Avatar: A Less Than Ass-Kissing Review

<em>Avatar</em>: A Less Than Ass-Kissing Review

Changing the way films are made or just a visual feast?

I'm not going to give away too many spoilers, everyone seems to be well aware of what this movie is about and who's in it so I will not bore you with any of that. Let's get straight to the good stuff!

CGI: What can be said that hasn't already? It's beautiful, unlike movies like Episode 1 where you can tell an entire world was computer generated, however "Avatar" made me forget anything was generated and made the creators made this world exsist.

Acting: The acting was very good for the most part, though a little shy on Worthington's part, I didn't really feel the way he conveyed emotion, though Zoe Saldana did a fantastic job. She really sold her character and I hope to see her more in future films. Some of the characters felt too formula based which made me feel this movie could have had a little more work done to it, the Colonial, Selfridge, and Tsu'tey really stood out the most to me as the typical characters, but mind you this didn't really hurt the movie.

Cinematography: This was fantastic, the camera angles were unique and felt natural to whatever scene was being displayed whether it be full blown action or stationary moment. Michael Bay should definitely take note on how the action was filmed in this movie, you could actually tell what the hell was going on! I did have issues with the 3-D element though, it seemed distracting at times but in others it really enhanced the experience.

Music: The music did exactly what it was meant to do, and brought you into each scene without being over bearing. Though typical, with the bongos for the Na'vi people and electric guitars and solid orchestra for the human side.

Sound FX: Nothing was wrong in this department, they did a wonderful job depicting the different animals and weaponry used.

Plot: OK, so we all agree the plot was a little weak and inspired by movies such as "Dances With Wolves" but that did not bother my enjoyment of this movie. It was well done, and they kept it safe not thinking outside the box, I hope the sequel will push the envelope more in the story element.
Also, I felt the fact the Na'vi people could just happen to transfer minds from one body to another a little too coincidental so Worthington could be a full blown Na'vi.


This movie was fun and a visually stunning, though as noted before I'm on the fence about the introduction of the 3-D, a lot was going on and it felt like it was a little too much and took me out of the moment also, some scenes looked fuzzy but that might be because it was not IMAX. Cameron's claim this would change the way films would be made is a joke I'm afraid, though this would change the way we should expect CGI to be done, for the making of a film as a whole, I expected more after reading his claims.

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Shaman - 12/21/2009, 10:08 AM
Good review, Stumblin ;)
kylemf88 - 12/21/2009, 11:27 AM
The way it was filmed changes the way CG will be filmed. A ruff render of the scene on their cameras changes every, and picking up human expressions and converting them to animation also changes everything. Cameron's statement was no joke.
Legendaryssj - 12/21/2009, 11:41 AM
it says it will ahnge cinema for a reason THE VISUALS IS THE THINGS THAT WILL CHANGE CINEMA how many films will want thier cgi to be like avatars? thats changing film to me
Rokrad - 12/21/2009, 11:46 AM
I saw it in IMAX and it was one of my favorite movies ever. Putting aside the Pocahontas influences of the plot everything else was EXTREMELY good. One of the few movies I felt satisfied with and wished the movie was longer.
JerusalemJr - 12/21/2009, 11:49 AM
Nice review

Bropous - I agree with Kev, I wouldn't really call this movie a flop, especially considering how it made 75 mil the first weekend and most people I know plan on seeing it again. That with the fact that the majority I know really enjoyed the movie, I would say no to the whole "flop" thought.

Rokrad - Yeah, I was actually disappointed that it ended, I wanted more.
rosco71 - 12/21/2009, 11:49 AM
i was blown away with it, i love CGI movies but this made me forget is was CGI, incredible visuals, exellent drama, especially Zoe's stressfull moments when her home and father were killed, Worthington could've expressed a little more when in human form and the music was'nt inspiring as Titanic or braveheart but still an amazing film!!
Shaman - 12/21/2009, 11:53 AM
I feel there is a difference between a "flop" and a "failure". Avatar has great chances of being a "failure" but it is in no way a "flop". A Flop sucks while a Failure can still be good without making back it's budget. I'm not planning on seeing this film until it gets to the bargin bins but at least they'll have my 5$ ;)
InTylerWeTrust - 12/21/2009, 11:58 AM
Good review. I pretty much agree with all of it.

The script is lackluster, but it's sufficient enough to make the film enjoyable, despite some serious character/cliche problems.

The CGI is phenomenal and pulls you into the world.

