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Avatar Soars Into $1-Billion Territory

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the but-what-did-he-do-to-that-dragon dept.

Sci-Fi 782

Suki I writes " Avatar soars into $1-billion territory. 'Strong foreign ticket sales help make the science-fiction movie the fifth in history to pass the watermark. ... One of the riskiest movies of all times is now officially one of the most successful at the box office. When Avatar opened, its solid but far from stellar results left 20th Century Fox uncertain about whether the $430 million that it and two financing partners had invested to produce and market the 3-D film would pay off.'" Given that the big alternatives were Sherlock Holmes or Alvin & the Chipmunks, I think the winner was clear.

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First Post (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30640378)

I win, bitches.

Exterminate those blue fuckers so we can take their oil.

Who's with me on this? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30640398)

Avatar sucked. And so did the Titanic.

Re:Who's with me on this? (4, Funny)

Anonymusing (1450747) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640452)

Hey, at least Cameron didn't make a Titanic sequel.

"Titanic II: Revenge of the Sunken," perhaps.

Re:Who's with me on this? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30640618)

They did make a sequel

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vD4OnHCRd_4 :)

Me First! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30640392)

Top Post

Science Fiction? (1, Informative)

FredFredrickson (1177871) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640410)

I just saw it last weekend, and I gotta say.. Science Fiction? Not much. Science Fantasy is more like it.

Just a few things threw me off. I loved most of the movie. And for a while I believed the blue people were spiritual in the same way humans were.. in ritual and what not...

But instead it turned out to be a magical spiritual world, and a collective thought borg of trees and animals.. and those that .. died?

A fantastic adventure, but really just lost me as a caring viewer. I prefer things to be more rational.

Re:Science Fiction? (0, Flamebait)

Lord Lode (1290856) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640476)

The story was pretty cliché. I'm not sure how Americans see this, but I can usually predict the end of American movies while European or Asian movies are much more unpredictable. So yeah, you know, if in an American movie there's a male and a female character you know what's going to happen. There are exceptions of course, e.g. LOTR (but then again, Tolkien wasn't really an American).

But it didn't really matter to me that the story was somewhat weak! The effects and graphics were the most amazing ones I've ever seen. I saw it in 3D but I think even without that it'd have been the best so far. So, well done :)

Re:Science Fiction? (4, Insightful)

owlnation (858981) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640746)

I'm not sure how Americans see this, but I can usually predict the end of American movies while European or Asian movies are much more unpredictable. So yeah, you know, if in an American movie there's a male and a female character you know what's going to happen. There are exceptions of course, e.g. LOTR (but then again, Tolkien wasn't really an American).

That's not really fair, nor accurate. Big budget movies, aimed to appeal to as many people as possible (and most often in the cases of blockbusters, that means 14 year olds) do have a very predictable plot.

Smaller budget movies tend to have better stories and unpredictable plot. There's plenty of US made movies that have excellent stories, writing, acting and directing. Indeed probably the best movies made currently are US independent ones.

European movies almost never have enough budget to have large focus groups and test audiences ruin the plot with something predictable. The few movies that do have large budgets tend to have very predictable plots. There's plenty of well-funded EU movies that are utter crap.

It's also worth remembering too that many, if not most US big budget studio movies are actually funded by Germans, or consortiums that include plenty of Europeans. To describe them as US isn't entirely accurate. Avatar's production company is Fox, which is owned by an Australian.

Re:Science Fiction? (5, Funny)

JerkBoB (7130) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640794)

Oh, you... With your "logic" and "facts". Way to ruin a rant, Pointdexter.

Re:Science Fiction? (1, Insightful)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640750)

The story was very generic.. I think it was aimed at the American market (possibly still guilty at killing all the indians or something) but it didn't engage me and like you the plot was obvious after about the first 10 minutes.

I liked the graphics.. I saw it in 3D but wasn't impressed with the 3d (creating depth by making the background blurry doesn't impress me it just gives me a headache). 2D would probably have been a better option.

Re:Science Fiction? (2, Insightful)

delinear (991444) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640822)

I saw it in 3D too, and while I totally agree that the effects were amazing, I just found the entire experience quite dull (and by about halfway in I'd even become blasé about the effects). Like watching a 2.5 hour long advertisement for the latest graphics card, or some video game cut-scene you just can't skip. It felt like half a billion dollars and the best they could manage was Fern Gully [wikipedia.org] with space cats.

Re:Science Fiction? (3, Insightful)

iamapizza (1312801) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640490)

Saw it in 3D at the Imax. I think that this movie is visually appealing, and that's what it was made for. You're not supposed to actually pay attention to the story; it's a mix of Dances with Wolves and Fern Gully (and potentially about 30 other movies in which this concept of gung-ho-soldier-meets-and-loves-the-natives has been done to death), although it does strike chords with a few present day "situations". The main appeal is the graphics, the atmosphere, surroundings and facial expressions of the macrosmurfs.

