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mygif

A reasonably accurate, if not that succinct, report. I’ll buy it.

However, I did have the same reaction as you to the armoured robo-suit equipped with a knife. Two seconds later, I recalled that the humans had been trying to pacify and exploit Pandora for years. These mercs in the tinkertoy suits had been walking perimeter patrol in the jungle for a LONG time. Obviously, the giant knife was a locally added accessory for this Pandoran action figure.

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mygif

That’s largely what me and my friends thought, although we also started yelling “Pocahantas!” halfway through.

And then, because we are nerds, we spent the next 161 minutes rewriting the movie to sf better. We started out by swapping “unobtanium” (seriously, that was barely plausible in The Core) for trying to strip the planet for biologicals and ended up with something halfway to Solaris. It was practically as much fun as watching the movie to begin with.

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mygif

As I pointed out, “Avatar” and “Aliens” have the same basic plot, except that Cameron makes you root for the aliens in the former and the humans in the latter. :)

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mygif

I hear Avatar is just Fern Gully IN SPAAAAAAACE!

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mygif

So true

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Chris Russell said on December 22nd, 2009 at 1:00 pm

I was impressed at how many characters mapped perfectly to someone less blue in Dances with Wolves or The Last Samurai.

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ME: Or it’ll get written by Joss Whedon and there will be a secret order of female Nav’i who hunt vampires.

He is back on the market now.

Also, I thought the South Park “Avatar-is-about-smurfs” episode was spot on.

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mygif

@BlackBloc: Bwahah! God bless Lindy West.

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mygif

Spoiler warning would have been nice. Granted, I don’t think I should be concerned about the plot of this movie.

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mygif

FLAPJACKS: All that thinking about making it look awesome probably came at the expense of making the story be, like, good.
ME: Yeah, but who cares when it looks this great?

*raises hand*

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mygif

Dude, holding a conversation in the cinema? Not cool.

Also, if you’re sending a giant robot into the jungle, it makes sense to give it a big knife to cut through the vines which the local homicidal teddy bear equivalent wrap round its legs.

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mygif

There’s a plot?!

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malakim2099 said on December 22nd, 2009 at 5:25 pm

Will, I thought we established that Flapjacks is just MGK’s Id. So really, it’s an internal dialogue.

No movie conversation violations here!

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mygif

If the knife had been, like, an attachment to the mech’s arm instead of HAVING ITS OWN HOLSTER, I would have bought it more easily. Which is not to say it wasn’t entertainingly hilarious the way it is.

I didn’t think this movie was so mindblowingly awesome from a visual perspective that it excuses the utterly shitty script. Action scenes need some emotional stuff going on in the background that we care about. See: all the lightsaber duels in the prequels.

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solid snake said on December 22nd, 2009 at 5:31 pm

Avatar is the bastard love child of The Abyss and Aliens, think about it. Having seen Avatar, I think that it is a solid movie, better than some not others. This coming for a guy who knows that Aliens is the BEST MOVIE EVER MADE.

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mygif

Dude, holding a conversation in the cinema? Not cool.

Maybe I’m black. Ever think of THAT, smart guy?

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mygif

So glads Im not the only person who made the “Michael Bay WISHES he made movies like this” comparison.

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mygif

So I take it Dances With Smurfs was visually a treat?

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mygif

Nobody else in Hollywood period can direct a scene with six billion things fighting six billion other things in it without it looking busy and incoherent and essentially impossible to watch

Peter Jackson?

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mygif

Woah! WOAH! A spoiler warning would have been nice! I didn’t need to know which characters died and how! Damn.

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mygif

“Peter Jackson?”

I am thinking of Return of the King, and thinking “not quite”.

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mygif

If the Star Wars prequels would have been *all* lightsaber duels, instead of painful “romantic” conversation before fireplaces, then I wouldn’t have cared too much about the plot, either. :p

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mygif

You want a film to really, really suck and be full of plot contrivances and holes, but very ‘important’ and pompous, then you hire Whedon.

If you want good, competantly made fun, Cameron blows Whedon and his browncoats out of the water.

