Avatar: the most heavily promoted film since I-don't-know...

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Avatar: the most heavily promoted film since I-don't-know...

Postby Idhan » Thu Dec 03, 2009 11:10 pm UTC

It's striking how much puffery avatar is getting, from everything from 2-minute-long TV commercials to New Yorker articles to features in 60 Minutes.

What do you think?

Hopes
-It'll be a really awesome experience watching it.

-It'll help in the reestablishment of 3D as a medium, setting standards and such.

Fears
-It'll be a self-righteous, simplistic, fairy tale battle between evil humans imperialists and idealized Navi noble savages with no faults of their own whatsoever, masquerading as something more critically aware, allegorical, etc.

-It'll include too much Rock Beats Laser silliness with primitive warfare being match or almost a match of industrial/sci-fi tech levels, without some form of justification. (Like the marine avatar guy with paralyzed legs feeding them bad intel which does more damage than the natives' actual battle prowess or the like.)

-It'll include excessively long sequences of special effects-crammed disorienting action without enough repose to allow people to catch up.

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Re: Avatar: the most heavily promoted film since I-don't-know...

Postby headprogrammingczar » Thu Dec 03, 2009 11:16 pm UTC

Don't forget the over-the-top choral ensemble.
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Re: Avatar: the most heavily promoted film since I-don't-know...

Postby Admiral Valdemar » Thu Dec 03, 2009 11:30 pm UTC

headprogrammingczar wrote:Don't forget the over-the-top choral ensemble.


James Horner's doing the score. That means it will sound like every other score he's done, essentially.

I'm a little more optimistic with the proper trailer, because after seeing the teaser, I was like "Okay. And I care for this... why?". It seemed like Fern Gully In SPAAAAAACE!, which I'm desperately hoping it's not (or Dances With Wolves... IN SPAAAACE!). With Cameron finally getting off that Titanic buzz, he can finally go back to what he's good at. I just question whether the decade he's spent on this nets only the most lifelike looking animated movie ever and not something that stands out as a story and dramatic experience. Yes, it's shiny and 3D, but that better not be all that's going for it.

Still, even if it sucks, Cameron's a god when it comes to design and effects, and I love that he's sticking with a more real look and feel to the human technology a la the USCM in Aliens, even if I question the Na'vi. They should be catgirls, instead. I really do have to twist my suspension of disbelief if somehow the tribal aliens beat the invaders in the end. Whatever happened to nuking the site from orbit? It's the only way to be sure.

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Re: Avatar: the most heavily promoted film since I-don't-know...

Postby Skythe » Fri Dec 04, 2009 12:56 am UTC

I've never watched Avatar before, but I'm looking forward to watching it. Good director and special effects aren't so bad. Since it's based off another TV show or whatever, it must have a good enough plot and enough followers. So, it shouldn't be horrible.
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Re: Avatar: the most heavily promoted film since I-don't-know...

Postby Aleril » Fri Dec 04, 2009 1:28 am UTC

Skythe wrote:I've never watched Avatar before, but I'm looking forward to watching it. Good director and special effects aren't so bad. Since it's based off another TV show or whatever, it must have a good enough plot and enough followers. So, it shouldn't be horrible.


Wrong Avatar.

This one, not this one
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Re: Avatar: the most heavily promoted film since I-don't-know...

Postby Skythe » Fri Dec 04, 2009 2:05 am UTC

Whatever, still looks good.
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Re: Avatar: the most heavily promoted film since I-don't-know...

Postby Spacemilk » Fri Dec 04, 2009 3:18 am UTC

I've seen the in-theater preview twice now. The script in the preview alone makes me want to insert sharpened sticks into my ears. I can't imagine what it'll be like feature-length. If I understand the preview correctly, the plot is essentially "Dances with Wolves" but everyone has blue skin now.

I will probably go see it in theater, but only out of pity for the filmmaker, since I heard the budget was estimated at $500 million. (I say "estimated" because an unknown large amount - in the millions - was put up by someone closely connected with the project - not sure if it was Cameron or not)
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Re: Avatar: the most heavily promoted film since I-don't-know...

