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Riza
12-17-2009, 08:56 AM
...and love it, although personally I think it can't beat Fellowship of the Ring for scene beauty..:P
oh yeah, make sure you watch it in 3D...

COBRASoft
12-17-2009, 03:45 PM
I don't know if I agree. I found the fauna and flora in Avatar pretty amazing.

And yeah, I love it too! Awesome work.

Riff_Masteroff
12-17-2009, 10:23 PM
Here, TV is solid wall to wall interviews with James Cameron . . . even one solid hour devoted to Avatar on the Public Broadcasting System (Charlie Rose). I do not like being force fed Avatar everywheres on TV.

Oh, and by the way, the interviewers seem to ask exactly the same questions of dear James . . . for example, please compare to Titantic.

robertoortiz
12-17-2009, 10:36 PM
Saw the flick two hours ago.

It is a game changer. It is THAT GOOD.

Titus
12-18-2009, 12:03 AM
The story isn't new but the VFX in the movie is amazing.

DiscreetFX
12-18-2009, 12:04 AM
Sounds very exciting, going to watch this on the weekend.

Riza
12-18-2009, 02:06 AM
yeah, the story I think it's classic, but I enjoy how Cameron directed it...

jin choung
12-18-2009, 04:56 AM
just came back from midnight screening. NO SPOILERS.

good to ok.

seems to not deliver on the promise of the premise... for a sci fi movie, it's awfully... "native". it IS dances with wolves in space. but because of all that, the fun and games weren't very fun for me. i wanted more sci fi and less mystical native mumbo jumbo.

the finale is pretty satisfying in terms of comeuppances and some good performances especially from stephen lang. final shot is perfect end to story.

the writing could be hokey at times and the VO was a pretty big and blatant crutch: exposition exposition exposition....

most definitely INSTITUTIONALIZED (save the cat genre)! w00t.

i was pretty darn close with my practice beat sheet (on avatar trailer thread)! up to the last point of "bad guys close in" i was spot on.
----------------------------------------------------------

tech:

- amazing performance capture hampered by awkward navi design... too long and gangly... close enough to human to seem disproportioned.
- amazing cgi... there are scenes where 100% of what is on screen is cgi and it seems natural... from water to trees and blades of grass. truly amazing.
- not the holy grail of stereo. not really used for expressive effect and fairly pedestrian depth effects. not as modest and reluctant as "up" but not really the second (or third) coming of stereo that i was anticipating.

Kuzey
12-18-2009, 05:20 AM
just came back from midnight screening. NO SPOILERS.

good to ok.

seems to not deliver on the promise of the premise... for a sci fi movie, it's awfully... "native". it IS dances with wolves in space. but because of all that, the fun and games weren't very fun for me. i wanted more sci fi and less mystical native mumbo jumbo.

the finale is pretty satisfying in terms of comeuppances and some good performances especially from stephen lang. final shot is perfect end to story.

the writing could be hokey at times and the VO was a pretty big and blatant crutch: exposition exposition exposition....

most definitely INSTITUTIONALIZED (save the cat genre)! w00t.

i was pretty darn close with my practice beat sheet (on avatar trailer thread)! up to the last point of "bad guys close in" i was spot on.
----------------------------------------------------------

tech:

- amazing performance capture hampered by awkward navi design... too long and gangly... close enough to human to seem disproportioned.
- amazing cgi... there are scenes where 100% of what is on screen is cgi and it seems natural... from water to trees and blades of grass. truly amazing.
- not the holy grail of stereo. not really used for expressive effect and fairly pedestrian depth effects. not as modest and reluctant as "up" but not really the second (or third) coming of stereo that i was anticipating.

Sounds like it's all flash and no story..or very little of it.

What did you think of Sigourney Weaver's role...did she have a major role in the film, or is it just a secondary character that stays in her lab and does nothing much else in the real (live action) world...beside having her own avatar.

Also, did you think the mix of live action and CG worked...or could they have just did everything in 3d and get the same or better result?

Kuzey

prometheus
12-18-2009, 05:57 AM
Well I didn´t like the trailer, and I wasn´t that impressed of the cg characters or environments at first glance, sometimes it just becomes
to clearly how much cg it is and sometimes It has a some sort of vueish
overall look in some scenes. (donno if they used vue in there)

Anyhow, a female friend of mine who generally don´t like sc-ifi or fantasy
movies actually called me and wanted to see it, mainly because it looked a bit different and colorful compared to other stuff.

So what the heck, maybe I should see it, after all it´s a james cameron movie and an all timer favourite sigourney weaver is in there, and maybe
there´s an interest in checking out the new techniques.

Michael

cresshead
12-18-2009, 09:22 AM
just came back from the cinema..watched it in 3dstereo..i'd pretty much agree with Jin on this one.

the 3d models and perfromance capture were 'spot on'
the shaders and lighting were amazing
the environment fx we brilliant
the 6 legged animals looked abit odd to me with 6 legs but the rest of the animal was good.
the flying dragons were nice...
story was okay buy no where near as involving as say aliens, T2 or the abyss.

the stereo projection was good, never gave me a headache and was just the right amount of depth without going pointy stick in your face.

160mins is a long film...it's pace was okay but still felt long in the end.
i'd currently place avatar behind, aliens and T2 overall.

its good, liked it alot but it's not as involving at the other 2 films.

J.C still has a good touch for films don't get me wrong but it's hard to make something better than aliens or T2 in my opinion.

defo buy it on dvd once it's out.

the thing that avatar did was to totally nail photoreal cg characters and lots of them too...there wasn't a time when the 'uncanny valley' came up at all.

Titus
12-18-2009, 10:14 AM
I copmpletely forgot this was a CG movie, but then had to ask where you can shoot a forest so weird with flying mountains.

GregMalick
12-18-2009, 11:15 AM
Alice & I plan to go tonight,

Any recommendations on whether we should see the stereo3D version or plain vanilla version? It comes in both flavors at the theater.

jin choung
12-18-2009, 11:28 AM
Oh definitely stereo. No reason not to. IMO, it doesn't add a tremendous amount to the experience of the movie but it's still a nifty gimmick.

Jin

cresshead
12-18-2009, 11:29 AM
Alice & I plan to go tonight,

Any recommendations on whether we should see the stereo3D version or plain vanilla version? It comes in both flavors at the theater.

defo go and see the stereo version...it's nice on the eyes [no headaches] and adds a level of depth to everything that just make it so much more than a 2d version

Dexter2999
12-18-2009, 11:52 AM
I have to go watch it...twice.
I'll go to see it in Imax 3D because that was how it was intended to be seen.
Then I will have to watch it again in regular 2D because I find stereoscopic so distracting I miss dialog or plot points.

I was discussing this with my boss and I decided the best way to put it is "3D takes me into the movie, but out of the story."

IgnusFast
12-18-2009, 12:42 PM
I never have understood the love for T2. It would have been a much better movie if Edward Furlong hadn't managed to ruin it. With the exception of the effects (more a limitation of the time and budget available), Terminator was a much better movie.

All IMHO, of course.

Still can't wait to see Avatar. :)

aidenvfx
12-18-2009, 01:38 PM
Saw the flick two hours ago.

It is a game changer. It is THAT GOOD.

The cost to make a movie like this are what 200 million base and it goes up from there? I agree it will probably change the way action films, and blockbusters are done, but I don't see more then 5% of movies being made with this technology until the costs come way, way down.

(But very happy I have my tix for Monday looking forward to it...first time for a 3d movie for myself.)

Andyjaggy
12-18-2009, 02:32 PM
Just saw it. Wow. Amazing.

There were a couple of shots where the characters just didn't do it for me, but for 80% of the time I completely and utterly forgot that I was watching 3D. Wow.

robertoortiz
12-18-2009, 03:03 PM
I am sooooo looking forward to reding the opinions of the people who posted here BEFORE seeing the film, AFTER they see it for the first time.

Andyjaggy
12-18-2009, 03:16 PM
I am sooooo looking forward to reding the opinions of the people who posted here BEFORE seeing the film, AFTER they see it for the first time.

Yeah the trailer did no justice to the film. None.

Is it going to change the way films are made. I don't know. But I completely lost myself in the world that Cameron created and that was probably the point.

Riza
12-18-2009, 03:41 PM
I am sooooo looking forward to reding the opinions of the people who posted here BEFORE seeing the film, AFTER they see it for the first time.
I don't like the trailer, maybe because it's 2D version, but when I watch it in 3D...wow, love it!

Norman
12-18-2009, 04:11 PM
Just finished watching it and it was fantastic. Definitely see it in 3D. I'm going to see it next week in an IMAX theater, to see if the effect is even better. Thoroughly enjoyed it, but don't think it would be as enjoyable in 2d.

jin choung
12-18-2009, 04:17 PM
Sounds like it's all flash and no story..or very little of it.

What did you think of Sigourney Weaver's role...did she have a major role in the film, or is it just a secondary character that stays in her lab and does nothing much else in the real (live action) world...beside having her own avatar.

Also, did you think the mix of live action and CG worked...or could they have just did everything in 3d and get the same or better result?

Kuzey

preface: please note as in my previous postings - i WANTED to like this movie. i was rooting for it.

the story was disappointing. but it's not a matter of "too little" or "no" story. let's be precise. it HAS a story... just a pretty hackneyed one. very very "seen it before"... pocahontas, dances with wolves. most importantly it just didn't feel "fresh" and you saw everything coming and you knew all the beats it would have to hit before you got there.

some ideas are neat like the significance of trees in their world....

but the characters are pretty "cut out" and flat. you REALLY HATED the character of "burke" in ALIENS but ribisi's character here is just a guy....

you don't develop any real passionate hate for the bad guys. and stephen lang's character is never brought to a satisfying level.

michelle rodriguez's character is instrumental to plot but barely there as a character.... basically just a cog.

sigourney i felt didn't have enough to do. character just wasn't very substantial. and is won over by jake too quickly and there's no overt conflict between her and jake even when there probably should have been when basically, jake turns against her covertly.

it just feels somewhat by the numbers and "hollow" as a movie experience. no real heart there imo.

but cameron does avoid some mistakes that lucas and the wachowskis made by side stepping "action overload". there is one scene in particular where jake needs to capture a MEGADRAGON and it could have easily exhausted us with a big loud action scene. but it is gracefully elided instead.

but generally the story doesn't crackle... doesn't pop. titanic was cliche and hokey and lowest common denominator pulpy too but imo it crackled and sparked. where this one feels kinda flat.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

a big problem for me was art direction too....

the navi are just strangely proportioned...too narrow... it's not alien enough to be alien but not close enough to feel natural. he seemed to have avoided the uncanny valley in part by making strangeness baked into the design.

the design of the flora was cool but the animal life was too earthlike to be believed... i mean they have a "horse analog"... wtf? would've made more sense to have everyone be on dragons.

and the hammerhead thing... that's just a stupid design period. if they wanted a "behemoth" design, soooo many other ways they could have gone.

and evolutionarily speaking, it doesn't make sense that most "mammals" have their breathing orifices on their torsos above the lungs but the navi have humanoid noses. that wouldn't happen.

also doesn't make sense that this world has both 4 and 6 limbed mammals... it would have been stronger if the navi and every animal had six limbs.

and the little "bugs" with the da vinci helicopter wings... i mean wtf... the BODY of the animal is spinning like a top too?! that just doesn't make any kind of sense.

and as for the tech designs, it's all stuff that is very very familiar... much of the designs seem very similar in fact to stuff seen in unreal tournament 3.

jin choung
12-18-2009, 04:26 PM
Just finished watching it and it was fantastic. Definitely see it in 3D. I'm going to see it next week in an IMAX theater, to see if the effect is even better. Thoroughly enjoyed it, but don't think it would be as enjoyable in 2d.

i saw it in imax and i wouldn't imagine it's "better"... the film wasn't shot or mastered for imax after all... just a blow up.

even dark knight would have been more impressive for the few sequences that were actually shot in imax format.

jin

Soth
12-18-2009, 04:28 PM
...I just hope it will not by like Titanic, we had bottle of wine and best laugh ever. I will go but I am scared that plot will put me off and we will just leave in the middle, without refund.

Hopper
12-18-2009, 04:39 PM
The story isn't new but the VFX in the movie is amazing.
Exactly what I was thinking... Standard Good guys vs. Bad guys - protagonist goes from bad to good, internal conflict, yadda yadda... The story line was still solid and pretty creative.

The effects were spectacular. I saw the 3D version and even though I dispise the whole "3D in the cinema" experience, I wouldn't see this movie any other way. Freaking amazing.

I'm going to go see it again on Tuesday.

Kuzey
12-18-2009, 05:14 PM
Thanks Jin...great stuff as always!

Yeap...I knew you were rooting for it. Shame it didn't turn out as good as it could have been..or even a fraction better. I always had the feeling Cameron was blinded by the technology and effects side of things, that he either didn't care about the story/plot and characters etc. (the really important parts) or totally forgot about them or was too lazy.

That's why I dream of the day someone like Quentin Tarantino does a CG film, it needs to be shaken up and he's one director that could do it.

If Sigourney was the main star and kicked butt, human or otherwise...I would have seen it :hey:

Kuzey

Norman
12-18-2009, 05:42 PM
Everyone should just realize it's not a documentary and enjoy it for what it is, a very enjoyable MOVIE, pretty, innovative, totally involving, sensible, for the most part and perhaps a little too close to home for the 'might makes right' crowd. Definitely a knock on humankind, deservedly so. These people revere their world and understand their part in it. I really enjoyed looking at it as an outsider, I really enjoy technology and don't like the thought of living without it, as the Avatars do.

I had a couple of thoughts, after the movie, that I might like to have seen, or had explained more fully, but, during the movie, I was totally blown away by the attention to detail by Mr Cameron and I think that was the fastest, most exciting 2 hours and 40 minutes I ever spent at and in a movie. Yes, I felt as though I were in this movie and enjoyed it as much as a really good book that you miss even before you finish it, because you know you're nearing the end and your life will be a little less interesting.

jin choung
12-18-2009, 05:50 PM
Everyone should just realize it's not a documentary and enjoy it for what it is, a very enjoyable MOVIE, pretty, innovative, totally involving,

yeah but that was the problem for me... it was NOT totally involving.

it was kind of funny, there was one corner of my theater that was maybe filled with studio plants or something but that corner could be relied upon to provide the "proper, sanctioned reaction":

cue: WOOOOOOO!
cue: YEAH!!!
cue: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!

but they were all the more conspicuous because that corner was evidently experiencing a movie no one else was.

there were mild chuckles in the theater at spots but nothing akin to the wild ride that corner was having. every line was a gem, every joke a knee slapper, every threat terrifying and every explosion jaw dropping.

and sadly, when the movie ended, they were the only corner giving it a standing ovation... while the rest of the theater was making for a standing exit.

so that's cool that people enjoyed it TREMENDOUSLY.

but in the faux imax 3d (burbank) screening i attended at thursday midnight (which probably should have been the most pro avatar crowd you can imagine), the reaction was fairly tepid.

jin

cresshead
12-18-2009, 06:56 PM
bottom line?

looked amazing...

http://www.cinefex.com/backissues/covers/Cinefex120.jpg

zardoz
12-18-2009, 07:07 PM
I just arrived from watching avatar, and I wasn't very into the hype around this movie, but I have to say just like Russel Petters, it's 'Mind Blasting!'.
Honestly, it's amazing. It isn't perfect, and I know the story is a bit dated, but great movie. I encourage everyone to go watch it.

caesar
12-18-2009, 07:56 PM
The movie is AWESOME!

The story is convincing, good, but not original either spetacular.
But the cg is PERFECT! The forest just looks REAL !!!!
The 2 main characters are AMAZING, theirs facial expressions look like people with masks!
Go see it in 3D, adds to the realism sensation

Riff_Masteroff
12-18-2009, 09:09 PM
Here, TV is solid wall to wall interviews with James Cameron . . . even one solid hour devoted to Avatar on the Public Broadcasting System (Charlie Rose). I do not like being force fed Avatar everywheres on TV.

Oh, and by the way, the interviewers seem to ask exactly the same questions of dear James . . . for example, please compare to Titantic.

I did see the flick today. My opinion: rates a 10. Didn't like the media commercialization blitz, but what the heck . . . many people should see this movie.

For a change, the CG enhanced a decent story. The plot, for me, had many different reflections of real life situations. Multiple messages were conveyed, but in a fuzzy-out-of-focus manner. Its for the viewer to break them out. James Cameron is credited for writing the screen play: I am impressed with his world view citizenship.

Good flick, hope something sinks in our consciousness for a very long time.

bugzilla
12-18-2009, 09:33 PM
Just got back from the theater. Avatar was completely, utterly stunning. Visually, and I say this without any hyperbole, it is is flawless. There is not a single shot in the film that does not feel like a completely real place or creature.

