Avatar: Take two

A good number of you read my first impressions blog post about James Cameron’s Avatar, in which I praised the visuals and cinematography but gave the plot and stereoscopic 3D a thumbs down. The more I looked back, the more I felt I had been overly harsh about the film—and a handful of you said just as much in the comments. So, over the weekend, I decided to go see Avatar again. This time, I made sure to watch the film in English (which involved leaving the 3D goggles at home), sent off my film-snob neurons to have a cappuccino or something, and tried to enjoy the ride.

I loved the visuals on both occasions, but at the premiere, the formulaic plot and one-dimensional characters just bothered me. I felt let down, in no small part because of the massive amount of hype surrounding the film. Were things different the second time? Yes and no. Let me explain.

I still stand by what I wrote in my first post, but that’s only one side of the story. A huge part of Avatar—something I overlooked the first time while piecing together a blog post in my head—is the immersion. Cameron aptly draws you into a completely computer-generated world, makes it believable, and most importantly, makes you want to be there. Cheesy lines and cliched plot devices may break the immersion at times, and that’s a shame. But the sheer magnetism of the movie is still something to behold.

In spite of the characters’ relative lack of depth, I found myself building an emotional connection to them—more so than in other movies. I can credit both the music and the incredible detail of the Na’vi’s facial expressions for that. This connection seemed to persist after viewings, too. I realize this is going to end up with readers calling me a big sappy girl, but Titanic is the only other movie I can recall that elicited that kind of response. I guess Cameron has a way of building up his characters that works for me.

Oh, shush.

The Weta Workshop folks also did a fantastic job rendering Pandora, the fictional alien moon that serves as Avatar‘s setting. Large swaths of the movie feature CG characters acting in a CG world, but Pandora stills looks and feels incredibly real. Oh, sure, Pixar has been making all-CG movies since the 1990s (and I love all of them, by the way), but you always know you’re looking at a sort of 3D cartoon. Avatar is something else; it shows you something you’ve never seen before and makes you want to be a part of it. Too bad the plot doesn’t do as much.

In a way, though, I think the cookie-cutter story serves its purpose. Like I said in my previous post, kids will love the movie. Any adult who doesn’t over-analyze it will love the ride, too. Cameron is going to make a killing (Avatar has already made over $300 million worldwide, according to Box Office Mojo), which will likely help persuade Fox to go along with that trilogy idea of his.

Yes, Cameron has openly talked about making another two Avatar films that follow Jake Sully and Neytiri on further adventures. Makes sense, right? The team already has the characters and the world put together (as Cameron says, "a lot of the start-up torque has been done"), so sequels should cost less than the first opus and probably draw in just as many eager viewers, if not more.

I’ve seen some folks around the web draw a parallel between Avatar and the original Star Wars. Only time will tell if Avatar becomes nearly as much of a game-changer, but there are definite similarities. A New Hope had fantastic (for the time) visuals and a nice, self-contained story heavily inspired by previous works (Dune, in that case). The sequel, The Empire Strikes Back, used a lot of the same snazzy effects and put them to use in a far deeper, darker, and more original work—some say the best of the six Star Wars films. Conveniently, by the time Empire came out, kids and young teens who saw the first movie were older and better equipped to appreciate the more complex and nuanced sequel.

Perhaps Avatar II and III will have more in common with the Matrix sequels than the Star Wars ones; nobody knows at this point. However, I sincerely hope the next Avatar gives me the same sense of wonder and immersion with a better plot and more character development to go with it. In the meantime, I think the first film is a good movie with disappointing but forgivable shortcomings.

Comments closed
    • clone
    • 10 years ago

    2nd viewing review……. original impression, while not terrible Avatar could be much better.

    I saw Avatar for a 2nd time yesterday, my better half and I were sitting 2nd row right first time and wondered had we sat more middle we may have seen what we apparently missed.

    seated 3/4 middle: 3d is a weak gimmick, nothing gets outside the display……. 1st viewing 20 feet from the screen 3d everywhere, impressive & a little distracting, 2nd viewing, barely notice it…..20 feet stuff falls in my lap, 70 feet, missed it.

    original criticisms still apply, 1 dimensional characters, lazy writing, annoying music….. overbearing, intrusive….. music: 2 of 10.

    2nd viewing: the new is gone…. rocks fall off floating mountains, where is the water for the waterfalls?…. they talk about tactics prior to the final action scenes, plans, the result…. instead of a quick bomb run the humans fly leisurely along & drop…… ground troops?

    the Na-vi with the help of an ex marine…… in the air they attack the copters when they can easily destroy the blades, on the ground they line up and charge to do what?…… Michelle Rodriquez in the only Na-vi gunship, she strafes the command chopper then stops to bitch….. 1: take out the bomber, 2: take out the command ship from a favorable position, 3: take out other gunships….4: give her a direction & have jarhead commander notice her allowing for a whole battle / chase scene…. the movie is lazy.

