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Thread: Avatar: The One Thread

  1. #1
    GAFSTER FuckmanQ's Avatar
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    Default Avatar: The One Thread

    Similar to my Star Wars thread I figured there should be a place to discusss Avatar as well. It’s a few years away but considering he’s filming all 4 movies back to back I think it’s as good a time as any to start this. Feel free to discuss your feelings on the first film and any thoughts you may have regarding the sequels!

    This video is pretty old but it gives a good idea of what’s cooking in his headspace for the sequels.

    Avatar: My Two Cents
    Figured I'd give some thoughts on the first film as well to kick this off. I personally love it, I find it to be a movie I re-visit quite a bit when I have the free time. Especially the extended cut, it's surprising how much difference a few minutes on Earth make for the movie itself. Overall I see the film as continuing what Lucas started in 1977 with the original Star Wars. Wrapping a narrative around familiar human stories and tropes while balancing some of the most state of the art visual effects. He pulled it off masterfully, and within the familiarity you then get the deep connective lore that just pulls you in. Simple Story, Deep Concept, essentially. I still remember people complaining about the RDA being evil. Or even that the mineral they are after is called "Unobtanium", the name is clearly on the nose but it works for the plot. I also look at the RDA as just extensions of the worst qualities humans can strive to be. Think of them like the Empire from Star Wars in a way. The RDA is the military industrial complex getting out of hand. The Empire was the combination of a lot of historical dictatorships, most notably Nazi Germany.

    With all this being said I just love the first film a lot. I love all the concepts that went into designing the world of Pandora. The flora, Creatures, and even the RDA's technology is all very interesting stuff. Plus, since Cameron has studied engineering he knows his shit! When you see these things they all feel pretty grounded and believable. I would honestly say sans the Na'vi that everything else is pretty scientifically accurate. I personally feel Avatar is the closest we'll get to seeing what an alien world would be like. All of the little things add up to make this movie something special for me. Plus it's message is sound, take care of the Earth. Pretty simple, and I think he pulled it off without feeling like he was lashing out at the general populace for how they treat our planet.
    Last edited by FuckmanQ; 05-11-2018 at 06:39 AM. Reason: added my thoughts on the first film.
    A system organized around the weakest qualities of individuals will produce these same qualities in its leaders.

  2. #2
    GAFSTER FuckmanQ's Avatar
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    Double-Post Genocide: The Making of Avatar

    Thought I would share this as well. If you are at all curious as to what went into making the movie I totally recommend watching this video. It's long, take a break! You don't have to watch it in one sitting. :) You might have to drag the video back to the beginning, YouTube is not letting me send videos at the start anymore if I have already watched something. Cheers to whoever reads this!
    A system organized around the weakest qualities of individuals will produce these same qualities in its leaders.

  3. #3
    Mephisto's Avatar
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    worst movie ever
    Chillin' Killin'

  4. #4
    GAFSTER FuckmanQ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mephisto View Post
    worst movie ever
    Okay, glad you shared that sentiment.
    A system organized around the weakest qualities of individuals will produce these same qualities in its leaders.

  5. #5
    SEGLASS NI TONDAY Hazekiah's Avatar
    Join Date: 06.20.09
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    Avatar is one of my all-time favorite movies! Sooo fucking excited for all the sequels coming up soon. Anyone who hates on it is just a complete and utter fucking idiot. It is a 100% confirmed masterpiece and frankly Cameron was robbed at the Oscars. Albeit by his own ex-wife, hilariously enough.

    I randomly found the 1st and 3rd discs from the 3-DVD set so I was actually revisiting the first half of the Collector's Extended Cut and some of the bonus content a few days ago. I've literally seen the longest version of the already long as-it-is movie probably a hundred times, lol. Never gets old! I just wish I could find the 2nd disc and that I had a 3D tv for the FULL effect. Maybe someday! In the meantime, I'm really hoping they re-release the first film in theaters when the sequels come out. I would marathon that shit LIKE CRAZY, I swear. Such a phenomenal moviegoing experience. Not to mention how perfectly the 3D echoes the very concept of the avatar program itself. It really fucking HAS to be seen in 3D at least once.

    Anyway, if you're a fan and you haven't seen the Collector's Extended Cut they you should REALLY do yourself a favor and check it out sometime....it really IS a feast for the fans.

