Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

The Science of Avatar

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the god-i-want-to-see-this dept.

Movies 275

Jamie noted a bit on The Science of Avatar running on Ain't it Cool, written by a professor of astrophysics who has worked on searching for planets and SETI. I believe I might be the last person on earth who hasn't seen it; here's hoping I can find 3 free hours over the holidays.

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

I haven't seen it (5, Insightful)

A Friendly Troll (1017492) | more than 4 years ago | (#30543700)

I haven't seen it because all of my friends have torrented the damn movie, some even watched horrible cam rips with a foreign language and no subs.

Nobody wants to go to the cinema any more.

Fuck you, torrents.

Re:I haven't seen it (5, Informative)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 4 years ago | (#30543708)

That's unfortunate, while the story is ho-hum the 3D visual effects are simply amazing.

Re:I haven't seen it (5, Funny)

sammyF70 (1154563) | more than 4 years ago | (#30543732)

so in short it should have been called "Jurassic Smurfs"?

Re:I haven't seen it (1, Insightful)

sammyF70 (1154563) | more than 4 years ago | (#30543886)

hmm .. in what way was that trollish? Amazing 3D-visuals with a ho-hum story ("jurassic parc"), with blue people ...

Re:I haven't seen it (2, Funny)

cptnapalm (120276) | more than 4 years ago | (#30543912)

I think it is now "Dances with Jurassic Smurfs" now.

Re:I haven't seen it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30544048)

Dear sir,

    Smurfs is a legal trademark, and copyright Peyo.

    Dances with ... is copyrighted by Kevin Costner and Orion Pictures, as well as Dancing with the stars. Both contexts apply.

    We represent all of the above companies and demand that you immediately cease and desist using our works, trademarks, likenesses, and any other form of any of the above. In compliance with the DMCA and other applicable laws, if you fail to remove your comment, or reuse the above statement in any form, including spoken or written, we will take legal action in all appropriate venues. Our estimated value per use is $1,500,000. By use we consider ever time it is read or heard, not every time you use it. At this time, the cited use is estimated to have been viewed no less than 200,000 times.

    Sincerely,

    RIAA and MPAA

Re:I haven't seen it (4, Insightful)

ShatteredArm (1123533) | more than 4 years ago | (#30544536)

"Dances With The Last Of The Pocahontas." Once you work FernGully in there, you've incorporated pretty much every plot element.

Re:I haven't seen it (1)

sajuuk (1371145) | more than 4 years ago | (#30543918)

No, I believe it should have been called "Dances With Jurassic Alien Blue People"

Re:I haven't seen it (5, Funny)

dcherryholmes (1322535) | more than 4 years ago | (#30544356)

Dances With Thundersmurfs

Re:I haven't seen it (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 4 years ago | (#30544042)

Even in 2D it's an amazing film visually. You stay 'till the credits and see how many texture artists there were? And their IT department was huge!

Re:I haven't seen it (1)

HaZardman27 (1521119) | more than 4 years ago | (#30543802)

I've had friends do the same with other movies that really need to be seen in theater to truly appreciate. Boggles my mind.

Re:I haven't seen it (1)

emilper (826945) | more than 4 years ago | (#30544152)

After suffering through hours of an amalgam of "Starship Troopers" (the book), "Dragonriders of Pern" and "Dancing with the Wolves" quotes, it didn't boggle mine ... will never watch anything with "Cameron" in the credits list.

Re:I haven't seen it (1)

HaZardman27 (1521119) | more than 4 years ago | (#30544176)

That has nothing to do with what GP or I were talking about: people refusing to see a special effects heavy movie in theaters because they already torrented it.

Re:I haven't seen it (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30543816)

I saw it in the cinema with your mom. Well, actually, I didn't see much of the movie...

Re:I haven't seen it (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30544242)

I really wish you'd stop trying to feel up his mom while I was busy banging her in the theater.

    What am I saying, go ahead, she's a dirty whore, and loves a good 6-way.

    Make sure you wrap it though, I hear she has several "gifts that keep on giving."

Re:I haven't seen it (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30543832)

Taco, this isn't your journal. Nobody cares if you've seen the movie.

And, no, you're not the last person on earth who hasn't seen it. Some people don't give a shit about sci-fi films.

Merry Christmas!

Re:I haven't seen it (1)

dunkelfalke (91624) | more than 4 years ago | (#30543838)

What's wrong with going to the cinema alone? Are you addicted to the peer pressure or what?

Re:I haven't seen it (2, Insightful)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 4 years ago | (#30543910)


Nothing is wrong with going to see a movie on your own, unless you're comparing the experience to going to see it with a friend. Talking abotu the movie before and after, discussing what you liked about it / didn't like about it. A pleasure shared is a pleasure doubled. Also, it makes a nice date.