Part of the hype was that Cameron spent 8 bazillion years working on this movie and that's another thing that spoils it, you expect something great and wonderful and almost Star Wars like, but you get another popcorn movie, albeit an expensive one. With blue people.

Re:Science Fiction? (4, Insightful)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640542)

Saw it in 3D at the Imax.

The 3D aspect and the CG effects were worth every penny that I spent on a ticket.

The plot is just a barely acceptable excuse for the effects, but since it was so well executed I don't really mind.

Watch this film in 3D Imax or not at all IMHO.

Re:Science Fiction? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30640926)

Watch this film in 3D Imax or not at all IMHO.

I partially agree with your opinion. That is, I only watched the movie in a standard cinema with no 3D.... the veredict: *really crappy*.

As a movie, it is just another CG movie with Disney-like animated Furries. For me they looked comical (putting their ears down when they were sad... I almost thought they were going to wag their tail when they were happy!)

The plot is complete crap. As someone else put it, it is a Pocahontas copy.

I will go to see it in 3D now (alas, in German language) and I really hope it will grow for me.

I still think it was a really hyped movie, there have been really good 3D movies using the "technology created by James cameron" [ala Coraline, Final Destination, etc].

Avatar feels like the new "Final Fantasy" movie for me. It is just MEH.

Re:Science Fiction? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30640752)

And for a while I believed the blue people were spiritual in the same way humans were.. in ritual and what not...

But instead it turned out to be a magical spiritual world, and a collective thought borg of trees and animals.. and those that .. died?

A fantastic adventure, but really just lost me as a caring viewer. I prefer things to be more rational.

Speak for yourself.

If they'd just been pre-technological sentients, it would have been a replay of the Spanish colonization of the Americas, and hey, you can't stand in the way of progress. Screw the smurfs, there's unobtanium in them thar hills!

But as it was, I'd played a 10th-year anniversary round of Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri earlier in the year, and won't give away any spoilers other than to say I really enjoyed it. It's SF - the only thing you need to suspend your disbelief for is the question "What if evolution came up with something that fulfilled the requirements of Lovelock's Gaia hypothesis?" It might be really difficult to make contact such a thing, might even require hundreds of minds working in concert around concentrations of mindworms, fungal blooms, fungal towers :)

If it's humans with interstellar spaceflight versus pretechnological spiritualists, the humans are going to win, unless the our hero helps Na'vi can upload a virus to the mothership, sorta like Jeff Goldblum did to the aliens that kicked our ass in ID4. (ID4 was Science Fantasy - both the entire alien civilization putting all its eggs in one basket, and a human reverse-engineering and compromosing the aliens' computer system within 24 hours...) For Earth vs. Smurfs, even the win in the movie is a stopgap. Just like they sent more bulldozers, they'll just just come back in a few years with another spaceship, except this time it'll be full of nukes.

But if it's humans versus a planet-sized hive mind, on a planet full of naturally-occurring room-temperature superconductors, the smurfs (and the rest of the planet) have a fighting chance. Even against spaceships with nukes.

Re:Science Fiction? (5, Interesting)

epiphani (254981) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640768)

I watched it twice.

The "science" part of the science fiction was actually a subplot running throughout the movie. The biologists were studying electrochemical links between trees from the beginning of the movie. I picked up more on that the second time through.

It's a direct rip off from Asimov's Foundation series. The Gaia concept presented in the latter part of that series shares an enormous similarities with this movie.

But I wouldn't consider it fantasy in any sense. They try to root it in the scientifically plausible, yet unlikely, ideas.

Re:Science Fiction? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30640778)

I just saw it last weekend, and I gotta say.. Science Fiction? Not much. Science Fantasy is more like it. Just a few things threw me off. I loved most of the movie. And for a while I believed the blue people were spiritual in the same way humans were.. in ritual and what not... But instead it turned out to be a magical spiritual world, and a collective thought borg of trees and animals.. and those that .. died? A fantastic adventure, but really just lost me as a caring viewer. I prefer things to be more rational.

Hard Sci-Fi is rare and rarely marketable.

Re:Science Fiction? (4, Insightful)

thesandtiger (819476) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640928)

I think you're being a bit short on your thinking. Where you saw some kind of magical ritual and spirit living on, I saw a high-speed universal neural interface that allowed a user to take control of local resources as necessary, and also was capable of downloading memories from an organic platform into something a little more permanent/distributed when that organic platform wasn't viable.

Just because the basis for their technology wasn't the same as ours is not a reason to dismiss it as fantasy - I don't think there was anything in that movie (except, perhaps, ironically, for the near light-speed travel the humans used) that wasn't feasible, or, even, on the near edge of coming to exist, through bio technology.

