*** Official AVATAR Review Thread with a few thoughts from Ron Epstein

Nelson Au

Executive Producer
Joined
Mar 16, 1999
Messages
15,437
Reaction score
4,303
Points
9,110
I liked it. I had the same reaction as others, Dances with Wolves meets the Ewoks. I kept thinking that George Lucas is either very impressed and is full of praise, and or wishing he could have done that with the Ewoks sequence of Return of the Jedi.

The story was predictable, but the fim did it was great flair.

I had issues with Sigourney Weaver. I didn't like her character in the beginning and had trouble seeing her as anything other then Ripley. Only because of the environment the film was situated in and the fact Cameron was directing. But as the film went on, I was able to let it go.

Also, the casting of the Michelle Rodriquez character seemed very much like Vasquez to me.

Everyone has already said enough about the CGI, I can't add more, other then the design of the ships all looked like the next iteration of the ships in Aliens and has the same basic design language.

This was the first modern 3D film I've seen and it was effective and not overdone. The production design and execution of the CGI were a feast for the eyes!

I forgot to add a mention about the score. It was good, nothing that was remarkable about it and it worked for the film But it just sounded very Titanic like to me, There was even 2 notes that sounded like it was going to swell into the Titanic love theme.
 

Garrett Lundy

Producer
Joined
Mar 5, 2002
Messages
3,764
Reaction score
0
Points
0
My very short review (as seen on a digital 3D non-IMAX projection).

Presentation-wise the film is stunning. In 3D the film is well worth whatever the theater is charging for admission. In 2D I imagine the film will lose a lot of its appeal (as did Beowulf). Sound quality was excellent but I've never heard a digitally projected film to be anything less than stellar.

Has computer animation technology finally replaced live actors? No. CGI still doesn't look "correct" when imposed upon something real (Jake digging his Avatar's toes into the dirt is a good early-in-the-film example). But I'm a perfectionist and many people are not. I suppose for corporate Hollywood this movie will be a gold standard for animated films and in the long run that isn't a terrible thing (an AVATAR-style 'Ender's Game' or 'Sword of Truth' is better than none at all).

Story wise: Well, there's a reason all the commercials said AVATAR looked awesome. Because the story is pretty flat. I had the honor of sitting next to a soldier recently returned from overseas and I'm pretty sure I could hear his eyes rolling at most of the dialogue. The plot isn't anything new (as has been discussed at length) but it isn't terrible either. I suspect in 20 years this film will be watched exclusively by tweens, older teens and adults aren't likely to find much here they can sink their teeth into.

My summary: Watch it theatrically in 3D and bring the family. It just won't be the same on your 2D television.
 

Jeff

Supporting Actor
Joined
Jun 30, 1997
Messages
948
Reaction score
0
Points
110
Ever hear the phrase, "You can't polish a turd?”. Well I think James Cameron is the first person ever to successfully do this, with this 3D process. Ordinarily I wouldn't have gone to see this movie, as the previews didn't interest me, but the hype and 3D pushed me over the edge. As I watched it, all I could think was this story was completely written around this 3D process; not the other way around like it should have. This gets to the heart of the problem that I had and it seems like the story was more suited to earlier time of movie making; like the early to mid 90's.

It's hard to believe the guy who brought us Aliens and Terminator II has gone the way of George Lucus, with the -eye candy first- approach. To me Avatar is more of a product than a movie and I’m just not buying it. 5/10 (5 for the 3D)
 

Lou Sytsma

Producer
Joined
Nov 1, 1998
Messages
6,064
Reaction score
512
Points
9,110
Real Name
Lou Sytsma
Avatar is impressive. May be too impressive. James Cameron has taken the remaining limits off movie making.

The story does not do justice to the tech but is adequate.
 

Josh.C

Second Unit
Joined
Dec 20, 2005
Messages
469
Reaction score
0
Points
0
I have been away from the HTF for some time now. I won't stray too far, and I'm about to get to the reason I have come back, but imo we've been in a movie recession for too long. My passion has been renewed by films like Star Trek and Sherlock Holmes. Both great movie experiences for me. But now to the reason I'm back.

This may quite possibly be the greatest movie going experience of my lifetime. I'm not saying Avatar is my favorite movie of all time (although, I have no problem putting it in my top ten), but the experience is unparalleled for me. I took in an 8:00 feature at the Regal Cinema in San Antonio and was mesmerized from the first scene to the last.

I am not usually a fan of the creature, alien, robot types of films that strive to connect you to the cgi laced atrocities emotionally. For whatever reason, it rarely works for me. In Avatar I was "all in" and connected very strongly with the tribal people of Pandora. The score and sheer beauty of the colors and unbelievable world being rolled out before me was captivating to say the least.

I thought all the main characters delivered with great performances, both human and non-human. I saw this film in 3D, and I don't know why anyone would choose to see it otherwise. Breathtaking!

I could sing (or write, I should say) the praises of this film for a long time. It is so awesome to have a over-hyped movie, pass my level of expectation. Avatar pole vaulted over anything I imagined or could have expected. For me, it was the perfect combination of a meaningful storyline, coupled with great acting, and of course special effects. They will have to dub a new term for that now. Big Jim tossed special out the door with this one. Does "ridiculous effects" sound a bit...well...rediculous :)

This movie brought me out of my slumber, and now I'm back. Long live Cinema, done the right way.