    Avatar has shattered records only because “we” were waiting for this, their was an audience waiting for a movie…. Avatar isn’t it…. those that disagree will watch it again and realise how screwed Avatar is over time…… the execution is absurd, lazy…… Star Trek 2009 and it’s garbage script got a pass because “we” wanted a reboot, the same can be said with Avatar…. mundane passed off as golden.

    6.5 out of 10 in my first review, no higher than 6.0 out of 10 after 2nd.

    p.s. “unobtainium” is recycled from “The Core”…. at least then it was funny let alone fit better.

      • vince
      • 10 years ago

      Ok, so you didn’t like the movie. Fine. But you talk about buying the DVD or B-R?!?! For what, watching it a third time and like it even less?

      o.O

        • clone
        • 10 years ago

        l[

    • gerbilspy
    • 10 years ago

    “In spite of the characters’ relative lack of depth, I found myself building an emotional connection to themβ€”more so than in other movies. I can credit both the music and the incredible detail of the Na’vi’s facial expressions for that. This connection seemed to persist after viewings, too. I realize this is going to end up with readers calling me a big sappy girl, but Titanic is the only other movie I can recall that elicited that kind of response. I guess Cameron has a way of building up his characters that works for me.”

    Same here, I know exactly what you mean. He get’s you rooting for one or more of the characters. Isn’t that what movies do, drag you into their world? πŸ™‚ I think he did a job in this one.

    • moritzgedig
    • 10 years ago

    I went to see Avantar. I primed myself with 0.2ml/kg of alcohol, this is not something I did just for this movie, it is something I always do, I have come to an age and level of knowledge that no movie makes sense. The only points of critique fall under the points of dialog and story-detail. I liked the pictures, the music, the overall story.
    Yes it was not perfect 3D like in the real world, but it works and it is a compromise I can live with.
    physics and such might have been off, but those who care should simply not go into the cinema, ever.
    I didn’t have any trouble with the philosophy behind the movie, I think you can kill for food and still moan the death of a creature, in that word empathy must be very strong, as there is a neuronallink opportunity. religious people thank their god for their meal and the harvest and the Navier thank their “god”. Will they make a fuzz about every insect they step on? No, killing to their daily need and dieing are natural to them. It is part of the balance that their god is the keeper of.
    Sure one could ask a bunch of questions but for goodness sake: It is a movie, it is not real. Get a life.

    • dpaus
    • 10 years ago

    Complain if you must about the weak points (and the movie certainly does have them), there’s obviously lots of people who don’t care about them. From a strictly financial point of view, I’m in awe of any $300 million investment that can generate $1.35 billion in cash in 30 days. The movie continues to bring in about $50 million per weekend, over $100 million per week. Does it have the staying power to surpass “Titanic” ($1.83 billion) on ticket sales alone? Who knows? But when you consider the relative lack of merchandising so far, and the potential for DVD sales (especially the much more expensive and profitable Blu-ray discs), Avatar seems guaranteed to become the #1 money-making movie of all time within the next several months.

    I think Cameron’s /[

      • BoBzeBuilder
      • 10 years ago

      My family and I are responsible for $96 of that pile of cash.

      • dpaus
      • 10 years ago

      l[<"Avatar seems guaranteed to become the #1 money-making movie of all time within the next several months"<]l - crap, I can't even live up to my /[

    • ZGradt
    • 10 years ago

    So yeah, lets send in an “undercover agent” and do what? Steal the passcodes to their defenses? Hey, let’s choose this guy because his legs are messed up. What could go wrong?

    • no51
    • 10 years ago

    Finally watched Avatar today. I came in expecting CGI porn with furry undertones and that’s what I got. Great movie for what it was.

    • Tamale
    • 10 years ago

    My biggest problem with the film is the lack of continuity between the advancements in science.

    We’re led to believe they can make these avatars and link them wirelessly and telepathically.. but can’t locate them?

    We’re led to believe we have interstellar space travel… but are still stuck using weapons designed in middle of the 20th century?

    We’re led to believe we have all the biological advancements that allow for the avatar program to exists.. but can’t fix a guy in a wheelchair or come up with a better system for breathing in a foreign atmosphere?

    I liked the movie overall, but these serious problems made it a harder film to enjoy than it should’ve been.

      • clone
      • 10 years ago

      they glossed over the whole weapons and tracking thing before the movie was released by using the excuse that something on Pandora was screwing with more advanced tech.

      it was weak to say the least and I agree with the rest including that it was an ok movie that could and should have been so much better.

        • Tamale
        • 10 years ago

        hmm.. sure is convenient that the avatar tech itself is pretty much the only advanced tech that seems to be working just fine. *shrug*

          • Shining Arcanine
          • 10 years ago

          The linking probably involves quantum entanglement, which I think would work without issue once established under controlled conditions.

      • Rav
      • 10 years ago

      l[

        • MadManOriginal
        • 10 years ago

        I’m surprised Cameron didn’t doubledip the liberal message by saying that the surgery had been denied as a preexisting condition by his insurance company hehe.