Right now we have people getting electrodes implanted into their brains that are allowing them to take control of various external devices (robotic limbs, keyboards, etc.) - why is it so hard for you to imagine something a bit more robust and universal, on the organic side? Right now we have researchers working on understanding how human memories and cognition work, and some basic ideas around how to read or store memories - why does it seem unreasonable to you that there might be a way to read out and store memories when an elder dies, so that they might continue to be available (in a limited way) for their people to continue to learn from? Right now we have a massive distributed network that spans the planet and contains pretty much everything that humans know - why does it seem unreasonable to you that an "intelligent" version of this might not be used by a sociaty to help guide them in difficult times, drawing on more information than any one individual could have?

Some pretty bright guy once said that any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic... And if you don't think that was technology, or advanced, just ask yourself who won the war in the movie...

Re:Science Fiction? (2, Insightful)

Nicolay77 (258497) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640938)

Please read Heinlein and MOPI and then come back to try to define what Science Fiction is. It can even be argued that Avatar is Hard Science Fiction.

Now, about the movie, to me the problem was that it was so full of clichés, so predictable, that only the beautiful images and the 3D-ness of them were appealing.

You mean James Cameron's Pocohontas ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30640412)

No really !

http://imgur.com/JmRmb [imgur.com]

Re:You mean James Cameron's Pocohontas ? (1)

KDEnut (1673932) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640726)

That's exactly what my wife said as we left the theater. "Well It looked pretty, but the first 3/4ths the movie was just 'Space Pocahontas'."

Didn't see Avatar... (3, Interesting)

anss123 (985305) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640414)

Am I the only one?

Re:Didn't see Avatar... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30640430)

See it before you cant see it in 3D at the theatre.

Re:Didn't see Avatar... (1)

anss123 (985305) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640776)

See it before you cant see it in 3D at the theatre.

I'm not finding this argument compelling at all. Damn, I'm getting old.

Re:Didn't see Avatar... (1)

Sporkinum (655143) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640620)

I'll have to gird my loins to go see it. One of the biggest reasons is unobtanium!?
Really, though, the story sounds terrible, and I am not entirely convinced the eye candy is worth $10.

Re:Didn't see Avatar... (1)

anss123 (985305) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640826)

One of the biggest reasons is unobtanium!?

It's not the unobtanium but rather the black and white morals with Deus Ex "planet powah" ending. I need shades of gray these days.

Re:Didn't see Avatar... (2, Funny)

tangent3 (449222) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640782)

I wanted to see it too, but my wife made me watch Alvin and the Chipmunks instead...

Nope haven't seen it either (1)

NotSoHeavyD3 (1400425) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640788)

Everything I've heard makes it sound like it's to film what Donkey Kong Country was to video games. (DKC was graphically impressive for the SNES but the game underneath all of that was meh. I don't think anybody would have cared for the game if it looked like say Super Mario World and played the same as DKC. I hear the same is true of Avatar.)

And yet... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30640422)

And yet Sherlock Holmes and the Chipmunks are both more original than Avatar. Its just a very old story with a few pretty visuals.

Instead of spending $430million making one bloated FX crap-test they could have made 10 regular films. Even if only one of those was
really good it would beat a poor film that has been hidden by obscene overspending on visuals.

I agree about the quality & originality of Ava (1)

PeterM from Berkeley (15510) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640500)

The story was pretty much formula. They blew all the money on effects, certainly not on writing.

Still, expect more of the same. Movie theaters have to find themselves a niche (so they think), and what movie theaters can do that home theaters cannot (cheaply) is provide a 3D hi-def effects-fest such as this one.

If production costs come down, they may actually be able to do some movies with good stories in this advanced medium, and your 10 regular films can be made and put out directly in DVD/BluRay.

--PM

Re:And yet... (1)

IrquiM (471313) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640544)

Sherlock Holmes wasn't more original than Avatar. Might be something different, yes, but not more original. Chipmunks I haven't seen, and don't intend to either, but from what I've been told, it's worse than the first one, which was awful.

Re:And yet... (2, Funny)

click2005 (921437) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640560)

It probably only really cost $50 million to make. The special effects cost five times as much because they used a newer version of some software
and made a CGI film in 3D which is has never been done before. The more capitals you have in the promotional crap the more expensive a film is.
The rest was Hollywood Accounting (tm). oh and they spent almost 47 dollars on the script. Thats a lot these days.

I cant wait for Avatar 2: Revenge of the Smurfs in 8D. Then we'll see a sequal to Spinal Tap in 11D.

Re:And yet... (2, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640732)

Instead of spending $430million making one bloated FX crap-test they could have made 10 regular films

If they did that, I wouldn't have seen any of them, and many other people wouldn't have. I honestly don't give a shit about plot. Show me pretty colors in 3D on a 50 foot screen and I'm in. Sorry if that offends your film snobbery.

