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  (Source: 20th Century Fox)

Avatar, a rich sci-fi epic direct by James Cameron (Aliens, The Terminator, Titanic) has become only the fifth film in history to crack $1B USD. It's the first science fiction film to do so.  (Source: 20th Century Fox)
James Cameron's lush sci-fi epic is a commercial blockbuster

With James Cameron's track record -- Aliens, The Terminator, Terminator 2: Judgment Day (which racked up over $500M USD at the box office internationally), and Titanic (which pulled in over $1.8B USD internationally) -- his latest effort, a science fiction epic dubbed Avatar seemed destined for success.  With an official budget of $237M USD and estimates of the real budget being $280-310M USD to produce and $150M USD to advertise (making it perhaps the most expensive movie in history), pressure was high for Cameron to deliver yet another blockbuster.

And deliver he did.  Over its opening weekend (December 10), the movie burned up the box office, bringing it $77,025,481 and rocketing it to the second strongest December launch in history.  The movie continued its path of sales destruction, topping the important Christmas weekend sales.

Now it has achieved a landmark figure -- it has pulled in $1B USD internationally, becoming only one of five movies in history to do so.  The past $1B+ blockbusters include Cameron's own Titanic, which sits atop the chart, The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, and The Dark Knight.  Arguably Avatar is the first true science fiction movie to reach the mark, though The Dark Knight's high-tech gizmos allowed it to border on the genre.

The latest epic is notable not only for pushing the boundaries of story-telling and creativity in the science fiction genre, but also for pushing the limits of 3D animation.  The inhabitants of the fictional world of Pandora, including the Na'vi (the iconic blue humanoids) are richly portrayed in stunning rendered detail seamlessly alongside real-life counterparts.  Thus the film is notable for the tech field not just thanks to the sci-fi genre's deep impact on the tech community, but also because successes like this push technology that will eventually trickle down to consumer video games and other forms of media.

The picture is considered a leading candidate for a number of awards, as it drew strong reviews.  Notably, it's considered a front-runner for Best Picture at the 82nd Academy Awards.  In the online community it has drawn mostly favorable reviews, despite some perceiving its message as a bit anti-technology (though perhaps favorable to biotech).

The film has performed particularly well overseas, where it has garnered $670.2M USD already.  The film is the highest grossing film in Russia's history, the fourth-highest in Spain and Australia, and the second-biggest U.S. movie ever in France, India and South Korea.  The film is expected to continue this strong track record when it opens in China today, likely sending its box office looting to new heights.

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Saw it in IMAX 3D
By corduroygt on 1/4/2010 12:03:58 PM , Rating: 5
The story is average, but the visuals are top notch, this is sort of like Killzone 2 in the movie world.
The IMAX 3D effect is awesome, however, it is very tiring on the eyes during fast action scenes and camera pans, because of 24hz refresh rate.
If 3D is to come to our living rooms, movies need to be made in 60hz, which means 2.5x times the cost of post processing, etc, due to the number of frames increasing that much.

RE: Saw it in IMAX 3D
By mcnabney on 1/4/10, Rating: 0
RE: Saw it in IMAX 3D
By ExarKun333 on 1/4/2010 12:24:00 PM , Rating: 5
Almost forgot I was on Dailytech, but the great posts here reminded me where I was. "Dailytech - where nothing is ever good, and everything sucks (including the grammar of the article).

Lots of very sad and angry people posting here...

RE: Saw it in IMAX 3D
By nafhan on 1/4/2010 12:38:32 PM , Rating: 1
So, what is your point? Are you saying that the movie actually does have a great story line, or are you telling people: "If ya can't say nothin' nice, don't say anything at all."? The movie has a generic storyline and incredible special effects. I don't see anything wrong with pointing that out.

RE: Saw it in IMAX 3D
By lelias2k on 1/4/2010 2:24:06 PM , Rating: 2
I agree with you that the grammar around here is usually sub par, but if that was something that at anytime bothered me to the point of writing a rant like the one you did I would simply look for a different website to get my news from...

RE: Saw it in IMAX 3D
By ertomas on 1/4/10, Rating: -1
RE: Saw it in IMAX 3D
By riottime on 1/4/10, Rating: -1
RE: Saw it in IMAX 3D
By therealnickdanger on 1/5/2010 10:08:47 AM , Rating: 4
I believe you meant "Jason Mick". Also, "she" is a feminine form of "he", not "her". Regardless, it is not grammatically correct to say "he/she".

RE: Saw it in IMAX 3D
By teflonbilly on 1/4/2010 1:16:28 PM , Rating: 5
It is almost impossible to make an original story now. no matter what you write it will in some way another movie/book/play/you name it. I don't think seeing a story told again is a bad thing if it is told well, which I felt it was, maybe not brilliantly but it was told well.

When you see this movie did you enjoy it? I did. I don't care that it was a story I heard before, or that it closely parallels the way Native Americans were treated during the colonization and expansion of The US and Canada. A good story will always be a good story.

As for an eloquent telling of the story, I loved Lawrence of Arabia, Dances with Wolves was pretty good, the Last Samurai was ok. None of those were in a Sci-Fi Genre. So this will bring this story to a new audience, and to a new generation. Or would you prefer that Lawrence of Arabia be remade? Maybe with 3D and we could get Christian Bale to play Lead. That should draw in some young viewers. HAAHAA

I am always happy to see the technology pushing forward in movies to immerse the visuals better. I loved that.

RE: Saw it in IMAX 3D
By mcnabney on 1/4/10, Rating: 0
RE: Saw it in IMAX 3D
By ClownPuncher on 1/4/10, Rating: -1
RE: Saw it in IMAX 3D
By MrPoletski on 1/5/10, Rating: -1
RE: Saw it in IMAX 3D
By inperfectdarkness on 1/4/2010 3:11:38 PM , Rating: 2
original...only if it was done the first time around?

dark city: matrix

logan's run: gattica

re-telling is everywhere. don't see people screaming about the remake of sherlock holmes...yet they cry foul about avatar.

fricking idiots.

listen. cameron's push isn't for bigger, better resolution. he understands that it's not enough of a lure to bring in audiences with HDTV's in their living rooms. his push is for moving to 48fps or >. that's where i agree.

and if you're so inclined to INSIST that jurassic park's nearly 17 year old CG effects are somehow more "believeable" than avatars--i assert that your willingness to believe in the existence of dinosaurs over the existence of aliens is rearing its ugly head.

avatar is a truly great, groundbreaking movie. everything that final fantasy: spirits within should have been. and the very first movie that has actually convinced me to buy a blu-ray player.

RE: Saw it in IMAX 3D
By Iaiken on 1/4/10, Rating: 0
RE: Saw it in IMAX 3D
By SilthDraeth on 1/5/2010 1:15:53 AM , Rating: 2
Gattaca is pretty similar to The Giver, and a lot of other perfect genetic society concepts.

Dark City was decent. But not much different than some Asimov stories out there.

I do think there are original stories, stories told in an original way etc.

Avatar reminded me more of Pocahantas than it did of Dances with Wolves, though I guess those two are pretty close as well.

RE: Saw it in IMAX 3D
By MPE on 1/4/2010 3:37:45 PM , Rating: 3
All stories fall in to basic categories, like man vs nature, man vs beast, man vs man, etc. From there are other sub categories.

There has been no major form of story since the Bible. Even man vs machine has existed BC.

RE: Saw it in IMAX 3D
By mcnabney on 1/4/2010 6:42:50 PM , Rating: 4
There is actually only one plot. Conflict

RE: Saw it in IMAX 3D
By MrPoletski on 1/5/2010 6:33:15 AM , Rating: 5
There is another...

Man with moustache comes to fix washing machine with large wrench...

RE: Saw it in IMAX 3D
By Iaiken on 1/4/2010 3:41:30 PM , Rating: 2
Nope... He's pretty much right... Every story told from here-on out is pretty much a rehash of previous stories/themes/ideas...

Dark city is a bad example as you obviously haven't seen La Cité des Enfants Perdus. The idea is basically the same and there are numerous short stories and novelettes that Dark City bears striking resemblance to such as "The Tunnel Under the World" and "The Lottery in Babylon" all from the 1940's.

Gattaca's central themes were first looked at by science fiction starting with "Brave New World" in the 30's and the topic was basically exhausted by the 80's.

The Man from Earth builds on other ideas from sci-fi "Steel Brother" and simply repackages them. However, I find that this film is less about the ideas and more about the packaging anyway...