          • clone
          • 10 years ago

          r[

      • branko
      • 10 years ago

      /[

        • dpaus
        • 10 years ago

        l[

    • clone
    • 10 years ago

    I saw Avatar a few days ago.

    criticisms about the story, about 1 dimensional characters & weak dialogue are all valid, overall though the movie is solid enough.

    NOTE: Michelle Rodriguez was worthless.

    to those who ask little I’m sure it was excellent, but the whole “leave brain at door” is an admission that it’s crap.

    Avatar the concept sucks….. I’m sorry to those that disagree but someone has to state the obvious, the guy is paralysed and remains so because of a lazy script that provides 2 idiotic reasons…..in case some haven’t listened it is 2150 and I the viewer am being told that by 2150 health care is even worse than what we have today.

    the paralysed “hero” gets to control an alien body and it’s a fantasy land, the alien world great…. I get it, but why sympathise let alone actively killing his fellow man to protect the natives when every morning he’s reminded he can’t walk nor remain in Pandora?

    3d visuals are “neat” at first, they tend to distract and are not immersive….. 3d won’t save lazy scripts and bad acting.

    Avatar gets a 6.5 out of 10, if I considered the budget I’d give it a 5.0 because the script and acting is that lazy….Avatar is not nearly what it could have been.

    NOTE: I have to give a shout out to Stephen Lang, aside from 2 dubious scenes he was “excellently despicable.”….. everyone else was forgettable.

      • BoBzeBuilder
      • 10 years ago

      You’re pretty harsh aren’t you?

      I thought the acting was decent. Sam, Zoe Saldana, and Stephen Lang did their job well. Michelle is always useless.

      I did not find the 3D distracting at all. It was used perfectly with the most believable CG ever seen.

      Story and script were weak but it was still an excellent cinematic experience. 8/10

        • clone
        • 10 years ago

        no if anything I’m being generous.

        Avatar the story is fundamentally flawed and it’s thrown at me the moment the movie starts…. it’s not like I had any time to get into the movie before the narration blabbed idiotically about cost and affordability in the year 2150 regarding his paralysis.

        did I enjoy Avatar….. it was ok.

        did I love it…….not at all.

        does 3d matter to me…….. very little, it’s a gimmick & a distraction.

        if T2 judgement day was done with todays tech let alone how well it was done…….. it’s just a better movie, better script, better acting, better sound, better use of music, just plain better.

        Avatar is a shadow…… James Cameron had 16 years to work on Avatar….. he spent all of that time on visuals and none of it on script…. that is the impression I got from Avatar.

        the “turn brain off at door” logic is nothing more than admission that the movie is crap.

        James Cameron proved with T2 that action movies can have a solid story and do incredibly well….. he’s proved with Avatar that action movies at best are mundane when story is ignored.

    • WaltC
    • 10 years ago

    /[

      • Dingmatt
      • 10 years ago

      The 3D you’ve seen Disney World and prior Red/Blue type 3D doesn’t begin to compare to the 3D within Avatar.

      The 3D in Avatar is a continuous multilayered experiance rather than the over the top, sudden objects leaping into the foreground; 3D is defiently the way to go with this movie.

        • Sahrin
        • 10 years ago

        It’s actually exactly the same technology, they just use a much lower focus gradient so the image looks flatter (as opposed to “popping out at you”). The 3D version of the film was a total waste of money. I could’ve bought 1/5th a cup of soda with that money.

    • boing
    • 10 years ago

    I just saw Avatar in 3D and I gotta say the reviewer is a PAW. I’d rate this movie 5 out of 5 any day.

    • Welch
    • 10 years ago

    I saw this last night in 3D…… for those of you saying “OHHH NO IT LACKS STORY……ITS NOT BELIEVABLE”…… I say that you lack Imagination. This is not to say that the movie does not do an amazing job of immersing you in the world of Pandora, it simply means that the moment you decide to let go of any preconceived notions of the movie and drop the Snobby movie critic antics you will be able to enjoy this movie. The more analytical you are when you start to watch a movie, the less likely you are to be able to enjoy it for what it is.

    Only one thing threw me off during the movie, and that (thanks to Cyril ahah) was the water coming out of a floating rock. This again only because I had thought about it before when reading the review…

    The storyline was not weak, far from it.
    The visuals, absolutely stunning and are going to change what people expect to see in movies, particularly the 3D… while the glasses that were given to you at the theater were the cheapest things possible, id imagine a very nicely fit pair would make it that much more enjoyable.

    The only unenjoyable thing in the whole experience was being in the Theater. I say this because when the previous crowd left and we went in, you would have thought a nuclear bomb had gone off. There was popcorn EVERYWHERE, half of the chairs in the place were completely wet with soda. Its almost as though someone purposely poured their drink on the seat. The bathroom in the theater was so completely disgusting that I drove about 2 miles down the road to a grocery store to go to the bathroom before the movie.