Re:And yet... (1)

MikeBabcock (65886) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640878)

While elements of the plot were retooled from various old standbys, it was a touching and memorable story with some strong characters. It will fit into my epic movie memory somewhere well below Ben Hur and well above the Rocky series.

While the story reeks of "ten things I hate about you", the part that annoyed me the most was the preachy tone of the environmentalism in it.

That said, both times I've seen it in the theatre, the audience gave it a literal standing ovation, which is somewhat rare in movie theatres with no actual actors to appreciate the applause.

Extremely predictable plot... (0, Flamebait)

Zemran (3101) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640424)

... with lots of pretty effects, and the plebs love it. Valium for the eyes.

Re:Extremely predictable plot... (1, Insightful)

pjt33 (739471) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640530)

More like champagne. Large quantities of valium don't cause people to babble incoherently about how wonderful it is.

Re:Extremely predictable plot... (1)

Zemran (3101) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640582)

Weed - 'look at the pretty colours' :-D

Re:Extremely predictable plot... (1)

darthdavid (835069) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640818)

I don't know what kind of weed you've been smoking, but maybe I should get some because mine generally doesn't cause me to see 'pretty colors'. Perchance were you thinking of lsd or some other hallucinogen?

Re:Extremely predictable plot... (2, Funny)

iamapizza (1312801) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640672)

Two scenes in particular. The first where she's teaching him how to 'fall' and use the leaves to break the fall. The second was when they introduce the "last shadow" pterodactyl. My thoughts, out loud, were "I wonder where that's going to be used in the story."

I saw someone rolling his eyes so much they became unscrewed and he had to be taken to a mechanic.

Re:Extremely predictable plot... (1)

ratnerstar (609443) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640830)

I'm a bit confused. You prefer movies that introduce elements at random and then never incorporate them into the plot? Red Herring: The Film? As I think Ensign Chekhov said, if you put a giant freakin' pterodactyl in the first act, it absolutely must swoop down on a futuristic helicopter in the third.

Of course, the story was still silly. But not because it followed basic plot structures that have been in place since Aristotle.

Re:Extremely predictable plot... (1)

farker haiku (883529) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640774)

To say that hollywood doesn't recycle well established plots and put a new skin on it is silly. Personally, I rather liked Dances With Smurfs, and went to see it twice.

I have to see this movie and Sherlock Holmes (1)

cubicle (121759) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640440)

If this movie is doing that good it must be worthwhile seeing. Sherlock Holmes has been nominated for a Golden Globe and Alvin does suck.

Re:I have to see this movie and Sherlock Holmes (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640638)

Sherlock Holmes was like Starship Troopers for me: A movie I expected to suck so bad that I was impressed afterward, and would enjoy watching it again (In fact, I just watched a couple ST movies on TV over the weekend). His deductions were mostly predictable (well, the generalities were), but the character has flaws like in the novels and unlike so many movie Holmes' before him.

A classic? (1)

retech (1228598) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640446)

While it may be innovative in the technology, I cannot imagine anyone wanting to keep this movie as something you'd want to go back to because it's such a great movie. You'd think if they were going to spend that kind of money on production they'd have at least gotten a script that took your breath away. But then again, it is Cameron and Jackson...

Re:A classic? (1)

Trent Hawkins (1093109) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640540)

Well the effects will be what everyone will come back for. Blu-ray will sell well, and i'm sure they'll come up with some 3d gimmick to sell as an add on as well as some director's cut box.

Don't get me wrong, it was a good watch, but I don't think i'll be seeing it again.

Re:A classic? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30640880)

and i'm sure they'll come up with some 3d gimmick to sell as an add on as well as some director's cut box.

Don't laugh - this might be the year of 3D TV.

This year saw the introduction of LED-backlit LCD displays that can do 240Hz. Same tech should also work with plasma and even plain old LCD displays. That's a left-eye field and a right-eye field at 120Hz. Because flat screens (vs CRTs) aren't limited by a scanning raster, it's a lot easier to sync up an IR transmitter to alternate shutters between left-eye and right-eye views.

The expensive part of a big-ass screen is the display, not the tech behind it. The idea should even be workable as an add-on option (same glasses, just needs an external IR transmitter glommed onto the video signal, which would be easy to do with an analog VGA connection, but harder to DIY if HDCP DRM is in the way) onto even the LCD monitor on your computer or laptop.

Re:A classic? (1)

IrquiM (471313) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640570)

Half naked, blue, alien girls with tail?

Of course it'll be something I'll go back to!

Triumph of wishful thinking & rose-colored gla (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30640460)

The reality is, the natives would fall all over themselves fighting for the right to sell us their resources, along with the captives from the fighting over that right.