Postby folkhero » Fri Dec 04, 2009 4:33 am UTC

Spacemilk wrote: I can't imagine what it'll be like feature-length. If I understand the preview correctly, the plot is essentially "Dances with Wolves" but everyone has blue skin now.

Or "Dances with Smurfs" if you're a South Park fan.
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Re: Avatar: the most heavily promoted film since I-don't-know...

Postby Midnight » Fri Dec 04, 2009 7:16 am UTC

the lines i've heard from the trailer are the only thing putting me off it. it seems like such contrived, generic sci-fi-action-movie dialogue to the point of camp. as if they're making fun of such dialogue--but i don't think they are. so.. egh.
My friends don't like the blue people thing, but I liked dances with wolves so I don't think I'll genuinely hate this movie.
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Re: Avatar: the most heavily promoted film since I-don't-know...

Postby Spacemilk » Fri Dec 04, 2009 3:55 pm UTC

Correction on the cost thing: I guess it's actually $387 million, which apparently won't be difficult to make back. (also they're evidently making a video game that's set to release this Tuesday? before the movie even comes out...?)
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Re: Avatar: the most heavily promoted film since I-don't-know...

Postby headprogrammingczar » Fri Dec 04, 2009 5:02 pm UTC

Movie games always come out before the movies. They think people will be interested enough in the movie to get the game for a "preview" of the movie.
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Re: Avatar: the most heavily promoted film since I-don't-know...

Postby TheAmazingRando » Sat Dec 05, 2009 1:32 am UTC

I think it looks terrible. Granted, Cameron has made some of the best sci-fi/action movies ever so I should probably have some faith in it, but it just looks like another Hollywood excess/schlock fest in the vein of Michael Bay. The whole thing has Waterworld written all over it, to me.

Plus I'm a bit off-put by the advertising, which seems to be "EVERYONE CARES ABOUT THIS MOVIE YOU SHOULD TOO!" when pretty much nobody I know thinks it'll be any good. They also rely on name recognition far too much, which if he'd just wrapped up Terminator 2 or something would have everyone dazzled, but won't do anything for the young teenage male crowd it pretty much needs to draw to be a success, who weren't even alive when he last released an action movie. You can't come back after falling off the map for over a decade, as far as most movie-goers are concerned, and expect that the general public has been following your progress and eagerly anticipating your return.

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Re: Avatar: the most heavily promoted film since I-don't-know...

Postby Skythe » Sat Dec 05, 2009 2:56 am UTC

Wow, the show Bones really went all out promoting Avatar last night. It was too much, even for my favorite show on TV right now.
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Re: Avatar: the most heavily promoted film since I-don't-know...

Postby Azrael001 » Sat Dec 05, 2009 3:03 am UTC

TheAmazingRando wrote:The whole thing has Waterworld written all over it, to me.
Interestingly enough I liked Waterworld. Additionally while it looks like it could be if not awesome, than at least fun.
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Re: Avatar: the most heavily promoted film since I-don't-know...

Postby novax6 » Sat Dec 05, 2009 12:04 pm UTC

Azrael001 wrote:Interestingly enough I liked Waterworld.


.....
Get. Out.




:P
Seriously though. Waterworld was Mad Max, with worse action, acting, story, and more Costner. (i'm looking for a vomity face smiley but can't find one).

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Re: Avatar: the most heavily promoted film since I-don't-know...

Postby sje46 » Sat Dec 05, 2009 12:50 pm UTC

The name of the planet is Pandora?!? Wtf. Couldn't think of anything more cliche?
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Re: Avatar: the most heavily promoted film since I-don't-know...

Postby Box Boy » Sat Dec 05, 2009 2:11 pm UTC

sje46 wrote:The name of the planet is Pandora?!? Wtf. Couldn't think of anything more cliche?

Well, it could be a set up for a lampshade hanging where one of the characters says the same thing as you........

Seriously though, whenever I see the ads for it I can't stop thinking that it is s a re-telling of the Smurfs with guns and implied sex. (from what I have heard)
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Re: Avatar: the most heavily promoted film since I-don't-know...