Overall, without the effects it's a decent movie, certainly watchable yet still containing obvious script flaws, but with the effects it's a fantastic experience.
W8I8Z - 12/21/2009, 12:05 PM
Just because the movie makes money does not mean the movie was any good... that just means they promoted it enough so that tons of people pay money to go see it at the theater.
I will pay to go see it and make a judgement on whether it's good or not afterwards. Either way they still took my money.
Stumblin - 12/21/2009, 12:09 PM
Thanks guys! Wow, I didn't think I'd make front page with this I'm getting a warm fuzzy feeling inside.
JerusalemJr - 12/21/2009, 12:12 PM
Shaman - Yeah, I don't think they will make back how much was spent on it.
Stumblin - 12/21/2009, 12:13 PM
I'm sorry Kylemf88, the same could be said from "Lord of the Rings," "King Kong," "District 9" etc. They all pushed the envelope for CGI, this did that as well, but I doubt it completely changes the way films will be made, I think it'll just up our expectations of CGI, not necessarily the film as a whole. Which is what Cameron felt his movie would do, with the whole 3-D, story and all that jazz.
Triptheorist - 12/21/2009, 12:19 PM
Sam Worthington is highly overrated. /runs away and hides in a corner
InTylerWeTrust - 12/21/2009, 12:19 PM
I agree with Stumblin again.

The only thing about Avatar that might change the film industry is the CGI, not the movie as a whole.

I think it will change the way we see special effects, and maybe even change the way film-makers make the effects, but, other than that, it's not going to revolutionize how movies (as a whole) are made.
Stumblin - 12/21/2009, 12:23 PM
Word up Tyler! Yeah, it was a good movie, not a great movie, but it will find its place among my Blu-Ray collection when it hits the shelves.

I think Worthington needs more work, his Avatar actually acted better then his actual self. But even in his voice you lose the emotions he attempts to convey.
Shaman - 12/21/2009, 12:24 PM
Great point, Stumblin ;)

JerusalemJr- That would be impossible. The Chimpmunks2 are probably gonna beat Avatar's numbers for it's opening weekend. But in the long run, i guess only time will tell. Avatar has chances of getting higher up but nowhere near 500 millions. What the [frick] were they actually thinking???
Stumblin - 12/21/2009, 12:40 PM
Shaman I guess they believed Cameron that this was going to be the Holy Grail of movies. I think their sales will increase a little bit, but with "Sherlock Holmes" coming out and the Robert Downey Jr. kick everyone is in, I think might surpass "Avatar" opening day.
ecksmanfan - 12/21/2009, 12:46 PM
@Stumblin- Great review! I couldn't agree more.
Shaman - 12/21/2009, 12:54 PM
No doubt in my mind, stumblin!
NoobMike - 12/21/2009, 12:59 PM
This might have changed how CGI movies are made... although there are a lot of movies that don't use CGI or special effects, and some even rely on story rather than eye candy to do great at the box office, I know crazy isn't it?. It also happens to rely more on CGI acting than on the real life actors... which although impressive...well it's just sad.

So saying this will change the history of cinema forever... is just hype, and sucking on Cameron's much inflated balls (although sucking on his balls will be really hard as long as Keven is around, he has his lips glued there).

I will say it again in caps mind you IT IS AN ENJOYABLE MOVIE, AND YOU SHOULD WATCH IT. However it's not the best movie of 2009 and definitely not the best sci-fi movie of 2009. And it's DVD/Blu-Ray sales will be horrible.
Shaman - 12/21/2009, 1:07 PM
Well now that the technology exists, Snyder can finally shoot the "Squid" scene :)) But great points all around, Noob. I totally agree ;)
Stumblin - 12/21/2009, 1:20 PM
Chill out Skyh00k, it may not be comic book related, but it appeals to overall viewers of this site, just like video games and Anime. Stop beating the horse, it's dead and done, get over it.

And thanks ecksmanfan!
Shaman - 12/21/2009, 1:25 PM
I'm kinda sick of hearing about Avatar too, Skyh00k. It's good, we get it. It's still not making that much money, let's move on. I do enjoy the reviews though. It's the people that can't take anyone criticising their favorite movie as if we were insulting their mothers. THAT's what really gets me limp about Avatar right now. Everybody likes it, no one has shat on it, no one is a hater even though they refuse to suck Cameron's colonel. Let's move on.
NoobMike - 12/21/2009, 1:44 PM
Damn you Shaman, don't bring the squid into this... you really don't want me to enter I need squid mood
Shaman - 12/21/2009, 1:48 PM
LOL Noob, hey if it's 8 tentacles that you need, i know a few guys... we could get together LOL :P

I could eat a horse right about now...
JerusalemJr - 12/21/2009, 1:58 PM
If your sick of the Avatar reviews then why not stop reading them?
Stumblin - 12/21/2009, 2:01 PM
Skyh00k, wow, clever using my name to describe me falling for your "trap" very original there buddy. Look, I just responded to your bitching about non comic related material. Get over it and yourself.