As any kind of allegory, it's as useless as tits on a bull.

But I guess it strokes the genitals of the "humans are BAD, and US is teh evil!" twits.

Can't wait for the DVD/BR. (4, Interesting)

lwap0 (866326) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640466)

I'd like to see a director's cut when this goes to DVD. I know Cameron had an extremely rich back story, and most of it didn't make the cut to get into the movie, since it weighed in at 2 hours 40 minutes long. I also think it would help flesh out a story that was somewhat bland. Ah, who am I kidding? I wanna see more bad-ass CGI explosions. Screw the plot, bring on the blue alien sex.

BluRay Won't Cut It (3, Interesting)

TheNinjaroach (878876) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640800)

I don't go see movies very often but this is one film that I was very happy to see in theaters. I realized about 20 minutes into the alien world that it was well worth the money to see it now - I don't think even the nicest BluRay player and HDTV can faithfully reproduce all of the computer generated detail they packed into this film.

Re:Can't wait for the DVD/BR. (1)

mpe (36238) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640892)

I'd like to see a director's cut when this goes to DVD. I know Cameron had an extremely rich back story, and most of it didn't make the cut to get into the movie, since it weighed in at 2 hours 40 minutes long. I also think it would help flesh out a story that was somewhat bland.

Some of the scenes where are in could probably be trimmed. So even with more backstory you might not get much longer than 3 hours.

Multiple viewings (5, Insightful)

lammy (1557325) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640480)

I'd be interested to see what proportion of this film's takings were from repeat viewings, and how this figure compares with other blockbusters. Avatar is one of very few films that I have paid to see more than once at the cinema, and it's the first time that I'm doing this simply because I wanted to see the film again (as opposed to being asked to go with someone else who wanted to see it). In 3D IMAX, it really is an impressive spectacle.

Alvin & the Chipmunks (2, Interesting)

Anita Coney (648748) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640488)

Why are adults so critical of kids movies? Of course they're simple and stupid, but such movies were not made for you. Unless you are under the age of 8. Alvin & the Chipmunks was a movie for young kids... and to even analogize it with an adult movie such as the Avatar is moronic.

A more analogous slam would have been The Blind Side. I can't for the life of me figure out why people consistently pay to see Sandra Bullock movies. Sure, she's hot. But her movies are also consistently crap. Look at her list of movies here [wikipedia.org] . There's not even one worth watching. But yet they always make money.

Re:Alvin & the Chipmunks (2, Insightful)

kannibal_klown (531544) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640626)

A more analogous slam would have been The Blind Side. I can't for the life of me figure out why people consistently pay to see Sandra Bullock movies. Sure, she's hot. But her movies are also consistently crap. Look at her list of movies here [wikipedia.org] . There's not even one worth watching. But yet they always make money.

Well Demolition Man is on that list, and I love that movie. It's just about the only Stallone movie I enjoy, heck the only one I can even sit through. The cheese, fights, one-liners; it's a decent flick. And her role in it was decent.

Beyond that, some of her chick flicks are alright. They're the kind of chick flicks I can sit through and enjoy, instead of struggling to appear interested.

Out of the wiki list, I can find a handful of films that I enjoy (or enjoy well enough).

Re:Alvin & the Chipmunks (1)

Anita Coney (648748) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640712)

I have to admit, I have never seen Demolition Man. Maybe it's good, but somehow I doubt it.

Ask yourself this, is any Bullock movie a movie you "love"? One of those movies you want your kids to love when they grow up? One of those movies you're dying to buy on Blu-ray? At best Bullock movies are "watchable," "ok," or "not that bad." But never great. Yet, she makes a boat load of money. I don't get how such mediocrity can be sustained for so long.

Re:Alvin & the Chipmunks (4, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640840)

Why are adults so critical of kids movies? Of course they're simple and stupid

Because they don't have to be. Up was an amazing movie. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs was very good. That's proof enough that you can make a kids movie that's not a pile of crap. So it's plenty fair to criticize a kids movie that is a pile of crap.

The alternatives were better stories (4, Insightful)

xzvf (924443) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640494)

Sherlock Holmes is a solid movie with good acting and an interesting take on the Holmes story line. It'll probably evolve into an interesting series of movies. Alvin and the Chipmunks is well made mindless children's fare. For the 4-8 age group love it and it is doing extremely well in the box office. Avatar on the other hand is a visually stunning movie, but the noble savage storyline is strait from the 70's. It is not a bad movie by any stretch, but without the special effect advancement, would this movie garner any attention? Will Avatar's real legacy be laying the groundwork for better integrated CGI rather than the story told?

Re:The alternatives were better stories (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640692)

Will Avatar's real legacy be laying the groundwork for better integrated CGI rather than the story told?

Heh, It'll be this generation's TRON more than TR2N could ever hope to be.

