reiser played Burke as a likeably sharp little weasel and it made the character's betrayal hurt. I LOVED watching him get his comeuppance. Meanwhile, Ribisi's character is introduced hitting a golf ball into a cup in Pandora Mission Control like he's an office executive in a bar-napkin cartoon, and that's about as subtle as he gets. Also, the sense of an overwhelmingly oppressive deadly environment was done better in THE ABYSS. I thought the AVATAR scriptment (which is really worth a read) actually did a nice job of making everything in Pandora seem dangerous, from the air to the insects on up. The relentlessness of that felt toned down for the movie. Quaritch even runs outside while holding his breath once or twice just so he can lob a few extra bullets at the natives. I never felt the threat of that the way I did when Ed Harris was swimming between airlocks. And the heavy-handed message thing was done better in THE ABYSS and the TERMINATOR flicks. I've always loved that Cameron makes super-violent movies about world peace or undying love; the paradox cracks me up, and it makes his movies feel weirdly personal given their budgets. This time around he makes a super-violent movie about environmentalism, only he's a lot more New Agey and on-the-nose about it than he's ever been before. The final scenes of the movie might as well be set at a spiritual retreat for pampered wives in Baja. (More on this later.) The mech-suit was cooler in ALIENS when it was a forklift. The Col. Quaritch character was more interesting in THE ABYSS when he was going insane and was played by Michael Biehn. And Cameron did a better job of quickly sketching an ensemble of vivid characters in ALIENS and THE ABYSS. AVATAR isn't instantly quotable like ALIENS was, either. I don't think that "eat your eyes for Jujubes" line is going to be entering the cultural fabric anytime soon.

Andre_Dellamorte: So it's mostly production-design porn?

Mike_Russell: I hate to say it, but yeah, pretty much. I will say this, though: Cameron just straight-up trebuchet-launches across the Uncanny Valley. The work on capturing tiny facial performance -- which few consumer-grade filmgoers will think to notice -- really is as impressive as promised. It's next-level shit, the movie's single greatest achievement. You forget you're watching pixels.

Andre_Dellamorte: But you never got the "Star Wars" flavor fever?

Mike_Russell: Well, no. Because AVATAR's story kind of goes from simple and derivative to insultingly simple and derivative. You see everything coming from a mile away. For example: Jake Sully is revealed as a traitor who's been spying on the Nav'i for the humans. The humans then show up during this revelation, and immediately blast the Na'vi's big old Ewok Tree to ribbons during a "relocation" operation. And because she recently fucked the guy, the hot blue chick whose name I can't spell is decent enough to tell Jake to just go away. PERFECTLY REASONABLE. So what does Jake do? He trudges off and tames the biggest dino-bird in the sky and flies it back to where all the native refugees are hiding. And they IMMEDIATELY -- with no argument or hesitation -- the natives declare him their new warrior god and leader because this dino-bird is supposed to be really hard to tame. Like, there's not even a SECOND of "Um, hey, this guy proved himself untrustworthy in the last fucking scene." It's idiotic. It's bad drama.

Andre_Dellamorte: Sounds it.

Mike_Russell: Fatboy Roberts was also at the screening, and he e-mailed me this: "A bit of plot logic I thought was fucking ludicrous. They set up Neytiri's granddad as being the only guy to fly the big badass dragon, and that's what made him king. But all Jake does [to master the same breed of dragon] is GO UP [and drop onto the dragon from above, mastering it immediately]. That's the extent of his special ability. Why has NOBODY ELSE in the tribe thought of this? He flies straight up over the dragon, and then drops onto it and plugs his ponytail into it. That's all ANYONE had to do. These people fly all fucking day long, and nobody thought, 'What if I go way, WAY up, and then just jump onto the big red one?'" Also -- and this should give you an idea how on-the-nose this flick is: Like I kind of said already, Cameron's Big Idea here is that Gaia is a real thing. The planet has a collective-subconscious goddess/afterlife -- a big fiber-optic nervous system of tree roots that stores the spirits of everyone on the planet, or something. The nerve endings poke out of trees. All the animals on Pandora can pray to Gaia by plugging the nerve endings in their ponytails into each other, networking their nervous systems. They all come with USB in their hair, basically. This is a perfectly fine, "Star Trek"-y idea -- until the scenes where the natives are all sitting cross-legged in perfectly choreographed concentric circles, chanting around a tree and swaying back and forth like they’re in fucking Who-Ville. And uploading dying people into the planet. This happens twice during the movie, BTW. I should also note that the big climax is that the native army has just about lost the war, and guess what -- Gaia, the big hive-brain of the planet, sends animals from all corners of the globe to KICK ASS. There's even a moment during this climax when a giant predator that was trying to kill Jake's avatar earlier turns up by Zoe Saldana's character -- and like literally nods at her before heading off to munch some humans. Because you see, they're all in it together now that Mother Pandora has ordered in reinforcements.

Andre_Dellamorte: Third-act Tarzan save -- NICE.

Mike_Russell: Yeah, it's like Aquaman called these fucking animals to save Jake's ass.

Andre_Dellamorte: PLANET TARZAN.

Mike_Russell: It's mind-blowingly stupid. Earnest, which I admire in these irony-drenched times, but stupid.

Andre_Dellamorte: PLANET AQUAMAN. He's just a tech-hippie, that Cameron. I was never a big booster of TITANIC or TRUE LIES, which revels in misogyny. You liked Stephen Lang, though, yeah?

Mike_Russell: Lang has impressed me greatly in this and particularly in PUBLIC ENEMIES. (He's amazing in that jailhouse scene with Marion Cotillard.) Dude's a bad-ass. Does as much as he can with Col. Quaritch. Glares really well in a mech-suit.

Andre_Dellamorte: And then the squirrels, they are in love, and then they break off a piece of mech ass. James Cameron has a lot of dumb ideas. I think the best he did with this is THE ABYSS -- which will always be an incomplete movie.

Mike_Russell: I admire the shit out of the raw fucking effort onscreen. It's courageous. But in a weird way, the digital characters and their world are so convincing that it hurts the movie in the long run -- because you forget about the gorgeous pixels and start focusing on the story just as it starts falling apart.

Andre_Dellamorte: I don't have a lot of love for Cameron, and I can't watch ALIENS any more. I wrecked ALIENS for myself.

Mike_Russell: How so?

Andre_Dellamorte: Oh, when I was 13, I would watch ALIENS, rewind the tape, and watch it again. It's no JAWS, but it was one of those films. But I can't watch it any more. I've juiced it to rinds.

Mike_Russell: Beautifully put. Yeah, I used to do that with ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK, THE TERMINATOR and TOP SECRET!

Andre_Dellamorte: TOP SECRET! still makes me laugh -- but I saw it theatrically with one Zucker and Abrahams, so I'm kind of done with it for a long time. I watched THE TERMINATOR again earlier this year. And it is such a model of low-budget filmmaking. I never really wore out ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK 'cause I didn't see it until I was 16 or 17 on laserdisc.

Mike_Russell: Actually, this brings up something that's really bugged me about the praise for AVATAR. Everyone keeps saying, "Relax -- this is a movie for 14-year-old boys." But when we were 14, we were watching ALIENS and TERMINATOR, which as I recall were written in a way that perhaps adults might enjoy, as well.

Andre_Dellamorte: So is "Avatar" two-and-a-half stars for you?

Mike_Russell: Something like that, yeah. The technical achievements and the first half are too magnificent for me to write the whole thing off.

Andre_Dellamorte: Has anything stuck with you?

Mike_Russell: Let's see -- moments that stuck with me: 1. I may be in the minority on this, but I LOVED whenever the movie slowed down for "Walking with Dinosaurs" shit. WETA is just bringing the pain on that stuff. 2. Michelle Rodriguez turning up in her bad-ass James Cameron future-copter to fight for the aliens, Han Solo-at-the-Death-Star style. Unfortunately, what's sticking with me is that Rodriguez has painted her face -- and her chopper -- in Nav'i tribal war paint. Rodriguez sneering like she's in "Fast and the Furious" and saying "Bring it, bitch" or whatever she says while wearing that shit is ridiculous. I may have laughed out loud. 3. The nighttime phosphorescence scenes, because they look like a TRON biosphere rendered with IMAX-grade computing power. 4. Lang in the power-suit. I was full-on rooting for him to kick Jake Sully's ass at this point, and there was this awesomely silly bit where his power-suit pulls a giant bowie knife the size of a man's leg out of a holster. I can only get so mad at that.

Andre_Dellamorte: The giant knife has been declared stupid elsewhere.

Mike_Russell: It was so ridiculous it became weirdly cool. 5. I was actually blown away by several small bits of face-acting by Zoe Saldana's Nav'i character. The tech is subtle. (So is the way they've shriveled Jake Sully's legs in his paraplegic human body. Not sure how they pulled that off.) 6. The pure James Cameron military-hardware porn -- all the copters and trucks and guns -- realized with a $300-million budget. There was some discussion afterward about whether AVATAR took place in Cameron's ALIENS universe. 7. The raw pleasure of James Cameron-directed action sequences. He knows exactly what he's doing when he maps that stuff out. There's a bit where Col. Quaritch has to bail out of a plummeting helicarrier in his powersuit, and it's wicked-rad, grip-the-armrests stuff. That said, I also have this problem where I rarely feel pixels, even when they're doing something cool. I need to feel the labor of human hands on something other than keyboards these days. (By the way, along those lines, you should really check out these really blunt/funny mini-documentaries Steve Johnson is posting on YouTube about his practical-effects creature-work on THE ABYSS and GHOSTBUSTERS.) 8. The moment everyone in the audience laughed out loud -- where the movie is over and suddenly the James Horner/Leona Lewis power ballad comes on over a slow flyover of the Pandora forest. It's just embarrassing and feels studio-mandated, a nakedly cynical attempt to dip back into the "Titanic" hit-single well. I do not recall TERMINATOR or ALIENS requiring a power-ballad. 9. Oh, and God -- I think once or twice I heard James Horner STILL ripping off his own licks from "Willow" in the score! (The score as a whole is better than that -- he had time to write it, when he only had like two weeks to write ALIENS -- but come on.) 10. There's a moment where Zoe Saldana's alien-warrior-girlfriend character busts into a trailer to save Jake Sully's human form. It's the first time she's seen him when he isn't uploaded into a sexy blue avatar. And as this 12-foot-tall warrior woman was cradling this little rag-doll sized human she's recently serviced sexually in his avatar body, I couldn't help but wonder if that would be disappointing in exactly the same way Internet dating can be disappointing. Actually, Fatboy sent me a list all the moments during which our preview audience laughed out loud: "1. Kitty-fucking. 2. 'Not while I'm still breathing.' 3. Vasquez and Helichopter doing the Han Solo thing in matching warpaint. 4. AMP-suit Bowie Knife. 5. End-credits song. 6. There was one other bit of ludicrous dialogue -- I believe it fell out of Jake's head -- that made a woman in the back shouted out 'Oh, JESUS.'" The other thing that I could see happening with AVATAR -- I hope I'm wrong about this -- is that it's going to become a political football. The movie gets so gleeful with its goofy Gaia shit and killing of evil exploitative humans that I wouldn't be shocked (though I would be disappointed) if some jagoff at Fox News declared AVATAR an "eco-terror tract."

Andre_Dellamorte: Probably not FOX News, Mike.

Mike_Russell: Oh! Ha! Yeah, probably not. The ending is stupid, too.

Andre_Dellamorte: How stupid?

Mike_Russell: Big spoiler here.

Andre_Dellamorte: That's fine.

Mike_Russell: So the blue guys win, right, and there's this shot of the Nav'i at the human base they've taken over. The 12-foot-tall aliens are standing around with the human guns, marching the humans to their shuttle to send them home with their tails between their legs, right? And someone says to Ribisi's character, "Go back to your dying world," or something like that. And the only thing I could think, like, the whole time, over and over, is, "Nuke the site from orbit."

Andre_Dellamorte: So, basically, humans suck.

Mike_Russell: Yep. There's this bit where Lang, in his power-suit, calls Jake a race-traitor. Because ALL HUMANS ARE EVIL, ANDRE. ALL OF THEM.

Andre_Dellamorte: So wait -- are humans with avatars fine without their original human bodies?

Mike_Russell: Oh, you see, people can be uploaded into their avatars permanently through the Gaia planetary nervous system. You just have to put naked humans at the base of the Fiber Optic Tree, where their nethers are tastefully covered by Mother Nature's fiber-optic wires, and the blue people sing "Welcome Christmas / Fah who for-aze!," and it's all good.

Andre_Dellamorte: HA HA HA HA

Mike_Russell: The movie is that simple-minded. Listen, I'm pro-environment, pro-conservation, anti-pollution, anti-genocide --but parts of this movie make you feel like you're agreeing with the politics of a person who shouts his opinions all the time, you know? You kind of just want them to shut the hell up after a while.

Andre_Dellamorte: Someone on CHUD said reading a Cameron interview is like reading Ron Burgundy dialogue. Also, that's lame if the message overwhelms the narrative.

Mike_Russell: "Message overwhelms the narrative" sums up my issue nicely, to my thinking. I guess this might be one of those "Wah! They didn't make the movie I wanted them to make!" comparisons, but there's also a LOT of nuance in the Cameron mid-'90s AVATAR scriptment that's been lost, believe it or not. The scriptment is a much-subtler piece of work. I was disappointed that they left out one of my favorite bits of the scriptment -- there was originally this long intro on Earth where you saw how resources were drying up and every city on the planet as crowded as Calcutta. It actually gave you some understanding of why the humans might be so desperately eager to exploit Pandora. With that prologue gone, the humans are just plain evil. They're evil in the exact same way the Native-American-hating mountain men who turn up at the end of DANCES WITH WOLVES are evil.

Andre_Dellamorte: So at the end of the film, Earth is fucked?

Mike_Russell: Pretty much, yeah. Though, again, all I could think was, "They're just gonna come back with an army."

Andre_Dellamorte: And this mineral the humans are after is called -- no shit -- "unobtainium"? And it cures Earth?

Mike_Russell: Well, it's a superconducting metal. Lots of technical applications. The scriptment explains that it's a joke name that stuck for a room-temperature superconductor that occurs naturally on Pandora. There are also lots of interesting or explanatory grace notes in the scriptment that are missing from the final film.

Andre_Dellamorte: Such as?

Mike_Russell: Well, in the scriptment there's a Nav'i tribesman named N'deh who acts as a reluctant ambassador to the human camp. Not in the movie. There's a PR videographer character who keeps getting censored. Not in the movie. There's a corrupt "Bioethics Officer" who represents Earth's Green party who's casually on the take but starts feeling really bad about it as Quaritch ramps up the genocide, if memory serves. Not in the movie. There's a former Avatar operator who went nuts after his Avatar body was eaten alive. Not in the movie. Basically, there was this whole ALIENS-rich tapestry of bickering human characters in the scriptment, and in the name of simplifying the narrative for as broad an audience as possible, those characters have been simplified and consolidated or removed. Instead, we're left with Sigourney Weaver's character -- who's a chain-smoking, pissed-off scientist whenever she's in her human body, but is a gentle missionary-like teacher when she's in her Avatar body. She builds huts and teaches the Nav'i kids English in her Avatar body and wears khaki shorts and what might as well be a North Face vest. (And yet, for some reason, the Nav'i seem a bit confused by the whole concept of what an Avatar is. They're sort of selectively ignorant of human technology, like the cavemen who can somehow fly jets in BATTLEFIELD EARTH.)

Andre_Dellamorte: Mike D'Angelo pointed out that "Na'vi" is "Native" w/ "ET" taken out.

Mike_Russell: Interesting. Clever. But I think you get the idea. All the psychological subtlety you'd find in the scriptment -- and in ALIENS, for example -- has been discarded in favor of lectures, noble savages and black-hatted villains. Any character who might be playing both sides -- other that Jake -- was ejected between scriptment and final cut. It's really disappointing. Because that used to be the thing Cameron was best at, in my opinion. He hasn't whiffed it like Lucas did -- not even close -- but he HAS fallen in love with his technical toys and dumbed down his screenplay in the process of getting those technical toys financed. Andre_Dellamorte: Driving narrative is what Cameron is great at, in my humble. I don't care for TITANIC, but the narrative fucking hums. Mike_Russell: I totally agree. I always get snickered at for pointing out the last hour of TITANIC is a badass freight train of a perfect disaster-movie climax, but it is. Andre_Dellamorte: Oh yeah, it's just stupid. It's the freezing-water stuff, and Billy Zane.... But that's why the movie worked, so whatever.

Mike_Russell: People are always only laughing at that movie's two-hour buildup. Cameron saved the best for last on TITANIC. I kind of felt like he did the opposite here.

Andre_Dellamorte: Though even at the time, the effects in that film are dated.

Mike_Russell: They are. And you know what? Someday I suppose AVATAR is gonna comparatively look like crap, too. And then what will you be left with. I find myself preferring the incredible model work on ALIENS, myself. Those miniatures felt physical, gritty.

Andre_Dellamorte: It's funny -- at Thanksgiving, I was talking with friends about how T2 looks less dated now than it did five to 10 years ago. ALIENS still looks badass.

Mike_Russell: I recently re-watched JURASSIC PARK -- and I'm shocked that the T-rex attack in the rain is still among the best CGI effects sequences ever, in terms of impact.

Andre_Dellamorte: Oh yeah, and the stampede one of the worst.

Mike_Russell: The T-rex sequence works so well, still, because they had to plan more carefully, I think.

Andre_Dellamorte: The digital is used to enhance -- not completely take over.

Mike_Russell: Yeah. But hey, maybe I'm in the gross minority on AVATAR. THE ABYSS is pretty heavy-handed at the end, I didn't enjoy it in the theater, and now it's probably my favorite James Cameron movie. I do strongly suspect many people will be saying, "That was cool-looking" as they're buying tickets for "Sherlock Holmes" and not giving AVATAR a second viewing. The story slips out of your head like it was sprayed with Pam. I'm vaguely reminded of how people got all worked up for months over the equally ambitious WATCHMEN, and people who saw it said, "That was pretty good," and next week The Rock kicked its ass with RACE TO WITCH MOUNTAIN. Anyway, I'm terrible at box-office prognostication.

Andre_Dellamorte: I think the other element is that the people who are going crazy for it are wowed with the technical achievement -- though I don't doubt Ebert's love, or anyone else's for that matter. Nobody's talking about how great the story is. Though I'm sure the action is ass-kicking.

Mike_Russell: Indeed. I begrudge no one their enjoyment. In fact, I'm jealous of it.

-- Mike Russell: the personal site, the e-mail addy.

Readers Talkback

comments powered by Disqus
    + Expand All
  • Dec. 18, 2009, 2:34 p.m. CST

    I guess we know why AICN was holding back reviews now...

    by JasonPratt

    Also, first?

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 2:35 p.m. CST

    People posting Avatar reviews on youtube & crying

    by Orionsangels

    I'm not even joking lol.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 2:36 p.m. CST

    Also, first. {g}

    by JasonPratt

    But seriously, what's the review tally at the moment? Is anyone keeping score?

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 2:36 p.m. CST

    Who the fuck is Mike Russell?

    by MattmanReturns

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 2:37 p.m. CST

    ebert gives 4 star reviews to most movies

    by HaterofCrap

    all you need to do is put him in a theater with working air conditioning and sound and you got yourself 4 stars. then later he can let you know about his stance on current politics on twitter.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 2:45 p.m. CST

    JasonPratt

    by kwisatzhaderach

    Every mainstream American film critic thinks it's a visionary work. A few geeks on AICN think it's meh. Whilst they blew their load over JJ Abrams Star Trek a few months ago. Crazy world huh?

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 2:45 p.m. CST

    Mike Russell knows his shit....

    by vic twenty

    But movies, not so much.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 2:46 p.m. CST

    BNAT has a lot to answer for

    by ol' painless

    I don't know if you blame either Fox, Cameron, Harry or the format: but a lot of guys coming out of BNAT seem to have an opinion subtly more negative than the mainstream. thedailybeast.com ran an interesting article on the BNAT effect: that people who had their brains fried by 24 hrs continuous movie-viewing probably weren't in the best or freshest frame of mind to crank through 3hrs of AVATAR at the end. Hence, their reports of feeling jaded, bored, and unmoved by it. Do the foks at AICN believe they may have had a different reaction to it if perhaps they viewed it in isolation? Honest question.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 2:47 p.m. CST

    mike russel, you are as dumb as your name implies...

    by THE_ONE_MAN_GANG

    stop crying about the story please! we know it is a dances with wolves kind of thing... it is redundant. just enjoy the movie bro.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 2:47 p.m. CST

    Did he say Titanic's effects are dated?

    by MattmanReturns

    Um, no. Sorry. That movie's effects still look better than 98% of what I see today.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 2:49 p.m. CST

    everything said here I agree with

    by Magic Rat

    but Avatar is STILL an awesome popcorn flick. It's an event film. I went to see it with my parents, and I haven't been to see a movie with them since I was 12. We all loved it. It's going to be a cultural thing, and I don't think its fair to grade this like you would a normal film. It's simply in a different league.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 2:51 p.m. CST

    Wait, You're Asking People Not To Read...

    by WriteFromLeft

    ...a negative review until after they've shelled out money for a ticket? That doesn't make any sense. Once you've paid for the ticket, the damage has been done and Fox is slinking away with your hard-earned cash, which could have been put toward something more meaningful--say, a paperback edition of a George Orwell novel. You know, a writer with something on his mind. You don't have to give in to preprogramming by the mega-budget ad campaign. You really can just say "no" and wait for the thing to show up for free next time you catch a plane.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 2:52 p.m. CST

    I'll skip this for now. I'm going to try to enjoy AVATAR...

    by FlickaPoo

    ...as much as possible despite my skepticism.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 2:55 p.m. CST

    Official : My heart pierced, My eyeballs fucked.

    by Se7en

    Story was incredible. To say that the visuals is fantastic would be an understatement.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 2:58 p.m. CST

    He lost me at "everybody's buzzing over Sherlock"

    by TheWaqman

    where is this...buzz?

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 2:58 p.m. CST

    If my crap looked like Avatar

    by MotherPussBucket

    in the future, i for one would be impressed.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 2:59 p.m. CST

    I'm seeing Avatar later tonight...

    by TheWaqman

    and expecting a fun experience. I think Cameron needs to hire better scriptwriters though, he's still a brilliant director and has a great eye for action. But man, a good scriptwriter could elevate his work considerably.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 2:59 p.m. CST

    Avatar needs more defending and apologizing

    by Trannyformers_Apologist

    All great movies need people to defend (lie)them and apologize for there shortcomings.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 3:02 p.m. CST

    THUNDERSMURFS

    by Spazatronik2000

    HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 3:02 p.m. CST

    I am strongly encouraged to wait for Blu-Ray...

    by JasonPratt

    If then. I still haven't gotten Tran2 yet. Much of this sounds like it would make an unspeakable video game (though notably the tie-in game is routinely being given feh reviews.)

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 3:04 p.m. CST

    Can I just say...

    by foxthebloodied

    Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within is a seriously underrated movie. It had far more narrative balls than most anything Hollywood's ever come up with

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 3:04 p.m. CST

    "If you are one of us. Help Us." Amazing.

    by Se7en

    These are blue aliens I'm looking at, and my heart was right in the story. They freakin' felt real. Amazing. Mr. Cameron, history will write you as a great master storyteller (isn't that what films are about) and master innovater. Screw the dissers.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 3:06 p.m. CST

    I think that's a fair question about BNAT effect.

    by JasonPratt

    However, we're also hearing from people who didn't see it at BNAT, I think.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 3:08 p.m. CST

    screw this guy

    by Browncoat_Jedi

    who gives a shit about Mike Russell?

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 3:09 p.m. CST

    Thanks for that review Captain Obvious

    by Glory_Fades_ImMaxFischer

    still waiting for Harry's and others reviews..waiting...waiting..

