I just saw Avatar in IMAX 3D. The 3D process is great. Even though the tickets are incredibly expensive, see it this way if you at all can. It's really a beautiful treat for the eyes.

Don't worry about the story. It's Dances With Wolves meets Dune. It will impress a lot of non-sf people with the imagination of sf. I'm sure it will earn James Cameron back the phenomenal amount of money that was spent on it. Most important, I hope the technology will trickle down into other film-making so that more imaginative stories can eventually be filmed.

I had fun. Go for the visual experience, and don't expect to think too hard.

Tags: 3-D, avatar., cameron, film., james, movoies

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Replies to This Discussion

Wonderful pun, Steve. Spider Robinson and Reginald Bretnor would be proud (well, Bretnor would be if he were alive). Alas, I don't think there are any 3D theaters in Hawaii, and certainly not on the Big Island, so when I get around to seeing it I'll just leave my brains under my seat and enjoy the 2D visuals.
I too have limited ability to get to a 3D theatre. But with this endorsement, I might try.
I found the 3D to be distracting at times, because a lot of the scene is out of focus. Plus, the Noble Savage thing has been done to death. Also, the rampant mixing and matching of customs from non-white cultures on this planet made my head spin. Oh, and the trite plot devices...

Like Stephen said...Dances With A White Man meets Dune.

However, it was beautiful. Being an amateur horticulturalist, I had to laugh when wheat was interspersed with other plants on the planet.

With all my criticisms, I still enjoyed it. Like you Stephen, I'm hoping that the technology will trickle down into other film-making so that more imaginative stories can eventually be filmed.

If you want your tag to say "James Cameron", you have to put quotation marks around "James Cameron".
http://www.atheistnexus.org/group/mediaissues/forum/topics/religiou...

Hi Science Fiction Atheists, I would reply directly to this but I just posted another discussion on Avatar in my Media Issues Discussion. It includes spoilers so see the movie first if you really care that much. Avatar contains many religious themes. Does the glowing portrayal of the importance of faith outweigh the scientific emphasis on observation and evidence which is also prominent in the film?
I didn't mind the spiritual overtones of AVATAR at all since their 'deity' is a measurable, real energy. Also, it's not religion-as-political-tool. The priestess obviously holds great power, but she is not the political leader and there's no sign that she uses/makes up doctrine to make the people do her bidding.
Now having seen it twice (will see it again tonight before I head back to Smallville ... yes, I'm that movie-geeky):

- The 3D was truly spectacular. Usually there are too many "Look, I'm throwing something RIGHT IN YOUR FACE!!!" shots meant for nothing more than to show off the effect. Kind of like so many movies post-Matrix that latched onto some of the latest FX and had those shots that served no purpose other than as a VFX show reel. Avatar really doesn't do that. Same with the...

- Fluorescent/UV lighting effects. It could so easily have made those scenes, already all-CGI, look way more cartoon than real life. But they didn't, as much fluorescent as there was in some of those night scenes. It looked fluid and natural.

- The Noble Savage theme: I agree Grundgetta, it's been done a lot. But I'm a sap. It's a theme I really, really love and one worth telling so long as so many 'civilized' hu-mans just don't get it. And I thought this was uniquely presented. Most of why I give it a 7 and not a 10 is because it was a little too predictable in ways. But again, it's so well told I almost just didn't care that there were few narrative surprises.

- The Pantheism theme: I'm all for this kind of spirituality. The planet itself is alive and does have a consciousness so to speak; not a puppetmaster super-deity, but something more like a collective consciousness ("Ewya doesn't choose sides, she only protects the balance of life"). Seems to me like Cameron could simply be taking string theory/Unified Field theory and putting it on steroids. The difference between this deity and our Earth gods: This deity is measurably real.

........ SPOILERS .............








- The way it ended; historically, the humans will just come back with more troops and bigger guns. I think there should have been a little something more, like Jake gives his video log to someone trustworthy headed back to Earth. "Make sure this gets to the right people so this never happens again."

- Michelle Rodriguez' character needed a LOT more fleshing out. It could have been done with just another minute or two of screentime. Plus, she totally should have survived the ending. But that's just me. I wanted to see more of her done up in the Native war paint and such. :-P

All in all, I am cringed and braced for a few years of attempted, bad, "Avatar" knockoffs. But like "The Matrix," it has ultimately raised the bar in terms of CGI and imaginative use thereof. ;-)
- Yeah - I immediately thought - neutron bombs and be done with it. Oh, the painful cynicism about my own species ...

Ms. Rodriguez's character needed 'fleshing out' - but she does okay with the flesh she's wearing ;^)

"Raised the bar" is the favor it did us all. It certainly kicked the crap out of Titanic. Now it just needs the sensibility of a Blade Runner, or, even, the first Terminator
Oh - by the way - watch out for the rigidly solipsistic, absolutist lexiconazis on this site who, waving their banner of hubris, will goose-step all over your misuse of the purely supernaturally based term 'spiritual' and deem that you just haven't shed the last remnants of your delusional, faith-based world view. Religion is bad - and ideas about any consciousness larger than can be contained in a single human skull might as well be religious. Absolutist atheism is the only valid form. Or so I'm told.
Oh - by the way - watch out for the rigidly solipsistic, absolutist lexiconazis on this site who, waving their banner of hubris, will goose-step all over your misuse of the purely supernaturally based term 'spiritual' and deem that you just haven't shed the last remnants of your delusional, faith-based world view.

There's only one?
Dude - I was ranting. This movie itself gets misinterpreted as to the 'suggestion of spirituality.' Actually, if you were paying attention, what the natives considered (misinterpreted) as 'supernatural' was, demonstrably a real thing (within the context of a totally fictitious piece of entertainment.)

I have tried - and, frankly, given up - explaining that, while the super-natural is woo woo, there may be systems and processes we don't fully understand that are actually happening (in the material world) that have been, for centuries, sensed in an almost peripheral way by many humans who (too easily in my opinion) super-impose a woo woo explanation for whatever it is they are sensing.

As an artist, I know that being too close to the canvas - too deep in the detail - can prevent you from discerning the big picture. As human beings - even with empirically based inquiry - we may simply be too close to the canvas to see what is actually going on.
Well, there are plenty of atheists who would react negatively to overtones of Christianity b/c of their Christian background. Atheists who came from a pagan/new age/woo background might react negatively to that. It's the same thing.
Ms. Rodriguez's character needed 'fleshing out' - but she does okay with the flesh she's wearing ;^)

Yeah, I'd totally go gay for a night for Michelle Rodriguez.

And we needed WAY more shots of her with the war-paint and tribal wear.

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