Dances with Thundercats! (2, Insightful)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640498)

It's the same story all over again and yet it succeds.

Well. It'd be worse if the story that succeded and most people enjoyed was about evil prevailing, wouldn't it?

Re:Dances with Thundercats! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30640546)

Dances with Thundercats!

LOL!!!!

Now THAT'S funny!

Mod that up!

Avatar is Dances With Wolves + Pocahontas (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30640510)

The movie sucked giant Na'vi tail. Avoid it. The 3D gives migraines and it is a horrible story. This is what Cameron spent 500million dollars on!!? What a waste.

Sherlock Holmes however was far more entertaining.

Another nail (2, Insightful)

Voulnet (1630793) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640534)

Another nail in the "Piracy kills our industry!" coffin. But honestly, even the file-sharers were telling everyone to go see it in the theaters first.

Re:Another nail (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640930)

What I find particularly amusing is that a few months ago, 60 Minutes ran a segment about movie bootlegging and downloading (predictably biased) which ended with a director claiming that nobody in Hollywood would take a large risk like this because of Bittorrent.

Re:Another nail (1)

mpe (36238) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640974)

Another nail in the "Piracy kills our industry!" coffin.

The "industry" will always claim that they could have made more if it hadn't been for "piracy".

But honestly, even the file-sharers were telling everyone to go see it in the theaters first.

Kind of hard to get the 3d effect to work on a "camed" version.

Not bad for an update verion of "Fern Gully" (4, Insightful)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640548)

The "plot." Pretty much the same: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0104254/ [imdb.com]

Re:Not bad for an update verion of "Fern Gully" (3, Insightful)

mpe (36238) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640760)

The "plot." Pretty much the same: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0104254/ [imdb.com]

Alternativly you could think of it as the offspring of "Fern Gully" and "Dances with Wolves".

Re:Not bad for an update verion of "Fern Gully" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30640786)

The "plot." Pretty much the same: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0104254/ [imdb.com]

Alternativly you could think of it as the offspring of "Fern Gully" and "Dances with Wolves".

Don't forget smurfs.

Re:Not bad for an update verion of "Fern Gully" (4, Interesting)

jambarama (784670) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640922)

My wife called it "dances with wolves" meets "fern gully" in 200 years. I thought some of the plant & animal life was really clever. I was also really glad they didn't try to make all the novel things logical - they never attempted an explanation of the flying rocks, which I think is good. The planetary neural network idea has been done an awful lot, but I think it worked just fine. The word unobtainium is still utterly ridiculous (seriously guys?), but it wasn't featured too prominently.

The aliens are still too stiff, their faces are too uniform, their movements are too smooth - they need pores, facial hair, creases, loose skin, etc - but it is still the best I've seen. Some of the new humaniod features were imaginative, like the neural connection in the pony tail, but overall the alients were pretty standard - "good" aliens must look human for us to identify with them, they must have the same mannerisms (e.g. identical emotions), and other real differences must be superficial. For example, the aliens were more like humans than the Indians in "Dances with Wolves" were like Costner, a movie which shares a number of connections with Avatar. I suppose if I want imaginative, I should just go watch La planète sauvage.

Overall though, I think this movie marks the latest in the "spectacle over plot" shift in filmmaking. Cameron has always been at the forefront of this change, right there with Michael Bay, so I should've expected it, but so it goes. Avatar did have a lot more plot than Transformers, GI Joe, and some other recently popular films, but it was still simpler than the Cat in the Hat - subtle & not-so-subtle political statements notwithstanding. Between visual effect and good writing, I'll take the latter, but why can't we have both?

another blockbuster for everyone with big visuals (1)

marcuz (752480) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640552)

i saw it yesterday and was really dissapointed. next time please try less military parade and more of a storyline. it could be sooo good and they just fcked it up. what a pitty :(

Awful Story + great effects = Blockbuster (5, Insightful)

Saint (12232) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640576)

I feel as though I am the only one not drinking from the cool-aid on this one. The story line, apart from the apparently necessary political message, is nothing more than a rehash of a million other stories. From the noble savage to the walking armor suit so reminiscent of the suit that worn in the Aliens finale by Sigourney Weaver, this story was a soup of elements found in many other stories and movies. Were this story presented as a book, without James Cameron's name, it would have been rejected outright.

The only creative elements that exist in this movie were the special effects and associated artistry, which made the movie worth watching. They were outstanding.

Finally, why do entertainers continue to feel that they have to present their beliefs within a movie. If I want to be preached at or listen to political messages, I will go to church or read a newspaper/book. I do not want to see it in movies or hear it at concerts.