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 3:11 p.m. CST

    well nothing new...

    by SunTzu77

    Great special effects.... average story... and mediocre acting.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 3:14 p.m. CST

    ol' painless

    by mrbeaks

    Yeah, but even if I find the world more enveloping when I see it in IMAX, I'm still going to have the same story complaints. *Maybe* I'll find the pacing of the first act less troublesome? I dunno.<br><br>But remember, up until this year, the final slot at BNAT was the prize. Worked for 300, THE TWO TOWERS, THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST, and many others.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 3:15 p.m. CST

    It's just 3 hrs of watching someone else play Xbox

    by gruntybear

    I just got back from seeing it. Honestly, it wasn't bad enough to "hate" hate; but it certainly wasn't good enough VISUALLY to garner all the ridiculous, over-the-top praise that people are heaping on it. The blurry 3D (which is exactly the crap-quality that I feared it would be) was more hindrance, than help. If you can get worked up over watching someone play a video game for hours at a stretch, you might actually care one way or the other about the picture. I couldn't work up feeling one way or the other. The physics of the CG is still off, the alien designs are just as cheesy and every bit deserving of the "Thundersmurf" epithets, the story was just your standard action beats strung together to the obvious conclusion - i.e., just exactly what it looked like from the trailer, a middling, not very adventurous "sciffy" flick.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 3:19 p.m. CST

    Whatever Beaks

    by MattmanReturns

    Your opinion means absolutely dick after you put Bring it On on a higher pedestal than Dark Knight. Not to mention Jackass... which is what you are.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 3:21 p.m. CST

    JUST GOT BACK FROM AN IMAX 3D SCREENING OF AVATAR

    by TheFlypaper

    In Mississauga, Canada. Doors to the theatre opened at 10:50am and when we arrived there were throngs of people already waiting. Got in, got seated, movie rolled at 11:30am and the theatre was FULL. SOLD OUT. 11 on a Friday morning. Won't give away anything here except to say that the movie was mesmerizing and wonderous. Pandora is a fully realized other world, and the story that unfolds on it is more than strong enough to keep you engrossed for the whole running time. 2 hours 46 minutes felt like only an hour. <p> I'll be going back to see it again for sure. If only to savour the incredible detail in every little shot. Unbelievable. People are going to have a good time at the movies this weekend, without a doubt. :)

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 3:23 p.m. CST

    BNAT effect

    by copernicus

    ol' painless, I certainly was tired during AVATAR, but I still enjoyed it. And the too-tired logic doesn't work for KICK-ASS, which played next to last.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 3:26 p.m. CST

    Thanks for the reply, Mr Beaks

    by ol' painless

    Personally, I suspect I will be rolling my eyes a number of times during AVATAR, when I finally get to see the damn thing. "The Hero's Journey" genre movie has been played out many times over in Hollywoodland, and you would have to be a screenwriting genius to mine anything fresh from it. And a screenwriting genius, Mr Cameron assuredly is NOT (well, except for ALIENS). His strengths lie elsewhere, and that's what I'll be showing up for. Hope I'm right.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 3:28 p.m. CST

    should have made it a 3D only release

    by Simpsonian

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 3:31 p.m. CST

    Thought it was really good

    by durka_durka

    Better than I thought it would be

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 3:33 p.m. CST

    WHERE THE FUCK IS HARRY'S REVIEW?

    by kwisatzhaderach

    I mean, seriously?

  • 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, 3:36 p.m. CST

    ...THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST played at...

    by FlickaPoo

    ...ButtNumbAthon!?<P> I love that...two and a half hours straight of Jesus getting his ass whipped at ButtNumbAthon.<P>Every once and a while the universe seems like an orderly place after all...

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 3:39 p.m. CST

    Hope people go with an open mind.

    by snakecharmer

    Just enjoy the ride.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 3:41 p.m. CST

    FluffyUnbound, Costner was already sold on the Indians

    by MattmanReturns

    in Dances With Wolves. He was already fascinated with the frontier and thus he was predestined to fall in love with their kind.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 3:42 p.m. CST

    Question.

    by CharyouTree

    Anyone remember reports of a supposed 8 min POV scene of Jake running through the jungle that was supposedly the most complex awesome scene in the movie, the omission of that and a few choice scenes from the scriptment are my only real dissapointments.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 3:43 p.m. CST

    People watch 24 hours of movies straight?

    by snakecharmer

    Wow. That's dumb. BNAT sounds like an awful idea. Why not spread the movies over a couple days like a proper film festival.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 3:47 p.m. CST

    Mattman, you're right.

    by FluffyUnbound

    And the film spends a lot of time showing you why Costner hated his own culture - with the Civil War scenes, and the Krazy Kommandant scene, and the trogolodyte mule team handler, and the gross abandoned cavalry post, etc. But you never really get to see why he decides to love Native Americans so much in the positive sense. "You're trying to steal my horse! I lurv you now!" That's about it. In SAMURAI, much more of the transformative experience is right on the screen. So is AVATAR more like DWW or more like SAMURAI in this particular regard? That's my question.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 3:48 p.m. CST

    Snakecharmer, don't be a pussy.

    by FluffyUnbound

    "Marathons are stupid. Why not have a 1-mile race 20 days in a row?"

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 3:49 p.m. CST

    There's one REALLY GOOD IDEA here...

    by zinc_chameleon

    and that is that Pandora is part of the 'Aliens' universe. Quarritch said it himself: "A Marine in an Avatar body is a potent combination". However about Nav'i Avatatars going toe-to-toe with Ripley's Bad Guys. There's a terrific console game in there, if not a movie.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 3:49 p.m. CST

    TOTALLY AGREE

    by Fa_Tass_DinoMolester

    Basically, I completely agree with everything Mike Russel said! Don't need to repeat it, really; it's not a horrible movie, but it's not that engaging or interesting either. Yes, the scriptment was much better, and no, this probably won't be the "future of film", (at least, I hope not)!

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 3:51 p.m. CST

    People who say "looks like an xbox game" are fucking retards.

    by Black Jesus

    Seriously. Show me a goddamn videogame that looks like this movie.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 3:52 p.m. CST

    Perhaps Earth should have won in the end.

    by cookylamoo

    This movie seems to piss off a lot of Earth lovers. I wonder if there should be a sequel called "Gaia, My Ass"

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 3:52 p.m. CST

    Alien Avatar

    by CharyouTree

    for a sequal, a marine in a Xenomorph, infiltrating a hive?

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 3:53 p.m. CST

    CharyouTree

    by kwisatzhaderach

    There is another scene missing, that actually was in the trailer, Sully in the bar wearing the Harley t-shirt. The opening seems greatly cut down, i'm guessing there will be a DVD/Blu directors cut.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 3:53 p.m. CST

    BEST FILM OSCAR? HA HA FUCKING HA

    by mrdck

    My, my isn't this amusing? A geek site skewering the biggest geek movie, whatever next? George Lucas SW prequels look like citizen kane compared to the tosh cameron has served up. I'll smoke whatever he's been smoking for the last 4 yrs. ho ho ho merry christmas!

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 3:53 p.m. CST

    Black Jesus

    by kwisatzhaderach

    Exactly. All videogames are based on Aliens anyway, Cameron is not copying videogames, they have been copying him for 20 years.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 4 p.m. CST

    kwisatzhaderach o yea where he rolls his ass in.

    by CharyouTree

    There did feel like quite a bit of trimming in some parts. I wanted to see a bit more of the human colony, and the mercenaries, and of course more Pandora. I actually can't wait for the bluray now, I hope there's at least 20 mins more footage.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 4:02 p.m. CST

    I'm thinking/hoping

    by CharyouTree

    that 8 min POV shot was just to much even for these guys to pull of in time and it'll be on the Bluray, or at worst in the sequal.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 4:04 p.m. CST

    FluffyUnbound, yeah we'll see

    by MattmanReturns

    I'm not seeing it till tomorrow. I do love Last Samurai though, and I doubt Avatar will do the culture romance quite so well as that one did. Still, I'm looking forward to seeing some epic Cameron sci-fi again. That's always welcome.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 4:06 p.m. CST

    It's fun.

    by Pistachio_Wildebeest

    Saw it last night. It's a lot of fun. The story's simple, but it's hardly dull. I would have been happy with more complexity, but it kept me in my seat for 160 minutes without my attention wandering once. You just think well, this is a straightforward fable, and there's nothing particularly wrong with that. Audience seemed gripped.<p> Visually... well, the 3D is fucking incredible.<p> I think these "meh" reviews risk being a bit harsh. Happened to see Transformers 2 a few weeks ago. That's meh. Stopped paying attention halfway through. No idea what happened. Saw T4 at the flicks. That's meh. Couldn't tell you what happened outside a few set pieces. AVP movies? Is meh a strong enough word? Bride Wars. Not that I've seen it or know anything about it, but I imagine it's meh. Avatar is many things, and there are things that personally I would have liked to see more or less of, but it's certainly not "meh." In fact, it's the only film I've seen all year that was definitely worth seeing at the cinema rather than waiting for the DVD, which I gather is the point. That's largely because of the 3D, but the rest is easily good enough to support it. I'm probably in danger of going again.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 4:06 p.m. CST

    What's this awesome xbox game that Avatar looks like?

    by MattmanReturns

    Because that'd be one impressive game. I must play it.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 4:08 p.m. CST

    While he raises legitimate points...

    by MadFuckingMax

    I don't think most people will have the same reaction to these short-comings as the reviewer.<P><P>It IS by-the-numbers, and at times simple-minded, but it is engaging. The cinematics are incredible, characters are endearing and the action frenetic.<P><P>Strangely, I don't think I've ever seen a criticism of a film so unanimously honed in on a certain aspect. Its as if, because the film looks so incredible, there is this inherent need to qualify the other factors. That because they themselves aren't groundbreaking, they consitute a failure. Bizarre.<P><P>As others have said, if this were a Pixar film, it would have been lauded. They are praised for their well structured plots (which, it must be said, endear specifically because of the very ""human" aspect to them - a point which, though it deals with "aliens", Avatar draws parallels with) and more often their fantastically beautiful looks.<P><P>As he says, watch it on IMAX if you can. I doubt most will be disappointed.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 4:09 p.m. CST

    peter travers has posted the best review

    by brabon300

    not for what he says about avatar, but for the following line<p>"Unlike hack-of-the-decade Michael Bay, who can transform anything into instant stupid..." <nuff said> im glad that cameron has made a visually pleasing film...now its time to make something personal<p> i just watched et last nite....almost 30 years later, it holds up...will people say the same for avatar after another 30 years? we shall see

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 4:13 p.m. CST

    Found the story

    by CharyouTree

    could be bullshit as it's from that (in)famous G@BRIEL GR@Y on Marketsaw<p> http://tinyurl.com/dgs9t3 <p> Here it is<p> A few months ago, G@BRIEL GR@Y dropped into a discussion here on MarketSaw, where he described what he considered to be the standout visual effects set piece of Avatar: a 12 minute sequence seen through the eyes of Jake in Avatar form as, among other things, he runs through the Pandoran jungle. Now, I have heard from a completely different source, who I can confirm as legit, that there is indeed a first person set piece in the film. First, here is what G@BRIEL GR@Y had to say a few months ago: There is a twelve min segment entirely in the first person viewpoint. this as im sure you all could understand is a tricky thing, you`ve seen examples in doom. which look cool....but never felt real. for instance blinking blurring of vision. photoreal is now easy. animateing it to define real is very hard. this most definatly is the money shot of the biggest movie ever conceived.<p> Could have been bullshit looking back now though I hope not.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 4:14 p.m. CST

    That's odd

    by Pistachio_Wildebeest

    I've noticed a few people say the 3D is blurry, but the 3D I saw was remarkable. Is it just differences between screens, does it work better for some people than others, or are my standards just extraordinarily low? <p>

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 4:20 p.m. CST

    Just got back from it. Finally.

    by gotilk

    First Fandumbo posted the wrong showtimes. Then I had an hour to drive 90 min away to catch the next-closest 3d min-Imax.(which ended up being just fine) I made it just as the lights dimmed,sitting in my middle, 5th row seat. Thanking the traffic Buddha for granting my no-cop wish.<br><br> It was spectacular. But just a moment on some of the plot bits mentioned. The big red that no-one could tame? Because they were not smart enough to simply drop onto it from above?? <br> Poppycock.<br> The reason Jake is able to tame it is not because he could fly over it. In HIS simple mind, he might think so. But the real reason is this neurally connected world. The same reasons the little flying jellyfish-seeds light upon him. If you think the only reason he was able to tame and fly the beast is because he thought to drop on it from above, you weren't paying very close attention to the film. And it is easy to miss certain things when your immersed so deeply in this world. <br><br> Unfortunately, what some people are saying about the story, characters? Pretty fair criticism. But I wouldn't be quite as harsh as some have been on this film. If you didn't come away knowing that this film is technically a leap forward and a "game changer", you really do need to get your eyes checked. And in this case, it's *almost* all that matters. <br> Humans are eeeeeevil. <br> <br> POPPYCOCK!<br> Pandora would be a better place without ever having seen a human being. BUT.. in the end humans saved their asses. It was a human Soldier conscientiously objecting that broke Jake free and then gave her life. Humans in general? Not looking so hot. But the best of us? The better of us? We're heroes. <br><br> Finally, there's some action in this film that we have never seen directed this perfectly before. And the depth, the immersion. Just wow on a huge scale. It delivered on my every expectation short of maybe only one.. I just did not care for the characters the way I hoped I would. Neytiri (spell?) YES, Jake... a little. Sigourney was great as always, Col. HarryPotterSport was a great bad guy, but definitely cut from a mold. A great, awesome mold. But a mold nevertheless. Everyone else felt a bit disposable. <br><br> But do yourself a favor and just set all that aside. Because this film WILL blow you away. If it was written by the people who wrote season 2 of Heroes, it wouldn't matter. It would be a huge bummer, but it just would NOT MATTER. It would still be one of the best things you've ever set your eyes on. And when you weigh it against the weaknesses of other Cameron films, just don't even worry about it. It has them all. But it's going to hump the crap out of your eyeballs anyway. Uncanny valley, meet thy doom.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 4:22 p.m. CST

    FluffyUnbound - How tired you are affects how much...

    by snakecharmer

    you enjoy a movie. I can watch two or three movies in a row but after that I have to go do something else.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 4:24 p.m. CST

    Thanks for the Spoiler warnings, gotik

    by ol' painless

    I mean, everyone who wants to see the films already seen it right? After all, its only the first day of release.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 4:26 p.m. CST

    But... but...

    by emteem

    ...Beaks' buddy and his amazing film mind and Beaks own amazing film mind actually had opposite reactions. This Russell guy loved the beginning. Beaks didn't like the beginning. When the two greatest film minds of the century cannot agree on which half of the movie is good how am I ever supposed to know what to think?

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 4:27 p.m. CST

    The Humans

    by CharyouTree

    I don't think people noticed but Ribisi did seem to show some genuine guilt or regret at ordering the attack in a couple of quick scenes, which I thought fleshed him out nicely. Also a couple of shots of people in the control room.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 4:28 p.m. CST

    M Beaks, you had no story complains...

    by AsimovLives

    .. about teh ckliched dumb story of Jar Jar Abrams's SHIT TREK. But suddently, for AVATAR, simple story upsets you enough to write a neghative review? You got to be fucking kidding!! Really, how much did Jar Jar Abrams payed you, you ass for sale? Next time you sell out, do it with more subtlery and disguised.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 4:29 p.m. CST

    What a pair of cunts

    by Player01

    Really, you guys should just STFU. There are some - some valid crits in there but honestly, you seem really disconnected from everyone else.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 4:29 p.m. CST

    Is it true that the ammonia atmosphere

    by Rectal Blowout

    is from all the cat piss?

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 4:34 p.m. CST

    PISTACHIO_WILDEBEEST

    by TheFlypaper

    3D is a funny thing. Even though there are bona fide systems in place for 3D now, like realD and Imax 3D, I still don't get the feeling things are standardized at the exhibitor level yet. <p> Prime example: I went to see UP at my local plex in realD this summer and came out HUGELY disappointed. The color balance was way off. And anyone who knows anything about Pixar understands that their color palettes are an incredibly important part of their film experience. Not wanting that to remain my impression of the film, I saw it at a different theatre, and low and behold the colors were breathtaking. <p> So not only do I think an individuals perception of 3D is a very subjective thing (based on quality of eyesight, etc.) but I also think the quality of the exhibitor plays a huge role. You could see a film twice in 3D, and walk away with two almost entirely different perceptions of the 3D experience. It's kinda the luck of the draw. <p> I thank my lucky stars that the showing of Avatar I saw today was flawless. Crystal clear, amazing color reproduction, and very little strobing. But truth be told, I think some of that is Cameron's doing. In the years he's spent away from the director's chair, I suspect he's really experimented with things like focal lengths and such. What works best given today's projection technology, what doesn't. <p> 3D is a new language for filmmakers. It's going to take some time to learn it properly. Avatar, if nothing else, goes a long way to laying down the founding grammar to that dialogue.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 4:51 p.m. CST

    Earthers are sore losers....

    by cookylamoo

    People didn't like "War of the Worlds" or "The Day the Earth Stood Still" either.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 4:52 p.m. CST

    I'm going to pass more anti-Mr Beaks ammo

    by AsimovLives

    One of the things i like to do in here is to check out older reviews. I call it my own archeological diggings at AUICN's past. and in one of my diggings, i found Mr Beaks' review for The Island. And in that review, he has this pearl: "the evolving sensebilities of Michael Bay". More digging reveals that Mr Beaks is an unappologetic groupie of Michael Bay. He has gone to great lenghts to excuse and justify every dumb bullshit that BBay shats onscreen.<br><br>And then, he goes all upset and anoyed that Cameron made a movie where the story is simple and where the characters are not too sophisticated. Well, and what the fuck is in all those Bay movies he loved so much? Or the latest abortion from Jar Jar Abrams? how th fuck i'm supposed to take this asscown's opinion any seriously? Really, what's the deal with this Mr Beaks guy? The more i know about him, the more his 100 movies list upsets me. Bring it On better then The Dark Knight. And then he compalisn about AVATAR'S lesser sophisticated elements. This guy is just joking with us, isn't he?

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 4:57 p.m. CST

    If the Navi win.....I'll suck.

    by Onin Solstice

    I'm sorry, but this movie can only end in the defeat of the Navi. If Cameron has them winning Ewok-style, that'll hurt it. It sounds like they do win. Which is gay.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 4:58 p.m. CST

    We call all agree I think...

    by Gabba-UK

    that the film is a technical marvel and is unlikely to be matched for sheer spectacle until JC makes his next movie. But the plot was just kindergarten level. I'm sorry but it just was. There was nothing plot-wise that unfolded before my polarised enhanced eyes that I didn't know was coming. And as for the sex scene, CGI or not, if most of the audience are laughing you've filmed a bad sex scene (Watchman anyone?). But I am telling people to see the movie because your eyeballs aren't fucked as was promised. They are taken out to the finest restaurant, fed succulent food and Champagne to drink. Taken back to a 7-star hotel, slipped between satin sheets, caressed, stroked and teased into multiple orgasm and hugged to sleep afterwards. They ain't believing the story they were being told to get them there but the journey was worth the trouble. Avatar in 3D is a solid 3/4 out of 5 star movie. I can imagine that the 2D version is going to lose it a star because only the 3D makes the journey worth a second time.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 4:59 p.m. CST

    All this brilliance

    by HapaPapa72

    ...and a Na'vi tribesman named No Duh! Awesome.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 5 p.m. CST

    Na'vi = Aborigine Aristocats

    by TylerDurden3395

    As a movie, Avatar is flawed, filled with heavy-handed preachiness and ham-fisted scripting (you automatically know who will live, who will die, and who will stay in their Avatar). As a special effects smorgasbord, it's tough to beat. *** 1/2

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 5:03 p.m. CST

    I was going to say what WriteFromLeft said

    by aargh

    but he said it better... what's the point of reviewing a film by saying "go see the movie, then we'll talk." Jesus Christ.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 5:03 p.m. CST

    re: Earthers are sore losers....

    by IAmLegolas

    maybe they just thought the original movie versions were better.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 5:04 p.m. CST

    This Guy's Assessment is 100% Correct

    by BASEMENT_CHEETOH_EATER

    I've seen it. It's a good film...but not a great one. And his criticisms aren't douchebaggy "nitpickery" - he nails just about every reason this film falls short of being great...and lands it merely in the category of "good".

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 5:08 p.m. CST

    Mostly agree

    by dastickboy

    The scripment was a lot more nuanced, especially the idea that everything on Pandora was a threat. Quaritch gives a speech basically saying that Pandora is worse than Hell, but in actuality you only come across 1 or 2 seriously threatening creatures. It's not as laughable as Mike Russell makes it seem, for instance the AMP knife makes perfect sense against the predators that are shown to pounce.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 5:09 p.m. CST

    Saw the Sherlock Holmes assessment..

    by Kontarsky

    And immediately changed the channel.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 5:10 p.m. CST

    Rape does not exist in this dojo

    by Cobra--Kai

    Beaks AVATAR is an *allegory* of man raping the Navi.<p> I know you went into it with your kleenex ready... but it's not the 'actual' thing dude.<p> No, you wont see Blue Zoe Saldana getting unflinchingly snuff-raped for forty minutes. Sorry, wrong movie.<p> Go watch your fave of the decade IRREVERSIBLE for the twentieth time mate. That's the good stuff. Knock yourself out fuckface.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 5:12 p.m. CST

    Avatar down to 82% on RT

    by jaysin420

    Those smurfs can suck on Batmans balls.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 5:15 p.m. CST

    anyone who couldn't have fun watching this movie

    by Magic Rat

    might as well just off themself, I doubt anything will please you.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 5:16 p.m. CST

    Avatar on "Spotlight" on the Reelz channel

    by Rectal Blowout

    ch 161 on Comcrap.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 5:16 p.m. CST

    by Cobra--Kai

    Jeez, I defended TERMINATOR SALVATION now I gotta defend AVATAR too?<p> Aren't my fellow geeks sci-fi fans?<p> Can't we appreciate a bit of good ol' entertainment without picking it apart at the seams?<p> Sci fi has always been about dreams and spectacle... accept it as such... and. Enjoy!

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 5:17 p.m. CST

    My eyeballs were raped many times over.

    by disfigurehead

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 5:20 p.m. CST

    @jaysin420

    by Colt19801980

    82% is a great score, what're you talking about? The critical buzz for this movie is great, and the buzz coming out of theaters is fantastic. People love it. You look like a childish fool being negative.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 5:22 p.m. CST

    Cobra--Kai, Terminator Salvation did not entertain me

    by MattmanReturns

    It didn't even work on a 'fun' level for me. I've had more fun sleeping.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 5:23 p.m. CST

    Beaks has chosen Bring It On over Dark Knight... here's why:

    by MattmanReturns

    Cocaine.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 5:23 p.m. CST

    It's hard to take the Avatar haters seriously.

    by Orionsangels

    Because when something is as beloved as Avatar. You're going to get the inevitable haters. Who hate it more just because everyone loves it so much.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 5:25 p.m. CST

    I wouldn't judge this flick so harshly if...

    by alienindisguise

    it hadn't been sooooo fucking long in the making. While Cameron was sitting around waiting for the tech to "catch up" he should've been learning how to write a fucking script! Avatar is just like a dumb hot chick. Yeah it's fine to look at it but there's nothing behind the eyes.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 5:25 p.m. CST

    5 people rushed to the hospital after seeing Avatar. News at 11

    by Orionsangels

    One I witness said, it was as if Jesus walked out of the movie screen and gave me a high five.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 5:26 p.m. CST

    by Cobra--Kai

    Mattman i'd suggest you 'Return' to TS one more time... disassociate it from the previous flicks and you may well find it's a pretty good sci-fi action movie.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 5:30 p.m. CST

    Cobra--Kai

    by AsimovLives

    I like you, friend, i love your style, you are one of the few originals in her,e and i have a great amoutn of respect for you. However, to delieberatly be blind to a movie's fawls and faults is foolhardy. We should be sheep that would swallow any thing given to us. The studios would want that. Is that what you want to be, a studio's stooge? Think about it. No good movies get made if audiences don't have standards. By accepting anything just for the sake of fun, you are only helping the hacks, not the good filmmakers.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 5:30 p.m. CST

    fawls = flaws

    by AsimovLives

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 5:32 p.m. CST

    Has anyone played the video game?

    by liesandpicturesofalsolies

    I'm more curious about that at this point.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 5:33 p.m. CST

    MattmanReturns

    by AsimovLives

    We don't always agree with each other, but we do share our bewilderment of Mr Beaks's choice of rating Bring It On higher then The Dark Knight. I guess you are right, only drugs can explain such a decision. As if i needed more reasons to disrespect the guy!