Donnie Darko was another 12 Monkies tour de force.

Primer is another bit of clever packaging around a tired subject.

But by all means see the listed films... They are still good.

RE: Saw it in IMAX 3D
By teflonbilly on 1/4/2010 4:38:20 PM , Rating: 2
I love those movies. I own Dark City, And Man from Earth. I dont mind hearing a story retold. hearing a story told another way is fine and can be great. It can show another persons interpretation of it.

I mean look at Art, the mona Lisa, God another Bust Shot? Michelangelos David? Who hasnt seen busted Statues in old gardens.

It makes them no less relevant for the fact that they are paying Homage to a previous work.

RE: Saw it in IMAX 3D
By hashish2020 on 1/5/2010 3:06:21 PM , Rating: 2
And Romeo and Juliet was a remake of Tristan and Isolde...your point is?

RE: Saw it in IMAX 3D
By ArcliteHawaii on 1/5/2010 7:23:48 PM , Rating: 2
When screenwriters pen truly original stories, then you get movies like Being John Malkovich or Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind or 2001 .

The truth is that original stories require risk and large studios making big budget sci fi are unwilling to take such risks. Still that means we get unoriginal stories. If done well, they can still be very enjoyable, though.

RE: Saw it in IMAX 3D
By bug77 on 1/4/2010 10:33:26 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe so, but I wasn't expecting the whole story revealed in the first 5 minutes. I mean, those big trucks in the jungle pretty much spell it out for you and the movie even includes "subtle" references like "shock and awe" and a few others.

For the kind of money that went into this movie, you'd think a story was included too.

If this wasn't 3D, it would be forgotten within 6 months.

RE: Saw it in IMAX 3D
By ArcliteHawaii on 1/5/2010 7:18:00 PM , Rating: 1
It's not necessarily the originality of the story, but HOW it's told. The Hero's Journey (per Campbell) has been told dozens of times, but much better in Star Wars than in Avatar. Avatar suffers from oversimplification, poor dialog, poor character development, and some cases of poor acting (like Giovanni's char). However, its strengths largely overcome these issues with fantastic immersiveness and spectacle. I haven't seen a movie more than once in the theater since Lord of the Rings, but I'll be going to see this one again.

RE: Saw it in IMAX 3D
By acase on 1/4/2010 2:44:58 PM , Rating: 1
I really liked the movie, but as far as comparing it to previous stories my brother-in-law pointed out it was basically Pocahontas, in the future, with smurfs instead of Native Americans.

RE: Saw it in IMAX 3D
By ArcliteHawaii on 1/5/2010 7:26:51 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, and Star Wars was basically Hidden Fortress , in space, with droids and Jedi instead of samurai.

RE: Saw it in IMAX 3D
By Yawgm0th on 1/4/2010 3:26:26 PM , Rating: 1
The story isn't even average. It is a complete rehash that has been told much more eloquently in Lawrence of Arabia, Dances with Wolves, The Last Samurai, and numerous others.

The movie was enjoyable, but I can't let go the fact that it was basically Pocahontas on another planet.

RE: Saw it in IMAX 3D
By KCjoker on 1/4/2010 8:10:24 PM , Rating: 2
I wish they'd go by ticket sales not money earned. That would better compare it to older movies.

RE: Saw it in IMAX 3D
By Senju on 1/4/2010 10:54:36 PM , Rating: 1
The storeline is so close to Dances with the Wolves, I spotted that about half way through the film. I was wondering if James actually bought rights to user the story from Dances with the Wolves for the theme to be based on.

RE: Saw it in IMAX 3D
By delphinus100 on 1/5/2010 3:34:20 AM , Rating: 2
Expect it to walk away with the Special Visual Effects Oscar, though. (I have to think 'Star Trek' will receive a nomination in that category, however.)

Agreed that the basic story concept's not terribly original, or even has a new twist on it.

RE: Saw it in IMAX 3D
By MrPoletski on 1/5/2010 6:52:57 AM , Rating: 2
It just hadn't been done with aliens (AFAIK) yet, that's all.

RE: Saw it in IMAX 3D
By ArcliteHawaii on 1/5/2010 7:29:01 PM , Rating: 2
District 9 should also get a nomination for effects. The prawns were very well done.

RE: Saw it in IMAX 3D
By ArcliteHawaii on 1/5/2010 7:08:40 PM , Rating: 2
I agree that this probably won't win for best picture, nor do I think it should be nominated. While it's a richly told story due to the implementation of the FX, it has issues like poor dialog and poor character development.

That being said, I'm sure it will win the SFX (and probably sound too) award and Stephen Lang should be nominated for best supporting actor for his phenomenal portrayal of the colonel.

RE: Saw it in IMAX 3D
By MPE on 1/4/2010 1:17:43 PM , Rating: 3

IMAX is a film format and not digital.

Film while shot in 24 fps, effectively is 48fps during projection because of the shutter.
the tiring of the eye is not really caused by the frame rate but IMAX and 3D. A lot of people do not respond well to the medium. It is also be aggravated by images on the screen (for example poor proper blurring of front and back subjects, improper motion blur, etc).

Regarding home 3D. Well increasing the frame rate of your TV is not going to change the frame rate of the material since they are shot and mastered in 24fps. A typical DVD or Blu-ray is just 'pulldowned' in order to accomodate the 60hz or 50 hz cycle of most TVs. 120 and 240 Hz might help but it can also remove from the movie look since we inherently associate 24/48 fps to movies and 60/120 to news, reality etc.

It gets very complicated and debatable at this point but I just wanted to clarify about 24Hz and IMAX.

RE: Saw it in IMAX 3D
By MPE on 1/4/2010 1:21:38 PM , Rating: 2
BTW - unless you are talking about IMAX Digital, which if I remember correctly is at 60Hz in North America.

RE: Saw it in IMAX 3D
By corduroygt on 1/4/2010 6:03:35 PM , Rating: 1
I thought moviemaking had gone digital already, just like photography. This way, you can have a higher frame rate without worrying about the cost of film. If it hasn't gone digital already, I bet it will be in the next 10 years. I am also aware of the fact that the source material is 24hz, and suggesting that this would changed to something higher like 60hz, along with the digital revolution. I am fully aware that watching 24hz content on a 240hz TV won't really improve the horrible IQ in during pans and other fast motion.

Again, when movie filming frame rates increase, the biggest expense will be the post-processing of more than twice as many frames, as most frames are retouched by professionals after filming.

RE: Saw it in IMAX 3D
By overzealot on 1/5/2010 2:32:35 AM , Rating: 2
Well, I didn't get sore eyes (my partner and my brother did), but I did find some of the scenes particularly painful.
For example, when they first land on Pandora, people running down the ramp judder like crazy. Even the fastest moving animated characters, however, were smooth as hell.
It wouldn't have been so bad if there were some consistency.

As much as the film reminded me of FernGully: The last rainforest, and was utterly predictable, I still enjoyed it.
Well performed, few "big name" actors, enough twists, and absolutely beautiful visuals.
I'm considering watching it again at the movies. It would be the first time I've gone to see a movie at the cinema twice by choice.

RE: Saw it in IMAX 3D
By ArcliteHawaii on 1/5/2010 7:30:51 PM , Rating: 2
I watched it in digital 3D, and got through the first two hours without any issues. I did get a slight headache at the end of the movie.

RE: Saw it in IMAX 3D
By jmurbank on 1/4/2010 11:44:10 PM , Rating: 2
The story is average, but the visuals are top notch, this is sort of like Killzone 2 in the movie world. The IMAX 3D effect is awesome, however, it is very tiring on the eyes during fast action scenes and camera pans, because of 24hz refresh rate. If 3D is to come to our living rooms, movies need to be made in 60hz, which means 2.5x times the cost of post processing, etc, due to the number of frames increasing that much.

Good for you that you liked the experience. For me and many others did not get the experience because quasi-3D or fake 3D does not work for us. When I put on the glasses, I got a loss of quality. During the movie Avator, I lost the detail of the movie that the artists put into. I had to put up with the lost of quality during the whole movie and rely on sound quality which is my first priority. I prefer watching a movie on a standard setup or setup with out using special glasses. Now I have to wait until Avator comes out on DVD and yes I said DVD. Blu-Ray causes problems for me because I prefer using my computer to play it back, but I use Linux and do not like using Windows.

There is no way that artists will increase the number of frame rate for their film. Artists uses 24 frames per second or 24 hertz because it explains the story better like the dynamics of emotions and visual effects. A painting shows this because it is not moving. If a painting does move, it loses everything. The artists that I am explaining are directors and producers.

