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Cameron's Avatar Trailer Posted

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the costs-a-little-more-than-district-9 dept.

Sci-Fi 278

graviplana was one of several people to submit that Avatar, James Cameron's 3D Sci-Fi epic has released a trailer to whet your appetite. There's a lot of very cool visual elements in there but no indication of any actual story. Here's hoping there is one.

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Whet (5, Informative)

mmkkbb (816035) | more than 5 years ago | (#29135021)

The correct word is "whet." To whet your appetite is to sharpen it, just as you would a knife with a whetstone. Wetting one's whistle refers to slaking or quenching thirst, but is entirely unrelated.

Re:Whet (4, Insightful)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 5 years ago | (#29135045)

Adding to that, the summary contains 45 words and three sentences, contains one typo and one misspelling. Surely the submission approval process is not so strained that three sentences is too much to proof read?

In before "you must be new here".

Re:Whet (2, Funny)

nacturation (646836) | more than 5 years ago | (#29135235)

And to use a whetstone, it's good practice to wet it first.

Re:Whet (1)

MartinSchou (1360093) | more than 5 years ago | (#29136395)

There's an old Danish song about that (though I wouldn't be surprised if it's translated from some other language). Gist of the song is as follows:

Jokum: "There's a hole in the bucket, dear Lisbeth."
Lisbeth: "So mend it, dear Jokum."
J: "Mend it with what?"
L: "Use straw."
J: "But the straws are too long."
L: "So shorten them."
J: "Shorten them with what?"
L: "Use the knife."
J: "But my knife is dull"
L: "So sharpen it"
J: "With what?"
L: "With a whetstone"
J: "But the whetstone is dry"
L: "So make it wet."
J: "How do I do that?"
L: "Use the bucket."
Jokum: "There's a hole in the bucket, dear Lisbeth."
Lisbeth: "So mend it, dear Jokum."

Not sure if it's an allegory for most things in life or just how married people communicate ...

Re: Whet (4, Funny)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 5 years ago | (#29135265)

The correct word is "whet."

Maybe it's a deliberately bad trailer, designed to dampen people's appetites.

Re:Whet (1)

Jamamala (983884) | more than 5 years ago | (#29135423)

I came here from my RSS feed purely to moan about this. Glad to see several beat me to it.
Also, in what must be a Slashdot first, TFS has actually been corrected!

Re:Whet (1)

spun (1352) | more than 5 years ago | (#29136173)

I came here from my RSS feed purely to moan about this. Glad to see several beat me to it.
Also, in what must be a Slashdot first, TFS has actually been corrected!

It's not a first. What would be a first would be a correction with an actual admission that a correction took place. But that would require something approaching journalistic integrity. As it is, I often see stories tagged with 'typoinsummary,' with comments about the typo, but no evidence of a typo or a correction of said typo. The Slashdot editors must think we are quite easily fooled.

Wet (1, Redundant)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | more than 5 years ago | (#29135471)

The correct word is "whet." To whet your appetite is to sharpen it....

But what if there's a trailer is intended to dampen fans' appetites?

Re:Whet (1)

aztektum (170569) | more than 5 years ago | (#29136203)

Now say Whil Wheaton.

Re:Whet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29136293)

Whatever - still looks like a terrible movie - better suited to a bad PS3 RPG than a feature film. Cameron 'claims' to have copme up with the concept 13-14 years ago - I was playing games as a teenager with that exact story 13-14 years ago. YAWN.

Story? (-1, Troll)

Deflagro (187160) | more than 5 years ago | (#29135067)

Who needs a story? This is Sci-Fi, you can just make shit up as you please as long as it's cool. This does look very nice though, regardless of the plot.

Expect the cheesy videogame to release at the same time :P

Re:Story? (1)

Anonymous Cowar (1608865) | more than 5 years ago | (#29135227)

No! If it has a story, then its a character drama with sci-fi trappings!!!! It doesn't matter if it takes place on a whole other planet, in the future, and couldn't have happened without sci-fi elements (space travel, cloning, mind transfer/remote control, etc) it's not sci-fi!

I read a review that district 9 was "not a science fiction movie." Why don't people admit to liking sci-fi?

Re:Story? (3, Informative)

rhathar (1247530) | more than 5 years ago | (#29135349)

Is this the first Slashdot has seen of Avatar? Has no one else been reading about this movie? Geez, people. Here's the plot (as if it was hard to read wikipedia before posting a story):