    And the BONUS content! OMG SO MUCH WIN. The tons and tons of deleted scenes alone are well worth the cost. Honestly, I really hope Cameron goes back and finishes a bunch of them someday so they can be seamlessly integrated with the rest of the film like he's done with the two extended edits he's already finished after the fact. It is ALL completely worthy of the full treatment and rendering.

    As a case in point, here's my favorite deleted scene. It realllly should have been in the movie itself, I can't even imagine how absolutely fucking FACEMELTING the full CGI would have been in all its IMAX/3D glory. Plus, the deletion of the scene really robs the rest of the ceremony of Jake becoming one of The People of all its weight. In the final cuts of the film, he builds it up as this big trial he has to pass but then it's just like, "Here, I slapped some paint on your face, welcome to the tribe," lolwtf.

    However, in actuality, Jake had a TOTAL hellride in between getting his face painted and officially joining the tribe. And not only is it awesome af that the movie basically turns into a fucking music video by TOOL out of nowhere but it also establishes his surprise plot-twist moment later in the film by suggesting through his dream hunt visions that HE would be the Last Shadow of Pandora while really serving as a clever bit of foreshadowing, so to speak.

    Seriously, it is SO fucking badass and it physically pains me that it was cut from the movie. I totally wish the whole fucking world had to watch this tripped-out, crazy-ass shit right in the middle of an otherwise mostly family friendly film, lol.



  6. #6
    Enname's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hazekiah View Post
    As a case in point, here's my favorite deleted scene. It realllly should have been in the movie itself, I can't even imagine how absolutely fucking FACEMELTING the full CGI would have been in all its IMAX/3D glory. Plus, the deletion of the scene really robs the rest of the ceremony of Jake becoming one of The People of all its weight. In the final cuts of the film, he builds it up as this big trial he has to pass but then it's just like, "Here, I slapped some paint on your face, welcome to the tribe," lolwtf.

    However, in actuality, Jake had a TOTAL hellride in between getting his face painted and officially joining the tribe. And not only is it awesome af that the movie basically turns into a fucking music video by TOOL out of nowhere but it also establishes his surprise plot-twist moment later in the film by suggesting through his dream hunt visions that HE would be the Last Shadow of Pandora while really serving as a clever bit of foreshadowing, so to speak.

    I finally sat down and watched Avatar, some many years after its release. I'd been avoiding it, despite the tales of its wondrous technicality, because I know very well that was a variation of the Pocahontas myth (or many other similar primitive-encounter stories) and I find them remarkably offensive. I have spent something akin to six years teaching students to break this sort of narrative down and to think about the role of encounters between individuals, empires and the place of women as tools (translators, cross cultural marriage, negotiating and bargaining tools, slaves, slaves, slaves, rape) in ways that are not simply focused on the grand societal outcomes, but the fragile moments in between where people meet and are destroyed. So three or more hours of yet more propaganda was not appealing.

    In the end, it was largely what I expected (and the technical aspects are wondrous), both good and bad. I am not a fan of the primitavist-environmentalism (Princess Mononoke does it better), nor some of the representations of the Na'vi and how they draw on various native cultures, nor the closeness of the central 'love' relationship of that to the Disney-Pocahontas. But it was intriguing how Cameron attempted to avoid or subvert some of those colonial pitfalls, utilising the avatar technology. That was perhaps the most intriguing element - what happens when they are both there, and not really there, as well as being one of the most disturbing. Talk about a giant, controlled, social experiment of doom. I rather like the critique of the American military complex, the emphasis on mediation and cultural understanding, and the use of an individual who has little to no remaining function to their originating society and eventually leaves it (the reverse Pocahontas). And that is more than can be said for many films that try a similar premise, not only sci fi - Dances with Wolves I am looking at you.

    However, the point of this randomness was to say that yes this deleted scene should have been there. It is the strongest representation of the avatar technology and what it enables in terms of encounter and acculturation, and gives a real sense of the distance that can be reached from your day to day physical reality, by projecting your mind out into other forms. And there is a nice bit of dual conceptualisation there around nurture/nature, the role of ritual as rebirth into a society, as well as an actual sense of the alien.
    Quid ignorantia sit multi ignorant.

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