Dances with Smurfs
By therealnickdanger on 1/4/2010 11:30:16 AM , Rating: 5
At times, it's more embarrassingly preachy than a Berkeley hippie drum circle, but the eye candy is so amazing that I've already seen it twice. As soon as my dad has some free time, I'll be seeing it with him for my third time.

The movie that made 3-D viable. I can't wait for the sequels.

RE: Dances with Smurfs
By Spivonious on 1/4/2010 11:37:47 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah the first half is way too preachy, but once the action gets going it's very entertaining.

Too bad the story is EXTREMELY predictable with average acting from its cast. It seems that all the money went towards the graphics (which are outstanding).

RE: Dances with Smurfs
By inperfectdarkness on 1/4/2010 3:22:36 PM , Rating: 3
so dailytech (the same website which LOVES the xbox360/ps3 and ABHORS the wii) is crying foul about a movie that's "all glam/flash--no substance" (subjective opinion--NOT mine).

doesn't this sound a bit...odd?

RE: Dances with Smurfs
By Modeverything on 1/4/2010 11:48:55 AM , Rating: 1
While I liked the movie, I was disappointed. I was hoping it would be better.

To me, it felt like the story of Dances with Wolves (as you hinted at in your headline) in the World of Warcraft(WoW) setting. Anyone who has played WoW will probably agree that the forest was very much like Zangramarsh and the blue humanoids were like the Draenei, but cat-like instead of goat-like. Also the floating mountains are in WoW along with very similar creatures and plants.

I'm not saying these things make the movie bad, but it felt like the story was cliche and it was just using it's special effects for its success. Kind of like how a Michael Bay movie just uses a generic story line, but tries to make up for it with explosions.

RE: Dances with Smurfs
By Gholam on 1/4/10, Rating: 0
RE: Dances with Smurfs
By TMV192 on 1/4/10, Rating: 0
RE: Dances with Smurfs
By lelias2k on 1/4/2010 2:30:28 PM , Rating: 2
So what makes a movie worthy of a Sci-Fi classification?

RE: Dances with Smurfs
By ClownPuncher on 1/4/2010 2:44:27 PM , Rating: 3
A merger of science and fiction!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

RE: Dances with Smurfs
By nafhan on 1/4/2010 4:12:01 PM , Rating: 2
Haha, I agree. A more reasonable term for most "sci-fi" would be space fantasy or just fantasy as actual science is usually somewhere between non-existent and mind bogglingly wrong.

RE: Dances with Smurfs
By TMV192 on 1/4/10, Rating: 0
RE: Dances with Smurfs
By foolsgambit11 on 1/4/2010 9:17:57 PM , Rating: 3
Your argument is ironic, since so many sci-fi fans (myself included) try to get people into the genre by explaining that sci-fi stories, plot-wise, are the same as any other genre, and only the trappings of the story are different. Sci-fi is just a way (among several) to talk about modern-day issues allegorically. Look at the plots of Star Trek The Next Generation or Battlestar Galactica episodes, for instance.

The real separation of sci-fi from other genres is difficult based on hard rules. I wouldn't put 1984 in the sci-fi genre, even though it takes place in a dystopian future, with a society completely subjugated through the use of technology. But I would put the movie Equilibrium in the category, despite several similar plot points. (I can't say what I'd do with Brave New World, since I haven't read it.)

RE: Dances with Smurfs
By lelias2k on 1/5/2010 10:18:36 AM , Rating: 2
That was my point exactly. Every movie has a plot, and the Sci-Fi part is not something that is necessarily on your face.

But when we talk about Avatar, I think the fact that they are getting humans to control another body — which was created by mixing human and alien DNA, using nothing but their minds pretty much qualifies as science, don't you think??

In fact, we can take an easier example. The simple fact that we're talking about humans traveling to another planet qualifies as science. I mean, I don't see many poets and musicians working at NASA... ;)

RE: Dances with Smurfs
By ArcliteHawaii on 1/5/2010 7:44:22 PM , Rating: 2
"Science Fiction" has really expanded to include any kind of story told in a futuristic setting. However, the classic science fiction told stories of how technology affected humanity positively and negatively. The early authors were affected and inspired by the enormous technological change they witnessed in their life times (starting in the late 19th century) as well as scientific discoveries in physics, chemistry and other disciplines.

RE: Dances with Smurfs
By adiposity on 1/5/2010 1:12:37 PM , Rating: 2
This could easily be considered fantasy, although it clearly has sci-fi elements.

The way the natives interact with deity, etc., is definitely closer to fantasy than sci-fi, but on the other hand the human's life and approach is clearly sci-fi in background.

There have been plenty of books, etc., that incorporate both elements. See the "adept" series by Piers Anthony for a particularly obvious way to include both. But there's nothing that stops media from having both magic and technology.

RE: Dances with Smurfs
By callmeroy on 1/4/2010 12:20:36 PM , Rating: 5
Some points I'd like to state

1) of course the story was predictable -- anyone beyond about 13 years old and up should know these kinds of movies aren't that complex in their story telling and that's pretty much on purpose as well.

2) I enjoyed the movie over all -- it was entertaining but I do agree with anyone that says there is no reason it had to be as long as it was. The movie is about 2 hours 40 minutes long...I'm thinking you could cut nearly 30 of those minutes away and not really change much impact the movie has.

3) Visual effects top notch, don't be surprised if "Avatar" is thrown around for a few years as the standard for visuals in movies to be compared to.

...btw i'm fan of WoW and been playing for almost 5 years -- ok the characters have blue skin and some wow races have blue skin too (trolls and draenai), beyond that and both being a work of fiction I don't find much in common.

RE: Dances with Smurfs
By keith524 on 1/4/2010 2:12:19 PM , Rating: 2
It reminded me more of the cartoon movie Fern Gully than Dances with Wolves but I can see the "going native" point too.

RE: Dances with Smurfs
By Leper Messiah on 1/4/2010 3:22:14 PM , Rating: 3
Fern Gully with Wolves: Insurrection is how it came off to me

RE: Dances with Smurfs
By Yawgm0th on 1/4/2010 4:01:34 PM , Rating: 2
Fern Gully with Wolves: Insurrection is how it came off to me


RE: Dances with Smurfs
By Skott on 1/4/2010 12:13:02 PM , Rating: 3
I guess you can consider it preachy. I didn't think of it that way. Yes, there is a moral message to it but many movies have moral messages. Personally, I really liked this movie. I saw it in IMAX 3D. Its the best way to see it but it is more expensive than a regular movie. $5 more at the AMC theatre I went to. I liked it so much I went twice. Saw it on opening day and then two weeks later. I haven't gone to see a movie more than once since I was a kid and that was decades ago. That's how much I really liked the movie.

3D imagery has really changed since the first time I saw it back in the early 70s. Its not all about things flying out at you to give you a shock. Its more about being immersed into the film and story now. Like you are in there watching it happen around you. You get a feeling you are with the characters and watching the story and action take place and unfold. The new tech is really going to change film making I think. Hopefully the new 3D tv sets due out this year can do movies like Avatar proper justice.

Political messages aside...
By Chaser on 1/4/2010 12:45:29 PM , Rating: 3
Even seeing it in 2D I was entranced with Pandora and wanted to stay.

The antiwar message, and native American parallels weren't enough to stop me from enjoying this predictable movie.

Pandora was intoxicating.

And for the WoW people, it looked more like Aion :P

RE: Political messages aside...
By Reclaimer77 on 1/4/10, Rating: -1
RE: Political messages aside...
By Chaser on 1/4/2010 1:38:50 PM , Rating: 5
In this case I'll let one billion dollars talk over some bitter sour grapes social reject decide what rates for a movie.

RE: Political messages aside...
By callmeroy on 1/4/2010 2:22:36 PM , Rating: 2
Ever think some people just like what they like and aren't concerned with anything beyond just that reason....

There's many examples I can site --- millions actually like soap operas, rap stars get rich because millions actually PAY real money to listen to that stuff..imagine that RAP sells....

And you are talking of a someone's IQ -- yet how smart is it to slam folks on nothing more than they like a movie -- if only for the visuals...does it really harm you or impact you at all? :)

RE: Political messages aside...
By Reclaimer77 on 1/4/10, Rating: 0
RE: Political messages aside...
By captainBOB on 1/4/2010 8:39:54 PM , Rating: 1
Sigh... the day I took that film criticism class was the day I stopped truly enjoying a movie for the sake of the movie.