Re:I haven't seen it (4, Funny)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 4 years ago | (#30544132)

    Taking a date also gives you something to do before the movie starts, and during the boring parts. :) "Hey this scene sucks, wanna fool around?"

    By yourself, people get offended that you're sitting in a raincoat, jerking off to the blue aliens.

    And no, I haven't seen it. I'm waiting for it to come out on Betamax. :)

Re:I haven't seen it (4, Insightful)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 4 years ago | (#30543840)

If you want to see it that bad, go by yourself. Enjoy the crowds of obnoxious people, screaming babies, filthy floors, cramped seats, blocked views, terrible traffic, and insufficient parking. Yeah, nobody wants to go to the cinema anymore because of crappy cam torrents.

Why would you want to go with other people? (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 4 years ago | (#30543952)

Then again, why would you want to go to a theater. Action movies are best watched alone, with the sound up to reference, on a big screen, in your house (3D notwithstanding, I suppose). If you need a friend to hold your hand, grab your Signature Visa (you do have one, right?) and get two tickets on Fandango with the B1G1 promo and offer to take someone to the movies "on you."

I haven't decided if I'm going to see it in the theater, mainly because I find the crowds annoying and the snacks too expensive. I'll probably get it and watch at home when it comes out, though.

Re:Why would you want to go with other people? (1)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 4 years ago | (#30543970)

But then you miss the 3D imagery!

Re:Why would you want to go with other people? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30544246)

I have a 3D TV you insensitive clod!

Re:Why would you want to go with other people? (1)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 4 years ago | (#30544090)

Some people enjoy the social experience of going to a movie in a theatre with a friend or friends. I highly doubt OP needs 'hand holding' as you suggest.

More people on /. should get out of Mom's basement and socialize in the flesh it would seem.

Re:Why would you want to go with other people? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30544610)

The problem is, going to the theater is generally a horrible experience. Or it least it is everywhere I've been in America, maybe it's different elsewhere.

Ideally, going with your friends or family is nice and can lead to some great conversations later. It can also make an effortless date.

The problem is that people are assholes. The people that go with their friends or families talk with each other and on cell phones, fool around, flash laser pointers, throw popcorn, and smoke tobacco and/or pot. The couples on lazy dates are just as bad if not worse: if they aren't talking, they're getting to third base in front of your kids (and more than once there have been people fucking in the back seats).

Asking these people politely to knock it off doesn't help. First off, they tend to be the MAJORITY, especially during the later shows. Second, they'll take offense that you'd dare suggest some manners and make you a target.

Asking management to deal with them doesn't help, either. Most will only offer you a ticket to a later show, some will offer a refund. Regardless, by the time you're done dealing with management, you've probably missed a good chunk of the movie anyway, so there's no real point to trying.

The bottom line is that you shouldn't be socializing DURING a movie. Before and after? Sure. During the previews? Absolutely. But once the movie starts, any unnecessary noise you make is a disturbance to those around you. Don't be an asshole.

Oh, and before I forget, the VAST majority of theaters I've been to have been filthy, poorly maintained, projectors poorly run, ridiculously overpriced snacks, etc.

My record is $8 for a "small" soda (small by American standards, but still more than you should really drink) and $22 for a medium-sized bucket of popcorn (again, by American fatass standards). Candy that can be had for $1-2 across the street generally sells for at least $5-6 in the theater.

Re:I haven't seen it (2, Interesting)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 4 years ago | (#30543992)

A movie that is purely plot and not so much visuals don't suffer a lot watching it in low quality, but one where visuals are one of the critical pieces? Even 2012 (ok, the 1st hour) deserved to be seen in a theater.

Re:I haven't seen it (1)

thisnamestoolong (1584383) | more than 4 years ago | (#30544032)

2012 deserved to be seen never, I am ashamed to live in a country where crap like that is not only tolerated, but encouraged. Seriously, what are we, a nation of 11 year old boys?

Re:I haven't seen it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30544436)

And by that, we should all act "grown up" and what have you? Sometimes it's nice to sit back and embrace your inner child, else you become a "adult" and do stupid things.

Like start wars.
Like kill people.
Like whine about forms of entertainment that certainly will not have any impact on your life.

HAR HAR LOOK AT YOUR NAME, IT'S TOO LONG! Seriously, were you 15 when you thought of that? Oh, that's okay, because you weren't 11.

Re:I haven't seen it (0, Troll)

thisnamestoolong (1584383) | more than 4 years ago | (#30544596)

It's all well and good to occasionally embrace your inner child -- but it is something else entirely when an entire nation is collectively incapable of every rising beyond that. You end up having people do stupid things.

Like not questioning unjust wars.
Like not questioning why we kill each other and attemping to do something about it.
Like allowing all of our entertainment to completely go to shit because we don't care about art anymore and just want big explosions.