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mygif

fuck you the movie was good in every way and im gonna go see it again but this time in 3d

/trolling

But seriously, come on, why hate on the not-bad, just not-very-good script? It is a fun movie, visually gorgeus, and it’s not stupid.
In this case even, and for someone who loves the LSH so much, youre sometimes really too much of a… complainer? (sorry my english fails me here).

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mygif

But seriously, come on, why hate on the not-bad, just not-very-good script?

Because it’s James Cameron, who really is capable of doing much better films but has chosen not to.

At least, that’s the vibe I get off various reviews for the movie. Since my expectations for Cameron are apparently much lower than everyone else’s I wasn’t expecting him to do anything all that great. But I wasn’t expecting him to do “Dances With Wolves … IN SPACE”. Anyone who writes a picture in this day and age in the “What These People Need Is a Honky” genre and thinks they’re saying something original or new really does deserve to be mocked. Even if they remember to include awesome CGI effects.

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mygif

I wanted to hate this movie sooo bad

But this is the first 3d movie I’ve enjoyed and felt that the effect enhanced the film

It was also captivating from beginning to end. I didn’t look away from the screen once.

Damn you, Cameron! Damn you! I wanted to bitch about this film soooo bad.

The only thing that would have made it better was if the giant robot knife had a chainsaw blade.

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mygif

The badass colonel’s mecha had that bigass knife because the badass colonel insists on knife fights with Gundams every f-cking chance he gets.

And he wins.

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mygif

George Lucas once said the one thing that makes good movies is a good story. This lacked such a story. You cannot buy me with flourescent floating jellifish.

I’ll take boring-costume-drama Dances With Wolves over super-realistic-new-world Avatar anyday. And Serenity over either of them.

I wanted to love this movie. Fail.

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mygif

The badass colonel’s mecha had that bigass knife because the badass colonel insists on knife fights with Gundams every f-cking chance he gets.

Actually, that’s about accurate. From the Pandorapedia page for AMPs:

The other (non-standard) weapon is a combat knife of self-sharpening diamond-hard ceramic. To match the scale of the suit, the blade is over one meter long and can cut through many metals. (Although lethal, the blade is not as utilitarian as some cutting devices and is considered to be something of an affectation, used mostly by SecOps troopers with a “Special Forces” mentality.)

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mygif

The knife is pure Rule of Cool. And I will accept that. The film has its bad parts, it follows the story model a little too closely, but the knife is awesome therefore it stays.

I’d say there are a few directors who can direct a good large-scale action sequence- Cameron, Jackson, and honestly I would include Lucas. Maybe the Wachowskis, too. But it’s definitely not served well by the modern “move the camera all the time” concept.

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[…] as they note in this post (humorous intentions aside), James Cameron does know how to put a scene together. Orchestration as […]

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Lash Lightning said on December 24th, 2009 at 1:54 pm

Just got back from seeing the movie, in 3D. Some spoilers to follow:

Frankly, I would have preferred to watch it in normal HD/format that Films are shown normally in cinemas. Even when still, some things seemed fuzzy when they weren’t meant to be, but I guess it may be because I had to wear the 3D glasses over a normal pair.

The tried and tested and reviled “All they need is a Honkey” story could easily be changed if the lead character was black. It wasn’t because he was white, but because he was a human who saw the situation for what it was: unjust, inhumane genocide. I thought it was a nice touch that the guy decided to go full Na’vi rather than stay in those pod things.

The villain didn’t get a gruesome enough death. The guy was practically Hitler and Stalin, rolled into one Post-Nam Vet. Normal soldiers, those who were purposely left unaware of the situation, got killed in exploding airships, eaten/bit by alien-pterodactyls and crushed between two creates of plastic explosives. The big, evil guy, got shot with three arrows. Say what you like about neuro-toxins, but I wanted to see him gibbed.

Lastly, do people really think so little of mankind’s care for sapient life? Frankly, I’d rather think that if one of the good guys went to the soldiers and said “Hey, remember that other guy who wanted to murder an entire race of people? Walked funny, terrible moustache, only one testicle?” and there would hardly be any soldiers left willing to take to arms.