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 5:34 p.m. CST

    Terminator Salvation was a fucking disgrace

    by AsimovLives

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 5:36 p.m. CST

    Cobra, I watched the directors cut recently

    by MattmanReturns

    to fairly give it another shot. That movie stirs absolutely no emotion in me other than boredom. And I'm a huge fan of sci-fi. I'm not a Bale hater (he's one of my favorites), but he was so flat in the movie, and so was Worthington. I felt very detached. And the action scenes were sloppy and poorly shot, imo. I wanted to like it, but I just don't.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 5:37 p.m. CST

    WHO THE FUCK IS MIKE RUSSELL -

    by SeXX ED

    - and where did you motherfuckers find this solitary asswipe? Was it really worth the effort to go out and find pretty much the only colostomy bag with a negative opinion on a film that is currently winning the hearts and fueling the imaginations of totally satisfied people worldwide? Did you bother to intensely search for a negative review for (it gives me hives just to type it) G.I.JOE? Oh no, you must NEVER forget your across-the-board (and studio funded) endorsement of the biggest pile of shit since Batman and Robin. Here's an idea: next time go flip over a rock in Senegal and maybe, just maybe you might find another random fuckhead to fuel a pointless, shit-starter of an anti-article. WE'RE TRYING TO HAVE FUN IN CELEBRATION OF A MILESTONE IN CINEMATIC HISTORY - THE HATER MINORITY HAS BEEN ORDERED BACK INTO THEIR POOR MOTHER"S BASEMENT WHERE THEY SHALL FUCK THEMSELVES!!!

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 5:38 p.m. CST

    Yes Asimov, Beaks is a common enemy for all talkbackers

    by MattmanReturns

    Jackass is a better movie than Gladiator? Beaks ranked fucking Jackass over a Ridley Scott film? I think that's punishable by death in some countries.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 5:39 p.m. CST

    I want Beaks to fucking explain himself

    by MattmanReturns

    Explain reasonably to me, Beaks, how Dark Knight is inferior to Bring It On? Please. I'll do my best not to laugh. I'm really, honestly, fucking curious.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 5:43 p.m. CST

    by Cobra--Kai

    Asi, I dont think anyone that's seen it would say that TERMINATOR SALVATION is 'fun'. In fact it's a film with ZERO comic relief (prob would have helped it at the box office to have a few lighter moments in fact).<p> That said - yes, I will accept a film just for the sake of 'fun' (like BORAT).<p> I will also accept a film just on the power of its 'spectacle' (like AVATAR), or only on the power of its drama (like DOGVILLE).<p> If a film has only one thing going for it, but it does that one thing really well, then yeah. It's probably worth a watch!<p> Now can we get back to talking about AVATAR and/or Beaks love of snuff?

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 5:43 p.m. CST

    Avatar fucked my eyeballs but

    by TylerDurden3395

    it was clumsy at first. It took a while for Avatar to get it up. Then it found its groove and pummeled me into a satisfying climax. I hope Avatar will call..

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 5:45 p.m. CST

    INVISO-TEXT INVISO-TEXT INVISO-TEXT!

    by REVENGE_of_FETT

    Come on man, you guys INVENTED this shit! WHERE IS IT!?

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 5:45 p.m. CST

    Just got back from AVATAR

    by HagCeli

    Good movie, without a doubt. Very entertaining, it just zipped by. Art direction and FX/animation were truly outstanding and 3D makes it so much more fun. Loved the character of Naytiri... a great amazon warrior in Cameron's good old fashion, Naytiri/Zaldana stole the scenes. But the narrative DID feel a little flat and uninspired... I missed that special "Cameron spark", the edge and complexity that T/T2, Aliens, and even True Lies and Titanic had. Had issues with the human characters who were ridiculously clichéd and just no fun to watch (except Sigourney as the scientist). To sum it up, AVATAR is NOT the second coming of Christ but a solidly entertaining adventure. I'd rate it 4/5. BTW Titanic's effects were dated even at the time when it was relased. The exterior CG shots with the stiff little pixel people walking around on deck looked quite corny even back in '98.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 5:47 p.m. CST

    But spectacle isn't story -- it's an amusement-park ride.

    by ScaryWaitress

    A. Fucking. Men. <P> Here's to keeping my expectations LOW.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 5:49 p.m. CST

    P.S.

    by HagCeli

    AVATAR is much more coherent and touching than the terribly overrated "The Dark Knight". AVATAR does have a heart, that's why it's winning people's hearts. Despite the aliens being blue and all.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 5:49 p.m. CST

    by Cobra--Kai

    TylerDurden, AVATAR's just posted nude pics of you on the internet.<p> I guess it told you they were for 'private' use only...<p> Never trust a game changer.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 5:49 p.m. CST

    Stephen Lang was good but he'll always be

    by TylerDurden3395

    The Party Crasher to me...

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 5:50 p.m. CST

    You mean 97, HagCeli. Titanic came out in 97.

    by Orionsangels

    Get it right! We Titaninerds pride ourselves in defending the greatest movie ever... lol I'm just messin with ya.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 5:50 p.m. CST

    But seriously, who is Mike Russell?

    by Saluki

    Guys sounds like the Douche King.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 5:51 p.m. CST

    An amusement park ride? An Xbox game?

    by MattmanReturns

    You people don't know wtf you're talking about half the time. Many movies are visual spectacles. An amusement park ride lasts for 60 seconds and shakes you around. How the fuck do you compare that to visual spectacle, exactly? As for it being an Xbox game, so am I to understand the entire movie is shot in first person?

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 5:54 p.m. CST

    next week The Rock kicked (Watchman's) ass with RACE TO WITCH MO

    by Gislef_crow

    Maybe at the box office. But otherwise... in what alternate reality was RtWM better than Watchmen?

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 5:58 p.m. CST

    @HagCeli

    by Colt19801980

    I agree...I think it does lack that Cameron potent immediacy that is so wonderful in all his films...but I have a strong feeling he held it back because of the overwhelming visuals and didn't want to make audience's heads explode...I also believe this is why he stuck to such a simple story.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 5:59 p.m. CST

    Thundersmurfs are 30 apples tall

    by Stereotypical Evil Archer

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 5:59 p.m. CST

    Thundersmurfs are 30 apples tall!

    by Stereotypical Evil Archer

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 6 p.m. CST

    We Want Harry!!! Where Is He???

    by Media Messiah

    Where is Harry's review, it is just not the same without him???!!!

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 6 p.m. CST

    Also, the 3-D was just OK...

    by TylerDurden3395

    There is no scene where Jason crushes some guy's head and his eyeball pops out into the audience. There is no scene where Jaws explodes and his teeth coming flying at you. There is no 3-D Tom Atkins. Nothing.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 6 p.m. CST

    Double Double Post Post

    by Stereotypical Evil Archer

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 6 p.m. CST

    @MattmanReturns

    by Colt19801980

    LOL, exactly...people calling this an xbox game are laughably insane...have they even played xbox? A simple video game doesn't hold a candle to this movie...hell, most dreams don't hold a candle to this movie. That's the feeling I got when I left the theater...that I'd just woken from an incredibly vivid and surreal dream and it took a while for me to shake it off.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 6:04 p.m. CST

    Beaks looks like even more or a fucking idiot...

    by Colt19801980

    Now that he's left off his list arguably the second best movie of the decade (There will be blood is #1).

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 6:04 p.m. CST

    Amended: My Review Of Avatar

    by Media Messiah

    "Avatar"--Film Review <BR><BR> By: Media Messiah <BR><BR> 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 Neytiri...native princess of a Na'vi tribe (a pre-industrial race of blue alien beings...on a far off planet)...and Sam Worthington--a human turned Avatar driver, proves he is a real and charismatic screen presence to be reckoned with, as Jake. For the uninitiated here, in brief, Avatar bodies resemble the Na'vi, bodies which humans created, and thus, 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 nearly destroyed the Earth, 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 the entirety of Pandora...as she guides Jake, her soon to be love interest, through spiritual tribal rituals, and tests of courage which help to fashion the mettle of our would-be hero; by way of a trial by fire. Jake, in his normal human frame, spends much of his time in a wheelchair. A paraplegic military vet...jaded by his circumstance, he is at first quiet and suppressed, but in his Avatar body, he is a free spirit...unbound. 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 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, but dangerous, planet. In the recent past, the science team had made contact with the Na'vi...via 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 Neytiri...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 promptly becomes a fruitful pawn for the evil human military commander...and a somewhat unwitting curse for the Na'vi. Fireworks" ensue, and 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 finer human traits...in the face of the military brute strength...and corporate greed, lesser traits that have advanced our culture, yes (the nagging paradox of what it is to be human) but at the cost of destroying the cultures of others, and now, that serves to endanger our very own eco-system, which 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 alas...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 offensive that the U.S. and ts allies 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 a 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 its sequel, 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 the movie 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 (3D). 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 the 3D technology employed here, said to be state of the art, just isn't on the same plateau of magnificence as this film, or the motion capture tech that infuses its scenic 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, in comparison, when heard in the proper context--that, 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; it serves as an essentual, yet, unseen, character, one that is felt emotionally--adding the final toppings to this filmic confection. <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 simply that superb. <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--performances that demand nominations, and specifically...they not only deserve said 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 survival of our species depends on our willngness to share the wealth and available resources of our planet, while preserving the environment in which we live. And finally, by embracing the concept of peace, as a must, not a choice. 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. Cameron has birthed 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. Avatar is a good old fashioned popcorn film, all whist...emploring us to curb our carbon imprints on this planet. Pandora, the fabled box of antiquity, carried in it, great destruction, disease, and sin, as does our advanced technology of today. We can either chose to open that box wider, and further risk destroying ourselves, or close it, by better learning to control such awesome power, before it is too late. God Bless Jim Cameron for causing us to think, while he entertains us!!!

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 6:05 p.m. CST

    Mike does not exist in this dojo

    by Cobra--Kai

    Who is Mike Russell?<p> Apparently he is Beaks's "pal" and an "occasional AICN contributor" (nope, never seen his name on this site before either). But his greatest claim to fame is that "he can break a movie down better than anyone".<p> This begs the question Beaks... why the fuck didn't you run your 100 best shitlist by your pal Mike Russell before publishing it and exposing yourself as a no-taste twat with a sinister penchant for cheerleaders and hardcore rape?<p> Mike Russell - I know you're reading this bro. I have no quarrel with you, but where were you?! Where were you when your buddy Beaks needed you most???<p> Feel free to post a comment in reply, or just pussy out and say nothing Mike - up to you.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 6:06 p.m. CST

    Why can't I get excited for this?

    by Quake II

    I love Cameron, love epic movies and I'm a fan of all kinds of cinema but Avatar just doesn't get me excited. I'm almost in the "wait for dvd" camp. I guess the thought of watching a 3-D movie for 3 hours sounds like a form of torture. Plus if it has a "greenie hippie environmental" message, I may boycott Cameron for life. I'm more excited for Tron Legacy and Iron Man 2....by a big margine.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 6:07 p.m. CST

    YO SALUKI!!!

    by SeXX ED

    Mike Russell is the tuck-job king of transvestite fanny pack-wearing TWILIGHT lickers. He is also Nerd_Rage_Retard_Strength. He also gives Thai ladyboys a bad name.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 6:12 p.m. CST

    Technical oscars won

    by Colt19801980

    It will be like the oscars where DDL won for There Will Be Blood...everyone else was almost embarassed to be there.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 6:15 p.m. CST

    cunts

    by Player01

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 6:16 p.m. CST

    Tron Legacy WILL...

    by Mariusz

    ... definitely - without a shadow of a doubt - be SUPREME to Avatar! The trailer alone looks way cooler than this turd of a movie.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 6:17 p.m. CST

    Cobra--Kai

    by AsimovLives

    You are mistaken. There is humour in Terminator Salvation. The whole movie is laughable.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 6:18 p.m. CST

    Quake II.... try viagra maybe?

    by MattmanReturns

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 6:25 p.m. CST

    Most Directors just make films

    by mr dark

    James Cameron makes films and creates worlds to immerse yourself in..while Mr. beaks and Mike Russell make nachos and mac and cheese

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 6:28 p.m. CST

    by Cobra--Kai

    Asi, don't bait me now! Im trying to get Mike Russell to make a post.<p> After all that guy can "break a movie down better than anyone", so... why doesn't he ever post on talkbacks? Surely this would be right up his alley?<p> Maybe he used to? TITBAG hasn't been seen for a while has he...<p> C'mon Mike - wade in and defend your review! Don't be so coy!

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 6:30 p.m. CST

    Mike Russell doesn't normally drink beer

    by MattmanReturns

    but when he does, he drinks Pabst Blue Ribbon.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 6:40 p.m. CST

    by Cobra--Kai

    Mike Russell. Cluck cluck. Cluck cluck.<p> Break this down - you lay eggs pussy boy.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 6:43 p.m. CST

    Cobra...

    by BASEMENT_CHEETOH_EATER

    (this is ScottinDC btw bro...professional posts here): Beaks' love of rape is so troubling. I'm actually surprised Harry hasn't distanced himself from it. I know MANY people were bothered by some of Beaks' admissions (written and nocturnal) when it came to movies like Irreversible. He's a sick fuck...as far as Avatar, my review will be on AIBN shortly. I liked it but didn't love it. Good visuals but a bit derivative. Definitely shows nicely in 3d, though.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 6:44 p.m. CST

    Mike Russell's friends don't have conversations with him

    by MattmanReturns

    They interview him. Mike Russell, the most interesting man alive.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 6:45 p.m. CST

    Mattman...

    by BASEMENT_CHEETOH_EATER

    Do not FUCK with PBR, mate. It's the breakfast of champions. Especially when lunch is Rolling Rock followed by an early Old Milwaukee's Best supper.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 6:52 p.m. CST

    "Show me a goddamn videogame that looks like this movie"

    by Muki

    Avatar - The Game dickhead!

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 7:02 p.m. CST

    saw it last nite

    by ieatgarbage

    w/ the GF. it was the male version of titanic. that's not a bad thing. first half of the movie, getting to know the world, and everything...is amazing. visually, amazing. some of the coolest shit i've ever seen. there are some cringe worthy moments. the last 1/3 of the movie is boring. in the first 1/3 exposition handled in a really clunky fashion. and there are some real head scratching moments (SPOILER: the marines plan on attacking the tree of life by pushing a pallet of explosives out of the back of a jet? that's moronic, so is the close-up shot of the word "explosives"). but you can put all the bullshit aside and just enjoy visuals; you really can turn your mind off and revel in this film's gorgeousness. <p> if this is where film is going, i'm in. i can't wait until there's a device i can strap around my head and completely enter finely rendered 3D worlds. i'm excited. cameron did right by me (and this is coming from someone who thinks True Lies, Titanic, T2 are some of the most idiotic movies ever made, but that they somehow transcend their cheesy idiocy and become potent. i don't know how cameron does it. but he does.) <p> and one other side note. i can't imagine owning or being able to watch this movie at home on a regular TV. it's gotta be 3D imax or nothing. i just cna't imagine it holding up

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 7:08 p.m. CST

    ...AVATAR aside, a great X-Box game is better than...

    by FlickaPoo

    ...your average deep fried and candy coated action flick these days.<P> As an immersive experience games are superior in every way to your average popcorn blockbuster. Comparing AVATAR to a game might not be far off the mark or even negative...<P>Just to be a contrarian...

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 7:10 p.m. CST

    Did anyone else notice this?

    by tomservo68

    We're told it's impossible to get the natives trust and join them. Yet all Jake has to say is I'm a warrior and the leader says "Good enough for me"

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 7:16 p.m. CST

    yes tomservo

    by ieatgarbage

    the movie is full of ridiculous moments like that. <p> but i'll be damned if i wasn't able to put aside most of the guffawing of my girlfriend and enjoy it. <p> it probably didn't help that i dragged her to the theater at midnite and there were only like two girls in the entire theater (which was packed btw).

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 7:17 p.m. CST

    and when i say

    by ieatgarbage

    ignore her guffawing. she was reacting to stupid shit like that. <p> tho michelle rod. character. someone has to explain her to me. <p> it's like she flipt out of nowhere. <p> i just couldn't buy her arc at all.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 7:22 p.m. CST

    Avatar - A Cinematic Breakthrough

    by Everton_Carter

    I saw Avatar in 3D last night and it was simply awesome. Sam Worthington is an outstanding actor, full of natural charm and charisma and probably second only to Rob Schneider as far as dynamic leading men go. I’ve been a fan of Worthington’s ever since I saw him in Terminator: Salvation and I thought that having his character Marcus Wright be the main focus of the movie rather than John Connor was a master stroke. Let’s face it, John Connor has never been particularly important to the Terminator mythology so for me, it made perfect sense to have Worthington play a completely unknown character and then kill him off at the end. <BR> <BR> Anyway, back to Avatar. The story was full of twists and turns. I never thought for one minute that Sully would begin to sympathise with the Na’vi and eventually join them. I loved seeing that in Dances with Wolves and The Last Samurai too but here it’s done originally. Also, it was really surprising when he and Neytiri began to fall in love. Very rarely in cinema do you see two young people of the opposite sex who initially hate one another eventually realise they love one another. It’s even more surprising when you consider they spent literally every day together for 3 months in a paradise environment. How any two people could fall in love under those conditions is truly astounding and I did not see that coming. Also, I’m glad to see that Cameron didn’t fall into the trap of creating a heroic stereotype and imbuing his leading lady with princess-like qualities whom the hero must win over. OK, so her father was essentially the King of the Na’vi and her mother was sort of their spiritual leader but I’d hardly say that would make her a princess. <BR> <BR> The scene where Colonel Quaritch reneged on the deal to help Sully get the use of his legs back really came out of the blue (no pun intended). He seemed like such a nice guy up until that point. Also the way that Cameron introduced Giovanni Ribisi’s sleazy corporate character playing golf with a coffee mug was very original. So many times the head of greedy capitalist corporations are portrayed as the heroes so it was refreshing here to see them portrayed as the bad guys for once. <BR> <BR> Much has been made about how Cameron has created an entirely new world in this movie and it truly is a stunning achievement. For example, most of the movie takes place in a forest with things like trees and leaves and flowers and water - none of which we have on Earth. And the aliens all have two eyes, two ears, two arms, two legs, a mouth and a nose completely unlike humans. Weird right but you get used to them. The sheer creativity that Cameron has shown in creating all this from scratch is truly stunning. He even designed exotic alien weaponry for the Na’vi called a ‘bow’ which is used to release something called an ‘arrow.’ <BR> <BR> I thought the dialogue was great. I especially enjoyed hearing Worthington in his avatar body deliver contemporary urban colloquialisms such as ‘yeah that’s what I’m talking about’ and ‘run home and tell your mother bitch’ in a futuristic alien environment. It was almost like Will Smith was actually in the room. <BR> <BR> I also enjoyed the subtlety of the film. There was no heavy-handed message about environmentalism here. OK, in one bit there was quite a big tree but it’s a fleeting scene and not particularly relevant to the plot. Cameron really knows how to get his point across in an understated way. In fact you could say that subtlety is Cameron’s trademark which is perhaps why he worked with Arnold Schwarzenegger so many times. Schwarzenegger is really the only actor who has the classical training to get those subtle nuances in his performances that Cameron strives for. Hacks like Scorsese should take note. <BR> <BR> The score was superb and not at all reminiscent of the score to Troy. Special mention must also go to Leona Lewis who sings the closing theme. I’ve always thought she was an amazing song writer and I admire her musical integrity unlike so many of these glorified karaoke artists you see on TV talent shows these days who are instantly disposable. Her rendition of ‘I See You’ was almost as good as Celine Dion’s ‘My Heart Will Go On’ from Titanic. Who doesn’t love to hear that played over and over? <BR> <BR> The production design is excellent. I especially loved the military helicopters with their twin rotor blades. I think the Halo series of video games should be ashamed of themselves for ripping off these designs, even though Halo has been around 8 years before Avatar. I also really liked Michelle Rodriguez’s character. She plays a tough Latino female marine who dies heroically and is totally unlike any other character we’ve ever seen previously in a James Cameron film, especially not in Aliens. <BR> <BR> One thing I would say is that if you’re the type of person who enjoys watching films with lots of special effects, Avatar is probably not for you. There is minimal CGI in this film – probably because they didn’t have a particularly large budget to work with. But to be honest if all you care about are special effects then you probably shouldn’t even be watching an intricate character study like Avatar because at no point has this film ever been marketed as an effects film. To summarise, I would say that Avatar is a great little independent movie and could well go on to become the sleeper hit of the year.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 7:38 p.m. CST

    Everton Carter you're an ass..

    by mr dark

    Guys like you probably give a ho hum to three way sex with two beautiful Thai girls..that is if you even can muster up the joy that is found by rational humans when having it..yes I read the sarcasm in your review ..very fucking hip you douchebag..