As for the story, it is a retelling of the Pocohontas story. It is the kind of story that has been told many times, but certain stories need to be retold every generation. So, as far as the story being predictable it's only so in the sense that any well known event or legend is. The acting is so convincing that I got wrapped up in the story even though I could tell where it was probably headed.

Finally, the Digital 3D was fantastic. Not distracting or a gimmick, the 3D pulled you even further into the world. It also did not give me a headache like the old green/red technology.

realgray
12-18-2009, 10:26 PM
It was awesome! :thumbsup:

OnlineRender
12-19-2009, 03:14 AM
iMax tickets booked !

cresshead
12-19-2009, 04:32 AM
iMax tickets booked !

there's an imax in scotland?
...wow..our oil money seems to have been diverted! :devil:

cresshead
12-19-2009, 04:48 AM
http://www.inthenews.co.uk/news//entertainment/film/cameron-confirms-avatar-trilogy-plans-$1346458.htm

avatar 2 and 3 sketched out on paper already...

OnlineRender
12-19-2009, 04:54 AM
there's an imax in scotland?
...wow..our oil money seems to have been diverted! :devil:

what you meant to say there was , YOUR OIL that we take and give you 1% of the money back , considering most of the UK oil is shipped from OUR north sea , but its ok because you have another big pipe from Norway that also helps out.

Aberdeen one of the poorest towns in Scotland , how can this be when 5 miles out to sea they have oil ???????

:devil:

Kuzey
12-19-2009, 04:55 AM
Ooooh...look, someone forgot to check to see what the hair is doing :D

Bottom line..yeah it looks great as far as surfacing/rendering goes...but not much else. Character design is boring...I mean cat people..go figure, he should have spent a million or two more on the designs and many more to iron out the plot holes/inconsistencies.

I saw a scene where it looked like the blue people controlled or communicated with animals through thought/mind control. The first thing that came to my mind was why didn't they just bombard the humans with their thoughts and drive them crazy.

The point is, Cameron is not an artist but more an accountant going by the numbers. Aliens was not his concept, otherwise we could have seen blue people way back then. Terminator was not his concept, he took the idea from The Outer Limits. Titanic, not his concept...just another retelling of a true story. This is the first time he pretty much played artist from start to finish and it didn't work out. All he can manage to do is take things form just about everything else (it seems) and throw them in to the movie...along with a tone of glitz and glitter.

The idea of cloning the blue people to use as a vehicle for your mind is way too simplistic. It would have been a better idea to get rid of the avatar and directly transport the human mind into that of the aliens. The good thing about that is...the alien mind gets transported into the human body and you get a subplot of the aliens trying to fight the enemy as one of them.

This is a great short story and it was written in the 1930's. It's about swapping minds through time and space...for those who like a great story :

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Shadow_Out_of_Time

Btw....did everyone start singing Billie Jean when the floor lit up...I'll like to see that scene :D

Kuzey

OnlineRender
12-19-2009, 04:56 AM
http://www.glasgowsciencecentre.org/imax.aspx

about 20 minutes away from my house

/\ above post LOL

Kuzey
12-19-2009, 04:56 AM
http://www.inthenews.co.uk/news//entertainment/film/cameron-confirms-avatar-trilogy-plans-$1346458.htm

avatar 2 and 3 sketched out on paper already...

Nooooooooooo...hehe

Kuzey

cresshead
12-19-2009, 05:28 AM
Ooooh...look, someone forgot to check to see what the hair is doing :D

Bottom line..yeah it looks great as far as surfacing/rendering goes...but not much else. Character design is boring...I mean cat people..go figure, he should have spent a million or two more on the designs and many more to iron out the plot holes/inconsistencies.

I saw a scene where it looked like the blue people controlled or communicated with animals through thought/mind control. The first thing that came to my mind was why didn't they just bombard the humans with their thoughts and drive them crazy.

The point is, Cameron is not an artist but more an accountant going by the numbers. Aliens was not his concept, otherwise we could have seen blue people way back then. Terminator was not his concept, he took the idea from The Outer Limits. Titanic, not his concept...just another retelling of a true story. This is the first time he pretty much played artist from start to finish and it didn't work out. All he can manage to do is take things form just about everything else (it seems) and throw them in to the movie...along with a tone of glitz and glitter.

The idea of cloning the blue people to use as a vehicle for your mind is way too simplistic. It would have been a better idea to get rid of the avatar and directly transport the human mind into that of the aliens. The good thing about that is...the alien mind gets transported into the human body and you get a subplot of the aliens trying to fight the enemy as one of them.

This is a great short story and it was written in the 1930's. It's about swapping minds through time and space...for those who like a great story :

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Shadow_Out_of_Time

Btw....did everyone start singing Billie Jean when the floor lit up...I'll like to see that scene :D

Kuzey

looks like that film just 'isn't for you'
maybe 'kiss of the spider woman' or 'mama mia' is more your bag :)

Kuzey
12-19-2009, 05:45 AM
looks like that film just 'isn't for you'
maybe 'kiss of the spider woman' or 'mama mia' is more your bag :)

Nice try but no banana...hehe

I just saw the trailer for Alice in wonderland and it looks fantastic....you can always count on Tim Burton to make something truly unique and worth seeing :thumbsup:

http://www.apple.com/trailers/disney/aliceinwonderland/

ps. as far as old movies go....I do like this one...low budget but superb and has a nice set of boobies to boot :hey:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dellamorte_Dellamore


Kuzey

cresshead
12-19-2009, 06:07 AM
Nice try but no banana...hehe

I just saw the trailer for Alice in wonderland and it looks fantastic....you can always count on Tim Burton to make something truly unique and worth seeing :thumbsup:

http://www.apple.com/trailers/disney/aliceinwonderland/

ps. as far as old movies go....I do like this one...low budget but superb and has a nice set of boobies to boot :hey:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dellamorte_Dellamore


Kuzey

tim burton?....don't even go there!..he's so over rated it aint true!:twak:

so my question to YOU is did you even bother to go and see Avatar?:hey:

i wasn't a fan of the trailers for avatar but the film just blew me away with fantastic cgi work.

Kuzey
12-19-2009, 06:10 AM
Since we are talking about good/bad movies..I'll throw some more into the mix:

Day Breakers...looks interesting enough to watch.

Clash of the Titans....boring...pass.

Sherk for ever after...boring...pass. I never watched any of them but I did try once, lasted 4 minutes :D

Iran Man 2...looks enjoyable even if predictable...will see it.

edit:

I just saw the trailer for the sorcerer's apprentice...Nicolas Cage in what seems to be remake/influence from 'Big trouble in Little China'...fails...pass. I loved that film btw...classic stuff.

Kuzey

Kuzey
12-19-2009, 06:16 AM
tim burton?....don't even go there!..he's so over rated it aint true!:twak:

so my question to YOU is did you even bother to go and see Avatar?:hey:

i wasn't a fan of the trailers for avatar but the film just blew me away with fantastic cgi work.

Nope...won't see it. I'll likely fall asleep, to simplistic/basic story for me and filled with too many scenes we have all seen before. The only interest I had in avatar was not the CG or 3d experience but Sigourney Weaver and since she isn't kicking butt...I'll pass.

Kuzey

cresshead
12-19-2009, 06:31 AM
Nope...won't see it. I'll likely fall asleep, to simplistic/basic story for me and filled with too many scenes we have all seen before. The only interest I had in avatar was not the CG or 3d experience but Sigourney Weaver and since she isn't kicking butt...I'll pass.

Kuzey

of course you can say from the trailer it doesn't look like film "i'd enjoy" just from that 3min clip/edit...but without seeing it you will have a hard time passing judgement on it as a 160min feature film.

all i'd say is if your really into CGI and want to see where the very best CGI is at in 2009 you'd want to go and see this movie in the big screen...

just think of it as a pay to view show reel!

..by all means leave your brain at the door and ignore the plot/story but to miss this film cos you don;t like the possible storyline/plot would be a great shame i thnk for any CG artist.

SBowie
12-19-2009, 06:38 AM
Let's face it, story-wise, this is a long cartoon. It's 'ok', that's about it. But for all the weaponry, it would have worked just fine as a kids movie. it has been made a thousand times or more ... nasty military aggressors versus aboriginal protectors of the land, boy meets girl, a little Montague and Capulet action, boy saves day, add a dash of Pinocchio (if anyone thinks those are spoilers, I don't know what to say to you). :p

Visually, though, it's astonishing. In my lifetime, only three opening day movies on 'the big-screen' have blown me completely away: Star Wars, Jurassic Park, and now Avatar. None of them had masterful plots, but on other counts all three rocked. I would have to put Star Wars in the pole position, impact-wise, but Avatar (maybe just barely) nudges Jurassic Park aside to take second place in my personal list.

OnlineRender
12-19-2009, 06:50 AM
why are they not any gay blue people !

WATCH

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5uwG7TQjXLc&feature=topvideos

Kuzey
12-19-2009, 06:51 AM
of course you can say from the trailer it doesn't look like film "i'd enjoy" just from that 3min clip/edit...but without seeing it you will have a hard time passing judgement on it as a 160min feature film.

all i'd say is if your really into CGI and want to see where the very best CGI is at in 2009 you'd want to go and see this movie in the big screen...

just think of it as a pay to view show reel!

..by all means leave your brain at the door and ignore the plot/story but to miss this film cos you don;t like the possible storyline/plot would be a great shame i thnk for any CG artist.


True...I was hoping to get a better review from Jin...I would have gone on that alone :D

But I think Alice in Wonderland is all of what Avatar could have been...so it's not a loss in my view. With Burton you get a unique vision, designs, story etc....after all he is a real artist...paints/sculpts etc.

Anyway...I've already seen enough CG from Cameron in the trailers and what not :D

I saw the Jay Leno shows with Sam and Sigourney as separate guests and the stuff they showed from the film didn't look exciting at all. One was when Sam hops into the mind transporting device and the other was that scene you posted above...him learning how to shoot an arrow. God awful stuff.

But that's life...you lose some you win some :D

Kuzey

Norman
12-19-2009, 07:31 AM
That's like judging a book by reading a page. The experience of this movie should not be missed, it's the forest, not the trees.

Titus
12-19-2009, 09:22 AM
I would have to put Start Wars in the pole position, impact-wise, but Avatar (maybe just barely) nudges Jurassic Park aside to take second place in my personal list.

(slapping you in the face with a globe)

Hoy dare you? Sir, see you at noon at the park, please choose your weapon. :D

I feel the same with those three movies, and remember watching JP four times at the theater.

Titus
12-19-2009, 09:28 AM
My friend just came back from New Zealand, we worked more than a year in Avatar (he's now in the Tintin stuff). It was interesting to hear from first hand many problems they have the last three months of production. At the end Cameron decided to go with matte paintings for the backgrounds, despite he wanted them to be modeled.

SBowie
12-19-2009, 09:39 AM
I feel the same with those three movies, and remember watching JP four times at the theater.Fanatic ... I only saw it three times on the big screen:p

I've very mixed feelings about whether Avatar should bump JP out of second place. I may yet reverse myself. Both SW and JP had a couple of huge initial WOW!!!! moments, and that never really happened for me in Avatar - just a truly fine and extended succession of really good moments I want to see again (sooner or later, frame by frame).

OnlineRender
12-19-2009, 09:41 AM
what would consider CGI MileStone Movies ?????

cresshead
12-19-2009, 09:58 AM
what would consider CGI MileStone Movies ?????

all cgi or just cgi fx in films?

well...
full cgi [ish]
toy story
final fantasy the spirits within
shrek
incredibles
avatar [it's goes into full cgi wihin 40mins or so and stays there's most of the film...]

cg fx:
tron
independance day
jurasic park
starship troopers
the mummy
star wars ep 01
lord of the rings and followup films :for massive and gollum

Titus
12-19-2009, 10:07 AM
My CGI milestones:

The abyss
TRON
Young Sherlock Holmes
Jurassic Park
Toy Story
Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within
LoTR
Benjamin Button

GregMalick
12-19-2009, 10:26 AM
Aloha,


But that's life...you lose some you win some :D
Kuzey

Truer words were never spoken by someone who hasn't seen the film.
Rotten Tomatoes (i.e. RT) has the film running at 82% approval rating.
Kuzey & others are simply in that 18% group - for any number of reason.

Alice & I saw it last night in 3D.
Was it our favorite movie of all time? No way.
Was it immersive and touching (at times) you bet
Was it totally unique? at times
Was it Dances with Wolves meets Pocahontas? probably, but I like those stories.

Alice cried.
I was totally engaged in the movie (well, I'll get to that in a bit).

What I came away most with was the stunning breadth of creative design and the incredible emotive force of these CG characters. Cameron was definitely focused on these issues. But after seeing Tim Burton's AiW trailer yesterday, I also thought "My God, they are going to start sticking actors' faces on CG characters and forget about trying to get every facial twitch and nuance into the animation's performance!"

BTW, I found the 3D experience distracting. Bugs and sparks flying around my head makes me lose focus on what's happening on the screen. That's just me - others probably find it exhilarating.

Anyway, I've said too much. I haven't said enough.

I'll let it go at this.


Merry Christmas.

jin choung
12-19-2009, 12:39 PM
my list of cg milestones:

Tron
last star fighter
young Sherlock holmes
star trek 2
the great mouse detective
the abyss
rescuers down under
t2
flight of the intruder
die hard 2
sea quest, babylon5, star trek ds9
Jurassic park
lotr1 (Massive, difference maps into displacements, mocapping camera)
doom3 & far cry (difference maps into normal maps)
lotr2, 3 & king kong for cg chars
final fantasy spirits within (grudgingly)
polar express (grudgingly)
pixar movies
matrix movies (pixel tracking interpolation and photogrammetric bgs)
sky captain (nothin but green)
phantom menace & aoc (grudgingly)
titanic
Poseidon
avatar

Jin

Chris S. (Fez)
12-19-2009, 12:51 PM
"flight of the intruder"

Hey. Cool. Haven't seen that one. Worth adding to Netflix list?

OnlineRender
12-19-2009, 01:15 PM
Ok off the top of my head !

ET (just because it made me cry , I was 4 OK )
Labyrinth ( because it scared the crap out of me , or was that BOWIE ?)
Matrix (do you need a reason ?)
Jurassic Park ( It has freken dinosurs )
Aliens
Back2theFuture 2
There's a few old skool Kung-Fu films
more for Wire-Fu than CGI ,
trying to find a decent Bullet Time Example before Matrix ...
ohh this can get tough

aurora
12-19-2009, 01:44 PM
Top 5 for me in no order as it changes with each re-viewing and then it also who is in my top 5 with my mood (as my friends say I'm the ole boring just bi-polar kinda guy I'm giga-polar.)