Re:I haven't seen it (3, Insightful)

iocat (572367) | more than 4 years ago | (#30544490)

Having seen in in 3D, I can assure you, the visuals are not "a critical piece," they are "the critical piece." This is not a movie to watch critically for plot holes or bad dialog, The 3D is great, and the CG is just stunning.

Re:I haven't seen it (1)

adbge (1693228) | more than 4 years ago | (#30544014)

The only one stopping you from going to the movies is yourself.

Get over your insecurities and go alone if you want to see it.

Re:I haven't seen it (3, Interesting)

A Friendly Troll (1017492) | more than 4 years ago | (#30544112)

I often go to the cinema alone, because I love non-Hollywood stuff the most, and my geek friends can't stand any of that "indie shit". Met my last girlfriend while watching Fish Tank [imdb.com] .

However, Avatar is a flashy, shiny collection of great CGI, and I'd like to see it with other people I know so that we can comment on things mentioned in the TFA over a beer and things like that. I don't want to see Fish Tank with my geek friends, and I don't want to see Avatar with my (former) girlfriend.

Re:I haven't seen it (1)

lawpoop (604919) | more than 4 years ago | (#30544108)

I haven't seen it because all of my friends have torrented the damn movie

Why exactly haven't you seen it? You can't go to the theater because your friends are downloading torrents? What, are they hogging up all the bandwidth so you can't go to movietickets.com?

Nobody wants to go to the cinema any more.

Several avatar shows are sold out all through this week.

Seriously, I'm really missing your point here.

I saw it in 3D and I highly recommend it. It's immersive, not just a gimmick.

Re:I haven't seen it (1)

A Friendly Troll (1017492) | more than 4 years ago | (#30544144)

I have geek friends who went to the extremes. "Let's go to the cinema!" is regularly met with "Why? The R5 is out."

Re:I haven't seen it (3, Interesting)

hairykrishna (740240) | more than 4 years ago | (#30544164)

Your friends are foolish. This is precisely the sort of movie that it's worth going to the cinema for. Myself and friends watch a lot of torrented movies but we also go to the cinema regularly. It's not the fault of torrents; they are a good thing for real movie fans.

Re:I haven't seen it (1)

Vahokif (1292866) | more than 4 years ago | (#30544312)

It's their loss, Avatar is probably the last movie you could enjoy in cam-o-vision.

Re:I haven't seen it (1)

colmore (56499) | more than 4 years ago | (#30544556)

Eh, you're not missing much. It's Fern Gully with $300 Million special effects. Titanic was a better movie, and I didn't really like Titanic.

Re:I haven't seen it (1)

Stupid McStupidson (1660141) | more than 4 years ago | (#30544714)

I would be upset at the bandwidth burned in the torrent for shitty cam rips. It's a horrible movie, and thanks to technology (and an extra fee for it on top of the admission) it sucks in 3 dimensions. He should have cut one of the gratuitous action and visual scenes that are so frequent they lose all their effect of awe, and hired a couple writers to write at least a mediocre story.

Haven't seen it? Who cares. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30543746)

"I believe I might be the last person on earth who hasn't seen it; here's hoping I can find 3 free hours over the holidays."

Big deal. Why would you want to see this shitpile? I took one look at the previews for this stinker almost a year ago and said it was going to be crap. No way would I waste my time on Cameron's latest fart fest. A billion dollars in CGI and the aliens or whatever look like retarded tiger monkeys. This is the dumbest thing I've ever seen, and anyone who is excited for this movie is an idiot.

Re:Haven't seen it? Who cares. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30543858)

Obvious troll is obvious.

Re:Haven't seen it? Who cares. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30544384)

WoW losers are losers.

Re:Haven't seen it? Who cares. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30543860)

anyone who is excited for this movie is an idiot.

Translation: I'm poor and lonely and will be sitting by myself on /. all Christmas, so I'm going to make overly-generalized statements regarding the intelligence of anyone happier than me!

TFA is full of flaws itself (3, Interesting)

flowerp (512865) | more than 4 years ago | (#30543800)

First, Pandora does have an oxygen atmosphere, or how else could you explain the burning torch that Jake Sully lights up in self-defense against the wulf-like creatures at night?

Second, the floating mountains are explained by assuming that the rock is made up of superconducting material ("Unobtainium") and that the flux they keep talking about is actually a strong magnetic field. Superconductors tend to hover in magnetic fields, you know.

Re:TFA is full of flaws itself (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30543822)

Then why doesn't the whole of the Na'vi home village/tree thing hover as well? It has the largest deposit of the stuff, yet it doesn't float?

The article also states the planet has Oxygen, but it also has other gases which are harmful to humans, hence the masks.

The movie was just Dances With Wolves with space elves.

Re:TFA is full of flaws itself (1)

shogun (657) | more than 4 years ago | (#30544248)

It appears the mountains float due to having the unobtainum inside them and the area having a strong magnetic field (hence the screwed up avionics). Whereas the location of the tree has just the former so no floating.