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 7:40 p.m. CST

    Couple of things...

    by Red Ned Lynch

    ...first, I just assumed Jake was able to ride the beast because once he was plugged in it knew what was in his heart (head anyway) and understood the implications. The fact he was riding it led the Navi to trust him. Now could that have been a mistake? Yeah, in my movie it would have been Cortez all over again, a human trick that led the Navi to trust someone who was leading them to their destruction. That may be one of the reasons no one hands me a quarter of a billion to make a movie.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 7:41 p.m. CST

    Mike Russell & the power of utter clarity

    by Rocco Curioso

    You, my good man, are a motherfucking genius for viewing & discerning this movie with the insight of Nostradamus and the compassion(or lack there)of a tax attorney.<P>THANK you, and if Santa doesn't bring you all the presents you want, I will gladly fill in the blanks myself. Something tells me that when the initial rush wears off and the dust settles, more people will see that Cameron's version of style over substance, while exhilarating... is still only just that. Same cake; better frosting.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 7:46 p.m. CST

    @tomservo68

    by Colt19801980

    "We're told it's impossible to get the natives trust and join them. Yet all Jake has to say is I'm a warrior and the leader says "Good enough for me"-----Were you asleep when those luminescent flowers surrounded Jake's avatar and made him safe for the others to trust? It's why she looked at him funny and changed his mind...you may also recall the scene where she about to fire an arrow Jake but one of the lumiflowers landed on her arrow, telling her to stop...those things come from that wise old tree. They listen to it and it endorsed Jake. He didn't just say "I'm a warrior", he was already given the green light by Pandora.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 7:48 p.m. CST

    And actually...

    by Red Ned Lynch

    ...as I was watching it I was afraid of an even more belabored message, which the single entity nature of the planet made seem horrifyingly possible. That was that the planet would transform the unobtanium into another substance, thereby depriving the humans any hope of the Cibola they were seeking and any reason to trouble Pandora again.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 7:57 p.m. CST

    What I wonder...

    by Red Ned Lynch

    ...is why Avatar being a great even movie doesn't seem to be enough for anybody, no matter which side of the debate they're on. Avatar is better than any of the big spectacle films we've had this year. Yes, the story and characters were derivative in a way that surpasses what is normally accepted among polite company. Yes, there are concepts that were just not lifted but dumbed down, although in some cases I would argue that dumbing down also allowed them to be portrayed visually in a simple, elegant style. Yes, there were some groan-inducing moments. But there was also this great wild ride, and the debate here isn't whether Avatar is better than The Godfather but whether it's better than 2012 or Transformers. Guess what? It is. Just let it be a good big movie. That's all it is. And for those of you who want it to be more than that? It's not. Really. Maybe you got carried away by the visuals or your expectations, but a truly great movie excels with story and characterization in a way that Avatar doesn't. It really is enough to just be a good big movie. We don't get so many of those anymore.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 8:07 p.m. CST

    Yeah, let's nuke Pandora from orbit next time.

    by Raymar

    Its the only way to be sure.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 8:10 p.m. CST

    about taming the big 'dragon'

    by tradeskilz

    Listen, Cameron omitted to show us exactly what heppned when jake tamed the big dragon creature. We see him jump, land, then fade to black. From this you somehow concluded that all that happned is that he simply plugged his bio-chemical firewire interface in to the dragon. What the fuck happned to peoples imaginations? If everything isnt explicitly shown or narrated to us we immediately go with the first thought that pops in to our minds. Who's to say Jake didnt have an epic battle of wills with the dragon? Maybe Cameron felt that another long dragon taming scene was unnecessary. For everyone of these supposed plot-holes people point out i can find several reasonable explanations off the top of my head.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 8:10 p.m. CST

    about taming the big 'dragon'

    by tradeskilz

    Listen, Cameron omitted to show us exactly what heppned when jake tamed the big dragon creature. We see him jump, land, then fade to black. From this you somehow concluded that all that happned is that he simply plugged his bio-chemical firewire interface in to the dragon. What the fuck happned to peoples imaginations? If everything isnt explicitly shown or narrated to us we immediately go with the first thought that pops in to our minds. Who's to say Jake didnt have an epic battle of wills with the dragon? Maybe Cameron felt that another long dragon taming scene was unnecessary. For everyone of these supposed plot-holes people point out i can find several reasonable explanations off the top of my head.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 8:19 p.m. CST

    meanwhile the rest of us couldn't give a fuck

    by tradeskilz

    about the message or politics. We just wanna have a good time. And we did. If you guys get so upset about these things maybe you should stop watching movies.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 8:23 p.m. CST

    so we're the ALIENS

    by frank cotton

    i was afraid this would be an ideology-driven sermon, and i was right. a prettier 'final fantasy'. figures. and hey, shouldn't they just go ahead and drop the 'final'?

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 8:27 p.m. CST

    AT LAST! I BEHOLD AN AVATAR REVIEW!!!

    by RICHARD_GERE_RAPED_MY_GERBIL

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 8:31 p.m. CST

    BLU-RAY 3-D STANDARD FINALIZED

    by frank cotton

    today

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 8:32 p.m. CST

    frank cotton

    by tradeskilz

    so if the movie doesnt agree with your political views it automatically becomes a preachy ideology-driven sermon? It must be fun to be you.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 8:46 p.m. CST

    Snarky2

    by Colt19801980

    "Fuck Cameron and any other Hollywood douchebag who wants to lecture us about being Green or how technology is bad. Fuck them because they are nothing but fucking hypocrites. Not one of them would give up their lifestyle for any reason. Also, most of them aren't bright enough to carry on an adult conversation, let alone follow science closely enough to form legitimate opinions on such complicated matters."----You do realize that Cameron is a member of the NASA advisory council, and that he and NASA have been working together for years on the earth to mars mission and its many variables in eventual execution don't you? You do realize only someone incredibly intelligent and educated could land in such a position? Of course you don't. And why would a successful individual have to give up their lifestyle in order to make a movie about the connectedness of all living things (which is what Avatar is about, NOT that technology is bad...technology is a tool, it's no more bad or good than a pencil) why should Cameron give up his WELL EARNED lifestyle and declare himself a hobo...to please a failure such as yourself? Keep trolling.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 8:55 p.m. CST

    I fucking LOVED it, myself...

    by BurnHollywood

    Just got back from the theater, and I'm still getting over my shock at how much I really dug it...a lot is made of the visuals of this movie (natch...and the sight of Neytiri cradling Sully's "tiny" body near the end was truly surreal and moving), but what really sold it for me is not only the pacing of the film, but Cameron successfully evading the curse of action movie "chopped salad" (as he calls it). Finally, there's the best post-CGI battle sequence put to celluloid so far, which is pretty much worth the price of admission...this is the battle we expected, but failed to get, in all three STAR WARS prequels.<p> To focus on the pace of the film: the only clear analogy I can make is to a symphony...the story and characters are familiar, sure, and the dialogue sometimes seems cliche, but same as the individual instruments in an orchestra, it's all in the service of the movie's epic expanse and eventual climax, which I found to be beautifully structured, the goals, purposes and tactics of each warring side clear and concise for a change, not a mushy jumble of colliding pixels. Bitching about certain predictable plot elements (like Sully taming the dragon) is a bit akin to whining that you KNEW that Beethoven was going to use that damned full chorus by the end of his 9th symphony.<p> What's more, Cameron doesn't pussy out with his characters' fates, either: three major players buy it by the final act, and just like ALIENS, I felt a real sense of loss at each. And Quaritch? That fucker starts out a gladhandler and finishes a full blown, icy son-of-a-bitch. No "Darth Vader" there, thank Gawd...if anything, it's Ribisi's Selfridge who looks relieved to be getting his ass deported by movie's end.<p> I notice over at ROTTEN TOMATOES that the T-meter critics have slacked into the eighties, while the Top Critics are still in the nineties...I think that's a reflection of how this show has something to offer the true connoisseur rather than the passive moviegoer.<p> Super...let 'em choke on STAR TREK, for all I care. This really was something special.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 9:12 p.m. CST

    I refuse to read this review...

    by Jaka

    ...because the format is weak sauce.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 9:13 p.m. CST

    Most pretentious "review" I've ever read...what a load of shit

    by slaughterstorm

    Your elitist sense of self-entitlement is disgusting. Your jaded and disdainful attitude is insulting. I feel sorry for anyone who can't enjoy a great movie out such pure cynicism. Nothing could be good enough for you. It's not because your expectations are too high. It's because you are fat spoiled assholes.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 9:29 p.m. CST

    frank is apolitical

    by frank cotton

    and toes no ones party line. he is also capable of thinking for himself, and does not need CNN, FOX, politicians, or religious 'leaders' to dictate his beliefs. he did not like being preached to in church, why would he want to be preached to at the movies? whatever the message?

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 9:48 p.m. CST

    Gotta address one bit of idiocy in the Russell review...

    by BurnHollywood

    "So what does Jake do? He trudges off and tames the biggest dino-bird in the sky and flies it back to where all the native refugees are hiding. And they IMMEDIATELY -- with no argument or hesitation -- the natives declare him their new warrior god and leader because this dino-bird is supposed to be really hard to tame. Like, there's not even a SECOND of 'Um, hey, this guy proved himself untrustworthy in the last fucking scene.' It's idiotic. It's bad drama."<p> This is missing an entire level of bona fide SF subtlety woven into the script, that a lot of slovenly viewers are going to miss...<p> The life force that the Na'vi worship in the movie is not an esoteric metaphysical concept...as evidenced by their ability to "jack in" with other species, it's an actual entity unto itself that exists in a sort of organic computing "cloud". It's not a coincidence *at all* (as Beaks seemed to think) that the jellyfish-like seedling stays Neytiri's arrow...this entity actually seems to have a sort of oracular, predictive ability, and in fact "chooses" Sully early on, knowing in some superhuman fashion that he's critical to its survival.<p> When the Na'vi see that Sully has tamed the most dangerous creature on Pandora, therefore, it's quite a bit more than showing up at a biker rally with the loudest Harley...it means that, whether they like it or not, he is the life force's chosen champion and savior, period. Any one else who tried to ride astride that beast would've wound up as chunks in its stool.<p> This is a pretty nifty SF concept, really, and almost hints that at one time, the Na'vi might have eschewed technology in favor of this organic "networking" in an earlier era...

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 9:59 p.m. CST

    The problem for me...

    by jerseycajun

    is that what the defenders attack the critics for is mostly for having some kind of standard that includes story, script, direction and acting. Folks, you may be new to film in many ways, but those elements have historically been the bedrock of solid, and more critically, lasting pieces of cinema. Dismissing this in the face of what can't be denied are stunning visuals and effects work, puts the cart before the horse. If all we wanted were more pretty colors, nature still has Avatar beat. Our eyes still register more detail and nuance than the best visual effects work can render. A visit to the Grand Canyon in person beats a trip to the theater 6 days a week and twice on Sunday. No amount of cgi wizardry or 3-d technology can take the place of being in a real space, so when rendering realistic alien worlds and species, there has to be something else there you can't get from simply being surrounded by natural beauty and wonder. The advantage movies have is their human element (represented by those categories mentioned).<br></br><br></br>When defenders attack critics regarding a films simplicity, what they're defending isn't the simple, it's the simplistic. (There's a difference.) When they attack critics regarding character, what they're defending is caricature (which is best left for comedies, presumably not what Avatar intended to be, but which still apparently incites some awkward giggles). When they attack critics regarding disagreements over originality, there is confusion between what a genre or sub-genre is, and a generic, by-the-numbers plot.<br></br><br></br>Given the high emotional state of some of the people in the talkback, it seems unlikely that cooler heads will prevail. I may eventually see Avatar, but I anticipate an experience not unlike what watching the world's most phenomenal lava lamp would be like. Technically impressive, but forgotten shortly. I do want to see what the technology can do for other directors when the don't forget the basics of making a film a timeless classic. In that sense, I am hopeful that the technology will be used only in support of an not the reason for a film's existence. Hollywood, however, is not known for this kind of logic, and may just as well take the lesson that style again is more than substance. In that regard, the defenders may have something in common with them.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 10:03 p.m. CST

    Something I can never get a right-winger to explain...

    by BurnHollywood

    Even if global warming is a giant load of hooey, what's the harm in curtailing the usage of a substance that's only making a bunch of misogynist, fundamentalist sheiks obscenely wealthy, and keeping American troops halfway around the world protecting selfsame petrochemicals when they'd rather be home with their families this Christmas?<p> Go for it, Snarky2.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 10:04 p.m. CST

    Snarky2

    by Colt19801980

    You're angry, that's obvious, but worst of all you're generalizing...Cameron has a house in malibu, that I know, but I know nothing else of his personal life...do you? Does he drive a gas powered car, or hybrid? I don't know, do you? Is he off the grid and using solar panels? I don't know, do you? The point is, we don't know how he lives his life, so it's pointless debating it. I don't listen to Cameron anymore than I listen to my mother...I form my own opinions based on research and personal taste...please don't assume I do nothing less than that. Cameron made a movie on a topic that interests him, agenda or no agenda, it matters not...you know why? Because the marketing for this movie is action thrill ride oriented, not message or sociological/environmentally driven...if it were, you'd have reason to be so upset, but it's not, so calm down. I SERIOUSLY doubt anyone's opinion about the direction of the planet has been swayed by this movie. It's entertainment...it's Cameron's point of view, which we're all entitled to...you know who you should be getting mad at? Corporations, not artists.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 10:11 p.m. CST

    jerseycajun

    by BurnHollywood

    "I may eventually see Avatar"<p> Dude, I was a serious skeptic, but even I had to either shit or get off the pot.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 10:17 p.m. CST

    And the message of this movie isn't tree-hugging anyway...

    by BurnHollywood

    It's a traditional "David And Goliath" tale, really...if you want to view the Na'vi as American revolutionaries and the humans as redcoats, that's a fairly valid analogy as well...

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 10:18 p.m. CST

    So who the FUCK is this tool again???

    by Sal_Bando

    Why don't you get John Kruk to fucking review the next one?? or do you need to Google Krukie to figger out who I mean? fuck this review and the reviewer.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 10:31 p.m. CST

    Great movie no..good movie yes.

    by thatswhatshesaid

    Saw it. Amazing special effects..especially the detail that went into the Navi and their facial expressions. Dam if I forgot they were computer generated. Story was ok. Yes some ridiculous moments, but overall was entertaining. 3D was the best I have ever seen. Put that in your pipe and smoke it haters.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 10:32 p.m. CST

    If the Navi win I'm walking out.

    by Onin Solstice

    They better not pull Ewok crap and have the Navi win. They only got spears and winged lizards. If this movie had balls the humans would win and send home a powerful message. Go Colonial Marines!

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 10:33 p.m. CST

    Snarky

    by emteem

    Who exactly in your world view is profiting from this anti-DDT/pro-malaria industry you believe exists?

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 10:36 p.m. CST

    Guys

    by emteem

    Whether you love or hate Avatar.... whatever your politics... there are plenty of places to discuss that stuff. Can't we all just agree to make fun of Mr. Beaks friend Mike Russell and his amazing ability to break down a movie better than anyone?

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 10:45 p.m. CST

    Magnificent film

    by Chakraborty

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

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 10:47 p.m. CST

    I got halfway thru this 'review?'

    by BendersShinyAss

    before shaking my head thing 'who the fuck is this dick and why do i care how much ,ore talented he thinks he is than james cameron' <p>if this is the pre-view of how fans are going to respond to this film then it's going to be a long battle filled next 3 years!

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 10:59 p.m. CST

    I just got done watching it

    by ObiWanKenobi

    And I have to agree...it is visually stunning to watch...but you could mute the whole movie and it would still be ok....the story was not that great and I have to agree that Cameron pretty much picked and choosed roles from his previous films and put them into this movie....not a great flick, but good eye candy, definitely will get a best pic nod for Oscar, but by no means deserves to win...the CGI will win the statue, but that's it. If this was released during the summer, it would be a really good reason to go into AC for a few hours to get out of the heat and would more than make it's budget back, but not now...Holmes comes out next week...rather would see that

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 11:23 p.m. CST

    half a billion

    by frank cotton

    is a lotta 'lectricity

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 11:24 p.m. CST

    Snarky2

    by BurnHollywood

    "First, I'm not a 'Right winger,' so I can't help you there."<p> You're complaining about "Leftists" below, but you're plainly not in that crowd, so what is it? Centrist, maybe? Even libertarianism has a "left" (anarchism) and a "right" (free marketeers, individualists, objectivists, etc). Sounds like you're trying to play the "populist" everyman card. I call bullshit.<p> "As for what's wrong with GW hysteria, a lot. If you want to improve the environment, that's great, but that's not what GW hysteria is about. Nobody is talking about fixing the environment in Copenhagen. They're arguing about how many hundreds of billions should be given to the UN to hand out to poor nations (assuming you trust the UN or poor nations with billions). Where does all this money come from? It comes from poor schmucks who already can't figure out how to pay their heating and gas bills."<p> WTF does all this conspiracy mumbo-jumbo have to do with AVATAR? I'm trying to make the point that strip-mining "Unobtainium" on Pandora equates to the wastefulness of oil exploration in the Middle East, complete with military involvement.<p> Do you or don't you agree that reducing oil consumption is a good idea?<p> "The cleanest, most efficient power source on the planet is nuclear (ask the French), but it's something that is universally opposed by GW fanatics."<p> Incorrect. Hydropower (dams) is arguably cleaner (uranium doesn't just "grow" out of the ground...it's mined with oil burning equipment, shipped, and ultimately, transported to waste sites with same). Dams have an environmental impact, but have no carbon generation outside building the dam, and are second to none in power generation.<p> "You want to clean up the planet, I'm all in. If you want me to give my money to Al Gore and a bunch of Leftists who promise to make sure it goes to the right place? Go fuck yourself."<p> Forget oil...is there a way to wean these guys off of hyperbole?<p> "Ask the millions in Africa who've died from malaria because of the DDT ban what can happen when we listen to hysterical rantings from people who are just trying to "do the right thing." Funny how often the "right thing" is the exact same thing that puts money in their pocket or puts them in a position of power. {sigh}"<p> Thalidomide was banned by international agreement, too...maybe the world also needs more flipper babies?<p> See? I can exaggerate, too.<p> Anyway, just answer the question of whether you think oil consumption is a bad thing or not.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 11:25 p.m. CST

    Beaks you and your friends seem like characters from South Park

    by Miyamoto_Musashi

    I can't believe you actually exist

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 11:25 p.m. CST

    Snarky

    by emteem

    You are not wrong for wanting the kinds of movies you want any more than people who enjoy this movie are wrong for enjoying it. No where in this talkback have I offered any sort of opinion on the film. So, I will do so now. I did enjoy it, but much like yourself I think Aliens is a better film. <p>Nor did I disagree with the notion that there is a lot of money to be made in the global warming business. You are correct that Al Gore is rolling in global warming money, but there is a lot of money on both sides to be fair. You do realize that there is a giant profit motivation for corporations to argue that there is no such thing as global warming, and, even if there is, it certainly isn't being caused by their pollution. I guess I'll also point out that for someone who is quick to declare themselves not a right winger you sure do seem to have a lot of very vocal problems with the left while never mentioning the right at all... except, of course, to point out how you are not one of them. Although, personally, I think labeling global warming, or environmentalism for that matter, as a left versus right issue is a little simplistic.<p>But, I'm getting off point. What I asked, based on the last paragraph of your previous post, was who exactly is profiting from a pro-malaria stance? You brought the subject back around to Al Gore again, but the fears over DDT have nothing to do with global warming they have to do with the possible cancer links and the proven effect on human reproduction and development not to mention diabetes, but that's another story.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 11:29 p.m. CST

    Snarky2

    by Colt19801980

    "Seriously....you think you could find hundreds of marines who wouldn't bat an eye at murdering children?"----If you had bothered to pay attention during the movie, you'd know the marines never saw the Navi as human; they were "blue monkeys" to them...VERY VERY dangerous blue monkeys that they'd been fighting for god knows how long. I'm sure many of the marines were just itching to take them out...you ever hear of something called the Vietnam War? U.S. soldiers had no problem slaughtering women and children in that debacle, so your point makes absolutely no sense. "You think a corporation would hire a golf-playing yuppie to oversee (single handed) the acquisition of the element that could save the planet earth?"----The golf playing yuppie had plenty of help...namely the massive marine core at his disposal. Is it really that difficult a task? It was basically a simple mining operation. Stuff is in ground. Scoop stuff out of ground. Simple. Why would you need a committee of golf playing yuppies to oversee it? "Watch Aliens again to catch what can happen when you flesh out the personalities and motivations of your characters in an extreme sci-fi environment." The characters in Aliens were pretty one dimensional as well...Hicks; a grunt who doesn't back down...Burke; corporate scum; Bishop; android with a heart of gold...Newt; brave little girl used to attract audience sympathy...the one complex character was Ripley and that's because she'd already been introduced in the first film, and fleshed out in the sequel.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 11:30 p.m. CST

    by emteem

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 11:32 p.m. CST

    Oops, on that last post

    by emteem

    Also, if anyone could point me to any of these supposed previous occasional contributions by Mike Russell to the site I would be most appreciative. I want to see what else I have apparently missed from the man who can break down a film better than anyone.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 11:35 p.m. CST

    Now it kinda feels like...

    by emteem

    ...this is turning into a Snarky dogpile when it should be a Mike Russell or Mr. Beaks dogpile if anything.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 11:36 p.m. CST

    Spot on

    by altwraith

    Mike Russell's review was absolutely spot on. Great visuals but horrible story.

  • Dec. 18, 2009, 11:46 p.m. CST

    James Cameron can still be my friend

    by cdw206

    I really enjoyed the movie. Yes, avatar sex was goofy... But they mentioned prior communication attempts with other avatars failed... why no more backstory on that?

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 12:55 a.m. CST

    Hey ol' Painless

    by gotilk

    Didn't you notice the big red spoiler warning on the article itself? If not, genuinely sorry if I spoiled anything for you earlier.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 1:06 a.m. CST

    I did see the spoiler warning

    by ol' painless

    But avoided reading most of the discussion, and went straight to the TB. I'm not really all that annoyed, its just that you seemed to list a key plot point in your post which clearly occurred nearer the end of the movie. No real harm done, and I'll see how closely my own opinion matches yours when I finally get to it!

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 1:09 a.m. CST

    I don't care if Mike Russell's review is spot on

    by MattmanReturns

    That's not the fucking point. I may very well hate this movie when I see it tomorrow. The point is some unknown faggot posted a review in the form of some imaginary person interviewing him. WHO THE FUCK IS THIS PERSON?? Beaks, lover of classics like Bring It On and Jackass, presents him like he's a legend, yet no one's ever heard of him! Might as well have interviewed some bum off the street who hasn't even seen the movie.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 1:17 a.m. CST

    Overdoing the politics

    by captzeep

    I appreciate that most people in Hollywood are liberal, and most films are going to be liberal. Entertainment is going to be a place for them to express this; I would prefer they lean to artistic expression, but I get it. But this only works if you show some respect and don't hit people over the head with it. I would like to see this movie, but T2 was overdone even after the cut the stupid monologue at the end; T3 no way.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 1:25 a.m. CST

    Alright...

    by gotilk

    Having read this entire talkback now (great review MediaMessiah.. but you must have seen a bad 3d presentation .. and if you take off your glasses in a 3d movie, it's a blurry mess.. so don't ever do that) .. I feel that it's necessary to point out that this is a SPOILER ARTICLE. Talkbacks for these articles MUST be tread on carefully if you're avoiding spoilers. If you care that much, please.. please.. PAY ATTENTION!!! to the article itself. I know some people just ignore the article and post their opinions anyway, and that's fine. IF you don't care about being spoiled.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 1:38 a.m. CST

    Burn Hollywood ....

    by mr dark

    I'm glad you enjoyed the film. I thought what James Cameron accomplished beyond just making this film which in some ways is really a miracle in its self.. Was total immersion ...I will be the first to admit this tale has been told in many forms..But the true achievement was the way the visuals and the charecters immersed the audience within the film.. This is the game changer everyone was saying wasn't so. I want to also say here and now that having read your comments of this film I was wrong about your intent on the message board and I see you have given praise where praise is due,..I'm glad you enjoyed the film and I am on my second go around to see again in true Imax glory...This film will be the Theme park repeat ride that everyone will need to see twice... I have already booked the third viewing and I'm sure I will take friends again during the holidays.. I have a smile on my face when I think of all of the folks that will enjoy this when they thought it was going to be just so-so... It is indeed like a thrill park ride... Thats what I think is the most sucessful aspect of this film. People will line up for the ride again...Happy Holidays

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 1:42 a.m. CST

    I'm gonna wait for the "Directors cut"

    by s0l

    ...Bugger! Just realised, that *WAS* the Directors cut.. Gonna need my eyes checked for STD's now!! Camerons movie has fucked so many eye balls, one of you gits probably just gave us all herpies!

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 1:50 a.m. CST

    SPOILER: ^

    by MacReady452

    I had huge doubts if this movie could deliver on strictly a CG level and I am pleased to report that my trepidation was all for nothing. Cameron delivered a technological masterpiece. I did get lost in the visuals. I LOVED Lang on fire. This concludes my praise of this movie.<p>Lots and lots of ponytail rape going on in this movie(maybe I should have left this in the praise section, eh Beaks?). Sigorney running around in her fuckin Stanford hippie college kid gear was retarded and her Avatar was the fakest looking thing in the movie. Pandora was crawling with hazards and death was around every corner when Sully is left behind. After the broad finds him, suddenly these threats are forgotten for the rest of the movie until they come in handy at the end. Why did Ribisi have, what I can only assume was $250,000 worth of unobtanium just sitting on his fuckin desk? How the fuck does Michelle Rodrigez get away with just pulling out of the ranks when they are blowing up the tree? "I didn't sign up for this." Ok. Now your in the cell with the other fuck ups. Nope she somehow stays out only to free them and make their escape. This concludes my criticism of the glaringly retarded things in this movie. Ok the robot suits carrying guns and knives was also dumb. Shouldn't that shit be built in and pop out like rad switchblades and shit?<p>Now for what I wished had happened. Sully should have had to at least fought a few Na'vi to earn their respect and trust. Even after he steals that dudes chick they barely roll around. I really thought JP from Grandmas Boy should have been jealous of Sully and fucked with the situation in some way only to come back later and make good. Nope. His character was wooden and useless. The military grunts were faceless and irrelevant. I almost felt bad for them after they started to get fucked up. They should have been assholes to Sully more so I would cheer as they got tore up and chucked out of aircraft.<p>I did really enjoy the movie but there were some serious flaws and some lost opportunities.<p>SEE THIS IN 3D ON THE BIG SCREEN OR YOU WILL REGRET IT! Lets make sure New Moon holds no records.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 1:53 a.m. CST

    Fans of avatar are fans of...

    by Mariusz

    ... the TV show "GLEE." Fuckin' homos, dude.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 2:02 a.m. CST

    Mariusz ... did you see this are you just talkin shit..

    by mr dark

    shell out the 15.00 and see this on the Lie max in 3-d and then start sucking on the blue dong you fucking worthless tool..