The storyâ(TM)s protagonist, Jake Sully, is a former Marine who was wounded and paralyzed from the waist down in combat on Earth. In order to participate in the Avatar program, which will give him a healthy body, Jake agrees to travel to Pandora, a lush rainforest environment filled with incredible life forms â" some beautiful, many terrifying. Pandora is also the home to the Naâ(TM)vi, a humanoid race that lives at what humans would consider to be a primitive level, but are actually much more evolutionarily advanced than humans. Ten feet tall, with tails and sparkling blue skin, the Naâ(TM)vi live harmoniously within their unspoiled world. But as humans encroach on Pandora in search of valuable minerals, the Naâ(TM)viâ(TM)s very existence is threatened â" and their warrior abilities unleashed. Jake has unwittingly been recruited to become part of this encroachment. Since humans are unable to breathe the air on Pandora, they have created genetically-bred human-Naâ(TM)vi hybrids known as Avatars. The Avatars are living, breathing bodies in the real world, controlled by a human driver through a technology that links the driverâ(TM)s mind to the Avatar body. On Pandora, through his Avatar body, Jake can be whole once again. Moreover, he falls in love with a young Naâ(TM)vi woman, Neytiri, whose beauty is matched by her ferocity in battle. As Jake slides deeper into becoming one of her clan, he finds himself caught between the military-industrial forces of Earth, and the Naâ(TM)vi â" forcing him to choose sides in an epic battle that will decide the fate of an entire world.

Re:Story? (5, Informative)

rhathar (1247530) | more than 5 years ago | (#29135459)

Dammit, formatting. Sorry about clicking 'submit' a little too fast:

The story's protagonist, Jake Sully, is a former Marine who was wounded and paralyzed from the waist down in combat on Earth. In order to participate in the Avatar program, which will give him a healthy body, Jake agrees to travel to Pandora, a lush rainforest environment filled with incredible life forms - some beautiful, many terrifying. Pandora is also the home to the Na'vi, a humanoid race that lives at what humans would consider to be a primitive level, but are actually much more evolutionarily advanced than humans. Ten feet tall, with tails and sparkling blue skin, the Na'vi live harmoniously within their unspoiled world. But as humans encroach on Pandora in search of valuable minerals, the Na'vi's very existence is threatened â" and their warrior abilities unleashed.

Jake has unwittingly been recruited to become part of this encroachment. Since humans are unable to breathe the air on Pandora, they have created genetically-bred human-Na'vi hybrids known as Avatars. The Avatars are living, breathing bodies in the real world, controlled by a human driver through a technology that links the driver's mind to the Avatar body. On Pandora, through his Avatar body, Jake can be whole once again. Moreover, he falls in love with a young Na'vi woman, Neytiri, whose beauty is matched by her ferocity in battle.

As Jake slides deeper into becoming one of her clan, he finds himself caught between the military-industrial forces of Earth, and the Na'vi - forcing him to choose sides in an epic battle that will decide the fate of an entire world.

Re:Story? (4, Insightful)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 5 years ago | (#29135609)

There was not a single thing in that summary not clearly portrayed in the trailer. The trailer is not devoid of story - it completely gives away the entire plot. They only thing they don't show is the ending but it is very unlikely it wont end with things working out for the 'good' guys. But the paralysis - the transfer to another body - the love interest - the combat against invading earth forces - it's all there. This is a very typical anti-development, pro-nature type film that hollywood has been cranking out for some time.

I'm looking forward to seeing it - but not for the plot.

Re:Story? (4, Insightful)

matang (731781) | more than 5 years ago | (#29135657)

i read somewhere james cameron said it was dances with wolves but with aliens. it's what came to my mind when i read the synopsis (dude infiltrates a foreign and somewhat hostile group, falls in love, becomes one of them, is forced to decide whether to betray his former life).

Re:Story? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29135963)

This seems rather similar to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Call_me_joe which was originally published in 1957. All the elements are there: cripple who telepathically controls a foreign species due to hostile environment, who then loses his grip on who he is. It's a great story but I hope it gets credit as the "seed" for this movie.

Re:Story? (1)

Mursk (928595) | more than 5 years ago | (#29136163)

Good call. The plot sounded vaguely familiar, but it's been a while since I read that story. Thanks for the reminder.

Re:Story? (3, Insightful)

seanalltogether (1071602) | more than 5 years ago | (#29136109)

Here's the thing I hate about sci-fi plots. Humans have the ability to fly half way across the galaxy, can engineer biological hybrids, can link those hybrids to a humans mind, but the simple act of reconnecting a spinal cord back together in order to cure paralysis is still beyond their reach?

Re:Story? (1)

Anonymous Cowar (1608865) | more than 5 years ago | (#29136205)

the plot device doesn't output that ability.

Re:Story? (2, Interesting)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 5 years ago | (#29136161)

Jake has unwittingly been recruited to become part of this encroachment. Since humans are unable to breathe the air on Pandora, they have created genetically-bred human-Na'vi hybrids known as Avatars. The Avatars are living, breathing bodies in the real world, controlled by a human driver through a technology that links the driver's mind to the Avatar body. On Pandora, through his Avatar body, Jake can be whole once again. Moreover, he falls in love with a young Na'vi woman, Neytiri, whose beauty is matched by her ferocity in battle.

Humanoid aliens. *sigh* I can buy it if the scenario is along the lines of ancient astronauts where the humanoid aliens are actually genetically modified from human stock or something like a Stargate where human life is seeded on other worlds by powerful entities in the past but it does sort of irk me when humanoid lifeforms evolve independently with no other explanation than someone handwaving and saying "Perhaps the bipedal form is the most superior one for earth-like worlds." Bah. I'll only buy it if the explanation is "They don't look like us. We look like them!"