P.S. The firefox dictionary seems to lack 'unobtainium'.

Re:TFA is full of flaws itself (1)

ShatteredArm (1123533) | more than 4 years ago | (#30544562)

Given the actual movie doesn't even attempt to explain any of this, my guess is that anybody who does try to explain it is simply grasping at straws. The floating mountains are there because they thought it would look cool. I wouldn't worry about resolving these contradictions, because they didn't put much effort into anything beyond the graphics.

Re:TFA is full of flaws itself (1)

crazycheetah (1416001) | more than 4 years ago | (#30544696)

Well. What about the generation that has never seen Dances With Wolves? They need their own version! (I don't know if I want to shoot myself for saying that or just admit that I only say it in order to be devil's advocate in some way...)

To me, yeah, the storyline was one I can say it feels like I've seen at least a few times before (and that's all I have to say about the storyline... except that I enjoyed it, but I can actually enjoy lame storylines if told/portrayed well enough, and this was at least enjoyable in my mind), but the CG was actually pretty good. I'm waiting for better, but I can't stand most CG-based films, unless I go into it thinking that I'm watching a long cartoon, making the movie seem considerably less worthwhile in my mind. This one, though at times it was pretty obviously CG, I was able to forget that it was CG at several times (or at least not have to keep reminding myself that it's meant to be that way). And the 3D... I don't care for 3D, but I forgot that I was watching it in 3D a little bit into it, except for the glasses fitting uncomfortably over my normal glasses. The lower FPS also pissed me off a few times when a flicker of light would disappear too soon or do awkward things like jump around strangely, and similar things--no wonder Cameron wanted the higher FPS.

More on topic, the science. The article actually points out a few things that had me questioning during the movie. Like the floating mountains, which left me going "WTF?!" But, as those float, I can see more sense why their tree doesn't--the unobtanium is below the tree, but not in it. Whereas it is the unobtanium in the floating mountains that make them float. so, I can see how the tree wouldn't also float. It just makes me glad to see that I'm not the only one and to see this article that actually brings up some valid points (especially with the update on there going into some of it more). To be honest, after reading this article, my appreciation of the movie is kind of elevated, and I want to see it again. There seems to be a lot of thought about how it actually works.

But he didn't even talk about the linguistics of the Na'vi... there's a science/art (depending on your perspective) that I've actually wanted to hear more about, in relation to this film!

Re:TFA is full of flaws itself (4, Interesting)

plover (150551) | more than 4 years ago | (#30543896)

Read further down the article. He acknowledges that people have already corrected him on these points, leaving him further impressed with the movie.

Re:TFA is full of flaws itself (5, Interesting)

sackvillian (1476885) | more than 4 years ago | (#30543966)

Agreed, and he said this:

I do have one minor complaint, that given their networking abilities, the Na’vi should not be so technologically inferior to the humans.

That ignores the reason humans first started developing significant technology; the agricultural revolution. That was the point when we extracted ourselves from nature and took over control of food. That's what allowed us to create advanced settlements and the rest is (pre-)history, as they say.

See the philosophical novel Ishmael [wikipedia.org] for the basis of this argument.

Given the "living in harmony with nature" theme in the movie, one could hardly expect the Na'vi to have done the same.

Hallelujah Mountains (2, Interesting)

DJRumpy (1345787) | more than 4 years ago | (#30544218)

I found this very plausible given what we know about superconductors: The Hallelujah Mountains are floating islands that circulate slowly in the magnetic currents like icebergs at sea, scraping against each other and the towering mesa-like mountains of the region. On Pandora, the magnetic effect causes huge outcroppings of Unobtainium to rip loose from the surface and float in the magnetic vortices. The stone 'arcs' you saw in the film supported this, where the minerals actually deposited along strong magentic lines, leaving those huge 'skeleton' looking structures.

I can only assume the large deposit under the tree is either too deep down to have torn lose from the surface, too spread out or sparse to tend to rip out, or it is held into place by the huge root system of the tree itself. Given that a tree that large would take eons to grow to that size, the deposits may have formed there during that time due to some sort of cataclysm, or some other natural process. The movie never explains exactly what Unobtainium is other than it's obvious natural magnetic properties. The piece floating on his desk leads more towards semiconductor properties at room temperature.

Re:Hallelujah Mountains (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30544282)

So Roger Dean was right...

Re:TFA is full of flaws itself (2, Informative)

seven of five (578993) | more than 4 years ago | (#30544302)

Please, dude, not unobtainium. upsidaisium [tv.com]

Unobtainium doesn't have unpaired electrons.

I haven't seen it either. (3, Insightful)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 4 years ago | (#30543854)

I haven't seen it, and I'm not planning on it. You can't just take Dances with Smurfs and call it something else! That's not kewwwwwwwwww'!