10/10

JC
 

Ronald Epstein

Founder
Owner
Joined
Jul 3, 1997
Messages
55,573
Reaction score
11,292
Points
9,110
Real Name
Ronald Epstein
Josh,

So it took a movie like AVATAR to bring you back to
Home Theater Forum?


Not certain I fully see the rationale other than the fact
you wanted to share your movie experience with all of
us.....

....however, let me be the first to welcome you back.
I do hope you don't stray far again.
 

Carlo Medina

Executive Producer
Joined
Oct 31, 1997
Messages
11,906
Reaction score
1,873
Points
9,110
Saw the Digital 3D version this weekend (IMAXs were mostly sold out except for the "Bowfinger" seats ). The spectacle was amazing. Of course the future will bring better CGI, better 3D work, etc. This is not the end-all for those technologies. But it does up the ante considerably, using the CGI to enhance the story but never to the point of detraction or distraction.
I considered the acting good to great, with the great performances turned in by Neytiri and Quaritch. Heck, the entire Navi main characters were compelling and well done. Weaver was her normal, solid self, and I find Worthington to be a very good leading man.

Sure Cameron's story isn't the most original, but it is executed quite well. And when you examine the themes in his filmmaking past, from Terminator to Aliens to The Abyss to Terminator 2 (and sprinkle in a little bit of the love conquers all element from Titanic, and the humor from True Lies) to me Avatar was the logical progression of all of those stories he's been building up to. If you liked those movies, he has elements of all of them in Avatar. If you didn't like them, you're not going to like Avatar.

For me, the best moviegoing experience since The Dark Knight. For those that don't know me, that's about as high a praise as I can give. Any nitpicks I had during the movie were forgiven by the experience as a whole, and that's about all I can ask for.

9.5/10
 

Steve Christou

Long Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2000
Messages
16,220
Reaction score
546
Points
9,110
Location
Manchester, England
Real Name
Steve Christou
I was curious to see for myself why Avatar had grossed over 1 billion dollars in less than 3 weeks. And after seeing it tonight with a friend I'm not at all surprised it's done so well.

This was also my first Digital 3D experience, the only 3D movies I've watched previously were with the old red/blue anaglyph glasses which I was never a fan of. I was very impressed with the 3D in Avatar, the depth of field was amazing. I remember trying to swat alien mosquitos buzzing around my face, thinking they were in the theater. I even felt some vertigo in a couple of scenes.



Avatar is basically a sci-fi remake of Dances With Wolves, with some Fergully and Emerald Forest added in for good measure. It also has some plot similarities to the recent sci-fi animation Battle for Terra. I didn't care if the plot was derivative of other films I quickly got caught up in the story and characters and enjoyed the film immensely.

The various alien fauna were fantastic to look at and the Na'vi looked completely real (and sexy) to these eyes. You also get an inter-species sex scene thrown in, tastefully done. Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver and Stephen Lang all did top notch work, James Horner's music score the icing on the cake. 160mins just flew by. I'm already thinking of seeing... no, experiencing the film again, one last time in 3D.

5 out of 5. A must see.
 

oscar_merkx

Lead Actor
Joined
Apr 15, 2002
Messages
7,626
Reaction score
1
Points
0
I was really impressed with Avatar as well.

I felt like I was in Pandora through the 3D visuals.

Is it me or did James Cameron pay homage to Return of the Jedi ?

Especially at the end sequence I thought.

I also thought there were so many references to Apocalypse Now and the original Predator
 

Inspector Hammer!

Executive Producer
Joined
Mar 15, 1999
Messages
11,063
Reaction score
4
Points
5,110
Age
47
Location
Houston, Texas
Real Name
John Williamson
I finally saw this today in 3D, I could smack myself for taking so long, and it was the most visually intoxicating film I've personally ever seen!

I was seated 5 rows back from the front and I almost lost all concept of time and space as the films visuals immersed me in a way that I can't quite express.

If any film or director was going to unseat TITANIC I'm so happy that it looks like it might be this one.

A truly awe-inspiring movie going experience that must be seen to be believed.

Five stars out of five stars.
 

Al_S

Second Unit
Joined
Nov 30, 2000
Messages
446
Reaction score
0
Points
0
I saw this twice once in 2D and once in 3D. The 3D version was just awesome. The movie is very long but I ddn't mind one bit. This is one of the best movies I've seen in a while.
 

Ron-P

Producer
Joined
Jul 25, 2000
Messages
6,290
Reaction score
11
Points
5,610
Real Name
Ron
By far one of the best films I've seen in the past three decades, maybe more, since the 1977 release of Star Wars. The amount of detail in the creation of Pandora, it's creatures and the 3D effects was breathtaking. I walked out today with my jaw on the floor. Beautiful done film.

Movies just don't get better then this.
 

Forum Sponsors

Forum statistics

Threads
343,747
Messages
4,688,827
Members
141,023
Latest member
GMartin58