Then don't go/watch. Is that so hard? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30640648)

I feel as though I am the only one not drinking from the cool-aid on this one. The story line, apart from the apparently necessary political message, is nothing more than a rehash of a million other stories. From the noble savage to the walking armor suit so reminiscent of the suit that worn in the Aliens finale by Sigourney Weaver, this story was a soup of elements found in many other stories and movies. Were this story presented as a book, without James Cameron's name, it would have been rejected outright.

The only creative elements that exist in this movie were the special effects and associated artistry, which made the movie worth watching. They were outstanding.

Finally, why do entertainers continue to feel that they have to present their beliefs within a movie. If I want to be preached at or listen to political messages, I will go to church or read a newspaper/book. I do not want to see it in movies or hear it at concerts.

Re:Awful Story + great effects = James Cameron (1)

happy_place (632005) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640758)

James Cameron has done this to us before. Titanic had the same effect. Everyone was swooning, until they realized just how vapid the story was... and people started making fun of "I'm the king of the world!" and the old lady who throws away the insanely valuable necklace... [shudder] So all we need do now is mock Avatar endlessly... and cynicism will win the day. :)

Re:Awful Story + great effects = Blockbuster (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640820)

No you're not alone. The story was too generic to carry the movie.. it's all about the graphics.

Tie that quality of rendering to a decent story then you've got a winner - possibly next year.

Re:Awful Story + great effects = Blockbuster (3, Funny)

fulldecent (598482) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640852)

I feel as though I am the only one not drinking from the cool-aid on this one. The story line, apart from the apparently necessary political message, is nothing more than a rehash of a million other stories. From the noble savage to the walking armor suit so reminiscent of the suit that worn in the Aliens finale by Sigourney Weaver, this story was a soup of elements found in many other stories and movies. Were this story presented as a book, without James Cameron's name, it would have been rejected outright.

The only creative elements that exist in this movie were the special effects and associated artistry, which made the movie worth watching. They were outstanding.

Finally, why do entertainers continue to feel that they have to present their beliefs within a movie. If I want to be preached at or listen to political messages, I will go to church or read a newspaper/book. I do not want to see it in movies or hear it at concerts.

I don't see why everyone is raving about "special effects". Just watch any other movie, and turn up the hue setting on your TV, you'll get the same effect.

Made to sell 3d Tech (1)

KDEnut (1673932) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640882)

I keep having to remind myself that this movie wasn't made so much to sell tickets so much as to re-sell 3D to the masses.

Most consumers had written off most 3D flicks to cheesy horror flicks where the ax is getting thrown right at you.

Notice in this movie the astounding lack of "COMING AT YOU!" 3D moments, and more use of the visuals to help set the mood & stage for what was going on in the movie (ie: busy control room, falling ashes, etc).

Coincedently this is exactly what I preach to my friends & family about when I said that if the MPAA wants to continue to exist, they'll find a way to fill the theater seats. This innovation will help for the next 5 years or so until the consumer market saturates with 3D glasses & Tech.

Re:Awful Story + great effects = Blockbuster (2, Insightful)

jez9999 (618189) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640914)

The story line, apart from the apparently necessary political message, is nothing more than a rehash of a million other stories.

I've heard this criticism of the plot many times from many people - but in this day and age, with so many movies having been released, when was the last movie that wasn't basically a rehash of something that came before it? Seriously, I can't think of anything genuinely novel (at least from Hollywood) for years. Maybe The Truman Show is the last unique storyline I can think of.

Re:Awful Story + great effects = Blockbuster (4, Insightful)

MikeBabcock (65886) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640980)

You know what I saw when that walking suit of armour appears repeatedly in the movie? A Hollywood blockbuster that doesn't glorify violence.

That suit is the epitome of good action movies. The villain at the end of the movie is the hero of so many 80's movies all wrapped up into one hollow marine, and he's reviled rather than regaled.

I'm not sure which movie you saw, but I saw a fun touching love story with some really nice action sequences mixed in.

If you only watch movies for their literary value, please discover books.

News for retards (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30640614)

How the fuck did this even make it on to Slashdot?

Avatar was a complete waste, but now I'm beginning to think that ./ beat them out.

Risky = success! (1)

LS1 Brains (1054672) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640650)

Quoted: "One of the riskiest movies of all times is now officially one of the most successful at the box office."

Gee, I wonder if that's because people are getting more and more nauseous over the regurgitated offal force fed to us by the movie industry for the past two decades?

Dear movie industry,
Stop remaking 20-30 year old movies. Thank you.

Forgot One Alternative... (3, Insightful)

GlennC (96879) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640666)

And that was to just not go to the movies. This was the option I chose.

Can they lay off the pirates now? (0, Offtopic)

Cinnaman (954100) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640700)

With all those returns can they tell their P2P spying contractors to lay off people downloading AVIs from torrent sites?