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 2:06 a.m. CST

    yeah, totally agree with mike.

    by r_kelly

    avatar suxxx

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 2:23 a.m. CST

    I do not agree with Mike.

    by martinjm70

    You can see why by reading my blog @ http://tinyurl.com/ylxzlc9 where I've posted my Avatar movie review.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 2:34 a.m. CST

    I really enjoyed this film...

    by TheWaqman

    it was a really cool theatre experience for me. I seriously had no problems with the plot or anything. Unobtanium was only uttered once as well, and the audience didn't seem irked by it at all. Predictable? Yes, but I wasn't really trying to predict it sub-consciously. I just went along with the ride and enjoyed the hell out of it. The 3D was a great enhancer, but I would have enjoyed it without as well. <p> 8.5/10 overall. This is a FUN popcorn flick.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 2:37 a.m. CST

    Also the CGI was flawless...

    by TheWaqman

    I think Cameron kicked the shit out of the uncanny valley. It's been crossed. I really got lost into the characters within seconds. It didn't even take minutes.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 2:38 a.m. CST

    WETA fucking rules. Gollum and now THIS

    by TheWaqman

    What the fuck is Robert Zemeckis' problem? Why doesn't he hire these guys? Fucking Gollum from 2002 is better than your most recent Zemeckis movie in terms of believability.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 2:40 a.m. CST

    Terrible Review

    by Toonol

    I absolutely hate the QA format. It allows somebody to pretend that what they're saying is accepted and inarguable.<p> Q: So is it as terrible a format for a review as it sounds?<p> A: Yes, that's right.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 2:42 a.m. CST

    And, one other thing...

    by Toonol

    Laughing at the 'blue people sex' is as much an indicator of idiocy as not enjoying Watchmen because there was a blue penis onscreen briefly. Why should any opinion of yours MATTER if you are that simplistic?

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 3:21 a.m. CST

    Mr. Dark... you're gay, you homo.

    by Mariusz

    Of course I saw it, you tool. I saw in 3D too, jackass. What? You think that's gonna change my mind about it? As I said before, the immersive 3D was awesome, but that's the only thing it had going for itself. This was utter shite, mate. No two ways about it. Bottom line.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 3:33 a.m. CST

    Wow, Mariuz is an idiot...

    by Ponfarr

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 3:36 a.m. CST

    ...and a closeted homosexual

    by Ponfarr

    I'm sure his biggest problem with Avatar, was how badly he wanted to get a peak at Jakesully's blue member, and it just never happened. Sorry dude, there's always the erotic fan art to look forward to.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 3:44 a.m. CST

    Toonol, I whole-heartedly agree

    by Ponfarr

    First of all the scene lasted, maybe two minutes. Secondly can you even call it a sex-scene? They kissed, then he picked her up onto his lap and kissed her neck. I'd hardly call that, "gettin' down to fuckin'" or what ever this supposed review called it.<P>I was waiting for people to laugh at that scene. Luckily no one in the giant IMAX theater I was in was that much of an idiot.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 3:48 a.m. CST

    TOP CRITICS LOVE THIS FILM, NOBODIES DON'T. INTERESTING.

    by --- Emperor ---

    I find it very interesting how pretty much all the top critics on rottentomatoes and metacritic lavish this film with the highest praise, some even calling it their favorite film of 09, and nobodies like 'mike russell' and other galore, pan it. I think I am going to go with the top, established critics on this one. So yeah, fuck off mike russell. It seems to me that the lesser known critics just want to grab attention, and in trying to be original, they failed by simply agreeing with every other unestablished, unknown critics. Yep, I'm gonna go with Berardinelli, Ebert, New York Times, Variety, Empire etc. on this one. And all of them gave it to the top ratings. So, like i said, fuck off nobodies.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 3:49 a.m. CST

    TOP CRITICS LOVE THIS FILM, NOBODIES DON'T. INTERESTING.

    by --- Emperor ---

    I find it very interesting how pretty much all the top critics on rottentomatoes and metacritic lavish this film with the highest praise, some even calling it their favorite film of 09, and nobodies like 'mike russell' and others galore, pan it. I think I am going to go with the top, established critics on this one. So yeah, fuck off mike russell. It seems to me that the lesser known critics just want to grab attention, and in trying to be original, they failed by simply agreeing with every other unestablished, unknown critic. Yep, I'm gonna go with Berardinelli, Ebert, New York Times, Variety, Empire etc. on this one. And all of them gave it to the top ratings. So, like i said, fuck off nobodies.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 3:50 a.m. CST

    TOP CRITICS LOVE THIS FILM, NOBODIES DON'T. INTERESTING.

    by --- Emperor ---

    I find it very interesting how pretty much all the top critics on rottentomatoes and metacritic lavish this film with the highest praise, some even calling it their favorite film of 09, and nobodies like 'mike russell' and others galore, pan it. I think I am going to go with the top, established critics on this one. So yeah, fuck off mike russell. It seems to me that the lesser known critics just want to grab attention, and in trying to be original, they failed by simply agreeing with every other unestablished, unknown critic. Yep, I'm gonna go with Berardinelli, Ebert, New York Times, Variety, Empire etc. on this one. And all of them gave it the top ratings. So, like i said, fuck off nobodies.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 3:54 a.m. CST

    Mariusz, well shit, here's hoping I don't like it

    by MattmanReturns

    I don't wanna turn out to be a homo after all these years!

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 3:55 a.m. CST

    And wtf is Glee?

    by MattmanReturns

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 4:03 a.m. CST

    Toonol, great point on the pretentious Q and A format

    by MattmanReturns

    Note how the fictitious question dude seems to revere everything Mike Russell says as though his opinion is irrefutable.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 4:09 a.m. CST

    Hey Mike Russel,

    by Chris

    I couldn't even finish your long winded bullshit review for this. I just came from the film, and yeah its all cliches, but you know what? They are cliches done the right way, that why they are FUCKING CLICHES. Why do you guys even post this guy's shit? He's obviously just another pissed off fanboy that thinks he can write a better story. Oh yeah? You think the story is "INSULTINGLY simple and derivative"? You write something ... oh wait, you did, this awful review that is really an IM conversation that winds on and on an repeats itself relentlessly. Get the fuck off my site, you hack.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 4:26 a.m. CST

    Ponfarr, if I wanted to...

    by Mariusz

    ... see a "blue member", I'd just throw on my Watchmen DVD and see Dr. Manhattan's tool, you tool! Get in line with Harry to suck Cameron's member, gaylord. Maybe he'll put you in the sequel.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 4:31 a.m. CST

    a major disappointment!

    by cloudrider`

    what the fuck happened??? this is not the cameron who did terminator and aliens. how about a little twist and turn in the story? why is every story beat so by-the-numbers? what happened to his patented double climaxes? what happened to the colorful side characters - they turned into one dimensional boring characters here? and the lack of battle strategy in the climax makes the war less interesting to me. the battle is LOTR:ROTK still hold first place. <p> the visual are top notch, but i seriously expect something more from cameron.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 4:53 a.m. CST

    Cobra--Kai

    by AsimovLives

    It's not that this Mike Russell guy is dumb like Massa or Merrick or Mr Beaks. It's that he's a bit misguided.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 4:56 a.m. CST

    MattmanReturns

    by AsimovLives

    You are having a blast mocking the shit out of this Russell guy, aren't you? almost as fun as bashing Mr Beaks, isn't it?

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 5:09 a.m. CST

    james cameron / howard hughes

    by Celebridy

    the thing about Avatar is this...... its like when howard hughes made movies with airplanes..... u can watch one and go, myeh, that movie was okay....... but OH YEAH, thats right, the guy also made the AIRPLANES...... which long outlived his movies...

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 5:31 a.m. CST

    I caught the mid-season finale of Glee.

    by gotilk

    I'd never seen the show before and it wasn't horrible. It kind of surprised me. BUT, I will say I agree to a point about the gay thing. Glee can be used as a great indicator of closeted people or homophobics. If the reaction is over the top when you mention the show, there's a good chance the person overreacting is the type of guy that not only wouldn't give a Brazilian transexual hooker a reach around, but would probably beat her up after she gave him the best orgasm of his life. That's just how these guys roll.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 5:47 a.m. CST

    YOU HAVE NOT SEEN THIS UNTIL YOU SEE IT IN IMAX

    by shaneo632

    I saw it last night and it was the most mind-blowing cinematic experience of my life. There's so much to take in.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 6:11 a.m. CST

    Macready

    by Chakraborty

    Regarding a few of your criticisms of the film (spoilers to everyone else): <p> 1) First, about the faceless grunts getting killed in the battle...during the scene at the end when Colonel Scratchyface is giving a speech to all the grunts about how they are going to go in and do a pre-emptive strike and slaughter all the savages...I noticed that Cameron was very particular about focusing in on the faces of many of those grunts. I remember because I was thinking to myself, "Man, some of those soldiers are a bunch of fatasses...and some of them look like bikers..." And when Scratchyface talked about slaughtering the Na'vi...the grunts all cheered unanimously. That scene was meant to show their collective guilt..and for me...it worked well. <p> 2) With regards to Rodriguez pulling away and saying "I didn't sign up for this shit", ultimately, she wasn't noticed and the Hometree was destroyed, so it didn't really matter...but I thought that was an important scene, too, because it showed that people in battle can make conscious moral decisions...and not all grunts are mindless killing machines who do as they're told...some act on their own...sometimes they act to do immoral things...other times, the opposite... <p> 3) As for the Unobtainium on Ribisi's desk...my impression was that Ribisi gives that motivational speech a lot...and whenever he does so, he goes over and grabs that Unobtainium...it's a reminder of why they're there....I doubt anyone there would steal it when they are in the process of mining for several tons of that stuff...and I imagine there are security cameras in those high-tech facilities. <p> One question, though.....are you a Republican?

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 6:32 a.m. CST

    Good movie that missed its chance to be great

    by liesandpicturesofalsolies

    Glad to see it getting some love. I'm not gonna nitpick too hard on it, even though I was originally one of the naysayers. The experience was exhilarating and completely overwhelming. I'm glad I saw it in Imax 3-D and I'll always remember it fondly. Still, a movie is more than it's first weekend in the theatre, but I feel that Avatar was specifically designed for being swept up in those first grand moments, and doesn't do very well after those moment are over and you think about the movie afterwards. The conflict was grand in theory but limited by its excessive formulaic nature (if you can get caught up in it by the spectacle alone, you are a better filmgoer than I) and once you learn that they can transfer human bodies into the Na'vi, the film is effectively over. I enjoyed it and I hope it makes ten billion dollars, but I also hope Cameron challenges himself emotionally next film rather than technologically.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 6:48 a.m. CST

    Also, Avatar and any Oscar.

    by liesandpicturesofalsolies

    Better Avatar than Up In The Air.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 7:47 a.m. CST

    Chickenshit does not exist in this dojo

    by Cobra--Kai

    Mike Russell - I know you're reading this.<p> 233 posts and you've read em all.<p> I think I noticed maybe 2 or 3 random messages of support saying 'you called it right'.<p> That's a 1% approval rating. For a guy that can "break a movie down better than anyone" that's not good eh Mike?<p> You also showed you had no balls by not jumping in here and debating and reasoning why you made the judgements you did. Don't make the mistake of thinking 'you cant reason with talkbackers'. You can. A logical, backed-up argument wins hands down and every time. Sadly you were too chicken shit to even try.<p> That's why Mike Russell = fail.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 8:17 a.m. CST

    BurnHollywood

    by tradeskilz

    I wish i could have seen the movie with you and talk about it over a beer afterwards. I also thought the whole organic network thing was tantalizing and the thought that the na'vi was ones extremely technologically advanced crossed my mind. No matter how you look at it the na'vi are clearly superior to humans in every way. They have vitrual immortality, a truly all-encompassing communication network that jack straight in to their brains and nervous systems. Sure the Gaia concept is as old as sci/fi but its still interesting. Now im just fantasizing but imagine if the na'vi ones had their entier culture built around that oranic technology they use. The 'Tree' of life or whatever evolved over time from being one gigant benign organism in to some kind of sentient supercomputer as the natives found out how to link and upload to it. Eventually it was decided that they forgo all mehanical advances to live in sync with the planet. Whatever.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 8:41 a.m. CST

    tradeskilz

    by AsimovLives

    Actually, the Gaia Hypothesis is a relatively new thing, it was created by James Lovelock in the 70s. Funny thing is, even the guy who created tohe concept doesn't actually believe in it, and claims his notion was misunderstood and misappropriated. At least in a SF story like AVATAR it makes sense in that it's a fantasy extrapolation. But for people to actually believe it's real it's nonsense. So much so that ti's called the Gaia HYPOTHESIS, as in, just an unproved notion.<br><br>The Gaia Hypothesis claims this notion that all organisms are somewhat interconnected, and not just on their direct relationships like predatorial or simbiotic, but in a real remote connection. And that the whole of the Earth's biosphere acts like a super-organism. Well, maybe that might happen in some alien planet out there, but it doesn't on Earth. Evolution and the conpetition for resourses in themself negates many of the notions behind the Gaia Hypotheses. It's a nice idea, and i like the spirit behind it, but it's nonsense. It's to give nature a liricism that it doesn't have. Nature is not an extrapolation of our best desires.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 8:46 a.m. CST

    From what i gather, AVATAR is basically a big metaphor

    by AsimovLives

    An adventure story with some topical metaphors thrown in. Metaphors about who we are and what he are doing right now in our won planet. As James Bliss once said, SF is always about the present, extrapolated.<br><br>What suprises me is how people took to task the so-called message of the movie. To the point that some have accused it of being a liberal rant. Well, i don't know, but if some people think that defending the idea that we should allow corporations,in their greed for easy profiting, spoil and ruin nature and the lives of the creatures that depend on it, including the destruction of the culture, habitat and way of life of a natuve people is a liberal thing, thenwhat's to be proud of being conservative them? Being conservative is the oposite, is that it? Being conservative is to defend spoilage, greed and genocide? I hope you are fucking proud of that. Me, i call that fucking nazism.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 8:51 a.m. CST

    Chakaborty

    by blackmantis

    Regarding the Unobtanium on Rbisi's desk, you missed the most obvious explanation, in that it's probably a fake ornament, not a real piece.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 8:58 a.m. CST

    arguments go on debate

    by bobbofatz

    and more debate. I have heard awesome and meh. I just want the truth dudes. I respect your opinions and maybe bias. As fellow sfx fans, does it hold up against the classics? Aliens Term Predator Matrix Dis9 ?

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 9:01 a.m. CST

    Asimov I dig you

    by bobbofatz

    but only assholes deal in absolutes.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 9:05 a.m. CST

    Bobbofatz...no.

    by blackmantis

    It's not as good as any of those. I'd put it near Titanic level. Awesome spectacle. Broadly played melodrama. The only difference is that this movie isn't aimed at 14 year old girls but 14 year old boys, so your average guy will get more enjoyment out of this.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 9:06 a.m. CST

    thanks black

    by bobbofatz

    did ya like it

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 9:18 a.m. CST

    Problem's were minor...easily over looked...

    by The Eskimo

    GO SEE AVATAR IN THE THEATER NOW IN 3-D WHIOLE YOU HAVE A CHANCE. BIGGEST OPENING WEEKEND, HIGHEST GROSSING FILM EVER. MARK IT HERE IN THIS TALK BACK ALL YOU NAYSAYERS!!

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 9:29 a.m. CST

    ...

    by The Eskimo

    Good lord that was the worst post I've ever made, grammatically speaking. "Problem's" fucking shit. Anyway, from the heart. Honestly, this movie rocks, and I am a skeptic. Russian missle indeed!

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 9:31 a.m. CST

    Yes bobbofatz

    by blackmantis

    I liked it, quite a bit, but don't love it. It won't make any top ten of all time lists.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 9:48 a.m. CST

    I loved it one of the best movies I ever seen.

    by SID 8.0

    Whoever Mike Russell is he should stick to reality TV because science FICTION isn't for him. If you apply logic to everything we do then the world would be a utopia but as we all know it isn't. About Jake being the first to ride a "Last Shadow" cool name by the way, in a long time is simply because he didn't have the instinctual fear as the Na'vi had of it. Now when you apply logic to all films suddenly you realize that The Lord of the Rings story could have been over in like 2 days. Frodo and Sam could have rode one of the eagles that were Gandalf's friends right to Mt. Doom. Frodo tosses the ring into the volcano on a flyby and gets home in time for second breakfast. But who would want to see that movie? By the way Delroy Lindo created Unobtainium in "The Core." He made his drill out of it.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 10:05 a.m. CST

    It's a kids film.

    by Fortunesfool

    Problem solved. They didn't market it as one because Fox clearly had no faith at all in the project and wanted to make as much money as possible. Cameron has made a $300 mill movie full of all the stuff he loved as a kid in the hope that it will enchant a new generation with the wonders of cinema. I mean, kids today are watching downloaded movies on mobile phone. And when they do go to the flicks they're seeing glorified TV movies where shaky-cam and ADD editing stand in for genuine spectacle and excitement. Avatar left me (36) full of a sense of wonder and joy that has clearly been lacking from cinema for the last decade or more. Christ, JJ Abrams was called the new Spielberg this year! For that reason alone, Cameron should be paraded through the streets and heavily applauded.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 10:20 a.m. CST

    go see it

    by traxz101

    you wont be let down, unless your really cold hearted. The love story element is great,the sfx are the best out there and the story is pretty good. best cinematic experience ive ever had.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 10:32 a.m. CST

    MIKE RUSSELL IS WHO?

    by BringingSexyBack

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 10:33 a.m. CST

    Mariusz ..You truly must be a cum guzzler

    by mr dark

    First of all I'm not your mate..Your mate woke up this morning and sodomized you..Your just another douchebag who wouldn't know how to enjoy something if he tried..Why are all your posts riddled with homosexual overtones..gee I wonder..

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 10:49 a.m. CST

    MIKE IS COOL

    by I am the most horrible

    WTF is with all the "Who is he" action? Were you expecting that review by your mom? Does one have to be a household name to post a review? <p> Furthermore he IS a household name in some parts. In Portland he is a great cartoonist, writer, radio personality and,gasp, movie reviewer. (He also has a disease that makes you perceive and depict feet as teeny little pencil thin twigs, but who is perfect?)<p> I'd give his words some weight and cut him some slack. He knows a thing or two and he seems like a swell guy. I'm reading this review BEFORE I see this movie...like you're supposed to.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 10:53 a.m. CST

    Pile of shit...

    by rutgersjaffo

    Avatar is the Red Lobster of cinema. What do I mean? Well, Red Lobster is supposed to be a sea food restaurant, right? Let me ask you, have you ever once heard anyone talk about how great the seafood was at Red Lobster? Hell no you haven't. What you DO hear is people talking about how great the biscuits are. Well, have you heard anyone say a single thing about how great the story is in Avatar or how full and real and deep the characters are? Hell no you haven't. You know why? Because the film is two hours and forty-one minutes of James Cameron raping CGI. The movie sucks. If you couldn't see withing the first twenty-five or thirty minutes exactly where the film was going to go, you are not that sharp. It borrows-steals from virtually every other major scifi film and the end is straight up Ewoks and the Battle for Endor. No way would I recommend wasting the time or money to see this. 'Game changer' my ass...

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 10:54 a.m. CST

    Suddenly...

    by jerseycajun

    when "top critics" agree with defenders, they're the gold standard of film criticism.<br></br><br></br>But these people will turn around and the next time "top critics" dislike one of the films they hold dear, will return to the standard "elitist snob" lingo, followed by the ubiquitous "why should we listen to these guys" line.<br></br><br></br>Personally, I found Mike_Russel to be well spoken and expressed his experience well. In the end, it's all about finding the critics with whom you find agreement with most - be that Roger Ebert or a Mike Russel, and stick with them, not basing anything on what RT considers a "top critic".

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 11:03 a.m. CST

    Wow...

    by rutgersjaffo

    Just read the story above. The man really hit it all right on the nose. Well done, sir...

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 11:07 a.m. CST

    Asimove lives

    by tradeskilz

    Thanks. Always enjoy reading what real sci/fi fans have to say.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 11:07 a.m. CST

    And seriously...

    by rutgersjaffo

    To dipshit poster number three who said 'Stop crying about the plot and just enjoy the movie, bro' I would ask: What the fuck were we supposed to enjoy?! I'm supposed to just forget all about the fact that the plot is a three hour piece of shit and sit there like a fucking infant ooing and aweing at CGI?! Fuck that shit. Plot is the big thing for a movie, isn't it?! I mean who the hell cares if it looks great but it's fucking moronic?! Geez...

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 11:27 a.m. CST

    The sequel to Avatar!

    by blackmantis

    The humans return, terraform to make the air breathable and colonize mars. The Na'vi are put into bubbled reservations, are miserable, become alcoholics and lose touch with their heritage. The humans, feeling guilty, give them Casinos, and everyone lives happily ever after,

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 11:49 a.m. CST

    One thing I keep seeing...

    by emteem

    ...in the various threads currently raging one way or another about this topic is people keep saying things like, "It's not one of the the greatest movies ever made" like that is a valid criticism. Is every film supposed to be the greatest film ever made? Out of the few thousand films released each year is every one supposed to take it's place at the top of our all time personal top 10 list? Are your 6th through 10th favorite movies ever supposed to drop off the list next Friday because another 4-5 films were just released? I mean if that was the case then cinema would be pretty fucking amazing. <p>I understand it's James Cameron and he's been gone for 12 years, but it seems like some people are holding this film to an impossible standard. I've seen a movie I liked more so it sucks!<p>And, no, before someone gets on me I am not saying that is the case with all the detractors. Some people just don't like some movies for a myriad of reasons and it doesn't really matter what the reason is if it didn't work for them it didn't work for them even the people I was just calling out at the beginning of this post.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 12:10 p.m. CST

    Just awful

    by kesoze4

    Reading this "interview" was like listening to an argument between four-year-olds each gifted with a 30-something's vocabulary. Aliens is unwatchable because *you watched it so much*?! Saw Avatar in IMAX 3D last night and I have never been sadder to have to leave a filmmaker's world. I pray to God every night that I don't end up being as bitter and self-important as these useless humans.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 12:22 p.m. CST

    Mr Dark was sodomized by a Brazilian tranny...

    by Mariusz

    ... hooker and he didn't even give her/him the courtesy of a reach around! The bastard. That's not very civil of you, dark. Do us all a favor and go watch Avatar again, you jizz lover.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 12:23 p.m. CST

    Kes,

    by jerseycajun

    He didn't say it was unwatchable, he said he'd watched it too much. There is too much of a good thing, and it is possible to spoil yourself with a good thing such that it loses some of its enjoyment value after you've watched it 10,000 times. And "useless humans", for what? Because you were moved by a movie and they weren't? Who is the four year old here again?