Ava-who? (3, Informative)

stokessd (89903) | more than 4 years ago | (#30543874)

I refuse to watch it. I am not going to vote with my pocketbook that plot, craft, and character development don't matter, and that all that matters is effects. This sort of thought has made the bulk of Hollywood movies complete crap. I'm lucky if there is one or two movies a year that aren't nauseatingly bad.

Now get off my lawn.

Sheldon

Re:Ava-who? (4, Informative)

mdm-adph (1030332) | more than 4 years ago | (#30543954)

Look, the plot is basically Dances with Wolves in Space, but still -- this movie was an example of amazing, expensive effects paired with an actual story.

Want a comparison? Watch Avatar, enjoy it, and then watch something like Transformers 2, and then see if you don't vomit from sheer disgust.

Re:Ava-who? (3, Interesting)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 4 years ago | (#30543998)

I refuse to watch it. I am not going to vote with my pocketbook that plot, craft, and character development don't matter, and that all that matters is effects. This sort of thought has made the bulk of Hollywood movies complete crap. I'm lucky if there is one or two movies a year that aren't nauseatingly bad.

Maybe there's room in the theaters for two different kinds of movies: those with good plot, and those with good visuals?

I saw Avatar last night. I agree that the plot was so-so. But the imagined planet really was beautiful, and it really stoked my imagination. For me, it was worth the ticket price to see them. I like plot as well, but I'm glad this movie exists.

Re:Ava-who? (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 4 years ago | (#30544050)

I went with 11 friends to go see it, so I'm sure we'll make up for your ticket ;)

Re:Ava-who? (4, Interesting)

lawpoop (604919) | more than 4 years ago | (#30544052)

You're going to judge it before you've even seen it? <tiptoes off of lawn...>

I saw it, and I think it was a great movie. It's not Shakespeare or Dostoevsky. It's a *simple* story, painted in primary colors. Don't confuse that with bad ( Come to think of it, some of Shakespeare's stories were rather simple -- Romeo and Juliet, anyone?). The effects are also good, and are masterfully woven into the story, not just there for no reason ( Except for Cameron's canonical human in robot-suit versus giant living organism. I think it's his leitmotif of man+technology versus nature, so it kind of summarizes the whole film, one could argue.)

Hollywood will make crap movies regardless of what Cameron does. This one is good. See it in 3D; it's not just a gimmick, it aids in your immersion into a fictional world.

Re:Ava-who? (1)

GargamelSpaceman (992546) | more than 4 years ago | (#30544056)

I have to agree that CGI has been mostly bad for movies, at least where it is noticeable, but the novelty will wear off. As the novelty of CGI effects themselves wear off to the point where adding them doesn't add to the box office totals, then artists will create novelty that's actually worthwhile. Avatar might be tending this way - there's never really been an alien world in a movie before. I want to go see it, even if the Na'vi I've seen in trailers do look way too human.

Last night I saw District 9. Now that was an alien done well with CGI, with character development to boot. Sure it was primarily humanoid, but quite far enough from humanoid to be a real alien. You start out revolted by them, but actually come to identify with them in a realistic way.

Re:Ava-who? (5, Interesting)

TiberiusMonkey (1603977) | more than 4 years ago | (#30544062)

The plot isn't bad, it's just nothing new. When taken as a whole, the movie is wonderful.

Re:Ava-who? (2, Insightful)

ShatteredArm (1123533) | more than 4 years ago | (#30544648)

It depends on what you value. If you value effects most, sure, it's wonderful. If, on the other hand, you care more about plot, acting, and script, you might think it was a very pedestrian movie.

I personally enjoyed it while I was there, mainly because of the graphics, but after I left, I started thinking more and more about how lousy it really was.

Re:Ava-who? (3, Insightful)

thisnamestoolong (1584383) | more than 4 years ago | (#30544072)

Seconded -- it actually almost makes me physically ill to think of the fact that Avatar will probably make close to (if not more than) a billion dollars while thousands of brilliant, thoughtful films wallow in obscurity. We are no longer a nation that takes pride in greatness -- we reward mediocrity and shun anything that might challenge our preconceived notions. Our entire nation is roughly at the emotional development level of an 11 year old -- just turn on the television, radio, or walk into your local multiplex if you don't believe me.

Re:Ava-who? (5, Insightful)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 4 years ago | (#30544192)

"I didn't watch it and I don't like the idea of it, so anyone who does like it is obviously a moron and is a sign of things to come for our society. Why can't people be intelligent like me and like some obscure movie by some obscure director???"

BooHoo, get off your high horse. The movie is visual excellence, nothing compares to it in that department.

Re:Ava-who? (3, Funny)

joss (1346) | more than 4 years ago | (#30544602)

Your shit is all retarded and you talk like a fag.