Re:Story? (3, Insightful)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 5 years ago | (#29136231)

Cameron said he wanted to make more 'alien' aliens, but that conflicted with one of the plot points... a human consciousness in an alien body, falling in love with another alien. He had to go with the humanoid look in order to not completely repulse the audience.

Re:Story? (1)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 5 years ago | (#29136377)

Cameron said he wanted to make more 'alien' aliens, but that conflicted with one of the plot points... a human consciousness in an alien body, falling in love with another alien. He had to go with the humanoid look in order to not completely repulse the audience.

*imagines aliens looking like James Carville.* You're right. I withdraw my objection.

Re:Story? (1)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | more than 5 years ago | (#29136167)

It is because people are ashamed of and/or intimidated by their ignorance of basic science and technology, so they cope by inventing excuses to devalue those endeavors.

I get the idea though.... (1)

nobodyman (90587) | more than 5 years ago | (#29135575)

And to be honest, I disagree with the assertion that the trailer doesn't give away any hint of the story. We have no idea if the story will be *good* but from the trailer we learn that a wounded soldier is able to fight again, albeit by proxy, controlling an indigenous creature of an alien planet.

Yeah, that ain't much, but it's an intriguing idea, and a helluva lot more plot that we got with GI-Joe.

Re:Story? (1)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 5 years ago | (#29135599)

This is Sci-Fi, you can just make shit up as you please

And anything mysterious you need to justify, you can just attribute to Quantum Flux [theonion.com] .

Re:Story? (1)

Kirin Fenrir (1001780) | more than 5 years ago | (#29135971)

Give several story points in a trailer, and people will complain you gave away the entire plot.

Keep the story elements to a minimum, and people will complain your trailer is shallow.

There is no victory for them, is there?

hmm... (1)

El Jynx (548908) | more than 5 years ago | (#29135069)

only on?

doesnt work? (0)

ionix5891 (1228718) | more than 5 years ago | (#29135101)

GET /movies/fox/avatar/avatar2009aug0820a-tsr_1080p.mov HTTP/1.1
Host: movies.apple.com
User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 6.1; en-GB; rv:1.9.1.2) Gecko/20090729 Firefox/3.5.2

HTTP/1.x 200 OK
X-Cache-TTL: 3186
Accept-Ranges: bytes
Content-Length: 93
Content-Type: video/quicktime
Server: Apache/2.2.8 (Unix)
Last-Modified: Thu, 20 Aug 2009 14:30:31 GMT
Etag: "5d-4719397fe4fc0"
X-Cached-Time: Thu, 20 Aug 2009 14:54:07 GMT
Cache-Control: max-age=2473
Expires: Thu, 20 Aug 2009 17:50:38 GMT
Date: Thu, 20 Aug 2009 17:09:25 GMT
Connection: keep-alive

Re:doesnt work? (5, Informative)

TheSHAD0W (258774) | more than 5 years ago | (#29135131)

BitTorrent download [mininova.org]

Fuck apple (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29135107)

Anyone got a direct download or torrent link?

see some Starship Troopers and Dune in there (3, Insightful)

alen (225700) | more than 5 years ago | (#29135147)

the book version of starship troopers

otherwise the plot is a soldier goes to fight, gets some genetic modification and then figures out that the war is evil and being fought for ulterior reasons known only to a select few and he changes sides to fight for right

no: "dances with wolves" in space (5, Informative)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#29135293)

cameron even says so himself:

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/herocomplex/2009/08/james-cameron-the-new-trek-rocks-but-transformers-is-gimcrackery.html [latimes.com]

GB: There's also maybe some heritage linking it to "Dances With Wolves," considering your story here of a battered military man who finds something pure in an endangered tribal culture.

JC: Yes, exactly, it is very much like that. You see the same theme in "At Play in the Fields of the Lord" and also "The Emerald Forest," which maybe thematically isn't that connected but it did have that clash of civilizations or of cultures. That was another reference point for me. There was some beautiful stuff in that film. I just gathered all this stuff in and then you look at it through the lens of science fiction and it comes out looking very different but is still recognizable in a universal story way. It's almost comfortable for the audience - "I know what kind of tale this is." They're not just sitting there scratching their heads, they're enjoying it and being taken along. And we still have turns and surprises in it, too, things you don't see coming. But the idea that you feel like you are in a classic story, a story that could have been shaped by Rudyard Kipling or Edgar Rice Burroughs.

GB: Or Joseph Conrad...?

