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chism
Posted: December 17th, 2009, 6:06am Report to Moderator
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Woah.

James Cameron's imagination has finally been unleashed, without limits or restrictions. Avatar is easily one of the year's best films and Cameron's best since Aliens. A truly astounding accomplishment, visually stunning with strong performances and a well-thought out plot. Hollywood has earned it's future and more importantly, Cameron has proven that he still does it like no one else.

Everyone knows the story, so I'll skip to the good stuff. The visuals are completely flawless, as far as I could see. They were convincing enough at any rate to totally suck me into the world of Pandora and the Na'vi, the inhabitants of the alien world. This is no mere tribe of movie aliens, this is a complete culture. They have their own language, rituals, mannerisms, traditions and religion. Cameron and his team have imbued their world with detail not seen since Tolkein. And this is ultimately what makes the rest of the film so successful. I believed in this race and their struggle and the story and characters were more appealing for it. The animation effects made old movie conventions fresh and believable again.

The action sequences are pretty stunning in this film, with set-ups and payoffs that feel like what we used to get when people still actually tried when making an action film. The whole motif of nature against machine that runs through the film really makes for some interesting action scenes, which are more than just explosions and movement and noise. They have a rhythm and a flow, a kind of logical sense that we only find in the great action films.

And what is more, the film is completely unbelievable looking. Every frame and shot is packed with detail and wonder that the entire thing seems to move too fast. Cameron doesn't dwell on the details of the world, he simply shows it and continues his story the way Lucas did with the original Star Wars all those years ago. There are scenes of great wonder and beauty that just move by, but there are also some that pause a moment and allow the characters (and us) to truly absorb this world that is so completely different from our own. The cinematography and the animation effects are married perfectly and the result is truly remarkable.

If the film has a shortcoming it is that there simply isn't enough time spent in this world, which is a strange statement to make for a film that is almost three hours long but it is the truth. I wanted to see more of Pandora's jungles and forests, I wanted to know more about the plants and the life and what their relationship is to each other. Rather than sequels exactly, I want to see a series of documentaries in the style of the BBC's Planet Earth extravaganza, only about this world: Planet Pandora, narrated by Richard Attenborough. That would truly be awe-inspiring.

I guess I could go on and on about this movie for a long time. I imagine the feeling I had walking away from this film is the same feeling people had walking away from Star Wars, and the comparison is not inappropriate. Although their stories are completely different, I am certain their legacies will be similar. Hollywood has a future now, and Avatar is just the beginning. This is a film that delivers on all its promises, giving us a deeply rich and enjoyable film as well as an intimate character study and one hell of a roller coaster ride. Everyone should experience this film for themselves.

Simply outstanding.
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sniper
Posted: December 17th, 2009, 8:08am Report to Moderator
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It sounds fucking aweseome, Matt. Can't wait to see it.

Spoil one thing for me though: Do we see Michelle Rodriguez' titties in this one?


Down in the hole / Jesus tries to crack a smile / Beneath another shovel load
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chism
Posted: December 17th, 2009, 8:12am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from sniper
Spoil one thing for me though: Do we see Michelle Rodriguez' titties in this one?


Sorry Rob, not this time. Sigourney Weaver gets surprisingly close to nude at one point though. She looks pretty good for the other side of 60.
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sniper
Posted: December 17th, 2009, 8:16am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from chism
Sorry Rob, not this time. Sigourney Weaver gets surprisingly close to nude at one point though. She looks pretty good for the other side of 60.

Yeah, she's a MILF all right. No Michelle of course but still...


Down in the hole / Jesus tries to crack a smile / Beneath another shovel load
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jayrex
Posted: December 17th, 2009, 9:07am Report to Moderator
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I've just finished seeing Avatar not more than 15 minutes ago.

Spent £8.50 on the ticket, 80pence on the 3D glasses and this is the first time 3D actually meant 3D.  I had a choice to see the 2D or 3D version, but why bother with 2D?

This film is totally for the IMAX although I didn't try that cinema, your local will do.  I'm thinking of going to the IMAX to try this film again.

I'm ususally a sit near the back type of person.  This film should be seen near the front so that the edges of the film aren't seen.

I too like Matt think this film is truly beautiful.  A host of new animals and plants dominate scenes and each time I was drawn to a weird and wonderful creation, other animals or plants would pass me by.  I especially liked the night scenes.  

I don't think this film will spawn sequels but as ever the film leaves it open for the next chapter.

