Avatar gag

Discussions of new films, books, television shows, and media indirectly related to magic and magicians. For example, there may be a book on mnemonics or theatrical technique we should know or at least know about.

Postby Richard Stokes » 12/20/09 03:20 PM

Just relax and let your mind go blank. Shouldn't be hard for you.
Avatar recycles the old mentalist gag when Sigourney has a dig at Sam.

Nevertheless, I enjoyed the movie.
What do Americans think of Cameron's story?
Could the film be interpreted as a subversive endorsement of audacious insurgents who take on America's military might?
The shock and awe brigade certainly get a mention.
And those helicopters are very Apache like.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 12/20/09 03:26 PM

It will be hard to discuss what we think of the story without getting into politics, which is something we don't allow here (for obvious reasons).
I saw the flick and found that while it was visually interesting, the story and writing were cliched and Cameron spent most of the movie stealing from his prior films. The best review I've read is here: http://www.aintitcool.com/node/43429
NOTE that if you are offended by salty language, don't read it.
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Postby Steve Bryant » 12/20/09 03:48 PM

Ebert gives it 4 stars, leading off with "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."

I quite enjoyed it myself. Great visuals. Wish I had seen it in 3D, but that was on the other side of town.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 12/20/09 04:30 PM

The medium is not the message.
The messages proffered were not of interest to me.

Now if only he had gotten off his ego far enough to license a story worthy of the tools he's developed - say Herbert's Dosadi Experiment or even one of Clarke's stories like Rendezvous With Rama or Childhood's End - or looking forward one of the Alistair Reynolds books like The Prefect.

Anyway - the medium looks pretty impressive. So there's new options for form awaiting those who have stories to tell.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 12/20/09 06:01 PM

I often find myself in agreement with Roger Ebert: he's smart, but not a snob. He can enjoy a crap film on its own terms. But I'm surprised that he enjoyed Avatar that much. He often brings up that moment when a film goes off the rails so badly that the rest of it is just crap. There are enough moments like that in Avatar that I'm surprised he let them slip by with no comment.
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Postby Richard Stokes » 12/23/09 02:58 PM

The paraplegic mcguffin was a bit lame.
A civilisation capable of traveling to other solar systems would have such advanced technology that no soldier or civilian need suffer this fate any more.
Spinal repair would be routine and not require special favours.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 12/23/09 03:24 PM

For storytellling purposes it's the setup for that character getting out of one place and (as in Wizard of Oz) into another - what motivates them to open that door for the audience to follow - and a way to show the start of a change in that character's priorities...

parapalegic mcguffin? OMG that's dark. :( IMHO such would have been capturing those seeds and trying to be diplomatic with the trees.
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Postby Bob Farmer » 12/24/09 10:18 AM

There's no question that there isn't one surprise in the storyline except for the rampaging whatever-the-hell-they-were rhinoceros things who pop up at one point again. However, I really enjoyed the movie as a visual piece. I saw it in 3D, it may not be as engaging in 2D.

Being a movie geek, I always watch the credits, but this time I had to flee the theater because there's some awful, sappy, Celine-Dion-like ballad at the end that could only be made worse if Kenny G played a solo.

And here's something: I wore the 3D glasses outside and everything was still in 3D. Awesome.
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Postby Bill Duncan » 12/24/09 03:55 PM

Richard Stokes wrote:The paraplegic mcguffin was a bit lame.
A civilisation capable of traveling to other solar systems would have such advanced technology that no soldier or civilian need suffer this fate any more.
Spinal repair would be routine and not require special favours.

In what alternate universe? Oh, right.

Honestly, advances come when there is profit to be made. "Things are better in the future" is a fantasy of Gene Roddenberry.

Take two episodes of Babylon 5 and call me in the morning.
:/
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 12/24/09 04:06 PM

Bill - maybe they'd rather be the Eloi
Mundus vult decipi
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