JC: Yes, exactly. And I think returning to classic tales is a powerful thing. Look, right now is a special time because we can basically do anything we imagine. I mean you have to work hard at it, and you've got to have the technique and you have to be willing to throw money at the problem. Sometimes you have to be a little bold and go out on a limb. But if you can imagine it, you can do it. That's why we're seeing this renaissance of visual imagination. It's just a growth. Films look better now than they've ever looked. Sometimes they get a little lost in it though. I'll go to a "Transformers" film for the fun of seeing the spectacle but, personally, my soul craves a little more story, a little more meat on the bone and characters and that sort of thing. Look, I think it's about finding a balance between story and all of this gimmickry. I think I veer toward classicism, being solidly rooted in the classic stuff. I mean really old-school science fiction. This is a movie I would have loved to have seen when I was a 14-year-old kid in 1968.

avatar looks amazing though, a must see

the bit with the blue guys riding flying dragons reminded me a bit of "the dragonriders of pern" too

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dragonriders_of_Pern [wikipedia.org]

now someone should make THAT into a movie

Re:no: "dances with wolves" in space (1)

Durrok (912509) | more than 5 years ago | (#29135633)

I loved those books as a kid. I'm sure we would just get something like this [imdb.com] .

Re:no: "dances with wolves" in space (2, Insightful)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 5 years ago | (#29135883)

I'm a fan of the Pern books myself - I would say that Eragon was a poor film because it was based on a poor book. (Which pretty much stole every interesting facet from somewhere else.) Not that Pern couldn't be ruined, but the books are good enough that good films could be based on them. Eragon never had a chance of being really good.

Re:no: "dances with wolves" in space (3, Interesting)

Propaganda13 (312548) | more than 5 years ago | (#29135877)

Sorry, I prefer to relate new movies to low budget action flicks with people like Van Damme, Segal, or Lundgren.

Men of War
Nick Gunar (Dolph Lundgren) is a burnt-out, jaded and hard-up former mercenary who is having a difficult time adjusting to civilian life. At the end of his rope, he is hired by the Nitro Mine Corporation to strong-arm the natives of a South China Sea island into giving up their rights to its valuable mineral resources. Nick loathes the thought of another mission, but this seemingly easy job will earn him enough money to get back with his estranged family. He recruits some of his former mercenary buddies to help him with the job. The island people refuse to give up their land and Nick decides to help them fight the greedy corporation that hired him. The island and its people bring Nick back to life. He finally finds something worth fighting for and a place to call home. As greed and treachery begin to unravel, Nick's band of mercenaries choose sides. Some are with him and others, still working for the corporation, will stop at nothing to destroy him.

Re:no: "dances with wolves" in space (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29135943)

The problem with the Dragonriders books, though, is that they are horrible.

Re:no: "dances with wolves" in space (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29136025)

And I think returning to classic tales is a powerful thing.

to make cash of course...

j/k looks like a good film.

Re:see some Starship Troopers and Dune in there (1)

VAXcat (674775) | more than 5 years ago | (#29135341)

ALso a bit of "Call Me Joe", by Poul Anderson in there.

Re:see some Starship Troopers and Dune in there (1)

Alarash (746254) | more than 5 years ago | (#29135851)

That sounds more like [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Man%27s_War]Old Man's War[/url] than Starship Troopers, really.

Only a little (4, Interesting)

meerling (1487879) | more than 5 years ago | (#29135171)

Watching the trailer you can get a little bit of info about whats going on.

Humans go to another planet, looks like a jungle planet.
They create "avatars" that are either clones, simulacrum, or repurposed native bodies.
One of the humans (the main character) who is brainmapped into an avatar, is a paraplegic in his human body.
The avatars are sent on an exploration or diplomacy mission.
(It obviously wasn't infiltration because they were wearing human clothes and carrying human gear.)

There's some fighting with some dino like things, possibly with the natives as well, although I didn't see any shots showing actual combat with natives, just strung together combat scenes that implied combat with the natives.

Oh, and the main character falls for a native female.

I'm sure somebody paying more attention to it can pick out other tidbits of info, but yeah, it was kinda sparse on data. It's not like the trailers/ads for 6th sense where you can identify all major plot points including the so called twist ending... (so bloody obvious he's one of the dead...)

Re:Only a little (1)

nimrod108 (983078) | more than 5 years ago | (#29135207)

I agree. I think you pretty much nailed the plot. I think the fellow in the wheel chair gets a new body so they can make contact and survive on the planet.

What is there to nail? (1)

denzacar (181829) | more than 5 years ago | (#29135735)

Plot [wikipedia.org] (and more [aintitcool.com] ) has been known for some time now.

An actual story? Why ruin it with that? (5, Insightful)

wiredog (43288) | more than 5 years ago | (#29135189)

GI Joe did just fine without any actual story.

Re:An actual story? Why ruin it with that? (1)

BobZee1 (1065450) | more than 5 years ago | (#29135743)

I would have to add 'Transformers 2' to the list of movies "doing well with no story".

Re:An actual story? Why ruin it with that? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29136035)

Avatar looks like it might actually be better with no story than the ham-fisted "back to nature" plot it appears to have.

Re:An actual story? Why ruin it with that? (1)

nitroamos (261075) | more than 5 years ago | (#29136345)

Exactly.
1) they release movies with pretty graphics and no story.
2) then they release movies with graphics AND story.
=> profit

If you *reverse* the order, then they only make half the profit because nobody would pay to see movies of type #1 if type #2 are available!