Re:Ava-who? (2)

ShatteredArm (1123533) | more than 4 years ago | (#30544682)

+1

Ebert may have been right... This movie will transform cinema. Unfortunately, that will be a transformation from a type of cinema where the art lies in the cinematography, to one where the art achieved through computer animation. Say goodbye to camera work, scripts, and acting; and welcome our new shiny glittery CGI overlords.

Re:Ava-who? (3, Insightful)

Venerence (1421867) | more than 4 years ago | (#30544098)

I have never seen this movie, heard nothing but good things about it, and it has a gigantic budget, so therefore it's terrible and I will never see it. Yet somehow I think I can write an opinion about it.

Re:Ava-who? (1)

gbarules2999 (1440265) | more than 4 years ago | (#30544126)

Fortunately, the movie has far, far more going on than plot and character development. the world of Pandora is a wonderous place, and the movie puts you there. It's truly inventive and interesting, and I can't really say that about many movies these days. It has incredible atmosphere and, yes, even craft. It's an extremely well done movie for what it sets out to do.

This is the kind of thing I'd bring my little brother to watch. Hell, I'd say that a more complicated and convoluted plot is the last thing Avatar needed, considering its main objective - a fun piece of entertainment that takes you away from our world and into another.

Re:Ava-who? (2, Interesting)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30544160)

I refuse to watch it. I am not going to vote with my pocketbook that plot, craft, and character development don't matter

Plot is there, it's just not entirely original. It is standing on the shoulders of movies with GOOD plot, so it's not like the plot is terrible, just predictable.

Character development is rather well. You might not fully relate to the protagonist, especially since I was not in the military, but regardless you do begin to get inside his head (which might seem like a little bit of a pun).

As for craft, I'm not sure what you mean by that. Story development? Isn't that Plot? Or do you mean crafting the movie... Most people would argue that "Effects" ARE the craft.

Re:Ava-who? (1)

countvlad (666933) | more than 4 years ago | (#30544366)

Plot is there, it's just terrible AND unoriginal. Good movies are rarely predictable - that's why movies seem so much better when you're younger than when you're older. I could have done without the hyperbolic stereotyping. I would have actually been more impressed and somewhat surprised if the movie followed the historically accurate "white man comes in, destroys alien culture, builds mini mall" scenario.

Do you really need to get inside the guys head when you know exactly what's going to happen?

Re:Ava-who? (1)

heidaro (1392977) | more than 4 years ago | (#30544300)

We are living in post modern times boy. Having an original story in a movie is getting more and more difficult and it is rather about how it is done.

Re:Ava-who? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30544346)

Hear me hate on a movie I have not seen and know nothing about!

There, fixed that for you.

Seriously, I haven't seen it yet and I'm wary of the same things you are. But, I'll hold off my judgment until after seeing it. Judgment = alright, Prejudgment = not alright.

You aren't missing anything (1)

countvlad (666933) | more than 4 years ago | (#30543888)

Imagine one of those cheesy SciFi channel Saturday evening low budget science fiction movies on a $300 million dollar budget. That's what Avatar is. Sure the acting is decent and the special effects are spectacular - but the story is boring and predictable. (Come on, 'unobtainium'?) It's as if James Cameron and Disney tried to Westernize a Japanese RPG storyline.

As for the science, well...if you're a neurobiologist with a flare for xenobiology, I'm sure this is a very interesting story. Otherwise, all the technology ranges from "reasonably possible in the not too distant future" to "still very much science fiction".

Re:You aren't missing anything (4, Interesting)

slimjim8094 (941042) | more than 4 years ago | (#30543942)

Unobtanium was silly - the entire theater laughed out loud on that one. I look at it as Cameron respecting the viewer's intelligence. This is a story about people, and the conflict between races, etc. The reason humans are there isn't important - just that they aren't leaving unless forced. I think Unobtanium - that is, something so obviously ridiculous - is Cameron's way of saying "yes, I know it's a silly premise but let's move on". Like "dilithium"

Would you have preferred some elaborate BS? Because I'm sure they thought of it and chose this instead.

Re:You aren't missing anything (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30544024)

When an entire audience stops laughing with you and starts laughing at you, it is rarely from respecting their intelligence.

Re:You aren't missing anything (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 4 years ago | (#30544054)

Agreed. It was awesome when Unobtanium was mentioned, as if James Cameron was winking at the audience.

Re:You aren't missing anything (1)

countvlad (666933) | more than 4 years ago | (#30544124)

No, it could have been gold for all I care - it was just a plot element. And since no one in my theater laughed at the reference, you either saw it with a larger and older age group, or people who aren't borderline retarded.

Unobtanium wasn't my beef, my beef was with the Disneyesque story and painfully obvious stereotypes. Slightly liberal but research-only concerned scientists. Angry, butt-hurt military types who went to destroy everything. Tree hugging forest dwellers. Greedy corporations who think any means justifies their ends. And the protagonist with emotional baggage caught up in it all.