Special effects do NOT make something good. And that's all Avatar has. The dialogue is terrible. We have already discussed how pitifully overdone the plot is; the movie is a walking stereotype. Greedy white people, bad. Blue spiritual woo-woo's, good

The plot was cliched to death, and there were the usual respects to other movies paid (2001: A Space Odyssey being the first). The movie was enjoyable, but not Best Picture worthy.

In a movie that's SO long, and I mean LONG, he couldn't find time for character development ? Everyone is such a one dimensional cardboard cutout. Honestly it's embarrassing, where's the depth ?

Indeed, I found Jake Sully to be quite lacking, half the time he talks in monotone, and half the time I can't stand his voice, a better actor could have taken his place IMO. Everyone else was okay (save the colonel, I really got annoyed at the fact that everything that would kill or incapacitate a normal person wouldn't do anything to him, shoulder on fire? brush it off, no

Let's not even get into the plot holes, the biggest being that the "avatars" could actually work. The Navi share a deep spiritual connection with the planet, so deep they can plug into the trees and animals like you or I use USB ports. And we're supposed to believe they can't tell the Avatars are man-made ? Right.

Filling out all those little details would require maybe another hour to explain, and the Na'vi do know that they are impostors (they call the Avatars "dreamwalkers" and they happen to have five fingers and toes while the Na'vi have four)

Cameron approaches Sci-fi with an almost child like juvenile sense. Like adding hammerhead noses to earth rhinos and voila !! An alien creature right !?

I'd like to see you do better, its kinda hard to come up with a new alien that doesn't look like some familiar animal.

If you buy into Avatar and think it's good you fall into one of two categories ; 1. Seriously Liberal 2. Teenage or early 20's ( see number 1 )

What does being Liberal have to do with liking a move? BTW I happen to be a High School Senior. Anyways please excuse my wall of text, I felt I needed to place my opinion on this.

RE: Political messages aside...
By Reclaimer77 on 1/4/2010 9:59:49 PM , Rating: 1
Sigh... the day I took that film criticism class was the day I stopped truly enjoying a movie for the sake of the movie.

Hey don't get me wrong. I fully partake in watching movies for the sake of them. Some of my guilty pleasures include Starship Troopers, Top Gun, and some of the Star Trek : The Next Generation movies.

Difference is, I don't claim those are epic groundbreaking titles. People are just too awed by Avatar's visuals to objectively see what a crock of a movie it is.

Filling out all those little details would require maybe another hour to explain

Or they would require rewrites, editing, and a good starting premise. As well as script brainstorming which is obviously lacking.

I'd like to see you do better, its kinda hard to come up with a new alien that doesn't look like some familiar animal.

With his budget ? You are goddamn right I could do better. Because I, unlike Cameron, are not handcuffed by only portraying stereotypes and characters that fit his biased political messages.

What does being Liberal have to do with liking a move?

You serious ? Do I have to spell it out for you ? I'll let someone else this time.

“Annalee Newitz writing last week on her science blog criticized “Avatar” for depicting yet another white man as a hero in the liberation struggles of oppressed people of color. As happens in movies such as “District 9?, “Dances with Wolves” and ”The Last Samuri,” Newitz wrote, “a white guy manages to get himself accepted into a closed society of people of color and eventually becomes its most awesome member.”

“This is the essence of the white guilt fantasy, laid bare,” Newitz wrote. “It’s not just a wish to be absolved of the crimes whites have committed against people of color; it’s not just a wish to join the side of moral justice in battle. It’s a wish to lead people of color from the inside rather than from the (oppressive white) outside.”

By Reclaimer77 on 1/4/2010 10:18:13 PM , Rating: 2
Oh and Chronicles of Riddick. For some reason I can sit down and watch that movie over and over again lol.

By MrPoletski on 1/5/2010 7:00:03 AM , Rating: 3
You serious ? Do I have to spell it out for you ? I'll let someone else this time.

Far more tiring than anything else is conservative nutjobs lik eyourself jumping on everything they possibly can to whinge about some sort of liberal conspiracy propaganda takeover balls whatever claptrap.

It's a fucking movie, it's a fucking story. GET OVER IT. There is nothing liberal about it at all.

Unless you're gonna start calling the bible liberal... yanna, God sends his son down to live among the humans, rises up as a great leader amongst them, saves them all etc..

Get a fucking life you n00b.

By MrPoletski on 1/5/2010 6:51:37 AM , Rating: 2
Let's not even get into the plot holes, the biggest being that the "avatars" could actually work. The Navi share a deep spiritual connection with the planet, so deep they can plug into the trees and animals like you or I use USB ports. And we're supposed to believe they can't tell the Avatars are man-made ?

This is your plot hole? have you even watched the movie?

Why do you think they called them 'dreamwalkers' you muppet.

Your complaints about this movie make YOU sound like the teenagers you claim are the only people who appreciate it.

And why the hell must you be 'seriously liberal' as an alternative to a teenager? because you're an up your own ass 'conservative' who blames all bad things in the world on liberalism? LOL. This film is for guilty white liberals? GROW UP.

So I'll ask you again, have you actually watched this film, and if you did - did you pay attention or were you distracted by all the big graphics and pew pew pews?

Now I'll agree that this is far from the best movie ever, and yes district nine was better, however, it was still an entertaining watch and is worth going to see if you havent already...

But you sound like a spoilt brat who just had his playstation taken away from him. Perhaps because YOU are the guilty white conservative who doesn't like being reminded of that fact hehe.

RE: Political messages aside...
By Belard on 1/4/2010 5:27:43 PM , Rating: 2
FLOP? FLOP means the movie failed in the box office. Blade Runner FLOPPED, but did much better later in re-releases and DVD.

Mall Cop was a blockbuster, but its obviously a movie aimed at kids.

Transformers 2 is a blockbuster, but still every weak overall. I thought it was boring, the acting, the characters, the robots and the action. Didn't care about anyone. Other than, okay, hes chest got blown out - but can't have Transformers3 without Prime. Glad I didn't spend a dime on that movie.

Avatar is a good movie. It was better 2nd time around since the 1st time was visual eye-candy. Have you even seen the movie? Not sure what your beef is - but yeah, you're allowed to not like the movie.

RE: Political messages aside...
By ArcliteHawaii on 1/5/2010 7:50:45 PM , Rating: 2
The antiwar message, and native American parallels weren't enough to stop me from enjoying this predictable movie

I see, so you prefer movies with pro-war and anti-native American messages?

RE: Political messages aside...
By Chaser on 1/6/2010 10:56:44 AM , Rating: 2
Do you prefer only black or white in everything?

How about an entertaining movie without any political messages pro or anti?

By GlobleWarmingisbunk on 1/6/2010 12:05:00 AM , Rating: 2
Even seeing it in 2D I was entranced with Pandora and wanted to stay. The antiwar message, and native American parallels weren't enough to stop me from enjoying this predictable movie. Pandora was intoxicating.

I Agree, when I left the theater I was stunned. I did think the story was weak, but Pandora fascinated me. I have never seen a world portrayed like that. That is why I think that it is the best Sci-fi movie of the decade.

I think that Sci-fi has been diluted by lack imagination, not by story originality but by story execution. I have watched a lot of sci-fi and all the alien worlds have been bland and very unimaginative. The point of sci-fi is to test the limit of imagination and create things that don't exist nor have the possibility to exist. There is a reason why they call it Science FICTION

Poor journalism
By jamawass on 1/4/2010 12:02:13 PM , Rating: 2
The title should be fastest movie to reach $1bn, not first movie.

RE: Poor journalism
By n0ebert on 1/4/2010 12:05:34 PM , Rating: 2
indeed, wasn't titanic a movie that reached the billion dollar mark too? (thanks to all the preteens who kept going to see it for dicaprio)

RE: Poor journalism
By n0ebert on 1/4/2010 12:07:06 PM , Rating: 3
bah, I need coffee, I didn't see the 'sci-fi' part in the title.

RE: Poor journalism
By Akrovah on 1/4/2010 1:49:50 PM , Rating: 2
Even at that rate, I don;t think it is acurate. I may be remembering incorrectly, but didn't Star Wars (the original, now known as Episode IV) hit $1 bil when the original release + the 1997 re-release were combined? I seem to remember hearing that at the time, but it was 12 years ago.