Postby Dobblesworth » Sat Dec 05, 2009 6:29 pm UTC

I do hope Avatar plays the 3D card right and energises the field as it promises. I don't want another Spy Kids or <generic studio ride attraction from Disney World> where they stick to pulling the gimmick of "oh look, a bug is flying out into the theatre, and all the audience recoil as if it is 2 inches away from them!" Dynamic depth where you can really sense the distances involved or the relative nature of the aerial combat sequences etc. is what I'd like to see, but not just see, I'd like to get my mind blown away by it.

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Re: Avatar: the most heavily promoted film since I-don't-know...

Postby ameretrifle » Sun Dec 06, 2009 5:13 am UTC

Skythe wrote:Wow, the show Bones really went all out promoting Avatar last night. It was too much, even for my favorite show on TV right now.
That was my first thought when I saw this thread. It was really obvious and cheap. A whole freaking subplot, what the hell? Definitely had the opposite of the intended effect for me, though I'm not much of a moviegoer anyway.

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Re: Avatar: the most heavily promoted film since I-don't-know...

Postby cephalopod9 » Mon Dec 07, 2009 6:40 am UTC

This might be kind of odd, but did anyone else get sort of an Ursala Le Guin feel? Could just be that I was reading something of hers around the time I first saw a trailer, but the culture divide, two worlds, set up, and all, seemed kind of similar. (Plus, her being involved would have completely forgiven how ridiculous this looks, I mean, she and Heinlein have had some of the campiest sci-fi book art ever. )

It looks interesting (visually at least), an might be decent if they manage some complex world building, and don't just add lasers to things.

And the "Avatar" verses "Last Airbender" confusion is going to give me a headache.
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Re: Avatar: the most heavily promoted film since I-don't-know...

Postby headprogrammingczar » Mon Dec 07, 2009 3:34 pm UTC

cephalopod9 wrote:And the "Avatar" verses "Last Airbender" confusion is going to give me a headache.

Not really, neither of them has much chance of being good.
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Re: Avatar: the most heavily promoted film since I-don't-know...

Postby Rhubarbed » Mon Dec 07, 2009 8:19 pm UTC

Papyrus.

Spoiler:
Fucking Papyrus.
Equals capital d

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Re: Avatar: the most heavily promoted film since I-don't-know...

Postby spupy » Mon Dec 07, 2009 8:53 pm UTC

I really hope that there is more story than mentioned in the trailer. It sounds painfully cliché and leaves me with the impression that this is porn for my visual nerve, with some story tacked on.
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Re: Avatar: the most heavily promoted film since I-don't-know...

Postby Midnight » Tue Dec 08, 2009 5:29 am UTC

Rhubarbed wrote:Papyrus.

Spoiler:
Fucking Papyrus.



Why do people hate on papyrus so hard?
uhhhh fuck.

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Re: Avatar: the most heavily promoted film since I-don't-know...

Postby Dobblesworth » Tue Dec 08, 2009 1:47 pm UTC

For a member of a forum which could easily be ascribed to being the Haven for Fanbois/Fangurls of Serenilol and Firefail, I don't see why spupy doesn't like Papyrus.

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Re: Avatar: the most heavily promoted film since I-don't-know...

Postby Spacemilk » Thu Dec 10, 2009 7:16 pm UTC

Dobblesworth wrote:For a member of a forum which could easily be ascribed to being the Haven for Fanbois/Fangurls of Serenilol and Firefail, I don't see why spupy doesn't like Papyrus.

Since when are we not allowed to like the movie without liking the font on the front cover? I wasn't aware that having a positive reaction to a movie meant I had to wholeheartedly approve of every second as well as every design, script, and casting choice. :)

Anyway, I figure if a movie has a budget of nearly $400 million and actually invents a new language for a movie, the least they could've done is found a new, little-used font (or designed their own!) for their movie. I'll also mention that Serenity's budget was approximately $40 million, ONE-TENTH the budget of Avatar.

Just sayin'.

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Re: Avatar: the most heavily promoted film since I-don't-know...

Postby Thousand » Thu Dec 10, 2009 8:45 pm UTC

Midnight wrote:the lines i've heard from the trailer are the only thing putting me off it. it seems like such contrived, generic sci-fi-action-movie dialogue to the point of camp. as if they're making fun of such dialogue--but i don't think they are. so.. egh.


