Why, oh why are people fooled by Avatar? I haven't seen it in 3D, so I can't comment on the technology. But why can't people see that this film is just terrible? Can anyone tell me what they think (honestly) of the following:
The script (bit clunky, no?); the screenplay (sorely lacking in pace. Hectoring, lecturing, obnoxious); the acting (why are the actors in the film so wooden?); the characters ( the Americans are all horrendous cliches.I mean, the marine commander was just unwatchable. The head of the corporation was far too young to have obtained such a position of responsibility. I assume the Na'avi are supposed to lack comprehension of what the humans are up to. Why doesn't anyone ask where the Na'avi with the american accents came from and what they want?). The effects (they aren't anything we haven't seen before). The message (offensive really)
Actually I did. So what? In what way am I "fooled"? Have you seen effects like that before?- actually I haven't. But silly me, I was fooled. Still, I'll watch out for your future reviews, always good to have a superior intellect to tell me what I should think.
"Have you seen effects like that before?- actually I haven't."
Still no reply to the dreadful script, wooden acting, horrendous pacing and offensive message. Just proves its all about the FX really. So, why is this film so great when Star Wars was almost universally panned? What is it that people love so much?
I first saw Avatar in a large multiplex and while I thought the storyline was basically "Starship Troopers meets Little Big Man" it was a lavish technological feast and worked brilliantly in 3D. I have just watched it again in Blu Ray and without the 3D effects it does suffer badly. The acting is so wooden you could use it to deck your lawn with Stephen Lang's "Colonel Miles Quaritch" possibly one of the most ham fisted performances in movie history. In addition the transfer of the film to Blu Ray actually seems to make this a film so dominated by the colour blue that I almost watched it in sunglasses. With hindsight you can see why it it did not win any major awards since the script is often juvenile and I personally think the Hurt Locker was far superior piece of film making (although I stated this in a review on Amazon and it split the jury)
That said I think to call it offensive however is taking it a bit far. At the end of the day its a blockbuster utilising advanced technology and my kids love it, Similarly you are clutching at straws in some of your criticisms like "the head of the corporation was far too young to have obtained such a position of responsibility". What does he need to do - produce a MBA? Similarly to criticise the "Na'avi with the American accents" is bit odd, have you ever heard a Na'avi accent? Finally was "Star Wars" panned? The first three episodes were universally praised if my memory serves me; it was only when the horrible first part of the prequel "The Phantom Menace" came out, and the awful Jar Jar Binks emerged that the critics rightly "had a pop".
In the last analysis people haven't been fooled since they have enjoyed Avatar for what it is, namely pure escapism. It may well irritate you that this film is the biggest grossing film of all time but that is down to public taste, nobody forces people to go watch this. While personally I would much prefer if everyone loved "Raging Bull" or "Fitzcarraldo" the truth is that they don't. As such James Cameron clearly taps into public taste and the vox populi better than us poor suckers who can but jealously bemoan his success by writing frustrated comments on Amazon. Also I should point out that you appear to secretly love it since in your Amazon review you have managed to give Avatar 5 stars?
I know what you mean. I was fooled when I went to the cinema. I was also scammed when I saw Avatar a second time, was conned by media hype into seeing it a third, had my arm twisted and was frog-marched into the cinema, duct-taped into my seat and my eyelids held open with clips (a-la Clockwork Orange) for a fourth viewing. As if all this was'nt bad enough, my wife was kidnapped and a severed pinky was sent to me in a matchbox with a threat of further digits to come if I did'nt see Avatar yet again (a fifth time).
After all this, I decided to buy the DVD as the Fox Marketing Machine (which had craftily tattooed 'Watch Avatar in 3D, December 17!' on my left buttock whilst I was asleep) promised to leave me alone if I did.
Hell! Maybe I'm just a closet masochist and gullible to boot.
I never really get these negative reviews. I mean, no the film is NOT the best film ever, or anywhere near. But I bought the BluRay last week (I haven't seen at the cinema because I hate the cinema!), and it blew me away. Yes, the script is fairly generic, but the performances were believable, the casting was good, and the SFX were actually probably the best in any film to date (if we're talking CGI), so unlikely that we have in fact seen the like before. Personally I loved it. In the end, he HAD to deliver a film that would appeal to a broad base, so introspective art-house fodder was probably not very likely.