If you're under 18 or have lived a sheltered life from Disney movies, or Japanese RPGs, or generic science fiction, the history of Humanity in the last 10,000 years, then I suppose you might take the story arcs as new and refreshing and the characters seriously. But in my opinion - this movie was all bark and no bite.

Re:You aren't missing anything (2, Insightful)

thisnamestoolong (1584383) | more than 4 years ago | (#30544136)

If Cameron knew it was a silly premise, why not change the premise? Why not create something intelligent that challenges viewers? This will certainly be hugely popular either way, right? Why this notion that for something to be entertaining it has to be devoid of any thinking? It is this mentality that is quickly turning America into a nation of drooling retards. Skip this garbage and go pick up a copy of Blade Runner or 2001 if you want to see what sci fi really can be.

Re:You aren't missing anything (1)

countvlad (666933) | more than 4 years ago | (#30544172)

You have seen Idiocracy, haven't you?

Re:You aren't missing anything (1)

dzfoo (772245) | more than 4 years ago | (#30544252)

I'd say, skip 2001; if you want to see what sci-fi really can be, watch Solyaris, the 1972 film by Russian director Andrei Tarkosvky.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solaris_(1972_film) [wikipedia.org]

        -dZ.

Re:You aren't missing anything (1)

thisnamestoolong (1584383) | more than 4 years ago | (#30544334)

That one has been on my must-watch list for a while -- thanks for the reminder dzfoo!

Re:You aren't missing anything (2, Interesting)

timholman (71886) | more than 4 years ago | (#30544532)

Unobtanium was silly - the entire theater laughed out loud on that one.

Too bad Cameron didn't think of something like "bardeenium" to honor John Bardeen, two-time winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics, co-inventor of the transistor and co-creator of the BCS theory of superconductivity. He would have honored a truly great (and unappreciated) physicist and eliminated a jarringly stupid bit of terminology from his movie.

Re:You aren't missing anything (1)

ShatteredArm (1123533) | more than 4 years ago | (#30544600)

Unobtainium is about the worst thing they could have called it. Why not just call it MacGuffinium?

Re:You aren't missing anything (5, Informative)

TiberiusMonkey (1603977) | more than 4 years ago | (#30544138)

er... Unobtanium is a word that's been used for sometime now, like before I was born. Knowing the word already and then hearing it in the film I felt that either the character was making fun of how amazing this metal was, or that James Cameron was poking fun of the "made up material/substance" we so often see in sci-fi to explain things. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unobtainium [wikipedia.org]

Re:You aren't missing anything (1)

countvlad (666933) | more than 4 years ago | (#30544494)

Yes, I understand that it's an inside joke between the audience and the writer.

I know that it's a plot device, my point is that it's not a good one. Using shitty puns in your otherwise trying to be serious movie AND not offering anything more ethically challenging than "durrrr, it's worth lots of moneys11!" should tell you that James Cameron thinks you're a child or a moron. And he's probably right.

Lifeforms (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30543960)

I disagree with his assessment that life has a high probability of being significantly different than on Earth. Consider how incredibly rare life on other planets is. It's quite likely that in order to exist at all it would have to be similar to Earth. In other words, it's so rare that Earth may in fact be close to the only possible solution (given the laws of the universe, its makeup, and life).

More overyped than Daikatana? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30543964)

I haven't seen it and don't intend to...it looks like it was made for furries and substitutes flashy graphics for substance.

The biotechnology is at least quite believable (1)

toppavak (943659) | more than 4 years ago | (#30543982)

Even if their neural interfaces are a bit out there. We've been growing humanized mice [pku.edu.cn] for years. I wonder if all they really needed to do, however, was to generate a chimera by seeding an embryo with a human nervous system before the immune system starts to develop. We've learned quite [biolreprod.org] a [riken.go.jp] bit [highwire.org] about developmental biology from avian chimeras, mammalian chimeras are a bit more challenging but can be achieved.

You're definitely not the only one. (1)

Wint3rhart (1685342) | more than 4 years ago | (#30544016)

I haven't seen it, either... the previews made it look like someone took the plots of Fern Gully and Dances with Wolves, mixed them together, added some blue paint and ~space travel~ and dumped it out on a movie screen. If I want a story about space travel and learning not to belittle other cultures, Piers Anthony wrote the Cluster series thirty years ago. It's about due for a re-read.

Professor of astrophysics (3, Funny)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 4 years ago | (#30544018)

written by a professor of astrophysics who has worked on searching for planets and SETI.

Thought I recognized the name - wasn't he part of this team [theonion.com] ?