RE: Poor journalism
By Solandri on 1/4/2010 5:47:18 PM , Rating: 2

The problem with measuring movie success by gross $ receipts is it doesn't account for inflation. Star Wars came out when movie tickets were like $4. So even though it had the second-highest ticket sales of any movie ever, it's only #24 on the all-time gross list. (Gone with the Wind is #1 by a good margin, even more impressive if you consider the U.S. population was less than half the current population back in 1939).

Basically the gross receipts sales figures is a marketing gimmick, so every few years the studios can drum up a new movie as "the most successful movie of all time" in their ads. If you really want to gauge a movie's popularity, the number you want is the number of tickets sold.

RE: Poor journalism
By callmeroy on 1/4/2010 12:35:31 PM , Rating: 1 this day I still don't understand what all the incredible hype was over that movie.....though it is a most effective sleep aid...

RE: Poor journalism
By The0ne on 1/4/2010 1:22:58 PM , Rating: 1
Same here. I still fall asleep every single time I watch it. Titanic and Ghost does that to me and I have no clue whey. It's not that I'm not romantic :D I am, but these movies are not what the hype was...for me anyways.

RE: Poor journalism
By Akrovah on 1/4/2010 1:45:44 PM , Rating: 2
Just skip straight to the iceberg and its a half-way decent action flick.

I honestly think Cameron wanted to just tell the story of the ship and threw in the romance story just to have something to couch it in. The ship got such amasing attention to detail, while the writing of the romance story was just cring worthy. I seriously think Cameron was treating that as the B plot of the film.

RE: Poor journalism
By Mitch101 on 1/5/10, Rating: 0
RE: Poor journalism
By ArcliteHawaii on 1/5/2010 7:48:31 PM , Rating: 2
I was living in Japan when Titanic came out. Most of the people seeing the movie again and again were middle aged housewives...

Video Games already have the technology...
By jojo29 on 1/4/2010 1:58:19 PM , Rating: 2
This phrase made me laugh:

"but also because successes like this push technology that will eventually trickle down to consumer video games and other forms of media."

Sorry, but video games have already had this type of tech or even have exceeded it, granted most game companies don't have the budget to include a whole 2+ hour movie's worth of CG, but CG has been done just as good if not better than Avatar. This is not a knock against Avatar, i enjoyed, just the phrase above makes me both laugh and slightly frustrated.

Avatar's worlds reminds me of something that would come out of Square-Enix's Final Fantasy Series, complete with floating islands and all.

Game companies like Activision-Blizzard, Square-Enix, EA, and Relic to name just a few have brought us stunning, life-like CG...just in the "kiddie" videogame medium, so maybe thats why most people don't know..

By lelias2k on 1/4/2010 2:38:03 PM , Rating: 2
I'll be the first to admit I don't play much these days, but I'm still trying to remember a VG character with real human expressions. Even Final Fantasy looks animated to me...

By bighairycamel on 1/4/2010 3:03:20 PM , Rating: 2
No.. just no. Direct X has been pushing for photo-realism since the beginning, and even DX11 cant achieve the photo-realism that this movie did, and consoles are not even worthy of talking about by this standard. You could argue that the cutscenes in some games are a close match to Avatar, but as for actual real time graphics there is no comparison. If you think any differently you either don't understand the complexity of photo-realism, or your eyes are busted.

RE: Video Games already have the technology...
By bodar on 1/4/2010 3:50:43 PM , Rating: 2
"exceeded it"?

Maybe we have different definitions of "life-like", but no video game I have played on the PC has ever come close to the level of detail, smooth animation, and facial motion capture shown in Avatar, even in cut-scenes. Name some titles.

By bobsmith1492 on 1/4/2010 10:13:03 PM , Rating: 1

RE: Video Games already have the technology...
By bodar on 1/4/2010 10:47:16 PM , Rating: 2
It looks good -- from what I've seen -- but it's not even close. It's not even trying to be realistic, because it's so stylized -- which is a good thing. It almost looks cel-shaded, like it took a lot of influence from comics/graphic novels.


RE: Video Games already have the technology...
By lelias2k on 1/5/2010 10:24:05 AM , Rating: 2
This is a joke, right?

Because that looks like a cartoon to me... and a crappy one for that matter...

By bobsmith1492 on 1/5/2010 12:03:56 PM , Rating: 2
The cutscenes don't have the outline look to them, though.

By bodar on 1/5/2010 7:33:14 PM , Rating: 2
Well, I couldn't really find any better ones online. The intro looks better, but it still doesn't have the smoothness or level of photo-realism. It's still heavily stylized.

Intro --

Box Office Numbers
By psychmike on 1/4/2010 12:53:49 PM , Rating: 3
You know, box office figures don't mean a lot to me. Much wider distribution and the increased cost of admission make comparisons with older movies pointless. How much was the average ticket price when ET came out? I'm sure it's 4x or 5x more now. No wonder the old records are being broken. If these are inflation adjusted prices, no one ever says so. It would make much more sense to report the number of tickets sold.

RE: Box Office Numbers
By Akrovah on 1/4/2010 1:51:56 PM , Rating: 2
It would make much more sense to report the number of tickets sold.


RE: Box Office Numbers
By UNHchabo on 1/4/2010 1:54:46 PM , Rating: 3
Gone With the Wind still has the record for highest gross, adjusted for inflation:

However, this still doesn't take into account multiple releases: "At number three, The Sound of Music holds the highest position for a movie that was released only once."

RE: Box Office Numbers
By ArcliteHawaii on 1/5/2010 8:02:13 PM , Rating: 2
Great link. Very enlightening. I think that the list at the bottom, describing the difficulty of comparing various eras due to various factors is spot on:
Factors in determining an “adjusted gross” No one as of yet has calculated a truly precise and definite referential adjusted gross for a film, since doing so would have to take into account most (or all) of the following:
- Box office gross on initial release
- Ticket price at time of release, or its relative price to other commodities in a given year[1], in relation to general inflation and gross domestic product.[2] Related to that:
- economic conditions that may help or hurt the entertainment industry as a whole (theaters in 2008 lowered ticket prices to attract more viewers though the average ticket cost $7.00)
- Population at time of release—to be used to calculate:
- Per capita ticket purchase number
- Availability of movies (number of theaters and screens, number of prints)
- Competition of other media (television, internet, home video, film piracy)
- the total number of movies in the marketplace at a given time[1]
- Screen quotas (no influence on U.S. box office)
- Price differences: matinee and evening tickets[4], roadshow tickets[4], or difference between rural and urban cinemas
- Length of release (number of weeks)[4]

RE: Box Office Numbers
By lelias2k on 1/4/2010 2:35:24 PM , Rating: 2
Not sure it should be the only way of reporting it, but should definitely be added to it.

Having the gross published helps ppl compare between cost of production and box office sales, which for many is a way of distinguishing a successful film from a dud.

RE: Box Office Numbers
By Xenoterranos on 1/4/2010 4:02:36 PM , Rating: 2

It has an inflation adjuster and shows estimated tickets sold.

RE: Box Office Numbers
By jimbojimbo on 1/6/2010 2:50:16 PM , Rating: 2
It would make much more sense to report the number of tickets sold

I disagree. One of the reasons this movie has made money so quickly is the fact that many many people are willing to pay 50% or even up to 100% more to watch it at an IMAX rather the usual theater. That fact should account for something.

It should always use gross income and when comparing to other movies adjust them for movie theater inflation - let's face it, movie ticket prices have gone up faster than actual inflation.

Entire premise of TFA is wrong
By Yawgm0th on 1/4/2010 3:18:39 PM , Rating: 3
Do people in the tech news aggregation "industry" really not know about inflation, or is it just Jason?

This is in no way newsworthy. I know Dailytech just aggregates and occasionally re-writes news from other sites, but at least pick actual news.

Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope grossed $461 million in the US and $798 million in the world. It was released in 1977. Adjusting for inflation, it grossed $1.646 billion and $2.849 in today's dollars -- that doesn't include the consideration that higher population results in increased profit potential even after calculating inflation. $1 billion doesn't even come close to being an impressive number when you consider inflation, and it's a pointless number if you don't. It would be like announcing the world population has broken a record every few minutes.

I liked Avatar, even if it was Pocahontas with over-sized anorexic alien smurfs instead of Native Americans. That said, it doesn't fall under the category of epic Sci-Fi movies in terms of profit nor in terms of sheer goodness as Star Wars.


RE: Entire premise of TFA is wrong
By Mitch101 on 1/4/2010 4:28:44 PM , Rating: 2
And that's only part the story. Star Wars is also a Merchandising powerhouse.