But, yes, an average story (I dunno if you could call the story of a fight against genocidal mad-men “average”) but with some great computer effects and directing.

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mygif

I’m surprised the mech’s knife is the sticking point it seems to be.The only reason to use such an impractical device as a mech in the first place is to duplicate human versatility, and the way to exploit that is tool use. By way of comparison, a sword is in every way a superior weapon to a katar or punch dagger. Therefore, a machete is superior to a extending utility blade. And ask anyone who has done a tour in serious jungle, a machete is just not optional.
And Lash, how can you think so much of Mankind’s regard for sapient life? We still have genocide today, and Hitler was just over fifty years ago. Give us a few years more to get over the personal reactions to his atrocities, and he’ll just be another historical ruler (like, say, Alexander the Great) who drew the world into a more global culture. And then add in that the Na’vi aren’t even human? I’m sorry, but that is all too realistic.

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mygif

And ask anyone who has done a tour in serious jungle, a machete is just not optional.

Except according to the background material for the movie, it is.

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TheMountain said on December 24th, 2009 at 5:16 pm

Beautiful effects. Horrible writing. Cameron may be a god of cinema direction, but he needs to hire a True Geek to write the technical parts of his sci-fi scripts. “Unobtanium”, Weaver’s character’s (top-flight scientist, remember) inability to describe the organic neural-net computer the Na’vi can communicate with, blowing up the giant tree instead of tunneling under it or taking it down from the top down like proper forestry. All signs of someone who has no tech chops. It’s almost into “380-point font on all the computers territory” a la “Mission Impossible 2”. And what’s up with Weaver’s and the other scientist guy’s Navi bodies having such a resemblence to their human selves while Worthington’s body looks completely Na’vi with no human facial characteristics?

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mygif

Michelle Rodriguez has been playing Vasquez for pretty much her entire career.

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mygif

I felt that closest comparison to the plot I made was Dune right down to very specific scenes, but ripping on something for taking points from Dune would be attacking all Science Fiction that happened post Dune

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ImperatorMJ said on December 26th, 2009 at 10:39 am

Screw the knife — I was laughing at the bayonet. “Why the hell does the mech-rifle need a bayonet? Do they fight robo-space-Hessians?” It was like James Cameron anticipated my question so perfectly — so the Duke University mascot and the guy in power armor can have a sword fight.

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mygif

As others said, if you’re tromping through a jungle in a human-emulating suit, you’ll want a knife.

And if you’ve got tigers the size of Chevys you’ll want a bayonette on your gun.

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ImperatorMJ said on December 26th, 2009 at 12:32 pm

Giant notwithstanding, what’s a space tiger going to do against several tons of titanium and servos?

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ImperatorMJ said on December 26th, 2009 at 12:37 pm

A tiger attacks a regular old grunt, yes, you’re going to want a bayonet. Because even the most hard-assed U.S. Marine can’t punch a tiger to death. But if he’s wearing power armor, he sure can.

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Killemalla said on December 31st, 2009 at 2:42 am

Why is the mech with the knife the sticking point? We’ve been seeing that since Neon Genesis Evangelion. They armed their giant mech with a BOXCUTTER, scaled up. Not even one of the cool boxcutters either, but one where the blades are designed to snap off.

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mygif

Why a knife? Why not a fucking chainsaw?

“I thought it was a nice touch that the guy decided to go full Na’vi rather than stay in those pod things.”

Nice touch? His legs were useless as a human; as a Na’vi, he could run, jump, fly, bone Na’vi ladies. I’m surprised the evil colonel thought he was a good idea. He had everything to gain by “going native.”

Did anyone catch the evil colonel’s line “We’ll fight terror with terror”? WHAT TERROR?

I was ready for the rollicking, non-stop thrill ride that everyone keeps talking about. I really didn’t get it. I was bored pretty much until the final climatic battle. No, sorry, plants under blacklight don’t “awe” me. I’ve been to the ET ride at Universal Studios.

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