    If your going to see this movie in 3D (or normal even) be ready to go into the theater 20-30 minutes before the scheduled start time. This will give you some time to beat others to the good seats that make the movie that much more real. Centered midway up was where I got to sit, and its perfect. Helps being the first ones in your seats πŸ˜€

      • oldDummy
      • 10 years ago

      r[<......half of the chairs in the place were completely wet with soda........<]r eaaahhh....might not of been soda. I enjoyed the movie too.

    • othersidesounds
    • 10 years ago

    Excellent! I’m glad you sat back and gave it another whirl. Not because I’m some silly JC fanboy but because I like reading your reviews and thought Avatar deserved a less over critical look from you, I felt it wasn’t aiming for a deep involved wordy script and more of just that immersion and sci-fi experience. It’s what I loved about it, and to me it just worked despite the cookie cutter story and lines. I wont give it a perfect 10 but it’s one hell of a 9 if you just disconnect and enjoy it like a crazy rollercoaster ride. James sure smacked it out of the ball-field. He’s going to mega bank on this one. Weeeuuff

    • bfellow
    • 10 years ago

    Avatar 2 and 3 similar to Matrix sequels? That will be full of fail. I would not watch a boring 4 hour movie called Avatar Revolutions.

      • Meadows
      • 10 years ago

      I liked all of The Matrix.

    • Ditiris
    • 10 years ago

    This is a B movie with A+ effects.

    The absolutely gorgeous CG in this movie does not make up for the complete lack of story. Nothing about Avatar is gripping, compelling, or believable. The story and the world are superficial and stupid. There is no suspension of disbelief because nothing in the movie stands up to even the most timid of scrutiny.

    I will say that in most other movies I have found the use of the 3D to be a distracting gimmick whereas in Avatar it does seem more immersive.

    Cyril, the Gargamel character and his last speech are a very clear dig from Cameron at the Bush regime. The references to terror, pre-emptive strikes, shock and awe, etc. could not have been much clearer.

      • Cyril
      • 10 years ago

      q[

      • adampk17
      • 10 years ago

      Jesus, what is it that you do for fun anyway? Craaaaanky!

    • Freon
    • 10 years ago

    Saw the movie over Christmas break. Saw it in a “normal” 3D theatre.

    The 3D was great. The only thing I noticed was the glasses seemed to cool the colors, but perhaps that was built in. I didn’t notice the movie being too dark. Sure, the glasses remove brightness, but it wasn’t much and I’m not convinced they failed to adjust for this. The movie did not make the 3D into a gimmick. It was very tasteful, not a strain in the least. The RealD circular polarization technique seemed to work like a charm. No flicker, no cross talk, tilting your head didn’t affect the image at all. I was extremely impressed overall. Worth the extra $2.50/ticket or whatever it was.

    The movie itself was good. Yes, very predictable, but not every movie has to be The Usual Suspects. I do think there were some truly suspenseful moments, particularly at the end.

    The only real disappointment for me was the heavy-handed liberal agenda shoved sideways and endlong into the dialog. “Shock and awe,” “fight terror with terror,” “preemptive strike,” “…for the resources under their feet.” Good lord. The movie would’ve been better without these lines and still could’ve delivered the same message in a bit more of a subtle method. It seemed akin to making a Romeo and Juliet movie and having Mercutio pop out mid-film to say, “Can’t we just all get along? Oh, and go Yankees!” It just felt very out of place and shoe-horned into the movie. It would’ve been a much better flick with just those few lines on the cutting room floor.

      • Grape Flavor
      • 10 years ago

      I went into the movie expecting ham-handed US politics (heard some rumors) so I was actually pleased that it was constrained to a few out-of-place lines.

      I found that it only ruins the movie if you let it. It’s like the “NOOOO” line from Episode 3 or other bad Star Wars dialogue. You can either cringe for a second and move on mentally, or you can fixate on it to the point where it ruins the good parts of the movie too.

      And yeah, 3D was *[

        • GTVic
        • 10 years ago

        Also, the “you guys should see the look on your faces” line. Cut and paste dialog (for idiots) makes me cringe.

      • Lane
      • 10 years ago

      Indeed. Cameron’s ham-fisted attempt at political commentary all but ruined what was otherwise an excellent sci-fi flick. Disappointing.

    • deruberhanyok
    • 10 years ago

    Cyril – I found I enjoyed the film quite a bit and even caught myself wondering about a few of the things you mentioned in your first article on it (where DID that water come from on the floating mountain? Rain?), but I wanted to point out something you said in the previous post:

    r[

      • Scrotos
      • 10 years ago

      I thought “unobtainium” was the name used for the material in The Core.

      • wingless
      • 10 years ago

      Unobtanium (renamed from Unobtainium to work within the standard scientific naming convention) was named that because of the main characteristic of the ore they were mining. This ore is a high temperature superconductor. Remember the floating mountains and ferrous rock forming in the pattern of magnetic fields. All the strange phenomena are explained within the realm of science.

      I know all of this because a friend bought me the Avatar book that explains EVERYTHING in more detail than most of us would care for.

