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YEStalk Discussion Forums • View topic - Avatar - Rant #1

Avatar - Rant #1



Avatar - Rant #1

Postby Yesquire » Sat Jan 16, 2010 7:56 pm

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Re: Avatar - Rant #1

Postby tardistraveler » Wed Jan 20, 2010 10:31 pm

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Re: Avatar - Rant #1

Postby Yesquire » Thu Jan 21, 2010 3:04 pm

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Re: Avatar - Rant #1

Postby tardistraveler » Thu Jan 21, 2010 7:07 pm

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Re: Avatar - Rant #1

Postby thehallway » Thu Jan 21, 2010 9:02 pm

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Re: Avatar - Rant #1

Postby Yesquire » Thu Jan 21, 2010 10:38 pm

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Re: Avatar - Rant #1

Postby topographic_drama1980 » Wed Jan 27, 2010 10:39 am

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Re: Avatar - Rant #1

Postby tardistraveler » Wed Jan 27, 2010 9:32 pm

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Re: Avatar - Rant #1

Postby Yesquire » Thu Jan 28, 2010 4:12 pm

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Re: Avatar - Rant #1

Postby thehallway » Thu Jan 28, 2010 6:02 pm

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Re: Avatar - Rant #1

Postby tardistraveler » Sat Jan 30, 2010 6:07 pm

Regarding the cost of attending movies - they really have escalated over the years. Not sure how inflation or cost-of-living applies here, but in my lifetime . . .

1960's - Suburban theaters were 35 cents - downtown theaters were 50 cents at all times

1970's - Dollar matinees (before 5:00) were routine. Nighttime prices were higher, but I never WENT at night since the matinees were so cheap. Downtown theaters went by the wayside and the multiplex was born.

1990's - Matinees crept up to about 5-6 dollars - nighttime was around 8 dollars. Second-run theaters came into existence offering the films for $1.50

Now - Matinees are $6.50, and only before 3:00. Other times are 8-9 dollars. IMAX is 12-15 dollars, depending on the movie. Few second-run theaters - most died out . . . :(


So, what happened to escalate prices from fifty cents to $9???

And I rarely buy the concessions - either smuggle something in, or just go without and get something to eat AFTER the show. They're WAY too expensive - five bucks for popcorn??? Ridiculous!
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Re: Avatar - Rant #1

Postby Greenglade's Frog » Mon Feb 08, 2010 10:45 pm

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Re: Avatar - Rant #1

Postby tardistraveler » Tue Feb 09, 2010 10:10 pm

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Re: Avatar - Rant #1

Postby tardistraveler » Wed Mar 03, 2010 7:55 pm

Found this review today on MSN . . . interesting back-and-forth between 2 critics about Avatar.

And Yes/Roger Dean get a mention . . . ;)

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Re: Avatar - Rant #1

Postby thehallway » Thu Mar 04, 2010 6:11 pm

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Re: Avatar - Rant #1

Postby Chris2210 » Fri Mar 05, 2010 12:33 am

I watched it the other night and I did so in cognisance of this thread.

It was pleasant to look at - not especially groundbreaking in that regard, but certainly it was a good example of what is achievable with CGI these days.

FX are and always should be an instrument for conveying a story rather than an end in itself. Insofar as it made the events on screen believable from a physical viewpoint it was successful.

However, any film regardless of it being fantasy/science fiction first and foremost needs to make itself believable in terms of characterisation and cohesive and convincing drama.

Unfortunately Cameron's films have never been particularly successful in these regards and this particular film was no better than previous efforts might lead one to expect. None of the characters had any particular psychological depth. The villains as usual were of the pantomime variety and the emotional outpourings were trite, stilted and uninvolving.

As for the 'world mind', again although it was gossamer-veiled in mystery, rather than a genuine attempt to convey a truly alien consciousness it had as much character as any of the protagonists. Solaris which was rather overlooked by critics was far more compelling - whether we're talking about Sohdeburg's effort [which I rather liked], Tarkovsky's [which I found a little self-indulgent], or Lem's source novel. Similarly Wyndham's various takes on exo-intelligences are genuinely thought-provoking.