As a moneymaking entertainment franchise, the "Star Wars" saga is a galaxy unto itself. When the sixth and final film, "Revenge of the Sith," opens on Thursday, it will be the capstone of a box office, DVD, video game and toy empire, responsible for nearly $20 billion in estimated revenue.

By Yawgm0th on 1/4/2010 5:01:35 PM , Rating: 2
Of course, but even in the context of box office profits of just one of the original Star Wars movies there's no comparison between Star Wars and Avatar. If you bring up the entire franchise as a whole, the comparison of course becomes even more lopsided.

RE: Entire premise of TFA is wrong
By Belard on 1/4/2010 5:46:28 PM , Rating: 2
As someone who grew up with Star Wars. Your side makes sense... its not really an argument, thou.

Star Wars (not including EP1~3) were very good and still hold up very well by todays standards... its timeless. Check out other movies from 1978~1985 and many DO age.

Back in the OLD days, Star Wars had little competition. Not saying movie titles are fighting each other. But that where wasn't much that could equal the SciFi of Star Wars 4 & 5. No DVD players, NO HD-TV, NO video games.

Kids do not play with toys as much as they used too. Video games took over. Star Wars toys, especially old days were more playable. Check out the NEW Star Trek Toys? They kind of suck. My son enjoys what he has - but its little and limited... and its not a TOY movie. Avatar has some toys... but I think they are more collectible than playable.

So considering that Avatar will not be a merchandising movie, it HAS and WILL do very well.

Like Star Wars, I will be watching Avatar many times in the theater. But as a Kid, I only saw Star Wars 2 times and Empire once in a theater. Of course saw the re-releases in the late 90s which was great to see.

It doesn't matter that Avatar is somewhat like Pocahontas or Ferngully (two movies I haven't seen) and yes, its also like Dances with Wolves - which I enjoyed. How many people HERE have seen these movies in the past 10 years?

How many YOUNG people today will sit and watch black and white movie classics?

Many movies are re-makes, rehashes of previous stories. Did we really need 3 Pirates of the Caribbean movies? What about porn... same ole in-out in-out, yet they keep making more of them. :)

Very few movies are "original"... District 9 was great (IMHO). How about A Clock Work Orange? Anyone seen the movies; The house of Yes, Punch Drunk Love, The Anniversary party, Children of Men, May, Dogma, Spirited Away, Totoro or Wings of Honneamise (Royal Space Force)? That last one is a MUST see for anyone who loves Sci-Fi. Its Right-Stuff on another planet, excellent music and its a whole world created.

PS: The Na'vi had more acting & expression than Anikin Skywalker.

RE: Entire premise of TFA is wrong
By walk2k on 1/4/2010 6:52:36 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe they just don't worship "Star Wars" as much as you do.

Even adjusting for inflation $1B is still way beyond what "Star Wars" did in the first couple weeks . It took 30+ years, including multiple re-releases and special editions for Star Wars to reach the number you quote.

By ArcliteHawaii on 1/5/2010 8:08:30 PM , Rating: 2
Right, and it had much higher PER CAPITA ticket sales, since not only population sales were less, but so were the number of people wealthy enough to afford to go to the movies. As well, there were even fewer movie theaters than there are today, making the take even more impressive. Star Wars had much longer legs than typical movies today: it was in theaters for 44 weeks, that's almost a year. How many movies stay in theaters that long anymore? None, that's how many.

Avatar was excellent
By UsernameX on 1/4/2010 12:27:42 PM , Rating: 4
Sure I've seen the story before, but nonetheless it did touch my heart. I left the movie not wanting to return to reality, lol. Excellent job James Cameron and everyone that made this possible. This is a classic.

RE: Avatar was excellent
By boobot on 1/4/2010 3:31:16 PM , Rating: 3
Exactly what I thought! I wanted to go back and just watch video of the landscaping and creatures. Just Beautiful! Good movie, simple plot, best CG by far.

RE: Avatar was excellent
By ArcliteHawaii on 1/5/2010 8:10:51 PM , Rating: 3
This movie has so much going on that multiple viewings are necessary to see everything. It's well imagined and implemented.

Interesting Review
By prontospyder on 1/4/2010 2:13:34 PM , Rating: 2
Here's an interesting review of Avatar from a science perspective:

Cameron created an amazing world with lots of potential - hope the sequels get made. :)

My criteria...
By RikHollis on 1/4/2010 7:10:45 PM , Rating: 2
In Sci-Fi literature, one aspect that winners of the Hugo & Nebula award demonstrate, is the ability to create and flesh-out an alien culture. Language, flora, fauna, and unique social mores are some of the tools used to paint a picture for the reader. I think Cameron used all of these to good effect in creating Pandora and the Na'vi, and to a level far beyond some other popular films in this genre.

I go to see movies to be entertained; if for two to three hours I can feel removed from the reality of this world's existence, I feel I got my money's worth. At $12 bucks for a movie, I had high expectations yet enjoyed it so much that I'll lay down another $12 just to enjoy it (albeit a little less) again.

By DanD85 on 1/5/2010 3:23:15 AM , Rating: 2
...Terra (or Battle for Terra), a similar science-fiction animation with the same theme. Give it a shot, I highly recommend it!

By overlandpark4me on 1/8/2010 11:45:43 PM , Rating: 2
I expected a lot more action. About half way through my kid and I were squirming in our seats. True, the effects were great, but it was light on action, and heavy on the chick flick angle. I would have been a lot happier if I'd paid only 5 bucks during the off peak showings. I can't recommend this film as a whole, and I sure wouldn't take a kid to see it. He'd fall asleep

By Codeman03xx on 1/4/2010 5:16:15 PM , Rating: 1
Yeah the movie looked decent in 3d but was an average movie about a 7 out of 10, with 3d its about a 8.5/10 because of all the rich environments. But honestly the movie itself the was just a big hype. I bet any money if they advertised starwas this much it would have done better. Plus star wars got close to 1 Billion on almost all the movies, and that was in a time were the movies weren't super trendy like today. Spider-man 3 for instance, the movie sucked lets just leave it at that, Spider-man was gay in the movie, plus Venom was a retarded cast, Venom was to much of a pretty boy and not a complete bad ass.

By MadMan007 on 1/4/10, Rating: -1
RE: umm
By kattanna on 1/4/2010 11:52:53 AM , Rating: 2
he didnt say pushing the boundaries of making interesting plots, but story telling. which in this case is true.

using the image capturing system like they did for this film will allow them to tell story scenes more freely then they have been able to before.

and hollywood is ALL about money and ego, LOTS of ego.

RE: umm
By killerroach on 1/4/2010 12:02:11 PM , Rating: 2
And, fortunately for James Cameron, ego is one thing that he's in no short supply of.

RE: umm
By quiksilvr on 1/4/2010 12:55:58 PM , Rating: 4
Well, he DID make Terminator 2 and Aliens. Then again he made...Titanic...ugh...

RE: umm
By Mitch101 on 1/4/2010 2:52:45 PM , Rating: 4
Titanic was a good movie.

I found Avatar enjoyable but extremely predictable. I wanted to look around more and especially at Michelle Rodriguez in 3D.

RE: umm
By Reclaimer77 on 1/4/10, Rating: 0
RE: umm
By quiksilvr on 1/5/2010 2:48:41 AM , Rating: 2
Titanic was not a good movie. The acting and the plot was lame and horrible. And the ending was NOT satisfying. It was selfish and self centered around Rose's own ego. She tosses it back into the ocean? Really?...REALLY?! Oh, forget about charity or helping the world, I'll just toss it back into the ocean and ruin someone else's career.

RE: umm
By Mitch101 on 1/5/2010 9:18:32 AM , Rating: 2
The boat sinks there is no alternative ending. :)

Would you prefer Michael Bay did Titanic with More Splosions Pew Pew Pew!

RE: umm
By Reclaimer77 on 1/5/2010 9:40:08 AM , Rating: 2
The problem with calling the movie "Titanic", was that the plot had nothing to do with the Titanic. It was a love story with a very boring and predictable premise (rich dudes chick falls for guy from the wrong side of the tracks, rich dude tries to get revenge) wrapped in a pretty setting. The plot would have been exactly the same had it taken place in a garage, an apartment building, or a rowboat.

RE: umm
By Mitch101 on 1/5/2010 10:53:53 AM , Rating: 2
I enjoyed it what can I say. I'm not saying its a great movie but it held my interest. I assume your much younger than me. If I were younger I probably wouldn't have cared much for the movie. But then I thought Steven Segal movies were good.