JP
StarTrek 2
LOTR (All three included as one)
Star Wars (As far as CG goes though it was limited and more on the comping side then anything and even that was still a lot of old style film overlay work to get it done but it helped open the flood gates.)
Tie: Pirates/Matrix (again all three for each as one)

Not sure which Avatar is going to bump from that list but I'm betting when I go see it Monday or Tuesday it will make my top 5.

cresshead
12-19-2009, 02:20 PM
going off tangent abit... "best/most watched films on dvd"

aliens
terminator 2
the aparment
to have and have not
tron
alien
terminator
toy story
toy story 2
incredibles
the empire strike back
the great escape

cresshead
12-19-2009, 02:59 PM
http://www.pandorapedia.com/doku.php

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GBGDmin_38E

nice!...can you imagine the dvd and blue ray extras!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LYoOFm-RoH4

cresshead
12-19-2009, 05:29 PM
zbrush=avatar=zbrush

http://www.zbrushcentral.com/showthread.php?t=079195

http://www.zbrushcentral.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=172073

http://www.zbrushcentral.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=172084


http://www.zbrushcentral.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=172096

http://www.zbrushcentral.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=172098

GregMalick
12-19-2009, 05:35 PM
zbrush=avatar=zbrush


According to 3DWorld it's Maya & Mudbox.

cresshead
12-19-2009, 06:03 PM
According to 3DWorld it's Maya & Mudbox.

just shows you how ill informed they are...as usual!

watch the behind the scenes videos on youtube and you'll see zbrush, modo, sketchup pro, motion builder....
i think every 3d app that's of any use at all was involved in avatar....including maya, xsi, mudbox, 3dsmax, houdini

http://www.3dworldmag.com/resources/3dworld/tdw125-cover200.jpg

http://www.3dworldmag.com/resources/3dworld/125-avatar.jpg

weta's pipeline has maya and mudbox for sure.


screen grabs from the makin of vids for avatar

http://www.newtek.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=80298&d=1261014810

ilm work on avatar
http://news.cnet.com/8301-13772_3-10419046-52.html

http://i.i.com.com/cnwk.1d/i/bto/20091218/AVTR-264_rgb_610x402.jpg

jin choung
12-19-2009, 06:57 PM
"flight of the intruder"

Hey. Cool. Haven't seen that one. Worth adding to Netflix list?

not a great movie... but noteworthy for cgi hero assets like the jets... one of the first photoreal movies to go for a seamless implementation like that.

jin

cresshead
12-19-2009, 07:06 PM
more making of's!

framestore and the foundry in the u.k.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/click_online/8421468.stm

Mike_RB
12-19-2009, 07:07 PM
Nothing beats "Condor Man". I was addicted to this film for some reason when I was a kid because we had managed to VHS-tape it from TV... watched it a bazillion times... (Gota love those black porsches)...

http://www.guidetoliteraryagents.com/blog/content/binary/Condorman-Photo-web.jpg

jin choung
12-19-2009, 07:14 PM
oh, and gotta say, that it's amazing that as time passes, the stuff that distinguishes pro from amateur is significant but not necessarily considerable-

the virtual cam that cameron aped from peter jackson (first reported use in lotr cave troll fight) can be done on a small scale but individuals by using their fing accelerometer based IPHONES as input! and on a much more limited scale, things like the wii controller and TRACKIR.

nifty times.

jin

jin choung
12-19-2009, 07:18 PM
oh, and RE: narration - i thought the use of the "video journals" was an inspired way to do some necessary exposition.

unfortunately, that wasn't the only way in which the narration was performed and i feel like the movie suffers a bit for that.

imo, the movie is also noteworthy for having complete fade to blacks... like several. don't remember the last modern movie that had so many. that's just an interesting cinematic choice, not a necessarily a flaw.

jin

NanoGator
12-19-2009, 07:18 PM
more making of's!

framestore and the foundry in the u.k.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/click_online/8421468.stm

Aww that video didn't show the pass that Lightstorm did on it. The 'previsualization' we gave them was rather detailed and answered a lot of questions about the look of that shot and how many people should be walking through it, what they were doing, what vehicles were there, what the environment looked like, etc. Avatar's pipeline was an interesting one. All of the venders had both stereo Quicktimes and MotionBuilder files to build from.

cresshead
12-19-2009, 07:25 PM
Aww that's missing the pass that Lightstorm did on it. :/

you mean the cg facemask?

i do wonder how many studios were involved..we left halfway thru the credits as they were just rolling so many names up on screen!

NanoGator
12-19-2009, 07:45 PM
you mean the cg facemask?

i do wonder how many studios were involved..we left halfway thru the credits as they were just rolling so many names up on screen!

Nar. I edited my last post to give more detail, sorry I finished it after you posted. :D

You know all those photos you see of Jim holding the Virtual Camera in the Volume? That's Lightstorm housed at the hangars at Playa Vista. Over the course of 3 years or so roughly 100 artists were in that building creating shots in MotionBuilder that were art-directed and rendered to put into the edit. Once done, those files were sent off to Weta, ILM, FrameStore, and all the companies that created the final shots.

Basically, you could pick any shot in that movie, find a MotionBuilder file to load, hit play, and you'd see that shot playing back in real-time and looking very very similar to what you saw on the big screen. (given the limiations of what MotionBuilder's OpenGL can do.)

If you ask me, that whole bit of the pipeline is really interesting. Okay, I'm a little biased, but imagine if you needed to create a shot and the client handed you a file with the camera motion laid down, all the buildings and environment put in complete with textures etc to show you what color everything is and which direction the light source is coming from, and all of the characters with final mocap animation already placed in the scene and doing what the director wanted them to do? Wouldn't that be really slick? :) That was what Lightstorm did, for nearly every single shot in the movie. Most of the artistic decisions of the movie happened right there during that process.

cresshead
12-19-2009, 07:59 PM
Nar. I edited my last post to give more detail, sorry I finished it after you posted. :D

You know all those photos you see of Jim holding the Virtual Camera in the Volume? That's Lightstorm housed at the hangars at Playa Vista. Over the course of 3 years or so roughly 100 artists were in that building creating shots in MotionBuilder that were art-directed and rendered to put into the edit. Once done, those files were sent off to Weta, ILM, FrameStore, and all the companies that created the final shots.

Basically, you could pick any shot in that movie, find a MotionBuilder file to load, hit play, and you'd see that shot playing back in real-time and looking very very similar to what you saw on the big screen. (given the limiations of what MotionBuilder's OpenGL can do.)

If you ask me, that whole bit of the pipeline is really interesting. Okay, I'm a little biased, but imagine if you needed to create a shot and the client handed you a file with the camera motion laid down, all the buildings and environment put in complete with textures etc to show you what color everything is and which direction the light source is coming from, and all of the characters with final mocap animation already placed in the scene and doing what the director wanted them to do? Wouldn't that be really slick? :) That was what Lightstorm did, for nearly every single shot in the movie. Most of the artistic decisions of the movie happened right there during that process.

that sounds awesome...so autodesk motion builder was the director's right hand man so to speak.

i guess sales of seats with motion builder will go up then! :)

cresshead
12-19-2009, 08:29 PM
re Motionbuilder & Maya and Avatar>>

http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/item?id=14270942&siteID=123112

pdf on using motion builder in film>>
http://images.autodesk.com/adsk/files/the_new_art_of_virtual_moviemaking_-_autodesk_whitepaper.pdf

http://images.autodesk.com/adsk/images/avatar_trailer_thumb_304x147.jpg

cresshead
12-19-2009, 08:51 PM
oh, and gotta say, that it's amazing that as time passes, the stuff that distinguishes pro from amateur is significant but not necessarily considerable-

the virtual cam that cameron aped from peter jackson (first reported use in lotr cave troll fight) can be done on a small scale but individuals by using their fing accelerometer based IPHONES as input! and on a much more limited scale, things like the wii controller and TRACKIR.

nifty times.

jin

re virtual camera>>
Virtual Moviemaking in Action
Computer applications like Autodesk® MotionBuilder® allow directors to control a virtual camera using hand-held devices such as the mock camera shown below.
The camera movement is tracked in real-time and translated directly into the computer.
MotionBuilder also allows real time capture and display of actors’ performances applied to digital characters.
This allows the director to shoot a computer generated (virtual) scene by simply directing the actors and moving the camera in the same way they would during a live-action shoot.

The Technology of Virtual Moviemaking
Virtual Moviemaking blends several, previously distinct, technologies and workflows from the film production and gaming industries. When used together the sum of these individual workflows becomes far greater than their individual parts creating a revolutionary new interactive workflow.
Core components of the Virtual Moviemaking include sophisticated hardware devices that allow direct input into the computer programs without having to use a keyboard or mouse, advanced motion capture systems, virtual asset kits or libraries and real-time rendering and display technologies (Sidebar).
As a result, the director can control the virtual camera in the computer using a familiar device such as a real but modified camera body. The movements of the camera and the actors performing can then be captured using special motion sensing devices and the results displayed in real-time on a computer screen. This allows actors and crew to shoot digital performances in ways that are intuitively similar to live action shooting.
Virtual Moviemaking workflows consist of several distinct but related components designed to make this all possible. The following sections describe these components in more detail.

Virtual Camera Devices
Advanced Virtual Moviemaking techniques use specialized hardware devices to control a virtual camera (CG camera).
Some of these devices are based on familiar camera form factors and include controls for focal length, zoom, and depth of field as well as common film-specific setups such as virtual dolly and crane rigs.
Other devices have unique and unconventional forms geared more for extended hours of hand held operation.

The InterSense VCam
The InterSense VCam offers a simple and natural way for camera operators to create virtual camera moves with realism. The VCam device controls the motion, camera angle and point of view so that shots can be set in a natural and intuitive manner.

Visualization of virtual content occurs in real-time providing the director with a high degree of flexibility and creativity.

jin choung
12-19-2009, 09:47 PM
re virtual camera>>
Virtual Moviemaking in Action
Computer applications like Autodesk® MotionBuilder® allow directors to control a virtual camera using hand-held devices such as the mock camera shown below.
The camera movement is tracked in real-time and translated directly into the computer.
MotionBuilder also allows real time capture and display of actors’ performances applied to digital characters.
This allows the director to shoot a computer generated (virtual) scene by simply directing the actors and moving the camera in the same way they would during a live-action shoot.

The Technology of Virtual Moviemaking
Virtual Moviemaking blends several, previously distinct, technologies and workflows from the film production and gaming industries. When used together the sum of these individual workflows becomes far greater than their individual parts creating a revolutionary new interactive workflow.
Core components of the Virtual Moviemaking include sophisticated hardware devices that allow direct input into the computer programs without having to use a keyboard or mouse, advanced motion capture systems, virtual asset kits or libraries and real-time rendering and display technologies (Sidebar).
As a result, the director can control the virtual camera in the computer using a familiar device such as a real but modified camera body. The movements of the camera and the actors performing can then be captured using special motion sensing devices and the results displayed in real-time on a computer screen. This allows actors and crew to shoot digital performances in ways that are intuitively similar to live action shooting.
Virtual Moviemaking workflows consist of several distinct but related components designed to make this all possible. The following sections describe these components in more detail.

Virtual Camera Devices
Advanced Virtual Moviemaking techniques use specialized hardware devices to control a virtual camera (CG camera).
Some of these devices are based on familiar camera form factors and include controls for focal length, zoom, and depth of field as well as common film-specific setups such as virtual dolly and crane rigs.
Other devices have unique and unconventional forms geared more for extended hours of hand held operation.

The InterSense VCam
The InterSense VCam offers a simple and natural way for camera operators to create virtual camera moves with realism. The VCam device controls the motion, camera angle and point of view so that shots can be set in a natural and intuitive manner.

Visualization of virtual content occurs in real-time providing the director with a high degree of flexibility and creativity.

Yep.

On the cheap side, and what I was talking about, someone's working on iPhone accelerometer input into blender!

Jin

Kuzey
12-20-2009, 05:32 AM
Aloha,


Truer words were never spoken by someone who hasn't seen the film.
Rotten Tomatoes (i.e. RT) has the film running at 82% approval rating.
Kuzey & others are simply in that 18% group - for any number of reason.

Alice & I saw it last night in 3D.
Was it our favorite movie of all time? No way.
Was it immersive and touching (at times) you bet
Was it totally unique? at times
Was it Dances with Wolves meets Pocahontas? probably, but I like those stories.

Alice cried.
I was totally engaged in the movie (well, I'll get to that in a bit).

What I came away most with was the stunning breadth of creative design and the incredible emotive force of these CG characters. Cameron was definitely focused on these issues. But after seeing Tim Burton's AiW trailer yesterday, I also thought "My God, they are going to start sticking actors' faces on CG characters and forget about trying to get every facial twitch and nuance into the animation's performance!"

BTW, I found the 3D experience distracting. Bugs and sparks flying around my head makes me lose focus on what's happening on the screen. That's just me - others probably find it exhilarating.

Anyway, I've said too much. I haven't said enough.

I'll let it go at this.


Merry Christmas.

200 people voting on RT doesn't say much..other than people who don't like it, might not bother to vote in the first place. It seems the people who loved it also don't like to vote. It would be interesting to see if the votes ever get past a thousand :D

I saw enough...the chase scene that was posted last week. I couldn't even watch all of it...it was so boring and predictable and the trailers as well.

It's good to read a woman's reaction to the film....I was wondering if it was targeted at solely at males or not. Looks like I was wrong on that, my sister thinks it looks great and I'll see what her reaction is after she watches it.

The point is, at about half a billion dollars in production cost...it should have been a near perfect film as possible..in every aspect :D

Kuzey

Kuzey
12-20-2009, 05:44 AM
'kung fu hustle' just because it hasn't been mentioned.

As great as Toy Story 2 was, I loved the outtakes more...I wish Pixar continued those.

Kuzey

OnlineRender
12-20-2009, 05:49 AM
'kung fu hustle' just because it hasn't been mentioned.
Kuzey

Good Shout , that's a class film , funny as !

Stay Classy

Ernest
12-20-2009, 06:24 AM
I usually hate remakes because they are either not as good as the original or they're just a copy so what's the point? But in this case, Avatar is vastly superior to FernGully in almost every possible aspect and had many new elements. I was absolutely worth making.

cresshead
12-20-2009, 06:29 AM
I usually hate remakes because they are either not as good as the original or they're just a copy so what's the point? But in this case, Avatar is vastly superior to FernGully in almost every possible aspect and had many new elements. I was absolutely worth making.

cool good to hear that, as i was 'just about' to go n hire ferngully on vhs or betamax to see how well it compares...no need to now!:D

Mike_RB
12-20-2009, 06:31 AM
I usually hate remakes because they are either not as good as the original or they're just a copy so what's the point? But in this case, Avatar is vastly superior to FernGully in almost every possible aspect and had many new elements. I was absolutely worth making.

Who would have though addings smurfs to ferngully was what it needed to kick it up a notch.

cresshead
12-20-2009, 06:47 AM
just in case your blocked in by snow and can't get to see AVATAR in the cinema, here it is in comic strip format. :thumbsup:

http://www.geekologie.com/2009/12/19/avatar-spoiler.jpg

cresshead
12-20-2009, 07:20 AM
btw anyone notice that ALL the Navi are left handed?
...maybe cause James Cameron is left handed as well!
...and yeah you guessed it...i'm left handed too!"

:)

Chris S. (Fez)
12-20-2009, 08:28 AM
Hmmm. 3D does not agree with me. I swear it is slightly blurry...better than UP though.

Visuals are absolutely spectacular. Yes, much of the film might be familiar...but beer is familiar and that does not keep people from partaking in a fresh brew.

But yeah, sad to say that may be the last film I see in 3D.

cresshead
12-20-2009, 08:39 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2_vB7zx_SQ

making of the performance capture in avatar

http://www.newtek.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=80438&d=1261324953

Chris S. (Fez)
12-20-2009, 08:49 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2_vB7zx_SQ

making of the performance capture in avatar

Interesting. The actors and producers seem to go out of their way not to credit the animators... who I suspect contributed a lot more then is let on.

cresshead
12-20-2009, 09:05 AM
Interesting. The actors and producers seem to go out of their way not to credit the animators... who I suspect contributed a lot more then is let on.

yeah the thinking behind that is probably for the oscars...they don't want it to be in the 'animated' segment..they want their actors to be able to be up for their work on the shoot and not someone in a dark cubicle pushing around f curves!:)

Chris S. (Fez)
12-20-2009, 09:14 AM
yeah the thinking behind that is probably for the oscars...they don't want it to be in the 'animated' segment..they want their actors to be able to be up for their work on the shoot and not someone in a dark cubicle pushing around f curves!:)

Ha. Agreed. I guess the little guys don't get into this industry for girls and glory anyway...

I wonder if Harrison Ford or Sean Connery could "license" their likeness...what a legacy that would be eh? I wonder what Arnold was paid for Salvation?

jin choung
12-20-2009, 11:28 AM
I'm less skeptical about the performance capture. The whole point with cameron's face cam is so that animator intervention is kept to a minimum. Unlike gollum and unlike davey jones and unlike polar express where the stage cams (100 feet away) were also capturing the facial performance.

Not to say that there was zero animator intervention. But it was probably far less than what we've previously scene.

And actually, that fact shows up as a weakness as well - in some of the longer shots, if you look at their finger performance, it's not quite there. Either a bit mushy or less than natural agility and snappiness would look like.

This was not an issue however in king kong which allowed for a good deal of animator intervention.

Jin

Cageman
12-20-2009, 11:41 AM
Lots of Motionbuilder in there as well. Cool!

:)

jin choung
12-20-2009, 12:27 PM
Hmmm. 3D does not agree with me. I swear it is slightly blurry...better than UP though.

Visuals are absolutely spectacular. Yes, much of the film might be familiar...but beer is familiar and that does not keep people from partaking in a fresh brew.

But yeah, sad to say that may be the last film I see in 3D.

Hmmmmmmm, did you see the movie in:

- IMAX 3d
- reald
- Dolby 3d

IMAX uses linearly polarized (good)
reald uses circularly polarized (better)
Dolby 3d uses basically anaglyph but instead of splitting the visible spectrum into red left and blue+green=cyan right, they use a particular portion of rgb spectrum in one eye and the complementary spectrum in other using silverized lenses (gong awful and whoever designed them need to be wedgied to within an inch of his life)

the Dolby 3d glasses not only are less effective but cuts the light from the screen DRAMATICALLY and even worse, they FOG UP!

If you saw it in Dolby, you owe it to yourself to try one of the other methods.

And yah, exhortation to all if you'regonna see avatar, avoid dolby3d theaters.

Jin

jin choung
12-20-2009, 12:29 PM
Lots of Motionbuilder in there as well. Cool!

:)

For performance cap, I daresay it's ALL motion builder.