      • tesla120
      • 10 years ago

      they sink millions into building an entire world but they cant come up with a name better than unobtainium?

      more evidence of watered down writing. and movies progressively dumbing down their complex plots to stupid fairy tales.

      I’m glad I haven’t paid to see this liberal hippy propaganda.

        • deruberhanyok
        • 10 years ago

        I think it was supposed to be a joke, Tesla. But if you’re calling a fun sci-fi action movie “liberal hippy propaganda” I can understand how you might have missed that.

    • alex666
    • 10 years ago

    Saw it tonight with my wife, 12 year-old son, and my wife’s brother. Four very different people with very different tastes, and we all were enthralled and thoroughly enjoyed it. Bottom line IMHO: James Cameron is a very good story-teller in his movies, and without a good story told very well, all the greatest CG in the world will be irrelevant. Lots of creativity, lots of thought given to this movie. Massive thumbs up. Even my wife loved it, and she usually hates these kinds of big-ticket hyped pictures with lots of loud noises and action. But she was totally drawn to this flick. And we did see it 3D.

      • Meadows
      • 10 years ago

      g{

        • alex666
        • 10 years ago

        Aargh, it was a good story (not great) but told very well. Period. Some formula, sure. I just wanted to pass on my 2 cents. I have to go to bed and get up for work.

    • Sahrin
    • 10 years ago

    I have to agree with everything you wrote, except that you were too hard on Avatar. The plot is terribly derivative – if James Cameron really spent 10 years developing the movie, are you telling me he couldn’t have spent an extra 10 minutes on the plot – just a few subtle and simple changes (adding a few scene’s worth of depth to the horrible charicatures of villains in the movie, say) would’ve made a world of difference.

    This is like Ferngully without the childish naivete. It blatantly doesn’t even attempt originality. At least Ferngully had the decency to make it’s villain transparently flat – what bothers me about Avatar is that it pretends to be something that it isn’t (that is, a piece of cinema).

    I completely agree with your positives, though, and will add that I adored Zoe Saldana’s performance – simply amazing. I never thought it would be possible for a shop to challenge ILM for CG quality – but there it is at WETA. Far superior to some of their questionable work in the LOTR trilogy.

    The film is ‘definitely something you have to go see’ – but in the same you go to the zoo to see outlandish animals and eat bad popcorn; not the way you go to a concert or art gallery.
    r
    I’m actually really disappointed in the film. It gives SciFi a bad name with the masses – it excels in all the technical aspects, but the general perception of SciFi (thanks to that idiot cable channel and the Sunday afternoon movie) is that it’s bad, not nerdy. Films like Avatar reinforce that perception – and are generally the reason why the real gems (like Serenity, for instance) are overlooked.

    Aside from the Tatooine thing, I don’t really see your comparison of Dune to A New Hope. I’ve actually never heard that comparison.

    EDIT: I will also add that the 3D version of the movie was a total waste of money. What a completely underwhelming technology. The movie-ride at Disney World was superior to this. This is what Hollywood wants me to pay an extra $3 for?

    • Krogoth
    • 10 years ago

    6/10

    Nice trolling.

    Meant as a reply to #43.

    • adam1378
    • 10 years ago

    So comparisons to Crysis should be used. It is a beautiful piece of art but the mechanics failed to make it perfect or the best.

      • rhema83
      • 10 years ago

      Actually no. Crysis didn’t even play at decent FPS on most people’s computers when it was launched. Nothing to do with its cheesy aliens meet North Koreans theme.

      I hope the proposed trilogy will be as well done as the original Star Wars, or at least Lord of the Rings. I am looking forward to the feeling I got when I first played through Oblivion.

    • d0g_p00p
    • 10 years ago

    I saw it tonight on a 3D enabled IMax. I thought it was a good ride. The story is absolutely bland and you pretty much know what’s going to happen as the story progresses. Despite that, the visuals are fantastic and a total joy to watch. The 3D is mighty impressive as well and don’t distract from the rest of the movie. I was worried seeing the trailer that the Na’vi would would look totally fake and hokey (sp?) However after seeing the film that was (thank god) not the case.

    It’s a great 2 1/2 hour ride. I definitely will go and see it again but on a 2D screen.

    • pragma
    • 10 years ago

    Tratata! Finally I got drugged to theater to see Avatar. Kept trying to control one of the cats but never worked, I say, the VR goggles they gave must have had faulty link or something. Maybe there was not enough Coke in my Pepsi. Butt I laughed hard when things blue up the guy landed on his but complained that his tail hurts!
    I enjoy movie. I also like computer. I often sit in front of the computer. The mouse is quite sensitive but I sit completely still. Eventually, the screensaver kicks in and then I nudge the mouse ever so slightly. Voila — instantly the picture reappears and I chuckle to myself, satisfied. This same then repeats time and time again, but to me, it is always a novel experience. Truly, Life can be so good.