RE: umm
By quiksilvr on 1/5/2010 12:16:15 PM , Rating: 2
So in other words, you have poor taste in movies. Just making sure I understand.

RE: umm
By MadMan007 on 1/4/10, Rating: 0
RE: umm
By MadMan007 on 1/4/2010 12:18:19 PM , Rating: 2
*edit I see what you're saying but it seems like a stretch to say what you did about creative storytelling through the (3D) animation.

RE: umm
By Hiawa23 on 1/4/2010 3:13:42 PM , Rating: 3
I go to see tech movies, like Terminator, Transformers, so I was blown away by Avatar both times. Some of you think too much, I never expected some pulitzer story. The movie did what it was supposed to do & I am glad it's doing well. That's good enough for my tastes.

RE: umm
By MadMan007 on 1/4/10, Rating: 0
RE: umm
By Hiawa23 on 1/4/2010 3:56:18 PM , Rating: 1
Neato, so you go to movies to see technology and the cool effects that can be made. I'll take a wild guess that your favorite games are the 3DMark series?

never heard of that, my favorite games range from many on the Supernes, Arcades, Genesis, to Turbografx16, pretty much everything in between up unitl now, Gears Of War, Uncharted series, stuff like that. What point are tyring to make?

RE: umm
By Mitch101 on 1/4/2010 3:53:43 PM , Rating: 2
I think the majority of people who like Sci-Fi would enjoy this movie.

Dragon Hunters (2008)
Chasseurs de dragons (French Name)

Its not well known. Created by a french company. Everyone I told about this movie really likes it. Think of it as a darker Pixar movie.

Sorry its Off Topic but with all us Sci-Fi people worth a mention.

RE: umm
By Belard on 1/4/2010 5:17:40 PM , Rating: 2
It came out on DVD last year. Have it. A pretty fun fantasy movie. Nice music and interesting world. It is based off a comic and 2D Animation.

RE: umm
By VooDooAddict on 1/4/2010 7:44:12 PM , Rating: 2
Thank for the recommendation. (Wish it was streamable.)

RE: umm
By Suntan on 1/4/2010 3:18:58 PM , Rating: 2
ALL about money and ego, LOTS of ego.

Mmmmm… Eggos…


RE: umm
By kattanna on 1/4/2010 4:47:09 PM , Rating: 3
RE: umm
By callmeroy on 1/4/2010 12:31:48 PM , Rating: 3
How even what you are posting anything new for that matter?

Its now think JUST NOW Hollywood is becoming just all about the money?

This trend isn't new its been around for a very very very long time.

RE: umm
By callmeroy on 1/4/2010 12:32:48 PM , Rating: 2
My computer spazzed (yes instead of me for a change): Should have read "How IS even what you are posting....."

RE: umm
By The0ne on 1/4/2010 1:19:09 PM , Rating: 2
Story is old news to any sci-fi fan. This one isn't anything new. The capture motion isn't anything new, although they have more sensors/data collection involved. The 3-D hasn't really changed much since Captain Neo and one could argue Captain Neo was more 3-D as it had the audience grabbing for things in front of them and scaring them. The Imax screen here in San Diego is a bit pathetic and there are motion blur depending on where you sit. The 3-D just really jump out at you, it's just there.

The animation is, however, pretty impressive. I didn't notice any lag, blur or what have you during the last sequence. Some animation, particularly the characters, were robotic but very minor and for a short period of time.

I went to see the movie to see if there were any advances in tech and found really none. Nothing new was introduced, hardware or software. It was just more of the same thing we already experienced. But if you're going to watch it, watch it in 3-D. The movie and 3-D match pretty well.

RE: umm
By The0ne on 1/4/2010 1:34:49 PM , Rating: 2
I'm reading a lot of comments from so called sci-fi fans but I'm almost entirely sure most have not experienced nor read up on technologies used. All this crave because of 3-D, visuals, animation is off the record imo. I think the animation is superb but nothing ground breaking.

I mainly go to movies to see what new tech are going to come up. For example,

1. Liquid FX used in terminator
2. individual hair used in Monsters Inc
3. 3-D in Captain Neo at Disneyland
4. realistic graphic/animation as seen by Jurassic park, and still beats many of todays' movies.

The only thing I can see being pushed with this movie is the motion capture. Although not new, I think it'll become easier and smoother as more studios use it. Then again, one should wonder and question why pure computer animation wasn't used like Gullum was, to a very good acting point.

With so so acting, storyline and so forth. I don't think this movie is going to win any awards say for more hype that will maybe provide it with some. To win it for "ground breaking" whatever would be, imo, a travesty.

RE: umm
By Reclaimer77 on 1/4/2010 1:38:46 PM , Rating: 3
I mainly go to movies to see what new tech are going to come up.

No offense, but that's a pretty sad reason to go see movies.

RE: umm
By The0ne on 1/4/2010 5:38:02 PM , Rating: 2
That's your opinion. How you wish to stay in the dark as a tech person is up to you. I wonder why you're even on DT seeing as it is tech related.

Oh wait, you mean that I see movies for the tech and not because of a woman? This is what you mean? That I would rather take my woman to dinner, have a good time around beautiful parks, along the various beaches here, or even...and god forbid you should do this, time at home, comfortable together on the couch and having sex afterwards. Is this what you mean? Or am I not understanding your point of seeing a movie?

Like it or not, some technologies surface because of movies. If you think it's pathetic to witness the technology in action that's your problem and apparently everyone else disagrees with you.

RE: umm
By Reclaimer77 on 1/4/2010 6:26:45 PM , Rating: 2
lol oh I see. If I'm a "tech" person, I must go see movies like Avatar even though the plot sucks, the premise has been beaten like a dead horse, and the acting and dialogue is something a 12 year old could have came up with ?

Since when does 3d movie technology make my computer faster, my car better, or my storage devices scream ? What if I'm one of the unlucky people who 3d movies actually induce nausea ? Am I still a tech person then ?

Like it or not, some technologies surface because of movies.

Like it or not, better technology doesn't actually make the movie better.

RE: umm
By The0ne on 1/5/2010 11:30:55 AM , Rating: 2
Look dumbass, you're starting arguments for no good reason at all.

I go to movies to enjoy it, watch it with friends, family and/or co-workers and at the same time like to pay attention to other details, such as potential new technologies both hardware and software that might surface. If you choose to go see a movie because you "think" you might enjoy it or "think" because it has a good plot is totally up to you.

For example, I see Monster Inc not because I want to enjoy the plot. I see Monster Inc because they had created amazing software to handle each single hair and move individually. This has and will continue to be use more effectively as is motion capture, stop motion, particles effects like liquid FX and the sand particles used in The Mummy or rather with Michael Jackson's music video Do You Remember the Time. And lets not forget about morphing where Michael made good use of it in his Black and White video as well.

If you can't appreciate this, then you're not a techie and had absolutely no fcking reason to even comment. If you want to comment on how pathetic I am because of my reasons to watch movies then lets see what your reasons are. I thought so.

And for the record, If you bother to read my post comprehensively you would realize that I had already stated the plot is nothing new nor exciting and that the movie is superb in it's visual especially in 3-D. At least we agree on the plot and acting but if this dissuades you from having to experience one of the better 3-D visuals than it's your fcking lost not mine or anyone else.

Where did I say 3-D make the comptuer faster and all that? Where? Reading comprehension dumbass please. This is not the first time you are talking out of your ass with many of us here.

As for your last statement, we agree on this but you again UTTERLY FAILED to first read and/or comprehend what I have stated.

So either stfu up or make sense in your comments.

RE: umm
By lelias2k on 1/4/2010 2:20:47 PM , Rating: 3
Have you seen the making of Avatar???

Did you see the hardware/software used that allowed motion captured results to be seen by Cameron in real time? That goes far beyond anything ever used before. Big names in Hollywood stopped by just to check out the technology... And it will probably improve the quality of movies from now on, since it allows more control during the filming process. (i.e. the director sees right away if the scene came out good or not...)

Also, you mention Gullum as pure computer animation. That is not true, Gullum was also create using motion capture, just not like the one used in Avatar - evidently, since it's something new...

I haven't seen the movie yet (IMAX 3-D in SD was sold out all wkd), but everyone I know that watched the movie was impressed. I'll stop by later if I change my mind after I see it.

RE: umm
By The0ne on 1/4/2010 6:16:36 PM , Rating: 3
First of all, go see the movie and make sure in 3-D. It's a great movie for the 3-D screen.