"You aren't in Kansas anymore". Urgh. I saw the trailer or the teaser or whatever, and it was showing the bit where the guy in the wheelchair was meeting his "Avatar" self, in what looked like could be a pretty cool and iconic moment. He opens his lips, perhaps to say something poignant, something fitting for the occasion.

"Cool."

What also annoys me is the fact that the film is a painfully obvious allegory for the Western expansion into the New World (going so far as to call them 'natives'; hey guys like the native americans amirite?)




Also yes fuck Papyrus.

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Re: Avatar: the most heavily promoted film since I-don't-know...

Postby Midnight » Fri Dec 11, 2009 4:35 am UTC

Wait, are we (humans) killing all the avatar-people in the movie or something? Driving them into reservations? who is the allegorical andrew jackson?

that's not the vibe I picked up from the trailers at all.

and, edit
Spacemilk wrote:
edit: Check out the Wikipedia page; read it carefully; see where it cites [4] as supporting evidence; then check out what cite [4] actually is. Amazing.


My problem with that, is if you do check the source and read the xkcd comic involved, Our Glorious Leader says "deep down, I love papyrus"
uhhhh fuck.

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Re: Avatar: the most heavily promoted film since I-don't-know...

Postby Azrael001 » Fri Dec 11, 2009 7:47 am UTC

I've got nothing against it either, but then, this is coming from the person who liked Water World, so I'm not sure that count's for much.
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Re: Avatar: the most heavily promoted film since I-don't-know...

Postby mosc » Fri Dec 11, 2009 1:42 pm UTC

This movie reminds me of some films I really didn't like. There's some Starship Trooper vibe, some AI vibe, and like a suprising amount of Pocahontas. Anybody else expecting a "colors of the wind" 3D porn cession broken up by some overly coke'd up sergeant type busting in with a quick cut to some little kid going "why do they want to hurt us?"
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Re: Avatar: the most heavily promoted film since I-don't-know...

Postby sje46 » Fri Dec 11, 2009 2:26 pm UTC

It has a 100% on Rotten tomatoes, based off 11 reviews. This is a good one: http://www.empireonline.com/reviews/rev ... FID=133552

If you can let go of your version and embrace Cameron’s – if you’re not, in other words, one of those splenetic internet fanboy types who’ve apparently made their minds up about Avatar before seeing it – then Avatar is a hugely rewarding experience: rich, soulful and exciting in the way that only comes from seeing a master artist at work.
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Ewww.

Do you think it'll be popular, though?
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Re: Avatar: the most heavily promoted film since I-don't-know...

Postby Aikanaro » Fri Dec 11, 2009 2:45 pm UTC

Aleril wrote:
Skythe wrote:I've never watched Avatar before, but I'm looking forward to watching it. Good director and special effects aren't so bad. Since it's based off another TV show or whatever, it must have a good enough plot and enough followers. So, it shouldn't be horrible.


Wrong Avatar.

This one, not this one

I just wanted to pop in and say THANK YOU. I've only tangentially been aware of either one, and have been confused as hell by this. "Hmm, you know, that Avatar show always looked interesting, though I don't have cable and can't watch it. Maybe I'll see this movi....wait, is that a SPACESHIP in the promotional posters? The HELL???"
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Re: Avatar: the most heavily promoted film since I-don't-know...

Postby Jesse » Fri Dec 11, 2009 8:33 pm UTC

After reading an article on this film in Wired UK, I now have to see it. It gave no real plot or story ideas away, but holy crap the stuff they had to invent just to make this film is unbelievable, I'm basically going to be having one long, film techie wank over this.

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Re: Avatar: the most heavily promoted film since I-don't-know...

Postby Ivora » Sat Dec 12, 2009 3:05 am UTC

It looks like one of those movies I'll see a year after its released on dvd and then slap myself for not seeing it sooner. :|

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Re: Avatar: the most heavily promoted film since I-don't-know...

Postby Various Varieties » Sat Dec 12, 2009 12:21 pm UTC

A series of Twitters from Simon Pegg, a man who knows a thing or two about taking the piss out of highly-anticipated but disappointing blockbusters:

Avatar ........................ tweetless. Just tweetless in the best possible way.