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 12:25 p.m. CST

    em_tee_em...

    by rutgersjaffo

    James Cameron set the bar high. He told us all over and over how revolutionary this film was going to be. He told us it would be like nothing we had ever seen. He told us it was a 'game changer.' James Cameron set the standard here and we are all well within our rights to call him out on it when the movie sucked ass. Sure it looked pretty. So do fireworks and I don't have to pay seventeen fucking dollars to see them and I don't want to sit through them mindlessly for three hours like a child. This movie was stupid, hackneyed, flat, and boring for the most part. They might as well have muted the dialog and just set the whole thing to music so we could oo and awe over the pretty pictures for three hours...

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 12:37 p.m. CST

    Avatar blows and the BO speaks for itself

    by jaysin420

    $27 mil opening night is fucking pathetic for the most hyped film of ALL TIME that cost a billion dollars to make and came out right before Xmas.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 12:48 p.m. CST

    Basterds is the Best Pic of the Year - Hands Down

    by Mariusz

    Tarantino turned in a way better film than this overhyped pile of dogshit.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 1:08 p.m. CST

    rutgersjaffo...Lol Red Lobster. And Mariusz...

    by Quake II

    I totally agree that Basterds is possibly the top film of 2009. I saw it three times in the theater and have watched it twice at home already. I haven't seen Avatar yet, but since I do consider Avatar an animated film I doubt it will be something I want to revisit three times in the theater.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 1:10 p.m. CST

    jaysin420, it's set to break the December record

    by MattmanReturns

    Unless the snowstorms keep it down. Nice try though.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 1:18 p.m. CST

    Completely, completely agree

    by Jawa 007

    with this assessment of the movie. And I too am jealous of the people who got the "Star Wars rush". Ah well.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 1:46 p.m. CST

    Had to stop reading after a certain point rather early in...

    by Skyway Moaters

    What a couple of self aggrandizing douchebags. Oh so sure that their interpretation is correct. Makes me sick. All these self appointed film experts telling you what you should think about a film. Just for the sake of argument, this film is running 95% positive with RT's "Top Critics" IE: Professional writers who actually get paid to review films. I have seen it and these fuckers are self promoting assholes who would'nt know an impressive cinematic achievement if it snuck up and lovingly felated their ballsack(s). FUCK YOU AMATURE CRITIC ASSWIPES trying to tell us what we should think vice actually 'reviewing' the film. Fuck off and die! If this is the future of journalism we might as well all stop reading RIGHT NOW.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 1:49 p.m. CST

    Fuck you Beaks

    by Gozu

    Just say spoiler warning. I'll see the film if I damn well please.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 1:59 p.m. CST

    @blackmantis

    by Rocco Curioso

    Indeed, sir. The last charge of James Cameron and his unimmortals.<P>So, we can expect "Battle Angel Alita" sometime in 2015? Get it snappin', Jimbo.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 2:18 p.m. CST

    hello: oil is an expendable resource...

    by Skyway Moaters

    ... regardless of whether you choose to reject the overwhelming evidence that human generated carbon emissions, including meat production being the primary contributor vice the burning of fossile fuels (also important), are having a detrimental effect on the global eco system:THEY ARE A FINITE RESOURCE. If you want to leave a viable world for your progeny, and I suspect many of you "drill baby drill" assholes could give fuck, we MUST move toward a world economy powered by renewable resources. Reliance upon fossil fuels is the driving force behind the military conflicts and ecomic disasters that OUR world presently faces. WAKE THE FUCK UP.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 2:21 p.m. CST

    Waiting for the DVD

    by bueno_bob

    None of the Avatar previews have interested me at all. Don't see what all the fuss is about, seriously. Grown up Smurfs? No thanks.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 2:24 p.m. CST

    DVD wont do it justice. The theater experience...

    by snakecharmer

    is on another level with this film. The difference is like listening to Led Zeppelin on your computer speakers or live in a stadium.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 2:32 p.m. CST

    snakecharmer

    by bueno_bob

    Wasn't a big Zeppelin fan, so...DVD it is.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 2:46 p.m. CST

    Chakraborty

    by MacReady452

    No. Not Republican. Not sure how that is relevant. Thats fine that those scenes worked for you but I thought it was weak. a)Just cause they "showed the faces" of the soldiers literally didn't work to set up any emotion, good or bad for me. When Jake first gets off the transport and they are all, "look at this shit" and "fresh meat" or whatever wasnt enough. they were scenery.<p>b)So the "head motherfuckers in charge" of this operation aren't keeping tabs on their ships and don't care if the soldiers are following orders? If she wants to pull out and do the right thing then (and that would have been fine) just have Max(the science guy?) break them out and not Rodriguez.<p>c)I always like to keep a few hundred grand around the office to throw up in the air during a motivational speech to the staff. Its perfectly normal.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 2:47 p.m. CST

    Oh, and I hate you Kobra Kai...

    by Skyway Moaters

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 2:53 p.m. CST

    R U serious MacReady452?

    by Skyway Moaters

    Beause that last post sounds like the ravings of a lunatic...

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 3 p.m. CST

    bueno_bob is Jonas Brothers fan.

    by snakecharmer

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 3 p.m. CST

    In a nutshell..

    by Sicuv Uyall

    What you're saying is it's so stupid but you'll see it again. Food for haters.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 3:04 p.m. CST

    See what happens when you get to watch a movie for free?

    by Sicuv Uyall

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 3:06 p.m. CST

    I actually agree with most of what this guy says...

    by blackmantis

    I just don't think it's nearly as damaging to the overall film as he thinks it is.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 3:07 p.m. CST

    Skyway makes me want to shoot pandas

    by JackRabbitSlim

    Can you smell the oil burning, baby?

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 3:22 p.m. CST

    If you said anything less ignorant JackrabbitSlim...

    by Skyway Moaters

    ... judging from your previous 'contributions' I would have been profoundly surprised...

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 3:41 p.m. CST

    Thank you snarky...

    by Skyway Moaters

    ... for reinforcing my point, whether you, from your obviously limited perspective realize it or not...

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 3:42 p.m. CST

    Creeping me out

    by JackRabbitSlim

    Like I have any fucking idea who you are.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 3:52 p.m. CST

    Gotta agree...

    by rutgersjaffo

    Lol@Skyway...

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 3:54 p.m. CST

    insipid=Tasteless

    by Skyway Moaters

    Do you really expect me to take you seriously?

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 3:58 p.m. CST

    We're all a bunch of DICKS...

    by Mariusz

    ... no one here is claiming to be journalist or a serious critic - even you Harry, you're the #1 douchebag here. That said, you either like the fuckin' dumb movie or you don't! I happen to dislike it. It's not the worst movie of all time either. But it's definitely not deserving of all the HYPE that's been tossed upon it! Furthermore, it's not what most of us expected from a 12-year Cameron drought! Shame on you, Cameron. You're now just a notch above Michael Bay in my book.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 4 p.m. CST

    Avatar has achieved its goal 100%

    by Colt19801980

    I think the main reason Cameron made this movie, or one of his primary goals was, to show 3D filmmaking and entertainment was not just a gimmick and could stand on its own...based on the ecstatic reviews and word of mouth, and the $80 million dollar opening, he's pretty much assured Hollywood is going to take notice and filmmakers will begin to train in the realm of 3D...you will probably see the next set of comic book films shot and released in stereoscopic.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 4:02 p.m. CST

    snakecharmer is a fan of CGI Smurfs, and that's even worse.

    by bueno_bob

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 4:03 p.m. CST

    Colt19801980

    by bueno_bob

    More's the pity. So long engaging stories and special effects not orgasmic on CGI.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 4:04 p.m. CST

    LIEMAX theaters

    by Colt19801980

    So i cruised on over the the AMC in Century City (Los Angeles)...and bought an Avatar IMAX ticket...having some time to kill, I stopped in the apple store and surfed the net. I searched for a list of legitimate versus fake IMAX screens and found out the theater I booked was a FAKE IMAX...that bullshit IMAX digital baloney that's no bigger than a normal screen. I saw Star Trek in Minnesota at one of these LIEMAX theaters...I'm sick of these corporate scumbags doing anything they can to deceive the public out of their money. I know a real IMAX screen when I see one, where you saw those nature docs as a kid, with the screen so big it was the size of a fucking building downtown. Anyone else get tricked?

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 4:06 p.m. CST

    bueno_bob

    by Colt19801980

    LOL, what do you mean? That shit's been LOOONG gone dude.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 4:12 p.m. CST

    Well aint that a bitch Jacckrabbit?

    by Skyway Moaters

    ... someone remembers your bullshit from a previous TB. Who woulda' thunk it?

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 4:30 p.m. CST

    LIEMAX

    by Colt19801980

    snarky, yeah finally something we agree on! There are about 5 legit IMAX screens in the greater LA area...The Bridge IMAX near LAX airport, Universal Studios/City Walk IMAX, LA Science Center IMAX, Edwards Ontario Palace 22 IMAX and Irvine Spectrum IMAX...but get this...there are about 13 FAKE IMAX SCREENS IN THE GREATER LA AREA...that means people will be more inclined to go to the fake IMAX and get ripped off, than travel to the legit IMAX locations (if you live in central LA, you have no excuse though because you're not far from either Universal studios or the airport)...and this is all part of the great plan to continue the dumbing down of America, where people are so ignorant and uneducated, they don't know when they're so OBVIOUSLY being ripped off (has no one whos gone to a fake IMAX sat there and wondered why the screen was so small? Even if they do, would they complain about it? No, because they're lazy and complacent sheep, products of an idiotic culture). Do you think they'd be able to get away with this in an educated society? Fuck no. People would be outraged...but I've heard absolutely no one speak about this besides a few cinema fans on the net.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 4:32 p.m. CST

    Is it really DANCES WITH THUNDERSMURFS?

    by Violator90

    So all those people that were calling this thing DANCES WITH THUNDERSMURFS weren’t too far off, I take it. Seems like all the positive reviews say pretty much the same thing; it’s amazing looking BUT! everything else you pretty much have to ignore. Wow! For 3hrs that is a lot to ignore. So I guess I will have to catch this on a rental or have a friends pay for it, coz I sure as hell am not wasting money on this over hyped cartoon.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 4:33 p.m. CST

    Colt19801980

    by bueno_bob

    LOL, true dat...

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 4:34 p.m. CST

    Yes Snarky you are in fact a moron...

    by Skyway Moaters

    You don't know the traditional usage of "insipid" so fuck you. You've been trying to antagonize me from the start. If you take "Insipid" back to it's (latin) roots, it literally means: "without salt". So fuck you, you don't know what you're talking about.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 4:34 p.m. CST

    Yes Snarky you are in fact a moron...

    by Skyway Moaters

    You don't know the traditional usage of "insipid" so fuck you. You've been trying to antagonize me from the start. If you take "Insipid" back to it's (latin) roots, it literally means: "without salt". So fuck you, you don't know what you're talking about.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 5:01 p.m. CST

    Avatar didn't fuck my eyeballs because..

    by Stalkeye

    ..we couldnt get to the IMAX showing since it was sold out and my friend was too late to buy the tix.That being said, it was an enjoyable work of art as opposed to a piece of shit. there were the obvious political allegories but that's ok since it mirrors certain aspects of history. It's a unexpected change of pace to see the military as the "bad" guys and goddamn if this movie doenst put lang in the spotlight.He would be great for the casting of nick fury should the studios tire of SMJ.<P>Obviously this reviewer is a nitpicking douche.What's really to hate about "Dances with Aliens 3.D"?

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 5:06 p.m. CST

    IMAX vs. LIEMAX

    by BurnHollywood

    Here's the Google Maps list (probably incomplete) of real IMAX locations: http://tinyurl.com/liemax<p> Also, if you click on the theater at the IMAX site, they identify it as being "classic design" under "Theater Type" when you pull up your location based on your zip code. The LIEMAX's are called "multiplex design IMAX theaters".<p> My advice...cross-reference both sites to be sure.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 5:11 p.m. CST

    RE: Don't sweat whether or not it's IMAX or LIEMAX

    by The Tao of Joe

    I saw the film in true IMAX at the Marbles Kids Museum in Raleigh, and the aspect ratio of the film does not take up the whole screen. It's still pretty huge, but I think anyone would be just as well suited watching the film in Dolby Digital 3-D.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 5:18 p.m. CST

    The Tao of Joe

    by Colt19801980

    "but I think anyone would be just as well suited watching the film in Dolby Digital 3-D." Uh, I don't think so pal...check the dimensions of real versus fake IMAX: http://tinyurl.com/ye4ltrz

  • Maybe they don't want to spend too much payola ca$h on nobodies?

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 5:36 p.m. CST

    Saving my money

    by bueno_bob

    for "I Love You Beth Cooper Part 2"

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 5:41 p.m. CST

    Mariusz

    by theKRELL

    Are you one of those heaumeau's that were born that way or...<P>did you get 'sucked' into it?

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 6:01 p.m. CST

    Emotional Hippies Crying Over a Dead Tree:

    by Jayemel

    The Movie. If you've seen that youtube, you know what the story of Avatar is.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 6:24 p.m. CST

    Seems like Titanic all over again

    by Rand92

    People going all ga-ga for the technical aspects of the film. Titanic had one of the most unoriginal stories of all time (and that is ignoring that it is historical. The love story was THAT cliched) and the most stereotypical uninspired characters yet was still a Best Pic winner. Why? Sure it was technically well-crafted, but the rest was shit. I hope the reaction for Avatar is not the same thing all over again. I haven't seen it yet, but it seems like people are gushing for the visuals rather than any substance it might have. Is this something only Cameron can get away with because of some perceived genre cred? I'll wait and see it before forming a final judgment, but I am not filled with optimism.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 6:31 p.m. CST

    Snarky

    by emteem

    You've addressed me twice now, and both times pretended I've said things I didn't, and argued against them while never addressing what I did say. To sum up:<P>I have never mentioned oil in this entire thread (though I do believe the other guy you were addressing at the same time as me did).<P>I never said that DDT was proven to have caused cancer. I was very careful not say that, but I did say that it was one of the fears that lead to the ban. I, again, didn't say it caused deformed babies because as far I know it doesn't, but it has been proven to be linked to low birth weight and development problems in lab animals, but the jury is still out on whether it causes this in humans, and while there is no proven link to diabetes the rate of diabetes has been shown to be abnormally high in areas where it has been used heavily (which is why I said, "but that's another story").<p>I never called you a Republican I just noted how your posts have been lefties this and Al Gore that with hardly a mention of the right.<p>I agreed with you that global warming, or climate change if you prefer, is big business, and agreed that Al Gore is making a killing off of it, but asked you to acknowledge that there is a lot of money to be made on the other side of the issue as well.<p>I've never insulted you or called you a name although you delight in telling me how stupid I am.<p>You talk a lot about the politics of fear, and I haven't disagreed, but you speak of making the populace afraid and then getting them top fork over their money. What I asked was based on the ddt/malaria part of your post who was profiting from a pro-malaria stance? What are they selling after making people fear DDT? Mosquito nets? You mention the UN ban, but whether they were misguided or stupid or, possibly, correct... regardless of why they did it how do they profit from outlawing DDT? You say you can't believe that you have to explain it to me, but so far you haven't explained it to me.<p>And seriously dude, we're just two strangers talking on the internet so there's no reason you have to. C'est la vie and all that.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 6:33 p.m. CST

    Snarky

    by Rand92

    It's really no use arguing sense about global warming on this site. Most everyone is way, radically into the left. I, however, do agree with you, and those of us who still like to make our decisions and do our own thinking would probably agree with you. Unfortunately, we are living in an era where too many people don't want to do anything for themselves anymore and want groups to give them handouts. As a result, we may be living in the final days where freedom and personal liberties mean anything. It is kind of funny that the chest-pounding left, that accused the Bush admin of trampling the Constitution and illegal acts and secrecy turns out to be the most corrupt, secret, and power-hungry group we have seen in many decades.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 6:42 p.m. CST

    Global Warming...

    by Jayemel

    Climategate, anyone? OWNED.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 6:47 p.m. CST

    theKRELL, I was sucked into it by...

    by Mariusz

    ... your mother. Go suck some Na'vi cock, you homo!

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 6:48 p.m. CST

    Rand92

    by bueno_bob

    "It is kind of funny that the chest-pounding left, that accused the Bush admin of trampling the Constitution and illegal acts and secrecy turns out to be the most corrupt, secret, and power-hungry group we have seen in many decades." LMAO. You get that from Fox News?

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 6:48 p.m. CST

    Saving my money for

    by bueno_bob

    "Jennifer's Body 2: Body Harder"

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 6:51 p.m. CST

    To be fair...

    by rutgersjaffo

    It's funny to hear the far right crying about the idea of Democrats getting into big government when the Republican response to the intelligence failures leading to 9/11 was to create a new and even larger and more intrusive government entity--The Department of Homeland Security--and at the same time leave the two agencies that failed us, the CIA and FBI, fully operative. Yeah, that sure seems like smaller government and less intrusion to me. Just saying. Furthermore, Bush did in fact take a giant dump on the Constitution AND many international agreements and jus cogens with his ridiculous attempt at arguing that torture is not illegal. That is a legal fact, not an opinion. And as per Climategate, stop cherry picking your facts and read the unbiased report on ALL the emails and you will find out that your stooge rightwing media friends lied to you just like the stooge leftwing nut jobs lie to their followers. Get a clue, mouth breathers...

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 8:10 p.m. CST

    Mariusz

    by theKRELL

    Just as soon as I pay your Mom the $2.75 (not even worth that, she was rubbish) and kick that bitch to the curb. I slapped her around a bit for having the temerity to birth an odius splenetic CUNT such as yourself. You're welcome, COCKSUCKER.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 8:31 p.m. CST

    imax makes everything better!

    by Potatino

    I've seen documentaries in imax 3d and ooh they were awesome! Saying its a weak film but it'll look amazing on imax is kind of stating the obvious... everything is better on imax. anyway I'll see it later today, so I'll have either an educated winge or an educated 'oh that was snazzy' comment later today.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 8:35 p.m. CST

    why hold back negative reviews?

    by Potatino

    The cynic in me thinks you guys hold back negative reviews of stuff harry finds cool because it'll maybe stop harry getting access to preview screenings,on set visits and chats with his new buddy (insert first name of famous director/movie star here) .Well harry is the boss so you guys don't want to annoy the boss. Fair enough I suppose.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 9:24 p.m. CST

    on LETTERMAN, i believe it was

    by frank cotton

    (back in the day) 'al gore' claimed that his favorite film was TRON. i was pleasantly surprised - - - - many years later, while sucking up to OPRAH, he claimed it was THE COLOR PURPLE. 'al gore' is a two-faced liar who changes his tune to fit the audience. worship him if you will, but don't trust him

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 9:38 p.m. CST

    frank cotton

    by Colt19801980

    LOL, are you serious? I'm no Al Gore supporter, but you're reaching. You know how many times I've changed my mind about my favorite film? This is even more silly when you realize many years had passed between interviews...it doesn't make him a liar, it makes him a normal moviegoer. If you want to prove someone a liar, try harder.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 9:39 p.m. CST

    Great movie

    by doubleARon

    Hey, Avatar was great and a big leap in effects. The way these all-digital characters live on the screen was astonishing to me, at least. The story was okay and the way these guys talk about it here is just jacked up bull to make themselves giggle and hate a bit. Kind of useless as far as criticism goes.<p> Some of the points aren't far off, mind you, but this is hater-speak for amusement and having spoilers with overhyped derogatory opinions attached just predisposes readers to that sort of attitude when they see those moments. Sad, but often true. You can let people sway you to hate ANY movie if you let them, you know. It was a good call to hold this one back, imho. <p> @Frank Cotton I have no love for Al Gore, but ... I change what my favorite movie is all the time. Your point is sorta ridiculous, no? Just sayin'

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 9:45 p.m. CST

    I saw it in Real-3D today.

    by cyberskunk

    I'm not sure if the 3-D part was worth it to me. Maybe it was the theater? I think it distracted me a bit like I was distracted during Up in 3-D. I had a smashing headache afterward. I did enjoy seeing certain scenes in 3-D, though.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 9:58 p.m. CST

    cyberskunk

    by Colt19801980

    Depends on the venue...sadly there doesn't seem to be a standard with this shit. I didn't get a headache, and no one else is reporting such.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 10:04 p.m. CST

    OPRAH, THE COLOR PURPLE,

    by frank cotton

    trying to score points, telling her what you know she wanted to hear? get it? typical politico bullshit. frank's all-time favorite film is BRAZIL, and has been for twenty-five years.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 10:10 p.m. CST

    So, by your reasoning he told Letterman...

    by theKRELL

    Tron was his favorite because...thats what Letterman wanted to hear! Why the fuck don't you grow up, or grow a pair?

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 10:21 p.m. CST

    frank cotton

    by Colt19801980

    By your logic, Letterman had a bit part in Tron. Christ man. You mean politicians lie? Say it aint so! Get your head outta your ass.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 10:25 p.m. CST

    George Washington's favorite movie is FLUBBER

    by YackBacker

    He said so on a French talk show. I think he was pandering the the French's love of Jerry Lewis, so they would send the Americans aid against the British. Well played, Mr. W.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 10:28 p.m. CST

    Skyway Moaters

    by MacReady452

    blow yourself

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 10:29 p.m. CST

    Lame

    by PorkChopXpress

    A lot of the complaints are just fucking stupid. Like checking out at the "sex scene" which is like, 10 seconds before we cut to the next scene...or complaining that Jake apparently has no trouble taming the GIANT bird dino, when in fact it fades to black leaving his success (and methods/struggle) to the viewer's imagination. Just nit-picking for the sake of it.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 10:48 p.m. CST

    Skyway Moaters

    by MacReady452

    after checking my post again I will admit it lacks clarity so just tongue your balls lovingly instead of full on deep throating yourself.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 10:52 p.m. CST

    I think I'm just going to print out this review...

    by the maven

    ...And hand it out to people who ask my opinion of the movie.<p>I just got back from seeing it and every single point Russell makes is one I thought of while watching it. The only cliche they missed that I thought was coming was the fact that the Paul Reiser stand-in survived through the end.<p>It's a gorgeous film but you really have to check your brain at the door.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 11:20 p.m. CST

    the KRELL, your fragile temperament amuses me...

    by Mariusz

    ... you salad tosser. Go to bed now, little son and dream of huge 10-foot blue cocks penetrating you 'til you're blue in the face. Get it? You're welcome, fellatrix.

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 11:24 p.m. CST

    Mike Russell should no longer "contribute" to Ain't It Cool.

    by I am the Terminator

    What a drippy cunt!!

  • Dec. 19, 2009, 11:32 p.m. CST

    Mariusz

    by theKRELL

    Otherwise known as AICN's Fluffer and Felcher. A signed affidavit from Harry's nutsack, taint, and sphincter will attest to that fact! Oh, and leave Some for your Mom, she's always crying, something about you always taking the Biggest pieces!

  • Dec. 20, 2009, 12:10 a.m. CST

    this was right after

    by frank cotton

    he invented the internet. the internet, TRON; see the connection? he didn't 'change his mind', and the fact that you're willing to automatically believe that he did just shows how much of a sucker you are. he was pandering. like this film

  • Dec. 20, 2009, 12:33 a.m. CST

    frank cotton

    by Colt19801980

    give it a rest, you got owned, accept it...we all lose sometimes. we are half joking with you because your point is ridiculous...that you shouldn't trust Al Gore because he was sucking up to an interviewer...absurd. he's a politician, they're all the same. don't judge the man, judge what he's saying, and decide then. if you don't like what Al Gore is doing/saying, fine, but if you want to prove your point, don't talk about silly nonsense like lying about his favorite movie (which you can't possibly prove anyway).

  • Dec. 20, 2009, 12:38 a.m. CST

    JFK said his favorite movie was CUM GUZZLERS 10

    by YackBacker

    Nixon loved the far inferior porno QUAKERS' QUIVERING QUIMS. America made their choice accordingly in 1960.