    Yours Sincerely,
    the “Least Common Denominator”

      • Grape Flavor
      • 10 years ago

      uh, yeah! couldn’t have said it better myself…

    • BoBzeBuilder
    • 10 years ago

    Watched it. The 3D and visuals left me speechless. Well done Cameron. But the story was childish for my taste. Damn man, you make a 300 million dollar movie, at least gear it towards adults with more mature and realistic content :/ But I understand Cameron likes to make his $$$

    • deathBOB
    • 10 years ago

    I saw the AMC Imax version yesterday. The level of immersion is unreal. I don’t think the plot was weak enough to really detract from everything else that made it great.

    • voxfiux
    • 10 years ago

    big sappy girl?”, yes. And a hypocrite too.

    • Gilligan
    • 10 years ago

    totally agree with you Cyril

    • Unckmania
    • 10 years ago

    I liked this movie. It’s good. really Good. All i’ve read from the comments has a certaing degree of truth, but the truth is you can’t expect much from a movie that’s been marketed to kids as well as adults.

    Plot can’t be too complicated or too mature when you want kids to get involved. This is the main reason, people are bashing this movie.

    Best way to enjoy this movie is like you enjoy a Pixar movie. Except this one aims for realistic looking enviroments and characters.

    PS. In the “sex” scene:Did you expect the Jake and Neyt to join their ponytails? I did. And i was expecting to be grossed by that.

      • shaq_mobile
      • 10 years ago

      american psycho was marketed to kids as well as adults! i thought that had a great story and good visuals.

    • dmitriylm
    • 10 years ago

    I finally got a chance to see this in 3D last night and it is really an impressive film. After seeing the trailer I brushed it off as another stupid fantasy flick but after seeing the positive reviews I decided to give it a go and I am not disappointed. They really crafted a beautiful and believable world, to the point where I wanted to see more of Pandora every time the film reverted to a live action sequence. Extracting the plot from the film and seeing it naked doesn’t do the film justice. The plot works well for what is shown here and its really an amazing place. The motion capture on overall movement and particularly facial expressions is so believable that I never felt distracted by the computer generated images.

      • MadManOriginal
      • 10 years ago

      No doubt the film is visually engrossing, it has to be to halfway decent overall. The problem is that the hypemachine was soooo huge on this that having a weak story makes it just halfway decent. The same technology applied to a great story would have made it awesome, and remember that it’s possible to make a movie that appeals to kids and is still enjoyable for adults in an adult way…think Schrek.

    • mongoosesRawesome
    • 10 years ago

    Anyone not impressed with the visuals? The trailer makes the characters look too CG for my tastes. Is that just poor editing in the trailer or do the characters look believable in the movie?

      • sydbot
      • 10 years ago

      The real CGI magic is in the fluidity of motion you see, the only thing that looked awkward to me was the running, and that still looked waay better than previous attempts. To sum up, a still picture does not capture how real the film looks in motion.

    • dpaus
    • 10 years ago

    Congrats on going to see it again, Cyril. I, too, was originally put off by the predictability of the characters and plot, but afterwards, realized that if the movie was to make enough money to cover its production cost, Cameron really couldn’t risk making it too sophisticated for a mass audience – and a world-wide mass audience at that.

    I paid the ticket price premium to see it in IMAX 3D, and I’m glad I did. I’ve told anyone who’ll listen that that is truly the /[

      • oldDummy
      • 10 years ago

      r[

    • Anomymous Gerbil
    • 10 years ago

    “Cameron is going to make a killing (Avatar has already made over $300 million worldwide, according to Box Office Mojo”

    These sorts of quotes can be quite misleading. What percentage of box-office take actually goes back to the producers of the film?

      • Shining Arcanine
      • 10 years ago

      Didn’t he spend $300 million making the film? At this rate, he will at best break even.

        • dpaus
        • 10 years ago

        Get serious! This movie is going to run for several weeks, and will likely top out well over a billion by the time it’s run it’s course (which will leave Cameron in sole, undisputed posession of both the #1 and #2 spots on the “all-time money-making movie” list). And that doesn’t even /[

          • eitje
          • 10 years ago

          OF ALL TIME.

          /kanye

            • dpaus
            • 10 years ago

            Yo, thanks for your comment, and I’m gonna let you finish, but first I just gotta say that the #1 money-making movie of all time is Titanic, which, after 12 years – almost to the day – has worldwide revenues of $1.8 billion. Avatar, after just 6 days, already has worldwide revenue of $400 million.

            #2 all-time worldwide revenue is LOTR: TROTK at $1.1 billion. Avatar is already almost 1/2 way there. In just 6 days, people. Can you say “return on investment”??

            OK, now, what was you saying?

    • kvndoom
    • 10 years ago

    Me want /[

    • Flying Fox
    • 10 years ago

    q[

      • Nitrodist
      • 10 years ago

      Yeah, T2 only made $516 million on a $100 million budget.

      Outrageous!

    • PeterD
    • 10 years ago

    How much have you been paid to write a 2nd article on that movie to try to lure us into seeing it?
    This is The Tech Report, remember?

      • Flying Fox
      • 10 years ago

      And this is a blog entry, not an official review article. What’s your point?