CG-wise? Disappointed. Storyline-wise? We'll see. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29135195)

As far as the CGI goes, I'm disappointed.

Going back to old press releases, I saw Avatar being advertised as "the first ever film to include fully CGI actors."

My assumption was that they'd try to make photorealistic *human* actors CGed similar to what Beowulf did and that I'd be blown away as I watched the trailer, wondering for the first time "Is this animated or is this real?"

The blue aliens do not hold that sense of wonder for me. 1) Your mind discards aliens as looking fake in general. 2) The CG on them isn't mindblowing anyway. The animation of them is still unconvincing.

That said, I'm sure the movie will be enjoyable with a decent storyline. It's just not what I was hoping for.

Re:CG-wise? Disappointed. Storyline-wise? We'll se (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29135551)

Watch it again. There where pure "humans" in that video and they are 100% CG.

Re:CG-wise? Disappointed. Storyline-wise? We'll se (4, Informative)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 5 years ago | (#29135903)

Weren't the humans in Final Fantasy the Spirits Within CGI? Wouldn't that make this film 8 years late in being the first?

Re:CG-wise? Disappointed. Storyline-wise? We'll se (1)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 5 years ago | (#29135647)

It looked a lot like Final Fantasy to me - which I thought was pretty cool but it came out a while ago. It will be interesting to see how the full film compares.

Watch it in 1080p (1)

denzacar (181829) | more than 5 years ago | (#29135649)

You will see the "photorealism".

Also, while you are at it, pay attention to scenes where Na'vi are being angry.
They seem far more realistic then, as they squint their eyes and look more like humans in those shots.

Oh and Beowulf...
Come on. This is several classes above Beowulf. Beowulf was barely above Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within.
They walked and articulated like puppets. Na'vi look real.

Alien and not quite humanly (as they are not humans) but they move like living things.

Re:CG-wise? Disappointed. Storyline-wise? We'll se (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29135755)

So... in other words they did a *really* good job. Those humans are CGI.

Direct download links (5, Informative)

vivekg (795441) | more than 5 years ago | (#29135197)

480p [apple.com] , 720p [apple.com] , 1080p [apple.com] Enjoy!

Re:Direct download links (1)

ionix5891 (1228718) | more than 5 years ago | (#29135399)

if all /.'ers go for the 1080 link we will bring down apple!

thanks btw

Re:Direct download links (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29135573)

You're talking like that's a bad thing..?

Not impressed to say the least (1)

patro (104336) | more than 5 years ago | (#29135505)

Cartoon-like blue CGI aliens and an apparently average summer blockbuster story. Maybe it's better in 3D, but in 2D it's laughable.

It's Actually a Teaser (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29135263)

It's not a trailer it's a teaser for which it's rare to have story content, usually just a number of images to give an idea of what the movie will look like.

So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29135275)

So... where's Aang?

Re:So... (1)

tekrat (242117) | more than 5 years ago | (#29135387)

You know, I was thinking the same thing.. In fact it looks like "The Last Airbender" movie will have to avoid the use of the word "Avatar" to prevent confusion, since my guess is both movies will be out around the same time.

And already being familiar with the airbender plotline and universe, I'm looking forward to that film far more than I am to Cameron's crap-fest. His last good film was Terminator 2.

Re:So... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29135443)

The LAST thing anybody needs is a movie version of Fagatar the Last Shitbender. You've got to be kidding me, they're really making a movie of that gay ass anime about a bald kid and his flying buffalo???

Those geeks in the movie must be Titan Quest fans (1)

kalirion (728907) | more than 5 years ago | (#29135367)

After all, they spent all that effort to genetically engineer Maenads [ign.com] .

A few problems with it (5, Interesting)

Jim Hall (2985) | more than 5 years ago | (#29135419)

Yes, the CGI is stunning - for most of the trailer, it's hard to believe it's not live action. They have made a huge leap across the uncanny valley, and successfully.

But I have a few problems with it, just like most CGI movies these days:

The robots don't move right. It doesn't "feel" like a robot to me. James Cameron was the guy behind Aliens, and he seems to have forgotten that one of the reasons that was such a believable movie (despite taking place in the future, on an alien planet, fighting aliens with two mouths) was the use of "today" tech. So I would have expected Cameron to make Avatar's robots more like the military robots we envision today. I'm sure 1000 years from now, robots will move identically to a human (as in the movie) but I'd still prefer movie robots today to move more like real robots we have today.

Predators shouldn't announce their presence. There's a scene in the trailer where a dino-thing jumps out of the bushes, roars, and runs after people. I see this all the time in action movies where some large animal is about to attack the hero: the predator rises from the bushes (or from behind whatever), bellows, then rushes to attack. But in that split-second, our hero is able to throw himself behind cover, narrowly avoiding being eaten. Ever watch actual predator/prey wildlife - even a house cat pouncing on a mouse. Predators just don't announce their attacks - they just pounce. If you stop to roar, your prey gets away, and you go hungry.

