Thursday, August 20, 2009


Has anyone seen the Avatar trailer? It looks gorgeous, but I don't know anything about it. Do any of you?


  1. I just took a look. The floating islands are pretty. I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that the blue aliens are the "good guys" fighting the rapacious human invaders. Just a hunch.

  2. Bad bad military expansionist humans against good good innocent indigenous tribes? What a HUGE concept! This has blockbuster written all over it!

    Man, That Cameron thinks BIG!

  3. I know nothing about this movie. I will probably not watch the trailer, either. I like to know as little about movies as possible before I see them so there is still some surprise left. Generally the more hyped up a movie is the worse it's going to be (a rule which does not work in reverse). If the promotion is at an inescapable fever pitch, like the cast members are making cameos on Sportscenter and the little Fox football robots are promoting the movie, run the other way. Hm, sorta like Obama's campaign. Since I'm rarely able to see movies in the theater anymore due to my kids, I rely on word of mouth and my Netflix queue to decide what I'll watch. Like...oh, trying to think of an example off the Cat People. I'll have to get the scoop from all of you on whether or not Avatar is any good.

  4. > Bad bad military expansionist humans against good good innocent indigenous tribes? What a HUGE concept!

    A neat twist on that theme was in "Apocalypto" (which I'm pretty sure qualifies as "alternate history" sci-fi). The military is working on behalf of a bunch of simpering sybarites, capturing forest people for slavery and human sacrifice. I don't want to give away the ending, though.

  5. I kinda liked Apocalypto. It was nice to see that to primitive tribes, "bad guy" didn't necessarily mean a honky with a gun.

    Of course...there was that ending.

  6. I know a bit about it. Plot aside (which will surely be District 9-like, human oppressors killing the natives, MAAAAN), it sounds like it will mark a revolution in film technology. Crowe worked for 10 years on this, making a camera that displays both the real actors and the digital ones (and scenery) simultaneously, allowing him to direct in a wholly imagined world. It allows for a new kind of 3D, unlike the current gimmicky uses, that requires upgrades to theater equipment and projection. From what insiders have said, it actually messes with your eyes and brain a bit, making you suspend belief in a new way. Whether that's hype or truth remains to be seen, but I don't think it's going to be your typical effects-laden flick. I'm cautiously optimistic.

    This article likens the technology advance to the first movies with sound and Technicolor:

    We'll see...

  7. Hiro:

    That was the impression I got from the trailer. Something truly new. If that's the case, I'm not sure I mind the ant-human plot, especially since whoever the heroes are, they're also human. Where else would values we recognize as virtuous come from?

    Interestingly, even the physical renditions of the "blue people" are simply heightened, extreme versions of of physical human beauty. JRRT's "elves in space" came to mind. Which could, come to think of it, make the whole thing a celtic-racist enterprise, if one wanted to take the whole political interpretation thing too seriously.

    Truthfully, so far, I'm entranced.

  8. Where else would values we recognize as virtuous come from?

    Where, indeed.

    I might've seemed a little harsh on Cameron in my first reply, since I'm on record as digging the guy's work in the past. The Abyss is one of my all-time faves despite its flawed ending (which, by the way, was "fixed" in the Orson Scott Card). Terminator 2, Aliens, the guy's a juggernaut. And I'm a shameless gutterslut for CGI.

    Which is why it annoyed me even more to see what appears, at first glance, to be another preachy anti-military screed. "HALO in Ferngully," indeed. If that's the tack he's taking with this, technological wonders be damned, my money stays in my pocket.

  9. Propaganda messages ruin any type of entertainment for me, whether it's movies or music. Well, unless it's propaganda I agree with, but since I'm a conservative how often does that happen?

    Don't forget the golden rule of modern cinema: the more hyped up a movie is, the worse it will be. Is Avatar being made because Cameron has a great story that he's bringing to life or is it going to be a Spielbergian slopfest where beautiful special effects try to disguise a manure pile? Then again, Cameron is one of a very few people capable of putting a good story together with good special effects. I hope it turns out well.

    I doubt I'll be able to see this in the theater one way or the other, so I will await everyone's verdict. Meanwhile, I've got the second half of Cat People to watch tonight. Ed Begley Jr. is not getting along with nature there, no sir.

  10. I'm telling you guys, whether the acting, plot, or message are bad or not, the movie itself has the greatest potential to be a game changer. Other major directors and big Hollywood money types are seeing it and saying, 'Wow, this is going to change things.' So you might want to see it (in the theater, Eduardo, which is the only place the 3D magic can happen for now) just to experience history.

    I could be wrong, but they guy sunk the prime years of his movie-making life into this, and if he's incredibly pleased with it, it might be worth paying attention to. I'm with Furian -- enthralled and prepared for something new.

  11. Too bad this movie will be coming out after Obama's election, then. All historic events from now on will be a letdown.

    All kidding aside, I hope it's good. If it really is going to be a revolutionary film, then I hope Hollywood doesn't load it up with leftist propaganda. They usually insert it into good stuff to make sure it reaches the widest possible audience. If they do it with Avatar that will still ruin the experience for me.