Just left the party. The movie is a game changer. Still buzzing. Tweet over.

(As someone on the Guardian blogs said: "That's enough game-changing - Ed")

Morning after, Avatar is an extraordinary piece of cinema. Breathtaking in 2 dimensions, let alone 3. Congrats and respect to all involved.

It's a familiar story but it needs broad mythological strokes to counterpoint the intense visuals. Narrative complexity would self defeat.

The unfunny smurfs refrain reminds me if the pre Star Trek 90210 twattery. Unite and hate before seeing a theatrical frame? Makes me sad.

Yes, the number of people repeating "It looks like a Yes album cover!" and "Dances with Smurfs!" and "So it's basically Ferngully?" and "It looks like a videogame!" (while giving the impression that they think they're the first person to think of those comparisons) are getting annoying.

As for the CGI: I watched the recently-released clip of the Thanator chase sequence. I think the chase itself is about as convincing as OTT action sequences ever have been, but the more subdued moment at the end where he uses the branch to climb out of the water looks fantastic. Far better than the sequences in LOTR where Gollum was in water.

But I'm normally very forgiving of movie special effects (though I draw the line at the infamous parasurfing bit in Die Another Day) - for example, The Matrix Reloaded's Burly Brawl was fine for me, other than a couple of shots where Neo spins round in the air.

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Re: Avatar: the most heavily promoted film since I-don't-know...

Postby Admiral Valdemar » Sat Dec 12, 2009 11:29 pm UTC

That sequence certainly looks amazing, though I imagine it's easier to get that when the whole film is animated. My dad was put off seeing Beowulf because "It was a cartoon", despite the CGI nowadays being about as real as it gets. Bad effects now are typically in movies where less emphasis is put on such effects, or you've got lazy animators. The effects in District 9 or Sunshine are perfect, and both are low budget blockbusting works.

I reserve judgement on the story here, because I don't doubt Jim Cameron and his effects (he did start in that area long before getting a director's chair). If it isn't Dances With Smurfs, or even if it is but a damn good iteration of that story, I'll be happy.

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Re: Avatar: the most heavily promoted film since I-don't-know...

Postby pseudoidiot » Sun Dec 13, 2009 5:11 am UTC

Jesse wrote:After reading an article on this film in Wired UK, I now have to see it. It gave no real plot or story ideas away, but holy crap the stuff they had to invent just to make this film is unbelievable, I'm basically going to be having one long, film techie wank overthis.
Is that article online anywhere? I'd be interested in reading it.
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Re: Avatar: the most heavily promoted film since I-don't-know...

Postby Giant Speck » Sun Dec 13, 2009 6:34 am UTC

Avatar's Rotten Tomatoes score has fallen to 90% in general, but is still at 100% with the top critics, and was given four stars by Roger Ebert:
Watching "Avatar," I felt sort of the same as when I saw "Star Wars" in 1977. That was another movie I walked into with uncertain expectations. James Cameron's film has been the subject of relentlessly dubious advance buzz, just as his "Titanic" was. Once again, he has silenced the doubters by simply delivering an extraordinary film. There is still at least one man in Hollywood who knows how to spend $250 million, or was it $300 million, wisely.
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Re: Avatar: the most heavily promoted film since I-don't-know...

Postby Jesse » Sun Dec 13, 2009 11:35 am UTC

pseudoidiot wrote:
Jesse wrote:After reading an article on this film in Wired UK, I now have to see it. It gave no real plot or story ideas away, but holy crap the stuff they had to invent just to make this film is unbelievable, I'm basically going to be having one long, film techie wank overthis.
Is that article online anywhere? I'd be interested in reading it.


Had a look around but can't find it, the only thign WIRED UK seems to post up is Warren Ellis' monthly column.

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Re: Avatar: the most heavily promoted film since I-don't-know...

Postby Admiral Valdemar » Sun Dec 13, 2009 10:00 pm UTC

Jim just gave a ten minute opening to the beginning of The Abyss on FilmFour over here, with him talking about Avatar and his other works. The clips they showed look stunning, and I think an Oscar for effects alone is required. I love the thought he puts into the technology and biology of this new film.


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