Jin

OnlineRender
12-20-2009, 12:30 PM
Jin is there anything you don't know ?

jin choung
12-20-2009, 12:35 PM
Jin is there anything you don't know ?

Yes. This thing you humans call... "love".

Sorry - just that I'm serving as stereo td on the movie we're working on and it's been a lot of research (google is your friend!) and a great deal of interest in avatar stereo experience (IMO , decidedly untrancendant).

Jin

Cageman
12-20-2009, 01:23 PM
For performance cap, I daresay it's ALL motion builder.

Jin

Ah well... there have been alot of custom developments for Mocap... while Motionbuilder is the king of the hill for editing motioncapture, I wasn't sure it was the most responsive when it comes to viewing mocap data directly from the stage.

:)

EDIT: If I remember correctly, Origami Digital developed their own inhouse tool to be able to view the performance capture/motioncapture in realtime on the actual models while it was still recorded.

cresshead
12-20-2009, 02:23 PM
http://www.blu-ray.com/news/?id=3932

fun show!

jin choung
12-20-2009, 02:38 PM
looks like east coast storms affecting box office... avatar will not top transformers2 or new moon (for fs sake) for best weekend bo.

especially when considering new moon and titanic (dicaprio), the core movie goers that really make up total take may now range well below 18.

i wonder if in this day and age, in order to get the really massive takes, you gotta actively appeal to the sub-teeny-bopper set.

>shudder<

jin

Dexter2999
12-20-2009, 03:34 PM
This weekend could be shorted because many people are traveling. This is the first weekend after kids out for Christmas Break from school. So families are traveling and not particularly going to the movies.

Titus
12-20-2009, 04:01 PM
And yah, exhortation to all if you'regonna see avatar, avoid dolby3d theaters.

Jin

I saw the movie in a big reald screen. The stereoscopic effect is IMO subtle, very well done, actually the first couple of sequences don't show much depth, and little by little they increase the effect.

However, the girl next to me was doing strange gestures all the time, taking the lenses off every five minutes, etc. Every person is different and there's a chance a tiny amount of people simply can't enjoy stereoscopy like the rest of us.

NanoGator
12-20-2009, 04:41 PM
Ah well... there have been alot of custom developments for Mocap... while Motionbuilder is the king of the hill for editing motioncapture, I wasn't sure it was the most responsive when it comes to viewing mocap data directly from the stage.



It would probably surprise you what can be done with MotionBuilder. We often pushed scenes with full environments, effects, lighting, and six characters all at >24 fps. We ached for a custom-built system with special features we wanted, but we were still pleasantly surpirsed at what we got out of MotionBuilder. I hope one day they show some before-and-after shots between the MotionBuilder work and the finals.

Cageman
12-20-2009, 05:22 PM
It would probably surprise you what can be done with MotionBuilder. We often pushed scenes with full environments, effects, lighting, and six characters all at >24 fps. We ached for a custom-built system with special features we wanted, but we were still pleasantly surpirsed at what we got out of MotionBuilder. I hope one day they show some before-and-after shots between the MotionBuilder work and the finals.

Yeah... I know how nice and fast it is since I've used it alot (well...pretty much on daily basis for 3+ years). :)

I just didn't know it was that versatile when it comes to working fast enough with live-feed into the app, so to speak.

:)

OnlineRender
12-20-2009, 05:48 PM
Just got back from Imax !

Cheesy LOVE STORY with Amazing Graphics ,
I spotted a few mistakes aswell "maybe I was picking it apart "

WARNING SPOILER
-------------------------------------------------------------
The captain kicks open an air-tight door "wtf!"

Lightwolf
12-20-2009, 05:51 PM
EDIT: If I remember correctly, Origami Digital developed their own inhouse tool to be able to view the performance capture/motioncapture in realtime on the actual models while it was still recorded.
Yup, launched in 2006...

Cheers,
Mike

jin choung
12-20-2009, 06:38 PM
just reading this at the book store: http://www.amazon.com/Avatar-Confidential-Biological-History-Camerons/dp/0061896756/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1261358850&sr=1-3

beautiful full color book with a lot of (i suspect) preproduction artwork and backstory research material....

and actually, it's BETTER THAN THE MOVIE!

hahaha..

you get an explanation for all of the things that are blank slates in the movie:

- unobtainium IS an ironic and stupid name - they adopted it as such!
- the wasted, burnt out, destitute HELL that is earth. they really should have started on earth - the black and grey urban husks... overcrowded to an insane degree... no food except processed psuedo meals. everything is oppressive and dark and hopeless and the only sound is the whining of the damned.

(can you imagine if all of that, jake's stay on earth was shot with extremely long lenses and the production design is just as i described above and then WHOOSH... we get our first view of pandora - what a SHOCKINGLY, STARK CONTRAST that would have been?! ugh... SUUUUUCH a wasted opportunity... cuz despite how modernized and ugly our world can be, we still have hawaii and stuff like that. pandora's lushness is NOT that starkly alien to us... but if the NIGHTMARE WORLD of act 1 was setup a bit better and really made us feel the oppressiveness of jake's world, pandora could have felt like heaven to us when we first see it)

- the book is written as an official RDA document on the tech, flora, fauna, research relevant to the pandora "exploration" but annotated by a rebel group opposed to the rape of a new world. there's more genuine drama in this book than the whole movie.

------------------------------------------------------------

and if it really was setup VISCERALLY that earth and the people of earth, through their greed and foolishness have condemned themselves. that they are starving and will die without plundering pandora....

that would've added an extra bit of complexity to notion of "race traitor".

yes, he is saving the navi but he is also consigning all of humanity to doom.

ack... in looking at all this backstory material, i really get a sense of what a "missed opportunity" the movie's story is.

jin

cresshead
12-20-2009, 06:44 PM
also the art of avatar book as well

http://www.amazon.com/Art-Avatar-James-Camerons-Adventure/dp/0810982862/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1261359776&sr=1-1

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51lyeE0raCL._SL500_AA240_.jpg

i'm hoving on the xbox360 game....once the price falls i'll pick up a copy!:)

jin choung
12-21-2009, 02:09 AM
aha.... i thought i remembered this from the io9 article - the reason why pandora's navi don't make sense in an evolutionary standpoint is because cameron buckled to hollywood and audiences:

http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.nesfa.org/press/Books/images/Anderson-1-600.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.nesfa.org/press/Books/Anderson-1.html&usg=__eqBxIj1ZDHmAzcUr0mUIeE-BfgY=&h=600&w=392&sz=68&hl=en&start=8&sig2=catytoTioethJdcOSodomQ&tbnid=PLGKEytafMbgPM:&tbnh=135&tbnw=88&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dcall%2Bme%2Bjoe%26gbv%3D2%26hl%3Den&ei=8TcvS4_rBpLmsAP52uGbBA

this rather centaurian figure there is the cover illustration for a poul anderson short story that many are saying is a direct inspiration for avatar: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Call_Me_Joe

it's interesting because this version of the "navi" would exist compatibly (in genetic terms) with the rest of cameron's pandoran fauna... six limbs.... just like the six limbs that almost every other "mammal" on the planet has... (the monkeys, the "wolves", the thanator, etc.. even the winged animals have "double wings"... meaning 4 wings plus 2 legs = 6 limbs) (whereas all of higher forms of life on earth are 4... no centaurs or pegasi or griffins or 4legged dragons with two wings too... if you have wings on earth, those are your "arms" and you get legs = 4... and again, we're talking higher order, not insects or arachnids).

the navi version from the book would present to a "hollywood audience" something far more alien and therefore harder to identify with so i can see why cameron altered it.

but i would bet that when cameron initially started writing, before he came to grips with "audience appeal", he had the navi start off as "hexapods" too.

and i think it could have worked... maybe not as centaurs but like the martians of edgar rice burroughs' stories... upright with 4 arms... like:

http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/images/c3/c17520.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/b/edgar-rice-burroughs/science-fiction-classics.htm&usg=__qttMhGdfU8VfDWt6G6ZWw8G2MCI=&h=464&w=316&sz=35&hl=en&start=10&sig2=AFqL2I72K1l50XM9y8igZg&tbnid=BtvCt-j6IH8N6M:&tbnh=128&tbnw=87&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dedgar%2Brice%2Bburroughs%2Bmars%2Bboo k%2Bcovers%26gbv%3D2%26hl%3Den&ei=SDsvS4DOI4WytAP8-pmIBA

jin

AbnRanger
12-21-2009, 03:57 AM
The story isn't new but the VFX in the movie is amazing.
This was a new version of Pochantas, with a Hardcore Liberal sermon intertwined...Anti-Capitalism/Anti-America/Anti-Military/Eco-Nutjob/Paganism, etc...

Since Cameron didn't mind trying to shove his Hugo Chavez meets Cindy Sheehan lovechild on me...after I paid the cash to step in the theater, I don't mind shoving back wherever the subject is brought up. Funny the same people scowl at any reference of Christian principles and talk about how they don't want those values pushed upon them, but I'll be damned if that is not precisely what they do, hijacking their media/entertainment industry to use it as their Soapbox/Pulpit.

Ruined an otherwise terrific movie, imho.

cresshead
12-21-2009, 04:01 AM
it's a fictional film....you not signing up to as religous cult or anything!....just kick back into your seat drag out the mince pies you brought with you to the cinema and sip from the small bottle of port in your coat pocket!....a great way to spend a couple of hours on the run up to xmas!

jin choung
12-21-2009, 04:15 AM
This was a new version of Pochantas, with a Hardcore Liberal sermon intertwined...Anti-Capitalism/Anti-America/Anti-Military/Eco-Nutjob/Paganism, etc...

Since Cameron didn't mind trying to shove his Hugo Chavez meets Cindy Sheehan lovechild on me...after I paid the cash to step in the theater, I don't mind shoving back wherever the subject is brought up. Funny the same people scowl at any reference of Christian principles and talk about how they don't want those values pushed upon them, but I'll be damned if that is not precisely what they do, hijacking their media/entertainment industry to use it as their Soapbox/Pulpit.

Ruined an otherwise terrific movie, imho.

This made me laugh out loud at how misguided it is and how you totally don't understand the issues at hand - kinda like how palin seems to think freedom of speech = freedom from criticism.

Let me illuminate the error of your ways.

1. A message in a work of art is fine and Is quite distinct from a government sanctioned, endorsed and propagated religion. You really do not even understand the objection do you? If you guys wanna make a movie, go ahead.

2. You vote with your dollars when it comes to such works of art. If it's so anti American, what kind of a traitor are you to get your jollies by giving your money to such leftist propaganda? Nobody put a gun to your head right? I suppose you would retreat with an "I didn't know!!!" to which I will respond as I seem always have to respond to those on the religious right - ignorance is no excuse. I mean srsly, you mean to say that you had your head so far in a hole that you didn't hear about the whole dances with wolves in space thing? And as for the paganism remark ... I mean .... Wtf .... You thought mebbe the navi were gonna be Protestants?! Lol. Srsly man.

Ignorance is no excuse.

Geez, you are so self contradictory that you're practically strangling yourself in illogic (and bile).

3. You can continue to propagate the notion that the right can't think their way out of a box by posting your objection as widely as you can. You will have saved the left a good deal of work.

Jin

p.s. And WTF in the world was "terrific" about the movie when you disagree with the entire premise that allows most of the action to occur in the first place?! Lol.... I mean come on! At least we don't go around saying ludicrous things like "passion of the Christ" was a perfectly good movie... Except y'know... For all that Jesus stuff....

Sigh

AbnRanger
12-21-2009, 04:27 AM
Interesting. The actors and producers seem to go out of their way not to credit the animators... who I suspect contributed a lot more then is let on.I fail to see what was so revolutionary about this film. Sure, it looks great and I'm sure they pushed the envelope as far as they could, but it's the same MoCap routine that has been around for some time...can't see anything different than what has already been done before.

Sounds to me like a bunch of Marketing Hype/BS to simply try and recoup as much as possible of that $400 mill. budget. Funny...that's capitalism at work for you, yet the movie is overtly Anti-Capitalism. Go figure! Could he EVER make a movie of such a financial scale as this and be so openly critical of the Government and such in his His Communist Eutopia? Try going to Venezuela and make a movie that blasts Chavez, or Iran and criticize AchmedDa'NutJob. How about China, where Youtube is blocked?...I bet these jokers never realized what it might really be like if they got what they want.

Only in a Capitalist/Free Market system are these kinds of Mega-Budget blockbusters able to become a reality. Can't let the facts stop them though.

AbnRanger
12-21-2009, 04:28 AM
it's a fictional film....you not signing up to as religous cult or anything!....just kick back into your seat drag out the mince pies you brought with you to the cinema and sip from the small bottle of port in your coat pocket!....a great way to spend a couple of hours on the run up to xmas!How did you know that? :D

AbnRanger
12-21-2009, 04:37 AM
This made me laugh out loud at how misguided it is and how you totally don't understand the issues at hand - kinda like how palin seems to think freedom of speech = freedom from criticism.

Let me illuminate the error of your ways.

1. A message in a work of art is fine and Is quite distinct from a government sanctioned, endorsed and propagated religion. You really do not even understand the objection do you? If you guys wanna make a movie, go ahead.

2. You vote with your dollars when it comes to such works of art. If it's so anti American, what kind of a traitor are you to get your jollies by giving your money to such leftist propaganda? Nobody put a gun to your head right? I suppose you would retreat with an "I didn't know!!!" to which I will respond as I seem always have to respond to those on the religious right - ignorance is no excuse. I mean srsly, you mean to say that you had your head so far in a hole that you didn't hear about the whole dances with wolves in space thing? Ignorance is no excuse.

Geez, you are so self contradictory that you're practically strangling yourself in illogic (and bile).

3. You can continue to propagate the notion that the right can't think their way out of a box by posting your objection as widely as you can. You will have saved the left a good deal of work.

Jin

p.s. And WTF in the world was "terrific" about the movie when you disagree with the entire premise that allows most of the action to occur in the first place?! Lol.... I mean come on! At least we don't go around saying ludicrous things like "passion of the Christ" was a perfectly good movie... Except y'know... For all that Jesus stuff....

SighFirst of all...I don't watch much TV at all, so I don't catch anything said about the movie through reviews. You're right though...I'll have to make sure I research online everytime I want to catch a flick cause it's become more and more common to have all the Communist Wing Loons/Michael Moores in the industry trying to shove their garbage down our throat, using the guise of entertainment for an entry point.

I'm not offended at every little thing I see, but come on...if the shoe was on the other foot, you'd be screaming Bloody Murder...and you know you would. The themes of this movie...especially as an Army Veteran, was an overt slap to the face. It's the Military that has preserved his right to make movies like this, and again...it's a Capitalistic/Free Market society that provides him the means and even the motivation to make such a film of this scale. It's also funny that they try to put an ugly face on Capitalism in this film, when they don't mind at all that I'm being gouged financially when I pay for tickets that have gone up dramtically the past few years and with the concessions at theaters. They don't mind making a huge profit themselves, they just have a problem with others making one.

There are many things that leftists and conservatives can agree on, why not, for broader appeal and for the sake of not cramming your idealogy down other people's throat (unsuspectingly in a FX flick)...just like they don't appreciate having Christian principles espoused in public...make a film that steers clear for the most part of controversial issues. Extolling treason in our military...now that's bound to warm peoples hearts over this Holdiay season. :rolleyes:

jin choung
12-21-2009, 04:45 AM
Haha.... And it's so funny that the right claims to worship God but also kneels to capitalism... Mammon in so many words. When God said you can't serve two masters. Srsly, one Jesus' hobbies was knocking "capitalism". What was his advice to the tax collector? WHO is less likely to enter the kingdom of heaven than a camel through the eye of a needle? He did say that the WEALTHY will inherit the earth didn't He? No?

Y'know how much emphasis Jesus placed on making money?!

The rights position here is ludicrously untenable.

Claim Jesus or claim mammon. You can't claim both.

Jin

ps you know what is a stellar example of capitalism? The illicit drug trade. Thanks for playing.

jin choung
12-21-2009, 04:52 AM
I'm not offended at every little thing I see, but come on...if the shoe was on the other foot, you'd be screaming Bloody Murder...and you know you would.

No I wouldn't because I'm a reasonable human being.

I saw the passion of the Christ for fs sake! You think I was b1tching about the Christian message?!

Lol.

And dude, haven't you been paying attention at church? Hollywood is your enemy. Expect to be offended.

As for offending your military sensibilities - recognize - what the American military did to the native Americans is shameful.

That is the analog of this movie.

To NOT agree with that brings shame to the uniform.

Jin

Kuzey
12-21-2009, 06:01 AM
It looks like this might have been the inspiration for that six legged creature on page five of this thread.

As a car it might work, but as an animal it should be evenly spaced out....I would think. I can't see how it could run without falling down every two seconds...or not have the front pair of legs damaged from the claws of the second pair.

http://www.topspeed.com/cars/covini/2003-c6wthe-six-wheel-sports-car-ar440.html

Anyone seen the film more than twice...yet?