Despite what Matt say about these Aliens, I saw comparisons with African tribes.

P.S.

Slight correction, Sir David Attenborough would narrate and I would agree this would be cool to see.  Maybe as an extra on the dvd.

If this film has toys ready to buy I can see them snapped up for Christmas.

Go, see & enjoy.


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Zack
Posted: December 18th, 2009, 3:29am Report to Moderator
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Well. Anyone who has ever read one of my reviews of a movie I liked knows that I tend to over exaggerate about how good the movie is. Not this time.

This is the best movie I've ever seen. There. I said it. The special effects are not great. They are perfect. You never once look at something and think "damn, those are some good special effects". You never even notice them. Why? Because you simply can't tell what is real and what isn't. It's fair for you all to think I'm exaggerating... but that is only because you have yet to see this masterpiece.

And contrary to what some critics are saying, the story does not play second fiddle to the effects. Cameron has crafted the most believable alien world ever put on film. Star Wars has nothing on Avatar. Not going to go into details about the story and characters. Don't wanna ruin the many surprises to be had.

Next up... the action. Micheal Bay should honestly consider retirement. This is how action should be. Thrilling and intense, not overly loud and jarring. The end sequence alone is the exciting battle sequence I've ever seen.

Acting is all top notch. Sam Worthington will be remembered for his role as Jake Sully, much like his co-star Weaver will always be remembered for her role as Ellen Ripley from the Alien series.

Okay. I've preached about whats good. So what's bad? Nothing. You would have to be one jaded pessimist to find a flaw in this film. Alright. Review's done. See the movie now!

~Zack~


MY RATING SYSTEM

  -  5/5
  -  4/5
  -  3/5
  -  2/5
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Tommyp
Posted: December 18th, 2009, 3:52am Report to Moderator
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I saw this film last night, and I'm with everyone else here.... AMAZING.

It was so epic and awesome and cool and mind boggling and argh I want to see it again tonight!

It has so many good elements....

I'm usually not a sci fi/action adventure guy, but this one really drew me into the world.

If you see one film this summer.... well, one film this year, see Avatar.


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Sandra Elstree.
Posted: December 18th, 2009, 10:00pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Tommyp
I saw this film last night, and I'm with everyone else here.... AMAZING.

It was so epic and awesome and cool and mind boggling and argh I want to see it again tonight!

It has so many good elements....

I'm usually not a sci fi/action adventure guy, but this one really drew me into the world.

If you see one film this summer.... well, one film this year, see Avatar.


Thank you Tommy, I always appreciate your recommendations.

Thank you!!!

Sandra



A known mistake is better than an unknown truth.
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sniper
Posted: December 19th, 2009, 8:40am Report to Moderator
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Two words: Holy shit! What an experience!

The story itself is so-and-so, nothing groundbreaking, but the visuals are simply breathtaking. Whether it holds up in 2D is another question and I'm not sure how great this movie's replay value is but...DAMN! In 3D, this movie kicks ass.


Down in the hole / Jesus tries to crack a smile / Beneath another shovel load

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sniper  -  December 19th, 2009, 11:06am
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Zack
Posted: December 19th, 2009, 11:46am Report to Moderator
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Rob, the film is very re-watchable. Just saw it again last night and I've already got plans to see it again on Monday! Can't wait!

Oh, and quick tip about the Avatar video game. Don't bother. At least not until it has dropped to 20$. It's interesting and there are a lot of really cool ideas at work, but it seems like it was rushed out to release with the film. Such a shame. Still, worth a rental for the curious.

~Zack~


MY RATING SYSTEM

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  -  4/5
  -  3/5
  -  2/5
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sniper
Posted: December 19th, 2009, 4:50pm Report to Moderator
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I'm not saying I won't be seeing it again, I'm saying it won't be for the story but for the stunning visuals, in particular, Pandora itself.


Down in the hole / Jesus tries to crack a smile / Beneath another shovel load
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chism
Posted: December 20th, 2009, 6:55am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from sniper
The story itself is so-and-so, nothing groundbreaking, but the visuals are simply breathtaking. Whether it holds up in 2D is another question and I'm not sure how great this movie's replay value is but...DAMN! In 3D, this movie kicks ass.


It definitely holds up. I've seen it in both versions now and it still fucking rocks.
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sniper
Posted: December 20th, 2009, 8:55am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from chism
It definitely holds up. I've seen it in both versions now and it still fucking rocks.

That's good to hear, Matt.

I've had time now to completely digest the movie and will try to offer up my review of the film.