  • Dec. 20, 2009, 1:21 a.m. CST

    Averagetar

    by MacReady452

  • Dec. 20, 2009, 1:30 a.m. CST

    I believe bueno bob...

    by PoeticWarriortoo

    he gets that from watching neo-communist cunt bag hack politicians toss off on shit birds such as yourself while you masturbate on your copy of Our Choice: The Story of How Liberal Paint-Huffing Psuedo Scientists Fooled the Self-Important Back Slapping Dumb Asses that Believed in Global Warming.

  • Dec. 20, 2009, 1:31 a.m. CST

    theKRELL, don't you have a girlfriend...

    by Mariusz

    ... to fuck on a Saturday night? Oh, I'm sorry, mate. She lives with you since you still live at home and she's your mother, you cocksmoker! BTW, tell her I said to stop calling me so much. I'm done using and abusing that hole, son. That's right... I'M YOUR FATHER!!!

  • Dec. 20, 2009, 2:31 a.m. CST

    this review confirms everything i suspected

    by JimmyJoe RedSky

    as curious as i am to check out the eye candy on display in this movie, i am unusually disinterested in seeing it at all - im torn - i want to see what everyone seems to be drooling over (in every review including negative ones), yet i have to admit there is nothing ive seen so far that has me very excited - it all looks/feels familiar - the military junk - the aliens - the planet - sure, it looks "real" - so what - the beings this entire spectacle is being sold on just leave me flat - too pretty - too human - too illustrative - pedestrian - i want to be into the party, but everytime i see a picture of these na'vi(?) i kinda shake my head - they have a disney-cartoon quality that bugs the shit out of me - this review confirmed what i suspected as far as the story etc - but it will make a fortune - my nephews came over playing with na'vi happy meal toys - they love them - they have blue l.e.d. lights in them - that sums it all up

  • Dec. 20, 2009, 2:41 a.m. CST

    funny how this movie comes out now...

    by JimmyJoe RedSky

    ... with its serious message - now, when the right/conservative wing are tripping over themselves to regain power by trying to convince everyone that global warming is a sham - and this movie was released by fox (super neo-con rupert murdoch) - its all about making the sale

  • Dec. 20, 2009, 3:47 a.m. CST

    Yep Jimmyjoe

    by Orionsangels

    The Reps are trying to convince us, that they're the answer to saving this country. When they had 8 years to do it, but Hannity has an answer for that. He says the Libs in congress kept voting down every bill that Bush put forward. You see, Bush was a good president. It's those nasty Libs that wouldn't let him do his job. Yes of course, haha! I don't know which party I hate more. I'm leaning towards hating the reps bit more though. Seriously political parties have to go!

  • Dec. 20, 2009, 3:55 a.m. CST

    Jesus.

    by Traumnovelle

    "The giant knife has been declared stupid elsewhere." <P> This is the worst of the worst of pretentious, hauty internet nerd/snob douche raambles. <P> It's a waste of fucking space on this site. Seriously. What a grumpy bitch.

  • Dec. 20, 2009, 5:32 a.m. CST

    Traumnovelle

    by 2LeggedFreak

    Your middle sentence sums up my feelings perfectly. Why I need to be enlightened by having a transcript of this shite between Russell and his douchebag friend is entirely beyond me.

  • Dec. 20, 2009, 5:42 a.m. CST

    by Cobra--Kai

    Poor little Skyway Moaters has been flamed bad.<p> Curled up on the floor. Charred and smoking.<p> Anyone willing to piss on him and put the fire out? Anyone? No? Sorry Skyway...

  • Dec. 20, 2009, 6:26 a.m. CST

    Beaks is my hero now

    by DioxholsterReturns

    i felt so lonely not liking this movie, at least theres other people who think this film is bullshit. i heard people cried during the movie, WTF? i cry watching SG-1 and Bones....believe me im a crier, i cry all the time, here , not one tear. it doesnt connect emotionally, reminds me of King Kong.

  • Dec. 20, 2009, 7:01 a.m. CST

    The movie is a SHAM

    by DioxholsterReturns

    what a waste

  • Dec. 20, 2009, 7:45 a.m. CST

    Fuck You Mike Russel....

    by Alexxa

    ....why then don't you make something better? Oh, wait, you can't! Why? Because you are retarded, thats why! Eat shit, you dumb fuck...

  • Dec. 20, 2009, 7:48 a.m. CST

    I saw AVATAR last night, here's my opinion

    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, 8:06 a.m. CST

    Cardboard space marines

    by Powerring

    Like they were ripped from Aliens, the space marines in this movie were pathetically cardboard and video-game stereotypical. They acted mindless as if written by a 12 year old.

  • Dec. 20, 2009, 8:26 a.m. CST

    Somebody explain this to me

    by Underdogthe3rd

    How they use glass that can be broken by arrows? "Oh, the air in this planet can kill us! Hey, I got an idea! Let's use breakable glass to build the windows of all our mechs and helicopters. So that natives has a chance against us! Ahn, good?".

  • Dec. 20, 2009, 9:10 a.m. CST

    People are complaining about the giant knife?

    by Chakraborty

    Mech suit or not...if there are some huge tangled vines while walking through Pandora, that Mech suit is gonna get tangled and not going to go anywhere. A giant knife would be handy and an oversight if not included.

  • Dec. 20, 2009, 9:32 a.m. CST

    Chakraborty

    by 2LeggedFreak

    Forget about trying to rationalise it. It was just a cool bit of outrageous fun to my mind and certainly not something for the angst ridden teens on here to get so worked up about.

  • Dec. 20, 2009, 9:45 a.m. CST

    Beaks is a poser

    by Chakraborty

    And so are his friends. His top 100 list drove that point home.

  • Dec. 20, 2009, 9:56 a.m. CST

    Just saw it

    by cgih8r

    It was cool. But the CGI was distracting at times when the characters looked more like lanky cartoon characters. But if that's the best they can do, so be it, it was a cool movie on Imax 3D. Not sure how good it would look without the 3D. No I didn't mind the giant knife, it was cool!

  • Dec. 20, 2009, 9:59 a.m. CST

    @Underdogthe3rd

    by Powerring

    I thought about that, because it is angled, bullet resistant glass. Given the fantasy liscence, I can only give leeway that a 6 foot arrow with a giant broadpoint under 300 lbs pull from a close by giant bow just might do it. Mythbusters could do a segment to verify this.

  • Dec. 20, 2009, 10:11 a.m. CST

    Style IS Substance

    by CatoTheCensor

    It's like saying Romeon and Juliet is crap because Shakespeare copied the story from somewhere else. You people are retarded. If you want to fetishize scripts and dialogue and character and psychological realism, go watch a fucking play. this is FILM. It's visual art. Eat shit morons. Avatar owns you all.

  • Dec. 20, 2009, 10:55 a.m. CST

    CatoTheCensor

    by YackBacker

    You're intelligent.

  • Dec. 20, 2009, 11:38 a.m. CST

    i don't know who mike russell is

    by loonatic

    but i agree with him the film is wonderfully realised in 3D but the designs are hardly mind-boggling in their creativity. the creatures were basically were basically variations on earth fauna or mashing 2 creatures together [horse + anteater]. <p> for me, the na'vi designs killed any semblance of realism the film was going for. yes, the 3D work was meticulous but the creatures look horribly anime in design so the whole time i felt i was watching an anime movie.<p>the na'vi culture wasn't particularly inventive either. it's jamming a whole bunch of aboriginal cultures and beliefs together. is anyone else bothered by the na'vi war cry? couldn't they come up with something less native american/jihadist? <p>i didn't mind the simplicity of the plot and the flat characters so much in the beginning because the movie moved in such a breezy pace but further into the movie, they start to bug me. particularly how quickly sully got his redemption. how quickly the stereotypical superstitious natives bow down ...

  • A key line in the movie is Jake saying "We [the human race] killed our mother. Now we're here to do the same to you." This shows that Cameron is making the terrible error of saying all humans deserve to die. It's racism - Avatar hates all people - everybody - all of us. Cameron made a mistake.

  • Dec. 20, 2009, 12:30 p.m. CST

    Vik, is that what you took away from Avatar?

    by Chakraborty

    That Cameron hates humans? The American education system has failed us.

  • Dec. 20, 2009, 12:44 p.m. CST

    by Cobra--Kai

    "We killed our mother. Now we're here to do the same to you."<p> Probably would have been more accurate if he said "we raped our mother"<p> But I guess mother raping isn't the best metaphor for a kids movie...

  • Dec. 20, 2009, 1:38 p.m. CST

    R.I.P. BRITTANY MURPHY

    by ZombieHeathLedger

    Cocaine is a hell of a drug.

  • Dec. 20, 2009, 1:50 p.m. CST

    I AGREE

    by MR. MURDOCH

    Utterly and entirely with every single word in Mike_Russel's review. Somebody also said: "The story isn't the spectacle, here." Well, it BLOODY WELL SHOULD BE. Did Cameron create a stunning, photo-realistic world? Sure. Is Zoe Saldana utterly amazing in this film? Definitely. Did the story itself, and Worthington's flat performance, bore me to tears with its predictability, lack of subtlety, complexity, and nuance, and relative silliness in simplicity? MOST DEFINITELY.

  • Dec. 20, 2009, 2:07 p.m. CST

    by Cobra--Kai

    Mr Murdoch, would it be fair for a viewer of Mike Leigh's kitchen-sink drama VERA DRAKE to rip it to shreds for not including state of the art special effects and stunt work? If not, why not?<p>

  • Dec. 20, 2009, 2:22 p.m. CST

    Cobra--Kai

    by Vik

    I also agree with loonatic: "is anyone else bothered by the na'vi war cry? couldn't they come up with something less native american/jihadist?" Add that to other lines in the movie, e.g. (from one of the protagonists, approvingly)): "I didn't know this was a martyrdom operation", and from the main antagonist, "We will fight terror with terror." This movie will inspire and encourage jihadists all over the world who already want to kill Americans - it will make them feel that they are right, and that Americans deserve it. Cameron really blew it. He's put out a massive propaganda film that encourages people who want to kill us. Cameron has made an error that will get Americans killed.

  • Dec. 20, 2009, 2:30 p.m. CST

    Both These Assholes Are Cynical Pricks

    by Crow3711

    It was fucking awesome if you try to invest in it. It's not any stupider than most other movies. They are trying entirely too hard to tear down everything about it. The story wasn't original, sure, but it wasn't fucking BAD. I was never bored. The 3D makes it watchable, and without it I probably would have been bored for parts, and yes, it has plot holes, but so does everything. Stories have to come together. They are choosing to call this one "stupid" because it makes them sound so cool, doesn't it? It's so easy to type up this smug ass conversation and be an elitist prick about it. This whole conversation is bullshit.

  • Dec. 20, 2009, 2:32 p.m. CST

    Vik thinks Avatar will inspire Jihadists

    by Chakraborty

    I really don't need to add anything to that.

  • Dec. 20, 2009, 2:47 p.m. CST

    Crow3711...

    by JimmyJoe RedSky

    cameron and his army of movie makers had roughly 10 years and almost unlimited resources (rewrite time and concept design time included) to prep and iron out all the bumps - so, you should understand some of the underwhelming reactions - all the hype starting 5 years ago didnt help this

  • Dec. 20, 2009, 2:53 p.m. CST

    vik.. you are nuts...

    by JimmyJoe RedSky

    all movies should be banned - tv too - based on your logic - if you think this dumb movie is enough to inspire jihadists to commit terrorism then "rambo 4" must be the reason we are in afghanistan - "taxi driver" is the blue print for every mass shooting committed by a jilted lover or angry employee, right?

  • Dec. 20, 2009, 2:54 p.m. CST

    by Cobra--Kai

    Vik.. um... not really sure why my name's in the subject line for your 'Cameron will get Americans killed' theory.<p> Not a view I agree with i'm afraid. Plus Cameron made TRUE LIES which featured loads of Middle Eastern types getting taken out by Arnie. I don't think he's a secret Al Quaeda sympathizer if that's wht you're getting at.

  • Dec. 20, 2009, 2:59 p.m. CST

    Cobra--Kai

    by MR. MURDOCH

    Read JimmyJoe RedSky's most recent comment. If Cameron was going to design a narrative which reflected what was going on in the production (because that's what he did), then the technology utilized should have been equaled in the ambition of the story itself. What I got from this movie is a 1990s parable about a people with no diversity, subtlety or nuance (i.e. Earthlings) infringing on a people with no diversity, subtlety, or nuance (Na'vi, with the specific exemption of Saldana's character, who was so finely drawn out, designed, performed, and utilized, that she made the rest of her "race" seem like chumps at a lower brain-capacity). And yes, far-too closely mirroring Native American war cries and behaviors (didn't help casting Wes Studi as the tribal leader). What happened with Sigourney Weaver's character that gave her purpose? Where was her 'arc'? Where were any of these characters' arcs, other than Neytiri, and perhaps Jake himself?

  • Dec. 20, 2009, 3:06 p.m. CST

    Re: Vera Drake

    by MR. MURDOCH

    You cannot compare this to a film like 'Vera Drake.' These two films were conceived in entirely different filmmakers, for entirely different platforms, for entirely different audiences. There is no comparison whatsoever.

  • Dec. 20, 2009, 3:13 p.m. CST

    Furthermore...

    by MR. MURDOCH

    I think if you take ANY five minutes of ANY of the lead performances in ANY previous Cameron film, and you will get something with more drama, depth, and meaningfulness than most of what was on display here (again, with the exception of Saldana). Ed Harris is THE ABYSS. Weaver in ALIENS. Winslet in TITANIC. Even Schwarzy in TERMINATOR. Sorry, this movie just didn't work on a narrative level for me. The first half, from the introduction of Saldana's character, works beautifully and she really moves me -- somewhere about at the point where she and Jake "become as one", it all begins to fall apart.

  • Dec. 20, 2009, 3:21 p.m. CST

    I Just Wanted GOOD Spectacle For Once

    by Crow3711

    Instead of Michael Bay and Roland Emmerich, who tell stories far, far, far worse than this year in and year out, this was a breath of fresh air. Excellent spectacle, maybe the best ever, combined with a story I could at least get into without feeling entirely insulted. Michael Bay movies insult me. This was just a story told in broad narrative strokes, for general audience enjoyment. Nitpicking it only hurts your enjoyment. It's not retarded like Transformers. James Cameron delivered for me.

  • Dec. 20, 2009, 3:30 p.m. CST

    Wow what a drag about Brittiny Murphy only 32 and gone

    by mr dark

    I thought about the Saturday night live skit they did a week or so ago on her and wondered what happened to her..I guess she had a bit part in the Expendables coming out soon..but she always seemed a little spacey...may ahe rest in peace.

  • Dec. 20, 2009, 3:35 p.m. CST

    This 'review' is almost spot on.

    by ganda1f

    I also felt that the character motivations and behaviors break down at the 'Blue Sex' scene in order to propel the film to the mandatory hollywood climax, complete with near defeat followed by victory and lovers reuniting.<br><br>The only character who seemed consistent was Quaritch, which is probably why I found him to be my favourite character.<br><br>Come to think of it, although the film tried to manipulate you emotionally into thinking of the Humans as Evil, the way the series of events played out the Na'vi (and Sully) were just as culpable.<br><br>Towards the end of the film, the humans felt backed into a corner by the huge Na'vi battleforce which was gathering, and responded logically given their abilities and training.<br><br>Now I think about it, the film does a better job of establishing the humans as evil in the first half (Unobtainium at any cost!) than in the second, when the Na'vi characters all become a bit stupid.

  • Dec. 20, 2009, 3:41 p.m. CST

    Dead @ 32?

    by Stalkeye

    so far full details have not been released. sounds a bit suspicious however.<p>BTW good review Asi, more interesting than this mike asshole.

  • Dec. 20, 2009, 3:43 p.m. CST

    Too true

    by GuyFawkes

    What a waste of digital effects. Spot on review, it turned it to Last of the Mohicans after the coupling, it was stupid.

  • Dec. 20, 2009, 3:48 p.m. CST

    Sooo....

    by rutgersjaffo

    Let me see if I've got this straight: This chick KNOWS that he is a human in a fake body and she KNOWS that we are here to screw them over and yet she bangs the guy and falls in love with him and this doesn't strike any of you swinging on Cameron's beanbag as amazingly STUPID?! And yes it is REALLY STUPID for a mech suit to have a giant knife. What the hell would you need a knife for?! I mean, it's a giant mech suit for crying out loud! Also stupid is the whole thing of gee, if the stuff we want floats, wouldn't that be a good reason for why the Hallelujah Mountains float?!

  • Dec. 20, 2009, 3:50 p.m. CST

    Lol...

    by rutgersjaffo

    'Unobtanium'...Really?! You had like a decade and couldn't come up with a better name?

  • Dec. 20, 2009, 4:01 p.m. CST

    Why is the "bowie knife" so lol-worthy?

    by Alientoast

    It makes perfect sense, to be honest, on a jungle world. Plus guns run out of ammo. A fucking armored mech suit charging you, swinging a blade that can decapitate multiple soldiers in one swipe, seems logical to me as a fallback. Soldiers have knives/bayonets, even though chances are they won't need them in a combat situation. But they're still there in the event they do. If you're gonna tear down a film on "stupidity", at least put a little thought into it, mkay?

  • Dec. 20, 2009, 4:03 p.m. CST

    rutgersjaffo

    by AsimovLives

    Fuck's sakes, dude.... the subject of unobtanium has already been talked to death, adn you are still ignorant of it? OK, let me tell you this: the fact that Cameron uses the name unobtanium for the mcguffin substanc eof the movie already tells that he's very well versed in classic SF and engineering. any good SF geek knows what the reference to unobtanium is. Yes, Cameron didn't invented the unobtanium, it's a name thatr already circulated among SF and engineering since the 50s. The fact you don't know about it means you know very little about science fiction other then Star Wars. So, in the end, the joke is on those who joke about the unobtanium reference in AVATAR. It just shows their ignorance on the genre.

  • Dec. 20, 2009, 4:08 p.m. CST

    That's great, guys...really...

    by rutgersjaffo

    But the joke is not on me. It's a stupid name and the general public does not know about it, which makes it chuckle worthy. I am not impressed by your geek knowledge of the term, really. And no, giving a fucking bowie knife to a walking robot is not logical by any stretch of the imagination, is fucking stupid. Yeah, you can build a robot mech suit but the best thing you can give it to cut with or fight with is a fucking Bowie knife? Whatever, man. It's stupid and you know it is...

  • Dec. 20, 2009, 4:09 p.m. CST

    Of course i wanted a bit more

    by AsimovLives

    sophistication and moral complexity in AVATAR. Becasue i'm a sucker for that kind of stories, where things are not as clearly drawn out between the very good and the very evil. Still, i can't help but like and admire the way Cameron told his story. and i do notice some sophistication in the way he tells this simple tale. The tale is simple, but the telling is intelligent and sophisticated. And evne though the vilains are just vilalins, still you can tell that Cameron loved and had a lot of fun creating and presenting the coronel character. You can't fault him for that.

  • Dec. 20, 2009, 4:10 p.m. CST

    rutgersjaffo

    by AsimovLives

    THe joke is on you. The joke is on your ignorance. Deal with it.

  • Dec. 20, 2009, 4:10 p.m. CST

    Oh and by the way...

    by rutgersjaffo

    Most of us don't go to see a movie like this to raise our pathetic geek cred. We go to be entertained by a quality story. This movie fails in that regard. But kudos for being so versed in unobtanium. I am guessing you are also well versed in 'notgettinganyum.'

  • Dec. 20, 2009, 4:12 p.m. CST

    Lughing my ass off at you, dude...

    by rutgersjaffo

    Seriously, you are so proud that you know your scifi well enough to know what unobtanium is. Wow...what a geek.

  • Dec. 20, 2009, 4:20 p.m. CST

    Amazed.

    by paineywoo

    Amazed that so many people are buying in to this movie. I saw it last night, thought both trailers were uninspiring but thought I'd give it a go. Everyone loves The Terminator, Aliens, T2 and The Abyss - I'm no exception - I really hoped it would be better than I feared. Sadly no...I was actually offended by this movie and if I'd not taken my parents to see, would have walked out. It was boring, it looked liked a Roger Dean 'Yes' album cover (Google it, you'll see I'm right), bad story with a plot-by-numbers, cliched, Sam Worthington (he is the most awful thing to happen to cinema in many years...) and I simply didn't care for ANYONE. I'm the sci-fi geek you all talk of and I couldn't stand it. Why was this in 3D? It was blurred and added nothing - I kept taking off my glasses and the non-perspective elements looked exactly the same as with the glasses on). Nearly laughed myself off the chair when Michelle Rodriguez turned up in Nav'i painted helicopter and face paint....and Worthington completely forgot his American accent during the last few minutes epilogue and reverted to pure Australian (I was looking around the theatre in disbelief no one else was hearing this). All in all this was the most annoying film I have seen in many years - I wish that there were more truthful reviews out there as this is a major disappointment and people should know.

  • Dec. 20, 2009, 4:22 p.m. CST

    The truth...

    by rutgersjaffo

    ...painewoo, is that people just don't want to admit that they were rooked by James 'Special Effects Can Carry Any Shitty Story' Cameron one more time...

  • Dec. 20, 2009, 5:20 p.m. CST

    paineywoo

    by BurnHollywood

    "Nearly laughed myself off the chair when Michelle Rodriguez turned up in Nav'i painted helicopter and face paint..."<p> Um, you DO understand that she had to distinguish herself visually from the other copters, so that neither Sully nor the other Na'vi would attack her, right? And given that as a latina, she's descended from aboriginals who went through the same plight the Na'vi went through, she felt a more natural kinship then even Sully, and hence, the warpaint?<p> Also, she may have come to genuinely hate Quaritch and the company, and this was a nice way for her to give one last "fuck you" to their faces...<p> Personally, I thought it was a nice touch...

  • Dec. 20, 2009, 5:32 p.m. CST

    AsimovLives

    by BurnHollywood

    If you remember my earlier posts, you may recall that I was urging others to jettison the "Hard SF" approach to this movie early on (for instance...there's no *actual* logic to using hundred-billion-dollar-per-gram antimatter to fly to Alpha Centauri to get million-dollar-per-kilogram rocks). The movie would be (I thought) best taken as a metaphor, which is what worried me...this metaphor has been done nearly to death.<p> Turns out what made this movie so enjoyable for me, that I'm still thinking about it days later (increasingly rare with films as I get older) is the whole blend of action, visuals, pacing, familiar but powerful archetypes, etc. It's like a well-prepared meal...it's not the individual ingredients, it's how they come together in the dish.

  • Dec. 20, 2009, 5:34 p.m. CST

    Jar Jar Tar

    by MacReady452

  • Dec. 20, 2009, 5:40 p.m. CST

    by Cobra--Kai

    "You cannot compare this to a film like 'Vera Drake.' These two films were conceived in entirely different filmmakers, for entirely different platforms, for entirely different audiences."<p> Mr Murdoch, this is the answer I hoped you'd give. You are asking for AVATAR to be all things. Few films ever achieve this. Few indeed.<p> So - if you want a film that sheds deep truths on a person, revealing the characters subtle nuances and depths then watch a film like VERA DRAKE. If you want a film that delivers stunning spectacle, fx and action then watch a film like AVATAR.<p> Remember unlike THE TERMINATOR, ALIENS and THE ABYSS the target audience for AVATAR is kids - us older sci-fi fans are just along for the ride!<p>

  • Dec. 20, 2009, 5:41 p.m. CST

    Cultural influences

    by Hipshot

    I clearly saw Native American and African influences in the Na'vi, as well as some Pacific Islander stuff. Cameron was drawing from everywhere, like any good SF writer. The basic story has been told a thousand times, probably by every culture: one of ours meets new people, wins their women, becomes a chief and a hero. Nothing new in any of it. His script? So-so. Maybe a "C". His execution? Beyond superb, boundary-pushing stuff. Sorry the blue-people sex bothered some of you. I got wood.

  • Dec. 20, 2009, 5:45 p.m. CST

    by Cobra--Kai

    paineywoo, jesus christ. Maybe you shouldn't have gone to the movies during your 'time of the month'.