That said, I'll probably still go see this when it comes out.

Re:A few problems with it (1)

kalirion (728907) | more than 5 years ago | (#29135493)

Yes, the CGI is stunning - for most of the trailer, it's hard to believe it's not live action. They have made a huge leap across the uncanny valley, and successfully.

Wait, are the humans CGI too? If so that's very good, otherwise it's not really relevant to the uncanny valley.

Re:A few problems with it (1)

TheSHAD0W (258774) | more than 5 years ago | (#29135583)

The same technology that provides the realistic animal/alien motion in the film will probably indeed mean robots will move smoothly in the future, so yeah, the robot motion is believable. :-)

it's not a predator (1)

je ne sais quoi (987177) | more than 5 years ago | (#29135983)

Predators shouldn't announce their presence. There's a scene in the trailer where a dino-thing jumps out of the bushes, roars, and runs after people.

If you look closely in the first scene, the creature roars and then jumps over the main character. That would be a very strange behavior for a predator indeed. I suspect the creature is something else.

In general though, you're absolutely spot on, I'll never forget that velociraptor that politely waited for the hunter to get out his witty remark, "Oh you're a clever girl" before attacking. Goofy.

It is just a teaser... (1)

denzacar (181829) | more than 5 years ago | (#29136013)

Predators shouldn't announce their presence. There's a scene in the trailer where a dino-thing jumps out of the bushes, roars, and runs after people. I see this all the time in action movies where some large animal is about to attack the hero: the predator rises from the bushes (or from behind whatever), bellows, then rushes to attack. But in that split-second, our hero is able to throw himself behind cover, narrowly avoiding being eaten.

Actually... no. You are judging the scene from a handful of out of sequence and cut-off shots.

Here is how that scene actually plays.

http://www.aintitcool.com/node/41793 [aintitcool.com]

One of the first things we see on the planet is Worthington's Avatar playing with these tube-snake-like flora. He touches one and it disappears, sucking back into the ground with a FROOMPF. He's delighted, playing around in this field of tall plants, making them disappear with a touch until he does that to one and it reveals a really pissed off giant rhino lookin' thing with a hammerhead nose.

It brays at Worthington's Avatar and stamps its feet, threatening to charge. The Moore Avatar and Sigourney Weaver Avatar are with-in shouting distance and Weaver stops him from using the giant machine gun he's carrying, saying the hide is too tough and that shooting it will only piss it off.

The Worthington Avatar is unsure of what to do, even thought Weaver is telling him this rhino thing is just putting on a threat display and won't charge if Worthington stands his ground. There's a herd of rhino-aliens behind this one, which keeps braying and using his hammerhead horn nose to knock down trees. It shows its displeasure by a colorful ruff raising (like peacocks feathers but armored).

The creature doesn't seem to know it's just a territorial threat display and charges Worthington's Avatar who just charges it right back, screaming. It stops and looks confused, then scarred, turning back and running away with the heard.

Of course that means a slick-skinned panther-like creature is behind Worthington. It leaps over him and charges the bigger game, which runs off... then it turns and realizes there's another smaller, but just as tasty morsel right in front of him.

Apparently, the predator-creature WAS all sneaky and hidden, going after the "rhino-aliens" but Jake's avatar alerted one of those who started to charge at him, in turn making the predator-creature think it's cover is blown and it's under attack so it turns from a hunter into a defender, roars and attacks.

t-mobile is shit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29135447)

they won't deliver my calls and text messages and they won't cancel my contract.

Starship Troopers vs. Ferngully? (1)

tenzig_112 (213387) | more than 5 years ago | (#29135511)

Did it seem like (after years of hype) Cameron made a simultaneous remake of Ferngully and Starship toopers? I still have hope that the movie will be better than the trailer, but you never know.

Here's an annotated version of the trailer to illustrate the point:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WRTrWsKPKh8

Cliche scenes, undercooked CGI, no apparent plot.. (3, Insightful)

Elbowgeek (633324) | more than 5 years ago | (#29135513)

This does not bode well. The CGI, which would have been impressive on an XBox or PS3, instead jars with the real-life scenes. They make no attempt to even hint at a plot, which tells me that they have essentially strung together a parade of impressive FX to hang on the bones of an irrelevant story. And you can guarantee that they will not take any time to let the story breath underneath all of those explosions.

No.

Re:Cliche scenes, undercooked CGI, no apparent plo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29135587)

"They make no attempt to even hint at a plot"

Are you serious?

Re:Cliche scenes, undercooked CGI, no apparent plo (3, Insightful)

je ne sais quoi (987177) | more than 5 years ago | (#29135869)

What are you even talking about? The first trailer release for any movie is a teaser, they NEVER give you any indication of the plot. They're just trying to generate some interest. In a few weeks or months we'll get some more informative trailers. In any case, if you look closely you can see some potential interesting plot/character development bits, like how the main mech driver that you see seems to be in a wheel chair at first and then gets converted into one of the night-elf looking guys, thus regaining the use of his legs. How's that for a mind-trip? Also, did you notice there's a war on and what appears to be an inter-species love story as well? Jeez.