      • SomeOtherGeek
      • 10 years ago

      That is right this is a Tech Report site. The movie is pretty technical, don’t you think? Open up your mind a little, there is a lot of technology in everything if you really think about it, not just in computers.

        • PeterD
        • 10 years ago

        But this is not a movie blog.
        Point is they’ve published a SECOND article on it, and it doesn’t give us more insight in its technical nature.

          • sweatshopking
          • 10 years ago

          while im not sure that i believe they have been paid to write another article, you do raise a valid point, it is a tech website, i would prefer to hear about the tech behind it, rather than a rotten tomatoes style, as that is what RT is for. not a big deal, maybe just something to keep in mind for the future. thanks cyril!

          • NarwhaleAu
          • 10 years ago

          Lucky you can tell everything that can and can’t be posted on a website by its title.

          I agree, it is disappointing this doesn’t have more Tech. I’d go further than you and say it should also be in the form of a Report, at the very least with contents and index pages.

          /end sarcasm

          • SomeOtherGeek
          • 10 years ago

          I don’t know… The comments from others are pretty good with tech stuff. The TR stuff have lives and they like to share interesting things. I have given up on other tech sites cuz they have become boring. So, I glad they have this style of posting and I hope to God they never stop.

        • MadManOriginal
        • 10 years ago

        Yeah except these reviews are very non-technical. There’s almost no mention whatsoever of technology used or developed to make the movie, they are just non-technical movie review blogs. I am not really bothered but I see the point in asking why such completely non-technical articles are on TR. A little more tech tie-in would make sense. *oops, didn’t read the other replies that say the same thing :p Oh well, I agree with them.

      • Grape Flavor
      • 10 years ago

      it’s a blog post… he can write about whatever he wants.

      Also I very much support the idea of TR as a”community” where all sorts of things are discussed, and not just a database of benchmarks and specifications.

      also your accusation is baseless, every time a writer says something someone disagrees with we have to endure this endless “OMG HE TOOK BRIBES TO SAY THAT” It’s getting pretty old.

        • Grahambo
        • 10 years ago

        I read tech report for the same reason everyone else here who isn’t a troll does. I’m interested in the sort of things which get posted here. An in depth analysis of the nuance of stereoscopic imaging is not a requisite for an interesting article. If Cyril’s built a readership base (as he clearly has) by writing about things he thinks are worth the keystrokes, and he thought revisiting his original review was worth it, isn’t it then by definition worth revisiting?

    • Bensam123
    • 10 years ago

    Honestly, the plot is mediocre at best. I’ve told this to everyone who I have talked to.

    However, Jame Cameron proves that you don’t need a good plot to tell a good story. I honestly was sad and heartbroken to get up out of my seat and come back to reality after it was over. It was reminiscent of a good anime, which is something I’ve rarely experienced while watching live action movies save LoTR and the Matrix.

    It was most definitely worth seeing and I’ve debated on seeing it again. I would even rate it higher then the new Batman movies and Startrek remakes, because it is THAT good.

    It reminds me a lot of watching a ghibli film. It just whisks you away to a nerver-never land where plot doesn’t matter, the story largely is vague and obscure, but at the same time you never want to go back.

    People who are looking for a good story from this movie will be sorely disappointed. Stop looking at everything under the microscope and just leave it all behind (this is coming from someone who firmly believes in character/plot development). Sometimes the bigger picture is what matters more then the individual attributes.

    • jdrake
    • 10 years ago

    Wow – hadn’t heard about the trilogy idea… but I’m on board!

    I like the comparison Cyril – Avatar could – like Empire – add more depth to the characters – but still take the viewer back to the world they hated to leave after the first film ended…

    If anyone could do it – Cameron could.

      • Meadows
      • 10 years ago

      Could you put any more dashes in a single sentence? I had to read it thrice to get it right.

        • SHOES
        • 10 years ago

        weeuweueweueweweueweueweeewwweeeeeeeeeeeeuuu.

          • ImSpartacus
          • 10 years ago

          Grammar Police siren?

        • sweatshopking
        • 10 years ago

        hey meadows. FART.

          • Meadows
          • 10 years ago

          Well done.

    • PRIME1
    • 10 years ago

    l[

      • WaltC
      • 10 years ago

      A big, sappy, girl from France…mmmmm….Why she’d stick with “Cyril” as a name, though…?

      j/k….;)

    • Kulith
    • 10 years ago

    I don’t know why you hated 3d so much, I thought it was by far the best 3d film experience I’ve ever had. And just one of the best film experiences in general.

    I’d highly recommend the movie to anybody.

    • halfline
    • 10 years ago

    At one point, the movie talks about waking up from a dream fantasy into a cold reality. I agree, the idea of watching a great movie was a fantasy and when I “woke up,” I was pissed, tired, and missing $11.

    • alex666
    • 10 years ago

    I remember Roger Ebert coming back with a second viewing of The Unforgiven and acknowledging that the first time he saw it he “just “didn’t get it” and appreciate what a fine film it really was. Lots of art does not always grab us the first time we experience it, but over time we are drawn into the richer subtleties. Music is that way to me. For example,I absolutely hated Neil Young’s After the Gold Rush when I first heard it. Also, a lot of classical music requires multiple listens to fully appreciate and get it all in.