Kuzey

cresshead
12-21-2009, 06:13 AM
this 'could' be taken as a historical look at human history...

1.romans invading europe and eventually britain for tin and other resources etc

2.great british empire spreading out across the world and getting the resources of rhodeshia, india, west indies, american colonies, canada, australia, borneo etc...wow the brithish nearly ruled the world at one time...remember the PINK areas of the maps back then!

3.corporations taking over some of the isalnds of the pacific and strip mining them and moving out the population in the 60's and early 70's

4.the persian empire

5. the ottoman empire

5.egyptian hold on trade around the arabic region

6.the german 2nd world war, kicking off with hitler pushing into poland using blitzkreig against the mounted horse and cannon army of poland...this to me is most similar to avatar in the battle seq.

7.japan taking over of south china in the late 30's anfd then the japanese entering the 2nd world war

8.the portugese colonies of south america in 1400+ stripping the country of it's gold and minerals and killing countless natives in the process



to put it plain and simple...and don't take too much offense with this, but most americans need to 'get out more' and look at world history and not just some jumped up local politics inside the usa...

personally speaking i can see alot of the above in the film AVATAR...yet i enjoyed the 'story' for what it was...a science fiction tale done really well and quite entertaining it was too.

cresshead
12-21-2009, 06:23 AM
It looks like this might have been the inspiration for that six legged creature on page five of this thread.

As a car it might work, but as an animal it should be evenly spaced out....I would think. I can't see how it could run without falling down every two seconds...or not have the front pair of legs damaged from the claws of the second pair.

http://www.topspeed.com/cars/covini/2003-c6wthe-six-wheel-sports-car-ar440.html

Anyone seen the film more than twice...yet?

Kuzey

re 6 wheels....you don't remember this then?
http://www.autoevolution.com/images/news/formula-one-6-wheel-cars-6491_2.jpg

as for seeing the film more than twice...yeah i plan too see it again and want to also see it in 2D just to compare.

Kuzey
12-21-2009, 06:29 AM
re 6 wheels....you don't remember this then?

as for seeing the film more than twice...yeah i plan too see it again and want to also see it in 2D just to compare.

I never knew formula one had cars with 6 wheels in the past...bring them back I say :D

Classic stuff.

Edit: just took the image out to not take up more space :)

Kuzey

SBowie
12-21-2009, 06:35 AM
this 'could' be taken as a historical look at human history...Let's not overlook the Conquistadors, who decimated South and Central America while enriching the coffers of Spain and Portugal.

Chris S. (Fez)
12-21-2009, 06:42 AM
as for seeing the film more than twice...yeah i plan too see it again and want to also see it in 2D just to compare.

I might see it this morning in 2D and ask if the 3D projection at the theater is indeed Dolby (which Jin says is the devil).

cresshead
12-21-2009, 07:52 AM
Let's not overlook the Conquistadors, who decimated South and Central America while enriching the coffers of Spain and Portugal.

yep that's number 8. on my list above.:thumbsup:

Mike_RB
12-21-2009, 08:09 AM
yep that's number 8. on my list above.:thumbsup:

Have you read Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond? Great book and explains 'why' all these uneven fights happened, and 'why' big white man is in control today and not the natives. Mostly comes down to one side having all the farm animals and grains and the others, not so much.

Titus
12-21-2009, 08:14 AM
personally speaking i can see alot of the above in the film AVATAR...yet i enjoyed the 'story' for what it was...a science fiction tale done really well and quite entertaining it was too.

I enjoyed the film as well, despicting the fact the story was basic, predictable and full of planar characters.

How is doing the movie in the box office BTW?

cresshead
12-21-2009, 08:24 AM
How is doing the movie in the box office BTW?

http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2009/12/20/avatar-takes-flight-million-weekend/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%253A+foxnews%252Flatest+%2528FOX News.com+-+Latest+Headlines%2529

Titus
12-21-2009, 08:24 AM
Have you read Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond? Great book and explains 'why' all these uneven fights happened, and 'why' big white man is in control today and not the natives. Mostly comes down to one side having all the farm animals and grains and the others, not so much.

You see this happening even today. An example, in Chile wood companies take control of the forests in the original land of Mapuches, south of the country. Mapuches don't have the means to fight back legally, ending imprisoned because of their desperation. Today in the 21st century!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mapuche

robertoortiz
12-21-2009, 08:48 AM
Let's not overlook the Conquistadors, who decimated South and Central America while enriching the coffers of Spain and Portugal.

Yep, my people are a prime example of that. The native people from my homeland (Puerto Rico) were completly wiped out by the Spanish Conquistadores. Gone.The Taino indian culture was gone in one generation and they only live as pottery in museums.
The Spanish were nasty pieces of workut the Portuguese were even worst.

I would suggest to all to watch an awesome film from the 80's called:
The Mission that shows how genocide was an accepted paractice in the colonies of the Americas.

SBowie
12-21-2009, 08:57 AM
yep that's number 8. on my list above.:thumbsup:Oops, sorry - 'swot I get for skimming. :p

cresshead
12-21-2009, 09:03 AM
re the mining aspect of AVATAR to a realworld link you could look at the isnand of nauru in the pacific ocean where they strip mined phosphate ...the isalnd went bankrupt in 2004 once they had taken what they wanted and made the once idillic island a wasteland and just left it to decay.

http://www.royall.co.uk/rik/2image/nauru4.jpg

http://photos-a.ak.facebook.com/photos-ak-sf2p/v170/21/64/629652618/n629652618_596104_6669.jpg

http://cache.virtualtourist.com/3452320-Interior_of_Nauru_from_the_air-Nauru.jpg

phosphate=unobtainium

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/95/Nauruan-warrior-1880ers.jpg


naura has taken some unususal measures to try and get back on it's feet in recent years see the wiki
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nauru

seems JC has done quite abit of research on history in the world to make an interesting feature film.

GregMalick
12-21-2009, 11:46 AM
Aloha Cress,

I like your analysis.

Unfortunately, including the dialog "Shock & Awe" out of the mouth of the commander seems to indicate that Cameron (and/or his writers) meant something more specific. Also labeling the natives as 'terrorists" instead of barbarians/savages seems also to have a very specific contemporary focus. I would be extremely naive if I didn't suspect that a Canadian film-maker that quotes an American President in a film wasn't trying to be specific. And the only accents I heard in the movie were American accents. I might have missed something since the visuals were so overpowering - but that's what I came away with.

I find this especially sad for a couple of reasons:

My godson did a tour in Iraq and the work being done there is nothing like this movie portrays.

This weekend I heard a NPR broadcast of displaced indigenous people in Columbia. Here's a link to a site (http://www.internal-displacement.org/countries/colombia).

It seems that the current indigenous people of the Earth would be better served if Cameron had focused more on some of these existing peoples' plights. Of course, the US is an easy, popular target to criticize. It sells tickets - which is what drives those decisions.

oh well. Americans like shoot-em-up/lots-of-explosion movies and everyone else likes to see us get our come-uppance.

Gee -- I'm really starting to dislike Avatar.


this 'could' be taken as a historical look at human history...

1.romans invading europe and eventually britain for tin and other resources etc

2.great british empire spreading out across the world and getting the resources of rhodeshia, india, west indies, american colonies, canada, australia, borneo etc...wow the brithish nearly ruled the world at one time...remember the PINK areas of the maps back then!

3.corporations taking over some of the isalnds of the pacific and strip mining them and moving out the population in the 60's and early 70's

4.the persian empire

5. the ottoman empire

5.egyptian hold on trade around the arabic region

6.the german 2nd world war, kicking off with hitler pushing into poland using blitzkreig against the mounted horse and cannon army of poland...this to me is most similar to avatar in the battle seq.

7.japan taking over of south china in the late 30's anfd then the japanese entering the 2nd world war

8.the portugese colonies of south america in 1400+ stripping the country of it's gold and minerals and killing countless natives in the process



to put it plain and simple...and don't take too much offense with this, but most americans need to 'get out more' and look at world history and not just some jumped up local politics inside the usa...

personally speaking i can see alot of the above in the film AVATAR...yet i enjoyed the 'story' for what it was...a science fiction tale done really well and quite entertaining it was too.

robertoortiz
12-21-2009, 11:53 AM
Science fiction at its peak, between the 50's and 60's, served has been a way to talk about real world issues.

I am glad that two of the best films of 09 were Sci fi tales WHITH A FREAKIN POINT.

District 9 and Avatar.

Two perfect examples of this are of course The Twilight Zone, and Star Trek.
Hell Westerns also served also served this function too, High Noon being the perfect example of this.

And to be fair Avater was not taking a potshot at America, it was going after corporations that in effect work with impunity by being amoral entities, only caring about the bottom line.

Markc
12-21-2009, 12:40 PM
Saw it at the weekend in Imax, and loved it.
I was really expecting to be disappointed, after all the hype, but glad I wasn't.

Mark The Great
12-21-2009, 12:55 PM
And to be fair Avater was not taking a potshot at America, it was going after corporations that in effect work with impunity by being amoral entities, only caring about the bottom line.

My thoughts exactly.

I saw it yesterday and, though I didn't agree with every tiny iota of message in the movie, I still thought it was incredible.

I might have to see it again.

jin choung
12-21-2009, 12:58 PM
My godson did a tour in Iraq and the work being done there is nothing like this movie portrays.

"nothing like this movie portrays".... ummmm.... you do know that the movie is not SPECIFICALLY a movie about iraq right? i'm assuming your godson wasn't tearing *** in an amp suit through the jungles of iraq for unobtainium... do i have that right?

it is a COMPOSITE situation in which IMPERIAL IMPULSE is critiqued broadly... and if the shoe fits NOW, well then....

but as for you're evaluation of "shock and awe" and "terrorists", that is CORRECT.

it IS an artistic commentary on american policy as of late and the simple mindedness of many of the proponents of war. particularly under that intellectual giant among men, dubya.

are you arguing that our military adventures, particularly in iraq, were well thought out and justified? that we didn't bring a sh1tload of misery on a people that actually might have been better off under saddam? certainly, a good deal of them would be ALIVE under saddam....

but if anything, the movie is a statement on global over-arching policies of nations - not the actions of your godson (for fs sake).

and this is a problem with people in general and you prove it with your statement - your objectivity gets stripped when you are at all personally involved.

your godson was there...

so fing what?!?!

does that somehow guarantee the moral rectitude of the action there? was your godson somehow directly affecting the overall actions of the military or had direct input into american policy? shall we hold your godson responsible for abu graib? or the GIs that slaughtered a group of innocent iraqis execution style?

of course not.

to be clear: JUST BECAUSE YOU, YOUR FAMILY, FRIENDS OR NATION IS INVOLVED DOES NOT MEAN, BY DEFINITION, THAT IT IS RIGHT!

and here's a scarier thought - under this kind of "involvement bias" do you think that there weren't plenty of germans and japanese who felt that they were in the right because "my son was a soldier"?

the idiotic truth of it is that NO VILLAIN THINKS HE HIMSELF IS A VILLAIN... even though he IS.

the fact is, even if your son was a soldier in any given military, including ours, it does NOT in ANY WAY mean that what the military or government does is JUST or VIRTUOUS.

it is SHOCKING to me that this is not clear to most americans: "JUST BECAUSE WE DO IT DON'T MAKE IT FING RIGHT!"

you know what that means? that means that if the wrong yahoos are in office, your son, my son, your very self can be involved in some heinous sh1t.

if that scares you, it should.

jin

jin choung
12-21-2009, 01:14 PM
I might see it this morning in 2D and ask if the 3D projection at the theater is indeed Dolby (which Jin says is the devil).

these are the offending glasses of that system:

http://www.rollanet.org/~vbeydler/van/3dreview/Dolby3Dglasses-550x290.jpg

note that the lenses appear iridescent and silverized.

---------------------------------------------------------------

these are the good glasses for the good system - reald:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/47/REALD.JPG

they are light, plain grey lenses that can be mistaken for sunglasses. there's no way the dolby 3d glasses could be mistaken for sunglasses.

jin

arsad
12-21-2009, 02:17 PM
Have seen it today and liked it a lot. A bit disgusted because the cinema had the bad system "Xpand",
an active system which desaturates and darkens the perception.

Otherwise a perfect movie.

I loved the complexity of the world shown and I didn't "feel" the 2:40 h at all.
As soon as I can I will see it again with the realD system. Maybe an IMax at Disneyland here in Paris. ;-)

Ivan D. Young
12-21-2009, 02:41 PM
I really do not know why folks have to add all this stuff to a simplistic movie plot written 20 years ago updated with a few modern lines here and there. Its main purpose is to Out Star Wars --Star Wars! It was good but I am not quite sure if it does that?

It was fun leave it at that!

I am not even sure if it was a game Changer! But it was definately great quality and the next step in the Ladder of CG progress!

IgnusFast
12-21-2009, 04:24 PM
Wow, what a fantastic movie!

I loved the 3D effects; for a change, they were used more as presentation instead of exploitation. But I had a migraine halfway through. I guess I'm just too old for flat-screen 3D.

Visuals? ****. Just amazing. You could see the focus - the human/hard-body stuff was excellent, but the alien visual were just astounding. I completely bought the friendlies and the dragons.

The story was decent. With the exception of the "terrorists" comment, I didn't really take it as strictly American. Almost every major country in the world has been either a transgressor or conqueror at some point. But we do seem to excel at being the ******** of the world. But I actually liked the native angle; I thought it was sufficiently adult and appropriate. Though the magic booby coverings were a little silly. :)

Music? I'm really sorry, but was there even music in that movie? My eyes were so oversaturated I didn't notice. Maybe on the next, NON-3D viewing.

Overall, my whole family liked it. Definitely a must-see.

aurora
12-21-2009, 04:45 PM
Dang, in the lab all day today but that leaves tomorrow free and a nice semi-new Imax theater just waiting for me.

The one issue I have with the movie, prior to actually seeing it, is the name Unobtainium. Same name used for the hull material of the ship in 'The Core'. It has also been used in many other stories all with impossible characteristics. In fact it has become pretty much a generic name for materials with almost 'magical', as Arthur C. Clarke would term it, qualities. Why could Cameron not choose a name that was not so insulting to those who would most likely make this movie a cult classic and thus know that name from its almost comical history?

GregMalick
12-21-2009, 05:04 PM
"nothing like this movie portrays".... ummmm.... you do know that the movie is not SPECIFICALLY a movie about iraq right? i'm assuming your godson wasn't tearing *** in an amp suit through the jungles of iraq for unobtainium... do i have that right?

it is a COMPOSITE situation in which IMPERIAL IMPULSE is critiqued broadly... and if the shoe fits NOW, well then....

but as for you're evaluation of "shock and awe" and "terrorists", that is CORRECT.

it IS an artistic commentary on american policy as of late and the simple mindedness of many of the proponents of war. particularly under that intellectual giant among men, dubya.

are you arguing that our military adventures, particularly in iraq, were well thought out and justified? that we didn't bring a sh1tload of misery on a people that actually might have been better off under saddam? certainly, a good deal of them would be ALIVE under saddam....

but if anything, the movie is a statement on global over-arching policies of nations - not the actions of your godson (for fs sake).

and this is a problem with people in general and you prove it with your statement - your objectivity gets stripped when you are at all personally involved.

your godson was there...

so fing what?!?!

does that somehow guarantee the moral rectitude of the action there? was your godson somehow directly affecting the overall actions of the military or had direct input into american policy? shall we hold your godson responsible for abu graib? or the GIs that slaughtered a group of innocent iraqis execution style?

of course not.

to be clear: JUST BECAUSE YOU, YOUR FAMILY, FRIENDS OR NATION IS INVOLVED DOES NOT MEAN, BY DEFINITION, THAT IT IS RIGHT!

and here's a scarier thought - under this kind of "involvement bias" do you think that there weren't plenty of germans and japanese who felt that they were in the right because "my son was a soldier"?

the idiotic truth of it is that NO VILLAIN THINKS HE HIMSELF IS A VILLAIN... even though he IS.

the fact is, even if your son was a soldier in any given military, including ours, it does NOT in ANY WAY mean that what the military or government does is JUST or VIRTUOUS.

it is SHOCKING to me that this is not clear to most americans: "JUST BECAUSE WE DO IT DON'T MAKE IT FING RIGHT!"

you know what that means? that means that if the wrong yahoos are in office, your son, my son, your very self can be involved in some heinous sh1t.

if that scares you, it should.

jin

How can I argue with such eloquence? I apologize because my post did indeed make it sound like I thought this was a documentary about Iraq. And until now, I actually believed that everything single thing the US every did was perfect and right. Thank God you set me straight. I can't believe how blind I was.