Like I mentioned earlier, visually, this movie is mindblowingly beautiful. I watched it in 3D and, regardless of what Matt says, I have doubts about how it holds up in 2D. Primarily because the movie is long - longer than it had to be, I feel - but I was okay with that because Pandora in 3D is worth it.

But when you strip the CGI away, when you peel the layers off and you get to the core story...it's - not disappointing - but underwelming. The problem is that it's so unoriginal. This is Dances with Wolves in space with a touch of The Matrix and operation Iraqi freedom. That's pretty much all it is. You have the bad guys (and they're really bad, I mean, the shade of grey does not exist in this movie, all is black or white. You're either sugar-coated good or mustache-twirling bad - it's that unsubtle)...what was I saying?

Oh, yeah, the bad guys need the Na'vis land because they're sitting on top of a huge cluster of oil - I mean unobtaininum. The Na'vis don't want to move - obviously - so the humans bring in George Bush - I mean Stephen Lang - and he starts a...did I hear him right? A Shock & Awe campaign?

While all of this is going on, Kevin Costner - I mean Sam Worthington's character falls in love with the Na'vi's way of life and - very not-surprisingly - one of the natives and sides with them and they go off and have a big battle (which was awesome by the way).

If you have seen Dances with Wolves or, idunno, the trailer to Avatar, then you don't really need to sit through the first 2h20m to figure out what's going on. Just come in for the final 20 minutes and enjoy the big battle - and mark my words, you will be entertained.

I'm not bashing this movie cos' I was entertained throughout, but - from a story standpoint - it was not as good as I had hope. The packaging though was un-fucking-believable.

Definitely not the best Cameron movie ever - that titlebelt is still wrapped around the waist of The Abyss - but definitely not the worst either.

My .02.


Down in the hole / Jesus tries to crack a smile / Beneath another shovel load
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Scar Tissue Films
Posted: December 20th, 2009, 8:22pm Report to Moderator
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I have to back up what everyone else has been saying. A truly awe inspiring film.

I've seen mixed reviews and as is so often the case, it only makes me think less of the critics because it's clear that they have no concept about what they are talking about.

It's a beautiful work of art, absolutely breathtaking.

It has been a great year for Sci-Fi, with Avatar and District 9 being two of the best films I've seen in years.

The Na'vi are beautifully realised. The trailers for the film were less than inspiring imo, it looked like Fern Gully, but their realisation in the film is a work of genius. The planet absolutely feels real and alive. And the Na'vi are beautiful, they feel alive and there is a palpable sense of sexuality in the air.

Rob is technically correct in what he says about the story-line, but the genius of the film is underneath the mechanics. All the cliches and story points are there, but they are over-ridden by sheer vitality of the film.

This film shows why the Heroes Journey template works. At its best it has the ability to speak to our racial identity as humans, that's why it is Universal, it looks at who were are and who we should be.

It is a staggering achievement, marrying technical excellence with a true heart.

In terms of legacy: I don't think it has the legs of a Star Wars, simply because the story is too small to expand upon.

Star Wars created an entire Universe, filled with millions of Star systems and an infinite variety of species and characters. It's grown beyond its life as a film and taken on a vast life of its own, practically creating a new Religion. It follows a time frame never witnessed in any other creation, following stories set over thousands of years and through whole characters life times.

There are already over 200 novels (with another 40 before 2013 on the way) and 30 years worth of comic literature and the sheer depth of that universe continues to amaze.

It's possible to tell any story whatsoever in the Star Wars Universe because the scope of it is as vast as the Universe itself.

What it has done is raise the bar on a more specific level. No world has been created in such microscopic detail.

Like others, I'd love to spend more time there.

You have to see this film at the Cinema in 3D. It would be tantamount to sacrilege to not see it as it was intended to be seen.

If you are anything like me, you'll want to go and see it again.

A beautiful film that restores faith in what looks a jaded industry at times.

James Cameron IS a genius and I hope we don't have to wait so long to see his next film. There simply aren't enough filmmakers who can make films of this magnitude.
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tonkatough
Posted: December 23rd, 2009, 5:05am Report to Moderator
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Yay! Finally got to see Avatar today.

It was like a remake of Battle for Endor but they swaped the Ewoks for blue cats.

I totally agree with Rob on this one.

The visuals and 3D is worth the watch alone.

Now all I need is a National Geographic documentry on the ecology of Pandora and how it evolved into the wild life it is in the movie and what it evolved from.




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