Mainstream video SF in a nutshell (1)

Toe, The (545098) | more than 4 years ago | (#30544096)

All planets with life have trees, reptiles, insects, and of course bipedal creatures who have two eyes, four limbs, a head with two eyes one nose one mouth, and generally caucasian-human features. Those humanoids have technology in line with something in our history, they use speech, they have two sexes and reproduce like we do, and they breathe and eat things we can breathe and eat.

The only real question -- the really important one -- is do they natively speak modern English, or do they speak something which sounds a little bit different from some other Earth language? That is how you can tell just how utterly alien they are.

Weapons (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 4 years ago | (#30544116)

Didnt saw the movie yet, but the weapons i saw in trailer at least didn't impressed me a lot, all what must be advanced just to be there, and one of the fastest evolving technologies in history changed so little? Last week reread Hyperion, and finishing Endymion, and the military advancement pictured there (specially how you fight getting to that point of technology) looks more like the evolution rate that it should have.

Re:Weapons (1)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 4 years ago | (#30544214)

We've been using Guns for hundreds of years, what makes you think that's going to change anytime soon?

Floating Mountains explained (4, Interesting)

GPLDAN (732269) | more than 4 years ago | (#30544140)

I've seen the film, in IMAX 3D (gave me a two day headache) - and I guess I missed the giant stone arches near the end of the film.

But, somebody who worked on the film anonymously emailed the writer of the article to explain some of the problems they saw. Namely: the gas giant rotating faster than it possibly could. And there is speculation that the floating mountains contain unobtainium, which is a room temp superconductor.

The mountains were formed on the land, and "broke off" sailing upwards over the magnetic pole of the planet. They are repelled by the magnetic field underneath them, counteracting gravity.

This is very silly, as minor magnetic perturbations would make the mountains flail about wildly, just as trying to hold a magnet up in the air with another magnet is very difficult.

Also, he doesn't address what properties of unobtainium exist that would likely "save Earth". Why would a rock that was a room temperature superconductor save Earth? You couldn't build nuclear power plants from it. Perhaps it has properties that make it 1000x more powerful than uranium? None of this gets addressed.

Re:Floating Mountains explained (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 4 years ago | (#30544364)

Why would a rock that was a room temperature superconductor save Earth? You couldn't build nuclear power plants from it. Perhaps it has properties that make it 1000x more powerful than uranium? None of this gets addressed.

Well, that's called backstory [wikipedia.org] and it usually is the domain of socially inept people posting on obscure Internet sites. But since you asked, room temperature superconductivity [sciencedaily.com] would be a big deal. A very big deal. Not Save-The-Earth technology, but perhaps close enough for the story.

Sit back, relax. It's entertainment, not physics.

Just say "No" to Furries (1, Funny)

twmcneil (942300) | more than 4 years ago | (#30544206)

My God man, it's got Furries, stay away. Stay far away.

YOU ARE HUNTED (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 4 years ago | (#30544446)

We don't know who you are. Not yet. But don't be surprised to wake up some day, half human, half possum [amazon.com] . This is the fate of those who cross us.

Fools, you don't pay to see technology previews (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30544250)

Obviously most of the Slash crew are not actually in tech, 'cause we know that it's the other way around: the vendor bribes you to waste your time at his technology preview. This is some gross perversion of The Way Things Work, at least for the minority here who actually work in tech, as opposed to those who push the buttons on registers and miscount our change.

Okay, seriously? Movies more than live down to Sturgeon's Revelation, IMO, and this is just one of the easier ways that happens. Part of the blame is an audience that will, by and large, happily accept this sort of crud (oooh, shiny...), suggesting that the moviegoing public is yet another example of that 90%.

But hey, if you enjoy fancy CGIs papering over a story that's recycled from other, more ambitious works, and floating islands that ripoff\\\\\\ do homage to Roger Dean's thirty-year old vision... you must be typical Slashdotties. Merry Commercialism Day!

You are (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30544316)

...not. I have no plans to see it.

What ever happened to Suspension of disbelief (1)

justdaven (1238962) | more than 4 years ago | (#30544330)

It is a work of fiction and a movie. Meant for entertainment value. I enjoyed the movie, and thought it was a great experience. Those of you who don't want to see it, don't. But stop being a mindless drone (that you accuse others of being), by trashing something you have no experience of. Get a life!

Re:What ever happened to Suspension of disbelief (1)

Toe, The (545098) | more than 4 years ago | (#30544450)

Then why not just have a movie which is nothing but 90 minutes of things blowing up? (Kinda like Ass in Idiocracy [wikipedia.org] .)

The story line is relevant, and so are the elements which give the story meaning. In a movie which appears to be almost entirely about alien life, the elements which make them alien are extremely relevant to the experience of the movie.

How much fun would it be to watch a romance movie where one of the protagonists dies in the middle... and then they happily get together at the end (and without any sort of fantasy-ghost story element... just presto he's inexplicably alive again)? Wouldn't that somewhat diminish your experience of the movie?

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?