Please consider running for office or becoming a playwright. A lot of Americans need to be set straight by this argument.

Perhaps you should send this to James Cameron so he can include it in the DVD when it's released. Surely it would help a lot of people who were confused as I was.

Juancho00
12-21-2009, 05:26 PM
it IS an artistic commentary on american policy as of late and the simple mindedness of many of the proponents of war.

jin

I strongly disagree with this comment and any other that claims that James Cameron wanted to make a political statement. If anything, this movie is commentary on human behaviour for the last 4000 years of recorded history, not current events, not USA in particular.

The script of the movie was done in the 90's.

The so called simplicity of the script seems to reach deep indeed

I really ask why people feel they are being pointed at? As Jin was saying, the shoe fitted, and scarily more often than not. I guess it is normal to feel remorse for the atrocities committed by the political group one supports. And of course who wants to take responsibility?

cowards

Yeah... probably the situation is not that bad... everybody is having a ball....

jin choung
12-21-2009, 05:29 PM
A lot of Americans need to be set straight by this argument.

that's the sad and scary thing.



Unfortunately, including the dialog "Shock & Awe" out of the mouth of the commander seems to indicate that Cameron (and/or his writers) meant something more specific. Also labeling the natives as 'terrorists" instead of barbarians/savages seems also to have a very specific contemporary focus. I would be extremely naive if I didn't suspect that a Canadian film-maker that quotes an American President in a film wasn't trying to be specific.
....
My godson did a tour in Iraq and the work being done there is nothing like this movie portrays.
...
oh well. Americans like shoot-em-up/lots-of-explosion movies and everyone else likes to see us get our come-uppance.

Gee -- I'm really starting to dislike Avatar.

jin

jin choung
12-21-2009, 05:40 PM
I strongly disagree with this comment and any other that claims that James Cameron wanted to make a political statement.

well as greg pointed out, i seriously doubt that "shock and awe" and "terrorists" were used incidentally. as many years ago as the script in general was written, those two words were used with intent.

cameron doesn't need me to interpret or lay blame... he's doing it himself.

cameron's pointing fingers and the people who are at the business end of those fingers are going to see the movie (for some reason), really enjoying the heck out of it (despite themselves) and b1tching about the politics afterwards.

and considering that you vote with your dollars when it comes to artistic endeavors like this, cameron's laughing all the way to the bank.

shrug.

jin

jin choung
12-21-2009, 05:45 PM
I guess it is normal to feel remorse for the atrocities committed by the political group one supports.

sadly, this is not the case.

feeling remorse would be a step up!

the more popular option is simply to deny wrongdoing altogether. "spin" it another way. obfuscate and camouflage.

and to believe, in fact, if not articulated as such, "when we do it, it's ok".

jin

cresshead
12-21-2009, 05:56 PM
we are getting off track here i know but there's alot of truth in the saying history is written by the victors of wars...just how many 2nd world war films/books of note are from the perspective of the germans and what atrocities the allies did the them...really no one wants to know and it just doesnt 'sell'... and yet i'm sure there's more than a few 'bad eggs' over on the allies.
i surpose it all depends who 'we' are...

if 'we' are the winners then the other side are the bad guys...

flims tend to paint in broad, popular strokes...we had this with westerns when the bad guys always wore black hats...or indeed darth vader!

in the end it's a fictional story [avatar] just why people want to micro disect it could be down to how much they like it and want to get as much/any more meaning from it they can...

jin choung
12-21-2009, 05:58 PM
we had this with westerns when the bad guys always wore black hats...

or were indians!

jin

cresshead
12-21-2009, 06:20 PM
or were indians!

jin

yes indeed! :D

of course avatar tuns that on it's head as the cowboys ARE the indians and the cavalry are the animals riding/flying it to save the day!

:D

Rayek
12-21-2009, 07:52 PM
I watched, and expected this to be akin to 'Dances with Wolves' in space. Nothing like it. Some of the scenes did remind me a lot of Disney's Pocahontas, though. Almost identical.

Loved it, and the 160 minutes flew by - I am going to watch it a second time tomorrow. The 3d supports the movie, rather than being a gimmick (which I felt was the case with Christmas Carol).

'We only borrow the energy; when we die it is returned' - how I wish everyone would take that to their hearts.

Speedmonk42
12-21-2009, 08:27 PM
I really enjoyed it. I would recommend it to anyone.

After seeing it, I would really like to see Naussica valley of the wind redone with this level of tech/effort.

The forest/world of Naussica could be done justice with this.

robertoortiz
12-21-2009, 08:44 PM
I really enjoyed it. I would recommend it to anyone.

After seeing it, I would really like to see Naussica valley of the wind redone with this level of tech/effort.

The forest/world of Naussica could be done justice with this.

Wow, now there is a heavy duty idea.

Speedmonk42
12-21-2009, 11:11 PM
Wow, now there is a heavy duty idea.

But.... if it is not done at this level or better, I would personally hunt down those responsible.

I think this movie may convince Hayao to change his mind about software.

He could, with the right team produce something that people just stare at and forget to eat.

Mike_RB
12-21-2009, 11:15 PM
But.... if it is not done at this level or better, I would personally hunt down those responsible.

I think this movie may convince Hayao to change his mind about software.

He could, with the right team produce something that people just stare at and forget to eat.

Not so sure about this.... His films have the charm they do becasue of the look they have....

glebe digital
12-21-2009, 11:30 PM
or were indians!

jin

Wavering Jin?

Come join the light.

Peace & Love
orkneylad

glebe digital
12-22-2009, 01:17 AM
@megalodon
Damn straight! You've been ticked! LMFAO

Now you may pass go, collect 200.

Buey, were natural police.

Peace & Love
orkneylad

Speedmonk42
12-22-2009, 01:42 AM
Not so sure about this.... His films have the charm they do becasue of the look they have....

It wouldn't be the same.

But I think Naussica in particular works for this better than any of the others by far.

cresshead
12-22-2009, 03:29 AM
Wavering Jin?

Come join the light.

Peace & Love
orkneylad

yeah welcome to my ignore list! :D

Goodbye! :)

Chris S. (Fez)
12-22-2009, 04:16 AM
Saw a 2D screening last night and it was like coming home. The image was crystal clear and no headache.

The projection system is digital Real3D and not Dolby. I unfortunately seem to be in the can't-tolerate-3D demographic. The theater manager said they had quite a few people experiencing "discomfort" and exchanging tickets for 2D shows so, while I am not alone, I am not 100% convinced their projectors are tuned correctly. I can say with absolute certainty that the 3D screening was clear but not crystal clear like the 2D.

I'll go check out an Imax 3D documentary in a couple weeks. If I still get a headache from that screening then that will be the nail in the 3D coffin for me.

Hieron
12-22-2009, 04:50 AM
Have you read Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond? Great book and explains 'why' all these uneven fights happened, and 'why' big white man is in control today and not the natives. Mostly comes down to one side having all the farm animals and grains and the others, not so much.

/agree

Very good book, worth reading for everyone, with many little bits of info on the side.

firstsingle
12-22-2009, 05:42 AM
Just saw it last night. I'm still in complete awe. The most amazing movie since Star Wars. Wow, Wow, Wow! Going again on Christmas Eve.

Norman
12-22-2009, 07:58 AM
I just started reading the Avatar Activist Survival Guide, recommended by Jin and it truly does add a lot of understanding to the movie. I've only seen it once, but, this book will make the second time all the more enjoyable. This movie should have been at least half an hour longer, but it would have scared people out of seeing it.

GregMalick
12-22-2009, 08:26 AM
yeah welcome to my ignore list! :D

Goodbye! :)

Aloha Cress,
I completely forgot about this feature.
What a great way to make the forums more palatable.
Thanks for the reminder.

cresshead
12-22-2009, 08:57 AM
Aloha Cress,
I completely forgot about this feature.
What a great way to make the forums more palatable.
Thanks for the reminder.


yeah...to be fair i only have 2 on my ignore list...which goes to show you that i'm pretty tollerent and that nearly everyone on here is 'a good egg'!

:D

Nangleator
12-22-2009, 09:12 AM
A different look (http://io9.com/5422666/when-will-white-people-stop-making-movies-like-avatar?skyline=true&s=x) at the story.

Meshman
12-22-2009, 09:49 AM
I really enjoyed it. I would recommend it to anyone.

After seeing it, I would really like to see Naussica valley of the wind redone with this level of tech/effort.

The forest/world of Naussica could be done justice with this.

It seemed to me the flock of creatures flying next to the chopper during Jake's initial entry into the forest were inspired by the toxic jungle insects.

A nod to Miyazaki by the designers? ... maybe.

Chris S. (Fez)
12-22-2009, 10:11 AM
A different look (http://io9.com/5422666/when-will-white-people-stop-making-movies-like-avatar?skyline=true&s=x) at the story.

Interesting link. Thanks.

I think it is naive to insist audiences would relate equally to a native Navi protagonist.

A human hero who is explicitly called a "child" is a conceit/device that lets human audiences learn Navi ways from a remedial level. By following Jake's transformation from human to Navi, Cameron allows the audience to vicariously become aliens. Indeed, when Jake sheds his humanity WE shed our humanity.

A Navi nature documentary without human narration might be fascinating and beautiful but I don't believe it would be as engaging.

Dexter2999
12-22-2009, 10:35 AM
Yeah, the story isn't so much about "white guilt", it's about being an oppressor and seeing the error of their ways. Seems much of that type of behavior has been white people, then again the history books are largely written by white people, so go figure.
I think pretty much every continent has had one culture oppressed by another, Native American tribes, Asian cultures, African tribes... it's not all about white people. Whatever, her site, she can have her views.

You know what would save cinema for me? Theaters that didn't allow cell service inside.

Nangleator
12-22-2009, 10:40 AM
It isn't the white guilt part that bothers me. It's the 'great white hope' trope. The white guy steps in and is assimilated into the tribe of natives, yet despite his childlike nature, is able to accomplish what none of the natives can. He can take charge and lead.

It isn't because he's smarter or stronger... but just intrinsically better because he's got white privilege to begin with.

(Tarzan became king of the jungle because anyone of noble blood would naturally rise to the top when put amongst... Blech! Horrible, horrible notion.)

I haven't seen Avatar, but when I watch it, I won't be able to stop myself looking for evidence of this.

jin choung
12-22-2009, 12:22 PM
It isn't the white guilt part that bothers me. It's the 'great white hope' trope. The white guy steps in and is assimilated into the tribe of natives, yet despite his childlike nature, is able to accomplish what none of the natives can. He can take charge and lead.

It isn't because he's smarter or stronger... but just intrinsically better because he's got white privilege to begin with.

(Tarzan became king of the jungle because anyone of noble blood would naturally rise to the top when put amongst... Blech! Horrible, horrible notion.)

I haven't seen Avatar, but when I watch it, I won't be able to stop myself looking for evidence of this.

yeah... that's a difficult notion for hollywood to get away from... in order to have a protagonist that the audience can relate with, they invariably make him the savior of the ethnics.

a chunk of spielberg's repertoir is this disagreeable but understandable notion - white guy saves the ethnics:

- temple of doom
- e.t.
- even schindler's list!

i don't believe it's being done out of malicious intent actually... as others noted, it's one of the ways to get an american audience involved in a story about non americans... but as noted, when you make the protag a white dude amidst non-whites, he's gonna invariably end up saving "the world" of non-whites in the story - simply from the nature of most stories.

jin

Nangleator
12-22-2009, 12:30 PM
Yup. Kinda inevitable, for reasons other than racism.

That's why there's nothing new under the sun. There are so many rules we have to follow, in creating!

Think we'll ever have an alien character without eyes or a face? No...

Kuzey
12-22-2009, 12:45 PM
Yup. Kinda inevitable, for reasons other than racism.

That's why there's nothing new under the sun. There are so many rules we have to follow, in creating!

Think we'll ever have an alien character without eyes or a face? No...

Great article that.

Well...there was 'the blob'....no eyes and face...I believe. BTW...that would make a great remake :hey:

Kuzey

Chris S. (Fez)
12-22-2009, 12:51 PM
Great article that.

Well...there was 'the blob'....no eyes and face...I believe. BTW...that would make a great remake :hey:

Kuzey

I think "Flubber" had a face...

They should Flubberize that Billy Idol song: "Face without Eyes" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SpmWIyjilQo)

Speedmonk42
12-22-2009, 01:14 PM
In one of the shots when they are flying through the floating mountain thingies....

Did anyone notice a sphere in the background in front of one of the mountains?

aidenvfx
12-22-2009, 01:19 PM
Saw a 2D screening last night and it was like coming home. The image was crystal clear and no headache.

The projection system is digital Real3D and not Dolby. I unfortunately seem to be in the can't-tolerate-3D demographic. The theater manager said they had quite a few people experiencing "discomfort" and exchanging tickets for 2D shows so, while I am not alone, I am not 100% convinced their projectors are tuned correctly. I can say with absolute certainty that the 3D screening was clear but not crystal clear like the 2D.

I'll go check out an Imax 3D documentary in a couple weeks. If I still get a headache from that screening then that will be the nail in the 3D coffin for me.

I found the 3D hurt my eyes but then found out that those like myself who have a astigmatism will have major problems with 3D. I am thinking about finding some clip-on 3D glasses to see if having the 3D lenses closer to my eyes will work.

Paul24
12-22-2009, 01:42 PM
I also have astigmatism and did no suffer at all, lucky me.
I loved AVATAR :thumbsup: to J Cameron.

robertoortiz
12-22-2009, 04:02 PM
Guess what guys,

the movie made $16,385,820
ON A MONDAY
in the US.
http://www.boxofficemojo.com/daily/chart/?sortdate=2009-12-21&p=.htm

Dexter2999
12-22-2009, 04:09 PM
Still, I AM LEGEND had a higher opening weekend. So, not only did the most expensive movie ever not have the highest opening ever...it didn't even have the highest December opening on record. The one record it got was "highest opening for a 3D movie".

cresshead
12-22-2009, 04:20 PM
Still, I AM LEGEND had a higher opening weekend. So, not only did the most expensive movie ever not have the highest opening ever...it didn't even have the highest December opening on record. The one record it got was "highest opening for a 3D movie".

correct, but you do have to factor in some stuff that previous film opening did not have to deal with

1.12 months of resession in the ecconomies world wide
2.snow storms in usa and uk
3.increased ticket price for the 3d preseentation
4.limited 3d screens around the world.

one thing i am seeing and hearing is that unlike most films Avatar does seem to be gretting repeat visitors, maybe not on a scale of titannic but a significant number are seeking out a repeat viewing either in a different format [3d, real 3d, imax, dolby or 2d] or just to go back and watch the whole thing once again and let this one 'sink in'

peronally i've sen avatar once so far [real3d]
and i'm looking to see ti in 2d in the new year and maybe in 3d again too, seeing as the dvd won't be shipping until summer 2010

Titus
12-22-2009, 04:33 PM
In one of the shots when they are flying through the floating mountain thingies....

Did anyone notice a sphere in the background in front of one of the mountains?

Of course, it was an unobtanium sphere :D. My friend at Weta told me unobanium was the reason for the flying rocks.

cresshead
12-22-2009, 04:49 PM
real world sculpts for the film of some of the characters

http://www.schellstudio.com/gallery/thumbnails.php?album=172&page=1

http://www.schellstudio.com/gallery/albums/fi-avatar/normal-film-avatar-006.jpg

http://www.schellstudio.com/gallery/albums/fi-avatar/normal-film-avatar-020.jpg

http://www.schellstudio.com/gallery/albums/fi-avatar/normal-film-avatar-041.jpg

http://www.schellstudio.com/gallery/albums/fi-avatar/normal-film-avatar-064.jpg

i dunno about you guys, but 'i so would'...she's ace! :D

Intuition
12-22-2009, 05:20 PM
Its funny. Even my most liberal friends said that Pandora was an anagram for "liberal guilt" and then the next day we see this article on io9 about the white guilt of many of today's bigger Sci-fi movies.

I am indifferent.

Avatar was a lot of fun. I was really entertained. I do think that it would have served James Cameron much better had he painted the humans as just as good as the Navi, but for different reasons. I would have really liked to have a harder time deciding who to side with in the movie.

This would have been a much superior script in my opinion. Instead of making the marines/mercenaries as jarhead "hoorah" as possible, you instead give the viewer the idea that the marines are there to help get this unobtanium because it can fix Earth and keep it from dying.

In this scenario you still are pissed at the humans because they ruined the Earth in the first place but you can empathise with them and get all twisted up when the two sides collide.

Instead we get Ribisi being a cookie cutter easy to hate through left wing lenses cartoon version of a corporation owner. Are there people like that? Yeah. Are they all like that? Is Steve Jobs like that?