Eywa on the other hand seems rather like a childish view of a mother nature persona that is highly anthropomorphised. A little bit like a half-stoned hippy's idea of Native American's connection with 'ecology'. I say this as someone who believes all things are at a fundamental level indivisible. Yet something like this actually cheapens the idea - it takes a concept which is profoundly important and uses it as a naive plot device and does so seemingly for mere convenience, and at that incredibly inconsistently.

Take for example the 'scary raptor', which the gigantic bar- jawed creatures were so afraid of near the beginning of the film. It rather boggles the mind to wonder why they would so fear a creature which was ripped apart by the 'exo-skeletal tank' when they seemed to be making such light work of the same. [Same one he used in aliens for Ripley to vanquish the Alien hive-queen, now I come to think of it]. This is only one of a large number of similarly sloppy flaws which even pure escapism should avoid to hold onto any internal credibility.

On the whole not nearly as awful as the truly woeful Titanic - but certainly something best to leave one's brain in park for the duration of.
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Re: Avatar - Rant #1

Postby thehallway » Fri Mar 05, 2010 7:28 pm

I thought Titanic was ok, didn't like any of the actors though, or the simplistic plot... come to think of it I only really liked the ending: and that WAS very impressive, even more so in 1997 I'm sure.
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Re: Avatar - Rant #1

Postby Chris2210 » Thu Mar 18, 2010 4:21 pm

The actors in Titanic have shown themselves to be very able performers in other films, even if they're not amongst my personal favourites. Just about any actor can be made to look pretty lame by an awful script and whereas there are those [Jack Nicholson and Anthony Hopkins come to mind] who can turn in enjoyable performances by making it obvious they don't take their script seriously - Winslet and DiCaprio played it with the sort of earnestness which hammered home how pitifully awful their lines were.

It was Harrison Ford that said in relation to Star Wars "George, you can type this shit, but you sure as hell can't say it." As for the FX in Titanic, I actually have the opposite opinion to you. In science fiction there are two advantages: firstly you are dealing with things that are projections of possibility and therefore there isn't the direct comparison with mundane reality; and secondly you have already entered into a sort of contract that says you're suspending large chunks of disbelief in any case. With Titanic you are talking about real-life situations and a historical incident. In that case not only the drama, but the physical environment should be 'invisible'.

One of the earliest scenes of the film showed the ship steaming out of port and the waves breaking on the bows did not look real. A very poor start. The pyrotechnics of the actual sinking of the ship whilst very good were rather too prominent - the spectacle was all and it detracted from the human element, which didn't need much aid in looking inadequate in the first place. Avatar is a relatively poor film in a genre that unfortunately is not notable for its triumphs [although I do think there have been some very good science fiction films]. Titanic is a stinker of a mainstream film on just about every level. It deserved an Oscar for making money, but they gave it another ten for making lots of money. Looks like they learned their lesson this year, at least to some degree.
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Re: Avatar - Rant #1

Postby thehallway » Thu Mar 18, 2010 6:20 pm

I suppose there will always be a struggle, no matter how advanced CGI becomes, in trying to replicate things which exist in real life (i.e. a ship); because it's never going to be perfect like the actual thing. So whilst those scenes in Titanic may have been poorly executed in places, they were daring, and I'm sure a lot of effort was put in. Whereas you can take any visual aspect of Avatar and it will be better (partly due to the 13 extra years of technology) because it's fantasy. But I think that's sort of 'playing it safe', because like you said, the quality is irrelevant if theres nothing in reality to compare it to. So based on the fact that Cameron didn't have the genre advantages in Titanic and was dealing with a Historical event, it makes the special effects more of an achievement, even if they aren't as good as Avatar's.

And the way they made the sinking of the ship itself the main spectacle of the ending, momentarily removing the human element, is what draws the less 'romantic' viewers to the film. It's a break from the acting. And I guess it was showing off a bit, but what Cameron film doesn't do that?
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