Hi Stephen A. Tattersall, I must say looking at your three reviews of Avatar, The Twilight Saga: New Moon and Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace all of which you really dislike. I think your taste in films is very lacking and your imagination is very poor too. I guess you enjoy films like Saw and Shoot-Em-Up which are made for teenage boys like yourself!
"Still no reply to the dreadful script, wooden acting, horrendous pacing and offensive message. Just proves its all about the FX really.".
It doesn't prove anything, except that I watch a film and have an opinion about it. You seek to make judgments on other people who watch a film and don't see what you see. Your opinion about the film is as valid as anyone elses, and people can agree or disagree and say why. But when you say "I am right and you are fooled", well as the old song goes "who's the fool now.....?"
Well actually the script was not "dreadful" - generic yes, but no worse than a thousand other similar films. Pacing for me was spot on, but that's all subjective. If I could change it, the film would actually be longer. The message...offensive? No, it's a typical "look how awful us humans are". Look at the real world...we are that awful. Good wins out in the end so I see no negative message, quite the reverse...The bully (us) loses. The acting I thought was fine, again, not Oscar-winning, but certainly nothing I thought about whilst watching. And yes, it IS much about the effects...but more about the overall experience. You want to talk about big box office hits with all your negative aspects, then look no further than Independence day...bloody dreadful in all those areas, although I personally even enjoyed that one...Maybe I'm lucky...I can watch and enjoy Moon, Pi, Sunshine, 2001 etc and enjoy very much, and swap brains if you like, and thoroughly enjoy ID, The Day after tomorrow, and Avatar. But that list is unfair on Avatar...it was far superior to any of those films. At the end of the day to use a modern cliche, he HAD to have a box office hit... All that money "wasted" on a deep, introspective and critically acclaimed masterpiece...and flop, would have probably not gone down too well.
Actually, I'm 34 years old and I haven't seen those two (Saw or Shoot 'em up). But I did love Star Wars Eps IV-VI, Lord of the Rings, Alien (far better that Jim Cameron's Aliens), Terminator (far better than T2 - Cameron Probably peaked with his first film), Blade Runner, 2001. Yes I like Sci-fi, just not bad sci-fi. But I also loved (for example) Frost/Nixon, The last king of Scotland, No country for old men, A history of violence, Godfather, Kung fu Hustle, Wall-e and so-on. I like to think I have a fairly broad taste in films.
Alien and Aliens were both masterpieces...in different genres (they score equally on IMDB too). For many people, Alien was too slow, but then that's subjective...I loved it. Terminator was excellent, but then Terminator 2 was far more polished, and also an excellent film. In fact scoring more on IMDB than it's predecessor. Blade Runner, whilst I can appreciate it, was good, but not great until the directors cut came out. As alluded to earlier, he is being asked to make box office hits...and succeeding.
Wow, thankyou Stephen A. Tattersall. It's a good job you're here to put all us mere mortals in our places! I thought going to the cinema to enjoy a couple of hours of brain detaching popcorn entertainment was our right, but clearly we have to run this past you! I thoroughly enjoyed this movie, both for its sfx and story. James Cameron has given us in my opinion 4 of the best films of all time (Aliens, T1 and T2, and Avatar). Anyone who hasn't seen this should watch it and form their own opinion, as for my opinion - excellent.
In addition to seeing the film in all versions of 3D and IMAX to see which version was worst, I bought the steelbook set and learned that it is just as bad in 2D as it was in 3D. Then I ripped it to my iPhone so that I can carry Avatar with me everywhere as a constant reminder just how bad a film it is. Not.
A troubled soldier is tempted by high wages into a military contract which takes him to a strange foreign land. There he is taken in by the natives who decide to teach him their skills. After some months he falls in love with their way of life, finds his spiritual side, and develops feelings for a female native. At one point he must confront the tribe's best warrior, gaining his respect with an admirable determination. As military forces converge on his new home, the soldier decides to renounce his old allegiances and fight against his former people.