Now, in the end I had alot of fun, enjoyed the battles and even the love story and can forgive James Cameron for being a bit dated on his political painting. I feel the same way about right wing stuff as of late too. I mean I am still a republican minded small govt, self sufficiency, free market guy. That doesn't mean I can stand listening to Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck. They aren't winning any one over that isn't already in thier camp. Same goes for Michael Moore. I agree that we need to stop Wal-Mart from selling ammo to minors, but when he asks some lady at the cachier how she feels about selling ammo to minors he loses me because she probably had nothing to do with it. It happens on both sides.

I also have family in Iraq. Doesn't mean it makes Iraq rightious. It just means I would like people to remember that marines in real life are some of the best, well mannered people you will ever meet for the most part. Yet when I see Avatar I am not worried about it painting the wrong picture about marines in Iraq because its not up to me to control what other people think. If Avatar makes someone think marines are bad because of the way the human military are portrayed in the movie then what can I do about it?

Not much. Let these things speak for themselves.

Why did so many christians get caught up ragging on the Da Vinci code? I mean if your faith is so weak that a fictional movie can shake it maybe the problem isn't the movie but your own.

In the mean time I totally had a blast watching Avatar. It is a movie filled with left-white American guilt. Yet the premise of the history of the USA is a great foundation for such storytelling.

I will go see it again soon. :D

Intuition
12-22-2009, 05:24 PM
Wow, love the sculpts. :D

Zithen
12-22-2009, 06:25 PM
I agree with jin on many points of the critical analysis of the movie.

In short, I was impressed with many of the CG elements and visuals of Avatar, particularly the performance capture (better than what I expected) and the simulation of water, paint and the forest. This IS a visual feast and action sci/fi movie. The visual effects crew did an OUTSTANDING, astounding job! High praise for the work everyone did on a technical level.

Don't think 3D is the best thing since sliced bread. Good for Captain EO, but not sure I "need" it for a 2+hr movie. I would prefer to get great 3D surround sound rather than visuals.

Story: Most of it is nothing new.
I did like the concepts regarding the trees and their mental/spiritual attributes and how the people were so connected and respectful with their natural world. The anti-war/greed subtext hit a home run. I also liked seeing a parapalegic get the opportunity to have legs and a new lease on life. That's what got me into the story.

Otherwise, I was dissappointed with the story. Not enough meat. And it could have had quite a bit of it. Why use narration? Took me out completely and had to force my way back in as I adjusted my 3d glasses. Nothing about the state of Earth, nothing about non-military/scientist folk like us, hardly any character development of any characters, no explaination as to why the mineral is so precious or needed...just many, many story elements that were missing in place of moments for eyepopping visuals and action sequences. Of course, it's in 3D, so you have to have that...but it might have been nominated for a best movie oscar had they just paid a little more concern on what Avatar and any other movie is really about; characters, plot and conflict.

I think audiences are getting so used to computer simulated worlds and dreams on film that we don't seem to appreciate as much our real world and where or why it all matters.

The ending had power, but without resonance or reverberation. In other words, it didn't haunt me and have little desire to see it again. It's a great ride, but not a meaningful experience, since I didn't care all that much for the humans, which I should have. I did, however want to take a trip to Pandora and learn some insightful lessons from Neytiri and her people. But that's not enough.

Finally, fine performances by Zoe, Weaver and CCH Pounder, especially after seeing the behind the scenes footage.

jin choung
12-22-2009, 07:49 PM
niiiiiice....

http://io9.com/5432469/how-avatar-has-changed-pixars-john-carter-of-mars

lots of similarities... including hexapodal aliens (which as i said is probably more evolutionarily viable for the navi than their current tetrapodal incarnation).

jin

Mike_RB
12-22-2009, 08:08 PM
yeah... that's a difficult notion for hollywood to get away from... in order to have a protagonist that the audience can relate with, they invariably make him the savior of the ethnics.

How does d9 stack up in this? Noone was good, other than CJ. And at the end the only one that really won... was CJ and son. Wikus was thoroughly selfish and only had a smidgen of decency about him at the end... still to help himself.. I'd say Neil managed to make a pretty good story where the ethnics we're their own hero but it was relate-able by having the story travel with Wikus.

cresshead
12-22-2009, 08:11 PM
niiiiiice....

http://io9.com/5432469/how-avatar-has-changed-pixars-john-carter-of-mars

lots of similarities... including hexapodal aliens (which as i said is probably more evolutionarily viable for the navi than their current tetrapodal incarnation).

jin

will be intersting to see what they come up with on john-carter-of-mars just hope they don't try n shoehorn in performance capture and 3d too quick and come out smelling of the "valley on un canned E" :devil:

hope it not a bandwagon flick and they have thought it thru...they should also go get cameron's camera AND SET UP to make sure it's a smooth and pure as possible.

the story of jon carter is good so they have the foundation of a good flick.

jin choung
12-22-2009, 08:24 PM
will be intersting to see what they come up with on john-carter-of-mars just hope they don't try n shoehorn in performance capture and 3d too quick and come out smelling of the "valley on un canned E" :devil:

hope it not a bandwagon flick and they have thought it thru...they should also go get cameron's camera AND SET UP to make sure it's a smooth and pure as possible.

the story of jon carter is good so they have the foundation of a good flick.

it's PIXAR!

i have no doubt that whatever they do, it cannot help but exhibit the utmost in taste and judgment.

jin

robertoortiz
12-22-2009, 08:32 PM
Speaking of shoehorning ideas taken from Avatar at the last minute.
The remake of the film Clash of The Titans it seems that it will now go the 3D route. amid apparently this boneheaded move was inspired by the success of Avatar in 3D.

The irony seems to be that the film itself apparently was NOT intended to be a 3d release, and to make things worst, the film is opening in MARCH of 2010.

http://www.firstshowing.net/2009/12/19/clash-of-the-titans-adding-more-gods-maybe-going-3d/


Talk about reading the WRONG lesson about the success of Avatar. I hope the see the error of their ways.

jin choung
12-22-2009, 08:32 PM
How does d9 stack up in this? Noone was good, other than CJ. And at the end the only one that really won... was CJ and son. Wikus was thoroughly selfish and only had a smidgen of decency about him at the end... still to help himself.. I'd say Neil managed to make a pretty good story where the ethnics we're their own hero but it was relate-able by having the story travel with Wikus.

haha - yeah, good point, district9 DID reduce the "great white savior" to a great extent by:

1. making chris johnson an ACTIVE AGENT in their own salvation by scrounging around for fuel (but that always left the question of why the f didn't they do that in the first place?! a good answer that i read somewhere [that is NOT in the movie] is that they are a hive mind with the mind cut off... their queen or whatever is dead or gone and the rest are just kind of lounging out now without direction or motivation... what they needed was a birth of a new queen... and CJ's kid or whatever, that could have been set up to be it and maybe the kid was calling the shots. the kid definitely was setup with as smart. that would've explained a lot)

2. setting up the story so that if it were NOT for wik, they would have succeeded already! it's wik that fd the plans up by sniffing their fuel (which strangely has mutagenic properties)! so even though wik does play a large part in the success of their escape, it might not rise to the level of heroism at all -- simply making amends for fing everything up in the first place!

jin

Nangleator
12-22-2009, 08:35 PM
Holy schmokes! They said Avatar would be a game changer, and this is EXACTLY the game they should be changing! Influencing the one of the best studios as it's beginning to work on one of the meatiest intellectual properties... and a childhood favorite of mine!

Too bad there's zero chance of seeing Dejah Thoris as she should be seen.

jin choung
12-22-2009, 08:37 PM
Holy schmokes! They said Avatar would be a game changer, and this is EXACTLY the game they should be changing! Influencing the one of the best studios as it's beginning to work on one of the meatiest intellectual properties... and a childhood favorite of mine!

Too bad there's zero chance of seeing Dejah Thoris as she should be seen.

well thank f that we won't be seeing carter's schlong flapping in the martian breezes as he wrestles disturbingly fleshy and veiny alien dudes.

not that there's anything wrong with that....

jin

Hopper
12-22-2009, 08:39 PM
Holy schmokes! They said Avatar would be a game changer, ...
ok..ok... In the 90's it was "paradigm shift", in the 00's it's "game changer". We have 9 more days left in this decade. Can we please come up with a new phrase. That one makes my head hurt. I cringe every time I hear that lame a** phrase.

Liber777
12-22-2009, 08:42 PM
...scrounging around for fuel (but that always left the question of why the f didn't they do that in the first place?!...

If I remember right, Chris Johnson had been collecting small amounts of fuel from alien devices found in rubbish piles for years and consolidating it in the container that the Wik character discovered.

Mike_RB
12-22-2009, 08:44 PM
haha - yeah, good point, district9 DID reduce the "great white savior" to a great extent by:

...snip...



But by having him in there the story was 'tellable' as you could follow and relate to Wikus' plight. I'm interested in what Neil will do next....

I have no idea what Neil's ideas about the fuel/transformation are (last I talked to him personally was when he thought he was still doing halo). My best guess is that it's a fluid computer needed for guidance (bottle full o' cores) and when it got dumped onto Wikus it just figured that it was one sick alien and needed some fixing (their tech only works with them)... Incorrect species detected, now commencing rootkit upgrade... let me clean that human off you and make sure you're using the Alienflash DNA 5.0.

jin choung
12-22-2009, 08:50 PM
If I remember right, Chris Johnson had been collecting small amounts of fuel from alien devices found in rubbish piles for years and consolidating it in the container that the Wik character discovered.

hmmmm.... i remember something like that but it's hazy in my head.

but even then, wik ejaculated quite a load of fuel onto his own face....

you would've imagined that they'd have to go scrounging for more before they can take off.

also, without the idea of the aliens waiting around for a queen (which is again, not in the story) you would've imagined that ALL of those guys would've been looking day and night for bits of fuel and they would've been done in a day... so long, thanks for letting us crash for a while.

jin

Liber777
12-22-2009, 08:55 PM
Yeah, knowing about the hive mind/dead queen point really helped the plot hang together a little better in my head when I watched the flick.

Nangleator
12-22-2009, 09:11 PM
ok..ok... In the 90's it was "paradigm shift", in the 00's it's "game changer". ... Can we please come up with a new phrase.
Horizon crossing
Tech tree expansion
Level up
The new base camp

Okay, I'll stop.

aidenvfx
12-22-2009, 09:41 PM
Still, I AM LEGEND had a higher opening weekend. So, not only did the most expensive movie ever not have the highest opening ever...it didn't even have the highest December opening on record. The one record it got was "highest opening for a 3D movie".

I AM LEGEND had a built in audience because of the book. Also look at Titanic it did not start off strong but ended up earning 1.8 billion.

AVATAR had no real built in audience.

Dexter2999
12-22-2009, 10:30 PM
I daresay more people went to see I AM LEGEND not for the book but because it was Wil Smith. This movie will have repeat viewings for certain. I don't think it will live up to TITANIC, I know a few women that saw that one between 6 and 12 times.

Dexter2999
12-22-2009, 10:33 PM
ok..ok... In the 90's it was "paradigm shift", in the 00's it's "game changer". We have 9 more days left in this decade. Can we please come up with a new phrase. That one makes my head hurt. I cringe every time I hear that lame a** phrase.


Turn it up to 11.

Red_Oddity
12-23-2009, 03:26 AM
Still wondering if i should go see this, i really want to, but i don't really feel like paying 15 f-ing euros for a movie ticket (that's almost 22 USD by the way)

If i go, i'll probably be sitting uncomforable the entire movie because my *** hurts from the raping the ticket booth did.

cresshead
12-23-2009, 03:26 AM
Turn it up to 11.

"lane changer"

cresshead
12-23-2009, 03:30 AM
it's PIXAR!

i have no doubt that whatever they do, it cannot help but exhibit the utmost in taste and judgment.

jin

yeah...but pixar are KNOWN for hand animated flicks and have ZERO history in performance capture, they activly hate mo cap and have on several occassions made a BIG DEAL about NOT ever using it...

so i'd guess they have no first hand on experience in the hi tech area of motion captue or performance capture at all....or shooting with stereo camera rigs
;)

looks like a disaster waiting to happen to me.

cresshead
12-23-2009, 04:00 AM
watch

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aao0YSITuxc

Nangleator
12-23-2009, 07:16 AM
Great interview! Thanks, cresshead.

He's stood over enough workstations that he really gets it. The interviewer, of course, doesn't. She just knows some terms.

Chris S. (Fez)
12-23-2009, 11:24 AM
watch

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aao0YSITuxc

I am impressed.

Cameron knows his stuff for sure. Very Hitchcockian in terms of his technical know-how. Who would not want to work with a director like that?

jin choung
12-23-2009, 12:20 PM
yeah...but pixar are KNOWN for hand animated flicks and have ZERO history in performance capture, they activly hate mo cap and have on several occassions made a BIG DEAL about NOT ever using it...

so i'd guess they have no first hand on experience in the hi tech area of motion captue or performance capture at all....or shooting with stereo camera rigs
;)

looks like a disaster waiting to happen to me.

oh ye of little faith... : )

they don't like mocap for their cartoons because they have good taste. for a cartoon, it would look wrong and worse - cheap.

but they're not making a cartoon for jc on mars... i doubt they would go in the other direction and ramrod keyframe animation where it doesn't belong.

and expertise is easily bought and learned. if pixar has nothing else, it has the luxury of money, time and more importantly, freedom.

and this is where the "taste and judgment" thing enter in - they have a good enough eye to know whether what they're doing looks good or looks like crap - regardless of the technique being employed.

just because they're using something new to them doesn't mean that suddenly 20 years of pioneering cg sensibilities and a refined eye suddenly go flying out the window.

so....

i have faith.

jin

jin choung
12-23-2009, 12:21 PM
Who would not want to work with a director like that?

hahaha... ummm... well.... a lot of people who've ALREADY worked with him.

jin

Chris S. (Fez)
12-23-2009, 12:28 PM
hahaha... ummm... well.... a lot of people who've ALREADY worked with him.

jin

Ahhhh. I didn't realize he had a "reputation."

Haha. This should be an entertaining blog to follow. "James Cameron's greatest tantrums: Part 1":
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/the_big_picture/2009/12/james-camerons-greatest-tantrums-part-one.html

Hopper
12-23-2009, 01:27 PM
Turn it up to 11.
Excellent.. I like it.


"Well Bob... it looks like he's going to go around the .. OHHH!!! WOW.. would you look at that!! Have you ever seen anything like it!!?? Holy cow.. Well that just turned it up to 11 Bob... I wonder how the other team will respond to that.."

...

"Mr. President, how do you think the new weapons will affect the war in Afganistan?"..

"Well Frank, I'm certain it will definately turn it up to 11. Those towel toting terrorists won't stand a chance."

Yeah .. I like it.

Nangleator
12-23-2009, 01:38 PM
Excellent.. I like it.
Well, then! That's the new base camp!

NanoGator
12-23-2009, 01:52 PM
hahaha... ummm... well.... a lot of people who've ALREADY worked with him.

jin

I think most of us would work with him again with no hesitation. Whatever reputation he had before he's having trouble maintaining it now. Heh. :D

Chris S. (Fez)
12-23-2009, 02:20 PM
I think most of us would work with him again with no hesitation. Whatever reputation he had before he's having trouble maintaining it now. Heh. :D


My impression after 60 minutes of Googling is he is not a dick so much as a dedicated perfectionist...

What comes through in all of Cameron's interviews is that he clearly loves films and film-making.

Lucas' hiatus hurt him. Cameron came back stronger.

Andyjaggy
12-23-2009, 02:55 PM
watch

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aao0YSITuxc

Great interview, he seems like a really nice guy too.

Andyjaggy
12-23-2009, 02:59 PM
and this is where the "taste and judgment" thing enter in - they have a good enough eye to know whether what they're doing looks good or looks like crap - regardless of the technique being employed.
jin

Amen to that.

Mark The Great
12-23-2009, 03:10 PM
Don't know if this has been posted here.

The second little audio player on the page has a pretty long, uncut interview with James Cameron about the Fusion camera system, future and impact of 3D, etc.

http://www.studio360.org/episodes/2009/12/18

jin choung
12-23-2009, 05:24 PM
I think most of us would work with him again with no hesitation. Whatever reputation he had before he's having trouble maintaining it now. Heh. :D

he's admitted himself that he has mellowed in recent days and made a point of it for avatar.

but i think it's not true to say that he's never been an out and out d1ckhead with no regard for the feelings of others.

even as recently as titanic, for instance, kate winslet said that unless there was a singular project that she wouldn't work with him again. now imagine what she had to have gone through when she says that about the director that has made her a household name....

the abyss was notorious for both cast and crew being brought to the brink of homicide (haha regicide).
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

in many ways, perfectionism is like christianity - when it is aimed at ONESELF then whatever benefit or harm it does is localized to where it belongs.

when it is aimed like a weapon outward, it is inexcusable.

no matter what your personal dedication to quality, you have absolutely no excuse, EVER, to be abusive to the people you work with. and almost particularly to people who work UNDER you.

if they're not doing their job you fire them.

but if all of a sudden, you find yourself alone on set, maybe you're the problem.

http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=BD8F81CA8B480141&search_query=making+of+the+abyss

jin

NanoGator
12-23-2009, 06:04 PM
but i think it's not true to say that he's never been an out and out d1ckhead with no regard for the feelings of others.