  • Dec. 20, 2009, 5:47 p.m. CST

    Feels like CHUD hit job

    by Hey_Kobe_Tell_Me_How_My_Ass_Tastes

    This is total bullshit. Beaks is a fuckin CHUD plant

  • Dec. 20, 2009, 5:52 p.m. CST

    HUGE DISAPPOINTMENT!!

    by marineboy

    Saw it tonight and thought it was the worst thing Cameron has ever made. Awful performance from Worthington. Weaver telephones hers in. Not once did I feel any tension, and yes, the story is f*cking FERN GULLY AND DANCES WITH WOLVES!! 3-D was fun for a while, but soon lost it's novelty. Same with the CGI - awesome initially, and then just...well, boring... Also, Cameron releases a patronising, preachy enviromental awareness movie - made from money from a news group that has one of the biggest carbon footprints on the planet. How f*cking ironic is that? Sorry, but I was really just hankering for a Darth Vader or Han Solo...and outta space!

  • Dec. 20, 2009, 6:03 p.m. CST

    Seeing as how the main villain is a marine...

    by Chakraborty

    ...it's little surprise that someone named marineboy is disappointed. I imagine most Republicans will dislike this film. But, the rest of the world will love it.

  • Dec. 20, 2009, 6:22 p.m. CST

    CHAKRABORTY...

    by marineboy

    ...I'm a socialist, volunteer worker for local Animal Aid and Friends of the Earth groups lol... My name, to the uninitiated, is in honour of the classic Manga animee of the same name. Youtube it lol PS. The movie is still sh*t

  • Dec. 20, 2009, 6:32 p.m. CST

    You volunteer with Friends of the Earth...

    by Chakraborty

    ...but felt Cameron was preaching environmental awareness? That's kinda unusual...maybe since you are already aware...you felt like it was condescending, but for someone who values the environment I'm sure you see how him putting that type of message out there is a good thing. Unless I'm wrong in assuming "Friends of the Earth" is an environmental group...

  • Dec. 20, 2009, 6:46 p.m. CST

    YES CHAKRABORTY

    by marineboy

    Friends of the Earth is an enviromental awareness action group - I have participated since I was a child when UK XMen fanzine CEREBRO ran an ad for them....and yes, I feel AVATAR is a patronising, condescending, uninspiring attempt at heightening green issues. It is hollow in execution and wholly hypocritical. Much if not all of the merchandise will be manufactured in CHINA. Thousands of reems of paper (not all recycled) will be used for press, magazines, glossy brocheres, hardbacks...the list goes on. Sorry Hollywood - if you want to change the way we consume movies, F*CKING DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT!

  • Dec. 20, 2009, 7:05 p.m. CST

    Hollywood studios are evil corporations

    by Chakraborty

    That doesn't mean that meaningful art can't come out of Hollywood that spreads messages that can benefit the global community just because the Hollywood studios don't follow those messages.

  • Dec. 20, 2009, 7:07 p.m. CST

    But I can SOMEWHAT see what you mean about the message...

    by Chakraborty

    ...it is very, very simplistic. Yet, I did find a lot of beauty in the way it was communicated, and didn't find it offensive or patronizing.

  • Dec. 20, 2009, 8:31 p.m. CST

    If Cameron wanted to spread a new and helpful

    by MacReady452

    idea then the humans and the Na'vi would have found a way to jack their ponytails into the planet and bring the unobtanium to the surface and preserve their planet while helping the pathetic humans. In the end the Na'vi were just as bad as the humans. They had no kind of damage plan. They just told the humans to fuck off home to their dead planet. Nice message. Fuck you needy people. That is just the same thing that goes on in the world today. It isn't a solution or an ideology it just sucks. No hope in the future people. Put a bullet in your head now cause it doesn't get any better. Your lord Cameron has spoken.

  • Dec. 20, 2009, 8:57 p.m. CST

    Scoreboard

    by LALaw

    Opening weekend box office for Avatar (includes foreign and domestic): $232 million dollars Total box office for recent Star Trek (foreign and domestic): Domestic: $257,730,019 66.9% + Foreign: $127,729,101 33.1% = Worldwide: $385,459,120 In one weekend, Avatar's total take had almost reached Star Trek's total domestic total for it's entire run. I love Star Trek as well, but those numbers don't lie.

  • Dec. 20, 2009, 9:03 p.m. CST

    "Amazed that so many people are buying into this movie"

    by BMacSmith

    yet your ass was in the seat this weekend watching it, so you are one of the people who bought into it. hahah. come on man, at least wait a week to see it.

  • Dec. 20, 2009, 9:06 p.m. CST

    MacReady452 - so it pulled an "Insurrection"

    by BMacSmith

    nice. i hated that fucking movie and was begging for the selfish hippy fucks to all die. but no, they had to hoard all the immortality for themselves because they found it first! terrible movie

  • Dec. 20, 2009, 9:11 p.m. CST

    Knife continued

    by Alientoast

    "Yeah, you can build a robot mech suit but the best thing you can give it to cut with or fight with is a fucking Bowie knife?"...what would you suggest? A big piece of (no doubt) composite metal that is sharp has no moving parts to worry about breaking. What would you suggest? A WH40k style chainsaw sword? A seperate knife would be good because a) it is NOT a part of the mech, therefore from a logistical standpoint, easy to replace b) If the blade became lodged in something, you could release it. If it were permanently attached to the suit, that would make the suit vulnerable c) The suit mimics human motion, thus a human operator would be more comfortable (and arguably more skilled) in using a weapon they practice of use w/o the suit, IE an edged knife/blade/bayonet. But you kids (aka cynical moviegoers) can QQ all you like about the flames on Optimus or the mech /w a knife all you like.

  • Dec. 20, 2009, 9:17 p.m. CST

    lightsaber >bowie knife

    by BMacSmith

    come on its just stupid. people dont use giant knives to cut down trees, they use saws, so its not natural.

  • Dec. 20, 2009, 9:19 p.m. CST

    LALaw

    by BMacSmith

    but i dont think Trek's budget was anywhere close to Avatar, and wasnt really the big tentpole release of the season, so its not really a good comparison. plus, Avatar's reaction is pretty mixed, so it will probably drop off a bit more. but still all these movies make a profit so who cares?

  • Dec. 20, 2009, 9:42 p.m. CST

    Actually, the more I think about it ...

    by ganda1f

    The more I like this movie.<br><br> I was a bit cynical about the end, but after I digest it for a while it works best if you look at it less like a film about good vs. evil, and more like a historical allegory.<br><br>The final battle was not meant to be a LOTR-style fight against ultimate evil, rather about two cultures unable to even communicate effectively with each other.<br><br>I still think the Na'vi are dicks though.

  • Dec. 20, 2009, 9:43 p.m. CST

    Oh, and my eyeballs are fucked.

    by ganda1f

    Maybe that's why the Na'vi are all dicks, so they can Fuck My Eyeballs.<br><br>Seriously, the most impressive CG I've ever seen.

  • Dec. 20, 2009, 10:10 p.m. CST

    One more thing and then I'm done,

    by Traumnovelle

    For those that hate it, that's dope. Hate it with every fiber of your being. I will not defend it online ever again, for the rest of my life. This shit is getting intense. But I WILL say that there is a movie that is currently in the theaters that I am in love with that I can see again and again. The more people that hate it, the more room for me to stretch out in the theater. I am so happy about how stoked I am on this movie. <P> And again, if you hate it, no big deal. Not my problem.

  • Dec. 20, 2009, 10:31 p.m. CST

    Mariusz

    by theKRELL

    Just got back from the 'home', mom's all right, hasn't had any visitors, so it's because of your habitual masturbation you now need glasses. Guess what? You fucked your sister, again. I can see where you made the mistake though, she's the only one in your family not on the plus side of 300 lbs! You cretinous inbred piece of santorum, go back to rogering small farm animals, but leave the horses to someone with at least the semblance of a cock, cause when the horse whinny's neigh, he means neigh you androgynous COCKSUCKER! When you respond, at least try to sound like you have more than a 3rd grade education ( that's ed ju ma kay shun to you). Keep living up to your family's motto...WE PUMP KIN!

  • Dec. 20, 2009, 11:07 p.m. CST

    Is it that time of the month or what?

    by logotrope

    Jesus... did I see the same movie as you bitches? The action totally kicked ass. The 3D was better than any that has been done before. And Pandora was the most perfectly visualized alien world I have ever seen on screen. Cameron doesn't break any new ground with the narrative, but when the hell does he ever? (Tip: Watch a Chris Nolan film for that.) The simplicity of the narrative is mythic in its directness.

  • Dec. 20, 2009, 11:10 p.m. CST

    Liked it except

    by Messyjoe

    I liked this movie. Of course it's not perfect. Looking at Harry's talkback it is amazing all the political talk and reference to other movies. 'Way off' the topic! I think it is clear in this talk back that the dissection of the details we seem to so enjoy prove that a. we care, and b. that we love movies. and c. that we talk too much. The main thing I find hard to accept is that the 'corporation' went to the trouble of making the expensive avatars. This implies they cared about the Navis' good will. Or at least that the superiors back on Earth did, if at least for pr purposes for home consumption. Otherwise, why not go hard case right from the beginning. So re a sequel, which is presumably coming, it would not be logical that Earth comes back with full force in revenge. Or I hope not. I heard good comments from 'non moviegoers' which bodes well for repeat business. So the BO should remain good. I am in the meantime will go see it again to look for all the details mentioned above by everyone.

  • Dec. 20, 2009, 11:20 p.m. CST

    You prefer 80s nostalgia to Avatar....

    by drturing

    That says exactly what the fuck is wrong with the nerds who are hating on Avatar. They can't stomach anything that's a progression, that's earnest, that isn't a fucking rehash of their overly comfortable middle class childhood. Grow up fuckers, Avatar is a movie for 14 year olds in which nothing is stupid (perhaps too sincere and corny at times), and if you truly think you're smarter than James Cameron, then get the fuck off the Internet and prove it.

  • Dec. 20, 2009, 11:40 p.m. CST

    theKRELL...

    by Mariusz

    ...You found me out, mate. Having just a 3rd grade education must be the real reason why I didn't get Avatar. The Na'vi, Pandora, unobtainium... These are all ideas my tiny brain can't surely fathom. Did I just say, "fathom?" See? Your intelligence inspires me in ways you can't imagine. I want to grow up to be just like you, mate. In the meantime, let me get back to the farm. I got many animals to tend to...

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 12:26 a.m. CST

    drturing... good point...

    by JimmyJoe RedSky

    except i wouldnt call this movie a "progression" other than technically speaking - i havent seen it, but ive read enough objective reviews to get that as spectacular as it looks it covers familiar ground story wise - no twist - no revelations - and... a lot of 14 year olds are more sophisticated than you think - i saw movies like "scanners" and "alien" when i was 14 in 1979 - and i got them, they didnt pander

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 12:29 a.m. CST

    do they really plug their hair into the god-tree?

    by JimmyJoe RedSky

    and if so, why their hair? why not just touch the tree with their hands?

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 12:58 a.m. CST

    Mariusz

    by theKRELL

    Was all in good fun, you didn't like Avatar, I did. Doesn't mean we can't be friends, does it?

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 1 a.m. CST

    that's the problem in a nutshell

    by frank cotton

    CAMERON used to make movies for adults. apparently, the success of TITANIC has muddled his mind, much like THRILLER's success did to MICHAEL JACKSON

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 1:18 a.m. CST

    WTF is it with people and plot twists?

    by drturing

    Go watch a fucking M Night Shyamalan movie. I don't give a shit about plot twists. Just give me a movie with balls, heart, details, and a sense of actually existing and I'm with you. I mean fuck, James Cameron makes a movie for 14 year olds and a bunch of grown ass men whine that he didn't make fucking Antichrist set on an alien planet.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 1:19 a.m. CST

    The dude has kids!

    by drturing

    He said he wanted to make a film his kids could see. If I was six years and saw this I'd probably stop playing videogames and either start painting or building a fucking rocket in my backyard to get to an alien world quicker.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 1:21 a.m. CST

    Why the fuck do people think plot twists = story

    by drturing

    IT'S NOT THE SAME THING!!!! Look at shit like Lost, or Heroes, etc. The entire shows come up with the twists first because it's damn near impossible to have an original twist in this day and age, and then they try and retrofit their fucking plot twist to it, leading to pure ridiculousness.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 1:23 a.m. CST

    Here's where Cameron really FAILED

    by drturing

    If the movie is truly for 14 year olds, the problem is they're gonna want to be Quaritch, who is like "fuck alien cooties and poontang, I'm too busy being the most hardcore fucking human being ever to have fought on Earth or any other planet". Quaritch beat his redheaded stepchild so hard, the line of DNA for redheaded stepchildren went into remission.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 1:24 a.m. CST

    theKRELL

    by Mariusz

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 1:25 a.m. CST

    theKRELL

    by Mariusz

    I'm all about good fun. Just don't ask me to see Avatar again. Once was enough and not fun at all. Cheers, mate.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 1:55 a.m. CST

    Mike Russel the douche who will see Avatar twice

    by drturing

    but has to spew all over the internet what he hates about it. And let's not forget - he thinks Sherlock Holmes is better. Than Avatar.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 2:07 a.m. CST

    Did Cameron really say that?

    by MR. MURDOCH

    "I want to make a movie that my kids can watch!" ?!?! Seriously? I am SO sick of hearing that shit from filmmakers/artists who should know better. I lose respect for any major filmmaker who has said those words. With all due respect, screw that -- "making films for your children" -- you are an ARTIST, Cameron, and artists don't COMPROMISE for the sake of any specific audience. I give Cameron this, and I think someone has said it before: he has BALL OF FUCKING BLUE STEEl for making this movie. NO ONE else could have walked into a major studio's office and pitched this film, and said, "Now hand me $300 million." No one, except perhaps Spielberg -- and after "A.I.", he's never trying *that* again. Most filmmakers who work in Hollywood are not what I would consider "artists." I had begun to consider Cameron as one, but with this movie, while technically astounding, overall, he has lost me. There was no Cameron INTENSITY in this picture, at no time did I feel threatened or in peril at what was to come. And yeah, I didn't end up liking the Na'vi people much by the end, either... By the way, just because we are critics of certain parts of the film, that does not make us blind "haters." What is this -- "if you're not with us, you're against us"?? What a stupid, simplistic way to look at something -- and perhaps part of the reason why things are so divided within this country right now.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 6:42 a.m. CST

    Opinions is Opinions

    by 2LeggedFreak

    Some like it some loathe it and we are all entitled to our opinions.<P> <P> What annoys me though are those that grasp at things to dislike and one of the bigger indicators of what twats some folk can be has surely got to be the knife argument. <P> <P> Forget about the logic of it...its just a bit of cool fun. If Tarantino or Rodriguez had pulled that one out all the uber geeks would have been jizzing themselves but, because we are on a negativity roll lets try and use logic to rip into Cameron on this one.<P> <P> Perhaps we could set up some retrospective reviews on here for these same douches to criticise Indiana Jones for pulling a gun in a sword fight or to point out that Crocodile Dundee would have been arrested for pulling that monster knife out on the streets of New York...its entertainment guys...get a grip !!!!

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 7:22 a.m. CST

    A polite challenge...

    by TheUmpireStrokesBach

    reposted. Don't get me wrong though, I mean no insult. Most of you guys seem to feel very strongly about the things you hate in this movie and many others. I honestly think you should try to make a film. Now, hear me out. I'm not saying that you can't have an opinion unless you do, it's just I wonder if you guys would actually end up making cool stuff. As most of you already know, Cameron was a truck driver when STAR WARS hit. Feeling inspired and challenged by that film he then threw himself into learning everything he could about filmmaking. Through sheer determination and hard work he ended up becoming one of the premiere filmmakers of all time. You guys seem passionate enough, so I wonder...what's stopping you? “Perhaps it sounds ridiculous, but the best thing that young filmmakers should do is to get hold of a camera and some film and make a movie of any kind at all.” -KUBRICK</p> <p>Here's a start: http://tinyurl.com/yh3zbq6

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 7:26 a.m. CST

    And besides...

    by TheUmpireStrokesBach

    I wanna critique your films on these here internets.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 8:42 a.m. CST

    End of the knife arguement...and most plot point problems.

    by Alientoast

    Pickup a copy of Avatar: An Actavist's Guide. It's basically a field guide to Pandora and the universe as a whole, and it answers lots of questions people had that they thought didn't make sense. 1) The atmosphere has oxygen+nitrogen, but it also has high levels of CO2, Hydrogen Sulfide, and Xenon...the rebreathers remove that and people can live just fine in the environment 2) Unobtanium makes interstellar travel cost effective, because it is the only know material that can allow for anti-matter/matter propulsion without massive (and energy hungry) cooling systems. They also use it for computers and maglev tech back at home 3) The company also is exploiting the flora and fauna for bio-tech applications (thus why they have a science team), including various plants that can extend human life, or psychoactive drugs that are undergoing tests for military applications to ensure you have unquestioning soldiers (or employees). This also explains why they don't just "nuke the site from orbit". 4) Earth is basically like Blade Runner, with a Weyland-Yutani corporation (with broad international powers) + Wall-E levels of global pollution. RDA also has a monopoly because they started solar-system mining operations first, thus they are the only ones with expertise 5) The "bowie knife" design is acknowledged to be somewhat comical, but it mentions contractors and soldiers liked the idea of a really big knife and it's familiar design in the exo-suits, thus it was adopted by a large contingent of militarys. They also mentioned it's primarily for cutting through jungle environments and is favored over attachments like circular or square cutters. They mention the blade is ceramic.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 9:10 a.m. CST

    swiss cheese plot

    by eROKv

    there were lots of silly plot details like the humans coulda dropped thier bombs out of the shuttle from 10 miles up SHIT there goes the entire last act but hey i thought the movie was pretty awesome anyways.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 9:41 a.m. CST

    "humans coulda dropped thier bombs out of the shuttle from 10 mi

    by Alientoast

    They were pallets of mining explosives, not smart bombs. They had no stabilizers, fins, or streamline design...they were essentially cubes of boom. If you dropped it from an extreme height, there's a huge chance it wouldn't even hit anywhere near the target, especially with all the floating rocks, massive magnetic fields, and the dense atmosphere. A dummy bomb drop /w no aerodynamic design would require an extremely low drop to even have a chance of being somewhat accurate.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 10:07 a.m. CST

    dropping bombs

    by Wirraway

    If your science can fly across the universe, then your science can figure out the ballistics of dead weight dropped from a couple of miles up to land it on top of whatever you want to hit. This really isn't rocket science.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 10:42 a.m. CST

    They didn't look like scientists to me

    by Alientoast

    It was explosives on a pallet, not a precision instrument. Darth Marine said "lets drop explosives on them" and was basically running the show, does he strike you as the kinda guy that would sit around at that point and figure out the specific math of the plan of attack. Plus look at the drop vehicle: It was being MANUALLY pushed out the back of an aircraft. No, you can't figure out the specific ballistics of a cube when you're just telling some guys to push the thing out the back of a glorified C-5A. If they had planned this out and had a computer guided system and sufficient information about the area (which they did not because of the massive sensor blindness causes by the magnetic vortexes), then you may have a point. I will acknowledge that dummy-fire missles may have been a better option, but there's no way a MacGuyvered block of TNT can be precision dropped MANUALLY with any accuracy from many miles up. You're right, it's not rocket science, it's common sense and grade school physics.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 11:13 a.m. CST

    where's the pixels?

    by bungalo_cornflakes

    This guy was complaining about NOT being able to see the pixels in the special effects?! WTF? (remember the good ol' days of crappy pixelated special effects! LOL!) Everyone is so quick to jump all over special effects when they suck and then something like this comes along and he's complaining they're TOO good? And he describes the planets neural network as "simple-minded"? JC has invented a whole new alien world from the ground up including plants, animals, cultures, with an environment more complex than anything on earth, and that's simple minded? Wow. just..... fucking wow. He says he wasn't one of the pre-release haters, but I don't know, I think somewhere deep down inside he didn't want to like the movie. So he didn't. I see nothing wrong with keeping a story simple, as long as its coherent. He gushed about Aliens (one of my faves btw), but did that have a really complicated plot? No. I'm all for a complex plot, but I'd much rather come out of a movie knowing exactly what happened rather than scratch my head going "what was that about?". As long as its told well. I came out of Avatar knowing exactly what I just saw. Not every movie has to be an exercise in how fucking complicated you can make the plot. I did share one WTF! moment with this guy in the scene where the giant bowie knife was pulled out. But it was so ridiculous it was awesome. I came away loving Avatar. It was worth the wait. Now, if Cameron would just team up with the folks at Pixar.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 11:37 a.m. CST

    Mariusz

    by theKRELL

    Done and done, Cheers, mate.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 1:59 p.m. CST

    I couldn't agree more with this review.

    by ashleygeekgirl

    Avatar, while visually appealing, was a three-hour film (that felt like it lasted days) with a predictable plot and the most terrible screenwriting I’ve heard in a while. If the cliché one-liners every three seconds aren’t enough to make you cringe, being beaten over the head with five simultaneous political messages might do the trick. I could have easily gone another ten years without seeing this movie.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 3:40 p.m. CST

    A Toast to... Alien Toast

    by logotrope

    Thank you, Alien Toast, for bringing some sense to the discussion of the supposed plot holes and errors in logic. You can certainly question or criticize the movie on a host of larger issues. Is it disingenuous to preach peace and love while simultaneously blowing the fuck out of everything with bombs and machine guns? Is the philosophy of interconnectedness at the heart of the movie a profound metaphor or just warmed-over New Age baloney? I'm a tree-hugger myself, but these are legitimate ways of examining the film. Arguing over whether or not a big knife makes sense on a mech suit is just pointless.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 4:32 p.m. CST

    It's always nice...

    by rutgersjaffo

    ...to have someone step up and tell you where the acceptable line is for your own suspension of disbelief.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 5:54 p.m. CST

    the story is not as bad as they say

    by zooch

    A few expected cheesy parts here and there don't make it all bad. I was into it the whole through and it wasn't JUST the visuals that kept me entertained.<br><br>And Stephen Lang's villian character? I hated him. We didn't need any of those dumb army speeches he kept making either. I was extremely happy when he died.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 6:15 p.m. CST

    I wonder...

    by logotrope

    Has there ever been a science fiction movie that didn't contain scientific errors or logical flaws? I haven't seen it. BTW: There's a lot of interesting discussion of the world going on at Copericus Grades Cameron on the Science of Avatar (see links).

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 7:21 p.m. CST

    The movie was illogical? Buy our explanatory footnotes!

    by CountryBoy

    No thanks.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 11:36 p.m. CST

    This review is totally spot on

    by GodMars

    I often rag on this site for the amount of ass-kissing it does, but it's nice to see a review like this on such a major film.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 8:53 a.m. CST

    Best review so far

    by duracellbourne

    I agree with Mike Russell 100%...I truly don´t understand how people are loving this film, the story is everything, and people seem to admit that the story isn´t good, but that the film is still great...that is impossible! if you read all the reviews closely, including all the major critics, they all say the dialogue is cringeworthy in parts, the story is cliched and the film is flawed...BUT blah blah blah its still a great movie...it doesnt make any sense. I don´t recall thinking the dialogue in ´The Dark Knight´was bad, or that the story was cliched, or that the film was flawed...because if the ´Dark Knight´had of had any of these problems, it wouldnt be a great movie, which it is! Also the IM review format was an excellent idea, ´cos its like taking advice form a trusted friend on whether a film is good or not, and getting straight, conversational answers....also EVERYTHING Mike said was true, and I think Harry knows it, which is why he published it, but gave a good review himself to maintain a relationship with Cameron. And check out the Empire review that gave it 5 stars on their site, the average user rating is currently 3 stars, and people are submitting their own (far more divisive) reviews...but then again Empire gave Attack of the Clones 5 stars when it came out... My own feeling is that there will be a big second week drop off at the box office

Top Talkbacks