As for the graphics, get off your AOL dial-up connection and watch it at 1080p and then tell me it looks like an xbox. As someone who owns Beowulf in blu-ray and Final Fantasy, and whose gaming PC can play FarCry2 at 1920x1200 resolution, 2xAA with ~47 fps average framerates, I can say that this stuff looks better than any of those. I was surprised at just how little uncanny valley [wikipedia.org] there is in the human characters. The aliens looked a little weird, but I reserve judgement until I've seen it. It could be that they're well aliens and we're not supposed to closely identify with their movements.

Re:Cliche scenes, undercooked CGI, no apparent plo (1)

Elbowgeek (633324) | more than 5 years ago | (#29136105)

I *did* watch in full rez - and yep, jarringly unrealistic CGI. Didn't impress, sorry.

As for teasing - I didn't feel at all teased, but I did feel like I was watching a video game, which is exactly what most of these sorts of movies have become; indeed, one could say that the very first Star Wars was the prototype for movie-as-videogame-thrillride.

Honestly it unintentionally looks like one of those movies where they combine obvious animation with real filmed characters. It just doesn't work here for me, but I'm sure those weaned on game consoles will love it (which, again, is probably the whole point - I think your response to my post was essentially saying "Waaa, the bad man criticized my XBox!")

1-It's a teaser; 2-go watch it in 1080p. (2, Informative)

denzacar (181829) | more than 5 years ago | (#29136061)

Over and out.

Re:1-It's a teaser; 2-go watch it in 1080p. (1)

Elbowgeek (633324) | more than 5 years ago | (#29136171)

As I noted to the other professional Slashdotter who replied, I did indeed watch in full res. And frankly if I need to watch in full res to not be completely offput by the graphics then there's something fundamentally wrong.

Still sucks.

The Last Airbender (2, Insightful)

Xebikr (591462) | more than 5 years ago | (#29135519)

I've got to say I'm much more excited about the other avatar movie, due out next summer. I might end up being horribly disappointed, but the tv series rocked and left me wanting more.

Re:The Last Airbender (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29135565)

M. Night Shyamalan is not a name which inspires hope of a good movie any longer. How much more money are investors going to hand this guy to waste?

Re:The Last Airbender (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29135753)

I wonder what the tweest will be!

Re:The Last Airbender (3, Funny)

denzacar (181829) | more than 5 years ago | (#29136117)

They are all actually dead the whole time, being killed by the plants that live in the forest around the village.

Oh... and the "mentor-character" is actually the main bad-guy, who is stumped by closed doors and is allergic to water.

Re:The Last Airbender (4, Insightful)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 5 years ago | (#29135819)

I would be much more excited to see more animated episodes to continue the story. My family is pretty stoked about the live action film - but I don't really see the point. I like the animated version and am unsure how live action could do as well, let alone surpass what already has been done.

I was able to buy all the tv episodes on dvd recently and have enjoyed watching the shows again. The story and characters are strong enough that it holds up well to multiple viewings.

I hope it's more like district 9 (1, Offtopic)

hellfire (86129) | more than 5 years ago | (#29135607)

Sorry to interject an unrelated movie but I must make a comparision. This movie looks visually stunning, but I hope the writing and plot are as good as district 9 was. D9 was, by far, was one of the best sci fi films I've seen in decades and it did it on the cheap. And that's all that really needs to be said.

Wow... (2, Funny)

Tibor the Hun (143056) | more than 5 years ago | (#29135615)

Holy smokes, does that look stupid.

I couldn't even bother to finish a 2 minute trailer. Can someone from Hollywood send me 30 million bucks, and I'll mail them my bowel movements for the next year?

Re:Wow... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29135805)

To quote a friend's tweet "Avatar trailer looks like a Final Fantasy game cutscene..."

Re:Wow... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29136055)

Holy smokes, does that look stupid.

I couldn't even bother to finish a 2 minute trailer. Can someone from Hollywood send me 30 million bucks, and I'll mail them my bowel movements for the next year?

The really funny part is how reflexive trolling has become. What passes for a good movie in your grand opinion? I actually wasn't sure what to expect and I was stunned at the look and feel. The faces are a bit smooth on the alien race for my tastes but that's the only flaw I saw. Otherwise I was near speechless. I used to know the guy and Jim is one of the most talented people I ever met. All stories about him are true and I've heard worse from mutual friends, and seen a bit myself, but it doesn't take away from his talent and vision. By vision I'm talking visual look and feel. The story may not be original but he was pretty open about Aliens not being original. Try to find a Stephen King book that's truly original and he at one point was the greatest selling author of all time. If you can't enjoy movies stay home. Trolling isn't a noble profession it's just pain sad.

Seek professional help. (2, Funny)

denzacar (181829) | more than 5 years ago | (#29136157)

I couldn't even bother to finish a 2 minute trailer.