I didn't say that. I didn't say anything even remotely like that.


even as recently as titanic...


Everything you're talking about happened between 12 and 20 years ago. I'm talking about the last four.

I really do think if a sequel comes along most of the people that worked on the original would be back. I've had a number of the crew tell me that.

jin choung
12-23-2009, 06:07 PM
I'm talking about the last four.

yep. and i took that into consideration. as i said, he himself has acknowledged that he has mellowed and made a point of not being what he was on avatar.

zoe and sam seem not to have any problems with him so i'm sure he's a better person than he used to be.

the rest of the stuff about perfectionism was in response to another post... didn't partition the ideas.

jin

Chris S. (Fez)
12-23-2009, 06:32 PM
I recant, he definitely was a dick back in the day. Wow. Big difference between Avatar interviews and Abyss interviews.

Ah well, ten years can take the edge off anyone. I cringe when I think of how I acted in high school, fortunately long before cell phone cameras etc.. Sucks to be famous and have a public archive of shame.

Kuzey
12-24-2009, 05:58 AM
the rest of the stuff about perfectionism was in response to another post... didn't partition the ideas.

jin

All this talk about perfectionism is kinda funny, in that I don't view him in that light. He might consider himself one....like I'm sure Luca does, but the proof in the pudding as they say and Avatar is not the best film ever made. It might have some advances in technology that have overwhelmed many people and that's fine...but it doesn't make it a great film as a result :D

I wonder if anybody had the courage to tell Cameron when things didn't make sense or looked tacky. Obviously, he didn't care about the many inconsistencies for what ever reason....not a sign of a real perfectionist....I would say.

Kuzey

cresshead
12-24-2009, 06:06 AM
avatar was more of a r&d project and proof of concept..he already said he didn't have 100% eye on the story and would defo do more work on the story now that this thing looks doable in the next projects...he had to juggle many job hats on this one just to get it to work and finished.

i'd say he did a stella job.

Kuzey
12-24-2009, 06:13 AM
avatar was more of a r&d project and proof of concept..he already said he didn't have 100% eye on the story and would defo do more work on the story now that this thing looks doable in the next projects...he had to juggle many job hats on this one just to get it to work and finished.

i'd say he did a stella job.

It's good of him to say so, but that seems more like an excuse to me. I mean, even if he had so many hats to wear, he should have had the story locked down well before the filming started...just saying :hey:

Kuzey

Titus
12-24-2009, 08:35 AM
avatar was more of a r&d project and proof of concept..he already said he didn't have 100% eye on the story and would defo do more work on the story now that this thing looks doable in the next projects...he had to juggle many job hats on this one just to get it to work and finished.


I think this is a strange excuse, considering the multimillion dollar budget.

Titus
12-24-2009, 08:41 AM
I wonder if anybody had the courage to tell Cameron when things didn't make sense or looked tacky. Obviously, he didn't care about the many inconsistencies for what ever reason....not a sign of a real perfectionist....I would say.

My friend at Weta has a lot of stories. They had a team in charge of the flying rocks, after several months Cameron visited and told them to make the rocks like the previz, you know, low poly. So they were the last weeks in chrunch time trying to guess what Cameron wanted.

ericsmith
12-24-2009, 08:43 AM
It's good of him to say so, but that seems more like an excuse to me. I mean, even if he had so many hats to wear, he should have had the story locked down well before the filming started...just saying

There's a couple of things to understand about this process though.

First, a story on the page and a story on the screen are two completely different mediums. That's what really makes the job of director so challenging in my view. So what I'm saying is that you can have a (virtually) perfect script, but that doesn't mean the final film will work.

Then there's the even more difficult issue to overcome. When you know a story inside and out, and have lived with it playing out in your head for literally years, it's impossible to see it fresh. It's very likely that when you watch the film come together, you can't be objective about what you're seeing. That's why most films have advanced screenings, and the audience has to fill out little evaluation cards. Often, the film will go through another round of editing after this process to smooth out the rough edges. From what I can gather, Avatar didn't have the luxury of going through this process due to time constraints and the nature of the production process.

Overall, while I had some issues with the story, I can easily forgive them considering how much of the story did in fact work, and the overall accomplishment of the film.

Eric

Chris S. (Fez)
12-24-2009, 09:21 AM
"Perfectionist" is of course relative. Eye of the beholder and all that blah. However, Avatar works as a piece of popular entertainment, not as some arthouse darling.

Avatar looks like impending disaster on paper...yet Cameron's execution raises his own source material. Is the film flawed? Sure. But I don't personally know anyone who came out of the film feeling like they did not get their money's worth.

cresshead
12-24-2009, 09:54 AM
defo! got my money's worth!

Cageman
12-24-2009, 10:05 AM
I've seen it once so far in 3D (not Imax though) and I was simply blown away.

1) I really would love to move to Pandora and make friends with those Na'vi dudes!

2) I fell in love with Neytiri. Maybe because I miss my cat Sotis so much?

Anyhow... Pandora felt so real and wonderful to me that I'm somewhat pissed about the fact that it doesn't exist for real. If it did, I would do anything to get there and have a visit.

:)

I give Avatar 12 out of 10 possible! Since I saw StarWars - A New Hope, no film or TV-series have made me feel for the characters and the universe the way StarWars did, until now!

:)

Kuzey
12-24-2009, 12:04 PM
There's a couple of things to understand about this process though.

First, a story on the page and a story on the screen are two completely different mediums. That's what really makes the job of director so challenging in my view. So what I'm saying is that you can have a (virtually) perfect script, but that doesn't mean the final film will work.

Then there's the even more difficult issue to overcome. When you know a story inside and out, and have lived with it playing out in your head for literally years, it's impossible to see it fresh. It's very likely that when you watch the film come together, you can't be objective about what you're seeing. That's why most films have advanced screenings, and the audience has to fill out little evaluation cards. Often, the film will go through another round of editing after this process to smooth out the rough edges. From what I can gather, Avatar didn't have the luxury of going through this process due to time constraints and the nature of the production process.

Overall, while I had some issues with the story, I can easily forgive them considering how much of the story did in fact work, and the overall accomplishment of the film.

Eric



True....a great script doesn't mean it'll turn into a great movie....you need a bit of luck and a great cast too. It would have helped if it was based on a great novel to begin with, but it's based on a simple idea Cameron wrote down on a napkin or what ever...many moons ago.

It might be virtually perfect when it's written on a napkin (I highly doubt he even likes it). Everything in basic form can look perfect, it's only when you get to the details you get to see the problems.

But it seems that he has no one to look after his interests, someone he can turn to for help or get a different viewpoint on things, to question him and actually make him think of the important things...basically, keep him honest during the process.

Going by comments of Titus, it looks like Cameron didn't even know what he wanted...changing things on a whim and often. This is the same thing Lucas did and it shows. What these guys should have done was select a director that wasn't closely connected to the story/idea...eg. not themselves and perhaps we could have had better films.

Take away the effects/3d experience...what is there??

Kuzey

Kuzey
12-24-2009, 12:07 PM
My friend at Weta has a lot of stories. They had a team in charge of the flying rocks, after several months Cameron visited and told them to make the rocks like the previz, you know, low poly. So they were the last weeks in chrunch time trying to guess what Cameron wanted.

I would love to hear them all :hey: Was there tantrums and yelling and stuff.

Kuzey

Chris S. (Fez)
12-24-2009, 12:30 PM
Take away the effects/3d experience...what is there??

Kuzey

So I take it you finally saw the film?

Kuzey
12-24-2009, 12:49 PM
So I take it you finally saw the film?

Haha...I did want to watch it...but, no...I haven't. Perhaps when it's on tv or if part 2 is somehow a better film.

Kuzey

Intuition
12-24-2009, 12:50 PM
How does d9 stack up in this? Noone was good, other than CJ. And at the end the only one that really won... was CJ and son. Wikus was thoroughly selfish and only had a smidgen of decency about him at the end... still to help himself.. I'd say Neil managed to make a pretty good story where the ethnics we're their own hero but it was relate-able by having the story travel with Wikus.

Yeah, I feel the character dynamics are realistic in D-9, they reflect actions and decisions that real people would make. The plot didn't center around masturbating Hollywood's favorite theme which is the idea of self-sacrifice. These characters each had their own priorities which lends proper motivation for their actions.

The only guy that was cookie cutter was the military/mercenary that loves to get paid to kill the prawns. Another easy to hate guy with the gun.

In Avatar the motivations of the main character are somewhat properly motivated. I mean, if he didn't fall in love with having feet and walking again, as well as the hot na'vi girlfriend, he might just as well have come back and let the humans do as they wanted.

In the end he loved his girl and his new family. So, even though the general theme of self sacrifice could have been played out here we see another route which is that his new life was much more engaging and alive and worth fighting for, like he said in his video memos, and such that his real life was fading like a dream.

So his incentive to help the Na'vi is properly motivated in my opinion. This lends itself well to the story telling.

D-9 and Avatar are up there with Matrix and Star Wars and other Sci-Fi greats in my library. Easily good for multiple viewings in the future. 2009 was a good year for Sci-fi. Was Avatar the greatest script ever? No. As Jin had analyzed, it has its flaws. Yet I still had fun and I felt there were no deal breakers that made the movie stupid or without purpose like the three Star Wars prequels did so often even though lightsabers and space ships can carry a viewer through some scriptwriting hell.

:tongue:

ericsmith
12-24-2009, 01:06 PM
My friend at Weta has a lot of stories. They had a team in charge of the flying rocks, after several months Cameron visited and told them to make the rocks like the previz, you know, low poly. So they were the last weeks in chrunch time trying to guess what Cameron wanted.

I'm sure that story would sound a bit different if it were told from the point of view of, say for example, the team that did the highly detailed (including texuring and lighting) previs.

Bottom line is, a creative project of this scope is bound to have numerous conflicts and creative head-butting. From what Brian has said, he and most of his cohorts would gladly go another round if the opportunity arises.


Take away the effects/3d experience...what is there??

Well, I look at it this way. If this story was set on earth with human characters, it would have still been worth watching.

Looking at it from a character-driven point of view, the relationship between Jake and Netyri was very effective. And that was the core of the story. The fact that they were CG characters is irrelevant to the fact that the story and acting brought that relationship to life.

My biggest issue was the lack of depth in Quarich's character. But going back to my original point about translation between mediums, it wouldn't surprise me if his character worked much better in script form, where colorfully written descriptions of what's happening can paint a much more vivid picture than what ends up on the screen.

And there's a good chance that an extra 30-45 minutes of running time could have given the opportunity to better develop some of the areas that didn't quite work.

Eric

Titus
12-24-2009, 01:20 PM
Yeah, I feel the character dynamics are realistic in D-9, they reflect actions and decisions that real people would make. The plot didn't center around masturbating Hollywood's favorite theme which is the idea of self-sacrifice. These characters each had their own priorities which lends proper motivation for their actions.

The only guy that was cookie cutter was the military/mercenary that loves to get paid to kill the prawns. Another easy to hate guy with the gun.

In Avatar the motivations of the main character are somewhat properly motivated. I mean, if he didn't fall in love with having feet and walking again, as well as the hot na'vi girlfriend, he might just as well have come back and let the humans do as they wanted.

In the end he loved his girl and his new family. So, even though the general theme of self sacrifice could have been played out here we see another route which is that his new life was much more engaging and alive and worth fighting for, like he said in his video memos, and such that his real life was fading like a dream.

So his incentive to help the Na'vi is properly motivated in my opinion. This lends itself well to the story telling.


This is the main problem I have with Battle for Terra, I don't buy this human changing sides just for the sake of doing the right thing knowing this means a self sacrifice.

Titus
12-24-2009, 01:41 PM
I'm sure that story would sound a bit different if it were told from the point of view of, say for example, the team that did the highly detailed (including texuring and lighting) previs.

Bottom line is, a creative project of this scope is bound to have numerous conflicts and creative head-butting. From what Brian has said, he and most of his cohorts would gladly go another round if the opportunity arises.


What? my comment was aimed more about how Cameron do things. AFAIK the crew was happy doing this project, even with the extra pressure.

Chris S. (Fez)
12-24-2009, 01:44 PM
Haha...I did want to watch it...but, no...I haven't. Perhaps when it's on tv or if part 2 is somehow a better film.

Kuzey

Pandora is definitely not meant to be seen on a small screen.

Lower your standards and you might enjoy it just as a 3D enthusiast! Or as Cresshead said, forget the film theory and consider it a $300,000,000 demo reel.

radams
12-24-2009, 04:31 PM
Hi All,

I got to see this on a DLP projection system in 3D.
Visually, Avatar is amazing. The art direction & character animation are so engulfing, and inspiring.

Now for the story and plot, yes this has been done before.
I do like the actors and director's inventions for the Na'vi culture. The actress who did the girlfriend is amazing...and what a performance...both vocally, and the animators who created the character's performance.

I have a little different take on the story though. I'm of Native American decent, and the themes are still very real and part of my relatives history.
The "ignorant savages" -the Na'vi who supposedly don't get that the big whiteman "corporation" is trying to help educate and give them something that they really don't want or need. Yet the Na'vi have something very important to give and educate the white "Corporation".

So for me this has a personal connection.

The comps, animation, 3D environments, etc...were awesome!
Well done to anyone who worked on it.

I recommend seeing this movie even if the story is not new...it is still done in a very intersting and empowering way, IMHO.

Artistically and Technically, this is a tour de force.

Cheers,

cresshead
12-24-2009, 05:01 PM
Take away the effects/3d experience...what is there??

Kuzey

that's abit like saying take away Bogart n Bacall from to have and have not...what have you got..?

i'd say your left with a great acting performance from Neytiri, she stole the show for me...jake was okay but she completly rocked, a pretty good story
too, not perfect..but i'm sure it would still play well as a drawn storyboard.

Titus
12-24-2009, 05:57 PM
I do.

It seems VERY simple for me to understand how something can be SO wrong and following that path would mean the loss of your soul. The human in Terra simply could not sell his soul. It's plain and simple - AND understandable.

Of course it's understandable, it's the most basic form of narrative: the monomyth (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monomyth). The hero hears a call, then enters an initiation and ends with an apotheosis.

Titus
12-24-2009, 07:09 PM
And yet you still can't buy it with the human in Terra? Again, seems perfectly reasonable and believable to me. And since you understand the logic behind the story... how can you have a problem with it?

Yep, because you have to put more ingredients than flour to make a cake.

robertoortiz
12-24-2009, 07:29 PM
To be fair there are examples in history where perfectly reasonable person have chosen to sacrifice themselves because of their beliefs.
Thank God it happens more often than we care to admit.
The cynics would like to pretend that these thing are rare, buthistory has shown that that they are not necessarily so.
And honestly, that is kinda cool.



So yes I can buy a human switching sides, and thus giving meaning to his life, over overtly genocidal acts.

jin choung
12-24-2009, 08:10 PM
There's a couple of things to understand about this process though.

First, a story on the page and a story on the screen are two completely different mediums. That's what really makes the job of director so challenging in my view. So what I'm saying is that you can have a (virtually) perfect script, but that doesn't mean the final film will work.

Then there's the even more difficult issue to overcome. When you know a story inside and out, and have lived with it playing out in your head for literally years, it's impossible to see it fresh. It's very likely that when you watch the film come together, you can't be objective about what you're seeing. That's why most films have advanced screenings, and the audience has to fill out little evaluation cards. Often, the film will go through another round of editing after this process to smooth out the rough edges. From what I can gather, Avatar didn't have the luxury of going through this process due to time constraints and the nature of the production process.

Overall, while I had some issues with the story, I can easily forgive them considering how much of the story did in fact work, and the overall accomplishment of the film.

Eric

or in short - you can make a bad movie with a good script, you cannot make a good movie with a bad script.

imo, there were definite deficiencies in the script that carried into the film.

jin

jin choung
12-24-2009, 08:14 PM
Avatar looks like impending disaster on paper..

i wouldn't say that.

with some exceptions, he generally hits his marks... and i would say that he definitely does NOT rise above the material.

jin

Titus
12-24-2009, 08:15 PM
To be fair there are examples in history where perfectly reasonable person have chosen to sacrifice themselves because of their beliefs.

That's right, in history. But in the context of Battle for Terra there's something missing... it simply doesn't work for me. I think it works in Avatar for many reasons, you can see Jake Sully empathy for this amazing world and creatures.