You'd be forgiven for thinking this synopsis was about Avatar, I was actually talking about The Last Samurai. If you can stomach the recycled plot, keep a straight face through the environmental/native American messages filled with unintentionally hilarious black & white stereotypical characters, and stand the god awful dialogue (Ranger Rick? Because they'd totally get our modern cultural references in the year 2154!) then more power to you. I'm not going to belittle your tastes or insult your intelligence, all I ask is that you equally respect my point of view. It's not about suspension of disbelief. I love movies like Crank or Kick-Ass. But I cannot ignore the faults of a movie when it has absolutely nothing in it's favour except special effects.
I got the "Ranger Rick" point even though I was unaware of the current NWF reference. The alliteration and tone of voice worked for me. Will fire extinguishers still be small red cylinders in 2154? Who cares? Even "unobtainium" worked for me despite the fact that (1) Oakley uses it as a name for a titanium alloy in watches and glasses, and (2) I am a chemist who teaches elements in the periodic table. Avatar elicited an essay by a biology teacher (http://j.mp/c8M4Ck) regarding its "world of wonder" flora and fauna) that was published in the New York Times. What YOU don't seem to understand is that your opinion is a vastly MINORITY opinion, and like anyone who stands in a public place and states a vastly MINORITY opinion, you are going to get shouted down. And it DOES NOT have "absolutely nothing in it's favour except special effects." It has entertainment, imagination and a sense of awe. What did The Hurt Locker have? A soldier so crazy that he could not go home to his wife and kid. How was that so different from Brothers? Gimme a break.
I mostly agree with Stephen in that the story, script, and acting were derivitive and weak. Unfortunately the big Hollywood product is all about CGI in the interests of violence. The lack of coherent narrative and interesting characters are not accidental but clearly deliberate. Since it does not serve the over-the-top action these are considered irrelevant. This dumbing-down in the interests of lucrative, but disposable, product has been going on for decades now. If you showed up at a studio today with the script for say Chinatown you'd be thrown off the lot. Avatar was a watchable entertainment and to its' credit much of the CGI effort was used to create the alien world rather than just more and bigger expolsions. So I certainly don't begrudge anyone going and enjoying the heck out of it. But products off the thrill-ride assembly line will always be replaced by the next-big-thing. By the by I thought the accents were quite clear and precise :)
The main person lacking comprehension would appear to be Mr Tattershall. The Na'avi like the rest of us know what American corporate business is after but like the rest of us they fail to understand the truly sickening lengths it will go to achieve it. The Americans are horrendous clichés like Americans so amazingly often are. the head of the corporation was no doubt lightyears away on earth in shareholders meetings but the head of pandoran operations mistakenly assumed to be him, had obviously been promoted quickly out of jobs where he had made himself very unpopular to a post as far away from headquaters as possible : now that never happens in real life does it?
Last I looked, the company ruining the Gulf of Mexico, and Louisiana. Mississippi, Alabama and Florida wildlife and beaches is BP. Who remembers what "BP" used to stand for? What is the reputation of young British tourists in Europe who have been asked to stay home? What was the nationality of the couple convicted having sex on a Dubai beach? I guess Americans are fighting in Afghanistan for the resources.
And you claim that "Americans are horrendous clichés?"
Still, I get it. The U.S. uses 25% of the world's energy. We had a "bring 'em on" president. We carry guns into bars. Gays cannot serve in the military. We butcher the Queen's English. Ugly. Ugly. But we also made Avatar, and the technology behind it. It was an American mocking Americans.
So while I agree with you I disagree with you.
And I refuse to believe that the Thamesmead speech in Misfits is actually English. Talk about another planet!
Sorry, but whilst America may have made the technology for the film and made the film itself, it has also created the worst part of the film industry, Hollywood. A place where special effects are considered more important than the plot, where actors are chosen on their fame rather than their ability and billions of sequels, spin-offs and remakes are created to cash in on even the smallest successes.
As for the film, it was the most over-hyped piece of crap ever, the special effects aren't what people claim them to be. Better than some films maybe, but for me, it looked no better than the latest Shrek movie. People who claim it to be one of the greatest films ever are foolish. People were fooled, some watched the film because they liked the look of it, others because they wanted to join the craze.
Enjoy Avatar, i'll enjoy great films, real films, not ones with computer game visuals.