I do believe that there is a treatment for that. [wikipedia.org]

Re:Wow... (1, Flamebait)

Schnoogs (1087081) | more than 5 years ago | (#29136281)

The problem with anticipating the release of movies like Avatar is having to put up with idiotic comments like yours in the meantime. I'm sure you were riveted to the screen though during the trailers for GIJOE and Transformers 2. Probably more your speed seeing as the work of James Cameron is clearly lost on you.

Kind of sad to be honest. I pity you...you probably live a sad and lonely existence. Oh and how does your moms cooking taste down in the basement you live in?

Cameron has been reading Joe Haldeman (3, Insightful)

SethJohnson (112166) | more than 5 years ago | (#29135667)



Trailer reflects a lot of different Joe Haldeman books. I see pieces of "All My Sins Remembered [amazon.com] ," "Forever Peace [amazon.com] ," and a tiny bit of "Forever War [amazon.com] ." Ridley Scott's planning to film "Forever War," and he said he was inspired to do it in 3-D [sffmedia.com] after seeing what Cameron had done with Avatar. The avatar thing connects with Haldeman's "Forever Peace" very well.

Wish Taco would avoid the snide comment about the trailer lacking story. It's not like Cameron has proven himself a poor storyteller on his past films. Just because it's CGI and science fiction, doesn't mean this is going to be garbage like Transformers 2 or Terminator 4.

I believe that... (1)

denzacar (181829) | more than 5 years ago | (#29136233)

...that could very well be a part of what lies behind the "every single science fiction book I read as a kid" [wikipedia.org] line.

As for the story... This is but a teaser.
There is plenty of the story explained and revealed on wikipedia and elsewhere on the internet.

Re:Cameron has been reading Joe Haldeman (1)

kalirion (728907) | more than 5 years ago | (#29136387)

The avatar thing connects with Haldeman's "Forever Peace" very well.

Really? How so? Forever Peace's "avatars" were state-of-the-art war mechs. In this movie, they're genetically engineered alien body. You may as well compare it with One Must Fall [wikipedia.org] .

sounds like new movie Surrogates (1)

peter303 (12292) | more than 5 years ago | (#29135681)

They were showing a trailer for Surrogates [imdb.com] at District Nine. The plots sound similar- intermeshed human-MMO worlds gone flakey. Cameron may have better F/X from what I've seen so far. If both are well-executed, then I may like both.

Plot? (1)

Evildonald (983517) | more than 5 years ago | (#29135699)

I thought the plot seemed fairly obvious from the trailer.
  1. * Humans finds planet to invade
  2. * Humans capture alien native
  3. * Humans do a mind-transfer to put a human spy into the brain of an alien
  4. * Human infiltrates natives
  5. * Human discovers love with an alien female and the world is beautiful and humans have got it all wrong
  6. * Tech vs Nature war (I thought they would have learned already from Endor)
  7. * ???
  8. * Profit!!!

Oh sure (2, Funny)

Al Al Cool J (234559) | more than 5 years ago | (#29135785)

Trying to ride on the coat-tails of Felicia Day's hit indie geeky music video (Do You Wanna Date My) Avatar, which shot to the top of iTunes/Amazon/YouTube on Monday. How very sad.

Here's to hopin there will be an iMax release (1)

BlueBoxSW.com (745855) | more than 5 years ago | (#29135901)

Here's to hopin there will be an iMax release

Statues (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 5 years ago | (#29135927)

I bet there is a statue of Frodo Baggins somewhere in that planet. Almost beg for a LOTR/Avatar crossover. They use bows, looks somewhat elvish, if the "ships" used to leave the Middle Earth were starships back then, could be made a whole future/past story blending both fantasy and sci-fi with somewhat little effort. Of course, the actual full movie could dispell those similarities, but was my first impression looking at the trailer.

Apples servers (1)

Underholdning (758194) | more than 5 years ago | (#29135931)

I'm impressed that Apple's server isn't even sweating while serving hordes of slashdotters eager to take a first look. My initial thoughts after watching the trailer: Wow - very nice visual appearance.

NOW... (1)

denzacar (181829) | more than 5 years ago | (#29136323)

It isn't sweating NOW.

After days of anticipation they have failed spectacularly. [io9.com]
Instead of seeing it exclusively on Apple's site the internet got the first look at the trailer from France's MSN portal.

Wait wheres my air bending? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29136211)

I've been duped!

This Looks Like Shit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29136241)

1. "Hey, let's combine an SF action film with World of Warcracft!"

2. "Let's make sure to cram another ecological parable down viewer's throats, and have the human troops (which just happen to look like current American troops) be the bad guys. Sure, every anti-war film we make tanks and loses money, but this is science fiction Maybe we cans lip it by them."

3. And why are we blowing up the tall blue eleven Ewoks? For minerals! Yeah, cause we're really going to send huge space armadas via Faster Than Light travel all the way to another solar system for minerals.

nnnnnnngggggg (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29136333)

yeah, cause if james cameron is good at anything, it's telling a fuckin' LOVE STORY

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