      • SomeOtherGeek
      • 10 years ago

      That is why I will be awaiting the DVD. I like to watch movies over and over again cuz you never get all the details the first time thru. So, I’ll be getting my money’s worth – the waiting will kill me, but oh well. Need the captions too.

        • krisia2006
        • 10 years ago

        I bought a Blueray for this one…

          • SomeOtherGeek
          • 10 years ago

          Now that is something I will have to think about… Should I jump on the blu-ray bandwagon or not? Um, with a movie in Avatar’s caliper, I just might have to.

            • rhema83
            • 10 years ago

            If you like movies and have some spare cash, why not? Then again, the price of the Blu-ray player and discs can buy you many trips to the movie theater. You’ll also have to wait a couple of months before the latest blockbuster gets released on Blu-ray. That’s probably why many people still hesitate on jumping onto the bandwagon.

      • shaq_mobile
      • 10 years ago

      some of the best art takes time. so does brainwashing. i wouldn’t take anything that bloated corpse of a movie reviewing says seriously. he doesn’t even judge things on his own criteria, he just judges things arbitrarily, disagreeing with the sheeple often enough to stay edgy and often agrees enough to keep popular.

        • Freon
        • 10 years ago

        “judges things arbitrarily”

        Entertainment is largely subjective, which also means a review can seem very arbitrary to anyone but the reviewer. And hell, even the reviewer could go back later and think their own review was arbitrary. Comes with the territory.

    • mi1stormilst
    • 10 years ago

    I am not at all excited about the movie, because I like my SciFi mostly dark and serious aka Blade Runner style. I have an 11 year old boy and I am sure we will still enjoy the visuals. Although are kids actually going to be as impressed as we are? I mean they are growing up with the likes of Lord of the Rings and Bioshock!

      • jdrake
      • 10 years ago

      The graphics in this film make LOTR effects look like stop time animation.

      Gollum is the closest that the Rings films will ever get to Avatar (graphically) – and he’s MILES away from the facial expressions on the Cameron creatures.

        • WaltC
        • 10 years ago

        /[

      • Meadows
      • 10 years ago

      They are going to be impressed. My 5 year old sister growing up on the Harry Potter series is still entertained by the old MLP cartoons.

      Kids are just kids, you can count on it.

        • Flying Fox
        • 10 years ago

        Kids are impressionable? πŸ™‚

          • SomeOtherGeek
          • 10 years ago

          Oh nos! More Meadows clones… Run!

        • shaq_mobile
        • 10 years ago

        lol you have kids? that should be interesting πŸ™‚

          • Meadows
          • 10 years ago

          …I do?

    • blitzy
    • 10 years ago

    I think the fact that you felt compelled to give it another chance is a good sign, I’m still waiting to see it myself after Xmas when I can get to a 3D enabled cinema

      • shaq_mobile
      • 10 years ago

      i think most of us here can agree that we enjoy different types of movies. its perfectly okay to like a movie even if it has a crappy plot. i dont think anyone here has posted that it hasnt had a crappy plot. most everyone has posted that it has great visuals and thats enough. seems fair. i love steven segal. i like bruce willis and arnold. i love crappy horror flicks. clearly, a strong story line isnt important to me. its just important to keep in mind when people say “that was a good movie”, they may specifically be referencing the particular aspects that tickle them.

    • oldDummy
    • 10 years ago

    I went with an 11 year old, we both liked it.
    Plot is minimal and serves as a vehicle for the true purpose of the movie.
    Texture, theme and tech are highlighted and featured throughout. Personally I thought the movie was as enjoyable as a FPS and they have many features in common.

    Four out of Five thumbs up.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 10 years ago

      you have five thumbs?

        • SHOES
        • 10 years ago

        thaaats wierd…

        • DancingWind
        • 10 years ago

        technicaly betwean oldDummy and his 11yr old he has 8 thumbs πŸ˜€

          • derFunkenstein
          • 10 years ago

          how do you figure? Big toes are not thumbs.

            • Meadows
            • 10 years ago

            Because oldDummy already gave 4 thumbs up and his kid might take after him.

        • oldDummy
        • 10 years ago

        Good thing I didn’t rate it 4.5 thumbs up.
        Then I would really be weird.

          • BiffStroganoffsky
          • 10 years ago

          It would also make you a TR regular.

        • Vrock
        • 10 years ago

        Doesn’t everybody?

      • joekraska
      • 10 years ago

      /[

        • Meadows
        • 10 years ago

        That means they can’t sell you alcohol again.

        • kvndoom
        • 10 years ago

        In a galaxy far, far away??? πŸ˜›

    • Meadows
    • 10 years ago

    Two words.
    Techno Pocahontas.

    • Nitrodist
    • 10 years ago

    I’m going to see it tonight. I hope that it will be good~!

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