Secondly, yes I watched the making of the movie. Pretty cool but nothing impressive to me. It's just more of the same, which isn't a bad thing. But sometimes more doesn't mean better. Jurassic park dinosaurs are a perfect example of this. Many movies after Jurassic park had more this and that to their creations but pale in comparison, in terms of being realistic and it's integration. And yes, it should improve future movies that plan on using the technology. More fluid motions due to more sensors and much more powerful computers.

I thought it was pretty funny that one of the most difficult things for the motion capture was for the characters to get close to each other since they're all hooked up :D

RE: umm
By lelias2k on 1/5/2010 10:28:53 AM , Rating: 2
Well, I think you didn't see the part they show the hand-held monitor created so that while the actors are wearing their motion sensors in front of a green background the director can see the action in real time...

That amount of control, for a director, can be the difference between making a good scene and a crappy one.

If that was used before, please tell me where or point me to a good source.

That alone was worth the investment in the movie.

RE: umm
By The0ne on 1/5/2010 11:50:17 AM , Rating: 2
The motion was captured more fluidly which allow the director to, I would assumed, more properly direct. I don't disagree with you on this matter. But it is not the finish product, it is an advancement of the motion capture, which is great, due to hardware advances. Having it display is really not much of an innovation, say for creating the hardware/software to be able to do that, as some of my examples previously have been :)

For example, 10 years ago I could collect over 500 channels of data and not be able to process or view them in real time. Today, I can do that same thing but be view them on screen as well. It's just a matter of the hardware being faster but not significantly either more advance or completely new to handle the task. Or for example, Captain Neo at Disneyland running on MUCH older hardware/software and remains on of the best 3-D show/movie. Or take jurassic park, many CG's afterward contain much more detail but pale in comparison to an aging film.

I and particularly brought up the kissing part because it is one of the harder scenes to shoot and thus direct, I am assuming of course not being a director nor knowing much about directing. Limitations that would undoubtedly be diminished as the technology advances. There are tools out there that could help but maybe not researched to be utilized. For example instrumentation equipments are great :) Strain gauges and accelerometers could help in addition to just a single point. Just saying hahaha

Since we're on the subject, did you notice how well they made the main characters leg? It's the best so far aside from Forrest Gump. I could not tell whether it was fake or real, which is awesome :)

RE: umm
By FormulaRedline on 1/4/2010 2:27:28 PM , Rating: 1
Maybe I'm not the only one then that still thinks Jurassic Park's dinosaurs (from 1993 mind you) are the best (realistic) CG characters in any movie?

When I watched Avatar, as cool as the 3D was, I still thought of the blue people as CG every time I saw them. In 10 years, this movie will look like the claymation special effects of the 30s to us. Or like Golem in Return of the King. Great when it came out, but looking dated and fake now.

However, when I watch Jurassic Park, they still look like dinosaurs to me.

RE: umm
By MadMan007 on 1/4/2010 2:52:58 PM , Rating: 2
Based upon all your personal experience seeing dinosaurs? :D

RE: umm
By ClownPuncher on 1/4/2010 3:16:47 PM , Rating: 2
Don't make fun. Seriously those blue aliens looked NOTHING like the ones the Scientologists are "occupied" by.

RE: umm
By MadMan007 on 1/4/2010 3:43:16 PM , Rating: 1
Wow, so harsh to downrate an obvious joke.

RE: umm
By consumerwhore on 1/4/2010 4:54:16 PM , Rating: 2
when I watch Jurassic Park, they still look like dinosaurs to me

But... what point of reference do you have?

Sorry, for the snark. I suppose I agree with you that when I think dinosaur, it's the JP dinosaur that comes to mind, given how much they made an impression and of a leap in CGI it was when the movie came out. It's still nothing short of amazing.

But you have to admit, it may be responsible for this weird situation where it has "created reality" in the sense that now we just believe that's how dinosaur walked/ran/behaved. Remember that animators took inspiration from existing animals. They may not be too far off, but archeology is a field with its own advances and discoveries that come and refine our knowledge of extinct animals, from bone structures to social behavior.

RE: umm
By FormulaRedline on 1/4/2010 6:19:15 PM , Rating: 1
But... what point of reference do you have?

Fair enough. I should have been more clear; they look realistic when compared to real lizards with shapes comparable to skeleton remains we've discovered. Obviously I have no idea what dinosaurs really looked like. But neither should I have preconceptions about blue aliens. Maybe it's because they are too humanoid.

But you have to admit, it may be responsible for this weird situation where it has "created reality" in the sense that now we just believe that's how dinosaur walked/ran/behaved.

I agree. Archaeological refinements aside, the JP animation is good enough to suspend disbelief.

RE: umm
By walk2k on 1/4/2010 6:35:31 PM , Rating: 2
A lot of the dinosaurs in JP were models, especially the closeups.

RE: umm
By MamiyaOtaru on 1/4/2010 6:55:15 PM , Rating: 2
the film at Disneyland was Captain EO.

RE: umm
By MadMan007 on 1/4/2010 2:54:08 PM , Rating: 2
Hey...if this wins some kind of technical awards I'd be fine with that, it certainly deserves some. But Best Picture? F*** no.

RE: umm
By powerincarnate on 1/4/2010 7:34:54 PM , Rating: 2
Why can't it win?? I don't get it.

Are the best picture winners the best movie of the year. I RARELY thinks so, so if it so happens to NOT agree with you, then welcome to my world. Welcome to everyone's world. The award winners isn't always the 100% best agreed by 100% of the population.

The movie opened up with 77 million dollars of sales. Hardly the 115, 120, 130 million dollars of sales that The Spidermans, Dark Knights, Shreks, or STar Wars of the world gets. BUT WORD of mouth is what got this movie the success it garnered. Making a very modest drop in its second week and another one the third week. Without a holiday, it may drop to like 50 or 45 million, but that is good for a movie in its 4th week. Plus it just opened up in China. Afterall it isn't just the United States of the World, it is the world and they too seem to love it.

So with that said, and sales don't automatically means best movie, but when it is consistent sales, and not just Big Blockbuster opening followed by 50-60% drop, that usually means the movie was good, good enough to watch it a second or third time.

Poor Story, Unoriginal story. Name me a story Now that is original. Comedy, nope, we've seen it all. action, no we've seen it all. Love stories, nope we've seen it all. Horror, sci-fi, we generally have seen it all. Unless there is a revolution when Bad Guys always win, good guys always lose, good guy never gets the girl, bad guy gets the girl, then you won't ever get an original story. Closest thing to something original was Watchmen, and that was from an 80s graphic novel. Neon Genesis Evangelion too is different, but while it garners a strong following, it can never be a truly mainstream blockbuster movie. For avatar to be successful to the masses, and tell a good story, I think it did a pretty fine job and was the best at mixing the sometime mutually exclusive two together.

Which begs my question so why can't it win. Maybe because the English Patient is a better movie. I rented it twice and fell asleep twice watching it 12 years ago. It is such a good movie that you can't even stay up to watch it.

Games and movies are both for entertaining people as a means to make money. I don't care what some snob thinks of the two, Avatar is WAY better than the English Patient to me (And to a Whole lot of People in the World).

RE: umm
By Hiawa23 on 1/4/2010 2:55:06 PM , Rating: 2
I saw the regular verwsion then went back to see the 3d version & this one easily goes to the top of my alltime favorites list, occupied by the likes of the Terminator series, Transformers series, Aliens series, Jurassic Park series. I thought the movie was great, but honestly the 3-d effects the 2nd time I watched the movie was cool looking but did not make the movie any better. I find this amazingly hilarious how well the movie has done given when the movie first came out there were many threads on IGN about how some feared the movie wouldn't be able to make up the cost with it costing so much to make. I don't go to see movies like this for a story but loved the story & the visuals, WOW. Some think too much about this stuff. If the movie isn't for you, great, what do you care how many awards it wins or not, that really doesn't make your life any worse, or better.

RE: umm
By PhoenixKnight on 1/4/2010 3:01:11 PM , Rating: 3
RE: umm
By tdawg on 1/4/2010 5:16:50 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed. While the movie should be a front-runner for technical achievement awards, it should not be up for best picture or director; there are a handful of movies that should be ahead of Avatar going into the award season. However, given that there are 10 spots for best picture again, I'm betting it will get a nomination, though I'll be annoyed since The Dark Knight got no such recognition.

"If you can find a PS3 anywhere in North America that's been on shelves for more than five minutes, I'll give you 1,200 bucks for it." -- SCEA President Jack Tretton
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