Shaman, I couldn't agree more, it seems the hype for this movie really drained it out of me, to be honest, I wasn't at all excited to see the movie in the first place. I was just going to see "Sherlock Holmes" later in the week, but figured we got snowed in hard core and the theater wasn't far. That and they serve beer, and as you can tell, I like beer.
Stumblin - 12/21/2009, 2:02 PM
Very true Jerusalem. I don't understand why people get their panties in a bunch when they read something that they originally don't want to read, then bitch about it.
1chris2 - 12/21/2009, 2:14 PM
sounds great. i really hate 3d and wish it would just disappear.
Stumblin - 12/21/2009, 2:16 PM
Yep, I'm not really a fan. For movies like "UP!" it worked out fine, but with this it was like, too much.
Gose - 12/21/2009, 2:20 PM
Nice personal review

For me, thankfully it happened in my lifetime ....
Cinema magic is pure visual & sound galore for me ..
Good stories/plot ... read a good book, let your imagination do the rest.
StephenStrange - 12/21/2009, 2:28 PM
Avatar is hardly a flop. Unfortunately it seems to be underperforming a little bit but it's a decent movie and very entertaining. I feel sorta bad for being so judgemental about it BUT everything I said about it was true. I just didn't consider what a few bright folks have referred to as the "immersion factor". Despite it's many flaws the immersion factor was very high indeed.

In this day and age that one thing can make a world of difference.
kitboy33 - 12/21/2009, 2:36 PM
This movie has already made over 240 million worldwide, and hasn't even opened in some big markets overseas. It also opened on a weekend that 80% of the US eastcoast was hit with a major blizzard.

All things considered...Avatar will easily make it's money back and then some. It may even do better this xmas weekend.
And dvd sales WILL be fantastic for this movie....watch!
InFamouslyCool - 12/21/2009, 2:38 PM
they spent how much to make this movie?!? Twilights: New Moon made how much more?!? wow.. ahahahaha

flop, bomb, tank, faliure..? ahahaha

Runefyst - 12/21/2009, 2:51 PM
InFamous -

Twilight: New Moon had already established an audience of teen girls with dreams of humping the daylights out've Robert Pattinson - that's why it made money.

I havn't seen either movie (I do plan on seeing Avatar) but I think it's safe to say that Avatar has a better story, better cast, and better production values than New Moon :P

That being said, I don't expect to have my mind blown by Avatar, it'll just be another good flick. :)
thwhtGuardian - 12/21/2009, 2:53 PM
it is a wait and see kind of thing kitboy, but I just don't see dvd sales being that great, I mean just look at how poorly it's selling in traditional theaters, no one wants to see it in anything but 3d and you can't get that experience on your tv screen.
Duhdaduh - 12/21/2009, 3:06 PM
JUST GOT BACK FROM SEEING THIS BADBOY IN THEATRES, and yes this is the first thing i did when i came home i know it is sad. but i just wanted to say that this movie was THRILLING!!! oh my goodness it was great. effects were beautiful, the music was compelling, the action was everywhere in a good way, very exciting. yes i agree that some characters like the colonel were cliche but u know what they were kickass fantastic for what they were. acting was trememndous and i thought worthington was great! the "absence of emotion" wasnt bad, the guy was a marine so he didnt have to be so emotional. overall very great. stumblin i agree with u with the 3D problems sometimes it was fuzzy but other times awesome! glad i saw it, gonna see it again
SHO1138 - 12/21/2009, 3:12 PM

You think what you did was sad; I just got back from the theater and joined the site just so I could say how much of a great time I had at the movies. I can't for the life of me remember the last time I could say that.

Don't think it will flop or fail. $232,000,000 world wide in one weekend is a good start.
Stumblin - 12/21/2009, 3:15 PM
Colonial and the other cliche characters were far from "kickass" I'm afraid Duhdaduh. It made the film less professional in my opinion and pushed the movie farther from Cameron's claims of ground breaking film production. Worthington's acting considered great? I really have to disagree, their was nothing great about it, it was mediocre at best.
BillyBlack - 12/21/2009, 3:34 PM
It was a great movie-going experience.

I personally think that it would be nearly impossible to properly critique the special effects of this movie without seeing it in IMAX 3-D. That is how it was intended and it does make all the difference. It would be like watching the full-screen version of a dvd and complaining that you didn't get the full effect.
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