Great movie (4, Interesting)

oh2 (520684) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640722)

I just came home from seeing Avatar in 3D and I must say it rivals Watchmen in sheer visual splendor. The story is a bit predictable, but I didnt really think about that until afterwards because I was so immersed in this beautiful world Cameron has created. It could have used a better soundtrack but then it would have been a completely different movie. Definetly worth the money, and well worth seeing again on the big screen.

I disagree with the "not science fiction" thing, the fact that they didnt combobulate the parallell deflectors and set phasers to stun but instead treated technology as an everyday occurence makes it more believable. The idea of the planet as a network is neat as well, one can imagine the whole thing as a Post-Singularity society, with a sentient network of biological entities as the collective conciousness of the planet.

Re:Great movie (1)

Is0m0rph (819726) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640942)

I agree. I rarely go to the movies anymore, maybe once a year. This movie was worth the price to see it in 3D. The attention to detail in the CGI is amazing. The story like everyone else has said is a rehash of Fern Gully, Dances With Wolves, etc. Predictable, but not bad. The 3D isn't pop of the screen gimmicky 3D either it really adds to the depth of everything in the movie. This may be the first movie I pay to go see a second time.

Why did stern pinball trun down make a game based (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30640730)

Why did stern pinball trun down make a game based on this?

Avatar? (0, Redundant)

Jkasd (1663231) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640764)

Oh yeah, I saw it... with MY GIRLFRIEND!

Re:Avatar? (1)

jestill (656510) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640806)

You know, if this stage of your relationship lasts more than a week, I am legally allowed to stab you both.

Re:Avatar? (1)

lammy (1557325) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640854)

The most brutal way I've ever seen someone handle this was 'Oh, you have a girlfriend. Are you going to get married?' 'I, uh, don't know--' 'Well, do you love her?' '...' 'Anyway, what were you saying about the movie?'

3D? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30640844)

I havn't seen the movie yet, and really don't intend to unless my wife drags me there. Really one of the things that's keeping me away is the whole 3d deal. Did James Cameron invent some new type of 3d movie process that gets rid of the horrible blurry/eyestrain polarized glasses technique that 3d movies have been using for the past 2 or 3 decades? Did he manage to get this new method distributed to thousands of theatres nationwide?

If it's using the old method, what's all the raving about? It's ok to watch 15 minutes of muppetvision 3d or honey-i-shrunk-the-audience, but I can't imagine sitting there trying to watch a full-length movie with those things on, ugh.

If it's using a new method, I'd be interested in hearing about it.

Yes, I'm aware it's available in 2D.

fabulous animation doesn't excuse banality... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30640846)

It's a stereotyped cowboy and indian flick; even with "hostiles." The bad guys are all white males, and the worst have southern accents. The only people with intelligence or perception are female. The male hero only learns when mentored by a female.
      It's a combination of Dances with Wolves, and Mononoke, but without the charm of either. Fabulous animation does not make up for appalling imagery and story.

Inflation adjusted Boxoffice results? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30640850)

It is annoying to see record after record broken, year after year, when most of them wouldn't count for much when compared to older blockbuster movies after these are adjusted for inflation.

I'm sure the perfected marketing made a big hit more likely now than a few decades ago, but inflation adjusted records would still be more truthful.

Or even simpler, though shockingly uncapitalistic - how many people (the creatures a movie is made for, after all) watched a given movie? After all, higher ticket prices for more expensive 3D effects inflate the profit, but not the viewership.

So Avatar is to film what DKC is to video games? (2, Interesting)

NotSoHeavyD3 (1400425) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640866)

Haven't seen Avatar but the over all "Looks great but what's underneath kind of sucks" sounds like Donkey Kong Country. (I mean would anybody have cared about DKC if it looked like Super Mario World?)

Er (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30640900)

Too bad the movie is a pile of poo.

Some thoughts about common comments on the film (4, Insightful)

assertation (1255714) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640944)

I've been hearing a lot of people making comments that the story in Avatar is not a new story

Any literature teacher will tell you there are no new stories and haven't been for centuries.

A great work is a great great work by virtue of how well the story is told.
( Good writing, good acting, good script, etc )

Shakespeare is often given as an example. None of his plots were original but his works are still valued centuries later.

That being said Avatar is not Shakespeare. It is showcase for next generation special effects like Star Wars or Jurassic Park. Movies like that are rarely enjoyable once you are no longer impressed by the effects......they don't have anything else.

I don't see the message of the film as a problem. You can't have a story without a message. People don't like political messages in their entertainment if they disagree with the politics. Doesn't matter if you are a conservative or a liberal. Everybody reacts like that, few are honest about it.

I think the message in Avatar is a good message to be repeated. Too much of the world operates on the ideas of justice being the will of the stronger and history being written by the victor. I believe that embedding messages like Avatar's in entertainment will encourage respect for all people, whether or not they can bomb the hell out of you.

That can only lead to good things.

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